Malachi 3:17
And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
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(17) And they shall be . . . my jewels.—Better, And they shall be to me, saith the Lord of hosts, a special possession, on the day that I am about to make. “Special possession” (Exodus 19:5).

Day . . . make.—The same expression occurs in Malachi 4:3. (Comp. Psalm 118:24.)

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.And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels - o the recurrence of the words, עשה אני אשר יום, Malachi 3:21. Hebrew (Malachi 4:3 in English), and the סגלה לי והייתםExo. 19:5; so that we have both phrases elsewhere. In Deuteronomy 7:6, there is the equivalent לעם לו להיות סגלה, and the like, Deuteronomy 14:2; Psalm 135:4.) or perhaps better, "And they shall be to Me, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day which I make (or, in which I do this) a special treasure." "In the day of judgment, those who fear Me and believe and maintain My providence shall be to Me a special treasure, i. e., a people uniquely belonging and precious to Me, blessed in the vision and fruition of Me. For as in the old law, Israel was a special treasure a special people and inheritance of God, chosen out of all nations, so in the new law, Christians, and those who are righteous through grace, are the special treasure of God, and in heaven shall be His special treasure in glory, possessed by God and possessing God.' The "special treasure," is something, much prized, made great store of, and guarded. Such are Christians, bought at a great price, even by the precious Blood of Christ; but much more evidently such shall they be, Malachi says, in all eternity, which that day of final retribution shall decide , "joying in the participation of their Creator, by Whose eternity they are fixed, by Whose truth they are assured, by Whose gift they are holy."

And I will spare them - It is a remarkable word, as used of those who should be to Him a "special treasure," teaching that, not of their own merits, they shall be such, but by His great mercy. It stands in contrast with the doom of the wicked, whom that day shall sentence to everlasting less of God. Still, the saved also shall have needed the tender mercy of God, whereby He pardoned their misdeeds and had compassion upon them Psalm 130:3, "If Thou, Lord, shalt lay up iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?" Among those whom God will spare on that day, will be countless, whom the self-righteous despised as sinners. "I will spare them, although formerly sinners; I will spare them, repenting, and serving Me with the service of a pious confession, as a man spareth his own son which served him." For our Lord saith of the son, who refused to go work in his Father's vineyard, and afterward repented and went, that he Matthew 21:31, "did the will of his Father."

17. jewels—(Isa 62:3). Literally, "My peculiar treasure" (Ex 19:5; De 7:6; 14:2; 26:18; Ps 135:4; Tit 2:14; 1Pe 2:9; compare Ec 2:8). Calvin translates more in accordance with Hebrew idiom, "They shall be My peculiar treasure in the day in which I will do it" (that is, fulfil My promise of gathering My completed Church; or, "make" those things come to pass foretold in Mal 3:5 above [Grotius]); so in Mal 4:3 "do" is used absolutely, "in the day that I shall do this." Maurer, not so well, translates, "in the day which I shall make," that is, appoint as in Ps 118:24.

as … man spareth … son—(Ps 103:18).

They shall be mine; though now they seem to lie unregarded, as if they were not worth the owning, they shall appear to be mine.

In that day; the day wherein God will sever between men and men, and between actions and actions, which day, though ye know it not, is well known to the Lord; and beside the great day of final discrimination, God hath several other days of visitation, which are times where. in he will own his, as the good figs, &c. Jeremiah 24. The day that God hath appointed, and will and did bring upon this people in the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus Vespasianus.

When I make up my jewels, or peculiar treasure, that which I highly value and keep most safely; now they are packed up among things of no great value, but when the casket is opened these jewels shall be laid up among the richest treasures: as when they were all sent to Pella, not one Christian left in Jerusalem; and which shall be fully made good in the last great day of final judgment, and in heaven to eternal ages.

And I will spare them; in the mean time they shall be spared, pitied, preserved, and loved: now their weaknesses covered and pardoned, their good-will approved and accepted; then their worth owned, published, and rewarded.

As a man spareth his own son that serveth him; as a tender father doth with his son, his own son, that serveth him, so will God spare such as in an atheistical world do speak for God, do fear God, and highly value both his law and government, and so obey him.

