Malachi 1:11
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
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(11) This verse contains no verb, and, as far as the rules of grammar are concerned, its participles may be rendered either by presents or futures. If we take the words as referring to the present, we are met by the insurmountable difficulty that in no sense, at the time of Malachi, could the Lord’s Name be said to be great over all the earth, or pure sacrifices to be offered to Him in every place. Nor can we, with many commentators, suppose that heathen rites are here referred to as being offered ignorantly, through idols, to the one true God. (Comp. Pope’s universal prayer:—

“Father of all, in every age,

In every clime adored,

By saint, by savage, and by sage,

Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!”)

For there is no hint given of any such meaning being intended; and, moreover, such a sentiment would be quite foreign to the Old Testament, which always represents heathen rites as being an utter abomination, and always speaks of the adhesion of the Gentiles to the worship of the true God as a thing of the future. We are compelled, therefore, to take the words as a prophetic announcement of the future rejection of Israel and calling of the Gentiles.

In every place.—In contradistinction to the one place (Deuteronomy 12:5-7). (Comp. our Lord’s words to the woman of Samaria: John 4:21-24.)

Incense shall be offered . . .—This is a possible rendering of the words; but this Hebrew word is not elsewhere used for “incense,” and may more naturally be rendered shall be burnt, as the passive participle of the verb used in Leviticus 1:9. Dr. Pusey’s footnote on this passage is well worth reading, as, indeed, his footnotes usually are. We prefer, therefore, to take the words thus: “an oblation shall be burnt to my name, even a pure offering.” In any case, unless we are to expect some future establishment of a universal offering of material sacrifices, we must understand both expressions in a spiritual sense, which is, in truth, the only reasonable way of interpreting such passages. (See Notes on Zechariah 2:6-13; Zechariah 3:8-10; Zechariah 6:9-15, and especially 14:16-21.) If, therefore, any Christians would claim this verse as a support for their custom of offering incense in churches, they must conform also with Zechariah 14:16-21, and go up every year to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. The word “offering,” as in the preceding verse (comp. 1Samuel 2:17; Isaiah 1:13), denotes sacrificial gifts in general, not the flour offerings as distinguished from the flesh offerings. The word “pure” is emphatic, not as signifying the bloodless sacrifice of the Mass (Council of Trent), as distinguished from the bloody sacrifices, but as the converse of “polluted” (Malachi 1:7). The above remarks we have made in no controversial spirit, but simply in the interests of truth; and lest any should suppose us to imply that the above interpretation was originated by the Council of Trent, we refer the reader to Dr. Pusey’s Commentary, in which he shows, by quotations from SS. Justin, Irenæus, Hippolytus, Cyprian, Cyril of Jerusalem, Chrysostom, and Augustine, as also from Tertullian, Eusebius, and Theodoret, that it is quod semper, quod ab omnibus, quod ubique. Those, therefore, who prefer so-called authority to the results of calm criticism are bound to disagree with us.

Malachi 1:11. For from the rising of the sun, &c., my name shall be great among the Gentiles — You may perhaps think, if I will not accept an offering from your hands, that I shall have none; but in this you err greatly; for know that my name shall be great, or highly reverenced, among all the nations of the earth, who will worship me, not as you do, as if it were a labour for which they ought to be paid; but with pure minds, inflamed with love toward me and zeal for my glory. And in every place incense shall be offered to my name — Prayers and praises shall be presented before me as incense. For here the prophet describes the Christian sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving by the outward rites of the Jewish worship: see note on Zechariah 14:16. Indeed, incense was considered by the Jews themselves as a figure or emblem of prayer and praise: see Psalm 141:2; Luke 1:10. This spiritual service, the prophet says, shall be offered in every place, whereas the Jewish worship was confined to the temple. The words of Christ, John 4:21-22, are a good commentary upon this text; where to worship in spirit is opposed to the carnal ordinances of the Jewish service, such as meats and drinks and bloody sacrifices, or to mere external worship; and in truth, to the types and ceremonies of the Mosaic law, which were only shadowy representations of things to come. And a pure offering — Namely, the offering of prayer and praise, of faith, love and obedience, of the heart and life, the body and soul, to be dedicated to and employed for God. Such, also are the oblations of real Christians for the support of God’s worship, the maintenance of a gospel ministry, or the relief of the poor. Thus, in this verse, two important points of our religion are declared in the fullest manner: the abolition of the sacrifices and ceremonies of the ancient law, and the pure and spiritual nature of the Christian worship and service.

