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Malachi is not a person's name. It is his title. It means 'My Messenger'. This person was a prophet and therefore the messenger of God. This unnamed prophet - referred to now as Malachi - was the last Old Testament Prophet to Israel. Only John the Baptist and Jesus Christ would follow in 400 years as prophets to Israel.

Basically the book of Malachi has two messages: one for the individual relating him to the plan of God, and a second message, which is addressed to client nations to God. What causes a nation to rise and what causes a nation to fall, and how all of this is related to the plan of God and to the Word of God.

It is very important for us to understand the application and to distinguish it from the interpretation. The interpretation, for example, deals with the nation Israel. Israel is going to decline. They will have 200 wonderful years, during which time they will have one shot of apostasy, which is a warning to the next 400 years. At the same time we have in the first chapter another nation, Edom, a nation that was destroyed never to recover again. The ingredients for the destruction of one nation are mentioned in this passage; the basis for the discipline of a second nation is mentioned, and so obviously we are going to have a lot of application.

Chapter 1
{Verse 1: Title for the Book of Prophecy by God's Messenger}
1~~ The smasher/'crushing burden'
  {massa' - 'a piano falling on your head' - strongest Hebrew word
  for divine discipline}
of the Word of Jehovah/God to Israel
  {specifically the Southern Kingdom - indirectly a warning to all
  Client Nations to God}
by 'My Messenger'/Malachi
  {means 'My Messenger' or messenger belonging to God}.

{Note: Malachi is a title not a man's name. We do not know the name of this human author nor is it important.}

{Jesus to the Levitical Priesthood - Apostasy of circa 420 BC}
2a~~ "I have loved {mental attitude love} you { 'ahab - Qal perfect}
- in the past with results that last forever," said Jehovah/God.

{Note: The 'you' here are the Levitical priests of Israel. This message is addressed to the Levitical priests who were priests by birth and not by rebirth. This is an appeal to come to the cross.}

2b~~Yet you say, "In what way have You loved us?"

{Note: God demonstrated His love to them in many, many ways. But as unbelievers, they could not 'see' His hand at work. Spiritual things are foolishness to the unbeliever.}

2c~~"Is not Esau Jacob's brother?" said Jehovah/God,

2d~~"Yet I keep on loving Jacob { 'ahab - Qal imperfect}}."

{Very Important Note: RBT made a syntactical point here. When God places the verb in the prefect tense, that is indicating a principal of doctrine. 'He loved them in the past with results that last forever'. When the verb is in the imperfect tense, that indicates 'reality'. So, when it says I keep on loving Jacob - that is the continuing reality of God's attitude toward all believers.}

{Note: At this time, the priesthood was with the tribe of Levi. Many of these priests were unbelievers. They did not understand the plan of God. They could not understand why God is said to have 'loved Jacob' yet did not love the unbelieving Esau. The only member of the Godhead Who was manifest, was the Lord Jesus Christ. So here is a discussion between Jesus and unbelieving priests but it also applies to all unbelievers. When these unbelievers get the point that Jesus is comparing them to Esau (they are proud of their Jewish heritage - coming from Jacob not Esau!!), they will not be happy.}

{God Moves From the Individual to the Nation}
3~~And I {God} hated Esau
  {sane' - Qal perfect - the principal again}
and laid his mountains and his heritage/land waste
for the jackals {tannah} of the wilderness/desert.

{Note: It is stated that God hates Esau BECAUSE He always knew Esau would never believe. The principal here is that God hates the 'human viewpoint' thinking of all those who choose against Him in unbelief. This is an 'anthropomorphism' - See also Romans 9}.

{Note: Because of their religious and anti-God/anti-Grace tendencies, God warned the Jews to completely destroy the Edomites (who were descended from Esau). But they did not do so and the Edomites constantly were thorns in Israel side until God wiped them out through two judgments - ending in 70 AD by the Romans completely eliminating the Edomite race.}

{Esau's Descendants - the Edomites - Israel should have wiped them out}
4a~~Whereas Edom said,
"We have been defeated/whipped {rashash- Pual Perfect}
  {by Saul, by David, by Jehoshaphat},
but we will return
  {shuwb - Qal imperfect - the reality - if not destroyed they will
  fight on}
and keep on building {banah - Qal imperfect} the desolate places."

