For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2002 James Melough

Nothing is known of this prophet except his name, which means my messenger; nor can the date of writing be more closely identified than that it was probably c.450 BC, for the walls of Jerusalem had already been rebuilt, and the post-exilic Temple completed by the godly remnant that had returned from Babylon, long enough for another generation of the people and priests to have become arrogantly sinful again, not only as to their personal lives, but as to their worship.  Divorce was common, and they were intermarrying with Gentiles; they were dishonest in their business practices, and the rich oppressed the poor; but worse, they despised and angered God by offering sick and maimed animals on His altar, and by withholding the prescribed tithes. 


Malachi was the last of the OT prophets, the years that followed his prophecy being generally known as the 400 silent years during which there was no communication from God until the day when He spoke to Zacharias to announce the birth of John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ; and to Mary to announce the Lordís birth, as recorded in Luke 1.  In those 400 years there developed the hypocritical Phariseeism which marked Israel at the time of the Lordís first advent.


His ministry was to expose the hypocrisy of the people and the priests relative to their sinful lives and the maintenance of an empty loveless formal religion in the observance of which they presented sick and maimed animals in sacrifice, in defiance of the Divine proscription of such offerings; added to which sin was their withholding of the prescribed tithes.


The application of the prophecy to Christendom, however, will be understood only if we remember that Esau, meaning shaggy: hairy: his doings is a type of the natural man; and Jacob, of the carnal believer living according to the flesh rather than the spirit, the spiritual believer being portrayed by Jacobís new name, Israel.  The typological picture is corporate as well as individual, for we see also in Esau a figure or type of apostate Christendom; in Jacob, a type of believing, but carnal Christendom; and in Jacobís new name Israel, a type of spiritual believers as a corporate body.

[Malachi 1]


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough