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The Prophecy of Malachi – Part 3, Universalism Rebuked
In the opening verses of the prophet Malachi we see that Jacob and Esau are compared in an allegorical dialogue where Jacob is told that he is loved, and in turn he asks why while expressing a greater concern for Esau. We have asserted that this is prophetic of the very times in which we live, where Christians of European heritage, who are for the most part descended from the ancient Israelites, typically show greater concern for the accursed Edomite Jews than they do for their own people.
That is the transcendental, or far-vision fulfillment of this prophecy, as we have before described of the prophets of the Bible that many of their prophecies have a dual fulfillment, one for the closer future of the time of the prophet, and one for the distant future. We hope to have most clearly illustrated this phenomenon of prophecy in our commentary on the prophet Zechariah.
However, in order to set the stage for the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy, which today is right before our very eyes, there must have been an earlier and more immediate fulfillment. But the immediate fulfillment has a history which is not so clear, since perhaps as many as 300 years after the prophet had written these words, the remnant of Judah in Jerusalem thought it fitting to forcibly convert all of the Edomites in Palestine to their own religion, circumcising them and converting them into what had became known as Judaism. The Edomite King Herod later built many great cities throughout Palestine, and that seems to represent an immediate, albeit incomplete, fulfillment of the prophecy. However if the Edomites had not been infiltrating into or converting to Judaism, the later end of this prophecy we cannot imagine happening as it is before our very eyes, materializing in what we have termed as Christian Zionism.
Before 129 BC the Edomites were being driven out by the predecessors of John Hyrcanus, and their cities were burned. But a process of converting the Edomites to Judaism began around 129 BC, and it was fully completed within a few decades, long before the birth of Christ. By the time of His ministry these Edomites had already long dominated the society of Judaea, as the Herodian rulers who usurped power under the Romans were all Edomites. The early portion of this history of the Edomite absorption into Judaism is not so clear because with the coming of John Hyrcanus into the role of high priest, which is when it began, the accounts in the Books of the Maccabees end. There being no other records and Josephus not informing us – ostensibly because he had no records – we cannot know why such an anti-Scriptural policy came about, but only that it was implemented. We know the policy was implemented successfully because the expected results are recorded by both Flavius Josephus and Strabo of Cappadocia as well as by the New Testament writers, as we have already explained in earlier portions of this presentation of Malachi.
This process resulted in the formation of the modern Jews, who are of predominantly Edomite blood, who are the enemies of Christ whom Paul of Tarsus later described as those who had killed the Christ, killed the prophets, and were contrary to all men. As Christ had told them, “ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep”. But here we may ask, how did they kill the prophets? Now, as we proceed through Malachi chapter 2, we believe that question will also be answered.
After the brief dialogue between Yahweh and Jacob, and Jacob’s answer concerning Esau in chapter 1, the prophet began to address the priests, and here in chapter 2 he continues to address the priests, chastising them and promising to spread dung on their faces and corrupt their seed for their punishment. The King James translation is unclear, so we shall read verse 3 from the New American Standard Bible: “Behold, I am going to rebuke your offspring, and I will spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it.” The Septuagint Greek is also different, where Brenton reads it to say: “Behold, I turn my back upon you, and I will scatter dung upon your faces, the dung of your feasts, and I will carry you away at the same time.” But the reading is uncertain, since the Hexapla of Origen reveals that in ancient times the Greek manuscripts were also divided between the readings.
However, whether Yahweh had promised to corrupt the seed of the priests or not is immaterial. If He did, we would understand that to be a result of their sin tolerated by His permissive will. But it is evident not only from the testimonies in Nehemiah and Ezra, but also here in these chapters of Malachi, that the priests had been corrupting their own seed by marrying women from outside of their tribe and their race. This is also the reason which the prophet gives for this punishment, here in verses 4 and 5:
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. 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.
Now not all of the Levites were priests, but the priests were the Levites of the descendants of Aaron, and the balance of the tribe of Levi were given other administrative duties in the kingdom outside of the service of rituals in the temple. So none of the Levites had land of their own, and all of the Levites served the community in its administration, therefore they all lived from tithes. However the priests were held to the highest standards in the law, and lived specifically off of the sacrifices, tithes offerings and other gifts which were made to the temple.
