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1 A prophecy:a The wordb of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.a

Israel Doubts God’s Love

“I have lovedc you,” says the Lord.

“But you ask,d ‘How have you loved us?’

“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob,e but Esau I have hated,f and I have turned his hill country into a wastelandg and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.h

Edomi may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuildj the ruins.”

But this is what the Lord Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish.k They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord.l You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Greatm is the Lord—even beyond the borders of Israel!’n

Breaking Covenant Through Blemished Sacrifices

“A son honors his father,o and a slave his master.p If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respectq due me?” says the Lord Almighty.r

“It is you priests who show contempt for my name.

“But you ask,s ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’

“By offering defiled foodt on my altar.

“But you ask,u ‘How have we defiled you?’

“By saying that the Lord’s tablev is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals,w is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleasedx with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.y

“Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offeringsz from your hands, will he accepta you?”—says the Lord Almighty.

10 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors,b so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleasedc with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will acceptd no offeringe from your hands. 11 My name will be greatf among the nations,g from where the sun rises to where it sets.h In every place incensei and pure offeringsj will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.

12 “But you profane it by saying, ‘The Lord’s tablek is defiled,’ and, ‘Its foodl is contemptible.’ 13 And you say, ‘What a burden!’m and you sniff at it contemptuously,n” says the Lord Almighty.

“When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices,o should I accept them from your hands?”p says the Lord. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animalq to the Lord. For I am a great king,r” says the Lord Almighty,s “and my name is to be fearedt among the nations.u


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