Bible commentary of the Book of Malachi

Bible commentary of the Book of Malachi

Posted on September 24, 2012 Updated on September 18, 2012

1. THE WRITER. Malachi (1:1) The name means, “My messenger or messenger of Jehovah”. Nothing is known of the showing to us that the messenger is not so important as the message. Though not referred to by name. Mark 1:2;9:11: Luke 1:17; Rom9:13).

There is no reason to doubt that this was the real name of a definite person. This one, who the messenger of the Lord, delighted in using his own name when referring to othermessengers.

(1) He referred to Levi as an example of the true priesthood and said: ” He is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts (2:7). (2) He announced the coming of John the Baptist as “My messenger of the (3:1). (3) He also the made the definite reference to Christ as the messenger of the covenant.


The returned Jew were carrying on the .

temple worship, but .had fallen into backslidden condition. They were not recognizing the love of Jehovah (1:2) and were not honoring God, but were despising His name (1:6). They were so far from God that they could not see their proper attitude.

This is one of the terrible features of sin-it hardens and blinds one to his true condition. Special sins were the worldly, careless attitude of the priests; the marriage of the people with one another. Malachi reproves the people for neglect of the temple and using bad language about the temple worship.

111. WRITTEN TO WHOM The people of Israel who had returned to the land after captivity in Babylon. (1:1; 2:17; 3:7). The priests are especially addressed, (1:6;2:1) and the faithful group among the people (4:2,3).

1V. THE DATE. Some time between 445 and 397 B.C

V. THE WORDS OCCURING OFTEN (1:2, 6,7: 2:17; 3:7,8,13). Curse or cursed (1:14;2:2;3;9;4:6). The Lord of Hosts, (22 times). . Wherein,

VI A PICTURE OF THE PROPHET Malachi was the last of the prophets. His prophecies have a solemn importance by showing the sins of the people after having been brought from captivity by the love and mercy of God, and a faithful few, nothing was between them and the coming of their Messiah. For the nation there was judgment awaiting them. .

INTRODUCTION: The Division of this books are not very clear. In the first chapter and going on the 9th verse of the second, the prophet gives a message to the priests, while the remainder of the book is addressed to the people, but includes more than the faithful few. It amounts to an accusation against by the one who, like Malachi himself, will in a clear sense bear the title of “My Messenger”.

A striking feature of the prophecy is the eight-fold controversy of Jehovah with His people. Again and again they are charged with departure in heart from the Lord, whom they outwardly profess to serve. They contradict God’s testimony as to their state, ask for proofs, and show hardened conscience against God.

All this is evidence of exceeding seriousness for us, especially if we seek to do the same things as they did. Almost at the end of the age of Law, there had been outward return to God and His word: but their heart condition did not correspond to their actions. As a result of their lack of godliness, we have the phariseeism of the time of Christ on earth, which was an outgrowth of the conditions described in Malachi.


Sad as Judah’s condition had become, it is of love, not of Judgment, that

the opening chapters are concerned:

I have loved you, saith the Lord. God’s loves was unchanging in spite of the if

evil ways. Yet, they reply, Where in hast thou loved us?” they looked for prosperity and worldly glory as the proof of God’s love. Because they had neither, they questioned his affection, ignorance the correction of the Lord in the past for their unfaithfulness’ to him.

By way of illustration God says “was not Esau Jacob’s brother? Yet I loved Jacob most and loved Esau less. ” the blessing on Israel shall surely come at least, so that all nation shall confess, the Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel. “(1-5). The desolation of Edom, the descendant of Jacob.

Instead of returned love and faithfulness, Judah bestowed on honor upon God. The priest in the newly restored temple despised His name. When the charge is brought, they say , wherein have we despised thy name?

Sadly God brought their sin before them, declaring that unclean bread offered on his alter, thus falling to recognized His holiness and ignoring his claims. Again they were ready to answer back, “When in have we polluted or profaned thee?

They almost said the table of the Lords is to be despised,” for they had offered the blind, lame and sick to God in sacrifice, and kept the best animals for themselves.

They would not dare to treat an earthly ruler that way, but the root sin that was leading them father astray. The priests would not shut the temple doors or start a fire on the alter without wages. True love for God was lacking, and their holy office had been lowered to a mere job as means of enrichment.

Because of this, God could have no pleasure in them, nor accept an offering from them. (9-10). Worldliness and covetousness are the characteristic features in the professing church today and godliness and true devotion the exception. Nothing but a spirit of prayerfulness, coupled with careful watchfulness, will keep any person from being taken away by the unholy majority.

Whatever the present failure, God shall be fully glorifies (v.11). This is a reference to the future kingdom of Christ set up on earth.

