First I concentrate on the interlinear - thinking a word or phrase at a time. I have some new search tools that compare both words and phrases as already used. Then I collect the interlinear into a single text field and straighten it out as little as possible into readable English. This technique should improve the ease of underlay if anyone wants to sing the chapter in English to the ancient Hebrew music as interpreted on the music pages. There are still lots of decisions to make but less typing for me and still a close following of the sequence of the Hebrew thought process - so following my desire to hear into the ancient mind rather than the 17th century mind or the 20th-21st.
So Malachi is rebuking the priests here - why? And what do they represent at this stage of the people of Israel? Also - this passage reveals what God is seeking in the covenant: not his own benefit as if he should retain the remainder of the spirit but a holy and 'godly' seed - a fully alive humanity, a humanity that cares as God cares and gives as God gives - see my usual notes on the character and action of the one who is, and who was, and who is to come.
|וְעַתָּ֗ה אֲלֵיכֶ֛ם הַמִּצְוָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את הַכֹּהֲנִֽים||1||So now to you this commandment, O priests.||3d||3g||15|
|אִם־לֹ֣א תִשְׁמְע֡וּ וְאִם־לֹא֩ תָשִׂ֨ימוּ עַל־לֵ֜ב לָתֵ֧ת כָּב֣וֹד לִשְׁמִ֗י אָמַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת וְשִׁלַּחְתִּ֤י בָכֶם֙ אֶת־הַמְּאֵרָ֔ה וְאָרוֹתִ֖י אֶת־בִּרְכֽוֹתֵיכֶ֑ם |
וְגַם֙ אָרוֹתִ֔יהָ כִּ֥י אֵינְכֶ֖ם שָׂמִ֥ים עַל־לֵֽב
|2||If you hear not and if you lay it not up to heart to give glory to my name, says Yahweh of hosts, I will send among you the cursing, and I curse your blessings, |
and moreover I curse her for there is none of you laying it to heart.
|הִנְנִ֨י גֹעֵ֤ר לָכֶם֙ אֶת־הַזֶּ֔רַע וְזֵרִ֤יתִי פֶ֙רֶשׁ֙ עַל־פְּנֵיכֶ֔ם פֶּ֖רֶשׁ חַגֵּיכֶ֑ם |
וְנָשָׂ֥א אֶתְכֶ֖ם אֵלָֽיו
|3||Behold I rebuke your seed, and I will sift manure on your faces, the manure of your festivities. |
And he will lift you up with it.
|וִֽידַעְתֶּ֕ם כִּ֚י שִׁלַּ֣חְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶ֔ם אֵ֖ת הַמִּצְוָ֣ה הַזֹּ֑את |
לִֽהְי֤וֹת בְּרִיתִי֙ אֶת־לֵוִ֔י אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת
|4||And you will know that I sent to you this commandment, |
to become my covenant with Levi, says Yahweh of hosts.
|בְּרִיתִ֣י ׀ הָיְתָ֣ה אִתּ֗וֹ הַֽחַיִּים֙ וְהַ֨שָּׁל֔וֹם וָאֶתְּנֵֽם־ל֥וֹ מוֹרָ֖א וַיִּֽירָאֵ֑נִי |
וּמִפְּנֵ֥י שְׁמִ֖י נִחַ֥ת הֽוּא
|5||My covenant with him is life and peace, and I gave them to him for the fear with which he feared me, |
and in the face of my name he was himself dismayed.
|תּוֹרַ֤ת אֱמֶת֙ הָיְתָ֣ה בְּפִ֔יהוּ וְעַוְלָ֖ה לֹא־נִמְצָ֣א בִשְׂפָתָ֑יו |
בְּשָׁל֤וֹם וּבְמִישׁוֹר֙ הָלַ֣ךְ אִתִּ֔י וְרַבִּ֖ים הֵשִׁ֥יב מֵעָוֺֽן
|6||The instruction of truth is in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. |
In peace and uprightness he walked with me, and many turned from iniquity.
|כִּֽי־שִׂפְתֵ֤י כֹהֵן֙ יִשְׁמְרוּ־דַ֔עַת וְתוֹרָ֖ה יְבַקְשׁ֣וּ מִפִּ֑יהוּ |
כִּ֛י מַלְאַ֥ךְ יְהוָֽה־צְבָא֖וֹת הֽוּא
|7||For the lips of a priest keep knowledge, and instruction they seek from his mouth, |
for the messenger of Yahweh of hosts is he.
|וְאַתֶּם֙ סַרְתֶּ֣ם מִן־הַדֶּ֔רֶךְ הִכְשַׁלְתֶּ֥ם רַבִּ֖ים בַּתּוֹרָ֑ה |
שִֽׁחַתֶּם֙ בְּרִ֣ית הַלֵּוִ֔י אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת
|8||But it is you. You have departed from the way. You have made many to stumble in the instruction. |
You have destroyed the covenant of the Levite, says Yahweh of hosts.
|וְגַם־אֲנִ֞י נָתַ֧תִּי אֶתְכֶ֛ם נִבְזִ֥ים וּשְׁפָלִ֖ים לְכָל־הָעָ֑ם |
כְּפִ֗י אֲשֶׁ֤ר אֵֽינְכֶם֙ שֹׁמְרִ֣ים אֶת־דְּרָכַ֔י וְנֹשְׂאִ֥ים פָּנִ֖ים בַּתּוֹרָֽה פ
|9||And moreover I myself have made you contemptible and humble to all the people, |
in that there is none of you keeping my ways. You show partiality with respect to instruction.
