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The Prophecy of Malachi – Part 2, The Corrupted Priesthood
Before we offer our summation of what we had seen in Malachi thus far, I want to say a word concerning the so-called trinity doctrine, which we do not think is a doctrine at all. Yahweh our God is real, omniscient, and omnipotent – but He is also One, regardless of how He chooses to manifest Himself. So He can be God the Father, and God the Son, the burning in the bush, the rock in the desert, or the fire on the mountain. When the apostles realized that He had overcome death, they proclaimed Him as God not because Jesus somehow became as God, but because they themselves realized that He was God, knowing from the implications of the Scripture that He was Yahweh who had promised that He would redeem Israel.
The trinity doctrine is the first of heresies. There is no real support for it in the original Scriptures, except for the coincidence that in the apostolic age God manifested Himself first in two ways, from the spiritual plane and in the form of the Son of David, and then in a third way which is referred to as the Holy Spirit, which is not really a third at all but rather is only another manifestation of the first two. When Christ was near to His departure and He promised the apostles a Comforter, He proclaimed “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.” But the word for comfortless in that passage is from the same Greek word from which we derive the English word for orphan, and it really means fatherless, showing that Christ is also God the Father as well as God the Holy Spirit.
The trinity doctrine is a dangerous heresy because it leaves space for antichrists to claim that they can worship a part of the deity which is somehow void of Christ. Therefore Christians are deceived into imagining that Jews and Muslims and other antichrists ultimately have the same God, which is a lie and a deception. Therefore the trinity doctrine is a compromise with devils. The antichrists themselves introduced this doctrine so that they can maintain a facade of legitimacy, but beneath the veneer there is every form of wickedness. They lay claim to a piece of the Godhead and a path to piety without Christ, when the Gospel informs us that “6 Yahshua says...: ‘I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one goes to the Father except through Me!’” Then almost immediately after that He said “He who has seen Me has seen the Father!” So Christians must understand that Christ being Yahweh God manifest in the flesh, no part of the deity could possibly be void of Christ! Therefore all of the devils must be rejected: there is no room for devils in the Kingdom of Heaven, and neither should there be any space given to them here on earth.
In the opening segment of our presentation of Malachi we asserted that the first subject of his prophecy is Christian Zionism, however he certainly did not describe the phenomenon in positive terms. What we consider Christian Zionism is the support given by the denominational and supposedly Christian churches for the modern Jewish state in Palestine. Once it is understood, as we hope to have fully demonstrated in part 1 of this series, that the modern Jews are the descendants of the ancient Edomites, of the seed of Esau, then one may begin to understand Malachi chapter 1. But that is only half of the equation. It must also be understood that the nations of Europe and the ancient Near East to whom the apostles had brought the Gospel were the actual “lost sheep” of the house of Israel, the physical descendants of the Israelites of antiquity.
Discovering the truth of these things, the vision of the prophet is fully and easily elucidated. Since Malachi was writing in the second temple period, after the rebuilding of Jerusalem, then the desolate places to which he refers must be those places which were left desolate after Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, as Christ also attested in the Gospel, where He told His opponents that their house was left to them desolate. And since the Edomites had never returned anywhere to build anything up to that point in history, when did the Edomites ever return and build desolate places at all? Never, not until the 20th century and the advent of modern Jewish Zionism.
Repeating the first two verses of Malachi chapter 1: “1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” Ancient Idumea was never rebuilt by Edomites, and it remains a barren desert wasteland even to this very day. The Idumaeans, as we had demonstrated from Scripture and history, were fully occupying the cities of southern and western Israel and Judah by the time of Nehemiah and Ezra, and it was at that time – or perhaps a little later – that Malachi was writing.
