on Malachi 1 :11
From the rising of the sun - The total abolition of the Mosaic sacrifices, and the establishment of a spiritual worship over the whole earth, is here foretold. The incense of praise, and the pure offering of the Lamb without spot, and through him a holy, loving heart, shall be presented everywhere among the Gentiles; and the Jews and their mock offerings shall be rejected.
on Malachi 1 :11
For - The form of words does not express whether this declaration relates to the present or the future. It is a vivid present, such as is often used to describe the future. But the things spoken of show it to be future. The Jewish sacrifices had defects, partly incidental, partly inherent. Incidental were those, with which the prophet had upbraided them; inherent (apart from their mere typical character) that they never could be the religion of the world, since they were locally fixed at Jerusalem. Malachi tells them of a new sacrifice, which should be offered throughout the then pagan world, grounded on His new revelation of Himself to them. "For great shall be My Name among the pagan." The prophet anticipates an objection which the Jews might make to him. Joshua 7:9, "what then will God do unto His great Name?" Those by which He would replace them, would be more worthy of God in two ways:
1) in themselves,
2) in their universality.
"Then," whatsoever the pagan worshiped, even if some worshiped an "unknown God," His "Name" was not known to them, nor "great among them." Those who knew of Him, knew of Him, not as the Lord of heaven and earth, but as the God of the Jews only; their "offerings" were not "pure," but manifoldly defiled. A Hebrew prophet could not be an apologist for pagan idolatry amidst its abominations, or set it on a level with the worship which God had, for the time, appointed; much less could he set it forth as the true acceptable service of God. Malachi himself speaks of it, as an aggravation of cruelty in their divorcing of their wives, that they Malachi 2:11 "married the daughter of a strange god."
The worship of those Jews, who remained, out of secular interests, in foreign countries, could not be represented as "the pure offering;" for they made no offerings: then as now, these being forbidden out of Jerusalem; nor would the worship of such Jews, as were scattered in the large empire of Persia, be contrasted with that at Jerusalem, as "the" pure worship; else why should the Jews have returned? It would have been an abolition of the law before its time. Malachi prophesies then, as had Micah, Isaiah, Zephaniah ZEphesians 2:11, of a new revelation of God, when, and in which, people should "worship Him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the pagan."
Our Lord Himself explains and expands it in His words to the Samaritan woman; John 4:21, John 4:23-24, "Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth," and declared the rejection of the Jews, sealing their own sentence against themselves Matthew 21:41, Matthew 21:43, "I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof;" and before Matthew 8:11-12, "Many shall come from the East and West, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, and the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness."
"Incense shall be offered unto My name," literally I think, "there shall be incense, oblation made unto My name" (this is a mere question of construction) , "and a pure oblation."
This sacrifice, which should be offered, is designated by the special name of "meal-offering." (Leviticus 2:7 (Leviticus 2:14 in English) and the verses following.) God would not accept it from the Jews; He would, from the Pagan. It was a special sacrifice, offered by itself as an unbloody sacrifice, or together with the bloody sacrifice. (Leviticus 6:17 (Leviticus 6:10 in Hebrew)), "It is most holy, as the sin-offering and as the trespass-offering." In the daily sacrifice it was offered morning and evening, with the lamb. Since this was typical of the precious blood-shedding of the "Lamb without spot" upon the cross, so was the meal-offering which accompanied it, of the holy eucharist.
The early Christians saw the force of the prediction, that sacrifice was contrasted with sacrifice, the bloody sacrifices which were ended by the "One full perfect and sufficient sacrifice oblation and satisfaction" made by our Lord "on the altar of the cross for the sins of the whole world," and those sacrifices which He commanded to be made on our altars, as a memorial of Him. So Justin, who was converted probably 133 a.d., within 30 years from the death of John, says "God has, therefore, beforehand declared, that all who through this name offer those sacrifices, which Jesus, who is the Christ, commanded to be offered, that is to say, in the eucharist of the bread and of the cup, which are offered in every part of the world by us Christians, are well-pleasing to Him. But those sacrifices, which are offered by you and through those priests of yours, He wholly rejects, saying, "And I will not accept your offerings at your hands. For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same, My Name is glorified among the Gentiles; but ye profane it."
