Malachi 2:16

    For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” Mal. 2:16 ESV

    “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate it when people clothe themselves with injustice,” says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. TNIV

    When thou shalt hate her put her away, saith the Lord, the God of Israel: but iniquity shalt cover his garment, saith the Lord of hosts, keep your spirit, and despise not. D-R

I know we have covered this before but I just came across this interpretation in the writings of Martin Bucer and was curious about where it came from – the Vulgate.

    But in Mal. ii. 15, 16. is read the Lord's command
    to put her away whom a Man hates, in these words:
    Take heed to your Spirit, and let none deal
    injuriously against the wife of his youth. If
    he hate, let him put away, saith the Lord God of
    Israel. And he shall hide thy violence with his
    garment, that marries her divorc'd by thee, saith
    the Lord of hosts; but take heed to your Spirit,
    and do no injury.

I am not sure what this verse means but it does show how proof-texting can shift over the centuries. Another verse which exhibits similar fickleness is Gen. 3:16, where woman’s curse ranges from lust/desire for her husband to resisting her role and everything in between.

We have covered this territory before, except for the D-R and Vulgate interpretation of Mal. 2:16. Any thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Malachi 2:16

  1. R. Mansfield says:

    Pardon me for not answering your direct question, but I did teach on this passage at church a few weeks back–a difficult passage in a contemporary audience, in my opinion.

    I opted for the HCSB that morning:

    “If he hates and divorces |his wife|,” says the LORD God of Israel, “he covers his garment with injustice,” says the LORD of Hosts. Therefore, watch yourselves carefully, and do not act treacherously.” (Mal 2:16 HCSB)

  2. John says:

    Parts of Malachi 2:16 are difficult. 2:14-15 are clear. If the more obscure text is interpreted in light of the clear context, the interpretations of NJPSV or HCSB, while different, are both tenable; that of the Vulgate, not at all.

    ancienthebrewpoetry.typepad.com

  3. Iyov says:

    Sorry to be such a stickler, but you should really be more careful in referring to the Douay. You are quoting from one of Challoner’s revisions of the Douay — which in my opinion was a serious step backwards from the amazing achievement that the Douay represented.

    Here is the verse in the Douay The difference is subtle, but you’ll notice that the Douay is both more powerful and closer to the original:

    When thou shalt hate, dismisse, sayth our Lord the God of Israel: but iniquitie shal couer his garment, saith the Lord of hosts, keepe ye your spirit, and do not despise.

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