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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Malachi - Chapter 3

Malachi - Chapter 3

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 3

1. Behold I send My angel, and he will clear a way before Me. And suddenly, the Lord Whom you seek will come to His Temple. And behold! The angel of the covenant, whom you desire, is coming, says the Lord of Hosts.   א. הִנְנִי שֹׁלֵחַ מַלְאָכִי וּפִנָּה דֶרֶךְ לְפָנָי וּפִתְאֹם יָבוֹא אֶל הֵיכָלוֹ הָאָדוֹן | אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם מְבַקְשִׁים וּמַלְאַךְ הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם חֲפֵצִים הִנֵּה בָא אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת:
Behold I send My angel: to put the wicked away.  
and he will clear a way: of the wicked.  
the Lord Whom you seek: The God of justice.  
and the angel of the covenant: who avenges the revenge of the covenant.  
2. Now who can abide the day of his coming, and who will stand when he appears, for it is like fire that refines and like fullers' soap.   ב. וּמִי מְכַלְכֵּל אֶת יוֹם בּוֹאוֹ וּמִי הָעֹמֵד בְּהֵרָאוֹתוֹ כִּי הוּא כְּאֵשׁ מְצָרֵף וּכְבֹרִית מְכַבְּסִים:
Now who can abide: This is synonymous with; וּמִי יָכִיל  
and who will stand: Will be able to stand.  
and like fullers’ soap: Like soap used by the fullers, which removes the entire stain. So will he remove all the wickedness.  
and like soap: It is an herb which removes stains, erbe savonijere in Old French, probably soapwort. The word בֹּרִית signifies a thing that cleans and purifies, as in (Ps. 73:1), “to the pure of heart.”  
3. And he shall sit refining and purifying silver, and he shall purify the children of Levi. And he shall purge them as gold and as silver, and they shall be offering up an offering to the Lord with righteousness.   ג. וְיָשַׁב מְצָרֵף וּמְטַהֵר כֶּסֶף וְטִהַר אֶת בְּנֵי לֵוִי וְזִקַּק אֹתָם כַּזָּהָב וְכַכָּסֶף וְהָיוּ לַיהֹוָה מַגִּישֵׁי מִנְחָה בִּצְדָקָה:
And he shall sit refining: He will free himself from all his affairs to be like a refiner, who refines and purifies silver.  
4. And then the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasant to the Lord, as in the days of old and former years.   ד. וְעָרְבָה לַיהֹוָה מִנְחַת יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִָם כִּימֵי עוֹלָם וּכְשָׁנִים קַדְמֹנִיּוֹת:
5. And I will approach you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely; and also against those who withhold the wages of the day laborers, of the widow and fatherless, and those who pervert [the rights of] the stranger, [and those who] fear Me not, says the Lord of Hosts.   ה. וְקָרַבְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם לַמִּשְׁפָּט וְהָיִיתִי | עֵד מְמַהֵר בַּמְכַשְּׁפִים וּבַמְנָאֲפִים וּבַנִּשְׁבָּעִים לַשָּׁקֶר וּבְעֹשְׁקֵי שְׂכַר שָֹכִיר אַלְמָנָה וְיָתוֹם וּמַטֵּי גֵר וְלֹא יְרֵאוּנִי אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת:
6. For I, the Lord, have not changed; and you, the sons of Jacob, have not reached the end.   ו. כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה לֹא שָׁנִיתִי וְאַתֶּם בְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב לֹא כְלִיתֶם:
For I, the Lord, have not changed: Although I keep back My anger for a long time, My mind has not changed from the way it was originally, to love evil and to hate good.  
and you, the sons of Jacob: Although you die in your evil, and I have not requited the wicked in their lifetime  
you have not reached the end: You are not finished from before Me, for I have left over the souls to be requited in Gehinnom. And so did Jonathan render. And you of the House of Jacob, who think that whoever dies in this world, his verdict has already ended, that is to say, you think that My verdict has been nullified, that he will no longer be punished. Our Sages (Sotah 9a), however, explained it: לֹא שָׁנִיתִי - I did not strike a nation and repeat a blow to it; but as for you, I have kept you up after much punishment, and My arrows are ended, but you are not ended.  
