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Wesley's Notes on the Bible
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,
1:2 Loved you - Both personally considered and relatively, in progenitors. Us - Who have been captives, and groaned under it all our days 'till of late. Was not Esau - Did not one father beget them, and one mother bear them? I loved Jacob - I preferred him to the birthright, and this of free love. I loved his person, and his posterity.
3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
1:3 I hated - I loved not Esau's posterity as I loved Jacob's. His heritage - Mount Seir with the neighbouring mountains. Waste - By Nebuchadnezzar's arms five years after the sacking of Jerusalem, and whereas Jacob's captivity returned, and their cities were rebuilt, Esau's never were. The dragons - Creatures which delight in desolate places, by which the utter desolation of Esau is signified.
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.
1:4 Throw down - So he did in the times of the Maccabees. The border of wickedness - They will be a most wicked people, and so notorious, that all their neighbours shall brand them for it. Hath indignation - They will so highly provoke God, that his indignation will be kindled against them for ever.
5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.
1:5 From the border of Israel - Let Israel from all his borders give God praise.
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?
1:6 O priests - Had undutifulness been found among the ignorant people, it might have been a little excusable. But you, O priests, whose business is to know me, have like Eli's sons despised me yourselves, and made others do so too.
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.
1:7 Bread - Either the meal - offerings, or rather in a more large sense, all sacrifices and oblations. Ye say - Perhaps in words; at least your deeds speak your thoughts. The table - This comprehends all that was offered to God.
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? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.
1:8 Evil - Is it not against the express command of God.
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.
1:9 I pray you - O priests. Beseech - Intercede with God for his sinful people. This - This contempt of God.
10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
1:11 Incense - A law term for a gospel duty, and under this type are contained the prayers and praises, nay, the whole gospel - worship. A pure offering - Both sincere, in opposition to hypocrisy, and holy, in opposition to impurity, superstition and idolatry.
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.
1:12 But ye - O priests! And the people by your examples. Ye say - By your deportment. Is polluted - Not a sacred thing. His meat - Either the meat which fell to the priest's share, or the portion which was laid upon the altar.
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.
1:13 What a weariness - What a toil and drudgery to observe every point of the law. This - With such minds snuffing at my service, and with such sacrifices, unfit for mine altar.
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.
1:14 The deceiver - The hypocrite that would seem to offer a sacrifice of the best, but puts God off with the worst. A male - A perfect male, such as God requireth.