|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 9. - Beseech God; literally, the face of God. This is not a serious call to repentance, but an ironical appeal. Come now and ask the favour of God with your polluted sacrifices; intercede, as is your duty, for the people; will he accept you? will he be gracious to the people for your sakes? This hath been by your means. These words form a parenthesis, implying that it was from the priests that the evil custom of offering blemished animals proceeded, and they were answerable for the consequences; that their intercessions were vain was the result of their transgressions in these matters. Others interpret, "The thing depends on you," i.e. whether God shows favour or not. Will he regard your persons? Will he show favour to any one because ye intercede for him? So it might be translated, Will he accept any because of you?
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us,.... These are the words of the prophet to the priests; and are spoken either seriously, exhorting them to that part of their office which lay in interceding for the people that God would be gracious to them, and forgive their sins; and the rather, inasmuch as they had been the means of their sin, and accessary to it, who ought to have reproved them for bringing such offerings, and should have refused to offer them for them; or otherwise, if they did not do this, they could not expect that God would accept their persons, and their offerings: or else ironically, now you have offered such sacrifices to the Lord, as the blind, the lame, and sick, go and intercede for the people; pray that their sins may be forgiven them, and that the curse may be removed from them, and see how you will succeed:
this hath been by your means; that such sacrifices were offered up; they indulged the people in such practices, and encouraged them; the fault was theirs; or this curse, as Kimchi explains it, from Malachi 1:14,
will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts; can you ever imagine that God will have any respect to your persons or prayers, when you have acted so vile a part, and been the cause of so much sin and evil? no, he will not, as is asserted in the following verse Malachi 1:10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. now … beseech God that he will be gracious—Ironical. Think you that God will be persuaded by such polluted gifts to be gracious to you? Far from it.
this hath been by your means—literally, "hand." These contemptible offerings are your doing, as being the priests mediating between God and the people; and think you, will God pay any regard to you (compare Mal 1:8, 10)? "Accept thy person" ("face"), Mal 1:8, answers to "regard your persons," in this verse.
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