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 stubbornness, 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.For - The form of words does not express whether this declaration relates to the present or the future. It is a vivid present, such as is often used to describe the future. But the things spoken of show it to be future. The Jewish sacrifices had defects, partly incidental, partly inherent. Incidental were those, with which the prophet had upbraided them; inherent (apart from their mere typical character) that they never could be the religion of the world, since they were locally fixed at Jerusalem. Malachi tells them of a new sacrifice, which should be offered throughout the then pagan world, grounded on His new revelation of Himself to them. "For great shall be My Name among the pagan." The prophet anticipates an objection which the Jews might make to him. Joshua 7:9, "what then will God do unto His great Name?" Those by which He would replace them, would be more worthy of God in two ways:

1) in themselves,

2) in their universality.

"Then," whatsoever the pagan worshiped, even if some worshiped an "unknown God," His "Name" was not known to them, nor "great among them." Those who knew of Him, knew of Him, not as the Lord of heaven and earth, but as the God of the Jews only; their "offerings" were not "pure," but manifoldly defiled. A Hebrew prophet could not be an apologist for pagan idolatry amidst its abominations, or set it on a level with the worship which God had, for the time, appointed; much less could he set it forth as the true acceptable service of God. Malachi himself speaks of it, as an aggravation of cruelty in their divorcing of their wives, that they Malachi 2:11 "married the daughter of a strange god."

The worship of those Jews, who remained, out of secular interests, in foreign countries, could not be represented as "the pure offering;" for they made no offerings: then as now, these being forbidden out of Jerusalem; nor would the worship of such Jews, as were scattered in the large empire of Persia, be contrasted with that at Jerusalem, as "the" pure worship; else why should the Jews have returned? It would have been an abolition of the law before its time. Malachi prophesies then, as had Micah, Isaiah, Zephaniah ZEphesians 2:11, of a new revelation of God, when, and in which, people should "worship Him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the pagan."

Our Lord Himself explains and expands it in His words to the Samaritan woman; John 4:21, John 4:23-24, "Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth," and declared the rejection of the Jews, sealing their own sentence against themselves Matthew 21:41, Matthew 21:43, "I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof;" and before Matthew 8:11-12, "Many shall come from the East and West, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, and the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness."

"Incense shall be offered unto My name," literally I think, "there shall be incense, oblation made unto My name" (this is a mere question of construction) , "and a pure oblation."

This sacrifice, which should be offered, is designated by the special name of "meal-offering." (Leviticus 2:7 (Leviticus 2:14 in English) and the verses following.) God would not accept it from the Jews; He would, from the Pagan. It was a special sacrifice, offered by itself as an unbloody sacrifice, or together with the bloody sacrifice. (Leviticus 6:17 (Leviticus 6:10 in Hebrew)), "It is most holy, as the sin-offering and as the trespass-offering." In the daily sacrifice it was offered morning and evening, with the lamb. Since this was typical of the precious blood-shedding of the "Lamb without spot" upon the cross, so was the meal-offering which accompanied it, of the holy eucharist.

The early Christians saw the force of the prediction, that sacrifice was contrasted with sacrifice, the bloody sacrifices which were ended by the "One full perfect and sufficient sacrifice oblation and satisfaction" made by our Lord "on the altar of the cross for the sins of the whole world," and those sacrifices which He commanded to be made on our altars, as a memorial of Him. So Justin, who was converted probably 133 a.d., within 30 years from the death of John, says "God has, therefore, beforehand declared, that all who through this name offer those sacrifices, which Jesus, who is the Christ, commanded to be offered, that is to say, in the eucharist of the bread and of the cup, which are offered in every part of the world by us Christians, are well-pleasing to Him. But those sacrifices, which are offered by you and through those priests of yours, He wholly rejects, saying, "And I will not accept your offerings at your hands. For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same, My Name is glorified among the Gentiles; but ye profane it."