He points out further the failure of the Jewish explanation as to "their" sacrifices, in that the Church was everywhere, not so the Jews. "You and your teachers deceive yourselves, when you interpret this passage of Scripture of those of your nation who were in the dispersion and say that it speaks of their prayers and sacrifices made in every place, as pure and well-pleasing, and know that you speak falsely, and endeavor in every way to impose upon yourselves; first, because your people are not found, even now, from the rising to the setting of the sun, but there are nations, in which none of your race have ever dwelt: while there is not one nation of people, whether Barbarians, or Greeks, or by whatsoever name distinguished, whether of those (nomads) who live in wagons, or of those who have no houses, or those pastoral people that dwell in tents, among whom prayers and thanksgivings are not offered to the Father and Creator of all things, through the name of the crucified Jesus. And you know that at the time when the prophet Malachi said this, the dispersion of you through the whole world, in which you now are, had not yet taken place; as is also shown by Scripture."
Irenaeus in the same century "He took that which is part of the creation, namely, bread, and gave thanks, saying, 'This is My body.' And the cup likewise, which is of the creation which pertains unto us, He professed to be His own blood, and taught people the new oblation of the New Testament; which the Church receiving from the apostles offers unto God in the world: unto Him who giveth us nourishment, the firstfruits of His own gifts, in the New Testament; of which in the twelve prophets Malachi gave beforehand this intimation (quoting Malachi 1:10-11); most evidently intimating hereby, that while the former people should cease to make offerings to God, in every place sacrifice should be offered unto Him, and that in pureness; His Name also is glorified among the Gentiles. Now what other name is there, which is glorified among the Gentiles, than that which belongs to our Lord, by whom the Father is glorified, and man is glorified?
And because man belongs to His Own Son, and is made by Him, He calls him His Own. And as if some King were himself to paint an image of his own son, he justly calls it his own image, on both accounts, first that it is his son's, next, that he himself made it: so also the Name of Jesus Christ, which is glorified in the Church throughout the whole world, the Father professes to be His own, both because it is His Son's, and because He Himself wrote and gave it for the salvation of men. Because, therefore, the Name of the Son properly belongs to the Father, and in God Almighty through Jesus Christ the Church makes her offering, well saith He on both accounts, 'And in every place incense is offered unto My Name, and a pure sacrifice.' And incense, John in the Apocalypse declares to be the prayers of the saints. Therefore, the offering of the Church, which the Lord hath taught to be offered in the whole world, is accounted with God as a pure sacrifice, and accepted of Him."
Tertullian contrasts the "sacerdotal law through Moses, in Leviticus, prescribing to the people of Israel, that sacrifices should in no other place be offered to God than in the land of promise, which the Lord God was about to give to the people Israel and to their brethren, in order that on Israel's introduction thither, there should be there celebrated sacrifices and holocausts, as well for sins as for souls, and nowhere else but in the holy land Leviticus 17:1-6; Deuteronomy 12:5-14, Deuteronomy 12:26-27, and this subsequent prediction of the Spirit through the prophets, that in every place and in every land there should be offered sacrifices to God. As He says through the angel Malachi, one of the twelve prophets (citing the place)."
Hippolytus, a disciple of Irenaeus, 220 a.d. martyr, in a commentary on Daniel, says that "when Anti-Christ cometh, the sacrifice and libation will be taken away, which is now in every place offered by the Gentiles to God." The terms "Sacrifice offered in every place" are terms of Malachi.
on Malachi 1 :11
1:11 Incense - A law term for a gospel duty, and under this type are contained the prayers and praises, nay, the whole gospel - worship. A pure offering - Both sincere, in opposition to hypocrisy, and holy, in opposition to impurity, superstition and idolatry.