|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:13-18 Among the Jews at this time, some plainly discovered themselves to be children of the wicked one. The yoke of Christ is easy. But those who work wickedness, tempt God by presumptuous sins. Judge of things as they will appear when the doom of these proud sinners comes to be executed. Those that feared the Lord, spake kindly, for preserving and promoting mutual love, when sin thus abounded. They spake one to another, in the language of those that fear the Lord, and think on his name. As evil communications corrupt good minds and manners, so good communications confirm them. A book of remembrance was written before God. He will take care that his children perish not with those that believe not. They shall be vessels of mercy and honour, when the rest are made vessels of wrath and dishonour. The saints are God's jewels; they are dear to him. He will preserve them as his jewels, when the earth is burned up like dross. Those who now own God for theirs, he will then own for his. It is our duty to serve God with the disposition of children; and he will not have his children trained up in idleness; they must do him service from a principle of love. Even God's children stand in need of sparing mercy. All are righteous or wicked, such as serve God, or such as serve him not: all are going to heaven or to hell. We are often deceived in our opinions concerning both the one and the other; but at the bar of Christ, every man's character will be known. As to ourselves, we have need to think among which we shall have our lot; and, as to others, we must judge nothing before the time. But in the end all the world will confess that those alone were wise and happy, who served the Lord and trusted in Him.
Verses 13-18. - § 3. The impious murmuring of the people is contrasted with the conduct of those who fear God; and the reward of the pious is set forth. Verse 13. - Your words have been stout against me. Ye have spoken hard words of me (comp. Jude 1:15, where we read of "the hard speeches (σκληρῶν) which ungodly sinners have spoken against" God). Some specimens of these speeches are given in answer to the usual sceptical inquiry. They are of the same character as those in Malachi 2:17, and imply that the course of this world is not directed by a moral Governor. What have we spoken so much (together) against thee! What have we said against thee in our conversations with one another?
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord,.... Hard and strong; they bore very hardly upon him, were exceeding impudent and insolent; murmuring at his providence; arraigning his justice and goodness; and despising his word, worship, and ordinances. Aben Ezra says, this is a prophecy concerning the time to come, that is, the times of the Messiah; and so it describes the Jews in his times.
Yet ye say, what have we spoken so much against thee? or "what have we spoken against thee?" as if they were not guilty in any respect, and as if nothing could be proved against them; and as though the Lord did not know what they had said in their hearts, seeing they had not spoken it with their mouths: though the supplement of our translators, "so much", is confirmed by the Targum, which is,
"and if ye say, how (or in what) have we multiplied speech before thee?''
and so Kimchi observes, that the form in which the Hebrew word is denotes much and frequent speaking: and Abarbinel agrees with him, though he rather thinks it has this sense, "what are we spoken of to thee?" what calumny is this? what accusation do they bring against us to thee? what is it that is reported we say against thee? thus wiping their mouths, as if they were innocent and harmless.
Malachi 3:13 Parallel Commentaries
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