|Book||Book of Malachi|
|Christian Bible part||Old Testament|
|Order in the Christian part||39|
Malachi 3 is the third chapter of the Book of Malachi in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Malachi, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.
Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter in Hebrew are of the Masoretic Text, which includes the Codex Cairensis (895), the Petersburg Codex of the Prophets (916), Aleppo Codex (10th century), Codex Leningradensis (1008). Fragments containing parts of this chapter were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, including 4Q76 (4QXIIa; 150–125 BCE) with extant verses 1–18 (and verses 3:19–24 in Masoretic Text); and 4Q78 (4QXIIc; 75–50 BCE) with a extant verses 6–7?.
There is also a translation into Koine Greek known as the Septuagint, made in the last few centuries BCE. Extant ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint version include Codex Vaticanus (B; B; 4th century), Codex Sinaiticus (S; BHK: S; 4th century), Codex Alexandrinus (A; A; 5th century) and Codex Marchalianus (Q; Q; 6th century).
- Behold, I will send my messenger,
- and he shall prepare the way before me:
- and the Lord, whom ye seek,
- shall suddenly come to his temple,
- even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in:
- behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
- "Behold, I will send (I send) my messenger": God answers that he is coming to show himself the God of judgment and justice. Are they ready to meet him and to bear his sentence? Who this "messenger" is disputed. That no angel or heavenly visitant is meant is clear from historical considerations, as no such event took place immediately before the Lord came to his temple. Nor can Malachi himself be intended, as his message was delivered nearly four hundred years before Messiah came. The announcement is doubtless founded upon Isaiah 40:3, and refers to the same person as the older prophet mentions, who is generally allowed to be John the Baptist, the herald of Christ's advent (Matthew 11:10; John 1:6).
- "Prepare the way before me" The expression is borrowed from Isaiah 40:3 (comp. also Isaiah 57:14; Isaiah 62:10). He prepares the way by preaching repentance, and thus removing the obstacle of sin which stood between God and his people. Luke 1:76. The prophecy on John the Baptist's birth: "Thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest, for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His way, to give knowledge of salvation unto His people, for the remission of their sins." Repentance was to be the preparation for the kingdom of Christ, the Messiah, for whom they looked so impatiently.
- "And the Lord, whom ye seek": The Lord (ha-Adon) is Jehovah, as in Exodus 23:17; Isaiah 1:24; Isaiah 3:1, etc. There is a change of persons here, as frequently. This is the person himself speaking, the Son of God, and promised Messiah, the Lord of all men, and particularly of his church and people, in right of marriage, by virtue of redemption, and by being their Head and King; so Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it of him, and even Abarbinel himself; the Messiah that had been so long spoken of and so much expected, and whom the Jews sought after, either in a scoffing manner, expressed in the above question, or rather seriously; some as a temporal deliverer, to free them from the Roman yoke, and bring them into a state of liberty, prosperity, and grandeur; and others as a spiritual Saviour, to deliver from sin, law, hell, and death, and save them with an everlasting salvation.
- "Shall suddenly come to his temple": Jehovah shall unexpectedly come to his temple (τὸν ναὸν ἑαυτοῦ) as King and God of Israel (comp. Ezekiel 43:7). There was a literal fulfilment of this prophecy when Christ was presented in the temple as an infant (Luke 2:22, etc.).
- "suddenly" — This epithet marks the second coming, rather than the first; the earnest of that unexpected coming (Luke 12:38-46; Revelation 16:15) to judgment was given in the judicial expulsion of the money-changing profaners from the temple by Messiah (Matthew 21:12, 13), where also as here He calls the temple His temple. Also in the destruction of Jerusalem, most unexpected by the Jews, who to the last deceived themselves with the expectation that Messiah would suddenly appear as a temporal Saviour. Compare the use of "suddenly" in Numbers 12:4-10, where He appeared in wrath.
Notes and references
- Collins 2014.
- Hayes 2015.
- Metzger, Bruce M., et al. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
- Keck, Leander E. 1996. The New Interpreter's Bible: Volume: VII. Nashville: Abingdon.
- Würthwein 1995, pp. 35-37.
- Ulrich 2010, pp. 624–626.
- Dead sea scrolls - Malachi
- Fitzmyer 2008, p. 38.
- Würthwein 1995, pp. 73-74.
- Malachi 3:1
- Joseph S. Exell; Henry Donald Maurice Spence-Jones (Editors). The Pulpit Commentary. 23 volumes. First publication: 1890. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Barnes, Albert. Notes on the Old Testament. London, Blackie & Son, 1884. Reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Mashmiah Jeshuah, fol. 76. 4.
- John Gill. John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible. Exposition of the Old and New Testament. Published in 1746-1763. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset; David Brown. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary On the Whole Bible. 1871. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Collins, John J. (2014). Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures. Fortress Press. ISBN 9781451469233.
- Fitzmyer, Joseph A. (2008). A Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 9780802862419.
- Hayes, Christine (2015). Introduction to the Bible. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300188277.
- Shepherd, Michael (2018). A Commentary on the Book of the Twelve: The Minor Prophets. Kregel Exegetical Library. Kregel Academic. ISBN 978-0825444593.
- Ulrich, Eugene, ed. (2010). The Biblical Qumran Scrolls: Transcriptions and Textual Variants. Brill.
- Würthwein, Ernst (1995). The Text of the Old Testament. Translated by Rhodes, Erroll F. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-0788-7. Retrieved January 26, 2019.