Offer Your Best Gifts To God, Who Is Coming Soon
An EasyEnglish Bible Version with Notes (1200 word vocabulary) on the Book of Malachi
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v1 This is the message that God told to Malachi. Malachi knew that he must tell the *Israelites this message.
v2 ‘I have loved you’, says the *Lord. ‘But you ask, “How have you loved us?” ’
‘Esau was *Jacob’s brother’, the *Lord says. ‘I have loved *Jacob and all his *descendants.
v3 But I have not loved Esau and his *descendants.
Esau is like my enemy and I have caused trouble for him. Esau’s mountains are now empty. Nobody uses the land any longer. There are only *jackals there now. They have the things that Esau used there.’
v4 Edom may say, ‘Our enemies have beaten us. They have knocked our houses down. But we will build them again.’ But the *Lord Almighty says, ‘They may build. But I will knock everything down. People will call Edom the Very Bad Country. They will say that the people in Edom always have trouble from God. He is very angry with them. v5 You will see it with your own eyes. You will say, “Great is the *Lord, even beyond *Israel’s borders.” ’
v6 ‘A son *respects his father. A servant *respects his master. If I am like a father, show *respect for me as a father. If I am like a master, *respect me as a master’, says the *Lord Almighty. ‘You are *priests. But you show that you *scorn my name. But you ask, “How have we shown that we have *scorned your name?”
v7 You put food that is not clean on my *altar.
But you ask, “How have we made you not clean?” You have said that the *Lord’s table is not important.’
v8 ‘You bring for *sacrifice animals that cannot see. That is not right. You *sacrifice animals that cannot walk. That is a wrong thing to do. You *sacrifice animals that have an illness. And that is a wrong thing to do, too. Offer these to your ruler. And see what will happen. He will surely not accept you. He will not be happy with you’, says the *Lord Almighty.
v9 ‘Ask God to be kind to us. Explain to him that this is really important to you. Tell him often about this. But your *offerings are not clean. So they will not change how God thinks. He will not accept you’, says the *Lord Almighty.
v10 ‘It would be better if one of you shut the *temple doors! Then you would not light fires that have no value on my *altar. I am not happy with you’, says the *Lord Almighty. ‘I will not accept any gift from your hands. v11 My name will be great in the whole world, in every country. From the East to the West, people will *respect my name. So, in every place, people will bring *incense to me. They will give clean *offerings to me’, says the *Lord Almighty.
v12 ‘But you are saying that the *Lord’s table is not clean. So you are *scorning my name. You say that the food on it has little value. v13 And you say, “The duty that we must do is like a heavy weight on us. We do not want to do this.” You think that you are too important to do it’, says the *Lord Almighty.
‘I will not accept ill animals from you as *sacrifices. I will not accept hurt animals or animals that cannot walk’, says the *Lord. v14 ‘Someone may have a good male as one of his animals. He may promise to give it to God. He says to God, “I will give it.” But he may then *sacrifice an animal that is not clean. So God will *curse him. That is because I am a great king’, says the *Lord Almighty. ‘Everyone on earth will know that my name is very serious. They will *respect it.’
v1 ‘And now, *priests, I am talking to you. So be careful. v2 If you do not listen’, says the *Lord Almighty, ‘I will *curse you. If you do not decide to *respect my name, I will *curse your *blessings. You have not yet decided to *respect my name. So I have already *cursed your *blessings.’
v3 ‘I will tell your *descendants that they have done wrong things. This is because you have done wrong things. I will tell them that I am not happy with them. I will tell them that they must not do wrong things again. I will cover your faces with the *offal from your *festival *sacrifices. Someone will carry you away with it.’
v4 ‘I have told you that you must be careful. This is so that my promises with Levi can continue’, says the *Lord Almighty.
v5 ‘I promised to Levi a good life and many *blessings. He received what I promised him. So, he did what I asked him to do. He *worshipped me, and he *respected me. He knew that my name is very great. He was afraid of me. So, he was careful when he was with me. v6 He taught what was right. He told people only facts. He often talked to me. And he enjoyed the times when he was with me. He did what was right. And we agreed about how he should live. He caused many people to stop doing wrong things.
v7 *Priests are men that the *Lord Almighty has chosen. They must speak his messages for him. The *priests should tell people what they know about God. They should tell people about what God has asked them all to do. If they did that, everyone would remember these important facts. People should ask the *priests what they need to know. v8 People who love me want to do certain things. But you have stopped doing those things. What you teach causes many people to make mistakes. What I agreed with Levi does not happen any longer’, says the *Lord Almighty.
v9 ‘So people have *scorned you. They have then shown other people what you have done. Everyone now thinks that you are fools. I have caused this to happen. You have not done what I asked you to do. In your jobs as *priests you have not used the same rules for everyone.’
v10 We all have one Father. One God made us from nothing. We have agreed to do things for each other. But we do not do them. So we *scorn what God agreed with our fathers. We ought not to do this.
