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Early Christians linked the sacrifice of the Eucharist with the sacrifice described in Malachi 1. In the King James Version, this passage relevant reads

10 ... I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. 12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. 14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

The Didache 14, ca. 90 AD:

But every Lord's day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations.

Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 41, ca. 155 AD:

Hence God speaks by the mouth of Malachi, one of the twelve [prophets], as I said before, about the sacrifices at that time presented by you: "I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord; and I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands: for, from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, My name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to My name, and a pure offering: for My name is great among the Gentiles, says the Lord: but you profane it." [So] He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us, who in every place offer sacrifices to Him, i.e., the bread of the Eucharist, and also the cup of the Eucharist, affirming both that we glorify His name, and that you profane [it].

However, the New Jerome Biblical Commentary has the following to say:

incense is offered: Verbal and nominal forms based on the root qtr, like muqtar [H6999] here, have to do with any kind of offering which gives off smoke, but in postexilic texts precise enough to let us see what is being offered they have to do with incense or other aromatic substances. The ptc. muggas can be used of bringing any type of offering before God.

pure offering: Hebr tahor [H2889] in a cultic context means "pure" in the sense of being free from all that ritually defiles; the contrast with the blemished animals sacrificed by the priests of Jerusalem is thus clear. The word minha [H4503] as a technical cultic term designates a cereal offering (Lev 2); of itself, the word means a pleasant "gift"...

It will be noted that none of these cultic terms has to do with animal sacrifice, although the practice they describe is being compared with contemporary Israelite practice of animal sacrifice. This verse has received the most attention through the centuries. Many have taken it as referring specifically to the future Christian eucharistic sacrifice, or to the sacrifice on the cross, or to the quality of sacrifice less specifically in the future messianic era. It is difficult to take the literal sense as having reference to the future. It is made up of nominal clauses, without any finite vb., and the ptc. muggas, "offered" cannot by itself give these clauses future reference any more than do the ptcs. in v 12, whose time reference is clearly present. ...

Taken at face value, this verse contrasts the offensive sacrificial abuse (involving animals) in Jerusalem with the pleasing oblatory practice (even without sacrificial animals) everywhere else in the world. Pagans at least show the right disposition; Judeans cheat Yahweh. To the objection that so favorable a view of worship among all nations is not consonant with Mal's particularism one may reply that the direct purpose of this view is not that of praising pagan worship but rather that of shaming the priests of Judah by contrasting the quality of offerings to divinity everywhere else. That pagan offerings are everywhere ritually pure and that pagans everywhere give worship to the name of Yahweh are, in context, less statements of fact than they are rhetorical exaggerations meant to shame the Judeans. They move a step further than the universal acknowledgment of Yahweh enunciated in v 14.

Some translations seem to agree in part with the bolded portion above. Translations like the Douay-Rheims, RSV, and NAB have the indicative is where the KJV has the future shall be in v. 11. The ESV and HCSB preserve the future tense, but indicate that that the present tense may be acceptable in footnotes; other modern translations like the NIV and NASB also retain the future tense.

So, my question is how the Hebrew in v. 11 should be translated. Is the exegesis found in the New Jerome Biblical Commentary sound, and is it correct in asserting that the passage has no future or prophetic context? If this is the case, whence the future tense in several translations? It is indisputable that the early Church linked this verse with the Eucharist; were they simply incorrect in assuming that it indicated anything to be fulfilled?

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    Christians obviously interpreted Malachi 1:11 to refer to the spread of Christianity among the formerly pagan Gentiles, but a Jewish diaspora dating back to the Babylonian captivity already existed in pre-Christian Hellenistic times; indeed, Christianity first flourished among the diaspora before later extending through it to the Gentiles (Acts 2). As for sacrifices, for Christians, the supreme one, but by no means the only one, is obviously Christ's, embodied by the Eucharist; though other kinds or types of offerings also exist, such as that of praise (Psalm 119:108; Hebrews 13:15), etc. – Lucian Dec 21 '18 at 23:39
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The Early Christian Doctrine of the Eucharist

First we have to recognize and concede that Malachi 1 seen as a prophecy of the Eucharist as a sacrifice offered by the Gentiles and the Eucharist being seen as a sacrifice are not dependant at all (rather, Malachi 1 being seen as a prophecy of such is proof enough that the belief predates citations used to prove it is prophesied). So Malachi 1 or no Malachi 1, the Christians still believed the Eucharist was a sacrifice offered by the Gentiles.