4b~~Thus said the Jehovah/God of the armies/hosts {tsaba'},
"They shall keep on building {banah - Qal imperfect},
but {in reality}
I will keep on destroying { harac - Qal imperfect} them;
and they shall call them,
'The border/territory of wickedness',
and, 'The people against whom
Jehovah/God has indignation { za`am - Qal perfect}
- in the past with results that last forever -
forever' {`ad `owlam}
  {anthropomorphism for God's attitude toward
  those in the everlasting Lake of Fire}.

5~~And your {unbeliever Levitical priests'} eyes shall see
  {the warning of the 5th cycle of discipline},
and you shall say {come to a conclusion},
'Jehovah/God will be magnified beyond the border of Israel."

{Note: The eyes are the eyes of the Levitical priests. They see that the Jews are to evangelize the gentiles and are 'green eyed' with jealousy - they want spiritual blessings to be only for the Jews. This is a warning from God that the responsibility of the client nation is to evangelize other nations and they are not doing so.}

6a~~A son keeps on honoring {kabad} his father
  {first is the analogy to relationship - only believers are children of
  God. If they are children of God, they should 'honor and respect Him and His authority'}.

6b~~And a slave/servant . . . {keeps on honoring} his master
  {second analogy is production after salvation - only believers can
  allow God to produce divine good through them - when they apply
  His doctrine/Word to life's experiences}.

6c~~"If then I . . . {be} a Father, where is my honor?
  {these priests go through the ritual without faith and do not honor
  God - verse 7}

6d~~And if I be 'Lords'
  {'adown - plural - referring to the Godhead - 'Elohiym},
where is My reverence/worship?",
says the Jehovah/God of the armies/hosts to you
O priests, who constantly despise {bazah} My Name
  {this is the mental attitude of unbelief in God and
  the 'foolishness' of His Mandated Laws - see verses 7-8}.

6e~~Yet you say, "Wherein/'in what way'
have we despised Your name {the 'how' follows}?"

{Verses 7-8: Two Indictments Against Unbelieving Levitical Priests:
  Offerings not in Conformity with Doctrine/God's Word}
7a~~"You offer polluted/leavened {ga'al} bread
upon My altar {the table of shewbread}.

7b~~And you say, "Wherein/'in what way' have we polluted You?

7c~~In that {offering the leavened bread}
you say, The table of Jehovah/God is contemptible."

{Note: The unleavened bread is a 'type' that represents the purity of the person of Christ going to the cross. Since these priests do not really believe anyway, they have gotten lazy and just offer any bread that is lying around. This is just a ritual to them so here their mental attitude is expressed.}

8a~~"And if you offer the blind {animals with defects}
for sacrifice, is it not evil?"
  {Breaking the 'type' of Jesus Christ again - this time the Work of
  Jesus Christ on the Cross - must be the 'Lamb without Spot/

8b~~"And if you offer the lame and sick {more imperfect animals},
is it not evil?"

8c~~"Offer it now unto your Governor/Pechah.
Will he be pleased with you,
or accept your person?"
said Jehovah/God of the armies/hosts.

{Note: During the absence of Nehemiah, the Persians sent a governor, they called him the 'pechah'. And this is a rhetorical question, the answer is NO - and under Persian custom, he would not accept their person, instead he would cut off their ears!}

{Verses 9 and 10: Alternatives for Priests - Believe or Close Temple}
9a~~And now, I pray you,
beseech {chalah} God {'El}
that He may be gracious unto us
  {this is a synonym for belief - believe and He will be gracious}.

9b~~From your hands comes this
  {the bad situation . . . and wrath to follow}.

9c~~Will He regard your persons?"
said Jehovah/God of the armies/hosts.

{Note: The piel imperative form of chalah in the Hebrew means to touch, and it means to be in a position where you can express a relationship. The piel intensifies and indicates a relationship. So RBT says this is His way of saying: "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ". Then 'operation grace' kicks in - GRACE - the plan of God. Once a person receives Christ, God only deals with him in grace.}

10a~~"O that there is someone among you {priests}
who would {had the courage to}
shut the door {of the temple},
with the result that you might not kindle a fire
on My altar for nothing
  {ritual without reality is meaningless ('for nothing') -
  without belief is religion - religion blinds and then destroys and

10b~~"I {God} have no pleasure in you . . .
neither will I accept the offerings at your hand,"
said Jehovah/God of the armies/hosts.