He points out further the failure of the Jewish explanation as to "their" sacrifices, in that the Church was everywhere, not so the Jews. "You and your teachers deceive yourselves, when you interpret this passage of Scripture of those of your nation who were in the dispersion and say that it speaks of their prayers and sacrifices made in every place, as pure and well-pleasing, and know that you speak falsely, and endeavor in every way to impose upon yourselves; first, because your people are not found, even now, from the rising to the setting of the sun, but there are nations, in which none of your race have ever dwelt: while there is not one nation of people, whether Barbarians, or Greeks, or by whatsoever name distinguished, whether of those (nomads) who live in wagons, or of those who have no houses, or those pastoral people that dwell in tents, among whom prayers and thanksgivings are not offered to the Father and Creator of all things, through the name of the crucified Jesus. And you know that at the time when the prophet Malachi said this, the dispersion of you through the whole world, in which you now are, had not yet taken place; as is also shown by Scripture."

Irenaeus in the same century "He took that which is part of the creation, namely, bread, and gave thanks, saying, 'This is My body.' And the cup likewise, which is of the creation which pertains unto us, He professed to be His own blood, and taught people the new oblation of the New Testament; which the Church receiving from the apostles offers unto God in the world: unto Him who giveth us nourishment, the firstfruits of His own gifts, in the New Testament; of which in the twelve prophets Malachi gave beforehand this intimation (quoting Malachi 1:10-11); most evidently intimating hereby, that while the former people should cease to make offerings to God, in every place sacrifice should be offered unto Him, and that in pureness; His Name also is glorified among the Gentiles. Now what other name is there, which is glorified among the Gentiles, than that which belongs to our Lord, by whom the Father is glorified, and man is glorified?

And because man belongs to His Own Son, and is made by Him, He calls him His Own. And as if some King were himself to paint an image of his own son, he justly calls it his own image, on both accounts, first that it is his son's, next, that he himself made it: so also the Name of Jesus Christ, which is glorified in the Church throughout the whole world, the Father professes to be His own, both because it is His Son's, and because He Himself wrote and gave it for the salvation of men. Because, therefore, the Name of the Son properly belongs to the Father, and in God Almighty through Jesus Christ the Church makes her offering, well saith He on both accounts, 'And in every place incense is offered unto My Name, and a pure sacrifice.' And incense, John in the Apocalypse declares to be the prayers of the saints. Therefore, the offering of the Church, which the Lord hath taught to be offered in the whole world, is accounted with God as a pure sacrifice, and accepted of Him."

Tertullian contrasts the "sacerdotal law through Moses, in Leviticus, prescribing to the people of Israel, that sacrifices should in no other place be offered to God than in the land of promise, which the Lord God was about to give to the people Israel and to their brethren, in order that on Israel's introduction thither, there should be there celebrated sacrifices and holocausts, as well for sins as for souls, and nowhere else but in the holy land Leviticus 17:1-6; Deuteronomy 12:5-14, Deuteronomy 12:26-27, and this subsequent prediction of the Spirit through the prophets, that in every place and in every land there should be offered sacrifices to God. As He says through the angel Malachi, one of the twelve prophets (citing the place)."

Hippolytus, a disciple of Irenaeus, 220 a.d. martyr, in a commentary on Daniel, says that "when Anti-Christ cometh, the sacrifice and libation will be taken away, which is now in every place offered by the Gentiles to God." The terms "Sacrifice offered in every place" are terms of Malachi.


