Malachi 1

Chapter 1

1 This is an oracle relating the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.

The Lord’s Love for Israel

2 I have loved you, says the Lord,
but you ask, “How have you shown your love?”
3 Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? asks the Lord.
Even so, I loved Jacob but I hated Esau.
I reduced his hill country into a wasteland
and made his heritage into a desert for jackals.
4 When Edom says, “We have been crushed,
but we will rebuild the ruins,”
thus says the Lord of hosts:
They may build, but I will demolish.
They will be called a country of wickedness,
the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.
5 Your own eyes will see this, and you will say,
“Great is the Lord,
even beyond the borders of Israel.”

The Blemished Offerings and Other Faults of Priests[a]

6 A son honors his father,
and a servant fears his master.
If then I am a father,
where is the honor due to me?
So says the Lord of hosts
to you priests who despise my name.
You ask, “How have we despised your name?”
7 By offering polluted food on my altar.
Then you ask, “How have we polluted it?”
By thinking that the table of the Lord may be despised.
8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice,
is this not evil?
And when you offer in sacrifice
those who are lame or sick,
is this not evil?
If you offer such sacrifices to your governor,
will he be pleased with them,
or show you special favor,
asks the Lord of hosts.
9 In the same way,
if you implore God to show mercy toward you
when you have presented such offerings,
do you think he will grant your request?
Thus says the Lord of hosts.
10 Oh, if only one of you would close the temple gates
and thus bring to an end
the pointless lighting of fires on my altar!
I derive no pleasure from you,
says the Lord of hosts,
and I will not accept
any sacrifice from your hands.
11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting
my name is great among the nations.
Everywhere incense and a pure sacrifice
are offered to my name.
For my name is great among the nations,
says the Lord of hosts.[b]
12 However, you profane my name
when you claim that the table of the Lord is polluted,
and that therefore the food offered on it
is not worthy of respect.
13 You also assert, “How tiresome all this is!”
and you sniff scornfully at me,
says the Lord of hosts.
You bring an animal
that is stolen, lame, or diseased,
and you present it to me as a sacrifice.
Shall I accept this from your hands,
asks the Lord.
14 Accursed is the deceiver
who has a male in his flock
and vows to give it,
but then sacrifices a blemished animal to me.
For I am a great king,
says the Lord of hosts,
and my name is held in awe among the nations.

Footnotes

  1. Malachi 1:6 This passage foretells a different and perfect sacrifice, which Christians identify with the Eucharistic sacrifice.
  2. Malachi 1:11 The Hebrew verbs are in the present tense, which, in the prophetic style, stands for the future. It is part of Christian tradition, confirmed by the Council of Trent (Session XXII), that this pure sacrifice foretells the bloodless sacrifice of the Mass. This passage is echoed today in the Third Eucharistic Prayer: “You never cease to gather a people to yourself, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name.”

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