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Malachi 3:13-16

Resistance to the Lord through Self-sufficiency

3:13 “You have criticized me sharply,” 1  says the Lord, “but you ask, ‘How have we criticized you?’ 3:14 You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God. How have we been helped 2  by keeping his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord who rules over all? 3  3:15 So now we consider the arrogant to be happy; indeed, those who practice evil are successful. 4  In fact, those who challenge 5  God escape!’”

3:16 Then those who respected 6  the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord took notice. 7  A scroll 8  was prepared before him in which were recorded the names of those who respected the Lord and honored his name.

1 tn Heb “your words are hard [or “strong”] against me”; cf. NIV “said harsh things against me”; TEV, NLT “said terrible things about me.”

2 tn Heb “What [is the] profit”; NIV “What did we gain.”

3 sn The people’s public display of self-effacing piety has gone unrewarded by the Lord. The reason, of course, is that it was blatantly hypocritical.

4 tn Heb “built up” (so NASB); NIV, NRSV “prosper”; NLT “get rich.”

5 tn Or “test”; NRSV, CEV “put God to the test.”

6 tn Or “fear” (so NAB); NRSV “revered”; NCV “honored.”

7 tn Heb “heard and listened”; NAB “listened attentively.”

8 sn The scroll mentioned here is a “memory book” (סֵפֶר זִכָּרוֹן, sefer zikkaron) in which the Lord keeps an ongoing record of the names of all the redeemed (see Exod 32:32; Isa 4:3; Dan 12:1; Rev 20:12-15).

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