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by Robert Hawker
THE PROPHET MALACHI
We are arrived to the last of the minor Prophet's writings, with which the Sacred Canon of the Old Testament closeth; and a very sweet portion of the inspired work this forms. Malachi signifies angel or messenger; and it should seem from that passage we have in the first Chapter, and 13th verse of Haggai's (Haggai 1:13 ) prophecy, that in that period of the Church, the servants and messengers of the Lord were called Malachi-Jehovah, Angels or Messengers of the Lord. We have not the smallest account in scripture concerning Malachi, who he was, or from what tribe he sprung; and hence some, have conjectured, that he was in reality what his name signifies, an angel. But this must be wholly conjectural, and very improbable. The time of his ministry appears to have been somewhat more than three hundred and fifty years before the coming of Christ. The scope of his prophecy is to prepare the Church for the Lord's appearing; and this is done in pointing expressly to the person and office of John the Baptist, as Christ's forerunner. And as God the Holy Ghost was now with this servant's ministry, about to close the whole tenor of prophecy, and a long dark night was to take place, until that harbinger of day should come as Christ's herald; we have sketched some more striking features of the Lord Jesus ministry, in addition to what the other Prophets had been commissioned to give, concerning our Lord's person and character. And the several quotations made from this prophecy of Malachi in the New Testament, not only serves to confirm the authority of it, but to recommend it more strongly to the heart. See Matthew 11:10 ; Mark 1:2 ; Luke 1:17 ; Matthew 17:12 ; Mark 9:11-12 ; Luke 7:27 ; Romans 9:13 . I only add a prayer to God the Holy Ghost, that both on our entrance on this blessed prophecy, progress through it, and in our closing of it, as the scripture with which the Almighty Lord hath sealed up the visions to his servants the Prophets, the minds both of Writer and Reader of this Commentary, may be graciously guided by the Spirit of truth, into all truth, to his glory and our happiness in Christ Jesus. Amen.
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30