Questions From Readers
◼ What is “the seed of God” mentioned at Malachi 2:15?
This intricate verse reads, in part: “And there was one who did not do it, as he had what was remaining of the spirit. And what was that one seeking? The seed of God.” “The seed” evidently refers to the nation of ancient Israel, which at the time the verse was written was in danger of religious contamination.
Malachi prophesied during a period of national moral decay. Some Israelite men were not only taking ‘the daughters of a foreign god as brides’ but also divorcing their original Jewish wives, the ‘wives of their youth,’ to take on perhaps younger heathen wives. Yet, not all Israelite men did this “detestable thing.” (Malachi 2:11, 13, 14; Deuteronomy 7:3, 4) Evidently referring to individuals who refused to break their marriage covenant with a fellow worshiper of Jehovah, Malachi wrote: “And there was one who did not do it, as he had what was remaining of the spirit.”
The “spirit” is God’s holy spirit, which he had poured out on the nation. The disobedient Israelites, however, were resisting, and hence grieving, that spirit. (Isaiah 63:10; Acts 7:51-53; compare Ephesians 4:30.) Some individual Jews were loyal to God’s laws, and by their obedience they had retained what “was remaining of the spirit.” These faithful worshipers did not seek their own selfish pleasure. Of such an individual, Malachi wrote: “What was that one seeking? The seed of God.” This “seed” was the nation of ancient Israel, which Malachi said was ‘created by God.’ This ‘creation’ occurred when Jehovah drew the Israelites into a covenant with him at Mount Sinai, making them his “special property” and “a holy nation.” The true “seed” of Abraham that would bless people of all the earth was to come through this nation.—Malachi 2:10; Exodus 19:5, 6; Genesis 22:18.
However, the Israelites had to keep religiously pure by not intermarrying with people of the nations who did not worship Jehovah. The ungodliness of such persons would be corrupting, as can be seen from the situation in Ezra’s time. The Israelites then “accepted some of [the surrounding nations’] daughters for themselves and for their sons; and they, the holy seed, [became] mingled with the peoples of the lands.” (Ezra 9:2) This same “great badness” occurred during the days of Nehemiah, a contemporary of Malachi. Jewish men loyal to God saw the clear spiritual peril to themselves and to the children born of such a union. There was the danger of being drawn away from Jehovah’s worship by a wife who was not devoted to Him. Nehemiah even reported that among those Jews who had intermarried, ‘none of their children knew how to speak Jewish.’—Nehemiah 13:23-27.
The disloyal Jews were seeking their own pleasure regardless of the detrimental religious impact on their nation, “the seed of God.” No wonder Malachi admonished: “And you people must guard yourselves respecting your spirit, and with the wife of your youth may no one deal treacherously”! (Malachi 2:15) The faithful Jews guarded their spirit, or attitude, so as to stay loyal to their Jewish wives. These men highly valued the religious purity of their “holy nation.” They desired that their children read God’s Word and grow up to love Jehovah, contributing to the religious strength of the nation.
Dedicated Christians today need to exercise the same diligence over their spirit, or dominant attitude. If married, these individuals need to avoid treacherously divorcing their mates. And a single Christian should heed the counsel of the apostle Paul to marry “only in the Lord,” entering wedlock only with another dedicated, baptized witness of Jehovah.—1 Corinthians 7:39.