Books of Bible
The Written Prophecy of Malachi
By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
A. The man.
1. The name "Malachi" means "my messenger."
2. The name is found only here in scripture.
3. Nothing more is known of this prophet than what we glean
from the book.
4. Malachi was the last of the Old Testament prophets and is
called by Jewish authorities "the seal and end of the
prophets." (This, of course, excludes John the baptizer and
B. The background.
1. The book was written about 400 years before the appearance of
2. Nehemiah was permitted to lead a band of returning Jews to
Jerusalem and restore the nation to its homeland and rebuild
the temple and the capital city.
a. According to the practice of the time, he was called back
to Susa, the Persian capital, to report to King Artaxerxes.
b. He was gone from Jerusalem for two or three years.
c. After the return of Nehemiah from his trip to Susa, we
have sketchy information about events among the Jews.
3. Upon his return, Nehemiah found evil behavior and a lack of
interest in the law.
4. He undertook a new reformation and Malachi came forward
II. The book.
A. Jehovah's love of Judah (1:1-5).
1. The word delivered to sinful Israel was not that of the
prophet, but of God (1:1).
a. Jehovah preferred Jacob over Esau (1:1-3).
b. Edom (Esau) would not be allowed to rebuild (1:4).
2. Jacob would see this and, being allowed to rebuild, would
know once again that Jacob was preferred of Esau (1:5).
B. Israel was showed no gratitude and was rebellious (1:6-14).
1. God was not feared and honored; the priests despised his
2. Ways in which the priests showed loathing for God (1:7-11).
a. By offering polluted bread (animal flesh) they showed
contempt for God (1:7).
b. The polluted flesh was the blind, lame and sick offered for
c. What they were bold to offer to God they would be
ashamed to offer to their governor (1:8).
d. An ironic appeal to try to gain the favor of God with such
polluted sacrifices (1:9).
e. No one opposed their disrespectful behavior (1:10).
f. Under Messiah, the Jews would be rejected and Jehovah
would be worshipped by Gentiles (1:11).
3. Further complaint about corrupt worship and bad attitudes
a. By offering blemished sacrifices they held worship in
b. Worship was weariness to these rebellious people (1:13).
c. Their worship was deceitful and they showed less respect
for God than did the Gentiles (1:14).
C. Priests and people are condemned for breaking covenant and
for idolatry, adultery and infidelity (2:1-17).
1. For neglect of their responsibilities, the priests are in
danger of punishment (2:1-4).
2. What a true priest ought to be (2:5-9).
a. Fears God (2:5).
b. Teaches God's law in truth (2:6-7).
c. False teachers pervert the law of God (2:8).
d. God refuses the false and accepts the true priest (2:9).
3. Foreign marriages and divorces condemned (2:10-16).
a. Reminds them of their covenant with God (2:10).
b. The men of Israel, contrary to their law, married
c. Jehovah is angry over this violation of his law (2:12).
d. The men of Israel not only married foreign wives, but put
away their Jewish wives and caused the abused women to
cover the altar of Jehovah with tears (2:13).
e. The men answered, What are you talking about
f. The prophet answers: because you have sinned against the
wife of your youth by putting her away to marry
g. The importance of maintaining family values (2:15).
h. God hates divorce (2:16).
4. Judgment and condemnation is sure to come (2:17).
D. A better day will come (3:1-18).
1. The coming of Messiah (3:1-6).
a. God's messenger will come suddenly to prepare the way
for Messiah (3:1).
b. Messiah will rebuke and condemn (3:2-3).
c. The worship will be true and happy (3:4).
d. Jehovah will judge and punish the wicked (3:5).
e. The great principles of right and wrong never change;
God's desire is for Judah to change (3:6).
2. God is faithful to his promises (3:7-12).
a. Jehovah will receive the penitent (3:7).
b. The people robbed God (3:8-10).
c. God would punish the robbers (3:11-12).
3. The rebellious people spoke against God and his law
4. The few faithful who did not speak against God would be
E. Separation of good and evil at a day of judgment (4:1-3).
1. The proud and the rebellious to be burned up (4:1-2).
2. The true and faithful to be exonerated and happy (4:3).
F. Obey the law and avoid the curse (4:5-6).
1. The time honored law (4:4).
2. Elijah to come and Judah to be rejected (4:5-6).