GOD'S WORD® Translation
1"And now, you priests, this warning is for you. 2If you won't listen and if you won't consider giving honor to my name," says the LORD of Armies, "then I'll send a curse on you, and I'll curse the blessings you give. Yes, I've already cursed them because you don't carefully consider this. 3"I'm going to punish your descendants. I'm going to spread excrement on your faces, the excrement from your festival sacrifices. You will be discarded with it. 4Then you will know that I sent you this warning so that my promise to Levi will continue," says the LORD of Armies. 5"I promised Levi life and peace. I gave them to him so that he would respect me. He respected me and stood in awe of my name. 6The teaching that came from his mouth was true. Nothing unjust was found on his lips. He lived with me in peace and honesty and turned many people away from sin. 7"A priest's lips should preserve knowledge. Then, because he is the messenger for the LORD of Armies, people will seek instruction from his mouth. 8"But you have turned from the [correct] path and caused many to stumble over my teachings. You have corrupted the promise made to Levi," says the LORD of Armies. 9"So I have made you disgusting, and I have humiliated you in front of all the people, because you have not followed my ways. You have been unfair when [applying] my teachings."
10Don't all of us have the same father? Hasn't the same God created us? Why are we unfaithful to each other? And why do we dishonor the promise given to our ancestors? 11Judah has been unfaithful! A disgusting thing has been done in Israel and Jerusalem. Judah has dishonored the holy place that the LORD loves and has married a woman who worships a foreign god. 12May the LORD exclude anyone who does this, whoever he may be. May he exclude them from Jacob's tents and from bringing offerings to the LORD of Armies.
13Here is another thing you do: You cover the LORD's altar with tears. You moan and groan because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them from you. 14But you ask, "Why [aren't our offerings accepted]?" It is because the LORD is a witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been unfaithful. Yet, she is your companion, the wife of your marriage vows. 15Didn't [God] make you one? Your flesh and spirit belong to him. And what does the same [God] look for but godly descendants? So be careful not to be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. 16"I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel. "I hate the person who covers himself with violence," says the LORD of Armies. "Be careful not to be unfaithful."
17You have tried the patience of the LORD with your words. But you ask, "How have we tried his patience?" When you say, "Everyone who does evil is considered good by the LORD. He is pleased with them," or "Where is the God of justice?"