Consider the teaching of St. Paul on the fundamental nature of the Eucharist, and a significant Scriptural term he uses in reference thereto:

1 Corinthians 10:14-21 (DRB)

14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, fly from the service of idols. 15 I speak as to wise men: judge ye yourselves what I say. 16 The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord? 17 For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread. 18 Behold Israel according to the flesh: are not they, that eat of the sacrifices, partakers of the altar? 19 What then? Do I say, that what is offered in sacrifice to idols, is any thing? Or, that the idol is any thing? 20 But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils. 21 You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils: you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils.

Even without the Scriptural context of the words, we know that the table of demons refers to partaking in sacrifices offered to idols, and so the Eucharist is implicitly called a sacrifice by its being used in parallel thereto. But we're not left without Scriptural context.

"The table of the Lord" refers to the altar of sacrifice (hence its use for both the Eucharist and the things offered to idols in parallel). It only occurs in Malachi, interestingly, in the whole Bible (and in St. Paul's teaching on the Eucharist above):

Malachi 1:6-14 (DRB)

6 The son honoureth the father, and the servant his master: if then I be a father, where is my honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts. 7 To you, O priests, that despise my name, and have said: Wherein have we despised thy name? You offer polluted bread upon my altar, and you say: Wherein have we polluted thee? In that you say: The table of the Lord is contemptible. 8 If you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? offer it to thy prince, if he will be pleased with it, or if he will regard thy face, saith the Lord of hosts. 9 And now beseech ye the face of God, that he may have mercy on you, (for by your hand hath this been done,) if by any means he will receive your faces, saith the Lord of hosts. 10 Who is there among you, that will shut the doors, and will kindle the fire on my altar gratis? I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts: and I will not receive a gift of your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts. 12 And you have profaned it in that you say: The table of the Lord is defiled: and that which is laid thereupon is contemptible with the fire that devoureth it. 13 And you have said: Behold of our labour, and you puffed it away, saith the Lord of hosts, and you brought in of rapine the lame, and the sick, and brought in an offering: shall I accept it at your hands, saith the Lord? 14 Cursed is the deceitful man that hath in his flock a male, and making a vow offereth in sacrifice that which is feeble to the Lord: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the Gentiles.

From St. Paul's Jewish perspective enunciated in 1 Corinthians 10, it is also to be gathered that Malachi 1 cannot be taken to mean God approves of sacrifices "offered to devils"—which is what "the heathens offer." Much less that they are "a pure oblation [sacrificial offering]!"

The Present Tense in Prophecy

Early Christians virtually without exception used the Septuagint Old Testament, not the Hebrew. As such, they read:

Malachi 1:11 (LXX) διότι ἀπ' ἀνατολῶν ἡλίου ἕως δυσμῶν τὸ ὄνομά μου δεδόξασται ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν καὶ ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ θυμίαμα προσάγεται τῷ ὀνόματί μου καὶ θυσία καθαρά διότι μέγα τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν λέγει κύριος παντοκράτωρ

Malachi 1:11 (Brenton) For from the rising of the sun even to the going down thereof my name has been glorified among the Gentiles; and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord Almighty.

So Christians knew their Greek but they still viewed it as prophetic. Much as with "unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given" (Isaiah 9:6). The verbless phrase "διότι μέγα τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν" ("for great [is] my name among the Gentiles"), a grecanized form of the Hebrew, as far as I know, cannot be read in a literal sense to refer to the future, either. This is a case where a prophecy is said as though it were a sure, past fact, but has reference to the future.

