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Commentary On Zechariah Malachi by Jean Calvin

Malachi 2:12

12. The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.

12. Excidet Iehova virum qui fecerit hoc, excitantem et respondentem, ex tabernaculis Iacob, et qui adducit oblationem Iehovae exercituum.

The Prophet here teaches us, that neither the priests nor the people would go unpunished, because they had mingled with the pollutions of the heathens, and profaned and violated the covenant of God. God then says, Cut off (the word means to scrape off or to blot out) shall God the man who has done this, the mover, or prompter, as well as the respondent Jerome renders the last words, the master and the disciple; and interpreters vary. Some indeed explain the terms allegorically, and apply them to the dead; but by the mover, I have no doubt, he understands every one who was in power, and could command others, and by the respondent the man who was subject to the authority of his master. The masters then prompted or roused, for it belonged to them to command; and the servants responded, for it was their duty to receive orders and to obey them. It is the same as though the Prophet had said, that God would punish this perfidy, without passing by any, so that he would spare neither the common people nor the chief men: and he also adds the priests, intimating, that the priests themselves would not be excepted.

In short, he denounces punishment on the Jews universally, and shows that however prevalent had this impiety become everywhere, and that though every one thought that whatever was commonly practiced was lawful, yet God would become an avenger, and would include in the same punishment both the masters and the servants, and would not exempt the priests, who considered themselves safe by peculiar privilege. The rest tomorrow.

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