John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary

Verse 8 (Malachi 3:8)

Will a man rob God ?.... Or "the gods"; the false gods, the idols of the Gentiles; the Heathens will not do that, accounting sacrilege a great sin, and yet this the Jews were guilty of: or "the judges" F3 אלהים "deos, vel judices", Calvin, Drusius, Grotius. , as the Targum; civil magistrates; will any dare to defraud them of their due? see Malachi 1:8 .

Yet ye have robbed me ; keeping back from the priests and Levites, his ministers, what was due to them; and which, being no other than a spoiling or robbing of them, might be interpreted a robbing of God:

But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee ? as not being conscious of any such evil; or, however, impudently standing in it, that they were not guilty: to which is returned the answer,

In tithes and offerings ; that is, they robbed God in not giving the tithes, and not offering sacrifices, according as the law required: but it may be objected, that the Jews in Christ's time did pay tithes, even of all things; yea, of more than the law required, Matthew 23:23 to which it may be replied, that though they gave tithes, yet it was בעין רעה , "with an evil eye", as Aben Ezra says; grudgingly, and not cheerfully, and with an evil intention; not to show their gratitude to God, and their acknowledgment of him as their Lord, from whom they had their all, but in order to merit at his hands; besides, our Lord suggests that they did not give to God the things that were God's, Matthew 22:21 and the apostle charges them with being guilty of sacrilege, Romans 2:22 and, moreover, the priests might not give it to the Levites, as they ought; and which is what they are charged with in Nehemiah 13:10 and Grotius says that they were guilty of this before the destruction by Vespasian, as appears by Josephus.

- John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary