Malachi 3:14
New International Version
"You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty?

New Living Translation
“You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the LORD of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins?

English Standard Version
You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the LORD of hosts?

Berean Study Bible
You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What have we gained by keeping His requirements and walking mournfully before the LORD of Hosts?

New American Standard Bible
"You have said, 'It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the LORD of hosts?

King James Bible
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?

Christian Standard Bible
You have said: "It is useless to serve God. What have we gained by keeping his requirements and walking mournfully before the LORD of Armies?

Contemporary English Version
Here is what you have said: "It's foolish to serve the LORD God All-Powerful. What do we get for obeying God and from going around looking sad?

Good News Translation
You have said, 'It's useless to serve God. What's the use of doing what he says or of trying to show the LORD Almighty that we are sorry for what we have done?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You have said: "It is useless to serve God. What have we gained by keeping His requirements and walking mournfully before the LORD of Hosts?

International Standard Version
You said, 'It is futile to serve God,' and, 'What did we get out of it when we carried out his requirements and went about like mourners in the presence of the LORD of the Heavenly Armies?'

NET Bible
You have said, 'It is useless to serve God. How have we been helped by keeping his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD who rules over all?

New Heart English Bible
You have said, 'It is vain to serve God;' and 'What profit is it that we have followed his instructions, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"You have said, 'It's pointless to serve God. What do we gain if we meet his standards or if we walk around feeling sorry for what we've done?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Ye have said: 'It is vain to serve God; And what profit is it that we have kept His charge, And that we have walked mournfully Because of the LORD of hosts?

New American Standard 1977
“You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the LORD of hosts?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God, and what profit is it that we have kept his law and that we walk mournfully before the LORD of the hosts?

King James 2000 Bible
You have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked in mourning before the LORD of hosts?

American King James Version
You have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?

American Standard Version
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept his charge, and that we have walked mournfully before Jehovah of hosts?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Ye said, He that serves God labours in vain: and what have we gained in that we have kept his ordinances, and in that we have walked as suppliants before the face of the Lord Almighty?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And you have said: What have we spoken against thee? You have said: He laboureth in vain that serveth God, and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinances, and that we have walked sorrowful before the Lord of hosts?

Darby Bible Translation
Ye say, It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we keep his charge, and that we walk mournfully before Jehovah of hosts?

English Revised Version
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his charge, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?

Webster's Bible Translation
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?

World English Bible
You have said, 'It is vain to serve God;' and 'What profit is it that we have followed his instructions, and that we have walked mournfully before Yahweh of Armies?

Young's Literal Translation
Ye have said, 'A vain thing to serve God! And what gain when we kept His charge? And when we have gone in black, Because of Jehovah of Hosts?
Study Bible
Robbing God
13“Your words against Me have been harsh,” says the LORD. “Yet you ask, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ 14You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What have we gained by keeping His requirements and walking mournfully before the LORD of Hosts? 15So now we call the arrogant blessed. Not only do evildoers prosper, they even test God and escape.’”…
Cross References
Isaiah 43:22
But you have not called on Me, O Jacob, because you have grown weary of Me, O Israel.

Isaiah 58:3
"Why have we fasted, and You have not seen? Why have we humbled ourselves, and You have not noticed?" "Behold, on the day of your fast, you do as you please, and you oppress all your workers.

Jeremiah 2:25
Keep your feet from being unshod and your throat from thirst. But you say, 'It is hopeless! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.'

Jeremiah 18:12
But they will reply, 'It is hopeless. We will follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.'"

Hosea 7:16
They turn, but not to the Most High; they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword for the cursing of their tongue; for this they will be ridiculed in the land of Egypt.

Malachi 3:13
"Your words against Me have been harsh," says the LORD. "Yet you ask, 'What have we spoken against You?'

Treasury of Scripture

You have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?

It is.

Job 21:14,15
Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways…

Job 22:17
Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

Job 34:9
For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God.

ordinance.

Isaiah 58:3
Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

Joel 2:12
Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:

Zechariah 7:3-6
And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years? …

mournfully.