11. For—Since ye Jewish priests and people "despise My name" (Mal 1:6), I shall find others who will magnify it (Mt 3:9). Do not think I shall have no worshippers because I have not you; for from the east to the west My name shall be great among the Gentiles (Isa 66:19, 20), those very peoples whom ye look down upon as abominable.

pure offering—not "the blind, the lame, and the sick," such as ye offer (Mal 1:8). "In every place," implies the catholicity of the Christian Church (Joh 4:21, 23; 1Ti 2:8). The "incense" is figurative of prayers (Ps 141:2; Re 8:3). "Sacrifice" is used metaphorically (Ps 51:17; Heb 13:10, 15, 16; 1Pe 2:5, 12). In this sense the reference to the Lord's Supper, maintained by many of the fathers, may be admitted; it, like prayer, is a spiritual offering, accepted through the literal offering of the "Lamb without blemish," once for all slain.

This verse is a very full and plain prediction or promise made on behalf of the Gentiles, that they should be a people to the Lord, and should exalt his name, and worship him in a pure way, and well-pleasing to the Lord. That when he casteth off ceremonial services and carnal ordinances, he will set up spiritual and heavenly, and all nations, from east to west, shall submit to them, and sanctify the holy and reverend name of God in them.

Incense; a law term for a gospel duty; and under this type is contained the prayers and praises, nay, the whole gospel worship is that incense which shall be offered unto God, which is in the verse called a pure offering.

A pure offering; both sincere, in opposition to hypocrisy, and holy, in opposition to impurity, and purged from superstition and idolatry. The sum of this verse is contained in that John 4:21-24.

For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same,.... From east to west, which is all habitable; not so north and south, as Kimchi observes, the extremes of which are not habitable. Abarbinel thinks that in is causal; and that the sense is, because of the motion of the sun in rising and setting, the Gentiles acknowledge God to be the first mover and cause of all things; and who, though they worship the host of heaven, yet ultimately direct their worship to the supreme Being, the Cause of causes; and supposes this to be a reproof of the priests, who might have learnt better even of the very Heathens; but the former is to the true sense, which declares the large extent of true spiritual worship in the Gentile world:

my name shall be great among the Gentiles; through the preaching of the Gospel, attended with the spirit and power of God to the conversion of many; whereby he himself is made known, and the perfections of his nature, and his several names, and particularly that of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus; who, as such, is called upon, and greatness and glory are ascribed unto him for the gift of his Son, and the mission of him into the world, to be the Saviour of Gentiles as well as of Jews:

and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name; some Jewish writers understand this of Israelites, the disciples of the wise men, studying in the law, and putting up their evening prayers to God, in every place where they live among the Gentiles; which are as acceptable to God as if they offered incense, and a pure offering; this way goes Jarchi, to which agrees the Targum; and this sense is given in the Talmud (n), and other writings of theirs; but Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Abarbinel, interpret it of the Gentiles, though in different ways, and foreign from the sense of the text; which is, that not in Jerusalem the worship of God should be as formerly, but in all places in the Gentile world, and where particularly prayer should be made to God; see John 4:20 comparable to incense for its fervency, fragrancy, and gratefulness, Psalm 141:2,

and a pure offering; meaning either the Gentiles themselves, their souls and bodies, Isaiah 66:20 or their sacrifices of praise, good works, and alms deeds Hebrews 13:15 which, though imperfect, and not free from sin, may be said to be "pure", proceeding from a pure heart, sprinkled by the blood of Christ, and offered in a pure and spiritual manner, and through the pure incense of Christ's mediation:

for my name shall be great among; the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts; which is repeated for the certainty of it.

(n) T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 110. 1. Tanchuma apud Abarbinel in loc.

For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be {m} great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

(m) God shows that their ingratitude and neglect of his true service will be the cause of the calling of the Gentiles: and here the Prophet that was under the Law, used words that the people would understand, and by the altar and sacrifice he means the spiritual service of God, which should be under the Gospel, when an end would be made to all these legal ceremonies by Christ's sacrifice alone.

