Blind or lame animals were unacceptable for sacrifice (Lev 1.3; 22.17–25; Deut 15.21
The favor (lit. “face”) of God, that he may be gracious, there are echoes here of the classic priestly blessing of Num 6.24–26
Shut the temple doors to halt unacceptable worship; cf. Isa. 1.13; Am 5.21–24
Among the nations, this may refer to Jewish worship in the Diaspora or to worship by Gentiles (cf. Ps 102.15
Ex 29.14; Nah 3.6
Levi was the priestly tribe (Num 3.45; 18.21–24; Deut 33.8–11
). Covenant with Levi,
Jer 33.21; Neh 13.29
Covenant of life and well‐being,
, where Heb “shalom” (here well‐being) is translated “peace.”
Instruction, Heb “torah.”
Lev 10.11; Deut 21.5
On a literal level, this section concerns exogamous marriage (i.e., with outsiders) and divorce. It has also been read figuratively,
that Judah has been faithless in its covenant with the LORD.
One father probably refers to the LORD (Deut 32.6
), though Abraham (Isa 51.2
) and Jacob (
) were also father figures (ancestors, lit. “fathers”). Covenant may refer to Sinai (Ex 19.5; Deut 4.13
) or to Ezra 10.3
Abomination usually refers to idolatry (e.g., Isa 44.19
). Daughter of a foreign god, a foreign woman. There are several biblical prohibitions of exogamous marriage (e.g., Gen 24.3–4; Deut 7.3–4
), a special concern of the postexilic period (Ezra 9–10; Neh 13.23–29
; contrast with the story of Ruth, a Moabite).
Since the LORD serves as a witness to human covenants including marriage (see Gen 31.50; Prov 2.17
), divine sanctions were the consequences of faithless actions.
The text is difficult and the translation uncertain (see the translators' notes).
Though Mosaic law contains provision for divorce (Deut 24.1–4
), the Bible generally considers marriage a sacred covenant (Gen 2.24; 31.50; Prov 2.17; Ezek 16.8; Hos 2.19; Mk 10.2–9; Eph 5.21–33
The prophet addresses doubts about divine justice (
) by announcing that God's approach is imminent (
) and, perhaps, more than they have bargained for (
All who do evil, apparently, are reckoned as good, the people deduce, since these evildoers prosper (cf. Hab 1.13
). God of justice,
Gen 18.25; Isa 30.18
The identity of the messenger, one who announces the divine procession (Isa 40.3
), is vague. Later in Malachi, the messenger is Elijah (
); in the New Testament, the messenger is identified as John the Baptist (Mt 11.10; Mk 1.2; Lk 1.17,76; 7.27
). See 4.5n.
Contrast with Isa 40.1–3
, where the messenger announced news of comfort. The list of offenses is a common prophetic theme; see Isa 1.23; Jer 7.5–10; Ezek 22.7–13; Zech 7.9–10
Your access is brought to you by: