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Verse 5

Malachi 3:5. And I will come near to you to judgment In answer to their demand, Where is the God of judgment? Malachi 2:17, God here tells them that he will hasten the time of judgment, and it shall come speedily upon them, on account of those sins that were general among them: and that if they did not repent, and reform their conduct upon the preaching of the gospel by the forerunner of the Messiah, the Messiah himself, and his apostles and other servants, he would proceed to the utter excision of their nation. And I will be a swift witness, &c. It belongs to God alone to be both witness and judge; for he alone seeth all the actions of men, and needeth not that any should testify against them, because he can himself convict them of their guilt, as having been present and looking on when their most secret sins were committed. Against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, &c. The sins enumerated in this verse were very prevalent in Malachi’s time. Diviners, dreamers, and such as consulted oracles at the idols’ temples, are reproved, Zechariah 10:2; as are the false pretenders to prophecy, Nehemiah 6:12-14. False swearing and oppression are complained of, Zechariah 5:4; Nehemiah 5:3, &c. Their marrying strange women, and putting away their former wives to make room for them, was no better than adultery, and a breach of that solemn oath with which they had bound themselves, Nehemiah 10:29-30. And the same sins seem to have been commonly practised before and at the time of Christ’s appearance, till the destruction of Jerusalem. No nation was more given to charms, divinations, and fortune-telling, than the Jews were about that time, as Dr. Lightfoot has shown out of their own authors. Adulterers were then so common, that the Sanhedrim ordained that the trial of an adulteress, prescribed Numbers 5:0., should no longer be put in practice, as the same author observes out of the Talmud. Josephus informs us that magicians swarmed in Judea, under the government of Felix, and afterward. The denunciation here, that God would come near to judgment with all these, and be a swift witness against them, was fulfilled by that terrible destruction which was made of them by the Romans when Jerusalem was taken, and such havoc was made of the nation as never happened to any people before.

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