Warning to the Priests
1 "Therefore, this decree is for you priests: 2 If you don't listen, and if you don't 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. In fact, I have already begun to curse them because you are not taking it to heart.
3 "Look, I am going to rebuke your descendants, and I will spread animal waste over your faces, the waste from your festival sacrifices, and you will be taken away with it. 4 Then you will know that I sent you this decree so My covenant with Levi may continue," says the Lord of Hosts. 5 "My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave these 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 wrong was found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and fairness and turned many from sin. 7 For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts.
8 "You, on the other hand, have turned from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. 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 are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in [your] instruction."
Judah’s Marital Unfaithfulness
10 Don't all of us have one Father? Didn't one God create us? Why then do we act treacherously against one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has acted treacherously, and a detestable thing has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the Lord's sanctuary, which He loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 To the man who does this, may the Lord cut off any descendants from the tents of Jacob, even if they present an offering to the Lord of Hosts.
13 And this is another thing you do: you cover the Lord's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning, because He no longer respects your offerings or receives [them] gladly from your hands.
14 Yet you ask, "For what reason?" Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have acted treacherously against her, though she was your marriage partner and your wife by covenant. 15 Didn't the one [God] make [us] with a remnant of His life-breath? And what does the One seek? A godly offspring. So watch yourselves carefully, and do not act treacherously against the wife of your youth.
16 "If he hates and divorces [his wife]," says the Lord God of Israel, "he covers his garment with injustice," says the Lord of Hosts. Therefore, watch yourselves carefully, and do not act treacherously.