Malachi 3:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Malachi 3:16, NIV: Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.

Malachi 3:16, ESV: Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name.

Malachi 3:16, KJV: Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

Malachi 3:16, NASB: Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened attentively and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and esteem His name.

Malachi 3:16, NLT: Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.

Malachi 3:16, CSB: At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before him for those who feared the Lord and had high regard for his name.

What does Malachi 3:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse presents a sudden and interesting change in tone. Those who "feared the LORD" may be some of the same who were just accused of blasphemy (Malachi 3:13–15). They may be a completely separate group of people, who never fell into the sins ascribed to the priests and the people. Either way, even in this season of spiritual darkness, there are those in Israel who are committed to honoring God.

This makes verse 16 a tremendous encouragement during times where faithfulness is scarce. God promises, here, to remember the loyalty of those who respond to Him. In context, this is specific to the nation of Israel, but indicates an important aspect of God's character. Whether the people repent and turn back, or stay faithful throughout, God vows to keep a record of their faith. This, more than likely, is exactly the response Malachi—a name literally meaning "My Messenger"—was hoping to get from his prophecy.

Verse 17 will detail how God's remembrance of this repentance, or loyalty, will mean being spared from some of the wrath to come. Verse 18 puts this in terms of a separation between the wicked and the righteous, one made obvious to the world.