11. For] “I will no longer accept the local and polluted offering, for I will substitute for it a pure and universal offering.” “He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”

my name shall be great] The A.V. supplies shall be here and twice again in this verse (incense shall be offered; my name shall be great), and the R.V. is, though with shall be in the margin. The reference may well be to the present as foreshadowing the future; to the spiritual offering of prayer and praise already offered in their synagogues and προσευχαί by the Jews of the Dispersion, whereby proselytes were won, and the way prepared for the New Dispensation and the abolition of the Temple ritual. The view that Almighty God is here recognising the worship of the heathen world as in reality offered to Him is quite inadmissible. The whole tenor of the Old Testament emphatically contradicts it, and the teaching of the New Testament is accordant and explicit: “The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and not to God” (1 Corinthians 10:20, cited from Deuteronomy 32:17). The terms of the prophecy itself forbid such an interpretation: for Jehovah Himself expressly declares that incense and offering are offered to His name, and that His name is great.

The prophecy of this verse is at once repeated and expounded by our Lord Himself. John 4:21-24.

incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering] There has been difference of opinion as to the grammatical construction of this clause, but the arrangement and rendering of A.V. is retained in R.V. and has the support of many critical authorities.

By “incense” and “offering” we are to understand those “spiritual sacrifices” of prayer and praise (Hebrews 13:15) and almsgiving (ib. Hebrews 13:16; Php 4:18) and self-dedication (Romans 12:1), which all Christians as a “holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5) are privileged to offer, and which are “acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”. The more enlightened among the Jews recognised such spiritual sacrifices under the typical offerings of the ceremonial law, and they were therefore in no danger of giving a material interpretation to a prophecy like this. Before the prophecy was fulfilled it had come to be a matter of popular Jewish belief and practice that incense was the symbol of prayer. (Luke 1:9-10). The Psalmist saw the same spiritual significance in “incense” and “offering” (minchah, as here, Psalm 141:2). It has been supposed that by the offering, or minchah, of this verse, the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper are intended. But if that be the case we have here a prophecy of the universal offering of literal incense also; for by no sound canon of interpretation can we give a material sense to one (offering) and a figurative sense to the other (incense) of two words which are thus placed by a writer in the same category. And then it follows that incense is as necessary a part of Christian worship, as “the bread and wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be received.”

It has been too hastily assumed that the early Christian writers put this interpretation on the minchah here foretold. Justin Martyr, for example, affirms that Almighty God in this passage declares by anticipation His acceptance of those who offer the sacrifices prescribed by Christ, that is to say “those sacrifices which in the eucharist of the bread and cup are offered by Christians in every part of the earth.” But he presently makes it clear that it is not the bread and cup themselves that he means. “I too assert,” he says, “that prayers and giving of thanks, offered by worthy worshippers, are the only sacrifices which are perfect and acceptable to God. And these alone moreover have Christians learned to offer even in the memorial of their dry and liquid sustenance, in which too the remembrance is made of the passion which for their sakes the Son of God endured.” (Dial. cum Tryph. § 177.)

