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The Book of Malachi

I will do the Malachi Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment, it is NOT Scripture.

The Book of Malachi is the closing act of the Old Testament. He is the last of many prophets who told of the coming of the Messiah. He pretty much says: “The next voice you hear will be John the Baptist 400 years from now.”

We know very little about Malachi. The name Malachi means “my messenger.” Malachi was in a very definite way, a messenger from God. Who he was or where he came from really doesn’t matter. What is important, is the message that he brings. Malachi was just a messenger. It’s what is in his message that we should be concerned about. It is the message, NOT the messenger, that is important in the prophecy of Malachi.

Malachi was the prophet at the time of Nehemiah. He probably prophesied during the time of Nehemiah’s governorship or immediately afterwards.
Malachi uses the term messenger three times, and he makes three tremendous and significant references to other messengers.

  • (1) In Malachi 2:7 he refers to Levi as the messenger of the Lord.
  • (2) Malachi also announced the coming of John the Baptist as “my messenger” (Mal. 3:1). John the Baptist was the Malachi of the New Testament and began where Malachi of the Old Testament left off.
  • (3) Malachi also refers to Christ as “the messenger of the covenant.” (Mal.3:1).

Malachi uses a question-and-answer method in his Book. First, he would quote a declaration or an interrogation which God had made to Israel. “You say” is contrasted with “thus says the LORD of hosts” through the first three chapters. He was arrogant and presumptuous, even insulting with scornful sarcasm. Malachi has some good answers from the Lord!

Malachi does not mention the restoration of the temple, so it is thought that he prophesied after Haggai and Zechariah, when the temple services were still in existence (Mal.1:10; 3:1,10). Some think that he delivered his prophecies about BC 420, after the second return of Nehemiah from Persia (Neh. 13:6), or possibly before his return. Others say his book was written about 397 BC. No reference is made to Malachi by Ezra.

Malachi’s purpose in his Book, was to boldly confront God’s people in Judah and their leaders with their sins, and plead with them to return to holiness, for God will someday judge the righteous and the wicked. The main theme of Malachi’s Book was to show that great changes were needed to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.


I. Dark Side of the Picture: The sins of a dishonest, ungrateful people and an unfaithful priesthood.

  • (1) Robbing God (a) By failing to respond to God’s divine love, Mal.1:2. (b) By dishonoring God’s name, Mal.1:6. (c) By presenting blemished offerings, Mal.1:7-8,13-14. (d) By becoming stumbling blocks instead of spiritual leaders, Mal.2:1-8. (e) By honoring sinners, Mal.2:17; 3:15. (f) By selfishly withholding tithes, Mal.3:8. (g) By justifying impiety, Mal.3:14.
  • (2) Social Sins (a) Treacherous dealing with brethren, Mal.2:10. (b) Inter-marriage with foreigners, Mal.2:11. (c) Divorcing wives, Mal.2:14-16. (d) Sorcery, impurity, oppression, Mal.3:5. Does any of this sound familiar?

II. Bright Side of the Picture: Glorious Promises.

  • (1) Of the coming of the Messenger of the covenant, Mal.3:1-4.
  • (2) Of the outpouring of a great blessing, Mal.3:10-12.
  • (3) Of the righteous becoming the Lord’s peculiar treasure, Mal.3:16-18.
  • (4) Of the dawning of a new day in which righteousness shall triumph, Mal.4:2-3.
  • (5) Of the appearance of a spiritual reformer before the Day the Lord is ushered in, Mal.4:5-6.

MAIN PEOPLE: Malachi, the priests, the people.

Elijah was one of the greatest prophets who ever lived (his story is recorded in 1 Kings 17-2 Kings 2). After Malachi’s death, the voice of God’s prophets would be silent for 400 years. Then a prophet would come, like Elijah, to bring the news of Christ’s coming (Mat.17:10-13; Luke 1:17). This prophet was John the Baptist. Our Lord Jesus called him the greatest of all the prophets (Luke 7:28). John prepared people’s hearts for Jesus by telling them they must repent of their sins. Christ’s coming would bring unity and peace, yes, but it would also bring judgment on those who refused to turn from their sins. Malachi gives us great practical guidelines about our commitment to God. God truly deserves the best we have to offer (Mal.1:7-10), BUT . . . just how many of us really give Him our best? We must be willing to change our wrong ways of living (Mal.2:1-2). We should make marriage a lifelong priority (Mal.2:13-16). We should welcome God’s refining process in our lives (Mal.3:3), instead of despising His correction and rebuke. We must be humble before God, for there is no room for pride with Him (Mal.3:13-15).

Malachi closes his Book by pointing to that great and final day of judgment. For all those who are committed to God, and have a personal relationship with Him; Judgment Day will be a day of great joy and victory, because it will usher in eternity in Heaven for us, where we will be in God’s Holy and glorious Presence for ever! Thank You Jesus!

All those who have ignored or rejected God will be as “stubble,” to be burned up (Mal.4:1). Not what people want to hear, but fact! Truth!

The New Testament begins with John the Baptist telling the people to turn away from their sins and to God. This kind of a personal commitment to God demands great sacrifice on our part, but rest assured, it will all be worth it all in the end.

Book of Malachi

Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3 . Ch.4

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