14:15. And the destruction of the horse, and of the mule, and of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts, that shall be in those tents, shall be like this destruction.
Shall be like this destruction... That is, the beasts shall be destroyed as well as the men: the common soldiers as well as their leaders.
14:16. And all they that shall be left of all nations that came against Jerusalem, shall go up from year to year, to adore the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
They that shall be left, etc... That is, many of them that persecuted the church shall be converted to its faith and communion.-Ibid. To keep the feast of tabernacles... This feast was kept by the Jews in memory of their sojourning forty years in the desert, in their way to the land of promise. And in the spiritual sense is duly kept by all such Christians as in their earthly pilgrimage are continually advancing toward their true home, the heavenly Jerusalem; by the help of the sacraments and sacrifice of the church. And they that neglect this must not look for the kind showers of divine grace, to give fruitfulness to their souls.
14:17. And it shall come to pass, that he that shall not go up of the families of the land to Jerusalem, to adore the King, the Lord of hosts, there shall be no rain upon them.
14:18. And if the family of Egypt go not up nor come: neither shall it be upon them, but there shall be destruction wherewith the Lord will strike all nations that will not go up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
14:19. This shall be the sin of Egypt, and this the sin of all nations, that will not go up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
14:20. In that day that which is upon the bridle of the horse shall be holy to the Lord: and the caldrons in the house of the Lord shall be as the phials before the altar.
That which is upon the bridle, etc... The golden ornaments of the bridles, etc., shall be turned into offerings in the house of God. And there shall be an abundance of caldrons and phials for the sacrifices of the temple; by which is meant, under a figure, the great resort there shall be to the temple, that is, to the church of Christ, and her sacrifice.
14:21. And every caldron in Jerusalem and Juda shall be sanctified to the Lord of hosts: and all that sacrifice shall come, and take of them, and shall seethe in them: and the merchant shall be no more in the house of the Lord of hosts in that day.
The merchant shall be no more, etc... Or, as some render it, The Chanaanite shall be no more, etc., that is, the profane and unbelievers shall have no title to be in the house of the Lord. Or there shall be no occasion for buyers or sellers of oxen, or sheep, or doves, in the house of God, such as Jesus Christ cast out of the temple.
THE PROPHECY OF MALACHIAS
MALACHIAS, whose name signifies The Angel of the Lord, was contemporary with NEHEMIAS, and by some is believed to have been the same person as ESDRAS. He was the last of the prophets, in the order of time, and flourished about four hundred years before Christ. He foretells the coming of Christ; the reprobation of the Jews and their sacrifices; and the calling of the Gentiles, who shall offer up to God in every place an acceptable sacrifice.
Malachias Chapter 1
God reproaches the Jews with their ingratitude: and the priests for not offering pure sacrifices. He will accept of the sacrifice that shall be offered in every place among the Gentiles.
1:1. The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by the hand of Malachias.
1:2. I have loved you, saith the Lord: and you have said: Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau brother to Jacob, saith the Lord, and I have loved Jacob,
I have loved Jacob, etc... I have preferred his posterity, to make them my chosen people, and to lead them with my blessings, without any merit on their part, and though they have been always ungrateful; whilst I have rejected Esau, and executed severe judgments upon his posterity.
Not that God punished Esau, or his posterity, beyond their desert: but that by his free election and grace he loved Jacob, and favoured his posterity above their deserts. See the annotations upon Rom. 9.
1:3. But have hated Esau? and I have made his mountains a wilderness, and given his inheritance to the dragons of the desert.
1:4. But if Edom shall say: We are destroyed, but we will return and build up what hath been destroyed: thus saith the Lord of hosts: They shall build up, and I will throw down: and they shall be called the borders of wickedness, and the people with whom the Lord is angry for ever.
1:5. And your eyes shall see: and you shall say: The Lord be magnified upon the border of Israel.
1:6. The son honoureth the father, and the servant his master: if then I be a father, where is my honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear: saith the Lord of hosts.
1:7. To you, O priests, that despise my name, and have said: Wherein have we despised thy name? You offer polluted bread upon my altar, and you say: Wherein have we polluted thee? In that you say: The table of the Lord is contemptible.
1:8. If you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? offer it to thy prince, if he will be pleased with it, or if he will regard thy face, saith the Lord of hosts.
1:9. And now beseech ye the face of God, that he may have mercy on you, (for by your hand hath this been done,) if by any means he will receive your faces, saith the Lord of hosts.
1:10. Who is there among you, that will shut the doors, and will kindle the fire on my altar gratis? I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts: and I will not receive a gift of your hand.
1:11. For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts.
A clean oblation... Viz., the precious body and blood of Christ in the eucharistic sacrifice.
1:12. And you have profaned it in that you say: The table of the Lord is defiled: and that which is laid thereupon is contemptible with the fire that devoureth it.
1:13. And you have said: Behold of our labour, and you puffed it away, saith the Lord of hosts, and you brought in of rapine the lame, and the sick, and brought in an offering: shall I accept it at your hands, saith the Lord?
Behold of our labour, etc... You pretended labour and weariness, when you brought your offering; and so made it of no value, by offering it with an evil mind. Moreover, what you offered was both defective in itself, and gotten by rapine and extortion.
1:14. Cursed is the deceitful man that hath in his flock a male, and making a vow offereth in sacrifice that which is feeble to the Lord: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the Gentiles.
Malachias Chapter 2
The priests are sharply reproved for neglecting their covenant. The evil of marrying with idolaters: and too easily putting away their wives.
2:1. And now, O ye priests, this commandment is to you.
2:2. If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, saith the Lord of hosts: I will send poverty upon you, and will curse your blessings, yea I will curse them, because you have not laid it to heart.
2:3. Behold, I will cast the shoulder to you, and will scatter upon your face the dung of your solemnities, and it shall take you away with it.
I will cast the shoulder to you... I will cast away the shoulder, which in the law was appointed to be your portion, and fling it at you in my anger: and will reject both you and your festivals like dung.
2:4. And you shall know that I sent you this commandment, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.
2:5. My covenant was with him of life and peace: and I gave him fear: and he feared me, and he was afraid before my name.
2:6. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace, and in equity, and turned many away from iniquity.
2:7. For the lips of the priests shall keep knowledge, and they shall seek the law at his mouth: because he is the angel of the Lord of hosts.
The angel... Viz., the minister and messenger.
2:8. But you have departed out of the way, and have caused many to stumble at the law: you have made void the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.
2:9. Therefore have I also made you contemptible, and base before all people, as you have not kept my ways, and have accepted persons in the law.
2:10. Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why then doth every one of us despise his brother, violating the covenant of our fathers?