While the men of all of the other tribes of Israel were permitted, for instance, to marry a divorced woman of any tribe of Israel, the priestly tribe amongst the Levites were prohibited. So we read in Leviticus chapter 21 the following: “1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron….” and then after several injunctions we read: “7 They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God. 8 Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy. 9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. 10 And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes; 11 Neither shall he go in to [or approach] any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother; 12 Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD. 13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.” As we have already read, this was also commanded of all the priests earlier in the chapter. Other injunctions follow, but these were the restrictions placed upon the Levitical priests in order to ensure the sanctity of the priesthood, and especially the office of high priest.
Here in Malachi, where the punishment of the priests is announced where it says “that my covenant might be with Levi”, the priests are told that their punishment is due because they forsook these laws of marriage, and had begun taking wives of other tribes. It makes no sense that Yahweh punished them so that they know “that my covenant might be with Levi” unless they were indeed marrying outside of their own tribe. They were actually tending towards this sin on several occasions, as they had in the days of Nehemiah when they were given opportunity to repent, and then they did it again only a few decades later in the time of Ezra, and had apparently repented once again. And if this is not the time of Ezra chapter 10, as it is possibly even later, this time they are being cursed, and as the prophet had written in verse 3 of this chapter, dung will be spread upon their faces and their seed will be corrupted if they continue in this transgression.
As an organized group, it seems that all hope is lost for the priesthood, as in chapter 1 of Malachi the Word of Yahweh had announced that His Name would be glorified among the nations in spite of these sins of the priests. But here it seems that individuals from among the priests are given a chance to remain in the grace of God, where it says in verse 2 that “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...” Now in the subsequent verses of this chapter of Malachi we shall see the fate of the priests who disobey the law in this regard, and we will also see a parable for what was about to happen to the 70-Weeks Kingdom as the remnant of Judah was destined to mingle with the Canaanites and Edomites of Palestine.
First, the words of the prophet continue to describe Yahweh’s relationship with Levi:
6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
This seems to be more descriptive of the tribe of the Levites than it is of Levi himself, as the names of the patriarchs are used in Malachi to represent the tribes of their descendants. Here this view is substantiated:
7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
Levi himself never received the law, but his descendants received it and were given the responsibility of administering it to the people. During the Kingdom period, the priesthood of Aaron was the chosen vessel through which Yahweh spoke to His people, they possessed the breastplate of judgment, the Urim and the Thummim, and they were the primary keepers and teachers of the law, while the Levites of the various communities throughout the countryside also had a role in that task at the weekly sabbath congregations and where they served as judges of the people. Most of the prophets of Scripture did not mention their tribe, but many of those which can be identified were of Levi. Daniel and Amos are apparent exceptions, and of course David and Solomon, who should also both be accounted as prophets.
Malachi compares the ideal presented to the priests who are the subject of his prophecy, and we must remember that since this is a prophecy, the priests he intends to describe may be his contemporaries, but they may also be in his future:
8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
So once again it is stated that the covenant of priesthood between Yahweh and Levi was corrupted, ostensibly because the priests were mingling with the surrounding Canaanite races. Where Yahweh had said in verse 5 “that my covenant might be with Levi”, it is fully evident that the priests were being punished for attempting to allow people who were not of Levi into the priestly covenant. Even worse, causing many to “stumble at the law”, it seems that the priests were condoning other sins beyond this, and beyond the priesthood.
While the special relationship which Yahweh had with Levi began to develop in the Book of Exodus, and was apparent throughout the Book of Numbers, it is summarized in Deuteronomy chapter 10: “8 At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day. 9 Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him.” This is representative of the covenant which Yahweh had with Levi.
Where the warning of punishment continues, it seems to indicate that a process is about to unfold by which these priests would fall into a degraded and contemptible state:
9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.
There is a little noticed aspect of the New Testament period of Judaea which indicates that the people did hold the priesthood in contempt. We see, for instance, in the book of Ezekiel or in Acts chapter 16 in Philippi, that where there was no proper assembly, the Hebrew people were accustomed to gathering by the rivers to pray. So if the first century Judaeans distrusted the priests in their temples and synagogues, that would explain why John the Baptist, and later Christ and His apostles, were so successful finding willing listeners by the rivers of Judaea.
