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by E.W. Bullinger
Mal MALACHI. THE STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK AS A WHOLE. ( Division .) Malachi 1:1-5 . NATIONAL ELECTION. Malachi 1:6 - Malachi 4:6 . NATIONAL REJECTION. For the Canonical order and place of the Prophets, see Appdx-1, and p. 1207 For the Chronological order of the Prophets, see Appdx-77. For the Inter-relation of the Prophetic Books, see Appdx-78. For the Formula of Prophetic utterance, see Appdx-82. For the References to the Pentateuch by the Prophets, see Appdx-92. For the Inter-relation of the Minor (or Shorter) Prophets, see p. 1206. Malachi is one of the six undated Minor (or Shorter) Prophets. His book shows that the Temple-worship, with its sacrifices, &c., had been fully restored; but the ceremonial formalism and hypocrisy, which culminated in the days of our Lord''s ministry, are seen actively at work. No sooner were the restraining influences of Ezra and Nehemiah removed, than the corruption began; and went on apace, as evidenced by Malachi 1:7 , Malachi 1:8 ; Malachi 3:8 , &c. From the "Restoration" and the First Passover to the birth of Messiah was exactly 400 years, the last great period of Probation (40x10; see Appdx-10). It was the great testing-time given to the Nation in the Land . If we take the date of Malachi as being 400 years before the anointing of Messiah and the commencement of His Ministry (A.D. 26), then we have, reckoning back from A.D. 26, the year 374 B.C. This gives thirty years from the Restoration to the condition of the Nation described in this prophecy, and twenty-nine clear years from Ezra''s last date (1st Nisan, 403 B.C.):a period amply sufficient for the terrible declension of which Malachi speaks. Milner, in his valuable Church History, remarks that great reformations seldom seem to last in their purity more than thirty years. If this be so, then Malachi may be dated as about 374 B.C., thirty years after the commencement of the Temple-worship, which marked the beginning of the 400 years till the birth of THE Messenger (John the Baptist), and THE Messiah. (See Appdx-77 .)
the Seventh Week after Easter