Malachi - Chapter 2

1And now, O Kohanim, this charge is for you:

אוְעַתָּה אֲלֵיכֶם הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת הַכֹּהֲנִים׃

2Unless you obey and unless you lay it to heart, and do honor to My name—said the lord of Hosts—I will send a curse and turn your blessings into curses. (Indeed, I have turned them into curses, because you do not lay it to heart.)

באִם־לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ וְאִם־לֹא תָשִׂימוּ עַל־לֵב לָתֵת כָּבוֹד לִשְׁמִי אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת וְשִׁלַּחְתִּי בָכֶם אֶת־הַמְּאֵרָה וְאָרוֹתִי אֶת־בִּרְכוֹתֵיכֶם וְגַם אָרוֹתִיהָ כִּי אֵינְכֶם שָׂמִים עַל־לֵב׃

3I will put your seed under a ban, and I will strew dung upon your faces, the dung of your festal sacrifices, and you shall be carried out to its [heap].

גהִנְנִי גֹעֵר לָכֶם אֶת־הַזֶּרַע וְזֵרִיתִי פֶרֶשׁ עַל־פְּנֵיכֶם פֶּרֶשׁ חַגֵּיכֶם וְנָשָׂא אֶתְכֶם אֵלָיו׃

4Know, then, that I have sent this charge to you that My covenant with Levi may endure—said the lord of Hosts.

דוִידַעְתֶּם כִּי שִׁלַּחְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם אֵת הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת לִהְיוֹת בְּרִיתִי אֶת־לֵוִי אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת׃

5I had with him a covenant of life and well-being, which I gave to him, and of reverence, which he showed Me. For he stood in awe of My name.

הבְּרִיתִי הָיְתָה אִתּוֹ הַחַיִּים וְהַשָּׁלוֹם וָאֶתְּנֵם־לוֹ מוֹרָא וַיִּירָאֵנִי וּמִפְּנֵי שְׁמִי נִחַת הוּא׃

6Proper rulings were in his mouth, And nothing perverse was on his lips; He served Me with complete loyalty And held the many back from iniquity.

ותּוֹרַת אֱמֶת הָיְתָה בְּפִיהוּ וְעַוְלָה לֹא־נִמְצָא בִשְׂפָתָיו בְּשָׁלוֹם וּבְמִישׁוֹר הָלַךְ אִתִּי וְרַבִּים הֵשִׁיב מֵעָוׂן׃

7For the lips of a Kohen guard knowledge, And men seek rulings from his mouth; For he is a messenger of the lord of Hosts.

kee sif-TAY kho-HAYN yish-m'-ru DA-at v'-to-RAH y'-vak-SHU mi-PEE-hu KEE mal-AKH a-do-nai tz'-va-OT HU

זכִּי־שִׂפְתֵי כֹהֵן יִשְׁמְרוּ־דַעַת וְתוֹרָה יְבַקְשׁוּ מִפִּיהוּ כִּי מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה־צְבָאוֹת הוּא׃

2:7  For the lips of a Kohen guard knowledge

Malachi explains that the priests’ responsibilities extend beyond service in the Beit Hamikdash to include teaching Hashem’s law to the people. Knowledge is not just conveyed; it is guarded and preserved so that the message is transmitted faithfully. That can be done only if the Kohanim themselves are men of integrity and truth. Just as water can be contaminated if kept in a rusty container, God’s teaching must be protected and spread by men about whom it can be said “nothing perverse was on his lips; he served Me with complete loyalty” (verse 6).

8But you have turned away from that course: You have made the many stumble through your rulings; you have corrupted the covenant of the Leviim—said the lord of Hosts.

חוְאַתֶּם סַרְתֶּם מִן־הַדֶּרֶךְ הִכְשַׁלְתֶּם רַבִּים בַּתּוֹרָה שִׁחַתֶּם בְּרִית הַלֵּוִי אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת׃

9And I, in turn, have made you despicable and vile in the eyes of all the people, because you disregard My ways and show partiality in your rulings.