The prophecy of Malachi represents the last words of Yahweh God among those which were preserved in the Old Testament, and demonstrably they are the last of the inspired words of Yahweh between the time that the 70-Weeks Kingdom was initiated and the time of the birth of Christ. So the Levitical priesthood as it stands in the New Testament must be seen through this lens, that the priests of the time of Christ were suffering from this very punishment which Yahweh had announced through the prophet Malachi.
Therefore, if over four hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Word of Yahweh had warned the priests that “I will even send a curse upon you… I will corrupt your seed [or perhaps, turn my back upon you], and spread dung upon your faces… and I will carry you away at the same time.”, and then four centuries later these same priests had despised and opposed the very Messiah which was promised to them in the Scriptures, and if in turn that Messiah informs them that “ye are not of my sheep,” because the priestly covenant was with Levi, then it is not hard to perceive that the priests who opposed Christ must have been the corrupted seed of these same cursed priests, as they were the descendants of these priests.
And if the seed of the priests was to a great extent corrupted, and the whole nation joined to the Edomites and Canaanites, we cannot expect better of the seed of the people – many of whom the priests themselves had “caused… to stumble at the law”. The priests, being partial in the law, were not keeping the whole law but were choosing for themselves what to adhere to and what to neglect, just as Christ had accused them throughout the Gospel of hypocritically pretending to keep the law.
What follows in verse 10 of this chapter is an allegorical dialogue representing the results of their hypocrisy, where the Word of Yahweh attributes to these same priests rhetorical questions which asks:
10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
And here in Malachi we actually have a prophecy of the very dispute which became manifest in the ministry of Christ. This prophecy in Malachi presages the events recorded in the Gospel in John chapter 8, where we see a lengthy exchange of words between Christ and His opponents, who were chiefly from among the priests, and He says “32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” So we read their response: “33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” The children of Israel throughout their history had admitted their bondage, first in Egypt and then in Assyria and Babylon. These priests did not seem to understand the history to which they claimed a heritage, or that they had no part in. Even the Edomites were in bondage to the kings of Judah for many centuries, as were the remnants of the Canaanites, but these priests seem oblivious in any event.
A little later on in John 8, Christ admits that they are descendants of Abraham, and He tells them: “37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.” The Edomites were of Abraham’s seed, as well as the children of Ishmael, Keturah, and all three of Judah’s sons, and while all of them are children of the flesh, that does not make them all the children of the promise. For instance, in Romans chapter 9 where he is speaking of the apostates in Judaea, Paul of Tarsus expresses concern for his “kinsmen according to the flesh”, for those “who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises”, and then he says “6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel”, and immediately after that, comparing Jacob and Esau, Paul explains for us the implications of what we find in the histories of Josephus and Strabo, that the Edomites became mingled with the Judaeans and had adopted all of the customs and identity of the Judaeans.
In this manner, Christ could admit that they were Abraham’s seed, and then He could deny that they are His sheep. Paul says likewise in that same chapter of Romans: “7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” So of all the sons of Abraham, which include the children of Ishmael and Midian, only the sons of Isaac are counted for the seed, and in that same place Paul immediately goes on to explain that of the children of Isaac, that only those of Jacob inherited the promises, being vessels of mercy, while those of Esau were hated, being vessels of destruction. Doing that, Paul cites this very prophecy of Malachi, repeating the Word of Yahweh where it says “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” So while the Ishmaelites, Edomites and others of the children of Abraham are children of the flesh, only the children of Israel are the children of the promise who, as Paul says, “are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises…”
Then in the next passage of John chapter 8, where Christ admits they are of the seed of Abraham, Christ denies them any status as children of God, where He said: “38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 Ye do the deeds of your father….” So while the opponents of Christ may have been physical descendants of Abraham, at least in part, they were not actually Abraham’s children. Reading the accounts of Jacob and Esau, the only thing that Esau had done which displeased his parents was to take wives of the Hittites.
This is described in the closing passage of Genesis chapter 26: “34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.” This is such a dire situation, Esau being the oldest of the two sons, that it is described again in the exasperation of Rebekah which is recorded in the closing passage of Genesis chapter 27: “46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?”
For this Rebekah arranged for Jacob receive the blessing of the first born instead of Esau, and after her deception, Isaac approved of what had happened, where we then read in the opening passage of Genesis chapter 28: “1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 2 Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. 3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; 4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.”
