Malachi Preliminaries

Who wrote the letter?

Scholars say that a man named Malachi wrote this book. Some scholars point out that ‘Malachi’ means ‘messenger’ and therefore the name ‘Malachi’ could just be a pseudonym for someone.

To whom was the letter written?

This book is written to Israel (Mal 1:1).

Why was the letter written?

The letter was written to:

  • Remind Israel that God loved Israel.
  • Point out that God was not pleased with Israel.
  • Show specifically why God was not pleased with Israel.
  • Remind Israel of the coming of the Messiah and the one who will prepare the way for Him.

When was the letter written?

Scholars say that this book was written sometime in the quarter century before 450 BC since it mirrors conditions existing at the time of Nehemiah’s second coming in Jerusalem in 432 BC.

Preliminary comments

The Old Testament books were written for our instruction (1 Cor 10:11; 2 Tm 3:16,17). When we read them we must see what we can learn from them about God and about man, and then we must apply what we learn to our own lives and our times.

God does not change (Mal 3:6). Therefore, He will behave the same today as He behaved in the days of Malachi. If the condition of the people today is the same as the condition of the people in the days of Malachi then the word that God has for the people today will be the same as the word that He had for the people in those days.

The prophets of God are to be messengers who speak the oracles of God to the people. Prophets need to know how God deals with different situations and discern the situation today and speak to the people accordingly.

Those who listen to the prophets of today also need to know how God deals with different situations and discern the situation today and determine whether the word of the prophets are in line with what God has said before.

It is in this frame of mind that we should study the book of Malachi.


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