Malachi 2:1-9

The priests teach wrong things

1 The Lord Almighty says this to the priests:

2 ‘Listen carefully to what I say to you. You must respect my name properly. If not, I will punish you. I will no longer bless you but I will curse you. I am already doing that because you do not respect my name as you should.

3 I will punish your descendants. When you offer an animal as a sacrifice at your festivals, I will cover your faces with its dirty bits. Then they will throw you away with all the other dirty bits. Those are the bits that I cannot accept as clean.’

2:3The dirty bits of the animals were the things that were inside its stomach. Those things could not be part of the sacrifice that they offered to God. They had to take those bits away and put them on the heap of rubbish.

4 The Lord Almighty says, ‘When I punish you like that, you will know that I have warned you. Then the covenant that I made with Levi and his descendants, the priests, can continue. 5 I promised to give them a good life with many blessings. Levi received what I promised to him. He served me and he respected me, as a priest should do. 6 He taught my true message. He did not teach people anything that was bad. He lived in a good and honest way as he served me. He helped many people to stop doing wrong things.

2:4Levi was one of Jacob's sons. From his family, God chose the first priest, Aaron. God promised to bless the priests if they obeyed him.

7 Priests should help people to know the truth about God. People should ask the priests to teach them, because the Lord Almighty has chosen priests to speak his message. 8 But you priests do not serve me in the right way. What you teach causes many people to do wrong things. In that way, you have spoiled the covenant that I made with Levi.’

That is what the Lord Almighty says.

9 ‘So I have caused all the people to insult you. They no longer respect you, because you do not obey my rules. When you teach my people, you are kind to some of them but you cheat others.’

2:9The priests may have been more kind to rich people than they were to poor people.