Malachi 2:13
And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) The prophet now rebukes the people for their frivolous divorces of their first wives, which was a natural result of their marriage with heathen women.

And this . . . again.—Or perhaps, And this a second thing ye do—viz., infidelity to the wife of their youth (Malachi 2:14). But the rendering of the English Version is in accordance with the Hebrew accentuation. That rendering is not improbably the right one. It would mean: “And this you do again (Nehemiah 13), even after Ezra has reformed the abuse, and you have solemnly undertaken not to act so again” (Nehemiah 9:10).

Covering the altar . . . with tears . . . and with crying outi.e., with the plaints of the Israelitish women who were divorced against their will.

Insomuch that.—Or rather, so that.

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.And this ye have done again - , adding the second sin of cruelty to their wives to the taking foreign women; "they covered the altar of God with tears," in that they by ill-treatment occasioned their wives to weep there to God; and God regarded this, as though they had stained the altar with their tears.

Insomuch that He regardeth not the offering anymore - God regarded the tears of the oppressed, not the sacrifices of the oppressors. He would not accept what was thus offered Him as a thing well-pleasing to Him, acceptable to win His good pleasure.

13. done again—"a second time": an aggravation of your offense (Ne 13:23-31), in that it is a relapse into the sin already checked once under Ezra (Ezr 9:10) [Henderson]. Or, "the second time" means this: Your first sin was your blemished offerings to the Lord: now "again" is added your sin towards your wives [Calvin].

covering … altar … with tears—shed by your unoffending wives, repudiated by you that ye might take foreign wives. Calvin makes the "tears" to be those of all the people on perceiving their sacrifices to be sternly rejected by God.

This have ye done again; beside that first fault, you have committed another, you slight, misuse, and afflict your Jewish wives, whom alone you should have loved and cherished, but you make them drudges and slaves to idolatresses, your new and illegal wives.

Covering the altar of the Lord with tears; your despised and misused wives flee to the temple, weep, and cry out unto God for redress of their injuries.

With weeping: this is added to show the abundance of their tears.

With crying out; with vehemency crying to God against such husbands.

Insomuch that he, the Lord, who seeth their tears and heareth their cries,

regardeth not the offering any more; valueth not such offerings made to him by such people and such priests; or receiveth it with good will at your hand; is not at all pleased with such offerings, whether expiatory or peace-offerings, none of them from such people shall ever avail them.

This have ye done again; beside that first fault, you have committed another, you slight, misuse, and afflict your Jewish wives, whom alone you should have loved and cherished, but you make them drudges and slaves to idolatresses, your new and illegal wives.

Covering the altar of the Lord with tears; your despised and misused wives flee to the temple, weep, and cry out unto God for redress of their injuries.

With weeping: this is added to show the abundance of their tears.

With crying out; with vehemency crying to God against such husbands.

Insomuch that he, the Lord, who seeth their tears and heareth their cries,

regardeth not the offering any more; valueth not such offerings made to him by such people and such priests; or receiveth it with good will at your hand; is not at all pleased with such offerings, whether expiatory or peace-offerings, none of them from such people shall ever avail them.

And this have ye done again,.... Or "in the second" (b) place; to their rejection and ill treatment of Christ they added their hypocritical prayers and tears, as follows:

covering the altar of the Lord with tears and weeping, and with crying out; for the Messiah they vainly expect, pretending great humiliation for their sins: though some, as Kimchi and Aben Ezra, make the first evil to be their offering illegal sacrifices on the altar, complained of in the former chapter Malachi 1:1; and this second, their marrying strange wives, on account of which their lawful wives came into the house of God, and wept over the altar before the Lord, complaining of the injury that was done them:

insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand; which expresses an utter rejection and abrogation of legal sacrifices; and which some make to be the reason of their covering the altar with tears and weeping: or the altar is represented as weeping, because sacrifice is no more offered upon it; see Daniel 9:27.

(b) "secundo", Pagninus, Vatablus, Calvin, Cocceius, Burkius.

And this have ye done again, {r} covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.

(r) Yet cause the people to lament, because God does not regard their sacrifices, so that they seem to sacrifice in vain.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. again] Lit. second. The first evil of marrying heathen women was accompanied by a second, the cruel treatment and divorce (“putting-away,” Malachi 2:16) of their lawful wives, which is now dealt with, Malachi 2:13-16.

covering the altar] The weeping crowd of insulted and divorced wives turn to God, as their only refuge, so that the courts of His Temple resound with their sad complaints, and His very altar, round which they gather, is bathed, as it were, with their tears.

crying out] Rather, sighing, R.V., as the same word is rendered in Psalm 79:11; or groaning, Psalm 102:20.

Verse 13. - Not only did they marry heathen females, but they divorced their own legitimate wives to facilitate such unholy alliances. This have ye done again; this again ye do. Here is another and a further offence. Others take "again" in the sense of "a second time," referring to the fact that Ezra had effected a reform in this matter, but the people had relapsed into the same sin. But the first explanation is preferable. Septuagint, καὶ ταῦτα, α} ἐμίσουν ἐποιεῖτε, "and this which I hated ye did." Covering (ye cover) the altar of the Lord with tears. The prophet, as before (ver. 10), does not at once declare what this fresh outrage is, but intimates its nature. The picture he exhibits is that of a multitude of repudiated wives coming to the temple with weeping and lamentation, and laying their cause before the Lord. Insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more. This cruel and wicked conduct raised a barrier between them and God, so that he regarded with favour no offering of theirs. Malachi 2:13Malachi 2:13. "And this ye do a second time: cover the altar of Jehovah with tears, with weeping and signs, so that He does not turn any more to the sacrifice, and accept the well-pleasing thing at your hand. Malachi 2:14. And ye say, Wherefore? Because Jehovah has been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, towards whom thou hast acted treacherously; whereas she is nevertheless thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. Malachi 2:15. And not one did so who had still a remnant of spirit. And what (did) the one? He sought seed of God. Therefore shall ye take heed for your spirit, and deal not faithlessly to the wife of thy youth. Malachi 2:16. For I hate divorce, saith Jehovah, the God of Israel; and he will cover wickedness over his garment, saith Jehovah of hosts. Thus shall ye take heed to your spirit, and not deal treacherously." In these verses the prophet condemns a second moral transgression on the part of the people, viz., the putting away of their wives. By shēnı̄th (as a second thing, i.e., for the second time) this sin is placed in the same category as the sin condemned in the previous verses. Here again the moral reprehensibility of the sin is described in Malachi 2:11, before the sin itself is named. They cover the altar of Jehovah with tears, namely, by compelling the wives who have been put away to lay their trouble before God in the sanctuary. The inf. constr. introduces the more minute definition of זאת; and בּכי ואנקה is a supplementary apposition to דּמעה ot , added to give greater force to the meaning. מאין עוד, so that there is no more a turning (of Jehovah) to the sacrifice, i.e., so that God does not graciously accept your sacrifice any more (cf. Numbers 16:15). The following infinitive ולקחת is also dependent upon מאין, but on account of the words which intervene it is attached with ל . רצון , the good pleasure or satisfaction, used as abstractum pro concreto for the well-pleasing sacrifice. Malachi 2:14. This sin also the persons addressed will not recognise. They inquire the reason why God will no more graciously accept their sacrifices, whereupon the prophet discloses their sin in the plainest terms. על־כּי equals על־אשׁר, as in Deuteronomy 31:17; Judges 3:12, etc. The words, "because Jehovah was a witness between thee and the wife of thy youth," cannot be understood as Ges., Umbreit, and Koehler assume, in accordance with Malachi 3:5, as signifying that Jehovah had interposed between them as an avenging witness; for in that case העיד would necessarily be construed with ב, but they refer to the fact that the marriage took place before the face of God, or with looking up to God; and the objection that nothing is known of any religious benediction at the marriage, or any mutual vow of fidelity, is merely an argumentum a silentio, which proves nothing. If the marriage was a berı̄th 'Elōhı̄m (a covenant of God), as described in Proverbs 2:17, it was also concluded before the face of God, and God was a witness to the marriage. With the expression "wife of thy youth" the prophet appeals to the heart of the husband, pointing to the love of his youth with which the marriage had been entered into; and so also in the circumstantial clause, through which he brings to the light the faithless treatment of the wife in putting her away: "Yet she was thy companion, who shared thy joy and sorrow, and the wife of thy covenant, with whom thou didst made a covenant for life."

