1“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.2But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.3He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,4and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.5“So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.
Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes
6“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.7Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’8“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings.9You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me.10Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.11I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty.12“Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God
13“You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord. “Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’14“You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty?15But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’ ”
The Faithful Remnant
16Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.17“On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.18And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
English Standard Version
1“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. (Isa 40:3; Mal 2:7; Mal 2:17; Mal 4:5; Mt 11:10; Mr 1:2; Lu 1:76; Lu 7:27)2But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. (Isa 4:4; Joe 2:11)3He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. (Isa 1:25; Zec 13:9; Mal 1:7)4Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. (Eze 20:40)5“Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts. (Le 19:13; De 24:17; Jer 29:23; Mal 2:14)
6“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (Nu 23:19; Ps 102:27; La 3:22)7From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ (Zec 1:3; Mal 1:2; Ac 7:51)8Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. (Ne 13:10; Mal 3:7)9You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. (Mal 2:2)10Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. (Ge 7:11; Pr 3:9; 2Co 9:6)11I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. (Joe 1:4)12Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts. (Isa 62:4; Zep 3:19)13“Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ (Mal 1:2; Mal 2:17)14You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? (Job 21:15; Zep 1:12)15And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’” (Ps 95:9; Mal 4:1)
The Book of Remembrance
16Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. (Ex 32:32; De 6:6)17“They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. (Ex 19:5; Mal 4:3; Ac 17:31; 1Pe 2:9)18Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. (Mal 4:1)