Then repeating verses 3 through 5: “4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. 5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.” And here we can understand Malachi, knowing that European Christians are the true children of Jacob, and the Jews are the seed of Esau. The Edomites have continually uttered false cries of poverty, and have returned to build Palestine under a guise of deceit. While doing this, Christians have more concern for the Edomite Jews than they do for their own nations, and today – deceived that the Jews are Israel – they have even come to worship Jews rather than Christ. Jews who have no part with the Father, according to Christ. Modern Christian Zionism coupled with Jewish deceit have brought about the fulfillment of this prophecy of Malachi. Ultimately, Yahweh will destroy the Edomite Jews and all of their works.
But the beginning of this deceit is found long before Malachi’s own time, as we shall see in chapter 2 of his writing, and it continues down to the start of the Christian era. In this respect the prophet continues in verse 6 of this first chapter, where the Word of Yahweh says:
6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
We honor our fathers by respecting their experiences, the conclusions they make from their experiences, which are their history, and by obeying their instructions, which are their laws. So we should also avoid repeating their mistakes, and we should use their legacy as a model upon which to build our own lives. Being obedient to our God we sustain a secure future for our posterity, who should perpetuate that obedience in order to do likewise. Of course, as a race we never learn from history, so we have rarely honored our fathers in that regard. Isaac himself was quite pleased with a wife which his father had procured for him from among his own people. In turn, his son Esau troubled his parents and took alien wives, which cost him his birthright and doomed his posterity. On the other hand, Jacob obeyed his father so the promises to Abraham fell to him, and his posterity are blessed. But the priests of Malachi’s time held their heritage in contempt, and now the substance of their sacrifices is used as an analogy for their disdain:
7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. 8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?...
According to the law, the offerings which were made to Yahweh had to be without spot or blemish. From Leviticus chapter 4: “1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: 3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering.… 22 When a ruler hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD his God concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty; 23 Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish: 24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it is a sin offering.… 27 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; 28 Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned. 29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering.”
All of the laws concerning sacrifices commanded that the sacrifices be without blemish, meaning that they were to have no deformities of any kind. Such animals would of course be valued more dearly than deformed or blemished animals. So it would seem that the priests were more concerned with personal gain than they were with pleasing God. Sacrificing crippled and diseased animals upon the altar, the table of Yahweh is made contemptible, because even the priests themselves would not want to eat the flesh. However this manner of disdain for God is only the beginning, and it seems that the sacrifices are being made an example, used as an allegory which represents a more deeply-rooted problem, something which Malachi will reveal in the second chapter of his writing.
Continuing from the middle of verse 8:
… offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. 9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
The word for governor here is pechah (Strong’s # 6347), which appears first in 1 Kings chapter 10, and four times in the books of Kings and Chronicles, mostly of foreign rulers. But it is a title that was used of Nehemiah and others of his period, to describe governors of Jerusalem and other provinces of the Persian empire. So the use of the title here in this context also helps to date Malachi. Ezra did not use the title of himself, but he fulfilled the role from the time of his commission by Artaxerxes, which is described in Ezra chapter 7.
Secular authorities would not accept deformed or sickly animals as payment, so why should the priests offer such things unto their God? Dealing unjustly with an earthly governor, one would be rejected. So dealing unjustly with Yahweh, one’s person, or status, would not be accepted by Him. But evidently these priests had no true fear of Yahweh in the first place.
The first half of verse 10 is more acceptable contextually as it is found in the Septuagint, but here it is from the King James Version:
10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought.
Brenton’s English quite fairly reads the Greek of this passage from the Septuagint thusly: “Because even among you the doors shall be shut, and one will not kindle the fire of mine altar for nothing”. The beginning of Malachi up to verse 10 of the second chapter is entirely wanting in the Dead Sea Scrolls. In the Hexapla of Origen, the versions of Symmachus and Theodotian offer a reading closer to that which is found in the King James Version, and likewise the Latin but with very different wording than the modern Vulgate. So we will nevertheless base our commentary on the version found in the Septuagint, with which the version in the Hexapla agrees, because even if it were the priests “shutting the doors for nought”, if their sacrifices are in vain then only Yahshua Christ can open or shut the door for them.