In the next verse the prophet goes back to the serious charges made before. Judah profaned the table of the Lord, call it unclean and its meat a despise things. They declared it a weariness to attend upon its service, and made worthless what should have been both sacred and precious.

Their thoughts were shown by the offerings they brought, which God would not accept, and these brought a curse upon then from God because they kept the best animals for themselves (v.13-14). They who had known so much of God ‘s power and grace had proved altogether unworthy of his love.

All of these promises of God’s special favour upon Israel will have their complete fulfillment in the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth.


The sins of the priesthood are made clearer to their conscience in the 2nd chapter. Another for temple service, set apart to holiness, and devoted to the most sacred of all office, ‘ordained for men, in things pertaining to God, to offer gifts and scarifies. ” they had proved false to their sacred trust, and thought only of their own profit. They lost no opportunity in ministering to their own desires, while neglecting their holy calling.

there is no official order of priests, having immediate access into God’s presences by the blood of Christ.

“No ye priest, this commandment is for you”. The priests are clearly addressed in verse 1. if they refused to hear and do God’s words, he would send a curse upon them, cursing their blessings, as He had already begun to do their special feats should be unclean, and they themselves rendered unclean, to set forth the unclean, of their hearts and hands(v2,3).

Even though Levi had been separated from his brethren to find his all in God, this should hinder the outpouring of divine wrath during the times of Israel’s dispersion because of their sins. They were not afraid of the name of God as they had been in the wilderness. Then the law of truth was in their mouths and iniquity was not found in their lips(v.4-6)

The priest’s lips should keep knowledge and men should seek the Law at his mouth, this approving himself as the messenger of the Lord of hosts.(v.7)

We are called to be doers of the word allowing no portion of it to be a dead letter to us, but fiving its authority over our heart and consciences, seeking to walk in all that is written therein.

This priests ignored this. Having departed from the part of obedience themselves, they caused the simple at the law, and to go astray from the word of Lord. Despising the law, these unfaithful priests had been made harmful themselves, and they should be despised by the people they had misled. Their ways testified them. So the Lord refused their service(v8,9).

The tenth verse is the beginning of the second division of the book, which goes on to the end of the prophecy. The people of Judah as a whole are address in the last message they were ever to get directly from the God before the coming of Christ and John, his massager

The had all some from Abraham, and were crated by Jehovah of Hosts. Why should they deal deceitfully with each other by defiling the covenant of their fathers.” Individually they all and had Abraham as their father in the flesh.

Dealing treacherously every man against his brother, it was only to expected that they would prove traitor to God. The prophet of Jehovah charges both Israel and Judah directly of this. They had profaned the holiness of Jehovah and had married to the daughter of strange gods (v.11). these mixed to the exact time of Malachi’s ministry.

me, and none need be surprised if the coming generation turned to the world for their companions because of having seen quarrellings among those professing to be separated unto Christ.

God face is against all those who act against him and He will bring them to an end. He could not act against Him and he will bring them to an end character, whatever the outward expression of grief and penitence(v12,13).

The manner in which they inquired, wherefore exhibited the actual state of their souls. Forbidden to enter into marriage with the heathen, God had made of two, one flesh among his own people.

They had disobeyed God by adding to their house hold women who were leading them away from Himself. It was that He might seek a godly seed that He had thus decreed concerning their family relationship. Looseness as to divorce and mixed marriage were corrupting the seen of God. (v.14,15).

The practice of devoicing their wives, God hated “therefore take heed to your spirit,” was His words, ” that ye deal not treacherously (v.16). According to the 19th chapter of Mathew, the Jews did not heed this warning. Divorces were giving freely and their lawlessness was covered by a cost of outward religion observances..

God was wearied with their empty religiousness – words from their lips, and not true utterances from the heart acceptable in His sight. They answer God, “wherein have we wearied thee” He replies, when ye say, every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delighted in them; or where God, where is the God Judgment?(v.17). they did not think that God would visit them in judgment in whose veins flowed the blood of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.


Malachi means, messenger. It was through him that God said Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me, and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, who ye delight in: behold, he shall come saith the Lord of Host (v.1.). John’s coming was predicted .as the forerunner of the king, Messiah, but in such a way as to make it plain that Messiah Himself was identified with Jehovah; for the word is, ” shall prepare the way before Me.”

To the very temple so lately rebuilt by Zerubbabel, though afterwards enlarged and beautified by Herod, did he suddenly come as the Nazarence, only to be despised, rejected, and crucified.

Another coming is clearly foretold here, when it takes place, the unholy will not be able to stand in His presence. As purified he shall sit to purify and purge the Leviticus family, setting apart for Himself the sons of Zadok (Ezek. 48:11), who shall have turned to Him, confessing their guilt and judging themselves for their share in the sins of the priesthood. Upon the others judgment must burn like fire.