7. From the days of your fathers you have departed from My laws and have not kept [them]. "Return to Me, and I will return to you," said the Lord of Hosts, but you said, "With what have we to return?"   ז. לְמִימֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם סַרְתֶּם מֵחֻקַּי וְלֹא שְׁמַרְתֶּם שׁוּבוּ אֵלַי וְאָשׁוּבָה אֲלֵיכֶם אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת וַאֲמַרְתֶּם בַּמֶּה נָשׁוּב:
8. Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me, and you say, "With what have we robbed You?"-With tithes and with the terumah-levy.   ח. הֲיִקְבַּע אָדָם אֱלֹהִים כִּי אַתֶּם קֹבְעִים אֹתִי וַאֲמַרְתֶּם בַּמֶּה קְבַעֲנוּךָ הַמַּעֲשֵׂר וְהַתְּרוּמָה:
Will a man rob: Our Sages explained this as an expression of robbery, and it is an Aramaism.  
With tithes and with the terumah levy: The tithes and the terumah - levy that you steal from the priests and the Levites is tantamount to robbing Me.  
9. You are cursed with a curse, but you rob Me, the whole nation!   ט. בַּמְּאֵרָה אַתֶּם נֵאָרִים וְאֹתִי אַתֶּם קֹבְעִים הַגּוֹי כֻּלּוֹ:
You are cursed with a curse: because of this iniquity, for which I send a curse into the work of your hands; but nevertheless, you rob Me.  
10. Bring the whole of the tithes into the treasury so that there may be nourishment in My House, and test Me now therewith, says the Lord of Hosts, [to see] if I will not open for you the sluices of heaven and pour down for you blessing until there be no room to suffice for it.   י. הָבִיאוּ אֶת כָּל הַמַּעֲשֵׂר אֶל בֵּית הָאוֹצָר וִיהִי טֶרֶף בְּבֵיתִי וּבְחָנוּנִי נָא בָּזֹאת אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אִם לֹא אֶפְתַּח לָכֶם אֵת אֲרֻבּוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וַהֲרִיקֹתִי לָכֶם בְּרָכָה עַד בְּלִי דָי:
so that there may be nourishment in My House: There shall be food accessible for My servants.  
11. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sake, and he will not destroy the fruits of your land; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before its time in the field, says the Lord of Hosts.   יא. וְגָעַרְתִּי לָכֶם בָּאֹכֵל וְלֹא יַשְׁחִת לָכֶם אֶת פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה וְלֹא תְשַׁכֵּל לָכֶם הַגֶּפֶן בַּשָּׂדֶה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת:
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sake: The finishing locusts and the shearing locusts, which devour the grain of your field and your vines.  
12. And then all the nations shall praise you, for you shall be a desirable land, says the Lord of Hosts.   יב. וְאִשְּׁרוּ אֶתְכֶם כָּל הַגּוֹיִם כִּי תִהְיוּ אַתֶּם אֶרֶץ חֵפֶץ אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת:
a desirable land: A land that I desire.  
13. "Still harder did your words strike Me," says the Lord, but you say, "What have we spoken against You?"   יג. חָזְקוּ עָלַי דִּבְרֵיכֶם אָמַר יְהֹוָה וַאֲמַרְתֶּם מַה נִּדְבַּרְנוּ עָלֶיךָ:
14. You have said, "It is futile to serve God, and what profit do we get for keeping His charge and for going about in anxious worry because of the Lord of Hosts?"   יד. אֲמַרְתֶּם שָׁוְא עֲבֹד אֱלֹהִים וּמַה בֶּצַע כִּי שָׁמַרְנוּ מִשְׁמַרְתּוֹ וְכִי הָלַכְנוּ קְדֹרַנִּית מִפְּנֵי יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת:
“It is futile to serve God”: We worship Him for nothing, for we will receive no reward.  
in anxious worry: with low spirits.  
15. And now we praise the bold transgressors. Yea, those who work wickedness are built up. Yea, they tempt God, and they have, nevertheless, escaped.   טו. וְעַתָּה אֲנַחְנוּ מְאַשְּׁרִים זֵדִים גַּם נִבְנוּ עֹשֵׂי רִשְׁעָה גַּם בָּחֲנוּ אֱלֹהִים וַיִּמָּלֵטוּ:
And now we praise the bold transgressors, etc.: We worshipped Him and kept His charge, but now we see that the wicked are prospering - to the extent that we praise them for the wicked deeds.  
Yea, they tempt God,: saying, “Let us see what He will be able to do to us.”  
and they have, nevertheless, escaped: harm, and they have not stumbled.  
16. Then the God-fearing men spoke to one another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it. And a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared the Lord and for those who valued His name highly.   טז. אָז נִדְבְּרוּ יִרְאֵי יְהֹוָה אִישׁ אֶל רֵעֵהוּ וַיַּקְשֵׁב יְהֹוָה וַיִּשְׁמָע וַיִּכָּתֵב סֵפֶר זִכָּרוֹן לְפָנָיו לְיִרְאֵי יְהֹוָה וּלְחֹשְׁבֵי שְׁמוֹ:
Then the God-fearing men spoke, etc.: I retort upon your words then, when the wicked commit evil and the good go about in anxious worry because of Me. The God-fearing men spoke to one another not to adopt their evil deeds; and, as for Me, their words are not forgotten to Me. And although I do not hasten to visit retribution, I have hearkened and heard, and I have commanded that a book of remembrance be written for them. Their words shall be preserved for Me.  
