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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Malachi - Chapter 2

Malachi - Chapter 2

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 2

1. And now, to you is this commandment, O priests.   א. וְעַתָּה אֲלֵיכֶם הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת הַכֹּהֲנִים:
to you, etc., O priests: I charge you with this commandment, that you shall not sacrifice these on My altar.  
2. If you do not heed, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My Name, says the Lord of Hosts, I will send the curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Indeed I have [already] cursed it, for you do not take it to heart.   ב. אִם לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ וְאִם לֹא תָשִׂימוּ עַל לֵב לָתֵת כָּבוֹד לִשְׁמִי אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת וְשִׁלַּחְתִּי בָכֶם אֶת הַמְּאֵרָה וְאָרוֹתִי אֶת בִּרְכוֹתֵיכֶם וְגַם אָרוֹתִיהָ כִּי אֵינְכֶם שָׂמִים עַל לֵב:
and I will curse: And I will curse your blessings; how I should bless the grain, the wine, and the oil for you.  
Indeed I have [already] cursed it: Indeed, it is unnecessary to have the matter depend on the condition upon which I made it depend: if they do not obey. For I know that you will not obey. Therefore, I have already cursed it - from now.  
3. Behold! I rebuke the seed because of you, and I will scatter dung upon your face-the dung of your festive sacrifices, and it shall take you to itself.   ג. הִנְנִי גֹעֵר לָכֶם אֶת הַזֶּרַע וְזֵרִיתִי פֶרֶשׁ עַל פְּנֵיכֶם פֶּרֶשׁ חַגֵּיכֶם וְנָשָׂא אֶתְכֶם אֵלָיו:
and I will scatter dung: of the animals of your festive sacrifices; that is to say, you will not receive reward from Me, but [you will receive a curse] for harm and shame. And I will rebuke the seed of the field because of you.  
and it shall take you to itself: The dung of your sacrificial animals will take you to itself to [make you] cheap and despised, as it is.  
4. And you shall know that I have sent you this commandment, that My covenant be with Levi, says the Lord of Hosts.   ד. וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי שִׁלַּחְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם אֵת הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת לִהְיוֹת בְּרִיתִי אֶת לֵוִי אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת:
that My covenant be with Levi: for I wish that you will exist with Me with the covenant that I formed for the tribe of Levi.  
5. My covenant was with him, life and peace, and I gave them to him [with] fear; and he feared Me, and because of My Name, he was over-awed.   ה. בְּרִיתִי | הָיְתָה אִתּוֹ הַחַיִּים וְהַשָּׁלוֹם וָאֶתְּנֵם לוֹ מוֹרָא וַיִּירָאֵנִי וּמִפְּנֵי שְׁמִי נִחַת הוּא:
life and peace: As it was said to Phinehas (Num. 25:12): “My covenant of peace” ; and it was promised to him and to his seed after him, thus indicating that his seed will be alive.  
and I gave them to him: that he accept them with fear, and so he did, and he feared Me.  
he was over-awed: an expression of חִתַּת, fear; he was afraid.  
6. True teaching was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. In peace and equity he went with Me, and he brought back many from iniquity.   ו. תּוֹרַת אֱמֶת הָיְתָה בְּפִיהוּ וְעַוְלָה לֹא נִמְצָא בִשְׂפָתָיו בְּשָׁלוֹם וּבְמִישׁוֹר הָלַךְ אִתִּי וְרַבִּים הֵשִׁיב מֵעָו‍ֹן:
In peace and equity he went with Me: Aaron, Eleazar, and Phinehas and so in the episode of the calf, they brought back all their tribe from iniquity, as it is said (Ex. 32:26), “all the children of Levi gathered to him.”  
7. For a priest's lips shall guard knowledge, and teaching should be sought from his mouth, for he is a messenger of the Lord of Hosts.   ז. כִּי שִׂפְתֵי כֹהֵן יִשְׁמְרוּ דַעַת וְתוֹרָה יְבַקְשׁוּ מִפִּיהוּ כִּי מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת הוּא:
For a priest’s lips: It is incumbent upon them to guard knowledge. Why? Because…  
teaching should be sought from his mouth: This matter has already (Deut. 33:10) been delivered to them.“They shall teach Your judgments to Jacob.”  
for he is a messenger: the agent of the Holy One, blessed be He; like the ministering angels, to serve Him and to enter into His compartment. [I.e., into the place where God’s presence is manifest.]  