It seems clear from verse 4 that in the days when the kingdom is established over all the earth, scarifies and offering will be reinstated in Jerusalem and Judah to remember His death.

The evil-doer will be thinned out from among the people, and righteous remnant along will be preserved, For I am Jehovah

The view of the coming of the messenger of the covenant, God bids them return unto Him in heart that He may return unto them with blessing and loving favor. They proudly ask. When in shall we return”? (v.7). There was no sense of need or failure. They were self-satisfied and content.

Their sinfulness shall had to be pressed upon them more strongly by: “will a rod God” they had deliberately robbed Him ask, where in have we robbed thee.? He replies, in tithes and offerings”. Their conscience seemed to be gone completely (v.8,9).

Even though this sin had been a great one, it was not too late for them to repent. God called upon them to bring their tithes into the storehouse, in this way acknowledge their stewardship under Him, and that needful provision might be made for those who served the temple. They war promise a abundant blessing if they listen to His voice.

He would have them prove Him, and see if He would pour a shower of spiritual refreshment that they could not contain it. Blessed with all their heart could desire, both spiritually and temporally, all nation would call them happy people, and theirs would be a land of delight (v.10-12)

All this will be fuelled when the spirit of grace and supplication is poured out upon the fixture repented remnant, and they return to God with their whole heart. Blessing waits for true devotion from the heart.

The blessing had not yet come, nor has it come since. Their words were strong against God. When he challenged them as to this, for the eighth times, they challenged Him in return, inquiring, what have we spoken so much against Thee.” (v.13). No appeal or warning seemed to move them, or turn them from their self-satisfied way.

Yet they had said, it is vain to serve God, for the blind estimated things by the standard of worldly prosperity. As they contrasted their lowly lot with the proud surrounding nations, they considered there had been no profit in keeping Jehovah’s word and seeking to obey His voice.

A remnant is distinguished in verses 16 – 18 that may well be a shining example to us. The Lord took pleasure in this feeble company, heard their confessions, and entered their names in a book of remembrance. This remnant will be spared when judgment comes upon the nation as a whole.

D. THE SUN – RISING. (chap. 4).

1. The break between these two chapters seem unfortunates and help turn the mind from what has just been presented. The fact is that verse 1 of chapter 4 is but a continuation of what has been gone before, the Lord is going to discern between the righteous and the wicked.

When? In the coming day of the Lord toward which all prophecy point as to the time when all the wrong of the ages are to be set right. The day of the Lord then begins for Israel and the nations, embracing the judgment to be visited on the earth and the reign of righteousness, closing when the kingdom is delivered to the father and God will be all in all throughout the never ending day of God.

2. “Unto you that fear my name shall the sun of Righteousness arise with stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this , saith for the Lord of host’s v.2,3. this is different from the hope of the church. We wait for the shining forth of the morning star the rising of the sun Righteousness.

3. It should be plain to all students of the word of God that this passage does away with the theory of a converted at the coming of the Lord.

4. Much has been said that these three opening verse by those who believe that when a person is burned up that ends it all. Their argument, it is that the wicked will be burned up that ends it all, for they will have ceased to exist, and be blotted out of God’s universe.

5. The mistake is made here, like that which fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah.

6. The same may be said of the “The proud, and all that do wickedly” spoken of my Malachi. Their bodies are destroyed by they exist in the world of spirit and will prove that it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.

7. In Gen. 1:16 the sun is first introduced, the type of the lord Jesus from whom His church gets all her light. Before Malachi closes the old Testament scripture, he reverts to that first. Type and presents some glorious person as the “sun of righteousness”

8. In view of what has gone before, the last three verses take on a most solemn character, Judah is told to remember the law of Moses, which God had commanded for all Israel, but which they had violated from the first. To call them back to himself, he would send Elijah, the prophet before the coming day of the Lord. We know from Matt. 17:10-13, and mark 9:11, that for faith, John the Baptist was that Elijah; but the nation received him not as such therefore the ministry referred to here is future.

9. As Moses and Elijah are coupled together in these verse, so we see sign of each done by the two witness of Rev. 11, which would seem to make plain the character of the ministry to be raised up as a testimony in Jerusalem at the time of the end.

10. So with the solemn word, curse, the old Testament comes to a close legal covenant, the people had no hope. The awful curse of that broken law was all they had earned after long ages of trial. A Redeem of their condition, they looked on to the coming of the seed of the woman. He was to be made a curse that 11 who put their trust in Him might be redeemed from the doom they had so long and fully deserved.

11. Through him alone can guilty men, own their lost estate and trust His grace, be delivered from the “Curse.”

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Babatope Babalobi ministries (aka Save the World christian ministry). Used with permission.

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