Pristine Grace

Mal 2:4-7, (GILL)
4  And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you,.... See Gill on "Mal 2:1":

that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts; not that the ceremonial law might be confirmed and established, on which the Levitical priesthood was founded; for it was the will of God that that should be abolished, because of the weakness and unprofitableness of it; but that the covenant of grace made with Christ, the antitype of Levi, with whom the true Urim and Thummim are, De 33:8, who has a more excellent ministry and priesthood than his, might take place, be made manifest, and be exhibited under the Gospel dispensation; of which, and of the person with whom it is, an account is given in the following verses.

5  My covenant was with him of life and peace,.... Not with Aaron, nor with Phinehas; nor is it to be understood of a covenant, promising temporal life and outward prosperity to either of them; Aaron living a hundred and twenty three years, Nu 33:39 and Phinehas, according to some Jewish writers, above three hundred years, which they gather from Jud 20:28 but of the covenant made with Christ from everlasting, called "a covenant of life", because it was made with Christ the Word of life, who was with the Father from all eternity, and in time was made manifest in the flesh; and was made in behalf of persons ordained to eternal life, and in which that was promised and given to them in him; and in which it was agreed that he should become man, and lay down his life as such, that they might enjoy it: and it is called a "covenant of peace", because the scheme of peace and reconciliation was drawn in it, and agreed unto; Christ was appointed in it to be the Peacemaker; and in consequence of which he was sent to procure peace, and he has made it by the blood of his cross: and this covenant may be said to have been and to be "with him"; because it was made with him from all eternity, as the head and representative of his people, and he had all the blessings and promises of it put into his hands; and it stands fast with him, and will do so for evermore.

And I gave them to him; namely, the blessings of life and peace; eternal life is the gift of God; and not only the promise of it, but that itself, was given to Christ in covenant for his people, and a power to give it to as many as the Father gave to him, Ps 21:4 2Ti 1:1 he gave him also peace to make, put this work of peacemaking into his hand; and he allows it to be made by him, and that it is rightly effected; and from his blood and righteousness peace springs to his people; and they enjoy peace in him and through him, yea, all prosperity and happiness:

[for] the fear wherewith he feared me; because of his obedience to the precept and penalty of the law; because of his righteousness, and sufferings, and death, by means of which life and peace came to his people, and in which he showed great fear and reverence of God, Heb 5:7 the word "for" is not in the original text, and may be left out in a version, or supplied with "and"; and the sense be, besides the blessings of life and peace, I also gave him the fear with which he feared me; which must be understood of the grace of fear bestowed on him as man: so the Septuagint version, "I gave unto him in fear to fear me"; and the Vulgate Latin version, "and I gave him fear, and he feared me": and the Arabic version, "I gave him fear, that he might fear me": the Targum is,

"I gave him the perfect doctrine of the law, or the doctrine of the perfect law (see Jas 1:25) that he might fear before me.''

And was afraid before my name; frightened, and put into consternation, as he was when in the garden, and he began to be heavy and sore amazed, Mr 14:33 or he was broken and bruised, as Kimchi interprets the word here used, because of the name of the Lord, to satisfy his justice, fulfil his law, and glorify all his perfections.

6  The law of truth was in his mouth,.... The Gospel, the word and doctrine of truth; which comes from the God of truth; is concerning Christ the truth and men are guided into it by the Spirit of truth; it contains most glorious truths, and nothing but truth: and this was in the mouth of Christ, being put there by his Father, who gave him what he should say, and what he should speak; and which was preached by him in the most faithful manner, and so as it never was by any other, for which he was abundantly qualified:

and iniquity was not found in his lips; there was none in his nature; nor in his heart; nor in his life; nor in his lips; none could be found there by men nor devils: there was no falsehood in his doctrines; no deceit in his promises; no dissimulation in his expressions of love to men; nothing vain, light, frothy, and unprofitable, dropped from him in common conversation; no reviling in return to his enemies; nor any impatient expressions or murmurings at the time of his sufferings and death, 1Pe 2:22:

he walked with me in peace and equity: he walked with God, he had communion with him; though he was sometimes left alone, he was not alone, God was with him; he was conformable to his will, and walked according to it, in obedience to his law, moral and ceremonial, and in the discharge of all religious duties: he walked with God "in peace", without quarrelling with any of his dispensations towards him; he did nothing to break the peace that subsisted between them, but always did the things which pleased his father, and had peace in what he did; and he walked with him in "equity", or righteousness, fulfilling his righteous law, and bringing in an everlasting righteousness:

and did turn many away from iniquity; doctrinal and practical; which is to be understood, not of a bare reformation only in principle and practice, but of true real conversion; of which there were many instances under the ministry of his forerunner John the Baptist, and under his own ministry when in person on earth; and under the ministry of his apostles, attended with his Spirit and power, both in Judea, and in the Gentile world.

7  For the priest's lips should keep knowledge,.... Or "shall keep knowledge", as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions; or "do keep knowledge", as the Arabic version; and so the Syriac version, "for the lips of the priest drop knowledge"; all this is true of Christ our great High Priest; for as it was predicted of him, that his lips should keep knowledge, so they have kept it, and do keep it; not concealing it, but preserving it, and communicating it freely and openly; as he did to his disciples and followers when here on earth, and by them to others; and still does by his Spirit, giving to men the knowledge of themselves and state; the knowledge of himself, and the way of salvation by him, and of the truths of the Gospel:

and they should seek the law at his mouth; not the law of Moses, but the doctrine of grace, and any wholesome instruction and advice; which he is greatly qualified to give, being the wonderful Counsellor: it may be rendered, "they shall seek", or "do seek"; and which has been fulfilled, especially in the Gentiles, and in the isles that waited for his law or doctrine, Isa 11:10:

for he [is] the messenger of the Lord of hosts; or "angel" [w]; he is the Angel of God's presence, and of the covenant, Isa 63:9 Mal 3:1 which name he has from being sent, for he came not of himself, but his Father sent him; he was sent as a priest to atone for the sins of his people, and to be their Saviour; and as a prophet, to instruct and teach them; and therefore they should seek to him for knowledge, and attend his word and ordinances, and implore his spirit and grace.

[w] Kalm aggelov, Sept; "angelus", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius, Burkius.

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