Malachi 2:14
New International Version
You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

New Living Translation
You cry out, “Why doesn’t the LORD accept my worship?” I’ll tell you why! Because the LORD witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows.

English Standard Version
But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

Berean Study Bible
Yet you ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have broken faith, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

King James Bible
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

New King James Version
Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the LORD has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant.

New American Standard Bible
Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your marriage companion and your wife by covenant.

NASB 1995
“Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

NASB 1977
“Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

Amplified Bible
But you say, “Why [does He reject it]?” Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously. Yet she is your marriage companion and the wife of your covenant [made by your vows].

Christian Standard Bible
And you ask, “Why? ” Because even though the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, you have acted treacherously against her. She was your marriage partner and your wife by covenant.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Yet you ask, “For what reason?” Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have acted treacherously against her, though she was your marriage partner and your wife by covenant.

American Standard Version
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because Jehovah hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously, though she is thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And if you say: “Why?”, it is because LORD JEHOVAH was witness between you and the wife of your youth that you have been treacherous to her, and she is your companion and the wife of your covenant

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Yet ye said, Wherefore? Because the Lord has borne witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, whom thou has forsaken, and yet she was thy partner, and the wife of thy covenant.

Contemporary English Version
And why isn't God pleased? It's because he knows that each of you men has been unfaithful to the wife you married when you were young. You promised that she would be your partner, but now you have broken that promise.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And you have said: For what cause? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee, and the wife of thy youth, whom thou hast despised: yet she was thy partner, and the wife of thy covenant.

English Revised Version
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously, though she is thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

Good News Translation
You ask why he no longer accepts them. It is because he knows you have broken your promise to the wife you married when you were young. She was your partner, and you have broken your promise to her, although you promised before God that you would be faithful to her.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But 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.

International Standard Version
Yet you ask, 'For what reason?' Because the LORD acts as a witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you were unfaithful to her, your partner, the wife of your covenant.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Yet ye say: 'Wherefore?' Because the LORD hath been witness Between thee and the wife of thy youth, Against whom thou hast dealt treacherously, Though she is thy companion, And the wife of thy covenant.

Literal Standard Version
And you have said, “Why?” Because YHWH has testified between you And the wife of your youth, That you have dealt treacherously against her, And she [is] your companion, and your covenant-wife.

NET Bible
Yet you ask, "Why?" The LORD is testifying against you on behalf of the wife you married when you were young, to whom you have become unfaithful even though she is your companion and wife by law.

New Heart English Bible
Yet you say, 'Why?' Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion, and the wife of your covenant.

World English Bible
Yet you say, 'Why?' Because Yahweh has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion, and the wife of your covenant.

Young's Literal Translation
And ye have said, 'Wherefore?' Because Jehovah hath testified between thee And the wife of thy youth, That thou hast dealt treacherously against her, And she thy companion, and thy covenant-wife.

Additional Translations ...
Context
Judah's Unfaithfulness
13And this is another thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and groaning, because He no longer regards your offerings or receives them gladly from your hands. 14Yet you ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have broken faith, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15Has not the LORD made them one, having a portion of the Spirit? And why one? Because He seeks godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.…

Cross References
Proverbs 2:17
who abandons the partner of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God.

Proverbs 5:18
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth:

Isaiah 54:6
For the LORD has called you back, like a wife deserted and wounded in spirit, like the rejected wife of one's youth," says your God.

Jeremiah 9:2
If only I had a traveler's lodge in the wilderness, I would abandon my people and depart from them, for they are all adulterers, a crowd of faithless people.

Jeremiah 42:5
Then they said to Jeremiah, "May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act upon every word that the LORD your God sends you to tell us.

Malachi 3:5
"Then I will draw near to you for judgment. And I will be a swift witness against sorcerers and adulterers and perjurers, against oppressors of the widowed and fatherless, and against those who defraud laborers of their wages and deny justice to the foreigner but do not fear Me," says the LORD of Hosts.


Treasury of Scripture

Yet you say, Why? Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously: yet is she your companion, and the wife of your covenant.

Wherefore.