Verse 11. - My Name shall be great. The course of thought is this: God does not need the worship of the Jews and their impious priests; he needs not their maimed sacrifices; his majesty shall be recognized throughout the wide world, and pure worship shall be offered to him from every nation under heaven. How, then, shall he not punish those who, being his elect, ought to have been an example of holiness, and prepaid the way for his universal reception? The LXX. treats this circumstance as already occurring at this time, Τὸ ὄνομά μου δεδόξασται, "My Name hath been and is glorified." This could only be said if it was allowed that the heathen in some sense, however blindly and imperfectly, did worship the true God. But the notion cannot be upheld for a moment; and there is a general consensus of commentators in referring the time to the Messianic future, when God's power is acknowledged and worship offered to him, not in Jerusalem alone, but in every place. The participles in this verse may be rendered by presents or futures, but there can be little doubt that a prophecy is intended, and not a statement of a fact - which, indeed, could not be truthfully maintained. When such a future is in stere, is this a time for Jewish priests to dishonour Jehovah? Incense shall be offered unto my Name, and a pure offering (minchah). The universal worship is expressed in the terms of the Jewish ritual (see note on Zephaniah 3:10). The Hebrew is more forcibly rendered, In every place incense is burned, oblation made unto my Name, and indeed a pure oblation. Incense is to our minds a type of prayer (Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3, etc.); the pure oblation is the symbol of the Christian sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; and the prophet, rising superior to Jewish prejudices, announces that this prayer and sacrifice shall no longer be confined to one place or one specially favoured country, but be universal, worldwide. The Fathers and mediaeval writers, and many modern commentators, see in this verse a prophecy of the Holy Eucharist, the "pure offering" commemorative of Christ's sacrifice, which is found in every nation under heaven where the Name of Christ is adored. Malachi 1:11Malachi 1:10. "O that there were one among you, who would shut the doors, that ye might not light mine altar to no purpose! I have no pleasure in you, saith Jehovah of hosts, and sacrificial offering does not please me from your hand. Malachi 1:11. For from the rising of the sun to the setting thereof my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is burned and sacrifice offered, and indeed a pure sacrifice to my name; for my name is great among the nations, saith Jehovah of hosts. Malachi 1:12. And ye desecrate it with your saying: the table of Jehovah, it is defiled, and its fruit - contemptible is its food. Malachi 1:13. And ye say: behold what a plague! and ye blow upon it, saith Jehovah of hosts, and ye bring hither what is robbed and the lame and the sick, and thus ye bring the sacrificial gift; shall I take pleasure in this from your hand? saith Jehovah." The construction מי בכם ויסגּר is to be explained in accordance with Job 19:23 : "Who is among you and he would shut," for "who is there who would shut?" and the question is to be taken as the expression of a wish, as in 2 Samuel 15:4; Psalm 4:7, etc.: "would that some one among you would shut!" The thought is sharpened by gam, which not only belongs to בּכם, but to the whole of the clause: "O that some one would shut," etc. The doors, the shutting of which is to be desired, are the folding doors of the inner court, in which the altar of burnt-offering stood; and the object of the wish is that the altar might no more be lighted up, not "by lights which burned by the side of the altar" (Ewald), but by the shining of the sacrificial fire which burned upon the altar. חנּם, in vain, i.e., without any object or use, for Jehovah had no pleasure in such priests or such worthless sacrifices. Minchâh here is not the meat-offering as distinguished from the slain-offering, but sacrifice generally, as in 1 Samuel 2:17; Isaiah 1:13; Zephaniah 3:10, etc. Such sacrifices God does not desire, for His name proves itself to be great among all the nations of the earth, so that pure sacrifices are offered to Him in every place. This is the simple connection between Malachi 1:10, Malachi 1:11, and one in perfect harmony with the words. Koehler's objection, that such a line of argument apparently presupposes that God needs sacrifices on the part of man for His own sake, and is only in a condition to despise the sacrifices of His nation when another nation offers Him better ones, has no force, because the expression "for His own sake," in the sense of "for His sustenance or to render the perpetuation of His being possible," with the conclusion drawn from it, is neither to be found in the words of the text, nor in the explanation referred to. God does indeed need no sacrifices for the maintenance of His existence, and He does not demand them for this purpose, but He demands them as signs of the dependence of men upon Him, or of the recognition on the part of men that they are indebted to God for life and every other blessing, and owe Him honour, praise, and thanksgiving in return. In this sense God needs sacrifices, because otherwise He would not be God to men on earth; and from this point of view the argument that God did not want to receive the reprehensible sacrifices of the Israelitish priests, because sacrifices were offered to Him by the nations of the earth in all places, and therefore His name was and remained great notwithstanding the desecration of it on the part of Israel, was a very proper one for attacking the delusion, that God needs sacrifices for His own sustenance; a delusion which the Israelitish priests, against whom Malachi was contending, really cherished, if not in thesi, at all events in praxi, when they thought any sacrificial animal good enough for God. Koehler's assumption, that Malachi 1:11 contains a subordinate parenthetical thought, and that the reason for the assertion in Malachi 1:10 is not given till Malachi 1:12, Malachi 1:13, is opposed to the structure of the sentences, since it necessitates the insertion of "although" after כּי in Malachi 1:11.

