F2 K1 1-9. The Priests reproved. K1 10-16. The People reproved.
K1 L N 1,2-. Commandment given. O -2-4. Punishment threatened. M 5-7. Covenant with Levi. L N 8. Commandment disobeyed. O 9. Punishment administered.
1 And now, O you priests, this commandment (as to reformation) is for you.
2 If you will not hear (ref. Lev. 26;14. Deut. 28:15), and if (condition) you will not lay it to heart (mind), to give glory to My name (see Ps. 20:1), has said the LORD of hosts,
I will even send the curse upon you (ref. Deut. 28:20), and I will curse your blessings (ref. Deut. 28:2): yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart. (Because they do not take it seriously. See Zech. 5.)
3 Behold, I will rebuke your seed (fruits), and spread refuge (always sacrificial) upon your faces, even the refuge of your solemn feasts (put for the sacrifices offered at the feasts); and one shall take you away with it (i.e. the refuge).
4 And you shall know (see Ezra 8:5) that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant might continue with Levi, has said the LORD of hosts.
5 My covenant was with him (ref. Num. 25:10-13. Deut. 33:8,9,10) of life and peace; and I gave this life and peace to him (Levi) as an awe-inspiring, reverend characteristic; because he stood in awe of Me. (There seems to be a distinct ref. to Phineas. But there seems to be a distinct ref. to Levi also [Ex. 32:26-29], in the first place, at any rate.)
6 The law of truth (this should be the duty, obligation, and conviction of a priest) was in his mouth (i.e. for teaching), and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge (see Prov. 1:7. This was the 1st duty of the priests, especially the Law, and was more important than their ceremonial duties. Ref. Lev. 10:11. Deut. 17:11; 33:10), and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger (title) of the LORD of hosts.
8 But you (preachers) are departed out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the law (easy to do if you are ignorant); you have made void the covenant of Levi, has said the LORD of hosts.
9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base (little thought of) before all the people (i.e. the tribes), because you have not kept My ways, but have had respect of persons in [administering] the law. (Playing favoritism.)
K2 P1 10,11. Judah's treachery. Q1 12. Yahaveh's warning. P2 13-15-. Judah's treachery. Q2 -15. Yahaveh's warning. P3 16-. Judah's treachery. Q3 -16. Yahaveh's warning.
10 [You say] Have we not all one Father? (see John 8:33,39,41,&c) has not one GOD created us? why do we deal treacherously (or faithlessly, used of faithlessness to the marriage bond) every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? (See Ezra 9:10-13.)
11 Judah has dealt treacherously (see Jer. 3:7,8,20: 5:11,&c.), and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the Sanctuary of the LORD which (i.e. the Sanctuary) He loved, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. (I.e. a woman temple-worshiper of a foreign god. Leads to worshiping false Christ, Satan.)
12 The LORD will cut off the man that does this, the wakener and the answerer (referring to the Temple watchers [Ps. 134:1), out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offers an offering to the LORD of hosts. (He won't accept it. This is what will happen to you if you do not follow His Word.)
13 And this have you done again (the 2nd thing), covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that He regards not the offering any more, or receives it with good will at your hand. (i.e. cut off the wronged wives and children. You run off and leave your wives and hook up with these strange foreign women [beliefs], and I have to listen to the tears of the women of Israel on the altar who have been divorced and kicked to one side, and watch the tears of sadness and everything else. You have compounded the fracture, leaving your 1st love [spiritually]. You leave the real truth of God and it does no good to do so. But the worse part is, it hurts other people.)
14 Yet you say, "Wherefore [does He not accept it]?" Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously: yet is she your companion, and the wife of your covenant. (No! He left her.)
15 And did not He make one? (Adam, see Gen. 2:24) Yet had He the residue of the spirit. And what did one [Abraham] who [was] seeking a seed from God? [Was Abraham faithless to Sarah and did he ill-treat her when he took an additional wife? How more out you to be faithful to your wives?]
Therefore watch over your own spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. (Protect it spiritually and otherwise.)
16 For [as] hating putting away (divorce [Deut. 24:1), has the Lord, Israel's God, spoken; and [as hating him that] has carried violence concealed in his clothing (cp. Pss. 73;6; 109:18,29. Prov. 28:13. Isa. 30:1), has the Lord of hosts spoken: (Creates a marriage. Cp. Jer. 31:8,9. Ruth and Ezek. 16.)
therefore take heed to your spirit, that you deal not treacherously.
17 You have wearied the LORD with your words (hot air. They miss-teach, turn truth upside down). Yet you have said, "Wherein have we wearied Him?" When you say, "Every one that does violence is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them;" or, "Where is the God of judgment?" (They act like God doesn't care.)