Malachi 3:3
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.

King James Bible
And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

American Standard Version
and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer unto Jehovah offerings in righteousness.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice.

English Revised Version
and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver; and they shall offer unto the LORD offerings in righteousness.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness.

Malachi 3:3 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Zechariah 7:1-3 describe the occasion for this instructive and consolatory "word of God," which was addressed to Zechariah in the fourth year of Darius, i.e., two years after the building of the temple was resumed, and two years before its completion, and therefore at a time when the building must have been far advanced, and the temple itself was possibly already finished in the rough. Zechariah 7:1. "It came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of Jehovah came to Zechariah, on the fourth (day) of the ninth month, in Kislev." In this definition of the time we are surprised first of all at the circumstance, that, according to the Masoretic accentuation, and the division of the verses, the statement of the time is torn into two halves, and the notice of the year is placed after ויהי, whilst that of the month does not follow till after התה דבר יי; and secondly, at the fact that the introduction of the occurrence which led to this word of God is appended with the imperfect c. Vav rel. (vayyishlach), which would then stand in the sense of the pluperfect in opposition to the rule. On these grounds we must give up the Masoretic division of the verses, and connect the notice of the month and day in Zechariah 7:1 with Zechariah 7:2, so that Zechariah 7:1 contains merely the general statement that in the fourth year of king Darius the word of the Lord came to Zechariah. What follows will then be appended thus: On the fourth day of the ninth month, in Kislev, Bethel sent, etc. Thus the more precise definition of the time is only given in connection with the following occurrence, because it was self-evident that the word of God which was addressed to the prophet in consequence of that event, could not have been addressed to him before it occurred. The rendering of the words in Zechariah 7:2 is also a disputed point. We adopt the following: Zechariah 7:2. "Then Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem-melech, and his people, to entreat the face of Jehovah, (Zechariah 7:3) to speak to the priests who were at the house of Jehovah of hosts, and to the prophets, thus: Shall I weep, abstaining in the fifth month as I have now done so many years?" As Bēth-ēl may either signify the house of God, or be the name of the town of Bethel, it may be taken either as accus. loci, or as the subject of the sentence. Against the first explanation, which is very widely spread, viz., "it sent to the house of God, or to Bethel, Sharezer," etc., or "they sent to the house of God Sharezer," etc., it may be argued not only that the prophet, in order to make himself intelligible, ought either to have written 'el Bēth-'ēl, or to have placed Bēth-'ēl after the object, but also that beeth-'eel cannot be shown to have been ever applied to the temple of Jehovah, and that it would have been altogether out of place to speak of sending to Bethel, because Jehovah could not be prayed to in Bethel after the captivity. We must therefore take bēth-'ēl as the subject, and understand it as denoting the population of Bethel, and not as a name given to the church of the Lord, since there are no conclusive passages to support any such use, as bēth Yehōvâh only is used for the church of God (see at Hosea 8:1), and here there could be no inducement to employ so unusual an epithet to denote the nation. A considerable number of the earlier inhabitants of Bethel had already returned with Zerubbabel, according to Ezra 2:28 and Nehemiah 7:32; and, according to Nehemiah 11:31, the little town appears to have been soon rebuilt. The inhabitants of this city sent an embassy to Jerusalem, namely Sharezer and Rechem-Melech, and his men. The omission of the nota accus. את has indeed been adduced as an objection to this interpretation of the names as the object, and the names have been therefore taken as the subject, and regarded as in apposition to Bēth-ēl: "Bethel, namely Sharezer and Rechem, etc., sent;" that is to say, two men are mentioned in connection with Bethel, who are supposed to have acted as leaders of the embassy. But there is something so harsh and inflexible in the assumption of such an apposition as this, that in spite of the omission of the את we prefer to regard the names as accusatives. The name Sharezer is evidently Assyrian (cf. Isaiah 37:38; Jeremiah 39:3, Jeremiah 39:13), so that the man was probably born in Babylonia.

The object of sending these men is given first of all in general terms: viz., להלּות את־פּני יי, lit., to stroke the face of Jehovah, - an anthropomorphic expression for affectionate entreaty (see at Psalm 119:58), and then defined more precisely in Zechariah 7:3, where it is stated that they were to inquire of the priests and prophets, i.e., through their mediation, to entreat an answer from the Lord, whether the mourning and fasting were to be still kept up in the fifth month. Through the clause אשׁר לבית יי the priests are described as belonging to the house of Jehovah, though not in the sense supposed by Kliefoth, namely, "because they were appointed to serve in His house along with the Levites, in the place of the first-born, who were the possession of Jehovah" (Numbers 3:41; Deuteronomy 10:8-9). There is no such allusion here; but the meaning is simply, "as the persons in the temple, who by virtue of their mediatorial service were able to obtain an answer from Jehovah to a question addressed to Him in prayer." The connection with the prophets points to this. The question האבכּה is defined by the inf. absol. הנּזר, as consisting in weeping or lamentation connected with abstinence from food and drink, i.e., with fasting. On this use of the inf. abs., see Ewald, 280, a; הנּזר, to abstain (in this connection from meat and drink), is synonymous with צוּם in Zechariah 7:5. זה כּ מּה שׁנים: "these how many years," for which we should say, "so many years." Kammeh suggests the idea of an incalculably long duration. זה, in this and other similar combinations with numerical data, has acquired the force of an adverb: now, already (cf. Zechariah 1:12, and Ewald, 302, b). The subject to אבכּה is the population of Bethel, by which the men had been delegated. The question, however, had reference to a subject in which the whole community was interested, and hence the answer from God is addressed to all the people (Zechariah 7:5). So far as the circumstances themselves are concerned, we can see from Zechariah 7:5 and Zechariah 8:19, that during the captivity the Israelites had adopted the custom of commemorating the leading incidents in the Chaldaean catastrophe by keeping fast-days in the fifth, seventh, fourth, and tenth months. In the fifth month (Ab), on the tent day, because, according to Jeremiah 52:12-13, that was the day on which the temple and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed by fire in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, though the seventh day of that month is the date given in 2 Kings 25:8-9 (see the comm. in loc.). In the seventh month, according to Jewish tradition, they fasted on the third day, on account of the murder of the governor Gedaliah, and the Judaeans who had been left in the land (2 Kings 25:25-26; Jeremiah 51:1.). In the fourth month Tammuz) they fasted on the ninth day, on account of the conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in the eleventh year of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 39:2; Jeremiah 52:6-7). And lastly, in the tenth month, a fast was kept on the tenth day on account of the commencement of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar on that day, in the ninth year of Zedekiah (2 Kings 25:1 and Jeremiah 39:1).