In the end it is fully evident that Esau lost his birthright for the sole reason that he married wives from outside of his own race, and selling it to Jacob for a bowl of porridge really only commemorated the loss. Paul of Tarsus substantiates this observation in Hebrews chapter 12, where he calls Esau a “fornicator, or profane person”, the word fornicator being a label for a race-mixer. In 1 Corinthians chapter 10 Paul called the episode where the sons of Israel joined themselves to the daughters of Moab fornication, and in Jude 7 the apostle describes fornication as the “going after of strange flesh”, where the word strange refers to different flesh. The Biblical requirement for proper marriage is found in Genesis chapter 2, where Adam had no suitable wife and Yahweh created Eve: “23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
In the balance of John 8:41, after Christ had denied them status as children of God, the priests protested and it says: “Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” So here we see the very historical fulfillment of this prophecy of Malachi where we read in Malachi 2:10, after the priests had transgressed against the law and the covenant of Levi: “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?” Being mixed with the Edomites and Canaanites, they were indeed born of fornication, but did not recognize it because they were partial in the law.
The questions of Malachi 2:10 are rhetorical, and unless one understands rhetoric, he may take an assumed but incorrect answer for granted. This is what most commentators do with this verse. But the questions are answered in Malachi 2:11, where it says that Judah married the daughter of a strange god. There is the answer of Yahweh, that we do not have one father, and one God has not created all of us. As Christ told His opponents, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.” Therefore there must be people here which Yahweh did not create. Certainly Yahweh created all things – all of those things which are described in Genesis chapter 1 – but He is not to be held liable for the sins of men and angels, and He did not create bastards. So Malachi chapter 2 is a complete rebuke of universalism, once it is seen in its proper light along with the words of Christ in John chapter 8.
The truth is, that God was not their father, and that God did not create them, ostensibly because they must have been bastards, as all of the Edomites and Canaanites were bastards. So Christ rebukes them again where we next read in John chapter 8: “42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
The only “murderer from the beginning” was Cain, and to be children of this murderer, the opponents of Christ must have been descendants of Cain as well as of Abraham. It is not that they worshipped Cain, or sinned in the manner of Cain, but rather that they were the children of Cain – an accusation which Christ repeated in Luke chapter 11. For these first century Judaeans, there were two main avenues by which this could be, and we have only discussed one of them, while in verse 12 of Malachi chapter 2 the Word of God shall reveal the other, an avenue which is much older and even more treacherous because it strikes much closer to the substance of many of these people of Judah, and was not as readily evident even to them.
In the early chapters of Genesis, it is described that Cain moved to a region away from the sons of Adam, and built cities and had children, who were later known as the Kenites. They are described in Genesis chapter 4 and mentioned again in Genesis chapter 15. In that later chapter, we see ten tribes living in the land of Canaan: “19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” Of these, the Kenizzites, Kadmonites and Perizzites have no prior mention in Scripture, they are not in the genealogies of Noah, and it is unknown where they could have come from. Some of the others are significant branches of the Canaanites, but the Canaanites and Perizzites – who are not mentioned in Genesis chapter 10 – are distinguished in Genesis chapter 13, so the Perizzites certainly seem to be of some unknown race or racial admixture. Later, as these accursed peoples are enumerated in Joshua, some of these names disappear and others appear, but the people are still the same, and in the Biblical narrative the Kenites and Rephaim are still present in the land at those much later times, being mentioned often, and in other contexts.
The Kenites are the descendants of Cain, and the Rephaim are a portion of the giants. These Kenites and Rephaim had been intermingling with the seed of Canaan for as many as ten centuries before the Israelite conquest of Palestine, as long as five hundred years before the time of Abraham, when the land was divided in the days of Peleg. Examples of the Rephaim are Og of Bashan, and Goliath and his brothers, so this is not a singular allusion, but must rather be accepted as a Biblically historical fact. Ostensibly, in early times they spread out into other places as well, since these same Rephaim giants are ubiquitous in the legends of Mesopotamia, and are described with origins very similar to the Nephilim of Genesis chapter 6, from whom the Rephaim had descended. So when Esau married into the race of the Canaanites, he was marrying the daughters of bastards from the line of Cain and the Rephaim, and that is how Christ had quite confidently told His opponents that their father was a “murderer from the beginning”, a label which can only be applied to Cain.
