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Commentary On Zechariah Malachi by Jean Calvin

Lecture One Hundred and Seventy-second

I could not yesterday finish the complaint which God made against the priests -- that no one of them closed the doors of the temple, so that it might continue pure from all defilements; for as their avarice was insatiable, they indiscriminately admitted all sorts of profanations: hence he comes to this conclusion -- |Offer not hereafter in vain;| for by saying, Kindle not my altar, he means that they spent their toil to no purpose in offering sacrifices, because God required his worship to be performed according to the prescription of his law. I omit now the two other expositions I mentioned yesterday; for it seems to me that the Prophet meant, that the priests wearied themselves in vain while daily offering victims, because the Lord repudiated their service as impure and vicious.

He now adds, I am not pleased with you, and an offering I will not accept from your hand. In the first clause he says that they were not approved by God, or did not please him; and then he adds, that their offerings were rejected; for where there is no pure heart, there we know all works are impure. For we must remember what Moses says -- that Abel pleased God together with his sacrifices, (Genesis 4:4;) and we have seen in another Prophet, that is Haggai, that what is highly esteemed by men is an abomination to God, when he is not worshipped in sincerity and truth, (Haggai 2:15). Our Prophet now means the same thing -- I am not pleased with you, and I regard not as acceptable the victims from your hand. It now follows

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