v11 Judah’s people no longer do the things that God teaches. A very bad thing has happened in *Israel and in Jerusalem. God certainly does not like it. Judah’s people have married women who *worship a foreign god. Then they meet with God in a place that he loves. And so they have made that place dirty. v12 I pray that the *Lord will send all people like that away from the *Israelites and from that place. And I do not want them to come back into this group of people. I pray that the *Lord will not let them. Even send away someone like that who is bringing gifts to the *Lord Almighty.
v13 Also, you cry. You cry so much that the water covers the *Lord’s *altar! The *Lord no longer looks at your gifts. He does not accept them with pleasure from your hands. So, you weep and you shout out in pain. v14 You ask ‘Why?’ The *Lord was there when you were a young man. He was there when you agreed to marry your wife. He heard what you said. You promised to be with her until the end of your life. He sees that you no longer live together as man and wife. That is why the *Lord no longer accepts your gifts.
v15 The *Lord has made a man and his wife to be as one person. He has made them with a body and a *spirit and they are his. Why should a man and his wife be as one person? It is because the *Lord wants their children to be good. And he wants them to *respect him. So, think carefully about your *spirit. Do not forget the promise that you said to your wife. Do not leave her.
v16 Sometimes a man and his wife completely leave each other. They decide this with a *judge and with other people there. ‘I strongly do not like it when a man and his wife decide never to live together again’, says the *Lord God of *Israel. ‘If a man leaves his wife like this, the result will be very bad for her. He has done a cruel thing to her. I strongly do not like that’, says the *Lord Almighty. ‘So watch over your *spirit and do not forget your promise.’
v17 The *Lord is tired from your words. ‘Why is he tired? How have we caused that?’ you ask. He is tired because of the things that you have said. You say, ‘The *Lord sees all who do very bad things. He thinks that they are good. He is happy with them.’ Or you say, ‘The God who is a fair *judge is not doing anything here.’
v1 ‘See, I will send someone with my message. He will prepare the way before me. And so the *Lord that you are looking for will return to his *temple. He will come quickly. And you do not know when he will come. It is he that you want so much. The man who brings the message about the promise will come’, says the *Lord Almighty.
v2 ‘But nobody will be able to stand when the *Lord appears. It will be impossible for anyone to remain the same on the day that he comes. That is because he will be like a *refiner’s fire. He will be like the soap that people use to make cloths white.’
v3 ‘He will sit as a *refiner of *silver. The *refiner works until the *silver shines. He will make the *priests clean as a *refiner works with gold and *silver. Then the *Lord will have *righteous people who will bring proper *offerings. v4 The *Lord will accept all the gifts of Judah and Jerusalem that people give in a right way. It will be as it was earlier. It will be as it was a long time ago.’
v5 The *Lord Almighty says, ‘So I will come near to you as your *judge. And I will decide how to *punish those who have done wrong things. I will immediately speak against *magicians, *adulterers and *perjurers. I will speak against those who do not pay their workers.
Some women’s husbands have died. I will speak against anyone who does cruel things to these wives and to their children. And some of you are deciding things about foreign people in ways that are not fair.
All these people are doing wrong things. They do not think that I am being serious. They are not afraid of me and they do not *respect me.’
v6 ‘I am the *Lord and I do not change. So I have not killed you who are *descendants of *Jacob. v7 I have told you what I want you to do. But you do not listen to me any longer. You have not obeyed me. All *Jacob’s *descendants have done the same. Return to me and I will return to you’, says the *Lord Almighty. ‘But you ask, “How do we return?” v8 A man should not rob God. But you rob me. But you ask, “How do we rob you?” You rob *tithes and *offerings from me. v9 You, and everyone who is an *Israelite, are robbing me. So you are all receiving the results of a *curse. v10 Give me all that is mine. Store it so that there will be food in my house. Do this. And find out what I will do’, says the *Lord Almighty. ‘You will receive so much *blessing that you will not have enough room for it. It will be like rain that I pour out of the sky. It will be like rain that covers the ground with a lot of water. v11 I will not let insects eat your *crops. The *grapes will not fall from the *vines before they are ready to eat. v12 You will enjoy your land’, says the *Lord Almighty. ‘So all the people on earth will say that God has *blessed you.’
v13 ‘You have said cruel words against me’, says the *Lord. ‘But you ask, “What have we said about you?” v14 You have said, “We work for God. But nothing good happens because of this. We do what he asks us to do. We are sorry when we do wrong things. And we show him that we are sorry. There are no good results from this.
v15 Some people think that they are better than other people. We now think that those people have *blessings from God. Surely, those who do wrong things enjoy a good life. Even those who fight against God do not have trouble.” ’
v16 Then those people who *respected the *Lord talked to each other. The *Lord listened and he heard. Someone, who was with God, wrote on a *scroll. God watched while this person wrote. He wrote about all the people who *worshipped God. These are the people who *respected God’s name. Now everyone would remember these people.
