A Warning to the Priests
1 “And now this decree is for you, O priests:
2 If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to honor My name,” says the LORD of Hosts, “I will send a curse among you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already begun to curse them, because you are not taking it to heart.
4 Then you will know that I have sent you this commandment so that My covenant with Levi may continue,” says the LORD of Hosts. 5 “My covenant with him was one of life and peace, which I gave to him; it called for reverence, and he revered Me and stood in awe of My name.
6 True instruction was in his mouth, and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. 7 For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the LORD of Hosts.
8 But you have departed from the way, and your instruction has caused many to stumble. You have violated the covenant of Levi,” says the LORD of Hosts. 9 “So I in turn have made you despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not kept My ways, but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”
10 Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us? Why then do we break faith with one another so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?
11 Judah has broken faith; an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the LORD’s beloved sanctuary by marrying the daughter of a foreign god. 12 As for the man who does this, may the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob everyone who is awake and aware—even if he brings an offering to the LORD of Hosts.
13 And this is another thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and groaning, because He no longer regards your offerings or receives them gladly from your hands.
14 Yet you ask, “Why?”
It is because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have broken faith, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
15 Has not the LORD made them one, having a portion of the Spirit? And why one? Because He seeks godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
16 “For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “He who divorces his wife covers his garment with violence,” b says the LORD of Hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit and do not break faith.
17 You have wearied the LORD with your words; yet you ask, “How have we wearied Him?”
By saying, “All who do evil are good in the sight of the LORD, and in them He delights,” or, “Where is the God of justice?”
3 a Or I will blight your grain
16 b Or “For the man who hates his wife and divorces her,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “covers his garment with violence,”