Malachi 2:17 MEANING

Malachi 2:17

(17) A new section of the prophecy begins with this verse. The prophet now directs his reproofs against the people for their discontent and their want of faith in the promises of God, because the expected manifestation of God's glory did not take place immediately. Because the doers of evil seem to flourish, the people say that God takes delight in them, "or" i.e., if this be not the case, "Where is the God of judgment?" that He does not interpose to punish them. (Comp. Psalms 73, &c.)

Verse 17-ch. 4:6. - Part III. THE DAY OF THE LORD. Verse 17-ch. 3:6. - § 1. The faithless people, disheartened by present circumstances, doubted God's providence, and disbelieved his promises; but the prophet announces the coming of the Lord to judgment, preceded by his messenger. He shall refine his people and exterminate sinners. Verse 17. - Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. This is the introduction to the new section. The prophet makes his charge. The faithless multitude have, as it were, worn out God's patience by their murmuring and discontent. Because their expectations of prosperity and glory were not at once fulfilled, they called in question God's justice and holiness, and even the future judgment. The LXX. connects this verse with the preceding, Καὶ οὐ μὴ ἐγκαταλίπητε οἱ παροξύναντες τὸν Θεὸν ἐν τοῖς λόγοις ὑμῶν "And forsake them not, ye who provoked God with your words" But it is best to take this as the beginning of a new subject. Yet ye say. This is the usual sceptical objection. Everyone that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord. They complain that, though they are (Jolt's peculiar people, they are left in low estate, while the heathen, men that "do evil," are happy and prosperous (comp. Psalm 37, 73.). He delighteth in them. They choose to consider that the worldly prosperity of the heathen is a sign of God's special favour, or else that he acts unjustly. Where is the God of judgment? (Isaiah 30:18). Why does not God perform his promises to Israel, and execute vengeance on the enemy?

2:10-17 Corrupt practices are the fruit of corrupt principles; and he who is false to his God, will not be true to his fellow mortals. In contempt of the marriage covenant, which God instituted, the Jews put away the wives they had of their own nation, probably to make room for strange wives. They made their lives bitter to them; yet, in the sight of others, they pretend to be tender of them. Consider she is thy wife; thy own; the nearest relation thou hast in the world. The wife is to be looked on, not as a servant, but as a companion to the husband. There is an oath of God between them, which is not to be trifled with. Man and wife should continue to their lives' end, in holy love and peace. Did not God make one, one Eve for one Adam? Yet God could have made another Eve. Wherefore did he make but one woman for one man? It was that the children might be made a seed to serve him. Husbands and wives must live in the fear of God, that their seed may be a godly seed. The God of Israel saith that he hateth putting away. Those who would be kept from sin, must take heed to their spirits, for there all sin begins. Men will find that their wrong conduct in their families springs from selfishness, which disregards the welfare and happiness of others, when opposed to their own passions and fancies. It is wearisome to God to hear people justify themselves in wicked practices. Those who think God can be a friend to sin, affront him, and deceive themselves. The scoffers said, Where is the God of judgement? but the day of the Lord will come.Ye have wearied the Lord with your words,.... As well as with their actions; see Isaiah 43:24 this is said after the manner of men, they saying those things which were displeasing and provoking to him, and which he could not bear to hear; or otherwise weariness properly cannot be attributed to God:

Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? as if they were clear and innocent; or, as the Targum, "if ye should say"; though they might not express themselves in words in such an impudent manner; yet should they say so in their hearts, or supposing they should utter such words with their lips, out of the abundance of their evil hearts, the answer is ready:

When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; which they concluded from the prosperity of the wicked, and the afflictions of the righteous; so murmuring at, and complaining of, the providence of God; he acting as if he delighted in wicked men, and as if they that did evil were the most grateful and acceptable to him:

or, if this was not the case,

Where is the God of judgment? why does he not arise and show himself to be a God that judgeth the earth, by taking vengeance on the wicked, and granting prosperity to his people? De Dieu takes these last words to be the words of the prophet, and thinks that is a particle of exclamation, and should be rendered "O"; and that the prophet expresses his wonder at the patience and longsuffering of God in bearing such impiety and blasphemy as before delivered. The Septuagint and Arabic versions are, "where is the God of righteousness?" either God the Father, who is righteous in all his ways, and faithful in the fulfilment of all his promises; or, Christ the Lord our righteousness, who was to come, and is come into this world for judgment, as well as to bring in an everlasting righteousness. This may be considered as a scoff of wicked men at the long delay of the Messiah's coming, when they expected outward prosperity and happiness; just as the scoffers in the last day will mock at the promise of his second coming, 2 Peter 3:3 and so the words, with which the next chapter begins Malachi 3:1, are an answer to these.

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