1:14 "Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king," says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, "and my name is feared among the nations!" The implication here is that God requires only our best, whatever that may be. A good question to ask ourselves as we contemplate the start of a new year... "Am I giving God my best, or am I giving Him the leftovers?"
2:5-7 "The purpose of my covenant with the Levites was to bring life and peace, and that is what I gave them. This required reverence from them, and they greatly revered me and stood in awe of my name. They passed on to the people the truth of the instructions they received from me. They did not lie or cheat; they walked with me, living good and righteous lives, and they turned many from lives of sin. The words of a priest's lips should preserve knowledge of God, and people should go to him for instruction, for the priest is the messenger of the Lord of Heaven's Armies." This is a great picture of the job of a true priest of God, both then and later in the MK.
2:13-15 (NAS) "This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. "Yet you say, `For what reason?' Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. This should be a comforting verse for wives who live with harsh hypocritical husbands. I've met some of them—husbands who put on a good face at church and in front of friends, but who deal treacherously with their wives and children at home. God is watching. And it appears that there is no remnant of the Spirit in such a man.
21:3-4 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, God's home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." The end of this verse was instantly suspect to me that it was a mistranslation. Why? Because if the word translated "forever" was "aions," (like it usually is) it would mean that we should take another look at aions as meaning forever, since the old world really is going away forever. So I looked up the Greek and guess what it says? "the former things passed away."
21:6 And he also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. First of all, I have read in several places that when Jesus called Himself the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, He referred to His crucial role in the opening and closing (and everything in between) of the plan of the ages. I think this is the 3rd time Jesus has said, "It is finished" (unless this is a repeat of the 2nd one) and I believe He means this plan is complete. The consummation of the ages has come. The GREAT TABERNACLES has come when God dwells among men. Since three is significant in Jewish numerology, I believe it supports that this is the third time for Him to declare it. I found this commentary:
In sacred Scripture the number 3 represents that which is solid, real, substantial, and something in its completeness. This number usually indicates something of importance or significance in God's plan of salvation by identifying an important event in Salvation History. This number operates as a "sign-post" in Scripture study for the reader to "pay attention" to the significance of the next event.
1st time: At the end of his first coming as a mortal and the onset of His dominion over the spiritual Kingdom
2nd time: At the end of the Tribulation and onset of the physical Millennial Kingdom
3rd time: At the end of the AGES, or the consummation and the onset of the everlasting Kingdom of God, when God becomes "all in all."
21:7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. I have noticed while reading literal translations that it appears that modern day translations have slaughtered wording or verb tenses, trying to cover up the meaning. When you compare literal translations (I use 3), you see uniformity in the verb tenses and word meanings, often which disagree with modern translations, which seem to really lose meaning. Case in point, this verse. See if you see anything different...
YLT: "he who is overcoming shall inherit all things, and I will be to him -- a God, and he shall be to me -- the son."
CLT: He who is conquering shall be enjoying this allotment, and I shall be a God to him and he shall be a son to Me.
Greek Interlinear: "The one conquering shall be enjoying the allotment all and I shall be to him God and he shall be to me the son."
So you see, lots of conformity there. They are basically identical! And what I pointed out is the fact that it is in the progressive present tense, as if those who are in the process of overcoming are inheriting and becoming a son (or daughter). Do you see it? If we were to match the verb tense in the NLT, it would read, "all who are being victorious..."
We can find even more illumination in tomorrow's reading, but the only confusing thing is the chronological unfolding of events. It almost appears to me that the new earth and New Jerusalem come about during the Judgment Age, and not at the very end of the ages. Don't know for sure.