And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts,.... That is, such as fear the Lord, and think of him, hereby they are known to be his; and hereafter, in the time referred to, it will be manifest that they are his: they are Christ's already by his Father's gift of them to him; by his own purchase; by the conquests of his grace; and by the voluntary surrender of themselves: but, in the last day, they will be claimed and owned by Christ before his Father and his holy angels; and they will be known to be his, by themselves and others; and there will be no doubt about it, or questioning of it:

in that day when I make up my jewels; Christ has some, who are his jewels, or peculiar treasure, as the word (x) here used signifies; who are loved with an everlasting love; chosen in him; redeemed by him; justified by his righteousness; have the graces of his Spirit in them: and will be glorified: they are a peculiar people, separate from all others, and preferred unto them; for whom Christ has the strongest affection, and takes special care of: and there is a time when he will make them up; the number of them is already complete in eternal election; and there was a gathering of them together in Christ at his death; at every conversion there is an addition to them, as his regenerated and sanctified ones; and at death they are received into heaven, into his presence and bosom; and at the last day there will be a collection of them all together. The words may be rendered, even "my jewels in the day that I shall make" (y); or "the day I shall make peculiar": distinct from all others; meaning either the famous Gospel day, made by him the sun of righteousness, in which so many of his jewels are picked up, and brought in; or the day of Jerusalem's destruction, when Christ took care of his jewels, and by the preservation of them showed that they were his, even all that believed in him; so that not one perished that believed in him, when he took vengeance on his enemies, that disbelieved and rejected him. Kimchi refers this to the day of judgment.

And I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him; this is a favour not granted to the apostate angels; nor to the old world; nor to the Jewish nation; nor even to the Son of God; but is vouchsafed to his special people: the lives of these are spared, until they are called by grace; and though they are sometimes afflicted and chastised, it is very gently, and in love; their services are accepted, and the imperfections in them overlooked; their sins are pardoned, and they will find mercy at the great day of account; they are used in the most tender manner, not only as a son, an own son, but as an obedient one, for whom the greatest regard is had, and affection shown.

(x) "peculium", Munster, Pagninus, Vatablus, Tigurine version, Calvin, Drusius, Junius & Tremellius. (y) "illa die quam facio", so some in Vatablus; "in diem quem ego facio peculium", Cocceius, Burkius.

And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day {q} when I make up my jewels; and I will {r} spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

(q) When I will restore my Church according to my promise, they will be as my own proper goods.

(r) That is, forgive their sins, and govern them with my Spirit.

17. in that day when I make up my jewels] This rendering is supported by the Hebrew accents, and is adopted substantially in R.V. margin, wherein I do make a peculiar treasure. The phrase, however, to make a treasure, is awkward and unusual, and it seems every way better to take the word (for it is really one word) a-peculiar-treasure as exegetical of the former part of the verse: They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts … (as) a peculiar treasure. This accords with the early use of the same word by Almighty God with reference to Israel (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2; Deuteronomy 26:18). And it leaves us free to give the same meaning to the intermediate clause, in the day that I do, or make, here and in ch. Malachi 4:3. That clause is rendered by many commentators, and in R.V. text, in the day that I do make. (Comp. Psalm 118:24). But the frequent use in the O.T. of the verb here employed, absolutely and without any subject expressed, to denote the doing or working of the Almighty, the nature of that doing or working being undefined, or easily deducible from the context, support the rendering of R.V. margin, in the day that I do this. Perhaps, however, it would be better to leave the subject, as it is, unsupplied, and render, in that day when I do, (or act) i.e. when observation and purpose and promise pass into action. Comp. Psalm 22:31 [Heb. 32]; Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 48:11; Jeremiah 14:7; Daniel 8:24. This view is confirmed by the emphatic personal pronoun, when I act, both here and in Malachi 4:3. The LXX. render in this verse, εἰς ἡμέραν ἣν ἐγὼ ποιῶ; but in Malachi 4:3, ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ᾖ ἐγὼ ποιῶ.

