Malachi (450-400 B.C.) "malachi" (My messenger)
A prophet who lived in the fifth century B.C. By this time the Jews had become
disillusioned and apathetic. Things were not as good as they had hoped. Drought
and crop failures along with opposition from various enemies had made life
difficult. They were neglecting the things of God and offering imperfect
sacrifices as well as failing to give their tithes. The priests were lax and did
not encourage them. Mixed marriages and divorce had become common.
The Old Testament - A Brief Overview
"For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it
covers one's garment with violence," says the LORD of hosts. "Therefore take
heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously. "You have wearied the
LORD with your words; yet you say, "In what way have we wearied Him?" In that
you say, "Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He
delights in them," or, "Where is the God of justice?"
The heart of Malachi's message was to point to the fact that as long as they
neglected the things of God, they could never expect to prosper. If they would
repent, then God would bless them. Then he speaks of the approaching day of the
Lord which will be ushered in by Elijah, who will be a forerunner of the
Messiah, and then Messiah would come. The New Testament identifies Elijah as
John the Baptizer and Jesus as the Messiah (Matt. 3:1-12; 11:14).
"Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way
before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even
the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming," says
the LORD of hosts.
The book of Malachi closes the Old Testament and a prophet is not revealed in
the Scriptures for approximately 400 years until the beginning of the New
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The Story of the Bible - Part One - The Old Testament
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