Malachi 2:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
You ask, "Why?" It is because the LORD is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

New Living Translation
You cry out, "Why doesn't the LORD accept my worship?" I'll tell you why! Because the LORD witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows.

English Standard Version
But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

New American Standard Bible
"Yet you say, 'For what reason?' Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

King James Bible
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Yet you ask, "For what reason?" Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have acted treacherously against her, though she was your marriage partner and your wife by covenant.

International Standard Version
Yet you ask, 'For what reason?' Because the LORD acts as a witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you were unfaithful to her, your partner, the wife of your covenant.

NET Bible
Yet you ask, "Why?" The LORD is testifying against you on behalf of the wife you married when you were young, to whom you have become unfaithful even though she is your companion and wife by law.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But you ask, "Why [aren't our offerings accepted]?" It is because the LORD is a witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been unfaithful. Yet, she is your companion, the wife of your marriage vows.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Yet ye say, Why? Because the LORD has been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously; yet she is thy companion and the wife of thy covenant.

King James 2000 Bible
Yet you say, Why? Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously: yet is she your companion, and the wife of your covenant.

American King James Version
Yet you say, Why? Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously: yet is she your companion, and the wife of your covenant.

American Standard Version
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because Jehovah hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously, though she is thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And you have said: For what cause? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee, and the wife of thy youth, whom thou hast despised: yet she was thy partner, and the wife of thy covenant.

Darby Bible Translation
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because Jehovah hath been a witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt unfaithfully: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

English Revised Version
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously, though she is thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

Webster's Bible Translation
Yet ye say, Why? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

World English Bible
Yet you say, 'Why?' Because Yahweh has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion, and the wife of your covenant.

Young's Literal Translation
And ye have said, 'Wherefore?' Because Jehovah hath testified between thee And the wife of thy youth, That thou hast dealt treacherously against her, And she thy companion, and thy covenant-wife.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:10-17 Corrupt practices are the fruit of corrupt principles; and he who is false to his God, will not be true to his fellow mortals. In contempt of the marriage covenant, which God instituted, the Jews put away the wives they had of their own nation, probably to make room for strange wives. They made their lives bitter to them; yet, in the sight of others, they pretend to be tender of them. Consider she is thy wife; thy own; the nearest relation thou hast in the world. The wife is to be looked on, not as a servant, but as a companion to the husband. There is an oath of God between them, which is not to be trifled with. Man and wife should continue to their lives' end, in holy love and peace. Did not God make one, one Eve for one Adam? Yet God could have made another Eve. Wherefore did he make but one woman for one man? It was that the children might be made a seed to serve him. Husbands and wives must live in the fear of God, that their seed may be a godly seed. The God of Israel saith that he hateth putting away. Those who would be kept from sin, must take heed to their spirits, for there all sin begins. Men will find that their wrong conduct in their families springs from selfishness, which disregards the welfare and happiness of others, when opposed to their own passions and fancies. It is wearisome to God to hear people justify themselves in wicked practices. Those who think God can be a friend to sin, affront him, and deceive themselves. The scoffers said, Where is the God of judgement? but the day of the Lord will come.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 14. - Yet ye say, Wherefore? Here is the usual sceptical objection, as in Malachi 1:6, 7. The people will not acknowledge their guiltiness, and ask, "Why is God displeased with us? why are our offerings not acceptable?" The prophet replies, Because the Lord hath been witness, etc. The sin is now disclosed. Their marriages had been made before God; he who first instituted matrimony (Genesis 2:24) was a witness of the contract and gave it his sanction (comp. Genesis 31:50). The wife of thy youth. Whom thou didst marry when thine affections were pure and fresh, and for whom thy love was strong and simple (Proverbs 5:18). Against whom thou hast dealt treacherously; Septuagint, "whom thou hast deserted." This wife of thine thou hast betrayed, breaking faith with her by repudiating her. The wife of thy covenant. With whom thou didst make a solemn vow and covenant, to violate which is a monstrous crime. We have very little information respecting the religious ceremonies connected with a Jewish wedding. The previous espousal was a formal proceeding, conducted by friends and parents, and confirmed by oaths. The actual marriage seems to have been accompanied by certain solemn promises and blessings (see Proverbs 2:17; Ezekiel 16:8; Genesis 24:60; Ruth 4:11, 12; Tobit 7:13; Smith, 'Dict. of Bible').