8. But you have turned aside from the way. You caused many to stumble in the Torah. You corrupted the covenant of the Levites, said the Lord of Hosts.   ח. וְאַתֶּם סַרְתֶּם מִן הַדֶּרֶךְ הִכְשַׁלְתֶּם רַבִּים בַּתּוֹרָה שִׁחַתֶּם בְּרִית הַלֵּוִי אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת:
9. And now I, too, have made you contemptible and low to the entire people according to how you do not keep My ways and [how] you show favoritism in the Torah.   ט. וְגַם אֲנִי נָתַתִּי אֶתְכֶם נִבְזִים וּשְׁפָלִים לְכָל הָעָם כְּפִי אֲשֶׁר אֵינְכֶם שֹׁמְרִים אֶת דְּרָכַי וְנֹשְׂאִים פָּנִים בַּתּוֹרָה:
10. Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why should we betray, each one his brother, to profane the convenant of our forefathers?   י. הֲלוֹא אָב אֶחָד לְכֻלָּנוּ הֲלוֹא אֵל אֶחָד בְּרָאָנוּ מַדּוּעַ נִבְגַּד אִישׁ בְּאָחִיו לְחַלֵּל בְּרִית אֲבֹתֵינוּ:
to profane the covenant of our forefathers: The covenant that the Holy One, blessed be He, formed with our forefathers at Sinai.  
11. Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the holy one of the Lord [in] that he loved and married the daughter of a foreign god.   יא. בָּגְדָה יְהוּדָה וְתוֹעֵבָה נֶעֶשְׂתָה בְיִשְׂרָאֵל וּבִירוּשָׁלִָם כִּי | חִלֵּל יְהוּדָה קֹדֶשׁ יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב וּבָעַל בַּת אֵל נֵכָר:
for Judah has profaned: himself, who was the holy one of the Lord, the first of His grain.  
and married the daughter of a foreign god: that they married gentile women in Babylon, and even the priests, as is delineated in the Book of Ezra (chap. 9 and 10). Our Sages said that Malachi is Ezra.  
12. From the man who commits it, the Lord shall cut off one of acuity or erudition from the tents of Jacob and one who offers up an offering to the Lord of Hosts.   יב. יַכְרֵת יְהֹוָה לָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂנָּה עֵר וְעֹנֶה מֵאָהֳלֵי יַעֲקֹב וּמַגִּישׁ מִנְחָה לַיהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת:
one of acuity or erudition: An ingenious one among the students, and one who can answer among the sages. עֵר An expression of an ingenious person.  
and one who offers up an offering: And if he is a priest, he will not have a son who offers up an offering.  
13. And this second thing you do, to cover the altar of the Lord with tears, weeping, and sighing-such that He will no longer turn to the offering, nor will He take anything willingly from your hand.   יג. וְזֹאת שֵׁנִית תַּעֲשׂוּ כַּסּוֹת דִּמְעָה אֶת מִזְבַּח יְהֹוָה בְּכִי וַאֲנָקָה מֵאֵין עוֹד פְּנוֹת אֶל הַמִּנְחָה וְלָקַחַת רָצוֹן מִיֶּדְכֶם:
And this second thing you do: The first matter concerning which I reproved you is, indeed, very grave, for one to have married a gentile woman even if he was unmarried; but this second matter is graver, for those [who were] married to Israelite women and married gentile women in addition to them. [The men did this] because the Israelite women became black from hunger and from exile, and became repugnant to them. [Such a man] would, therefore, sit her [his Israelite wife] in his house, bound in living widowhood, and the gentile wife would be the chief wife.  
to cover the altar of the Lord with tears: For the [Israelite wives] would come before the altar of the Lord and weep before it, saying, “ What have we sinned? And what wrong have our husbands found in us? Behold! We are before the altar to be tested as suspected adulteresses.”  
such that he will no longer turn, etc.: So that you are not fit for Me to turn to your offering or take any thing willingly from your hand.  
and sighing: an expression of sighing, that a person feels pain in his heart; demonisement in Old French, groaning. The source of all of them is (Ezek. 24: 17), “Be silent in groaning” But if אֳנָקָה is an expression of a cry, where is the silence? The Targum of this word is דִמְדַנְקִין, and so did Jonathan translate (ibid. 30:43) “And you shall sigh before yourselves ותְדַנְקוּן.” [This is] an expression of a person who roars and feels pain within himself.  
