1. 'Look, I shall send my messenger to clear a way before me. And suddenly the Lord whom you seek will come to his Temple; yes, the angel of the covenant, for whom you long, is on his way, says Yahweh Sabaoth.
2. Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire, like fullers' alkali.
3. He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they can make the offering to Yahweh with uprightness.
4. The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be acceptable to Yahweh as in former days, as in the years of old.
5. I am coming to put you on trial and I shall be a ready witness against sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, and against those who oppress the wage-earner, the widow and the orphan, and who rob the foreigner of his rights and do not respect me, says Yahweh Sabaoth.
6. 'No; I, Yahweh, do not change; and you have not ceased to be children of Jacob!
7. Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have evaded my statutes and not observed them. Return to me and I will return to you, says Yahweh Sabaoth. You ask, "How are we to return?
8. Can a human being cheat God?" Yet you try to cheat me! You ask, "How do we try to cheat you?" Over tithes and contributions.
9. A curse lies on you because you, this whole nation, try to cheat me.
10. Bring the tithes in full to the treasury, so that there is food in my house; put me to the test now like this, says Yahweh Sabaoth, and see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you and pour out an abundant blessing for you.
11. For your sakes, I shall forbid the locust to destroy the produce of your soil or prevent the vine from bearing fruit in your field, says Yahweh Sabaoth,
12. and all the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delights, says Yahweh Sabaoth.
13. 'You have said harsh things about me, says Yahweh. And yet you say, "What have we said against you?"
14. You have said, "It is useless to serve God; what is the good of keeping his commands or of walking mournfully before Yahweh Sabaoth?
15. In fact, we now call the proud the happy ones; the evil-doers are the ones who prosper; they put God to the test, yet come to no harm!" '
16. Then those who feared Yahweh talked to one another about this, and Yahweh took note and listened; and a book of remembrance was written in his presence recording those who feared him and kept his name in mind.
17. 'On the day when I act, says Yahweh Sabaoth, they will be my most prized possession, and I shall spare them in the way a man spares the son who serves him.
18. Then once again you will see the difference between the upright person and the wicked one, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him.
19. 'For look, the Day is coming, glowing like a furnace. All the proud and all the evil-doers will be the stubble, and the Day, when it comes, will set them ablaze, says Yahweh Sabaoth, leaving them neither root nor branch.
20. But for you who fear my name, the Sun of justice will rise with healing in his rays, and you will come out leaping like calves from the stall,
21. and trample on the wicked, who will be like ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act, says Yahweh Sabaoth.
22. 'Remember the Law of my servant Moses to whom at Horeb I prescribed decrees and rulings for all Israel.
23. 'Look, I shall send you the prophet Elijah before the great and awesome Day of Yahweh comes.
24. He will reconcile parents to their children and children to their parents, to forestall my putting the country under the curse of destruction.'