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Yet ye say, Wherefore?.... What is the meaning of the women covering the altar with tears? as if they knew not what was the reason of it, when they were so notoriously guilty of breach of covenant with them; which is an instance of their impudence, as Abarbinel observes: or, "if ye say, wherefore?" as the Targum and Kimchi interpret the words; should you say, what is the reason why the Lord will not regard nor receive our offerings? the answer is ready,

Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth: when espoused together in their youthful days, the Lord was present at that solemn contract, and saw the obligations they were laid under to each other, and he was called upon by both parties to be a witness of the same; and at the present time he was a witness how agreeably the wives of the Israelites had behaved towards their husbands, and how treacherously they had acted towards them; he saw and knew, that, whatever pretensions they made, they did not love them, nor behave as they should towards them; and therefore had just cause of complaint against them, and must be a witness for the one, and against the other: this sin of hating and divorcing their wives, or of marrying others besides them, which prevailed much in our Lord's time, is particularly mentioned, though they were guilty of many other sins, as a reason of the Lord's not accepting their offerings: the aggravations of it are, that they had broken a contract God was witness to, and dealt injuriously with wives they had espoused in the days of their youth; see Proverbs 2:17,

against whom thou hast dealt treacherously; by divorce or polygamy: the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "whom thou hast despised": and the Septuagint and Arabic versions, "whom thou hast left"; divorced and took others, which arose from hatred and contempt of their former: other aggravations follow:

yet is she thy companion; or, "and she is", or "though she is thy companion" (c): has been so in time past, and ought to be so still, and so accounted: the wife is a part of a man's self, is one flesh with him; a partaker of what he has; a partner with him in prosperity and adversity; a companion in life, civil and religious, and ought to remain so till death part them; for, whom God has put together, let no man put asunder:

and the wife of thy covenant; wherefore either to divorce her, or marry another, was a breach of covenant; for by "covenant" is not meant the covenant of God made with the people of Israel, in which they both were; but the covenant of marriage made between them, and which was broken by such practices.

(c) "et ipsa est socia tua", Montanus, Drusius, Burkius; "quum sit socia tua", Pagninus, Munster, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

14. Wherefore?—Why does God reject our offerings?

Lord … witness between thee and … wife—(so Ge 31:49, 50).

of thy youth—The Jews still marry very young, the husband often being but thirteen years of age, the wife younger (Pr 5:18; Isa 54:6).

wife of thy covenant—not merely joined to thee by the marriage covenant generally, but by the covenant between God and Israel, the covenant-people, whereby a sin against a wife, a daughter of Israel, is a sin against God [Moore]. Marriage also is called "the covenant of God" (Pr 2:17), and to it the reference may be (Ge 2:24; Mt 19:6; 1Co 7:10).

Malachi 2:14 Additional Commentaries
Context
Judah's Unfaithfulness
13"This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14"Yet you say, 'For what reason?' Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15"But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth.…
Cross References
Proverbs 2:17
who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.

Proverbs 5:18
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Isaiah 54:6
The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit-- a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God.

Jeremiah 9:2
Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people.

Jeremiah 42:5
Then they said to Jeremiah, "May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the LORD your God sends you to tell us.

Malachi 3:5
"So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.
Treasury of Scripture

Yet you say, Why? Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously: yet is she your companion, and the wife of your covenant.

Wherefore.

Malachi 1:6,7 A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a …

Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, Wherein …

Proverbs 30:20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats, and wipes her mouth, …

Isaiah 58:3 Why have we fasted, say they, and you see not? why have we afflicted …

Jeremiah 8:12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? no, they were …

the Lord.

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness …

Genesis 31:50 If you shall afflict my daughters, or if you shall take other wives …

Judges 11:10 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, The LORD be witness between …

1 Samuel 12:5 And he said to them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed …

Jeremiah 42:5 Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness …

Micah 1:2 Hear, all you people; listen, O earth, and all that therein is: and …

the wife.

Malachi 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And …

Proverbs 5:18,19 Let your fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of your youth…

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of the life …

Isaiah 54:6 For the LORD has called you as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, …

thy companion.

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; …

Proverbs 2:17 Which forsakes the guide of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God.

Songs 1:15 Behold, you are fair, my love; behold, you are fair; you have doves' eyes.

Ezekiel 16:8 Now when I passed by you, and looked on you, behold, your time was …

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