So in this regard we have the words of Yahshua Christ in the Revelation: “7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
The door represents access to God, the separation of the inner chamber of the temple into which the high priest went once a year to make propitiation for sin, with the presence of Yahweh descending upon the mercy seat. Paul explained this in his epistle to the Hebrews, where he also states that now such propitiation is only found in Christ (Hebrews 9 and 10). This is the door spoken of here in Malachi, and it is the door of that message to the assembly at Philadelphia in the Revelation as well.
Then in the Gospel of Luke, in chapter 13 we read the words of Christ where He said “24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”
Philadelphia means brotherly love, and for that the church there was used as an example of one which could do no wrong. So for them the open door could not be shut. Ostensibly, Christ not knowing the “workers of iniquity”, or wehere they came from, they are not merely Israelites who sinned, for whom He has promised forgiveness, but rather, they are not Israelites at all. Where Malachi says in the latter part of this verse, omitting the added words, “and will not kindle mine altar for nothing”, the reference is to sacrifices which are being made in vain. In Luke chapter 13 we see likewise, that there are men who ate and drank in the presence of God, and were shut out of the Kingdom for reason that He never knew them. This is indeed related to the shutting and opening of the door to the Kingdom of Heaven, because to practice brotherly love with Christ, one must first be of the brethren of Christ.
As the Word of Yahweh says to the children of Israel in Amos chapter 3: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth”, the apostle Paul wrote in Romans chapter 8 that “whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate… whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified”. So with Yahweh God knowing aforetime the children of Israel alone, then only the children of Israel can be predestinated, called, justified and glorified. The door is shut for all others.
While these priests are supposedly the priests of Yahweh, of the tribe of the Levites, reading on further in Malachi the meaning of the oracle shall indeed become evident, as to why their sacrifices are in vain, and why they are not offered an opportunity for repentance here. Malachi continues here in verse 10 where the Word of Yahweh says to the priests:
I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
Here it seems that for their disdain of Yahweh, He will not accept an offering from them at all. It also seems that Yahweh is not even giving these priests an opportunity to repent. The first person to contend to act as a priest and whose offering Yahweh rejected was Cain, who had no brotherly love and slew Abel, whose offering had been accepted. Cain was “of the wicked one”, and in spite of that Yahweh challenged him to do good, yet Cain immediately went and killed Abel, proving that he could not do good. Soon Malachi will reveal for us the similar nature of these priests.
Because Malachi was a prophet of the second temple period, then before we continue with verse 11, we should compare the circumstances with the problems among the priests which are found in the historic records of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. As we have often demonstrated, Nehemiah comes first, so we shall start there. The later chapters of Nehemiah seem to be written in reflection, as they were added after Nehemiah’s initial term as governor, which is evident in chapter 12 at verses 26 and 47. Chapters 12 and 13 were written years after Nehemiah’s initial term as governor had ended. In verse 47 of Nehemiah chapter 12 we read that in the days of Zerubbabel, as the temple was rebuilt by 516 BC, and in the days of Nehemiah, as the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt by 490 BC, the children of Israel had paid all of their tithes to the Levites, and the temple priesthood had been functioning properly throughout the entire period.
In Nehemiah chapter 5 he informs us that he was appointed to be governor of Jerusalem “from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king,” the reference to Artaxerxes in the book of Nehemiah being a title which was used of the historic Persian King Darius I, the son of Hystaspis. So Nehemiah was governor from about 502 BC to about 490 BC, which was the year of the Battle of Marathon at the beginning of the Persian war against the Greeks.
