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Malachi 2:9

ESV and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.”
NIV So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.'
NASB So I also have made you despised and of low reputation in the view of all the people, since you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in the instruction.'
CSB "So I in turn have made you despised and humiliated before all the people because you are not keeping my ways but are showing partiality in your instruction."
NLT So I have made you despised and humiliated in the eyes of all the people. For you have not obeyed me but have shown favoritism in the way you carry out my instructions.'
KJV Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

What does Malachi 2:9 mean?

In verse 3, God described His humiliation of the priests in graphic terms. The priesthood would be shamed and disgraced as clearly as if God had smeared animal waste on their faces. They would be discarded as surely as animal filth was removed from the carcass prior to sacrifice. In order to purify the priesthood, and to preserve His covenant with the tribe of Levi, God would judge the priests. Though they were worthy of death (Numbers 18:32), God instead chooses to use shame.

This is both a prophetic statement as well as a description of Israel's current state. Malachi's book of prophecy delivers three main lessons, and the second one is an accusation against the people in general. That charge will involve divorce from their wives and marriage to pagan women. A culture which brazenly joins itself to idol worshippers, and which breaks marriage vows to God, is clearly not one which respects its spiritual leaders. More than likely, the priests of Malachi's day have already seen their reputation in the eyes of the people fading—in no small part because of their own apathy and sin (Malachi 1:13).

As this verse indicates, this is simply a consequence of the priests' own actions. They don't obey God, so there is no reason for them to receive blessing, honor, or wisdom from Him. They don't live lives which reflect the truth, so there is no reason for the people to hold them in high esteem.
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