- ¶ BEHOLD, I will send my messenger and he shall prepare the way before me;
and he for whom you are waiting shall suddenly come to the temple of the LORD, even the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight;
behold, he shall come, says the LORD of hosts.
- But who can endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;
- For he shall return to refine and purify the people like silver;
and he shall cleanse the sons of Levi and purge them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness.
- Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant to the LORD, as in the days of old and as in former years.
- And I will come near to you for judgment;
and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely and against those who defraud the laborer of his wages, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow;
and those who turn aside him who turns to me, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.
- For I am the LORD, I change not;
but you sons of Jacob have not departed from your iniquities.
- ¶ Even from the days of your fathers you have gone astray from my ordinances and have not obeyed them.
Return to me and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.
But you say, How shall we return?
- Will a man defraud God as you have defrauded me?
But you say, How have we defrauded thee?
In tithes and offerings.
- You are cursed with curses, and yet you defraud me.
- Bring all the tithes into my storehouse that there may be food in my house, and prove me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, and I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out blessings for you until you shall say, It is enough.
- And I will rebuke the devourer, so that it shall not destroy the fruits of the land;
neither shall your vine cast its fruit before the time in the field, says the LORD of hosts.
- And all nations shall praise you, when you shall be a land of my delight, says the LORD of hosts.
- ¶ Your words have been grievous against me, says the LORD.
And you say, What have we spoken against thee?
- You have said, We have served God in vain;
what have we profited that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked meekly before the LORD of hosts?
- And henceforth we call the wicked blessed;
yea, they that work wickedness are well established;
they tempt God, and yet they are delivered.
- These were the things which those who revered the LORD spoke often one to another;
and the LORD gave ear and heard it, and he wrote it in a book of remembrance before him for those who revere him and for those who praise his name.
- And they shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, on that day when I will assemble the people;
and I will have pity on them as a man pities his own son who serves him.
- Then shall you return and see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who served God and those who served him not.