v17 ‘These people will be mine’, says the *Lord Almighty. ‘One day I will bring together all my own people. They are worth a lot to me and I really want them. A man is *merciful to his son who works for him. I will be *merciful to my people like that. v18 Then you will again see how the good people are different from the very bad people. Also, some people are God’s servants and some people are not God’s servants. And you will again see that difference too.’
v1 ‘This future day is a fact. It will burn like a great fire. It will be like a fire that a man uses to burn *stubble. When this happens, no branch or any part of a plant will be there any longer. The people who have done very bad things are like that *stubble. No bad person will be there any longer. Some people think that they are better than other people. All the people who are like that will burn in the heat.’ That is what the *Lord Almighty says.
v2 ‘But for you who *respect my name it will be different. The “Sun of *Righteousness” will rise to make you well. You will go out and you will jump up and down. You will be like baby cows when someone lets them go out of their *stalls. v3 Then you will put your feet down in a heavy way and you will walk on the bad people. They will be like ashes under your feet. All this will happen on the day that I do these things’, says the *Lord Almighty.
v4 ‘Remember everything that my servant Moses told you. Do not forget the rules that I gave to him at Sinai. They were for all the *Israelites and you must still obey them.’
v5 ‘See. I will send you a man called Elijah. He will speak God’s message. He will come before that great and frightening day of the *Lord. v6 He will cause fathers and their children to be friendly again. If not, I will come in a hurry and I will *curse the land.’
adulterer ~ someone who has sex with a person who is not their husband or wife.
altar ~ table of stone or metal. On it, people burn *sacrifices to God.
B.C. ~ before Christ came to earth.
baptise ~ to put a person under water or to put water on a person to show that he or she wants to obey God.
Baptist ~ a person who *baptises people.
bless ~ to give good things to someone.
blessing ~ the good things that God gives to people or does for people.
crops ~ plants that are for food.
curse ~ when someone says bad words against another person or thing. Because of this, something bad might happen to that person or thing. We call these bad words or the bad thing that happens a curse.
descendants ~ a person’s children. It also means their children’s children and any future person born from any of those people.
festival ~ a time to be happy together with other people; and a time when people eat plenty of good food.
grapes ~ small soft fruit that people use to make drinks with alcohol.
incense ~ something to burn to give a nice smell.
Israel ~ a small country where the *Israelites lived.
Israelites ~ people who are living in *Israel; all *descendants of *Jacob.
jackal ~ a small wild dog.
Jacob ~ one of the first ‘fathers’ of the *Israelites. A man who loved God.
judge ~ a person who says whether someone has done right things or wrong things.
Lord ~ the special name that God used for himself when he talked to the *Israelites.
Lord Almighty ~ the *Lord of everything, more powerful than everything.
magician ~ someone who causes strange things to happen to surprise people. These things are not usual. He has to use a gift that is not from his own body to do them. This gift is very bad and it is not from God.
merciful ~ a merciful person is a person who is kind to bad people.
offal ~ the inside parts of an animal.
offerings ~ gifts to God.
perjurer ~ someone who does not say what is true. This is after he has promised to speak only true things. Usually this happens when he is standing up in front of a *judge.
priests ~ men that God chose to do a special work for him. They worked in the *temple.
punish ~ to hurt someone for the wrong things that they have done. For example, a person who has robbed another person must go to prison.
refiner ~ a man who makes metal very, very hot. He does this so that any dirty bits will burn away.
respect ~ when someone wants to do right things for another person. That person is important to him or her. This is because that person is special (for example, a father); or that person has authority (for example, a king).
righteous ~ righteous people are people who do right and good things. But God can accept us because Jesus is righteous. Then we are no longer his enemies. So he sees us as righteous too.
righteousness ~ what you have when you are *righteous.
sacrifice ~ an animal that someone kills and gives to God; to kill an animal and to give it to God; food or drink that people gave to God.
scorn ~ when a person decides that someone or something is not important. In fact, he may decide that it has no value at all. He may say something to show that he thinks in this way.
scroll ~ a book where the pages roll up.
silver ~ metal that is valuable and shines like white.
spirit ~ the part of a person that lives when the body dies. The *spirit is the part that we cannot see. The *spirit makes the person different from anyone else.
stalls ~ where people keep animals.
stubble ~ the part of a plant that remains when someone cuts down *crops.
temple ~ a special building where the *Israelites went to *worship God.
tithe ~ one tenth; a tenth part of something.
vine ~ a tree that has *grapes on it.
worship ~ to thank God; to tell him that we know that he is very great.
Irving L. Jensen ~ Jensen’s Survey of the Old Testament ~ Moody Press
D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, eds. ~ The New Bible Commentary Revised ~ IVP
The Lion Concise Bible Handbook ~ Lion Publishing plc
Joyce G. Baldwin ~ Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi ~ Inter-Varsity Press
John B. Taylor ~ The Minor Prophets ~ Scripture Union Bible Study Books
©1997-2012, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).
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