1 And now, O priests, this command is to you.
2 If you will refuse to listen, and if you will refuse to take it to heart, so as to give glory to my name, says the Lord of hosts, I will send destitution upon you, and I will curse your blessings; yes, I will curse them. For you have not taken it to heart.
3 Behold, I will cast forth an arm to you, and I will scatter across your face the dung of your solemnities, and it will take you to itself.
4 And you will know that I sent you this commandment, so that my covenant might be with Levi, says the Lord of hosts.
5 My covenant was with him for life and peace. And I gave him fear, and he feared me, and he was afraid before the face of my name.
6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and integrity, and he turned away many from iniquity.
7 For the lips of the priests will keep knowledge, and they will request the law from his mouth, because he is an angel of the Lord of hosts.
8 But you have withdrawn from the way, and you have scandalized very many in the law. You have nullified the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts.
9 Because of this, I also have made you contemptible and debased to all the people, just as you have not served my ways, and you have accepted a face in the law.
10 Is there not one Father of us all? Did not one God create us? Why, then, does each one of us despise his brother, violating the covenant of our fathers?
11 Judah has transgressed, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has contaminated the sanctified of the Lord, which he loved, and has held the daughter of a strange god.
12 The Lord will drive away the man who has done this, both the teacher and the disciple, from the tabernacles of Jacob and from those offering a gift to the Lord of hosts.
13 And you have done this repeatedly: you have covered the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and bellowing, to such an extent that I no longer have respect towards the sacrifice, nor do I accept any appeasement that is from your hands.
14 And you have said, “What is the reason for this?” It is because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, whom you have despised. Yet she was your partner, and the wife of your covenant.
15 Did not One make her, and is she not the remainder of his spirit? And what does one seek, except offspring of God? So then, preserve your spirit, and do not despise the wife of your youth.
16 If you would hold hatred, dismiss her, says the Lord, the God of Israel. But iniquity will cover his garment, says the Lord of hosts. Preserve your spirit, and do not be willing to despise.
17 You have wearied the Lord with your speeches, and you have said, “In what way, have we wearied him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and such as these please him,” or certainly, “Where is the God of judgment?”
Zechariah First Maccabees Second Maccabees
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