The Book of Malachi is the last of the Twelve Prophets, and there is no reference to its historical period in the text other than the fact that sacrifices are once again being offered in the Temple.
Malachi’s first prophecy is a dialogue between God and Israel. The people questioned God’s love for them. God responded, “And your eyes shall see, and you shall say, ‘The Lord will be magnified beyond the border of Israel’” (1:5).
But, God then went further, charging the Children of Israel that, although He wants to be a kindly father to them, they have spurned Him: “A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is My honor? and if I be a master, where is My reverence?” (1:6).
In particular, the people have practiced the great sin of offering “polluted” sacrifices, animals that should not have been considered fit for the altar. After condemning the wickedness of the priests, Malachi rebuked the people for taking foreign wives, and, at the same time, for callously breaking faith with the wives of their youth.
Malachi also prophesied about the coming of the Messiah, when there will be great tumult in the world as the righteous are sifted from the sinful. Malachi’s final verses, however, are a great and constant message of comfort from God for the Jewish people:
“Remember the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (4:4-6).
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