It is must more difficult to decide the question whether Malachi 1:11 treats of what was already occurring at the time of the prophet himself, as Hitzig, Maurer, and Koehler suppose (after the lxx, Ephr., Theod. Mops., etc.), or of that which would take place in the future through the reception of the heathen into the kingdom of God in the place of Israel, which would be rejected for a time (Cyr., Theod., Jerome, Luther, Calvin, and others, down to Hengstenberg and Schmieder). Both of these explanations are admissible on grammatical grounds; for such passages as Genesis 15:14 and Joel 3:4 show very clearly that the participle is also used for the future. If we take the words as referring to the present, they can only mean that the heathen, with the worship and sacrifices which they offer to the gods, do worship, though ignorantly yet in the deepest sense, the true and living God (Koehler). But this thought is not even expressed by the Apostle Paul in so definite or general a form, either in Romans 1:19-20, where he teaches that the heathen can discern the invisible being of God from His works, or in Acts 17:23. in his address at Athens, where he infers from the inscription upon an altar, "to the unknown God," that the unknown God, whom the Athenians worshipped, is the true God who made heaven and earth. Still less is this thought contained in our verse. Malachi does not speak of an "unknown God," whom all nations from the rising to the setting of the sun, i.e., over all the earth, worshipped, but says that Jehovah's name is great among the nations of the whole earth. And the name of God is only great among the Gentiles, when Jehovah has proved Himself to them to be a great God, so that they have discerned the greatness of the living God from His marvellous works and thus have learned to fear Him (cf. Zephaniah 2:11; Psalm 46:9-11; Exodus 15:11, Exodus 15:14-16). This experience of the greatness of God forms the substratum for the offering of sacrifices in every place, since this offering is not mentioned merely as the consequence of the fact that the name of Jehovah is great among the nations; but in the clause before the last, "the latter is also expressly placed towards the former in the relation of cause to effect" (Koehler). The idea, therefore, that the statement, that incense is burned and sacrifice offered to the name of Jehovah in every place, refers to the sacrifices which the heathen offered to their gods, is quite inadmissible. At the time of Malachi the name of Jehovah was not great from the rising to the setting of the sun, nor were incense and sacrifice offered to Him in every place, and therefore even Hitzig looks upon the expression בּכל־מקום as "saying too much." Consequently we must understand the words prophetically as relating to that spread of the kingdom of God among all nations, with which the worship of the true God would commence "in every place." בּכל־מקום forms an antithesis to the one place, in the temple at Jerusalem, to which the worship of God was limited during the time of the old covenant (Deuteronomy 12:5-6). מקטר is not a partic. nominasc., incense, suffimentum, for this could not signify the burnt-offering or slain-offering as distinguished from the meat-offering (minchâh), but it is a partic. verbale, and denotes not the kindling of the sacrificial flesh upon the altar, but the kindling of the incense (suffitur); for otherwise מגּשׁ would necessarily stand before מקטר, since the presentation preceded the burning upon the altar. The two participles are connected together asyndetos and without any definite subject (see Ewald, 295, a). It is true that minchâh tehōrâh does actually belong to muggâsh as the subject, but it is attached by Vav explic. in the form of an explanatory apposition: offering is presented to my name, and indeed a sacrificial gift (minchâh covering every sacrifice, as in Malachi 1:10). The emphasis rests upon tehōrâh, pure, i.e., according to the requirements of the law, in contrast to sacrifices polluted by faulty animals, such as the priests of that day were accustomed to offer.

(Note: In Malachi 1:11 the Romish Church finds a biblical foundation for its doctrine of the bloodless sacrifice of the New Testament, i.e., the holy sacrifice of the mass (see Canones et decreta concil. Trident. sess. 22), understanding by minchâh the meat-offering as distinguished from the bloody sacrifices. But even if there were any ground for this explanation of the word, which there is not, it would furnish no support to the sacrifice of the mass, since apart from the fact that the sacrifice of the mass has a totally different meaning from the meat-offering of the Old Testament, the literal interpretation of the word is precluded by the parallel "burning incense" or "frankincense." If burning incense was a symbol of prayer, as even Reincke admits, the "sacrificial offering" can only have denoted the spiritual surrender of a man to God (Romans 12:1).)