Yahweh God does not accept bastards as His children, as He did not create bastards, and the children of Cain and the Rephaim are all ostensibly bastards, for which reason Esau lost his birthright as all of his offspring were mixed with them. So it is evident here in Malachi, and in John chapter 8, that all men do not have the same father, and neither do they have the same God. But Judah also married a woman of the race of Canaan, from whom came one of his sons, and we read in the very next passage of Malachi another explanation of the reasons for the sin of the priests. But before we proceed to Malachi 2:11, we have a few other comments.
None of the four different King James Version Bibles which we have in our possession connects these verses of Malachi 2:10 and John 8:41 in their cross-references, yet this prophecy in Malachi was directly and clearly fulfilled in the discourse which Christ had with his opponents among the priests as it is recorded in John. Where Yahweh said that His Name would be glorified in spite of the priests, in Malachi chapter 1, and that He would turn His back on the priests here and have them taken away, all of that was fulfilled in the ministry of Christ, the destruction of Jerusalem along with the temple and the Levitical priesthood, and the transmission of the Gospel to scattered Israel by the apostles of Christ.
But the Study Bible we have from Liberty University fails to connect these verses, as do the Thompson’s Chain Reference Bible, the Bullinger Companion Bible, and the original King James Version cross-reference found in the popular Zondervan and Thomas Nelson Bibles of the past century. Matthew Henry not only fails to connect these passages, but even says in response to Malachi 2:10 that “Yes, certainly we are. God is a common Father to all mankind, and, upon that account, all we are brethren”, and his assessment borders on the criminal. Matthew Henry is directly refuted by the words of Christ Himself in John chapter 8. This passage of Malachi contains 3 rhetorical questions, the first two of which Yahshua Christ answers over four hundred years later, and the answer to both is a resounding “NO”. We do not all have one father, and Yahweh will not take the credit, or the blame, for creating bastards. Then the answer to the third question, as well as the proof of our assessment of the first two, is provided by Malachi here in verse 11, proving that our assessment of his first two questions is correct:
11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.
And here it is proven, that we do not have all one father, and one God has not created all of us. Verse 11 answers the rhetorical questions posed in verse 10. Matthew Henry is one example of the many commentators who readily dismiss the meaning of this passage as a reference to idolatry, but that is not what Christ is saying in John chapter 8, and it is not what Malachi is saying here. Man is not created in the god that he chooses to worship, but rather, the Adamic man was created by the God whom for that very reason he should worship. The children of Israel were still the children of God even in their state of idolatry. In their idolatry they were never considered to be the children of any strange god, so long as they were still of the seed of Israel, but instead they were children of Yahweh who were being punished for their sins. One place where this is evident is in an address to the scattered children of Israel who had gone off into captivity, from Isaiah chapter 43, where we read “1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.… 5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
And we then see from Isaiah chapter 44 that the children of Israel were not formed and created in their beliefs, but rather, in the womb of Rebekah their mother. So immediately after the Word of Yahweh once again describes their idolatry in false idols and graven images, He says: “21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. 22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee… for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel. 24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself...”
If Adam was the son of God even in his fallen state, as Luke attests in chapter 3 of his Gospel, then Adam is the son of God because God created him, and not because of his obedience – since he remained the son of God at the time when he fathered Seth and in spite of his disobedience. And if the children of Israel are still the children of God in their idolatry, as we have seen attested in Isaiah, then the reference to God as the Father and Creator here in Malachi and later in John chapter 8 is not religious, but it is racial, since the Israelites were wholly descended from Adam and Seth, but the Edomites and Canaanites were partially descended from Cain, who was a devil, and partially from the Rephaim. That is the reason why the genealogies in both Old and New Testaments are so important in the first place.
And if the reference to the sin of Judah is the answer to the question “Have we not all one father?”, and if the reference to the sin of Judah is the answer to the question “hath not one God created us?”, once it is seen that Judah took a wife of the Canaanites, for which reason she was the “daughter of a strange god”, we see that this is a racial reference, and not a religious one. There is no indication in Scripture as to what god Judah’s wife had worshipped, so this cannot be a reference to idolatry. But there is every reason to believe that she was a bastard, and therefore the people of Judah were not all of one god, and they did not all have the same father. Furthermore, the sin of Judah also explains why, at the time of which Malachi prophecies, the people are depicted to say, “we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers”. As the Greek poet Aeschylus once said, the bastard is always the enemy of the true born. In that same manner did Cain despise and murder Abel, which was at the beginning, and in that same manner Christ said that they sought to kill him, because they did the deeds of their father who was a murderer from the beginning.
