on Malachi 1 :7
Ye offer polluted bread - The priests, probably to ingratiate themselves with the people, took the refuse beasts, etc., and offered them to God; and thus the sacrificial ordinances were rendered contemptible.
on Malachi 1 :7
Offering polluted bread upon Mine altar - This, continuing on the words, "despisers of My Name," , is the answer to their question, "Wherein have we despised Thy Name?" "Bread" might stand, in itself, either for the showbread, or for the מנחה minchāh, meal-offering, which was the necessary accompaniment of sacrifices and sometimes the whole.
But here the "polluted bread" cannot be the showbread, since this was not put upon the altar, but upon its own table; and although the altar is, as here, also called "a table" , in regard to the sacrifice hereon consumed, "the table" of the showbread is nowhere called "altar." The prophet then means by "bread," either the meal-offering, as representing the sacrifice, or the offerings by fire altogether, as in Ezekiel EZechariah 44:7, "When ye offer My bread, the fat and the blood;" and in Leviticus "the offerings of the Lord, made by fire, the bread of their God, do they offer;" and of the "peace-offering Leviticus 3:11, the priest shall burn it upon the altar; the bread of the offering made by fire unto the Lord:" and specifically, of animals with blemish, as these, it is forbidden Leviticus 22:25, "Neither from a stranger's hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these, because their corruption is in them, blemishes in them: they shall not be accepted for you." It was, as it were, a feast of God with man, and what was withdrawn from the use of man by fire, was, as it were, consumed by God, to whom it was offered.
It was "polluted," in that it was contrary to the law of God which forbade to sacrifice any animal, "lame or blind" or with "any ill blemish," as being inconsistent with the typical perfection of the sacrifice. Even the Gentiles were careful about the perfection of their sacrifices.
"Blind is the sacrifice of the soul, which is not illumined by the light of Christ. Lame is his sacrifice of prayer, who comes with a double mind to entreat the Lord." "He offereth one weak, whose heart is not established in the grace of God, nor by the anchor of hope fixed in Christ. These words are also uttered against those who, being rich, offer to the Creator the cheaper and least things, and give small alms."
"And ye say, Wherewith have we polluted Thee?" It is a bold expression. Yet a word, to which we are but too ill-accustomed, which expresses what most have done, "dishonor God," comes to the same. Though less bold in expression, they are yet like in meaning Ezekiel 13:19. "Will ye pollute Me anymore among My people?" or Ezekiel 20:9, Ezekiel 20:14, Ezekiel 20:22, "that My Name should not be polluted before the pagan Ezekiel 43:7. My holy Name shall Israel no more defile Ezekiel 39:7, "I will not let them pollute My Name anymore." "Much more in the new law, in which the Sacrifice is Christ Himself our God, whence the Apostle says expressly 1 Corinthians 11:27, "Whoso eateth this bread and drinketh this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." "For when the sacraments are violated, Himself, whose sacraments they are, is violated." God speaks of our acts with an unveiled plainness, which we should not dare to use. "As we are said to sanctify God, when we minister to Him in holiness and righteousness, and so, as far as in us lies, show that He is holy; so we are said to pollute Him, when we conduct ourselves irreverently and viciously before Him, especially in His worship, and thereby, as far as in us lies, show that He is not holy and is to be dishonored."
"In that ye say, the table of the Lord is contemptible," literally "contemptible is it," , and so any contemptible thing might be offered on it. They said this probably, not in words, but in deeds. Or, if in words, in plausible words. "God doth not require the ornamenting of the altar, but the devotion of the offerers." "What good is it, if we offer the best? Be what we offer, what it may, it is all to be consumed by fire." "The pretext at once of avarice and gluttony!" And so they kept the best for themselves. They were poor, on their return from the captivity. Anyhow, the sacrifices were offered. What could it matter to God? And so they dispensed with God's law.
"So at this day we see some priests and prelates, splendid in their tables and feasts, sordid in the altar and temple; on the table are costly napkins and wine; on the altar torn linen and wine-mace rather than wine." "We pollute the bread, that is, the Body of Christ, when we approach the altar unworthily, and, being defiled, drink that pure Blood, and say, 'The table of the Lord is contemptible;' not that anyone dareth to say this, but the deeds of sinners pour contempt on the table of God."
on Malachi 1 :7
1:7 Bread - Either the meal - offerings, or rather in a more large sense, all sacrifices and oblations. Ye say - Perhaps in words; at least your deeds speak your thoughts. The table - This comprehends all that was offered to God.