Hierarchical Précis

Minor Prophets


Malachi’s name means “My messenger”, or, “Jehovah’s messenger”. Nothing is known of Malachi’s background. From his writings it can be determined he prophesied around 430 B.C. Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament and the last prophet chronologically. The historical context is Nehemiah as reflected in the final chapter of the book of Nehemiah. The last of the post exile prophets, he prophesied from around 437-417 B.C. Malachi confronted God’s people and their leaders with their sins and pleaded with them to return to holiness.

God’s love for Israel

[Mal 1] God expresses His love for Israel, offering a comparison with their brother-nation, the Edomites, as a demonstration of that love. His love is not being returned with the love and respect due to their Father, with sacrifices and offerings being more like leftovers than first- fruits. It would be better if the temple doors were closed.

Charges against the priests; Marriage and divorce

[Mal 2] The priests are admonished for failing to teach the law, and even deceiving the people concerning it. The people’s attitude to marriage is condemned with God expressing His hatred for divorce, which is seen as dealing treacherously with a man’s first wife, and an obstacle to maintaining the Godly seed of Israel when a foreign wife is taken.

The Day of Judgement

[Mal 3] This chapter opens with the prophecy of John the Baptist and the Messiah, who will first come to purify, then to judge. There follows an exhortation to return to tithing as required by the law. The people have robbed God by withholding tithes and offerings, and have suffered as a result. They are invited to test God by paying their tithes in full; then they will receive abundant blessings. A growing concern that the arrogant are blessed and evil-doers prosper has led to the attitude that there is no advantage in serving God. The people are exhorted to return to faithful worship with a promise of recognition on the day of judgement for those who do.

The Day of the Lord

[Mal 4] The day is coming when unrepentant sinners will be convicted and the righteous receive their due reward. Elijah will be sent before that great and dreadful day, to be a sign and encouragement for all to repent of their sins and turn to the Lord.
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