Verse 17. - They shall be mine, etc. This is better rendered, in accordance with the Septuagint and Vulgate, "They shall be to me, saith the Lord of hosts, in the day which I am preparing, a peculiar treasure." This day of the Lord is the day of judgment, which God is always preparing by his visitation of nations and individuals. Then shall the righteous be to God a peculiar treasure (segullah), that which he prizes as his special possession (see Exodus 19:5, whence the expression is derived; and comp. Deuteronomy 7:6: 14:2; 26:18; Psalm 135:4). I will spare them; i.e. when I punish sinners. They are spared on two grounds, because they are his sons, and because they serve him like obedient children (Psalm 103:13). Septuagint, αἱρετιῶ αὐτούς, "I will choose them." Malachi 3:17With these foolish speeches the prophet proceeds in Malachi 3:16. to contrast the conduct of those who fear God, pointing to the blessing which they derive from their piety. Malachi 3:16. "Then those who feared Jehovah conversed with one another, and Jehovah attended and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before Him, for those who fear Jehovah and reverence His name. Malachi 3:17. And they will be to me as a possession, saith Jehovah of hosts, for the day that I create, and I will spare them as a man spareth his son that serveth him. Malachi 3:18. And ye will again perceive the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not." אז, then, indicates that the conversation of those who feared God had been occasioned by the words of the ungodly. The substance of this conversation is not described more minutely, but may be gathered from the context, namely, from the statement as to the attitude in which Jehovah stood towards them. We may see from this, that they strengthened themselves in their faith in Jehovah, as the holy God and just Judge who would in due time repay both the wicked and the righteous according to their deeds, and thus presented a great contrast to the great mass with their blasphemous sayings. This description of the conduct of the godly is an indirect admonition to the people, as to what their attitude towards God ought to be. What was done by those who feared Jehovah ought to be taken as a model by the whole nation which called Jehovah its God. Jehovah not only took notice of these conversations, but had them written in a book of remembrance, to reward them for them in due time. Writing in a book of remembrance recals to mind the custom of the Persians, of having the names of those who deserved well of the king entered in a book with a notice of their merits, that they might be rewarded for them at some future time (Esther 6:1); but it rests upon the much older idea, that the names and actions of the righteous are written in a book before God (cf. Psalm 56:9; Daniel 7:10). This book was written לפניו, before Jehovah, i.e., not in His presence, but in order that it might lie before Jehovah, and remind Him of the righteous and their deeds. ליראי is a dat. com.: "for those who fear God," i.e., for their good. חשׁב שׁם, to consider or value the name of the Lord (cf. Isaiah 13:17; Isaiah 33:8). This writing was done because the Lord would make them His own on the day of His coming, and show them mercy. Layyōm: for the day equals on the day; the lamed denoting the time, as in Isaiah 10:3; Genesis 21:2, etc. The day which Jehovah makes is the day of the judgment which attends His coming. Segullâh is the object, not to ‛ōseh, as we might suppose according to the accents, but to hâyū: they will be my possession on the day which I create. This is evident partly from a comparison of Malachi 4:3, where the words יום אשׁר אני עשׂה recur, and partly from the original passage in Exodus 19:5 : ye will be to me segullâh, i.e., a valued possession (see the comm.). The righteous will then be a possession for Jehovah, because on that day the glory of the children of God will first be revealed, and the Israel of God will reach the mark of its heavenly calling (see Colossians 3:4). The Lord will spare them in the judgment as a father spares his son who serves him. The expression to spare may be explained from the contrast to the punishment of the ungodly. In Malachi 3:18 the prophet bids the murmurers consider what has been said concerning the righteous, by telling them that they will then see the difference between the righteous who serve God, and the wicked who do not serve Him, that is to say, will learn that it is always profitable to serve God. שׁבתּם before ראיתם is to be taken adverbially: ye will see again. The expression "again" presupposes that the difference between those who feared God and the ungodly was to be seen before, and that the Lord had already made it manifest by former judgments. This had been the case in Egypt, where the Lord had caused such a separation to be made (Exodus 11:7). The words do not imply that the persons addressed had previously stood in a different relation to this question from that in which they were standing then (Koehler). ראה בין does not mean to look in between (Hitzig), but בּין is used in the sense of a substantive, signifying that which is between the two, the difference between the two. That בּין was originally a noun is evident from the dual הבּינים in 1 Samuel 17:4, 1 Samuel 17:23.
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