1 »Behold, I send my messenger! He will prepare the way before me. Seek Jehovah! He will suddenly come to his Temple along with the messenger of the covenant. He is one you desire, behold, he comes,« said Jehovah of Hosts.
2 »Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? He is like a refiner's fire and like laundry soap the lye of laundrymen.
3 »He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. He will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will offer to Jehovah offerings in righteousness.
4 »The offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to Jehovah like it was in the old days, in ancient years.
5 »I will approach you people for judgment! I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, the adulterers and those acting fraudulently with the wages of the worker, the widow and the fatherless. I will be a speedy witness against those who swear falsely and take advantage of the stranger, and do not show me reverence,« said Jehovah of Hosts.
6 »I am Jehovah. I have not changed! You are the sons of Jacob. You have not yet been destroyed!
7 »Like your fathers before you, you have turned away from my laws and have not obeyed them. Return to me and I will return to you,« said Jehovah of Hosts. »But you ask, how will we return to you?
8 »I ask you: will you rob and defraud God? Of course not, yet you are robbing and defrauding me! How have we robbed and defrauded? You ask. In the matter of tithes and offerings.
9 »A curse is on all of you because the whole nation is cheating me.
10 »Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. Test me, said Jehovah of Hosts, and see if I will open the windows of heaven and pour out showers of blessing upon you until there is no more want.
11 »I will not let insects destroy your crops. Your grapevines will produce abundantly.
12 »All the nations will pronounce you happy because your land will be a good place to live.
13 »You have said terrible things about me,« said Jehovah of Hosts. »Yet you ask: What have we said about you?«
14 »You have said: There is no value to serve God. What is the use of doing what he says or of trying to show Jehovah of Hosts that we are sorry for what we have done?
15 »We call arrogant people happy. Evil people test Gods patience with their wicked deeds. They not only get away with it, they also prosper.«
16 Those who respected Jehovah spoke to one another, and Jehovah listened to what they had to say. In his presence a memorial record was written down in a book listing those who reverence Jehovah and respect esteemregard his name.
17 »They will be my people,« said Jehovah of Hosts. »On the day when I act, they will be mine my special treasuremy jewels. I will show them compassion just as parents show compassion to the children who serve them.
18 »Once again my people will see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between the person who serves God and the one who does not.«