But in Nehemiah chapter 13 we see a description of a later period, and we are informed that the people in this later period had joined themselves to a mixed multitude, they were reprimanded with the law and then they separated from that multitude (verses 1-3), but had also stopped paying the tribute to the Levites, for which out of necessity the attendants at the temple “fled every one to his field” (verses 5-6). Not being supported by tithes, they had to go work the fields for their sustenance and could no longer attend to the temple. We know that this is after Nehemiah’s original term as governor from where it says in verses 6 and 7: “6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king”, meaning that he returned to the king in 490 BC and after a certain period he had obtained leave to revisit Jerusalem. Then he writes chapters 12 and 13 as a supplement to describe what had happened after his initial term, when some time later the king had allowed him to return to Jerusalem. However while it is certain from the text that Nehemiah is its author, we do not know how long it was after 490 BC that these words were being written. Eliashib was the former high priest, and Nehemiah describes in this 13th chapter that he had done evil by giving the Samaritan ruler Tobiah a chamber in the temple, however in Nehemiah 12:23 and later, in Ezra 10:6, it is evident that Johanan the son of Eliashib was already the high priest.
The first 6 chapters of Ezra are written in reflection, describing what happened in Jerusalem long before his own appointment as governor there. The scribe begins his own commission in the seventh year of the Persian king historically known by the title Artaxerxes, who ruled from 465 to 424 BC. Evidently, Ezra was able to commence building the city after 457 BC. But the debris which Nehemiah described at the beginning of his writing (Nehemiah chapter 2) had been cleared, and the walls were already rebuilt. The initial building was interrupted by the Persian war with the Greeks, which never really ended but where the largest battles were fought in 490 BC, when the first Persian invasion was defeated at Marathon, and in 480 and 479 BC, when the second and much larger Persian invasion was defeated at Salamis, Mycale and Plataea. The king who led this second failed invasion died in 465 BC.
While Ezra is mentioned in the later chapters of Nehemiah. Nehemiah is not mentioned in the chapters of Ezra contemporary to Ezra’s commission. He is only mentioned in the chapters reflecting back to his own earlier time, in Ezra chapter 2. So it is evident that Nehemiah was not present with Ezra during the time of Ezra’s commission, but Ezra had been a young man and already a scribe at the earlier time, when Nehemiah was in Jerusalem.
Therefore, while we do not know exactly when the events of Nehemiah chapter 13 took place, it is highly probable that these things occurred some time after 489 BC and before 465 BC. After Nehemiah left office in 490, Eliashib the high priest had allied himself with the Samaritans, began to intermarry his family with that of Tobiah, who was ostensibly of a remnant of Israelites which for diverse and legitimate reasons were not accepted by the returning remnant of Judah (i.e. they were taken to idolatry and no longer had the records of their genealogies). Furthermore, the priests of the temple were run off, the Sabbath was neglected, and Jerusalem became an emporium for merchants. Even worse, Judaeans had begun intermarrying with Ammonites, Moabites and Philistines. So this final chapter of Nehemiah concludes with the brief statement that “Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business”, where we see that he reinstated the law and reorganized the priests. Because the law dictates that the office is hereditary, ostensibly Johanan remained in office of high priest in spite of all these evils which occurred during his tenure, and that of his father. But where Ezra listed the priests who had themselves sinned, at least Johanan was not reckoned among them. Nehemiah does inform us that one of his brothers was guilty of such fornication.
Some time later, when Ezra returned about 458 or 457 BC, he brought with him over 1,500 others from the Babylonian captivity, but nevertheless had to send to Casiphia for priests to attend the temple. The Levitical priests who were still in Babylon evidently had no interest in returning. [We quipped that they were busy writing the Talmud, however that is not accurate, and out of time by several centuries.] Of these priests from Casiphia, Ezra received several hundreds whom he then brought back to Jerusalem. Therefore it is evident that the earlier reorganization conducted by Nehemiah did not last very long at all, as Ezra deliberately prepared to reorganize the priesthood again, even before he arrived in Jerusalem. The reference to Casiphia must be to Caspiana, a region of Hyrcania, which itself was a region of Persia on the Caspian Sea adjacent to Parthia, from which the Parthians that were descended from the Israelites of the Assyrian captivity had sprung. Note the name Hyrcanus which was extent among the later Hasamonaean dynasty, and that the Caspian Sea in early times was called the Hyrcanian Sea.
