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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Malachi 3

 

 

Verses 1-18

3
The Speedy Judgment

1. This v. is closely connected with the preceding. It is the answer to the question, 'Where is the God of judgment?' The messenger is evidently a prophet or a succession of prophets: cp. Deuteronomy 18:9-22. The phrase he shall prepare the way before me is probably borrowed from Isaiah 40:3-5, where the thought is that a highway must be prepared on which 'the Glory of the Lord' may lead Israel to the land of Canaan. Zechariah (Zechariah 8:8) had promised that Jehovah would come to His Temple. The promise in Malachi's days had not yet been fulfilled, but Jehovah would 'hasten it in its time.'

2. Malachi shows himself here a true son of the older prophets. Jehovah cannot ignore sin; the day of his coming must therefore be a day of judgment: cp. Amos 5:18-20; Isaiah 33:14-16.;

3. He shall purify the sons of Levi] The judgment will begin at the house of God. 4. Malachi, like other-late OT. writers, here idealises the past: cp. Isaiah 2:5; 1 Kings 4:20, 1 Kings 4:21.

6. I change not] better, 'I have not changed.' The therefore in the following clause is wrong: the Heb. has 'but you' (emphatic) 'are not consumed.' As this yields no antithesis, it is not improbable that there is a corruption in the text. The argument seems to be, 'I have not changed, but you have not kept your part of the covenant; you have not performed my words.'

7. Cp. Zechariah 1:2.

9. Cp. Nehemiah 13:10.

11. The devourer] i.e. locusts: cp. Joel 1:4; Amos 4:2.

13. The godly are here addressed, and in their lack of faith are reminded that 'the Lord is mindful of His own.'

14. Cp. Psalms 73:13; Isaiah 58:3.

16. The change from direct address to narrative utterly spoils the connexion. LXX gives, 'This' (i.e. the complaint of Malachi 3:14-15) 'have they spoken who fear the Lord; and the Lord hath hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance hath been written before Him concerning those that fear the Lord,' etc.

17. In that day when I make up my jewels] RV 'in the day that I do make, even a peculiar treasure': better, 'in the day that I shew myself active' (so in Malachi 4:3), 'even a peculiar possession.' For the last words cp. Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2; Deuteronomy 26:18.

18. Malachi here treats the prosperity of the ungodly with more freedom than some of the OT, writers, He does not deny it, nor does he affirm that it is illusory or transitory, but that it cannot abide the crisis of 'the Day of the Lord.' Ye] the murmurers; those who were disturbed by the prosperity of the wicked (Malachi 2:17).

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Malachi 3:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/malachi-3.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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