Lexicon
You have said,
אֲמַרְתֶּ֕ם (’ă·mar·tem)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

‘It is futile
שָׁ֖וְא (šāw)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7723: Evil, idolatry, uselessness

to serve
עֲבֹ֣ד (‘ă·ḇōḏ)
Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 5647: To work, to serve, till, enslave

God.
אֱלֹהִ֑ים (’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

What
וּמַה־ (ū·mah-)
Conjunctive waw | Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

have we gained
בֶּ֗צַע (be·ṣa‘)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1215: Gain made by violence, unjust gain, profit

by keeping
שָׁמַ֙רְנוּ֙ (šā·mar·nū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 8104: To hedge about, guard, to protect, attend to

His requirements
מִשְׁמַרְתּ֔וֹ (miš·mar·tōw)
Noun - feminine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4931: A guard, watch, charge, function

and walking
הָלַ֙כְנוּ֙ (hā·laḵ·nū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 1980: To go, come, walk

mournfully
קְדֹ֣רַנִּ֔ית (qə·ḏō·ran·nîṯ)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 6941: Blackish ones, in mourning weeds

before
מִפְּנֵ֖י (mip·pə·nê)
Preposition-m | Noun - common plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 6440: The face

the LORD
יְהוָ֥ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3069: YHWH

of Hosts?
צְבָאֽוֹת׃ (ṣə·ḇā·’ō·wṯ)
Noun - common plural
Strong's Hebrew 6635: A mass of persons, reg, organized for, war, a campaign
(14) Mournfully--i.e., with all outward signs of fasting. (Comp. Matthew 6:16.) The fasting referred to is not that of the Day of Atonement, but of voluntary fasts. We see here, in already a somewhat developed form, that disposition to attribute merit to observances of outward forms of religion for their own sake, without regard to the secret attitude of the heart, which reached such a pitch among the majority of the Jews in the time of our Lord, and especially among the Pharisees.

Verse 14. - It is vain. It brings no acknowledgment or reward. The Latin and Greek Versions have, "He is vain who serveth God." Have kept his ordinance (charge). Have done what he ordered. They are either wilfully deceiving themselves and others by pretending an obedience which they never really paid; or they think that the outward observance of certain legal requirements is all that is required. Some think that an interval of time separates this from the last section, and that meanwhile they had made some efforts at improvement, expecting, how. ever, immediate results in added blessings; and as these did not come as quickly as they hoped, they relapsed into their old distrust. Have walked mournfully; i.e. in mourning apparel, as if fasting and mourning for sin (Psalm 35:13, 14; Job 30:28). Septuagint, "Why went we as suppliants (ἱκέται)?" Before the Lord. Out of reverence and awe of Jehovah. They attributed a certain virtue to voluntary fasts, without any consideration of the spirit in which they were observed (see the reproof of such formal observances in Isaiah 58:4, etc.). 3:13-18 Among the Jews at this time, some plainly discovered themselves to be children of the wicked one. The yoke of Christ is easy. But those who work wickedness, tempt God by presumptuous sins. Judge of things as they will appear when the doom of these proud sinners comes to be executed. Those that feared the Lord, spake kindly, for preserving and promoting mutual love, when sin thus abounded. They spake one to another, in the language of those that fear the Lord, and think on his name. As evil communications corrupt good minds and manners, so good communications confirm them. A book of remembrance was written before God. He will take care that his children perish not with those that believe not. They shall be vessels of mercy and honour, when the rest are made vessels of wrath and dishonour. The saints are God's jewels; they are dear to him. He will preserve them as his jewels, when the earth is burned up like dross. Those who now own God for theirs, he will then own for his. It is our duty to serve God with the disposition of children; and he will not have his children trained up in idleness; they must do him service from a principle of love. Even God's children stand in need of sparing mercy. All are righteous or wicked, such as serve God, or such as serve him not: all are going to heaven or to hell. We are often deceived in our opinions concerning both the one and the other; but at the bar of Christ, every man's character will be known. As to ourselves, we have need to think among which we shall have our lot; and, as to others, we must judge nothing before the time. But in the end all the world will confess that those alone were wise and happy, who served the Lord and trusted in Him.
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