Lesson 90: Malachi Will A Man Rob God?

Updated: Jun 29

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Background Information

I. Malachi’s name means “My Messenger.”

II. “Although an exact date cannot be established for Malachi, internal evidence can be used to deduce an approximate date. The use of the Persian term for governor, pechah (1:8) indicates that the book was written during the Persian domination of Israel. The temple had been rebuilt, since sacrifices were being offered in the temple (1:7–10). In addition, Malachi’s oracle addressed the same problems that Nehemiah faced: corrupt priests (1:6–2:9; cf. Neh. 13:1–9), neglect of tithes and offerings (3:7–12; cf. Neh. 13:10–13), and intermarriage with pagan wives (2:10–16; cf. Neh. 13:23–28). Nehemiah had come to Jerusalem in 444 B.C. to rebuild the city walls, but returned to Persia in 432 B.C. On his return to Palestine (c. 425 B.C.),

Nehemiah dealt with the sins described in Malachi. Thus it is likely that Malachi

proclaimed his message while Nehemiah was absent between 432 and 425 B.C.” (Nelsons, pg. 284)

III. “Malachi’s literary method was that of the scribes, putting and answering questions. ‘The form of his book shows us that his period was no longer patient of prophetic preachers; he has to have recourse to argument’ (Sellin). He was the Hebrew Socrates. This style was novel among the Jews. It is known as the didactic- dialectic method. First he makes a charge or an accusation; then he fancies some one raises an objection, which he next proceeds to refute in detail, substantiating the truth of his original proposition. Seven distinct examples of this peculiar method of (a) affirmation, (b) interrogation, and (c) refutation are to be found in his little book (the expression ‘Yet ye say,’ 1:2,6,7; 2:14, 17; 3:7, 8, 13, occurring eight times)...” (Robinson, pg. 161)

IV. From the book of Malachi we can learn:

A. The value of sincere worship (1:6–14).

B. The crime of divorce (2:10–15).

C. Of the work of John the Baptist (3:1; 4:5).