|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-9 What is here said of the covenant of priesthood, is true of the covenant of grace made with all believers, as spiritual priests. It is a covenant of life and peace; it assures all believers of all happiness, both in this world and in that to come. It is an honour to God's servants to be employed as his messengers. The priest's lips should not keep knowledge from his people, but keep it for them. The people are all concerned to know the will of the Lord. We must not only consult the written word, but desire instruction and advice from God's messengers, in the affairs of our souls. Ministers must exert themselves to the utmost for the conversion of sinners; and even among those called Israelites, there are many to be turned from iniquity. Those ministers, and those only, are likely to turn men from sin, who preach sound doctrine, and live holy lives according to the Scripture. Many departed from this way; thus they misled the people. Such as walk with God in peace and righteousness, and turn others from sin, honour God; he will honour them, while those who despise him shall be lightly esteemed.
Verse 9. - Contemptible. The glory of the priesthood and the honour that belonged to it (Ecclus. 45:7, etc.) were now turned into disgrace and contempt, when men compared the actual with the ideal. "Them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed" (1 Samuel 2:30). Have been partial in the law; Revised Version, have had respect of persons in the law; or, in your teaching, as vers. 6, 8. The prophet names one special sin of the priests, and that the most flagrant - perversion of judgment, partiality in the administration of the Law. The same complaint is found in Micah 3:11 (comp. 2 Chronicles 19:7).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base,.... When their city and temple were destroyed by the Romans, and they were carried captive by them, and became a taunt and a proverb in all places where they came:
before all the people; the nations of the world, among whom they were scattered:
according as ye have not kept my ways; neither those which the law directed to, either moral or ceremonial; nor what the Gospel directed to, the ordinances and institutions of Christ, particularly baptism, which the Jews rejected against themselves, Luke 7:30,
but have been partial in the law; in the observance of it, attending to the lesser, and taking no notice of the weightier matters of it, as the Jews are charged by Christ, Matthew 23:23 and in the interpretation of it, restraining its sense only to outward actions, for which they are reproved, Matthew 5:1 or "received faces", or "accepted persons in the law" (x); in matters of the law they were concerned in, they had respect to the persons of men, by giving the sense of it, and pronouncing judgment, in favour of some, to the prejudice of others, wrongly.
(x) "et accepistis faciem in lege", Pagninus; "assumentes facies", Montanus; "suscipitis faciem", Piscator; "accipitis faciem", Cocceius; "et ferentes faciem in lege", Burkius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. Because ye do not keep the condition of the covenant, I will not fulfil the promise.
partial in the law—having respect to persons rather than to truth in the interpretation and administration of the law (Le 19:15).
Malachi 2:9 Parallel Commentaries
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