{Note: Why? Because they offered bread and animal sacrifices which were contrary to the specifications of the Word of God. Why did they do it? Because they were unbelievers or in reversionism so that they did not carefully follow the Word of God and dishonored God and His Messiah.}

{Second Warning with Millennial Reference}
{Prediction of Fall of Israel as the Client Nation until the Second Advent of Jesus Christ}
11a~~"For from the rising of the sun
even unto the going down of the same . . .
  {a true day . . . but also the pattern
  for the rising and falling of nations in history}
My Name . . . {shall be} great among the Gentiles/heathen {gowy}
  {RBT says is prophetical reference to the Millennium}."

{Note: RBT says 'My Name' here is technical for Jesus Christ. His Name/Reputation would become great among the Gentiles.}

11b~~"And 'in every place'/through-out the earth
incense {qatar} {the sweetest, most pleasant of odors} . . .
{shall be} offered unto My Name.

{Note: This is still a prophetic verse of the Millennium. Qatar in a good sense means a sweet smelling offering to God. It also has a bad usage, but that is not in view here.}

11c~~"And a pure offering for My Name
  {see Ezekiel 40-47 for animal sacrifices in the Millennium}
shall be great among the Gentiles/heathen { gowy},"
said the Lord of the Armies/hosts.

{Note: Verse 11 is a picture of three things: it can be a day, it can refer to the entire earth, and it can refer to the pattern of any nation in history. After four hundred years of long-suffering - from the time of Malachi - God will turn all religious Israel into judgement.}

12~~"But you have defiled/profaned {chalal - Piel stem} it
  {the worship ritual has been corrupted - See Chapter 2:3 coming
in that you say
  {you have to think this first before you say it},
'The table of {shewbread} Jehovah/God . . . {is} polluted
  {indicating they go through the ritual but they think it to be
and the fruit thereof, even the food on it,
is meaningless {bazah} {ritual without understanding its reality}."

{Note: In the qal stem halal means to praise. But in the piel stem halal doesn't mean praise, it means to violate, to defile. This word halal in the piel is going to take us down to a "dung" passage in chapter 2 verse 3. Animal dung was placed outside of the camp for sanitary reasons. Dung on the face meant that the priests were 'outside of the camp' - symbolizing they were unbelievers.}

{Note: The construction of the table of shewbread speaks of the Hypostatic Union of the God-Man Jesus Christ. The table was located in the holy place and this speaks of relationship with Jehovah through faith. The bread was on the top of the table and the bread spoke prophetically of the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ in connection with His work on the cross. The eating of the bread, of course, later on was a picture of faith as explained by Jesus Christ Himself. The priest actually ate the bread and even though he ate the bread in ritual he did not personally believe. The bread was commanded to be 'unleavened' and therefore pure. This prophetically spoke of the fact that Jesus Christ would be born without 'the sin of the father' (purpose of the virgin birth) - and that Jesus Christ would live a perfect life on this earth, He was impeccable all the way. The eaten bread then provided nourishment and this is picture of the provision of God 'in time' for believers after salvation (what we call Phase II - life in 'time' after spiritual birth, and Phase III is eternity future).}

13a~~"You said also {also thinking this},
'Behold, 'I am bored' {matt@la'ah}
  {idiom: literally 'what a weariness is it'
  meaning this is too much hard boring and meaningless work!}.

13b~~"And you have 'poo poo'ed it' {naphach}
  {idiom for a derogatory gesture - literally 'snuffed at it'
  the meaning is like 'giving the finger' today}."
said the Jehovah/God of the Armies/hosts.

13c~~"And you brought that {animal}
which was torn/maimed,
and the lame {hurt legs},
and the sick {diseased animals}
  {saying to themselves, why give this 'god' the best - he does not
  exist anyway - who will know? I will offer defective animals -
  a great sign of unbelief};
thus you brought an offering . . .
should I accept this of your hand?" said Jehovah/God
  {required response of 'I should not'}.

14~~"But cursed . . . {be} the deceiver {nakal},
who has in his flock a male,
and vowed, and sacrificed unto the 'Adonay/ Lord
a corrupt thing {the defective animal offerings}."
"For I am The Great King {Melek}
  {Jesus Christ is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings},"
said the Jehovah/God of the Armies/hosts,
"And My Name . . . {is} revered {yare'}
among the Gentiles
  {meaning the Jews have the great spiritual heritage and are
  the People of God but it is the heathens who revere the Lord,
  while they poo poo God and His decreed rituals of the day}."

{Note: The Niphal participle from the verb yare' means to be the object of reverence.}


This page is sponsored by Kenneth Sidley, CPA.

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