In the allusion to the worship, which would be paid by all nations to the name of the Lord, there is an intimation that the kingdom of God will be taken from the Jews who despise the Lord, and given to the heathen who seek God. This intimation forms the basis for the curse pronounced in Malachi 1:14 upon the despisers of God, and shows "that the kingdom of God will not perish, when the Lord comes and smites the land with the curse (Malachi 4:6), but that this apparent death is the way to true life" (Hengstenberg).

To this allusion to the attitude which the heathen will assume towards Jehovah when He reveals His name to them, the prophet appends as an antithesis in Malachi 1:12, Malachi 1:13 a repetition of the reproof, that the priests of Israel desecrate the name of the Lord by that contempt of His name, which they display by offering faulty animals in sacrifice. Malachi 1:12 is only a repetition of the rebuke in v.7. חלּל is really equivalent to בּזה שׁם and גּאל in Malachi 1:6 and Malachi 1:7, and מגאל to נבזה in Malachi 1:7, which occurs in the last clause of Malachi 1:12 as synonymous with it. The additional words וניבו וגו serve to strengthen the opinion expressed by the priests concerning the table of the Lord. ניבו is placed at the head absolutely, and is substantially resumed in אכלו. ניב, proventus, produce, income; the suffix refers to shulchan Yehōvâh (the table of the Lord). The revenue of the table of the Lord, i.e., of the altar, consisted of the sacrifices offered upon it, which are also called its food. The assumption is an erroneous one, that the sentence contains any such thought as the following: "The revenue drawn by the priests from the altar, i.e., the sacrificial flesh which fell to their share, was contemptible;" according to which the priests would be represented as declaring, that they themselves could not eat the flesh of the sacrifices offered without disgust; for they could not possibly speak in this way, since it was they themselves who admitted the faulty animals. If the flesh of blind, lame, or diseased animals had been too bad for food in their estimation, they would not have admitted such animals or offered them in sacrifice (Koehler). Even in Malachi 1:13 this thought is not implied. מתּלאה is a contraction of מה־תּלאה (cf. Ges. 20, 2, a): What a weariness it is! The object, which the priests declare to be a burdensome and troublesome affair, can only be inferred from the following expression, vehippachtem 'ōthō. Hippēăch signifies here to blow away, like הפיח ב in Psalm 10:5, which is radically connected with it, i.e., to treat contemptuously. The suffix אותו does not refer to אכלו, but to שׁלחן יי. The table of Jehovah (i.e., the altar) they treat contemptuously. Consequently the service at the altar is a burden or a trouble to them, whereas this service ought to be regarded as an honour and a privilege. Jerome thinks that instead of אותו, we might read אותי, which is found in a good number of codices; and according to the Masora, אותו has found its way into the text as Tikkune Sopherim (compare the remarks at Habakkuk 1:12 on the Tikkune Sopherim). But in this case also the reading in the text is evidently original and correct. They manifest their contempt of the altar by offering in sacrifice that which has been stolen, etc. (cf. Malachi 1:8). The first הבאתם is to be understood as referring to the bringing of the animals upon the altar; and והבאתם את־המּנחה is to be interpreted thus: "And having brought such worthless animals to the slaughter, ye then offer the sacrificial gift." There is indeed no express prohibition in the law against offering gâzūl, or that which has been stolen; but it was shut out from the class of admissible sacrifices by the simple fact, that robbery was to be visited with punishment as a crime. The reproof closes with the question, which is repeated from Malachi 1:8 (cf. Malachi 1:10), whether God can accept such sacrifices with pleasure. The prophet then utters the curse in the name of God upon all who offer bad and unsuitable sacrifices.

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