3 “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will clear up* a way before me.+ And suddenly the true Lord, whom you are seeking, will come to his temple;+ and the messenger of the covenant will come, in whom you take delight. Look! He will certainly come,” says Jehovah of armies.
2 “But who will endure the day of his coming, and who will be able to stand when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye*+ of laundrymen. 3 And he will sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver+ and will cleanse the sons of Leʹvi; and he will clarify* them like gold and like silver, and they will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness. 4 And the gift offering of Judah and of Jerusalem will actually be pleasing* to Jehovah, as in the days of long ago and as in the years of antiquity.+
5 “I will come near to you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers,+ against the adulterers, against those who take false oaths,+ against those who defraud the hired worker,+ the widow, and the fatherless child,*+ and against those who refuse to help* the foreigner.+ These have not feared me,” says Jehovah of armies.
6 “For I am Jehovah; I do not change.*+ And you are sons of Jacob; you have not yet come to your finish. 7 From the days of your forefathers you have turned aside from my regulations and have not kept them.+ Return to me, and I will return to you,”+ says Jehovah of armies.
But you say: “How are we supposed to return?”
8 “Will a mere human rob God? But you are robbing me.”
And you say: “How have we robbed you?”
“In the tithes* and in the contributions. 9 You are certainly cursed,* for you are robbing me—yes, the entire nation is doing so. 10 Bring the entire tithe* into the storehouse,+ so that there may be food in my house;+ and test me out, please, in this regard,” Jehovah of armies says, “to see whether I will not open to you the floodgates of the heavens+ and pour out* on you a blessing until there is nothing lacking.”+
11 “And I will rebuke the devouring one* for you, and it will not ruin the fruit of your land, nor will the vine in your field be fruitless,”+ says Jehovah of armies.
12 “All the nations will have to declare you happy,+ for you will become a land of delight,” says Jehovah of armies.
13 “Your words against me have been strong,” says Jehovah.
And you say: “How have we spoken against you among ourselves?”+
14 “You say, ‘It is of no value to serve God.+ How have we benefited by keeping our obligations to him and by walking somberly before Jehovah of armies? 15 Now we consider presumptuous people happy. Also, those who practice wickedness are successful.+ They dare to put God to the test and get away with it.’”
16 At that time those who fear Jehovah spoke with one another, each one with his companion, and Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance was written before him+ for those fearing Jehovah and for those meditating on* his name.+
17 “And they will be mine,”+ says Jehovah of armies, “in the day when I produce a special property.*+ I will show them compassion, just as a man shows compassion to his son who serves him.+ 18 And you will again see the distinction between a righteous person and a wicked person,+ between one serving God and one not serving him.”