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3Malachi

1 Look, I am sending my messenger my messenger: Heb Malachi who will clear a path before me. Suddenly the Lord whom you seek will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight is here, here already, says the LORD of Hosts.

 
2 Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand firm when he appears? He is like a refiner's fire, like fuller's soap;

 
3 he will take his seat, refining and purifying prob. rdg, Heb adds silver; he will purify the Levites and cleanse them like gold and silver, and so they shall be fit to bring offerings to the LORD.

 
4 Thus the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasing to the LORD as they were in days of old, in years long past.  
5 I will appear before you in court, prompt to testify against sorcerers, adulterers, and perjurers, against those who wrong prob. rdg, Heb adds the wages of the hired labourer, the widow, and the orphan, who thrust the alien aside and have no fear of me, says the LORD of Hosts.  
6 I am the LORD, unchanging; and you, too, have not ceased to be sons of Jacob.

Payment of tithes. Mal.3.6-12
7 From the days of your forefathers you have been wayward and have not kept my laws. If you will return to me, I will return to you, says the LORD of Hosts. You ask, 'How can we return?'  
8 May man defraud God, that you defraud me? You ask, 'How have we defrauded thee?' Why, in tithes and contributions.  
9 There is a curse, a curse on you all, the whole nation of you, because you defraud me.  
10 Bring the tithes into the treasury, all of them; let there be food in my house. Put me to the proof, says the LORD of Hosts, and see if I do not open windows in the sky and pour a blessing on you as long as there is need.  
11 I will forbid pests to destroy the produce of your soil or make your vines barren, says the LORD of Hosts.  
12 All nations shall count you happy, for yours shall be a favoured land, says the LORD of Hosts.  
13 YOU HAVE USED HARD WORDS ABOUT ME, says the LORD, and then you ask, 'How have we spoken against thee?'

God's promise of mercy. Mal.3.13-18
14 You have said, 'It is useless to serve God; what do we gain from the LORD of Hosts by observing his rules and behaving with deference?  
15 We ourselves count the arrogant happy; it is evildoers who are successful; they have put God to the proof and come to no harm.'  
16 Then those who feared the LORD talked together, and the LORD paid heed and listened. A record was written before him of those who feared him and kept his name in mind.

 
17 They shall be mine, says the LORD of Hosts, my own possession against the day that I appoint, and I will spare them as a man spares the son who serves him.  
18 You will again tell good men from bad, the servant of God from the man who does not serve him.  
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