Malachi 1:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"By offering defiled food on my altar. "But you ask, 'How have we defiled you?' "By saying that the LORD's table is contemptible.

New Living Translation
"You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar. "Then you ask, 'How have we defiled the sacrifices?' "You defile them by saying the altar of the LORD deserves no respect.

English Standard Version
By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised.

New American Standard Bible
"You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, 'How have we defiled You?' In that you say, 'The table of the LORD is to be despised.'

King James Bible
Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
By presenting defiled food on My altar." You ask: "How have we defiled You?" When you say: "The LORD's table is contemptible.""

International Standard Version
By presenting defiled food on my altar. And you ask, 'How have we defiled you?' By saying, 'The Table of the LORD is contemptible.'

NET Bible
You are offering improper sacrifices on my altar, yet you ask, 'How have we offended you?' By treating the table of the LORD as if it is of no importance!

New Heart English Bible
You offer polluted bread on my altar. You say, 'How have we polluted you?' In that you say, 'The LORD's table contemptible.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"You offer contaminated food on my altar. "But you ask, 'Then how have we contaminated you?' "When you say that the LORD's table may be despised.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine altar. And ye say: 'Wherein have we polluted thee?' In that ye say: 'The table of the LORD is contemptible.'

New American Standard 1977
You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, ‘How have we defiled Thee?’ In that you say, ‘The table of the LORD is to be despised.’

Jubilee Bible 2000
Ye offer polluted bread upon my altar; and ye say, In what have we polluted thee? In that ye say, We die of hunger in the service of the LORD.

King James 2000 Bible
You offer polluted bread upon my altar; and you say, How have we polluted you? In that you say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

American King James Version
You offer polluted bread on my altar; and you say, Wherein have we polluted you? In that you say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

American Standard Version
Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar. And ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of Jehovah is contemptible.

Douay-Rheims Bible
To you, O priests, that despise my name, and have said: Wherein have we despised thy name? You offer polluted bread upon my altar, and you say: Wherein have we polluted thee? In that you say: The table of the Lord is contemptible.

Darby Bible Translation
Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of Jehovah is contemptible.

English Revised Version
Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar. And ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

Webster's Bible Translation
Ye offer polluted bread upon my altar? and ye say, In what have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

World English Bible
You offer polluted bread on my altar. You say, 'How have we polluted you?' In that you say, 'Yahweh's table contemptible.'

Young's Literal Translation
Ye are bringing nigh on Mine altar polluted bread, And ye have said: 'In what have we polluted Thee?' In your saying: 'The table of Jehovah -- it is despicable,'
Study Bible
The Polluted Offerings
6"'A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, 'How have we despised Your name?' 7"You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, 'How have we defiled You?' In that you say, The table of the LORD is to be despised.' 8"But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts.…
Cross References
Leviticus 3:11
Then the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar as food, an offering by fire to the LORD.

Leviticus 21:6
'They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they present the offerings by fire to the LORD, the food of their God; so they shall be holy.

Leviticus 21:8
'You shall consecrate him, therefore, for he offers the food of your God; he shall be holy to you; for I the LORD, who sanctifies you, am holy.

Ezekiel 41:22
The altar was of wood, three cubits high and its length two cubits; its corners, its base and its sides were of wood. And he said to me, "This is the table that is before the LORD."

Ezekiel 44:16
"They shall enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge.

Malachi 1:8
"But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 1:12
"But you are profaning it, in that you say, 'The table of the Lord is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.'

Malachi 1:13
"You also say, 'My, how tiresome it is!' And you disdainfully sniff at it," says the LORD of hosts, "and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?" says the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

You offer polluted bread on my altar; and you say, Wherein have we polluted you? In that you say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

Ye offer, etc. or, Bring unto my, etc. polluted.

Leviticus 2:11 No meat offering, which you shall bring to the LORD, shall be made …

Leviticus 21:6 They shall be holy to their God, and not profane the name of their …

Deuteronomy 15:21 And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, …

The table.

Malachi 1:12 But you have profaned it, in that you say, The table of the LORD …

1 Samuel 2:15-17 Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said …

Ezekiel 41:22 The altar of wood was three cubits high, and the length thereof two …

1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: you …

1 Corinthians 11:21,22,27-32 For in eating every one takes before other his own supper: and one …

(7) Ye offer.--Literally, offering.