Furthermore, if at least some of the priests who mingled with the Edomites and Canaanites were not truly Levites in the first place, that would explain the reason for the attitudes of the people which are reported by the prophet, that there are such divisions in the priesthood. And here is the root of the problem, because Judah had “married the daughter of a strange god”. Judah’s first wife was a Canaanite, with whom he had three sons, a story which is related in Genesis chapter 38. Ostensibly, on account of the promises to his father, Yahweh had mercy upon Judah even though he sinned after the manner of Esau, upon whom Yahweh did not have mercy. Paul also mentioned this difference in the mercy dispensed by God in his comparison of Jacob and Esau in Romans chapter 9. So Judah himself is a primary example of a vessel of mercy in Israel.
So while Esau had no legitimate children and therefore lost his birthright, Yahweh had put it in the heart of Tamar to deceive Judah, and taking advantage of Judah’s own incontinence Tamar mothered Pharez and Zarah, who were Judah’s only legitimate sons. However one of the sons which he had with the Canaanitess had survived, Shelah, and the tribe of the Shelanites remained attached to the legitimate descendants of Judah in Palestine. So we read in the kingdom period, in 1 Chronicles chapter 4: “21 The sons of Shelah the son of Judah were, Er the father of Lecah, and Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the families of the house of them that wrought fine linen, of the house of Ashbea, 22 And Jokim, and the men of Chozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who had the dominion in Moab, and Jashubilehem. And these are ancient things. 23 These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work.” But they really did not live among plants and hedges, as the King James Version mistook the names of two towns literally, which were Netaim and Gedarah, which is mentioned as a town of Judah in Joshua 15:36.
We can also discern that Shelah was not considered a legitimate son, regardless of his being attached to Judah. This is found in the account of the birth of Pharez and Zarah recorded at the end of Genesis chapter 38, where it was evidently important to mark the eldest born of the twins and distinguish the order of birthright. So when the later kings of Israel were chosen, as well as the line of the Messiah, Pharez had the primacy and not Shelah, who was only a relative footnote in 1 Chronicles chapter 4. The sons of Shelah were not even mentioned by name in the genealogy of Judah in 1 Chronicles chapter 2, although the sons of Pharez and Zarah were both listed in detail, so it is seen that they were not assigned the same degree of importance. In the genealogy of Christ in Matthew, both Pharez and Zarah are mentioned even though Zarah was not in the line, and there is no mention of Shelah. However it is clear in the ancient history of Judah, that the Shelanites, as his descendants are called in the King James Version, were always in proximity to the legitimate children of Judah in Palestine.
For this reason, many of those claiming to be Judah were not, because they were not of Zarah or Pharez, but they were of the seed of Canaan. Another complication was the fact that the Kenites were scribes in Judah, as it says in 1 Chronicles chapter 2. Daniel makes such a distinction, in Susanna at verse 56, where upon finding certain elders of Judah to be spurious, he exclaims in reference to them upon their presenting false witness: “56 So he put him aside, and commanded to bring the other, and said unto him, O thou seed of Chanaan, and not of Juda, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust hath perverted thine heart. 57 Thus have ye dealt with the daughters of Israel, and they for fear companied with you: but the daughter of Juda would not abide your wickedness.” So Daniel alludes to the fact that these Canaanite interlopers in Judah were of a particular group of infiltrators who had been corrupting or attempting to corrupt the people for a long time.
The prophet Jeremiah, in chapter 2 of his book, attributes the sins of Israel and Judah to the same causes, where we read in part: “13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.... 21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? 22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.” So they had sinned in a manner whereby they could not be cleansed of their sin. Perhaps some genetic dung was spread upon their faces. The prophet Ezekiel also noticed this problem, and put it in more explicit terms where he wrote in chapter 16 of his book: “3 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.” This would indeed be true if many of the people of Jerusalem at that time were indeed the seed of Canaan, and not of Judah, as Daniel attested were present.