A Jewish Rabbi of the 12th century once wrote concerning this kind of prophecy:

And you should know that it is a typical behavior of the past tense verbs in the holy language to use a past tense verb in place of a future tense verb (which are the letters איתן), and this is mostly in prophecies because the matter is clear as if it passed, because it has already been decreed.1

And (on Psalm 3:5):

Or the holy spirit expressed itself in his language, and this is the correct explanation, for we have already explained that all the Psalms were [transmitted] through the holy spirit, and in most cases of prophecy the narrator speaks in past tense, in the place of future tense, as though the deed is already done.2

Such seems to have been the understanding of such early Christians as Justin Martyr, who does not cite it in the future tense (paraphrasing it) but views it as foreknowledge (in concordance with Radak's statement above):

"And the offering of fine flour, sirs," I said, "which was prescribed to be presented on behalf of those purified from leprosy, was a type of the bread of the Eucharist, the celebration of which our Lord Jesus Christ prescribed, in remembrance of the suffering which He endured on behalf of those who are purified in soul from all iniquity, in order that we may at the same time thank God for having created the world, with all things therein, for the sake of man, and for delivering us from the evil in which we were, and for utterly overthrowing principalities and powers by Him who suffered according to His will. Hence God speaks by the mouth of Malachi, one of the twelve [prophets], as I said before, about the sacrifices at that time presented by you: 'I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord; and I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands: for, from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, My name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to My name, and a pure offering: for My name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord: but ye profane it.' He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us, who in every place offer sacrifices to Him, i.e., the bread of the Eucharist, and also the cup of the Eucharist, affirming both that we glorify His name, and that you profane it. ...

Accordingly, God, anticipating all the sacrifices3 which we offer through this name, and which Jesus the Christ enjoined us to offer, i.e., in the Eucharist of the bread and the cup, and which are presented by Christians in all places throughout the world, bears witness that they are well-pleasing to Him. But He utterly rejects those presented by you and by those priests of yours, saying, 'And I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands; for from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is glorified among the Gentiles (He says); but ye profane it. ...

Dialogue with Trypho [the Jew], Chapter 41, 117.

Etc.

(Notice the tenses.)

The Hebrew

The Hebrew is essentially equivalent to the Greek here, as to tense and intended meaning. That is to say, it's application is the same by a Jerome as it is for a Justin.4 The perfectness vs. imperfectness (Hebrew has no past or future tense properly speaking) is seen as irrelevant to time, but rather to prophetic certainty. (The ridiculousness of saying heathens offer a pure offering and fear Yahweh before Christ's time virtually demands that it be taken as a prophecy.)

The NJBC utterly flops when it asserts with a scholarly sobriety that there is in mind here "the pleasing oblatory practice (even without sacrificial animals) everywhere else in the world," that is, among heathens who sacrifices to devils, or at best, "other gods."5

The Soundness of the NJBC's Exegesis

It claims that מנחה (minḥa) is not used of animal sacrifice. It says:

It will be noted that none of these cultic terms has to do with animal sacrifice.

But this is just plainly wrong. In Genesis 4:4, a lamb offered by Abel is a minḥa unto the Lord. The word just means "gift" i.e. "gift [offering]." SImilarly in Exodus 29, lamb offerings are considered minḥath. The LXX's θυσία καθαρά a pre-Christian translation of the Hebrew minḥa t'hurah means "pure offering" and is in any case purely sacrificial language in this context.


Footnotes

1 Rabbi David Kimchi, A.k.a. RaDaK, Sefer Mikhlol, 45b (translation credit goes to @Der Übermensch. Cf. "Are there prophetic perfect tenses?"

2 Credit for the translation goes to @mevaqesh. I have absolutely zero approval from this person or the one above in citing using his translation.

3 Cf. Heb. 9:23. | "And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do ye in remembrance of Me this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn." (First Apology, Chapter 66.) | Cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29.

4 Jerome is famous for 'introducing' the Hebrew form of the Old Testament as the 'original' into mainstream Christianity; before his time, the Bible of the Church was all in Greek (even if via the Old Latin in the West, for example, or Syriac in the East). He is famous for the phrase and concept of "veritas Hebraica" ("Hebrew truth").

5 Deut. 32:17.

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The Catholic commentary (and the whole of the Catholic Church) is well represented by Jesus' parable:

Mar 2:21 NKJV - 21 "No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse.