Bread.--This is not the shewbread, which was not offered upon the altar. The word rendered "bread" means in Arabic "flesh;" in Hebrew, "food generally." This word is applied (Leviticus 3:11; Leviticus 3:16) to the fat portions of the peace offerings, which were burned, and is there translated "food." (See references there.) In Leviticus 21:6; Leviticus 21:8; Leviticus 21:17; Leviticus 21:21-22; Leviticus 22:25, it is used of the sacrifices generally, but is there inconsistently translated "bread."

Polluted.--The Hebrew word does not occur in this sense in the Pentateuch, but we have it in Daniel 1:8 in the reflexive conjugation: "to allow himself to be defiled" with food, and in the active ("polluted thee") in this verse. The context shows that the words "polluted bread" means "food unfit to be offered." "Polluted me" is the same as "profaned [my name]" (Malachi 1:12); for in the Hebrew Scriptures "God" and "God's name" are often equivalent expressions (Comp. Malachi 2:5). Keil takes the words, which he wrongly translates, "ye that offer polluted bread," as parallel to the words "despisers of my name," and to a certain degree explanatory of them; while he finds the actual answer to the questions, "Wherein have we despised?" "Wherein have we polluted?" is given in the words, "In that ye say," &c. He renders the passage thus:--

Saith the Lord of hosts unto you,

"Ye priests, who despise my name!"

And yet say, "Wherein have we despised thy name?"

"Ye who offer on mine altar polluted food."

And yet say, "Wherein have we polluted thee?"

(Ans.) [Ye have despised my name and polluted me], in that ye say, "The table of the Lord is contemptible."

The error of this rendering consists in supposing that "offering polluted food," which is anathrous, can be parallel to "Ye priests who despise my name," which is defined by the definite article. In truth, the English Version is perfectly correct. We will repeat it with only the slightest possible verbal alterations. and with such parenthetical explanations as are required to make it quite intelligible:--Saith the Lord of hosts unto you, "O priests, that despise my name!"

[This is the commencement of a prophetic rebuke to the priests; but they, in accordance with the prophet's graphic style of writing, are supposed to catch him up at the first clause of his utterance.]

"But" [despisers of God's name!] say ye, "wherein have we despised thy name?"

(Ans.) "Offering [as ye do] polluted food upon mine altar."

" But," say ye, "wherein have we polluted thee?"

(Ans.) "When, now, ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil?" &c.

Say--i.e., show by your conduct that such is your feeling. "This was their inward thought . . . he puts these thoughts into abrupt, bold, hard words, which might startle them for their hideousness, as if he would say, this is what your acts mean. He exhibits the worm and the decay which lay under the whited exterior."--Pusey.

Table--i.e., altar, as in Ezekiel 41:22 : "The altar . . . this is the table that is before the Lord." (Comp. Ezek. 49:16.)]

Verse 7. - Ye offer polluted bread (food) upon mine altar. The prophet answers the priests simply by detailing some of their practices. The "bread" (lechem) is not the shewbread, which was not offered on the altar, but the flesh of the offered victims (see Leviticus 3:11, 16; Leviticus 21:6; Leviticus 22:25). This was "polluted" in that it was not offered in due accordance with the ceremonial Law, as is further explained in the next verse. Wherein have we polluted thee? They did not acknowledge the truth that (as St. Jerome says) "when the sacraments are violated, he himself, whose sacraments they are, is violated" (comp. Ezekiel 13:19; Ezekiel 20:9; Ezekiel 39:7). The table of the Lord is contemptible. This was the thought of their heart, if they did not give open expression to it in words. The "table of the Lord" (ver. 12) is the altar, on which were laid the sacrifices, regarded as the food. of God, and to be eaten by the fire (Ezekiel 41:22; Ezekiel 44:16). They showed that they despised the altar by fancying that anything was good enough for offering thereon, as the next verse explains. Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar,.... Which some understand of the shewbread, mention being afterwards made of a "table", as Jerom; who observes that it was made of wheat, which the priests themselves sowed, reaped, ground, and baked, and so could take what they would out of it: as for their sowing it, it does not seem likely that they should be employed in such service, whatever may be said for their reaping; since the sheaf of the first fruits was reaped by persons deputed from the sanhedrim (w); though of the reaping of that for the shewbread, I find no mention made; but as for grinding, sifting, kneading, and making it into loaves, and baking it, and taking it out of the oven, and putting it upon the table of shewbread, all this was the work of the priests (x); and those of the house of Garmu (y) were appointed over that work: now, this bread might be said to be polluted, when they set upon the table such as was not made of fine wheat flour, and had not pure frankincense put upon or by each row, as the law required, Leviticus 24:5 nor is it any material objection to this sense, that it is an altar, and not a table, on which this bread was offered; since, as the altar is called a table, Ezekiel 41:22, as this is in a following clause, the table may be called an altar; though it may be observed, that the shewbread is never said to be offered, but to be set, or put upon the table: indeed the burning of the frankincense set by it is called an offering made by fire unto the Lord, Leviticus 24:7 wherefore others interpret this of the daily meat offering, which went along with the daily sacrifice of the lambs, and part of which was burnt on the altar, Exodus 29:40 or rather this designs sacrifice in general, sometimes called "bread", Leviticus 3:11 and so the Targum here,

