2:1 And now, O ye a priests, this commandment [is] for you.
(a) He speaks mainly to them, but under them he includes the people also.
2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay [it] to heart, to give glory b unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your c blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay [it] to heart.
(b) To serve me according to my word.
2:3 Behold, I will corrupt d your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, [even] the e dung of your solemn feasts; and [one] shall take you away with it.
(c) That is, the abundance of Godís benefits.
(d) The seed you sow will come to no profit.
2:4 And ye shall know that I have f sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
(e) You boast of your holiness, sacrifices, and feasts, but they will turn to your shame and be as vile as dung.
(f) The Priests objected against the Prophet that he could not remove them without speaking against the priesthood, and the office established by God by promise. But he shows that the office is nothing slandered, when these villains and dung are called by their own names.
2:5 My g covenant was with him of life and peace; and I h gave them to him [for] the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before i my name.
(g) He shows what were the two conditions of the covenant made with the tribe of Levi on Godís part, that he would give them long life and felicity, and on their part, that they should faithfully serve him according to his word.
2:6 The law of k truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
(h) I commanded Levi a certain law to serve me.
(i) He served me and set forth my glory with all humility and submission.
(k) He shows that the priests ought to have knowledge to instruct others in the word of the Lord.
2:7 For the priestís l lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he [is] the m messenger of the LORD of hosts.
(l) He is as the treasure house of Godís word, and ought to give to everyone according to their need, and not to reserve it for himself.
2:10 Have we not all one n father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of o our fathers?
(m) Showing that whoever does not declare Godís will, is not his messenger, and priest.
(n) The Prophet accuses the ingratitude of the Jews toward God and man: for seeing they were all born of one father Abraham, as God had elected them to be his holy people, they ought neither to offend God nor their brethren.
2:11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the p daughter of a strange god.
(o) By which they had bound themselves to God to be a holy people.
(p) They have united themselves in marriage with those that are of another religion.
2:12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that q offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.
(q) That is, the priest.
2:13 And this have ye done again, r covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth [it] with good will at your hand.
(r) Yet cause the people to lament, because God does not regard their sacrifices, so that they seem to sacrifice in vain.
2:14 Yet ye say, s Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet [is] she thy t companion, and the wife of thy u covenant.
(s) This is another fault, of which he accuses them, that is, that they broke the laws of marriage.
2:15 And did not x he make one? Yet had he the y residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly z seed. Therefore take heed to your a spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
(t) As the one half of yourself.
(u) She that was united to you by a solemn covenant, and by the invocation of Godís name.
(x) Did not God make man and woman as one flesh and not many?
2:16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he b hateth putting away: for [one] covereth c violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
(y) By his power and strength he could have made many women for one man.
(z) Those who should be born in lawful and moderate marriage, in which is no excess of lusts.
(a) Contain yourselves within your bounds, and be sober in mind, and bridle your affections.
(b) Not that he allows divorce, but of two faults he shows which is the less.
2:17 Ye have d wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied [him]? When ye say, Every one that doeth e evil [is] good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where [is] the God of f judgment?
(c) He thinks it sufficient to keep his wife still, even though he takes others, and so as it were covers his fault.
(d) You murmur against God, because he did not hear you as soon as you called.
(e) In thinking that God favoured the wicked, and had no respect for those that serve him.
(f) Thus they blasphemed God in condemning his power and justice, because he did not judge according to their imaginings.