14. And you will say, "Why?"-Because the Lord testified between you and the wife of your youth, that you dealt treacherously with her, and she is your companion and the wife of your covenant.   יד. וַאֲמַרְתֶּם עַל מָה עַל כִּי יְהֹוָה הֵעִיד בֵּינְךָ וּבֵין | אֵשֶׁת נְעוּרֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בָּגַדְתָּה בָּהּ וְהִיא חֲבֶרְתְּךָ וְאֵשֶׁת בְּרִיתֶךָ:
15. Now did He not make one who had the rest of the spirits? Now what does the one seek of the seed of God? Now you shall beware of your spirit, that it shall not deal treacherously with the wife of your youth.   טו. וְלֹא אֶחָד עָשָׂה וּשְׁאָר רוּחַ לוֹ וּמָה הָאֶחָד מְבַקֵּשׁ זֶרַע אֱלֹהִים וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּם בְּרוּחֲכֶם וּבְאֵשֶׁת נְעוּרֶיךָ אַל יִבְגֹּד:
Now did He not make one: The Holy One, blessed be He, made Adam and Eve first.  
the rest of the spirits: The spirits and the souls.  
had: Lit., to him were. They all came our from the first man.  
Now what does the one seek: Now what does the one member of the couple seek to find accusations against his wife, who is his mate, who is the seed of God? What does he claim of her that he disgraces her? This is the wording of Jonathan’s translation, except that Jonathan renders: Now what does the one seek except seed of God? The explanation is correct except for the fact that the word הָאֶחָד is pointed with “zakef” mark, and the mark of the “zakef” separates the word מְבַקֵּש from joining וּמָה הָאֶחָד. It connects it to זֶרַע א-ֱלֹהִים.  
He had a different spirit: His intention was not like your intention. He did not cast his eye upon her. He had a different intention. They said to him,  
“Now what did the one seek?”: What was his intention? He said to them: To have seed of the Lord. Jonathan’s translation appeals to me, because neither in Scripture nor in the Mishnah do we find שְׁאָר being used as an expression of “other” - except where a person can explain it as an expression of residue, as in (Dan. 7: 19), “which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet.” In the language of the Mishnah (Sanh. 8b), “And others liable to death” - outside of those delineated. But in the expression for which אַחֵר is used, שְׁאָר is not used.  
and you shall beware of your spirit, that it shall not deal treacherously with the wife of your youth: Your spirit shall not deal treacherously.  
16. If you hate [her], send [her] away, says the Lord God of Israel. For injustice shall cover his garment, said the Lord of Hosts, but you shall beware of your spirit, and do not deal treacherously.   טז. כִּי שָׂנֵא שַׁלַּח אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְכִסָּה חָמָס עַל לְבוּשׁוֹ אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּם בְּרוּחֲכֶם וְלֹא תִבְגֹּדוּ:
If you hate [her], send [her] away: Our Sages differ concerning it in tractate Gittin (90b). Some of them say: If you hate her, send her away with a bill of divorcement, so that she can marry someone else.  
For injustice shall cover his garment: But this - is it proper to do, that you spread your cloak over her to keep her for you as your wife, and you provoke her and torment her constantly?  
17. You have wearied the Lord with your words, and you say, "How have we wearied [Him]?"-By your saying, "Every evildoer is good in the Lord's sight, and He desires them," or, "Where is the God of judgment?"   יז. הוֹגַעְתֶּם יְהֹוָה בְּדִבְרֵיכֶם וַאֲמַרְתֶּם בַּמָּה הוֹגָעְנוּ בֶּאֱמָרְכֶם כָּל עֹשֵׂה רָע טוֹב | בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וּבָהֶם הוּא חָפֵץ אוֹ אַיֵּה אֱלֹהֵי הַמִּשְׁפָּט:
By your saying, “Every evildoer, etc., or Where is the God of judgment?”: Since you see that the way of the wicked prospers, and the righteous are afflicted and stumble, you say to yourselves,"One of these two ways is true: Either every evildoer is good in His sight, or [else] there is no judgment or judge to requite him. And so is the interpretation of the language of the verse: Every evildoer is good in His sight; therefore, He causes them to prosper. Or, if this is not so, where is the God of judgment, for He does not requite them.  
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