Here follows burden of the Lord’s doom for Israel, that was entrusted to Mala-chias.
Oh, but I have dealt lovingly with you! the Lord says. Would you know, wherein I shewed my love? This tell me; was not Esau brother to Jacob? Yet to Jacob I proved myself a friend, the Lord says,
no friend to Esau; I have made a waste of yonder mountain-side, of all his lands a dragon-haunted desert.
Ay, but, says Edom, what if we have fallen on evil days? Give us time to repair the ruins! Trust me, says the Lord of hosts, as fast as they build, I will pull down; land of rebellion men shall call it, brood the Lord hates, and for ever.
Glad sight, to make you cry God praise from end to end of Israel!
Son to father, servant to master gives his due. Your father I, where is the honour, your master I, where is the reverence you owe me? Such complaint the Lord of hosts makes, and to whom?
To you, priests, that care so little for my renown. Ask you what care was lacking, when the bread you offer at my altar is defiled, ask you what despite you have done me, when you write down the Lord’s table a thing of little moment?
What, no harm done, when victim you offer in sacrifice is blind? No harm done, when it is lame or diseased? Pray you, says the Lord of hosts, make such a gift to the governor yonder, will he be content? Will he make favourites of you?
Ay, says the Lord of hosts, the guilt is yours. To the divine presence betake you, and sue for pardon; which of you finds favour with him?
Never a man of you but must be paid to shut door, light altar-fire; no friends of mine, says the Lord of hosts, no gifts will I take from such as you.
No corner of the world, from sun’s rise to sun’s setting, where the renown of me is not heard among the Gentiles, where sacrifice is not done, and pure offering made in my honour; so revered is my name, says the Lord of hosts, there among the Gentiles;
and you? That you should hold it so cheap! That you should think to yourselves, The Lord’s table is desecrated now; it makes no matter what food lies there, or what fire burns it!
Weary work, say you, and dismiss it with a sigh. Beast mangled, beast gone lame, beast that is ailing you present to me, and the bloodless offering with it. And should the Lord of hosts accept the gift you make him?
Cursed be the knavery that offers the Lord gelt beast, when vows are a-paying, and all the while there is an entire beast left at home! Offers it to the Lord of hosts, the great King, no name in all the world so terrible!