Malachi 3:8 MEANING

Malachi 3:8
(8) Robbed me.--Because the tithes are said to be offered to Jehovah, and then He gives them to the Levites in place of an inheritance (Numbers 18:24).

In tithes and offerings.--See Notes on Exodus 23:19; Leviticus 27:30-33; Numbers 18:12; Numbers 18:21-24; Deuteronomy 18:4; Leviticus 3:1-17; Leviticus 7:11-21; Leviticus 7:28-36.

Verse 8. - Will a man rob God? The prophet shows the people how they have departed from God, in not keeping even the outward observances of religion. The word translated "rob," defraud, found also in Proverbs 22:23, etc., is rendered in the Septuagint, πτερνιεῖ, "trip up," "supplant;" Vulgate, si affliget homo Deum, or, as St. Jerome first translated, "si affiget homo Deum," and referred the words to the crucifixion of our Lord. In tithes and offerings. These were due to the Lord, and therefore in withholding them they were defrauding not man but God. (For tithe, see Leviticus 27:30, etc.; Numbers 18:21. See the complaint of Nehemiah, Nehemiah 13:10-12.) The "offering" meant is the heave offering, the breast and shoulder of the peace offering, which were the priests' portion (Exodus 29:27; Leviticus 7:14, 32-34; comp. Nehemiah 10:37-39).

3:7-12 The men of that generation turned away from God, they had not kept his ordinances. God gives them a gracious call. But they said, Wherein shall we return? God notices what returns our hearts make to the calls of his word. It shows great perverseness in sin, when men make afflictions excuses for sin, which are sent to part between them and their sins. Here is an earnest exhortation to reform. God must be served in the first place; and the interest of our souls ought to be preferred before that of our bodies. Let them trust God to provide for their comfort. God has blessings ready for us, but through the weakness of our faith and the narrowness of our desires, we have not room to receive them. He who makes trial will find nothing is lost by honouring the Lord with his substance.Will a man rob God?.... Or "the gods"; the false gods, the idols of the Gentiles; the Heathens will not do that, accounting sacrilege a great sin, and yet this the Jews were guilty of: or "the judges" (c), as the Targum; civil magistrates; will any dare to defraud them of their due? see Malachi 1:8.

Yet ye have robbed me; keeping back from the priests and Levites, his ministers, what was due to them; and which, being no other than a spoiling or robbing of them, might be interpreted a robbing of God:

But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? as not being conscious of any such evil; or, however, impudently standing in it, that they were not guilty: to which is returned the answer,

In tithes and offerings; that is, they robbed God in not giving the tithes, and not offering sacrifices, according as the law required: but it may be objected, that the Jews in Christ's time did pay tithes, even of all things; yea, of more than the law required, Matthew 23:23 to which it may be replied, that though they gave tithes, yet it was , "with an evil eye", as Aben Ezra says; grudgingly, and not cheerfully, and with an evil intention; not to show their gratitude to God, and their acknowledgment of him as their Lord, from whom they had their all, but in order to merit at his hands; besides, our Lord suggests that they did not give to God the things that were God's, Matthew 22:21 and the apostle charges them with being guilty of sacrilege, Romans 2:22 and, moreover, the priests might not give it to the Levites, as they ought; and which is what they are charged with in Nehemiah 13:10 and Grotius says that they were guilty of this before the destruction by Vespasian, as appears by Josephus.

(c) "deos, vel judices", Calvin, Drusius, Grotius.

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