When Ezra returns, he does not even recognize a high priest in his writing, but only implies that Johanan is still the high priest where it says in Ezra chapter 10 “6 Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib….” Of course, the sitting high priest would have his own chamber in the temple. Chapters 7 and 8 of Ezra only describe his return to Jerusalem, which took a considerable amount of time and preparation. Ezra chapter 9 opens when he had been in Jerusalem several days, and had presented his commission to the people, who were then compelled to recognize his authority. Then immediately upon that we read: “1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.”
Ezra’s commission was to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, ostensibly referring to things such as buildings and infrastructure, as the temple and walls had already been rebuilt by Zerubabbel and Nehemiah. But the actual rebuilding for which Ezra was commissioned was never recorded. Rather, the final chapters of his book discuss another reinstatement of the law, and the repentance of the priests and cleansing of the people after they had admitted, as it is recorded in Ezra 10:2-3, that “We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. 3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.” The closing verses of chapter 10 present a long list of priests guilty of these things, where it is also said “19 And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass.” With this the book of Ezra comes to an abrupt close, and the Word of God contained in our Bibles does not resume until the birth of Christ, except for this prophecy of Malachi.
On the surface it seems that Malachi may have written during the time of Nehemiah, or at least, the later chapter 13 of Nehemiah, or perhaps during the time of Ezra, because the sins he describes among the priests are the same sins seen in either of those historical books. However it seems that the priests of the time of Nehemiah and Ezra were given space to repent, and they appeared to repent, even if it were only for a short time. They made sacrifices of repentance which were apparently accepted by God, and, if only temporarily, the function of the temple was restored.
But Malachi stands alone. He mentions the temple and Jerusalem, but there is no mention of Nehemiah, Ezra, any building projects, or any contemporary individuals. The only anchor by which he may be dated are the circumstances he describes. The priests of Malachi have no room for repentance, and Malachi tells of their sin in chapter 2 of his prophecy and says “and this have ye done again”. So he might be speaking of the time of Ezra, since the priests had sinned in that manner back in the days of Nehemiah. Or he could be speaking of yet another transgression fitting the same pattern, because it appears that the priests of the time of Ezra were given space to repent, but not these priests in the days of Malachi. This is in spite of the fact that in chapter 2 it would appear that they are offered a chance for repentance.
Therefore the complete circumstances compel us to date Malachi to some time after the days of Ezra, but we cannot say how long. Certainly his work must have been extant when the Septuagint was written, which by all accounts began under the Ptolomies. But on the other hand, it is a prophecy of events to take place in his own future – so the reference to the corrupted priesthood need not even be contemporary to the prophet. But this last time, the priesthood became, or would become, corrupted yet again, and this last time – which would be the proverbial third strike – the priesthood was corrupted irreversibly.
And with that, we now see a statement which indicates the planned obsolescence of this Levitical priesthood, as other prophecies also have, where Malachi continues and the Word of Yahweh says:
11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles [or nations]; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen [or nations], saith the LORD of hosts.
Three times the King James Version adds the words shall be to the text. The Septuagint Greek has the perfect tense, and the Latin Vulgate the present, where Yahweh is insisting that His Name had already been magnified among the nations. But this may be interpreted to mean that the truth of the prophecy already given is inevitably going to be fulfilled, as we shall see from Isaiah just how the magnification of His Name was prophesied to happen.
Here the King James Version translated the same Hebrew word goy (Strong’s # 1471, goyim in the plural) in two different ways: as Gentile and as heathen, in spite of the fact that they appear in the same context. Speaking of the children of Israel who had been taken into captivity by the Assyrians, Yahweh explains through the prophet Isaiah how His Name would be magnified among the nations, where He said: “19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.” Isaiah is describing the scattering of the children of Israel throughout the nations of the Near East and Europe. But in that passage Isaiah is also explaining how the promises to Abraham and Jacob were fulfilled, and furthermore, Isaiah explains how this verse of Malachi is fulfilled.
