The Lord Rebukes the Priests
2 “And now, yO priests, zthis command is for you. 2 aIf you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send bthe curse upon you and I will curse cyour blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. 3 Behold, dI will rebuke your offspring,1 and espread dung on your faces, the fdung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it.2 4 So shall you know that I have sent gthis command to you, that hmy covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. 5 My covenant with him was one of life and ipeace, and I gave them to him. jIt was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. 6 kTrue instruction3 was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he lturned many from iniquity. 7 For mthe lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people4 should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. 8 But you have turned aside from the way. nYou have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted othe covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts, 9 and so pI make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but qshow partiality in your instruction.”
Judah Profaned the Covenant
10 Have we not all rone Father? Has not sone God created us? Why then are we tfaithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has been tfaithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For uJudah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant5 of the man who does this, who vbrings an offering to the Lord of hosts!
13 And this second thing you do. wYou cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 xBut you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord ywas witness between you and the wife of your youth, zto whom tyou have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 aDid he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?6 And what was the one God7 seeking?8 bGodly offspring. So guard yourselves9 in your spirit, and let none of you be tfaithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For cthe man who does not love his wife but divorces her,10 says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers11 his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and tdo not be faithless.”
The Messenger of the Lord
17 dYou have wearied the Lord with your words. xBut you say, “How have we wearied him?” eBy saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, f“Where is the God of justice?”
3 g“Behold, I send hmy messenger, and ihe will prepare the way before me. And the Lord jwhom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and kthe messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But lwho can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For mhe is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 He will sit nas a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring oofferings in righteousness to the Lord.1 4 pThen the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be qa swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those rwho oppress the hired worker in his wages, sthe widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.
6 “For tI the Lord do not change; utherefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 vFrom the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. wReturn to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. xBut you say, ‘How shall we return?’ 8 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. xBut you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ yIn your tithes and contributions. 9 zYou are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 aBring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby bput me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open cthe windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 11 I will rebuke dthe devourer2 for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. 12 Then eall nations will call you blessed, for you will be fa land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.
13 g“Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. hBut you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ 14 You have said, i‘It is vain to serve God. jWhat is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? 15 And now we call kthe arrogant blessed. kEvildoers not only prosper but lthey put God to the test and they escape.’”
The Book of Remembrance
16 Then those who feared the Lord mspoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and na book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. 17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, oin the day when I make up pmy treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall qsee the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.
The Great Day of the Lord
4 “For behold, rthe day is coming, sburning like an oven, when tall the arrogant and tall evildoers uwill be stubble. The day that is coming ushall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you vwho fear my name, wthe sun xof righteousness shall rise ywith healing in its wings. You shall go out zleaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, aon the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.
5 d“Behold, I will send you eElijah the prophet fbefore the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will gturn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and hstrike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”2
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
2 dAbraham was the father of Isaac, and eIsaac the father of Jacob, and fJacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and gJudah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram,1 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by hRahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and iJesse the father of David the king.
And jDavid was the father of Solomon by kthe wife of Uriah, 7 and lSolomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph,2 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, mand Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos,3 and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and nJosiah the father of oJechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 And after the deportation to Babylon: pJechoniah was the father of qShealtiel,4 and rShealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of sJoseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to tthe Christ fourteen generations.
The Birth of Jesus Christ
18 Now the birth of uJesus Christ5 took place in this way. vWhen his mother Mary had been betrothed6 to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child wfrom the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling xto put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, yan angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and zyou shall call his name Jesus, afor he will save his people from their sins.” 22 bAll this took place cto fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 d“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name eImmanuel”
(which means, God fwith us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And ghe called his name Jesus.
The Visit of the Wise Men
2 Now hafter Jesus was born in iBethlehem of Judea jin the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men1 from kthe east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born lking of the Jews? For we saw mhis star when it rose2 and have come to nworship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where othe Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 p“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will qshepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, rthey offered him gifts, sgold and tfrankincense and umyrrh. 12 And vbeing warned win a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
The Flight to Egypt
13 Now when they had departed, behold, xan angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. yThis was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, z“Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Herod Kills the Children
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 aThen was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
18 b“A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they care no more.”
The Return to Nazareth
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for dthose who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and ebeing warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called fNazareth, gso that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.