טוְגַם־אֲנִי נָתַתִּי אֶתְכֶם נִבְזִים וּשְׁפָלִים לְכָל־הָעָם כְּפִי אֲשֶׁר אֵינְכֶם שֹׁמְרִים אֶת־דְּרָכַי וְנֹשְׂאִים פָּנִים בַּתּוֹרָה׃

10Have we not all one Father? Did not one Hashem create us? Why do we break faith with one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors?

יהֲלוֹא אָב אֶחָד לְכֻלָּנוּ הֲלוֹא אֵל אֶחָד בְּרָאָנוּ מַדּוּעַ נִבְגַּד אִישׁ בְּאָחִיו לְחַלֵּל בְּרִית אֲבֹתֵינוּ׃

11Yehuda has broken faith; abhorrent things have been done in Yisrael and in Yerushalayim. For Yehuda has profaned what is holy to Hashem—what He desires—and espoused daughters of alien gods.

יאבָּגְדָה יְהוּדָה וְתוֹעֵבָה נֶעֶשְׂתָה בְיִשְׂרָאֵל וּבִירוּשָׁלָ ִם כִּי חִלֵּל יְהוּדָה קֹדֶשׁ יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב וּבָעַל בַּת־אֵל נֵכָר׃

12May Hashem leave to him who does this no descendants dwelling in the tents of Yaakov and presenting offerings to the lord of Hosts.

יביַכְרֵת יְהֹוָה לָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂנָּה עֵר וְעֹנֶה מֵאָהֳלֵי יַעֲקֹב וּמַגִּישׁ מִנְחָה לַיהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת׃

13And this you do as well: You cover the mizbayach of Hashem with tears, weeping, and moaning, so that He refuses to regard the oblation any more and to accept what you offer.

יגוְזֹאת שֵׁנִית תַּעֲשׂוּ כַּסּוֹת דִּמְעָה אֶת־מִזְבַּח יְהֹוָה בְּכִי וַאֲנָקָה מֵאֵין עוֹד פְּנוֹת אֶל־הַמִּנְחָה וְלָקַחַת רָצוֹן מִיֶּדְכֶם׃

14But you ask, “Because of what?” Because Hashem is a witness between you and the wife of your youth with whom you have broken faith, though she is your partner and covenanted spouse.

ידוַאֲמַרְתֶּם עַל־מָה עַל כִּי־יְהֹוָה הֵעִיד בֵּינְךָ וּבֵין אֵשֶׁת נְעוּרֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בָּגַדְתָּה בָּהּ וְהִיא חֲבֶרְתְּךָ וְאֵשֶׁת בְּרִיתֶךָ׃

15Did not the One make [all,] so that all remaining life-breath is His? And what does that One seek but godly folk? So be careful of your life-breath, and let no one break faith with the wife of his youth.

טווְלֹא־אֶחָד עָשָׂה וּשְׁאָר רוּחַ לוֹ וּמָה הָאֶחָד מְבַקֵּשׁ זֶרַע אֱלֹהִים וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּם בְּרוּחֲכֶם וּבְאֵשֶׁת נְעוּרֶיךָ אַל־יִבְגֹּד׃

16For I detest divorce—said Hashem, the God of Yisrael—and covering oneself with lawlessness as with a garment—said the lord of Hosts. So be careful of your life-breath and do not act treacherously.

טזכִּי־שָׂנֵא שַׁלַּח אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְכִסָּה חָמָס עַל־לְבוּשׁוֹ אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּם בְּרוּחֲכֶם וְלֹא תִבְגֹּדוּ׃

17You have wearied Hashem with your talk. But you ask, “By what have we wearied [Him]?” By saying, “All who do evil are good in the sight of Hashem, and in them He delights,” or else, “Where is the God of justice?”

יזהוֹגַעְתֶּם יְהֹוָה בְּדִבְרֵיכֶם וַאֲמַרְתֶּם בַּמָּה הוֹגָעְנוּ בֶּאֱמָרְכֶם כָּל־עֹשֵׂה רָע טוֹב בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וּבָהֶם הוּא חָפֵץ אוֹ אַיֵּה אֱלֹהֵי הַמִּשְׁפָּט׃