New Defender's Study Bible Notes
2:3 dung upon your faces. God had commanded that the dung of the sacrificial animals be buried “without the camp” (Exodus 29:14; Leviticus 4:11-12; 16:27). But, because of the faithlessness of the priests to their high calling, they were to be subjected to utter humiliation and disgrace. God would “send a curse upon you” (Malachi 2:2) and “take you away with it.” This dire warning seems to imply an untimely death, with each such corrupt priest buried “without the camp” in the dungheap.
2:5 My covenant. The covenant with “Phineas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest,” was a “covenant of peace,” the “covenant of an everlasting priesthood” (Numbers 25:11-13), but his descendants had “corrupted the covenant of Levi” (Malachi 2:8). Hypocrisy and rebellion on the part of one who is a “messenger of the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 2:7) may still result in being made “contemptible and base before all the people” (Malachi 2:9).
2:10 God created us. All men are natural children of God by the fact of creation (Acts 17:24-29), but become spiritual children of God only by regeneration (John 1:12-13; 3:3-8). However, the primary thrust of this verse is the unity of the children of Israel, all of whom have the same father, Jacob. In fact, Israel also is said to have been “created” by God as a special people (Isaiah 43:1, 7).
2:15 make one. Malachi here refers to the original creation of man and woman, when He made them “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Even though God had allowed divorce among His people under certain circumstances (Deuteronomy 24:1-4), the Lord Jesus made it clear that this was only “because of the hardness of your hearts,” but it was not God’s will (Matthew 19:8). In fact, Malachi says the Lord “hateth putting away” of one’s wife (Malachi 2:16). Some of the Jews had been abandoning their own wives and taking foreign wives, thus risking the same lapse into paganism that had happened long ago when Solomon married “strange wives.” By God’s direction, Nehemiah had sharply rebuked this practice, and required them to separate themselves again (Nehemiah 13:23-30).