At a very fundamental level they have opted to selectively take features of second temple Judaism and and try to patch it up with features of the new creation. In fact, they also do the same with paganism.

The result is a garment full of holes, unsuitable for a wedding feast.

Malachi is a Hebrew prophet writing to Jews, not to Catholics. Peter is one of the Twelve, who were apostles to the circumcision:

Gal 2:8-9 KJV - 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

Peter was part of the election, the Jews who were chosen by God to fulfill his promises to Abraham:

1Pe 1:1-2 CSB - 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To those chosen, living as exiles dispersed abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. Footnote: (1:1) Gk diaspora ; Jewish people scattered throughout Gentile lands

Rom 11:13 CSB - 13 Now I [IE: Paul] am speaking to you Gentiles. Insofar as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,

Eph 3:1 CSB - 1 For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles ​--

So somewhere along the line the Catholic Church decided that they should build on Peter. But Peter was not their apostle. Nor is Malachi their prophet.​

Malachi was a Jewish prophet speaking to Jews:

Mal 1:1-3 CSB - 1 A pronouncement: The word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi. 2 "I have loved you," says the LORD. Yet you ask, "How have you loved us? " "Wasn't Esau Jacob's brother? " This is the LORD's declaration. "Even so, I loved Jacob, 3 "but I hated Esau. I turned his mountains into a wasteland, and gave his inheritance to the desert jackals."

Malachi's criticism of the Jews of the day, well before Christ, related to their "treachery and detestable behavior in defiling YHVH's sanctuary (the second temple in Jerusalem):

Mal 2:11 CSB - 11 Judah has acted treacherously, and a detestable act has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the LORD's sanctuary, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.

Malachi is warning that he was going to send them a prophet (the greatest of all prophets "born of women") who will call the Jews to repent. If they fail to repent and turn back to Abraham, Moses and the Torah with all their heart then they will be visited with a "curse" and be expelled from the land:

Mal 4:4-6 CSB - 4 "Remember the instruction of Moses my servant, the statutes and ordinances I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. 5 "Look, I am going to send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. 6 "And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse."

The Catholic practice of commandeering pagan celebrations by "Catholicizing" them is well known. So you have "holy days" that are nothing but carnal festivals with a crucifix above them.

Peter, it turns out, is not a very reliable platform on which to build a gospel house. Paul is no less of an apostle than Peter. In fact, we see Peter rebuking Peter in much the same way that Jesus had:

2Co 11:5 CSB - 5 Now I consider myself in no way inferior to those "super-apostles."

2Co 12:11 CSB - 11 I have been a fool; you forced it on me. You ought to have commended me, since I am not in any way inferior to those "super-apostles," even though I am nothing.

Gal 2:6 CSB - 6 Now from those recognized as important (what they once were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism) ​-- ​they added nothing to me.

Gal 1:8 CSB - 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, a curse be on him!

Gal 1:8, 15-19 CSB - 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! ... 15 But when God, who from my mother's womb set me apart and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me, so that I could preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to those who had become apostles before me; instead I went to Arabia and came back to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to get to know Cephas, and I stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I didn't see any of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother.

Gal 2:1-2, 6-9 CSB - 1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2 I went up according to a revelation and presented to them the gospel I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those recognized as leaders. I wanted to be sure I was not running, and had not been running, in vain. ... 6 Now from those recognized as important (what they once were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism) ​-- ​they added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter was for the circumcised, 8 since the one at work in Peter for an apostleship to the circumcised was also at work in me for the Gentiles. 9 When James, Cephas, and John ​-- ​those recognized as pillars ​-- ​acknowledged the grace that had been given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to me and Barnabas, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

Gal 2:11-15 CSB - 11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned. 12 For he regularly ate with the Gentiles before certain men came from James. However, when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, because he feared those from the circumcision party. 13 Then the rest of the Jews joined his hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were deviating from the truth of the gospel, I told Cephas in front of everyone, "If you, who are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel Gentiles to live like Jews? " 15 We are Jews by birth and not "Gentile sinners,"

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