Mal 1:1-4:6

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Home > The Old Testament > Malachi


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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Old Testament. Malachi is one of the "Minor Prophets" of the Old Testament. The relationship of Malachi to the Old Testament as a whole, and to the other minor prophets in particular, is discussed at Old Testament: Organization.

Story. Malachi is widely recognized to consist of a series of six disputations:

  • Mal 1:1-5: Q: How has the Lord loved Israel? A: He loves and preserves Israel (Jacob) even more than his brother Edom (Esau).
  • Mal 1:6-2:9: Q: How have the priests despised the Lord's name? A: They have improperly offered injured animals in sacrifice.
  • Mal 2:10-16: Q: How has Israel been disloyal? A: The men of Israel have divorced the covenant wives of their youth to marry foreign women.
  • Mal 2:17-3:6: Q: Why does the Lord allow the wicked to prosper? A: He will punish the wicked.
  • Mal 3:7-12: Q: How has Israel left the Law of Moses and robbed God? It has failed to bring in tithes.
  • Mal 3:13-4:6: Q: Why does the Lord not bless the righteous? A: He will bless the righteous.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Malachi include:

Historical setting[edit]

This heading should be brief and explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the book. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

A broader treatment of the history of ancient Israel, including Malachi, is found at Old Testament: Historical Overview.

Discussion[edit]

This heading is for more detailed discussions of all or part of a passage. Discussion may include the meaning of a particular word, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout the passage, insights to be developed in the future, and other items. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Mal[edit]

The six disputations of Malachi are arranged in two overlapping chiastic patterns.

Mal 1:1-5: #1. The Lord is loyal to his covenant with Israel[edit]

Mal 1:6-2:9: #2. The priests must perform temple ordinances with respect[edit]

Mal 2:10-16: #3. Israel has been disloyal to its (marriage) covenants[edit]

Mal 2:17-3:6: #4. The Lord will come out in judgment against the wicked[edit]

  • Mal 3:1: Burning at the Second Coming. This is a significant passage often quoted at significant locations in other passages.

Mal 3:7-12: #5. Lay members must support temple ordinances (through tithes)[edit]

Mal 3:13-4:6: #6. The Lord will bless the righteous[edit]

  • Here the people question the benefit of serving God when they see the success and prosperity of the wicked and proud. But God reveals an eventual outcome for those who fear God compared to those who are wicked.
  • In the scriptures, the phrase "the great and dreadful day of the Lord" is frequently used. This phrase refers to the Lord's second coming. Great will be that day for those who have been faithful in following the Lord. But dreadful will be that day for those who have not kept the Lord's commandments, for they will be rewarded according to their actions.
  • Mal 4:2: Calves of the stall. Like calves in a stall we will be protected and fed (spiritually) and be safe.
  • Mal 4:4: Mount Horeb. Mount Horeb is another name for Mount Sinai, which is where the Law of Moses was given by God to Moses for the House of Israel (see reference).

Outline and page map[edit]

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1. The Lord is loyal to his covenant with Israel (1:1-5)

2. The priests must perform temple ordinances with respect (1:6-2:9)

3. Israel has been disloyal to its (marriage) covenants (2:10-16)

4. The Lord will come out in judgment against the wicked (2:17-3:6)

5. The lay membership must support temple ordinances (through tithes) (3:7-12)

6. The Lord will bless the righteous (3:13-4:6)

Points to ponder[edit]

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I have a question[edit]

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  • Mal 4:3. To whom is the Lord speaking or referring when he says "ye shall tread down the wicked?"
  • Mal 4:5. How are Elijah the prophet and genealogy and temple work associated? And when is the dreadful day of the Lord? And why is it dreadful?

Resources[edit]

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Translations[edit]

  • Amplified • The Amplified Bible, 1987 update
  • NASB • New American Standard Bible, 1995 update
  • NIV • New International Version
  • RSV • Revised Standard Version

Related scriptures[edit]

  • The book of Matthew is widely recognized as a chiasmus in which the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) is located in parallel with the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24-25). It appears that Third Nephi 11-30 is also organized as a chiasmus in which the Sermon on the Mount (3 Ne 12-14) is located in parallel with the last two chapters of Malachi (3 Ne 24-25). This raises questions about the relationship of Malachi 3-4 to the Sermon on the Mount. This also raises questions about what is similar between Malachi 3-4 and the Olivet Discourse so that they are both placed in parallel with the Sermon on the Mount, and what is different so that the Oliver Discourse is used in Matthew while the last two chapters of Malachi are instead used in Third Nephi. It is worth noting in this regard that all three of these passages are among the most widely repeated chapter-length passages in all of the scriptures, and are thus likely among the most important.

Joseph Smith Translation[edit]

The Joseph Smith Translation made no changes to the book of Malachi.[1]

Cited references[edit]

  • Ehat, Andrew. The Words of Joseph Smith. (1991).
  • Glazier-Smith, Beth. Malachi: The Divine Messenger. (Scholars Press, 1987).
  • Hill. The Anchor Bible: Malachi. (1998).
  • McComiskey, Thomas, ed. The Minor Prophets. (Baker Books, 1998).
  • Steinmann. Andrew E. From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011. (ISBN 0758627998). BS637.3 .S74 2011.
  • Wayment, Thomas A., ed. The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2009. (ISBN 1606411314) BX8630 .A2 2009.

Other resources[edit]

  • Mal 3:7-12: Tithing. Daniel L. Johnson, "The Law of Tithing," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 35–36. Elder Johnson taught that the law of tithing was instituted from the beginning. "We know from the scriptures that Abraham was blessed through his obedience to this law, and we now have that same law as it was reiterated by the Savior during His visit to the inhabitants of the American continent almost 2,000 years ago." "What a marvelous law! He who has not only the power and the means to bless His children temporally and spiritually but also the desire to do so, has provided to us the key to those blessings that we both need and desire."
  • Mal 4:5: Spirit of Elijah. See "The Spirit of Elijah" by J. Stapley at the BCC blog for some brief comments about how this passage has been understood among Mormons.

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves, such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word. In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources are preferable to footnotes.

  1. Wayment, The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 220.


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