This is the mystery of iniquity in Judah and in Israel. These Canaanites that they accepted in ancient times were forever the “thorns in their eyes” and the “pricks in their sides” which Yahweh warned them that they would be. The apostle Jude describes this method of infiltration and subversion in his one short epistle, as does Peter in chapter 2 of his second epistle. That is why, speaking of the priests of His Own time, who were of Esau and Canaan and not of Jacob, as it is recorded in Luke chapter 11 Christ had said “49 For this reason also the wisdom of Yahweh says: 'I shall send to them prophets and ambassadors, and some of them they shall kill and they shall persecute', 50 in order that the blood of all the prophets spilled from the foundation of the Society should be required from this race, 51 from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias who was killed between the altar and the house. Yeah, I say to you, it shall be required from this race!” Only the race of Cain can be blamed for the blood of Abel, and it was ever present in Jerusalem and the cities of Israel in the Old Kingdom.
12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.
This evokes the words of Christ as they are recorded in Luke chapter 13, in a passage which in turn evokes the children of Israel taken into captivity for idolatry, who nevertheless remained the children of God: “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. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.”
Speaking in reference to those same priests who plotted to kill Christ, the apostle John wrote in chapter 11 of his Gospel: “49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.” But although the priest had said such things, the actual perspective he had was to save the nation for the priests, fearing that on account of Christ they would have the nation taken from them by the Romans, as John explained in verse 48 of that chapter.
The children of God scattered abroad are the very same children of Israel sent off into captivity and addressed by Isaiah as the sons and daughters of Yahweh in spite of their idolatry. So we see also here, that they remained children of God even when they had not yet been reconciled to Christ. So Paul of Tarsus speaks of those same children of God in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, where he said “18 Behold Israel after the flesh [or according to the flesh]: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?… 20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” Paul was calling the people of the nations of Europe, the so-called Gentiles, whom the Corinthians could behold, “Israel after the flesh” because they were the captive children of God scattered abroad, even though they were caught up in idolatry.
But Judah took as a wife “the daughter of a strange god”, a woman who was not of the race of Adam, and here Malachi warns that those of Judaea who had done what Judah also did, by accepting the seed of Canaan and committing fornication with them, their children are bastards and they will be cut off forever. Several centuries later, Christ informs us that the sacrifices of these bastard priests who contended with Him are never accepted, He said He did not know where they were from, and they are doomed regardless of their presumed piety or their apparent good deeds.
So Malachi continues in relation to Judah’s having married “the daughter of a strange god” and he says:
13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.
Repeating the accusation found in verse 11: “Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.”
Now Malachi says: This they have done again. They did it in the days of Nehemiah, they did it in the days of Ezra, and here this may be the third time they have done it – unless Malachi refers to the events of Ezra chapter 10, which is a possibility as he apparently speaks of their remorse. If the repentance described in Ezra was not accepted by Yahweh, then we have no indication from Ezra himself, although it is still a possibility.
In any event, the priests of the second temple in Jerusalem committed fornication and race-mixed, and that is the reason for their rejection in the time of Christ. That rejection was mutual. Christ had rejected them just as they rejected Christ, and they had no hope of repentance, as we read in John chapter 10, “25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
This prophecy of Malachi is a notice as to why the priests were rejected. But as we have also said before, the names of the patriarchs in this prophecy are being used to represent the tribes themselves. So at the same time, Malachi is prophesying of what is to become of the 70-weeks nation, that as Judah joined himself to a Canaanite , the nation in turn was to marry the daughter of a strange god, and absorb the Canaanites of Judaea into their polity. That is precisely what began to happen in 129 BC. The people whom we now know as Jews are those whom He said were not His sheep, and who for that reason had rejected Him, because they are Edomites and Canaanites, and they are all bastards.
As a digression, Judah was promised the scepter in the prophetic words of Jacob recorded in Genesis chapter 49. However nowhere is the ultimate sovereignty of God more evident than in the life of Judah and the history of His tribe. Because all of Israel shall be saved, Yahweh used Judah’s incontinence not only to assure that there would be twelve tribes in Israel, but also to assure that the enemies of God would ultimately be those held responsible for the murder of God, the crucifixion of the Christ, and all of the prophets before Him. The children of Israel are not without guilt, but His enemies will ultimately not be granted mercy. In this, universalism is rebuked, because all of Israel shall be saved, but no bastard or child of a strange god will ever be accounted with Israel.