Malachi 1 (HSP)

The honor-shame paraphrase of Malachi 1 is from the recent book Malachi: An Honor-Shame Paraphraseby Jayson Georges.

A message from Yahweh to his people Israel, through Malachi.1

God’s Proven Covenant Loyalty

Yahweh says, “Israel, you have always been my special people. So why do you doubt my trustworthiness or loyalty toward you? Your current struggles as a nation shouldn’t make you feel rejected or cast aside.”2

“Look how I destroyed your cousin Esau—that demonstrates my covenant loyalty with you Israelites. They are the rejected ones. Their land is a complete dump, a ghost town. Edom is nothing. And even if they try to rebuild, I will prevent them,” says Yahweh the Sovereign. “Everyone will scorn Edom as ‘The Wicked People.’ I am entirely against them, and entirely for you. Your eyes will see my faithfulness, and your tongues will honor me, ‘Great and glorious in all the earth is Yahweh, our God.’”3–5

Israel’s Polluted and Dishonoring Offerings

“Shouldn’t a son honor his father? Shouldn’t a servant respect the master? Of course! But you dishonor me, though I’m your Father! And you disrespect me, though I’m your master!” says Yahweh the Sovereign. “You priests trample all over my name. You belittle my glory. Let me tell you how you insult my honor—you present disgusting offerings to me in the temple as though I’m insignificant.”6

“Then you have the nerve to ask me, ‘But how have our crippled animals tarnished your name?’ Are you really serious—have you no shame? Your question alone insults me. When you bring me a worthless offering, that is morally wrong! It is evil to blemish my name. The nasty animals you present to me belittle my majesty.”7–8a

“Imagine you go visit your governor. Would you take him dirty socks as a gift? Never! He would not welcome you, nor would he grant your request. Rather, that governor would scold you publicly for such an insult! But nevertheless, this is what you are doing to me—offering a lame gift, then expecting kind favors. Do you really think I’m pleased to receive what you offer?” says Yahweh the Sovereign. “It would be better to close the temple and end our relationship. Your attempts at worship are vomitus. You are disgusting and unworthy of my presence. And I refuse to accept the insults you bring me,” says Yahweh.8b–10

“The entire world (except you!) knows and reveres my name. People everywhere give homage to my name with their finest offerings. My name is famous in the entire world. The nations honor me,” says Yahweh the Sovereign.10-11

“But Israel, my special people who should exalt me, steps upon my face. Your behavior reveals what you really think: ‘God’s house isn’t worthy of respect. It doesn’t matter if we bring gross food to him.’ Without a trace of joy, you toss me your scraps as though I’m burdening you,” says Yahweh the Sovereign. “Do you really think I should accept your mangled, diseased offerings as a gift of thanks? Shame on you! You have a nice animal to offer and even promise before others to bring it to me, then you present a defective animal. This is an utter disgrace! Do you know who I am? I am the great King. I am far higher than your local governor, whom you would not dare disrespect. Even if my own people defame me, my glorious name is honored by all peoples,” says Yahweh the Sovereign.12–14

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5 Comments on “Malachi 1 (HSP)

  1. I like this paraphrase. It really brings out the essence of how dishonoured God was by the behaviour and attitude of His people. Just one (constructive) criticism / suggestion…. 1:11 the Lord name being made great among the nations is a future event. It was not, and is not yet true that His name is being honoured all over the world. We could bring all our missionaries home if it were. Wouldn’t that be nice!

    • In fairness, this is the same as the nrsv
      Malachi 1:11
      11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.

      • Hmmm. Just checked a number of (English)versions and it comes out about 2 to 1 (from 40+ versions) in favour of ‘will be’ or ‘shall be’ instead of ‘is’. But even that sizeable a difference seems to indicate that there is a difficulty with rendering the Hebrew… So maybe it could be ‘is’, although that doesn’t make sense to me from the standpoint of missions or theology…. Seems to me the Lord was saying He wants His name to be made great among the nations (through the witness of His people, Israel), but instead it is being dishonoured. LP

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