Abraham was promised that his seed, or offspring, would become many nations, and Jacob inherited that promise. The word for nations in those promises is this same word, goy, or goyim in the plural. In Romans chapter 4 Paul asserted that the promise to Abraham was fullfilled, that his seed became many nations, according to the declaration – “so shall thy seed be”. Isaiah shows that Paul is correct in his assessment of history and Scripture.
The promise to Abraham is that he would inherit the earth. To Jacob it was said, in Genesis chapter 28 where he had a vision of a ladder going up into the heavens, “13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Isaiah chapter 66 informs us as to how that seed was spread. The reference to “all the families of the earth” as it was first given to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 can only be a reference to the families by whom “the nations were divided in the earth”, the Adamic families which descended from Noah which are listed in Genesis chapter 10.
So to many of these nations were the children of Israel sent, as it is described in Isaiah chapter 66. But earlier, in Isaiah 54, we read this – where it is also speaking of the children of Israel being taken into Assyrian captivity: “1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. [This is a comparison of Israel in captivity, the barren, and the remnant of Judah who remained behind in Isaiah’s time.] 2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; 3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles [or nations], and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. 4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. 5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.”
The children of Israel greatly enlarged the place of their habitation upon their migrating from the cities of the Medes and the places of their captivity in and about Mesopotamia, in which they travelled through Anatolia or up and around the Black and Caspian Seas, breaking forth on the right and on the left into Europe and Central Asia. Doing this they had gone into Tarshish (Spain), Javan (Ionia), Lud (Lydia and Etruria), Tiras (Thrace), Pul (Assyria), Madai (Media), Persia (Elam), Tubal (i.e. Georgia) and others of the lands of the Genesis 10 nations, eventually becoming the dominant tribes in every place, from the Parthians and Massagetae of the East to the Keltic and Germanic tribes of the West. Those who were first known as Kimmerians and Galatae migrated West, and the Scythians migrated east, although after several centuries many Scythian tribes also came west under other names, such as Saxons, Alans, Goths and Huns. In the Keltic and Germanic invasions of Europe, the seed of Abraham became many nations and the God of Israel was eventually glorified among those nations. Of course, earlier Israelites, in the form of Romans, Dorian Greeks, Illyrians and Phoenicians (proto-Kelts), were already counted among those nations. So this verse of Malachi (1:11) by itself is also a Messianic prophecy, which means nothing without the coming of Christianity to Europe.
Where it says that “in every place incense shall be offered unto my name”, the fulfillment of this prophecy came about from the 4th century forward, when Christianity became the religion of the Roman world, as it was already taking hold in Britain and among the Germanic tribes, and Christ replaced the idols of Europe, the pagan temples being converted for Christian use. In this modern world, the current apostasy of the people from Christ and how easily neo-pagans and post-modernists as well as Judaized Christians have accepted the lies of the Jews, is rather astounding.
So from this point, speaking through the prophet Malachi to the priests in Judaea, Yahweh gives them no room for repentance from their errors, and informs them that in spite of them, His Name will be glorified among the Nations – meaning these many nations of Israel outside of Judaea. Next, He chastises them for profaning His Name, telling them that the result of it will be that His Name will be glorified among the Nations, because they profaned His table and His altar:
12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
Here we see that Yahweh had never planned to restore Jerusalem to its former glory. The second temple was doomed to failure from the outset, but it was successful only because its failure was the plan of God all along. Yahweh did not make a mistake by choosing the Jews, as the denominational churches like to imagine. The Jews were never chosen in the first place. His plan was to use Jerusalem as the starting point for His glorification among the nations, as we have read in Isaiah, something which is also evident in Zechariah, Daniel, and others of the prophets. Judaea became a mixed race nation producing nothing but contention and strife, while the glorification of Yahweh was fulfilled when the nations of scattered Israel turned to Christ, who had been slain by His enemies in the midst of His own countrymen.
