Malachi 2:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Malachi 2:11, NIV: Judah has been unfaithful. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the LORD loves by marrying women who worship a foreign god.

Malachi 2:11, ESV: Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.

Malachi 2:11, KJV: Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

Malachi 2:11, NASB: Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD which He loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.

Malachi 2:11, NLT: Judah has been unfaithful, and a detestable thing has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. The men of Judah have defiled the LORD's beloved sanctuary by marrying women who worship idols.

Malachi 2:11, CSB: Judah has acted treacherously, and a detestable act has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the Lord's sanctuary, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.

What does Malachi 2:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

To be "holy" means to be "set apart." Since only God is truth, and only His word leads to salvation, it is critical for His people to be holy / set apart from the world. One obvious and critical application of this would involve marriage. Making a (supposedly) lifelong commitment to someone who rejects the one true God is neither "holy" nor respectful to God. In fact, it insults the character of God, by assuming that His truth is simply not that important.

The Law warned the nation not to marry those who worship false gods (Deuteronomy 7:3–4). In Malachi's day, however, the people of Israel are committing that exact sin. This is no small mistake. Malachi refers to this practice as an "abomination," from the Hebrew word tow'ebah. This term implies something wicked, disgusting, or unclean. Simply choosing to marry those who practice idolatry or worship false gods is an insult to God.

The reference to the "sanctuary," qo'des, suggests that these pagans might have also brought their religious practices into the temple itself. Given that the priests have been accused of offering impure sacrifices (Malachi 1:8), this is not out of the question.