Malachi 1:6,7
A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? …

Malachi 3:8
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Proverbs 30:20
Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

the Lord.

Malachi 3:5
And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

Genesis 31:50
If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.

Judges 11:10
And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words.

the wife.

Malachi 2:15
And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

Proverbs 5:18,19
Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth…

Ecclesiastes 9:9
Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

thy companion.

Genesis 2:18
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Proverbs 2:17
Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.

Song of Solomon 1:15
Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes.









(14) Again with supercilious surprise they ask, "Wherefore?"

Witness.--Comp. Genesis 31:49-50 : "The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee." If people would seriously consider the meaning of this verse of Genesis, they would not be so fond of putting MIZPAH on their rings, for it denotes a strong suspicion as to the fidelity of the other party.

Verse 14. - Yet ye say, Wherefore? Here is the usual sceptical objection, as in Malachi 1:6, 7. The people will not acknowledge their guiltiness, and ask, "Why is God displeased with us? why are our offerings not acceptable?" The prophet replies, Because the Lord hath been witness, etc. The sin is now disclosed. Their marriages had been made before God; he who first instituted matrimony (Genesis 2:24) was a witness of the contract and gave it his sanction (comp. Genesis 31:50). The wife of thy youth. Whom thou didst marry when thine affections were pure and fresh, and for whom thy love was strong and simple (Proverbs 5:18). Against whom thou hast dealt treacherously; Septuagint, "whom thou hast deserted." This wife of thine thou hast betrayed, breaking faith with her by repudiating her. The wife of thy covenant. With whom thou didst make a solemn vow and covenant, to violate which is a monstrous crime. We have very little information respecting the religious ceremonies connected with a Jewish wedding. The previous espousal was a formal proceeding, conducted by friends and parents, and confirmed by oaths. The actual marriage seems to have been accompanied by certain solemn promises and blessings (see Proverbs 2:17; Ezekiel 16:8; Genesis 24:60; Ruth 4:11, 12; Tobit 7:13; Smith, 'Dict. of Bible').

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
Yet you ask,
וַאֲמַרְתֶּ֖ם (wa·’ă·mar·tem)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - second person masculine plural
Strong's 559: To utter, say

“Why?”
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

It is because
עַ֡ל (‘al)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

the LORD
יְהוָה֩ (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

has been a witness
הֵעִ֨יד (hê·‘îḏ)
Verb - Hifil - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 5749: To duplicate, repeat, to protest, testify, to encompass, restore

between you
בֵּינְךָ֜ (bê·nə·ḵā)
Preposition | second person masculine singular
Strong's 996: An interval, space between

and
וּבֵ֣ין ׀ (ū·ḇên)
Conjunctive waw | Preposition
Strong's 996: An interval, space between

the wife
אֵ֣שֶׁת (’ê·šeṯ)
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 802: Woman, wife, female

of your youth,
נְעוּרֶ֗יךָ (nə·‘ū·re·ḵā)
Noun - masculine plural construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's 5271: Youth, the state, the persons

against whom
אֲשֶׁ֤ר (’ă·šer)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

you
אַתָּה֙ (’at·tāh)
Pronoun - second person masculine singular
Strong's 859: Thou and thee, ye and you

have broken faith,
בָּגַ֣דְתָּה (bā·ḡaḏ·tāh)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's 898: To cover, to act covertly, to pillage

though she is
וְהִ֥יא (wə·hî)
Conjunctive waw | Pronoun - third person feminine singular
Strong's 1931: He, self, the same, this, that, as, are

your companion
חֲבֶרְתְּךָ֖ (ḥă·ḇer·tə·ḵā)
Noun - feminine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's 2278: A consort

and your wife
וְאֵ֥שֶׁת (wə·’ê·šeṯ)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 802: Woman, wife, female

by covenant.
בְּרִיתֶֽךָ׃ (bə·rî·ṯe·ḵā)
Noun - feminine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's 1285: A covenant


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OT Prophets: Malachi 2:14 Yet you say 'Why?' Because Yahweh has (Malachi Mal Ml)
Malachi 2:13
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