"ye offer upon my altar an abominable offering;''

such as had blemishes in them, were blind or lame, as after mentioned; and had not the requisites of a sacrifice in them; or were offered not in a right manner, or by bad men, and with a wicked mind:

and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? thy bread offering or altar; as if their offerings were pure, and they themselves, and their consciences pure from sin. The answer is,

In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible; either the shewbread table, which yet was covered with gold, and all the vessels of it made of gold; or the altar, as in Ezekiel 41:22 their actions spoke so loud, and declared that the table or altar of the Lord was a contemptible thing, since they cared not what was offered upon it: or the reason why it was had in contempt, as some think, was because there was not that holiness in the second temple as in the first: or, as Abarbinel and Kimchi say, because of the fat and the blood which were offered on the altar, which they esteemed contemptible things; not observing the end for which the Lord commanded them to be offered.

(w) Misn. Menachot, c. 10. sect. 3.((x) Maimon. Hilchot Tamidin, c. 5. sect. 6. (y) Misn. Shekalim, c. 5. sect. 1.7. ye offer, etc.—God's answer to their challenge (Mal 1:6), "Wherein have we despised?"

polluted bread—namely, blemished sacrifices (Mal 1:8, 13, 14; De 15:21). So "the bread of thy God" is used for "sacrifices to God" (Le 21:8).

polluted thee—that is, offered to thee "polluted bread."

table of the Lord—that is, the altar (Eze 41:22) (not the table of showbread). Just as the sacrificial flesh is called "bread."

contemptible—(Mal 1:12, 13). Ye sanction the niggardly and blemished offerings of the people on the altar, to gain favor with them. Darius, and probably his successors, had liberally supplied them with victims for sacrifice, yet they presented none but the worst. A cheap religion, costing little, is rejected by God, and so is worth nothing. It costs more than it is worth, for it is worth nothing, and so proves really dear. God despises not the widow's mite, but he does despise the miser's mite [Moore].1:6-14 We may each charge upon ourselves what is here charged upon the priests. Our relation to God, as our Father and Master, strongly obliges us to fear and honour him. But they were so scornful that they derided reproof. Sinners ruin themselves by trying to baffle their convictions. Those who live in careless neglect of holy ordinances, who attend on them without reverence, and go from them under no concern, in effect say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. They despised God's name in what they did. It is evident that these understood not the meaning of the sacrifices, as shadowing forth the unblemished Lamb of God; they grudged the expense, thinking all thrown away which did not turn to their profit. If we worship God ignorantly, and without understanding, we bring the blind for sacrifice; if we do it carelessly, if we are cold, dull, and dead in it, we bring the sick; if we rest in the bodily exercise, and do not make heart-work of it, we bring the lame; and if we suffer vain thoughts and distractions to lodge within us, we bring the torn. And is not this evil? Is it not a great affront to God, and a great wrong and injury to our own souls? In order to the acceptance of our actions with God, it is not enough to do that which, for the matter of it, is good; but we must do it from a right principle, in a right manner, and for a right end. Our constant mercies from God, make worse our slothfulness and niggardliness, in our returns of duty to God. A spiritual worship shall be established. Incense shall be offered to God's name, which signifies prayer and praise. And it shall be a pure offering. When the hour came, in which the true worshippers worshipped the Father in Spirit and in truth, then this incense was offered, even this pure offering. We may rely on God's mercy for pardon as to the past, but not for indulgence to sin in future. If there be a willing mind, it will be accepted, though defective; but if any be a deceiver, devoting his best to Satan and to his lusts, he is under a curse. Men now, though in a different way, profane the name of the Lord, pollute his table, and show contempt for his worship.
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OT Prophets: Malachi 1:7 You offer polluted bread on my altar (Malachi Mal Ml) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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