|הֲל֨וֹא אָ֤ב אֶחָד֙ לְכֻלָּ֔נוּ הֲל֛וֹא אֵ֥ל אֶֽחָ֖ד בְּרָאָ֑נוּ |
מַדּ֗וּעַ נִבְגַּד֙ אִ֣ישׁ בְּאָחִ֔יו לְחַלֵּ֖ל בְּרִ֥ית אֲבֹתֵֽינוּ
|10||~||Is there not father one for us all? Has not one God created us? |
For what purpose do we act treacherously, each against his kin, by profaning the covenant of our ancestors?
|בָּגְדָ֣ה יְהוּדָ֔ה וְתוֹעֵבָ֛ה נֶעֶשְׂתָ֥ה בְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וּבִירֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם |
כִּ֣י ׀ חִלֵּ֣ל יְהוּדָ֗ה קֹ֤דֶשׁ יְהוָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָהֵ֔ב וּבָעַ֖ל בַּת־אֵ֥ל נֵכָֽר
|11||Judah has acted treacherously, and an abomination is done in Israel and in Jerusalem, |
for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of Yahweh which he loves, and has married the daughter of an alien god.
|יַכְרֵ֨ת יְהוָ֜ה לָאִ֨ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר יַעֲשֶׂ֙נָּה֙ עֵ֣ר וְעֹנֶ֔ה מֵאָהֳלֵ֖י יַֽעֲקֹ֑ב |
וּמַגִּ֣ישׁ מִנְחָ֔ה לַֽיהוָ֖ה צְבָאֽוֹת פ
|12||Yahweh will cut off each who does this, arousing and answering from the tents of Jacob, |
and making overture with a gift for Yahweh of hosts.
|וְזֹאת֙ שֵׁנִ֣ית תַּֽעֲשׂ֔וּ כַּסּ֤וֹת דִּמְעָה֙ אֶת־מִזְבַּ֣ח יְהוָ֔ה בְּכִ֖י וַֽאֲנָקָ֑ה |
מֵאֵ֣ין ע֗וֹד פְּנוֹת֙ אֶל־הַמִּנְחָ֔ה וְלָקַ֥חַת רָצ֖וֹן מִיֶּדְכֶֽם
|13||And this a second time you have done, covering with tears the altar of Yahweh, weeping and groaning, |
that there is no further facing the gift or receiving it with acceptance from your hand.
|וַאֲמַרְתֶּ֖ם עַל־מָ֑ה |
עַ֡ל כִּי־יְהוָה֩ הֵעִ֨יד בֵּינְךָ֜ וּבֵ֣ין ׀ אֵ֣שֶׁת נְעוּרֶ֗יךָ אֲשֶׁ֤ר אַתָּה֙ בָּגַ֣דְתָּה בָּ֔הּ וְהִ֥יא חֲבֶרְתְּךָ֖ וְאֵ֥שֶׁת בְּרִיתֶֽךָ
|14||And you say, since when? |
In that Yahweh has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, that you yourself have acted treacherously against her, but she is your companion and the wife of your covenant.
|וְלֹא־אֶחָ֣ד עָשָׂ֗ה וּשְׁאָ֥ר ר֙וּחַ֙ ל֔וֹ וּמָה֙ הָֽאֶחָ֔ד מְבַקֵּ֖שׁ זֶ֣רַע אֱלֹהִ֑ים |
וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּם֙ בְּר֣וּחֲכֶ֔ם וּבְאֵ֥שֶׁת נְעוּרֶ֖יךָ אַל־יִבְגֹּֽד
|15||And he did not make one, that the residue of spirit should be his. So why the one? He is seeking the seed of God. |
So be guarded in your spirit, and against the wife of your youth do not act treacherously.
|כִּֽי־שָׂנֵ֣א שַׁלַּ֗ח אָמַ֤ר יְהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְכִסָּ֤ה חָמָס֙ עַל־לְבוּשׁ֔וֹ אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת |
וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּ֥ם בְּרוּחֲכֶ֖ם וְלֹ֥א תִבְגֹּֽדוּ ס
|16||For he hates to send away, says Yahweh, the God of Israel, but he covers violence with his clothing, says Yahweh of hosts. |
So be guarded in your spirit, and do not act treacherously.
|הוֹגַעְתֶּ֤ם יְהוָה֙ בְּדִבְרֵיכֶ֔ם וַאֲמַרְתֶּ֖ם בַּמָּ֣ה הוֹגָ֑עְנוּ |
בֶּאֱמָרְכֶ֗ם כָּל־עֹ֨שֵׂה רָ֜ע ט֣וֹב ׀ בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָ֗ה וּבָהֶם֙ ה֣וּא חָפֵ֔ץ א֥וֹ אַיֵּ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י הַמִּשְׁפָּֽט
|17||You have wearied Yahweh with your words, and you say, In what way have we wearied him? |
In your saying, All who do evil are good in the eyes of Yahweh, and in them he himself delights, or, Where is the God of judgment?