In Malachi 2:15 the prophet shows still further the reprehensible character of the divorce, by rebutting the appeal to Abraham's conduct towards Hagar as inapplicable. The true interpretation of this hemistich, which has been explained in very different, and to some extent in very marvellous ways, is obvious enough if we only bear in mind that the subordinate clause וּשׁאר רוּח לו, from its very position and from the words themselves, can only contain a more precise definition of the subject of the principal clause. The affirmation "a remnant of spirit is (was) to him" does not apply to God, but only to man, as L. de Dieu has correctly observed. Rūăch denote here, as in Numbers 27:18; Joshua 5:1; 1 Kings 10:5, not so much intelligence and consideration, as the higher power breathed into man by God, which determines that moral and religious life to which we are accustomed to give the name of virtue. By 'echâd (one), therefore, we cannot understand God, but only a man; and לא אחד (not any one equals no one, not one man) is the subject of the sentence, whilst the object to עשׂה must be supplied from the previous sentence: "No man, who has even a remnant of reason, or of sense for right and wrong, has done," sc. what ye are doing, namely, faithlessly put away the wife of his youth. To this there is appended the objection: "And what did the one do?" which the prophet adduces as a possible exception that may be taken to his statement, for the purpose of refuting it. The words וּמה האחד are elliptical, the verb עשׂה, which may easily be supplied from the previous clause, being omitted (cf. Ecclesiastes 2:12). האחד, not unus aliquis, but the well-known one, whom it was most natural to think of when the question in hand was that of putting away a wife, viz., Abraham, who put away Hagar, by whom he had begotten Ishmael, and who was therefore also his wife (Genesis 21). The prophet therefore replies, that Abraham sought to obtain the seed promised him by God, i.e., he dismissed Hagar, because God promised to give him the desired posterity, not in Ishmael through the maid Hagar, but through Sarah in Isaac, so that in doing this he was simply acting in obedience to the word of God (Genesis 21:12). After meeting this possible objection, Malachi warns his contemporaries to beware of faithlessly putting away their wives. The Vav before nishmartem is the Vav rel., through which the perfect acquires the force of a cohortative as a deduction from the facts before them, as in ועשׂית in 1 Kings 2:6 (see Ewald, 342, c). נשׁמר בּרוּחו is synonymous with נשׁמר בּנפשׁו in Jeremiah 17:21, and this is equivalent to נשׁמר לנפשׁו in Deuteronomy 4:15 and Joshua 23:11. The instrumental view of ב ("by means of the Spirit:" Koehler) is thus proved to be inadmissible. "Take heed to your spirit," i.e., beware of losing your spirit. We need not take rūăch in a different sense here from that in which it is used in the clause immediately preceding; for with the loss of the spiritual and moral vis vitae, which has been received from God, the life itself perishes. What it is that they are to beware of is stated in the last clause, which is attached by the simple copula (Vav), and in which the address passes from the second person into the third, to express what is affirmed as applying to every man. This interchange of thou (in wife of thy youth) and he (in יבגּד) in the same clause appears very strange to our mode of thought and speech; but it is not without analogy in Hebrew (e.g., in Isaiah 1:29; cf. Ewald, 319, a), so that we have no right to alter יבגּד into תּבגּד, since the ancient versions and the readings of certain codices do not furnish sufficient critical authority for such a change. The subject in יבגּד is naturally thought of as indefinite: any one, men. This warning is accounted for in Malachi 2:16, first of all in the statement that God hates putting away. שׁלּח is the inf. constr. piel and the object to שׂנא: "the sending away (of a wife), divorce." שׂנא is a participle, the pronominal subject being omitted, as in maggı̄d in Zechariah 9:12, because it may easily be inferred from the following words: אמר יי (saith the Lord of hosts). The thought is not at variance with Deuteronomy 24:1., where the putting away of a wife is allowed; for this was allowed because of the hardness of their hearts, whereas God desires that a marriage should be kept sacred (cf. Matthew 19:3. and the comm. on Deuteronomy 24:1-5). A second reason for condemning the divorce is given in the words וכסּה חמס על ל, which do not depend upon כּי שׂנא, but form a sentence co-ordinate to this. We may either render these words, "he (who puts away his wife) covers his garment with sin," or "sin covers his garment." The meaning is the same in either case, namely, that wickedness will adhere irremoveably to such a man. The figurative expression may be explained from the idea that the dress reflects the inward part of a man, and therefore a soiled garment is a symbol of uncleanness of heart (cf. Zechariah 3:4; Isaiah 64:5; Revelation 3:4; Revelation 7:14). With a repetition of the warning to beware of this faithlessness, the subject is brought to a close.

Links
Malachi 2:13 Interlinear
Malachi 2:13 Parallel Texts


Malachi 2:13 NIV
Malachi 2:13 NLT
Malachi 2:13 ESV
Malachi 2:13 NASB
Malachi 2:13 KJV

Malachi 2:13 Bible Apps
Malachi 2:13 Parallel
Malachi 2:13 Biblia Paralela
Malachi 2:13 Chinese Bible
Malachi 2:13 French Bible
Malachi 2:13 German Bible

Bible Hub






Malachi 2:12
Top of Page
Top of Page