17. And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of Hosts, for that day when I make a treasure. And I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.   יז. וְהָיוּ לִי אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת לַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי עֹשֶׂה סְגֻלָּה וְחָמַלְתִּי עֲלֵיהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר יַחְמֹל אִישׁ עַל בְּנוֹ הָעֹבֵד אֹתוֹ:
for that day when I make a treasure: that I have stored and put away, with which to pay My reward. There I will show you what the difference is between a righteous man and a wicked man.  
a treasure: a treasure; estouj, estui in Old French.  
18. And you shall return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who has not served Him.   יח. וְשַׁבְתֶּם וּרְאִיתֶם בֵּין צַדִּיק לְרָשָׁע בֵּין עֹבֵד אֱלֹהִים לַאֲשֶׁר לֹא עֲבָדוֹ:
19. For lo, the sun comes, glowing like a furnace, and all the audacious sinners and all the perpetrators of wickedness will be stubble. And the sun that comes shall burn them up so that it will leave them neither root nor branch, says the Lord of Hosts.   יט. כִּי הִנֵּה הַיּוֹם בָּא בֹּעֵר כַּתַּנּוּר וְהָיוּ כָל זֵדִים וְכָל עֹשֵׂה רִשְׁעָה קַשׁ וְלִהַט אֹתָם הַיּוֹם הַבָּא אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֲשֶׁר לֹא יַעֲזֹב לָהֶם שֹׁרֶשׁ וְעָנָף:
For lo, the sun comes: This instance of יוֹם is an expression of sun, for so did the Sages state that there will be no Gehinnom in the future, but the Holy One, blessed be He, will take the sun out of its case; the wicked will be punished thereby and the righteous will be healed thereby. That is the meaning of what is stated (verse 20): “And the sun of mercy shall rise for you who fear My Name, etc.”  
neither root nor branch: Neither son nor grandson  
20. And the sun of mercy shall rise with healing in its wings for you who fear My Name. Then will you go forth and be fat as fatted calves.   כ. וְזָרְחָה לָכֶם יִרְאֵי שְׁמִי שֶׁמֶשׁ צְדָקָה וּמַרְפֵּא בִּכְנָפֶיהָ וִיצָאתֶם וּפִשְׁתֶּם כְּעֶגְלֵי מַרְבֵּק:
and be fat: an expression of fat, as in (Jer. 50: 11), “as you become fat, like a threshing heifer.”  
as fatted calves: [the calves] that enter the team to be fattened; kopla, cople in Old French: animals tied together.  
21. And you shall crush the wicked, for they will be as ash under the soles of your feet on the day that I will prepare, says the Lord of Hosts.   כא. וְעַסּוֹתֶם רְשָׁעִים כִּי יִהְיוּ אֵפֶר תַּחַת כַּפּוֹת רַגְלֵיכֶם בַּיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי עֹשֶׂה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת:
And you shall crush: and you shall press. This is an expression of pressing, similar to (Ezek. 23:8) “they pressed their virgin breasts.”  
22. Keep in remembrance the teaching of Moses, My servant-the laws and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.   כב. זִכְרוּ תּוֹרַת מֹשֶׁה עַבְדִּי אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אוֹתוֹ בְחֹרֵב עַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים:
23. Lo, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord,   כג. הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ לָכֶם אֵת אֵלִיָּה הַנָּבִיא לִפְנֵי בּוֹא יוֹם יְהֹוָה הַגָּדוֹל וְהַנּוֹרָא:
24. that he may turn the heart of the fathers back through the children, and the heart of the children back through their fathers-lest I come and smite the earth with utter destruction.   כד. וְהֵשִׁיב לֵב אָבוֹת עַל בָּנִים וְלֵב בָּנִים עַל אֲבוֹתָם פֶּן אָבוֹא וְהִכֵּיתִי אֶת הָאָרֶץ חֵרֶם:
that he may turn the heart of the fathers back: to the Holy One, blessed be He.  
through the children: lit., on. He will say to the children affectionately and appeasingly, “Go and speak to your fathers to adopt the ways of the Omnipresent.” So we explain, “and the heart of the children through their fathers.” This I heard in the name of Rabbi Menahem, but our Sages expounded upon it in tractate Eduyoth (8:7), that he will come to make peace in the world.  
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