Here the priests are portrayed as having purposely profaned the temple by offering unworthy sacrifices, and again we would assert that the sacrifices are only being used as an analogy for the deeper problems found among the priesthood. Malachi continues where the Word of Yahweh repeats the charges against the priests in an exhortation:
13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.
The rhetorical question has already been answered, where Yahweh has already told them that He would not accept their offerings. Here the charges are merely being repeated, and while it is evident that they rather purposely profaned the sacrifices, the implication of the first clause seems to be that it was too burdensome for them to keep the law, and for that reason the priests have objected. So they purposely set aside the law and short-changed Yahweh in His offerings. And if the law was burdensome to keep in this respect, what more important matters of the law were the priests neglecting to keep, not wanting to be burdened? So we may see how it was that the Edomites and other Canaanites were so easily subsumed into the Judaean religion and culture only a few short centuries after Malachi, and no more than three hundreds years after if indeed Malachi wrote in the time of Ezra. We think it possible that he wrote a little later than that, even as late as the fourth century BC, but that is not really important.
14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen (nations).
Later in Malachi, namely at the end of chapter 4, it becomes evident that when we give our God His due we are blessed even more, and when we cheat our God we are cursed all the more. But ostensibly, those who would presume to cheat God do not really believe the Word of God, and have no place with him to begin with.
The deceiver here is he who purposely sacrifices the blemished animal, while holding back a healthy one. [Sounds just like something a Jew would do, attempting to short-change God as they short-change men in all of their transactions.] The priests disdained God, but they continued to act in a capacity as priests. So they were serving the temple with lip service, purposely going through the motions under a pretense of righteousness, ignoring the substance of the law and in all things they were operating for nothing but their own gain.
Later on, talking to their direct successors, Christ had said in the Gospel, in various places in Matthew chapter 23: “Woe to you, blind guides who say 'He who should swear by the temple, it is nothing. But he who should swear by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.' [so they had greater care for the gold] And 'He who should swear by the altar, it is nothing, but he who should swear by the gift upon it, he is obligated.' [having greater care for the gifts] … Because you give a tenth of the mint and anise and cumin, and neglect the weightier matters of the law: judgment and mercy and faith. Yet it is necessary to do these things, and not neglecting those others…. you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but the insides are filled from rapine and incontinence!… you are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outside, but inside are full of the bones of corpses and all uncleanness! Thusly indeed you also outside appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness!” Like the priests here in Malachi, Christ accused those of His Own time, where everything they did was done under a pretense of righteousness, and for their own gain.
But Christ also upbraided them and later in that same chapter had said: “33 Serpents! Race of vipers! How could you escape from the judgment of Gehenna? 34 For this reason, behold! I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes. Some of them you shall kill and crucify, and some of them you shall flog in your assembly halls and persecute from city to city! 35 Thusly should come upon you all the righteous blood poured out upon the earth, from the blood of the righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharios who had been murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this race!”
The priests who opposed Christ at Jerusalem had no opportunity to repent, and the priests being addressed by Malachi here have no such opportunity either. Now in chapter 2, the prophet will begin to make it evident as to why they were corrupt and why they could not repent. Yahshua Christ laid on them the blood of Abel, something which only the descendants of Cain could be accused of, and Malachi explains that here as well.
2:1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.
The first five verses of Malachi were relative to all of Israel. Then the prophet had addressed the priests throughout the balance of chapter 1, and now he addresses them anew here in chapter 2. This chapter explains how the behaviour of the priests has degenerated as Malachi had warned them in chapter 1:
2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
So while in chapter 1 it appeared as if they had no opportunity to repent, here it seems that they are indeed being challenged to do so. Ultimately we shall see that many of them had no such opportunity at all. This also happens frequently in Jeremiah in his many admonishments against Jerusalem. Evidently, this happens because many different admonishments by the prophets were recorded at divers times, and later collected into books. However in any event, here in Malachi chapter 2 we shall see why these priests ultimately could never repent.
