Malachi 3:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Malachi 3:17, NIV: On the day when I act,' says the LORD Almighty, 'they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.

Malachi 3:17, ESV: “They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.

Malachi 3:17, KJV: And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Malachi 3:17, NASB: 'And they will be Mine,' says the LORD of armies, 'on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will have compassion for them just as a man has compassion for his own son who serves him.'

Malachi 3:17, NLT: 'They will be my people,' says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. 'On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child.

Malachi 3:17, CSB: "They will be mine," says the Lord of Armies, "my own possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.

What does Malachi 3:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this context, "the day" is a reference to the time of ultimate judgment. This book of prophecy began by showing how God treated Edom differently from Israel (Malachi 1:2–5). Those God chose as His people were kept safe from the obliteration experienced by those who defied Him. This particular promise is tied more to repentance than to the nation of Israel, making it an interesting segue into the gospel which will come some four centuries later. These words are among the last to be delivered to Israel before this period of silence, ended by John the Baptist.

Also noteworthy is the reference to being spared "as a man spares his son." Part of the promise of the gospel is adoption by God (Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). While this particular mention is not an explicit reference to salvation, it hints at a theme that later Scriptures will clarify.

Verse 18 will explain part of the purpose behind this rescue: to show the world the difference between those who belong to God and those who reject Him.