1The Commander of the armies of angels says this: “Listen! I am about to send my messenger who will prepare the people to receive me when I come. You claim that IRO you are wanting to see me, and I will suddenly come to my temple. The messenger who will tell you about a new agreement, the one whom you are eagerly SAR awaiting, is certainly going to come to you.”
2But will anyone RHQ be able to survive when he comes? Will anyone RHQ be able to remain standing in front of him? Certainly not, because he will be like SIM a blazing fire that refines/purifies metal/gold. He will be like SIM a very strong soap that bleaches clothes.
3He will be like a worker who sits in front of his work to cause silver to become pure by burning all the impurities. Like a worker refines silver and gold, he will cause the ◄descendants of Levi/priests► to become pure, in order that they will again become acceptable to offer sacrifices that will be acceptable to him.
4When that happens, Yahweh will again accept the offerings brought to him by the people of Jerusalem and other places in Judah, as he did previously.
5This is what the Commander of the armies of angels says: “At that time, I will come to you to judge you. I will quickly testify against all those who practice sorcery/witchcraft, all those who have committed adultery, and all liars. I will testify against those who have not given their workers the pay/wages that they promised, those who ◄oppress/treat cruelly► widows and orphans, and those who do not allow foreigners who live among you to be treated fairly. I will testify that all the people who do those things do not revere me.”
6“I am Yahweh, and I never change. And although you deceive people like your ancestor Jacob did, I have not yet gotten rid of you.
7You and your ancestors have ignored my commands and you have not obeyed them. Now return to me; and when that happens, I will ◄return/do good► to you. That is what I, the Commander of the armies of angels, say.” But you ask, “ We have never gone away from you, so how can we return to you?”
8I reply, “People should certainly not RHQ cheat God; but you people have cheated me!” You ask, “In what way did we cheat you?” I reply, “ You have cheated me by not bringing to me each year ◄the tithes/one tenth of all your crops and animals► and other offerings that you are required to give to me.
9All that you do is cursed, because all you people in this country have been cheating me.
10Now bring all the tithes to the storage rooms in the temple, in order that there will be enough food for the people who serve me there. If you do that, I, the Commander of the armies of angels, promise that I will open the windows of heaven, and pour out from them blessings on you. If you bring your tithes to the temple, the blessings will be very great, with the result that you will not have enough space to store all of them. So test me to see if I am telling the truth.
11You will have abundant crops to harvest, because I will protect them in order that they will not be harmed by locusts/insects. Your grapes will not fall from the vines before they are ripe.
12When that happens, the people of all nations will say that I have blessed you, because your country will be delightful. That is what I, the Commander of the armies of angels, say.
13I, Yahweh, have something else to say to you. You have said terrible things about me.” But you reply, “What terrible things have we said about you?”
14I reply, “You have said, ‘It is useless for us to serve God. We have gained nothing RHQ by obeying the commands that he gave to us and by trying to show the Commander of the armies of angels that we are sorry for the sins that we have committed.
15From now on, we will say/consider that those who are proud are the ones whom God has blessed. We will say that because it seems that it is those who do evil who become rich, and that it is those who try to find out how many evil things they can do without God punishing them who are not punished.’”
16After the people heard my message, those who revered Yahweh discussed those things with each other, and Yahweh listened to what they said. While Yahweh was watching, they wrote on a scroll the things that would remind them about what they promised, and they wrote on that scroll the names of those who revered Yahweh and who said that they always wanted to honor him MTY.
17The Commander of the armies of angels says this about those people: “They will be my people. At the time that I judge people, they will be like MET a special treasure to me. I will be kind to them, like SIM fathers are kind to their sons who obey them.
18When that happens, you will again see that the manner in which I treat righteous people is different from the manner in which I treat wicked people. You will see that the manner in which I act toward those who serve me is different from the manner in which I act toward those who do not.”