Speaking of the failure of the priests to give glory to the name of Yahweh, the use of this name was forbidden by the priests some time within the inter-testamental period. This predicament is similar to the geresy of the trinity which we had mentioned earlier. It can be imagined, that using generic titles such as “Lord” or “God”, aliens can be comfortable with those titles because they can be used of any lord or god. When an alien refers to god, or even lord, he is not necessarily referring to the same entity as the God or Lord of Israel described in the Bible. Rather, in his own mind it is very likely that he has a different god or lord.
Flavius Josephus, probably writing his Antiquities of the Judaeans some time around 90 AD, had described the encounter of Moses with Yahweh at the burning bush, and said in part, in Book 2, “276 Whereupon God declared to him his holy name, which had never been revealed to men before; concerning which it is not lawful for me to say any more...” Ostensibly, this happened during the inter-testamental period, that the common use of the Name of Yahweh was forbidden by the priests. Therefore the apostles of Christ did not even use it, but had used the colloquial titles of the time. Christ had told them concerning such things, in that same chapter 23 of Matthew that “The scribes and the Pharisees sit upon the seat of Moses. Therefore all things whatever they should tell you, you do and you keep. But according to their deeds you do not do. For they say and do not do.” Now we can use that Name, because the scribes and Pharisees no longer sit on the seat of Moses.
But in any event, there were obviously many other ways by which the priests of the time had failed to give glory to God, for which the prophet has chastised them here. For that reason Yahweh says to them:
3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.
Christians can assert that all of the Jews of today who claim to be Kohanim are a corrupt seed, according to the prophet Malachi, and they should! The corruption of their seed was a punishment from Yahweh. That dung would be spread upon their faces is an analogy for the shame they would bear in future generations. This is how Christians should regard all those who deny Yahweh their God and His Christ today – as if they have dung spread upon their faces.
4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
If the offspring of the priests were going to be corrupted, and Yahweh says “ye shall know… that my covenant might be with Levi”, then the priests which the prophet addresses in this manner could not have been maintaining the tribal distinction of Levi, and the command for the tribe of the priests to remain separate. The priests of the time of Nehemiah and Ezra were Levites, who had several times already been chastised for their race-mixing fornication. The words of Malachi are prophetic – he is apparently addressing priests who were Levites, but in their race-mixing and their disdain for Yahweh their God, their seed would be corrupted as the result of their sin, and they would know from their sin that Yahweh’s covenant was with Levi, meaning that it could not be inherited by their own corrupted seed.
However, as it is recorded in Nehemiah chapter 7, right from the beginning of the return of Zerubbabel there was a problem with infiltration into the priesthood. So we read in chapter 7 of Nehemiah, where the 42,360 captives of those returning at that time were listed: “63 And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name. 64 These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.” This is repeated where the records also appear in Ezra chapter 2.
These priests whom Malachi censures had no fear of the name of Yahweh their God, and once their seed is corrupted, all hope of repentance is lost. Now they are contrasted to Levi where it says:
5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.
In chapter 1 Yahweh charged the priests and said “O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?” Then an analogy was made, that they despised His table and His altar, sacrificing upon it things unworthy to be sacrificed. Here the meaning of the analogy begins to unfold, as the priests themselves are warned that they will have corrupted seed.
Malachi must be speaking of priests of his own time, who are Levites and disdain the law of God, accepting the persons of the other races in communion and marriage as we had seen in Nehemiah chapter 13 and Ezra chapters 9 and 10. Then the result of their punishment is a prophecy that their seed, which are future generations of these same priests, shall be corrupted in their punishment.
In the remainder of this chapter, we shall see a further explanation and prophecy of the iniquity of the priests and people of Judaea which leads up to the time of Christ. There it shall be revealed that there is an even deeper and older cause for corruption amongst the people, which is also used as analogy for the destiny of Judaea itself.
Where the priests were not already Jews, they were certainly already Judaized – even long before the terms Jew and Judaized came to be associated with the concepts that they now describe.