(Note: The later Jews kept the 9th Ab as the day when both the first and second temples were destroyed by fire; and in Mishna Taanit iv. 6, five disasters are enumerated, which had fallen upon Israel on that day: viz., (1) the determination of God not to suffer the fathers to enter the promised land; (2 and 3) the destruction of the first and second temples; (4) the conquest of the city of Bether in the time of Bar-Cochba; (5) the destruction of the holy city, which Rashi explains from Micah 3:12 and Jeremiah 26:18, but which others refer to the fact that Turnus Rufus (either Turannius Rufus or T. Annius Rufus: cf. Schttgen, Horae hebr. et talm. ii. 953ff., and Jost, Gesch. des Judenthums, ii. 77) ploughed over the foundation of the temple. Also, on the seventeenth of the fourth month (Tammuz), according to Mishna Taan. iv. 6, five disasters are said to have befallen Israel: (1) the breaking of the tables of the law (Exodus 32); (2) the cessation of the daily sacrifice in the first temple from the want of sacrificial lambs (cf. Jeremiah 52:6); (3) the breach made in the city walls; (4) the burning of the law by Apostemus; and (5) the setting up of the abomination, i.e., of an idol, in the temple (Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:13). Vid., Lundius, Codex talm. de jejunio, Traf. ad Rhen. 1694, p. 55ff.; also in abstract in Mishna ed. Surenhus. ii. pp. 382-3.)

The question put by the delegates referred simply to the fasting in the fifth month, in commemoration of the destruction of the temple. And now that the rebuilding of the temple was rapidly approaching completion, it appeared no longer in character to continue to keep this day, especially as the prophets had proclaimed on the part of God, that the restoration of the temple would be a sign that Jehovah had once more restored His favour to the remnant of His people. If this fast-day were given up, the others would probably be also relinquished. The question actually involved the prayer that the Lord would continue permanently to bestow upon His people the favour which He had restored to them, and not only bring to completion the restoration of the holy place, which was already begun, but accomplish generally the glorification of Israel predicted by the earlier prophets. The answer given by the Lord through Zechariah to the people refers to this, since the priests and prophets could give no information in the matter of their own accord.

The answer from the Lord divides itself into two parts, Zechariah 7:4-14 and ch. 8. In the first part He explains what it is that He requires of the people, and why He has been obliged to punish them with exile: in the second He promises them the restoration of His favour and the promised salvation. Each of these parts is divisible again into two sections, Zechariah 7:4-7 and Zechariah 7:8-14; Zechariah 8:1-17 and Zechariah 8:18-23; and each of these sections opens with the formula, "The word of Jehovah (of hosts) came to me (Zechariah), saying."

Malachi 3:3 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

sit.

Psalm 66:10 For you, O God, have proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried.

Proverbs 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD tries the hearts.

Proverbs 25:4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

Isaiah 1:25 And I will turn my hand on you, and purely purge away your dross, and take away all your tin:

Isaiah 48:10 Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.

Jeremiah 6:28-30 They are all grievous rebels, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters...

Ezekiel 22:18-22 Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the middle of the furnace...

Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand...

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried...

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes...

Ephesians 5:26,27 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word...

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Hebrews 12:10 For they truly for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire...

1 Peter 4:12,13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you...

Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed...

the sons.

Malachi 1:6-10 A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is my honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear...

Malachi 2:1-8 And now, O you priests, this commandment is for you...

Isaiah 61:6 But you shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: you shall eat the riches of the Gentiles...

Isaiah 66:19-21 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud...

Jeremiah 33:18-22 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings...

Ezekiel 44:15,16 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me...

Revelation 1:6 And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 5:10 And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

an.

Malachi 1:11 For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles...

Psalm 4:5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 50:14,23 Offer to God thanksgiving; and pay your vows to the most High...

Psalm 69:30,31 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving...

Psalm 107:21,22 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!...

Psalm 116:17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call on the name of the LORD.

Psalm 141:1,2 Lord, I cry to you: make haste to me; give ear to my voice, when I cry to you...

Hosea 14:2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say to him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously...

John 4:23,24 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth...

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God...

Romans 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God...

Philippians 2:17 Yes, and if I be offered on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell...

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

Hebrews 13:15,16 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name...

1 Peter 2:5,9 You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices...

Cross References
Psalm 4:5
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 51:19
then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Psalm 66:10
For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.

Proverbs 17:3
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts.

Proverbs 25:4
Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel;

Isaiah 1:25
I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.

Jeremiah 9:7
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?

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