Friday, October 18, 2013

Malachi -- Introduction

Malachi means “my messenger”, which may have been the prophet’s name or a pseudonym. The book is dated around 450 BC, just before or after Nehemiah became governor of Jerusalem and roughly 60 years after Haggai and Zechariah pushed for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. Malachi writes during a time of Persian dominance and when the nation had little or no political defense or other national identifiers. He argues that Judah must live by the Law to keep the people’s purity and devotion to God. This devotion to the Law will lead to national stability and prosperity for all. The Day of the Lord will separate the good from the bad.

Malachi can be outlined as follows:

·         Malachi 1:1-3:12         Religious decline and hope for recovery
·         Malachi 3:13-18          How and when the good will triumph over the bad
·         Malachi 4:1-6              The day of the Lord

 Malachi predicts that Elijah will return and “prepare the way” for the coming Messiah. (Jesus will refer to John the Baptist as “the Elijah who was to come”.)

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