*2:1 “Command” in the sense of instructions to follow, a warning.
†2:3 Or “rebuke.”
‡2:4 “Levi”: this refers not only to Levi, but to his descendants as priests.
§2:7 “A priest should explain the truth about God”: literally, “A priest should guard knowledge.”
*2:9 Or “You have not brought blessings to people through your teaching.”
†2:11 “A disgusting sin”: or “an abominable thing.”
‡2:11 “Temple”: literally, “holiness.”
§2:12 There is much debate over the meaning of the Hebrew text here.
*2:14 Some believe that these priests not only divorced their wives but then married foreign women.
†2:15 This is one of the most obscure verses in the Old Testament, and consequently there are many very different interpretations. Some take this line to refer to the man and wife become one flesh, as noted in Genesis. Others see the “not one” as the subject of the sentence and so another possible translation would be something like: “No one would have acted like that if he had a remnant of the spirit.” Some have seen the “one” as referring to Abraham as the father of Israel, and the fact that he divorced Hagar may have cited as a precedent by some for their divorces. The response then would be that Abraham was protecting the “children of God” through Isaac. Whatever the case, it seems best to leave some of the ambiguity present, though in the context of discussing marriage relationships it would seem that the original design for marriage in Eden would be a relevant aspect for Malachi to mention.
‡2:16 “A violent attack on the wife”: literally, “covers his garment with violence.”
§2:17 This may be a reference to mindless repetitions of prayers.