1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Malachi chapter 3

English Standard Version

New International Version

New American Standard Bible

Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

New King James Version

1“Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the Lord of hosts. 2“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the Lord An offering in righteousness. 4“Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the Lord, As in the days of old, As in former years. 5And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien— Because they do not fear Me,” Says the Lord of hosts. 6“For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. 7Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’ 8“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. 11“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts; 12“And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts. 13“Your words have been harsh against Me,” Says the Lord, “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, And that we have walked as mourners Before the Lord of hosts? 15So now we call the proud blessed, For those who do wickedness are raised up; They even tempt God and go free.’ ” 16Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name. 17“They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.” 18 Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.

What does Malachi chapter 3 mean?

Malachi's prophecy takes the form of a wave, which flows back and forth through several topics. Chapter and verse divisions don't make this clear. Malachi, meaning "My Messenger," delivers three main lessons, each divided into two halves. The halves are mirrored around a central point, so the prophet's ideas cycle through similar themes, forwards and backwards. Unlike other prophets, Malachi speaks in the form of a dialogue. For almost every accusation, Israel responds with doubt and apathy.

Malachi's first message, to Israel's priests, ended in Malachi 2:9. The second message, scolding Israel for her unfaithfulness, began in Malachi 2:10 and runs through Malachi 3:6. The criticism of this particular lesson comes in two parts. First, Israel is marrying those who worship other gods (Malachi 2:11). Second, the men of Israel are divorcing their Jewish wives in order to marry these pagan women (Malachi 2:14). This, God described as an act of spiritual violence, condemned in the strongest terms (Malachi 2:16). That condemnation ends the first half of Malachi's second message.

Chapter 2 verse 17 began the second half of Malachi's second message. There, Israel delivers an arrogant, dangerous set of spiritual criticisms of God. Specifically, the claims that God allows the wicked to prosper, and that He is not demonstrating His justice on earth (Malachi 2:17). This is an unwise attack on God. At the very least, each person should recognize their own sin and wickedness (Romans 3:10). Asking God to judge means asking to be judged.

Chapter 3, then, begins with God's promise to do exactly what Israel is—hypocritically—asking for. God will send a messenger to proclaim the imminent arrival of the Messiah (Malachi 3:1). And, one day, that Promised One will rule with all of God's power. This, however, will be a day of judgment and division. God's holiness and judgment is described in terms of fire and potent chemicals (Malachi 3:2). The second message of Malachi's prophecy ends with a stinging rebuke of Israel: the only reason they have not been annihilated is the unchanging faithfulness of God (Malachi 3:6).

Verse 7 begins the final message delivered to Israel by Malachi. Here, God accuses the people of "robbing" Him by withholding His required tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8). God's covenant with Israel included both blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. Israel complains about their sad state, but fails to see that this is exactly what God promised them in return for unfaithfulness.

The end of Malachi chapter 3 takes a somewhat more hopeful tone. At least some of the priests and people of Israel were still faithful. They responded to Malachi's message as God intended. As a result, God makes a promise to remember their faithfulness (Malachi 3:16). Chapter 4, which is very short, transitions into a contrast of the fates of the righteous and the wicked. In context, these are those who follow God, with those who do not, respectively.

This last lesson from Malachi is an appeal for Israel to return to her former faithfulness. God's judgment is coming, sooner or later.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: