The Coming of the Lord and the Call to Return
The Coming of the Lord to Purify the Priesthood (3:1-6)
1 Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord whom ye seek will suddenly come to his temple, and the Angel of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he cometh, saith Jehovah of hosts. 2 But who shall endure the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he will be like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ lye. 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he will purify the children of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver; and they shall offer unto Jehovah an oblation in righteousness. 4 Then shall the oblation of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto Jehovah, as in the days of old, and as in former years. 5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against the false swearers, and against those that oppress the hired servant in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith Jehovah of hosts. 6 For I Jehovah change not, and ye, sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
The State of the People and the Call to Return to the Lord (3:7-15)
7 Since the days of your fathers have ye departed from my statutes, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith Jehovah of hosts. But ye say, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? But ye rob me. And ye say, Wherein do we rob thee? In tithes and heave-offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse; and me ye rob, even this whole nation. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the treasure-house, that there may be food in my house, and prove me now herewith, saith Jehovah of hosts, if I open not to you the windows of the heavens, and pour you out a blessing, till there be no place for it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before the time in the field, saith Jehovah of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith Jehovah of hosts. 13 Your words have been stout against me, saith Jehovah; but ye say, What have we been speaking against thee? 14 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? 15 And now we hold the proud for happy; yea, they that work wickedness are built up; yea, they tempt God, and they escape.
The Response and Reward of the Faithful Remnant (3:16-18)
16 Then they that feared Jehovah spoke often one to another; and Jehovah observed it, and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared Jehovah, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be unto me a peculiar treasure, saith Jehovah of hosts, in the day that I prepare; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 18 And ye shall return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.