Deuteronomy 15:21

Hebrew Bible

19 You must set apart for the Lord your God every firstborn male born to your herds and flocks. You must not work the firstborn of your bulls or shear the firstborn of your flocks. 20 You and your household must eat them annually before the Lord your God in the place he chooses. 21 If one of them has any kind of blemish—lameness, blindness, or anything else—you may not offer it as a sacrifice to the Lord your God. 22 You may eat it in your villages, whether you are ritually impure or clean, just as you would eat a gazelle or an ibex. 23 However, you must not eat its blood; you must pour it out on the ground like water.

Malachi 1:8

Hebrew Bible

7 You are offering improper sacrifices on my altar, yet you ask, ‘How have we offended you?’ By treating the table of the Lord as if it is of no importance. 8 For when you offer blind animals as a sacrifice, is that not wrong? And when you offer the lame and sick, is that not wrong as well? Indeed, try offering them to your governor! Will he be pleased with you or show you favor?” asks the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 9 “But now plead for God’s favor that he might be gracious to us.” “With this kind of offering in your hands, how can he be pleased with you?” asks the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 10 “I wish that one of you would close the temple doors, so that you no longer would light useless fires on my altar. I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will no longer accept an offering from you.

 Notes and References

"... the “priests,” are brought in as the officials, who are primarily responsible for the cult. The decisive accusation seems to be that they accept animals for sacrifice that are not acceptable for this purpose. As Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer has phrased it: “the prophetic criticism in Malachi 1:8, 13–14 targets anew the priests’ negligence, this time accusing them of insufficient care for God’s cult to ensure that the sacrificial animals fitted the prescribed regulations.” The final judgment, whether the quality of an animal matches the obligatory rules, was indeed the genuine task of the priests. As a consequence, the priests are rightly being held responsible. A reason why blemished animals should be excluded is not given. One has the impression that the speaker does not need to give a reason, because this norm is a stipulation included in the Torah and therefore needs no further explanation or motivation. And indeed, two passages are usually identified to which the prophet seems to allude: Deuteronomy 15:19–23 and Leviticus 22:17–25. Because Leviticus 22:22 enumerates more criteria than Deuteronomy 15, it is quite obvious that it presupposes Deuteronomy 15 and expands its shorter list. Malachi 1:8 also expands the list with the word “weak, ill.” In addition, as Malachi does need a stipulation upon which to build its argument, it must at least presuppose Deuteronomy 15 ..."

Schart, Aaron "Cult and Priests in Malachi 1:6-2:9" in Tiemeyer, Lena-Sofia, and Jutta Krispenz (eds.) Priests and Cults in the Book of the Twelve (pp. 213-234) Society of Biblical Literature, 2016

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