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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Malachi 3

 

 

Verses 1-18

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 3:1 — "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me" - Comments- Malachi 3:1 prophesies of the coming of John the Baptist. Mark 1:2 quotes this prophecy in the opening verses of His Gospel.

Mark 1:2, "As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee."

Malachi 3:1Comments- Malachi 3:1 makes a reference to the First and Second Coming of Christ Jesus. The prophecy of the coming of John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Lord in Malachi 3:1 a refers to Jesus' First Coming. The prophecy of the Lord coming suddenly into His Temple in Malachi 3:1 b is a reference to Jesus' glorious Second Coming. The phrase "whom ye delight in" may refer to the fact that the Jewish nation will be eagerly looking for and accepting Jesus Christ as their Messiah as His First Coming, although they rejected Him as His First appearance because He came as a suffering Servant. The final phrase "behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts," in Malachi 3:1 c is simply a restatement of His Coming as a way of establishing the certainly of Christ's Coming.

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Malachi 3:6Comments - When God made a covenant with Israel and promises to Abraham, He does not turn from His Word. Otherwise, He would have justification to destroy the children of Israel as He has destroyed the Edomites ( Malachi 1:2-5).

Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

Malachi 3:7Comments - Pieter Verhoef interprets Malachi 3:7 to refer back to the time of Israel's forefathers until the present, citing a number of Old Testament verses with a similar grammatical construction ( Judges 19:30, 2 Samuel 7:6, 1 Chronicles 17:10, Isaiah 7:17). 8] The Lord is saying that practically from the beginning of the covenant at Mount Sinai, the children of Israel have broken their promises to God in various ways. God remembered every sin that the children of Israel had ever committed. Although the blood of the sacrifices covered those sins so that God's wrath did not fall upon Israel, He would not forget those sins until the day of atonement upon Calvary when His Son Jesus Christ would bear the sins of mankind upon Himself.

8] Pieter A. Verhoef, The Books of Haggai and Malachi , in The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1987), 300-301.

Malachi will soon call Israel back to the Law of Moses, saying, "Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments." ( Malachi 4:4)

Illustration- The Lord once told me, "I respond to you when you respond to me."

Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Malachi 3:8Word Study on "rob" - Strong says the Hebrew word "rob" ( קָבַע) (H 6906) means, "to cover, defraud, rob, or spoil." Webster defines the word "defraud" as "to deprive of some right, interest, or property, by a deceitful device."

Malachi 3:8Comments- Note that in Malachi 1:6-8, these people were already giving tithes and offerings, but they are not giving their best to God (note Malachi 3:3). These people were giving blemished offerings as a religious practice. They were not giving from the heart.

Malachi 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Malachi 3:9Comments - God declares that He has been robbed when He does not receive tithes and offerings from Israel. According to the Mosiac Law, the tithe belonged to the Lord ( Leviticus 27:30; Leviticus 27:32).

Leviticus 27:30, "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD"S: it is holy unto the LORD."

Leviticus 27:32, "And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD."

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Malachi 3:10 — "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house" - Word Study on "storehouse" - The Hebrew words ( בַּיִת) (house) and ( אוֹצָר) (treasure, threshingfloor, storehouse) used together ( בֵּ֣ית הָאוֹצָ֗ר) in Malachi 3:10 are accurately translated "storehouse." This phrase is unique to the Old Testament Scriptures.

Comments - The Temple in Jerusalem contained many storerooms to keep the offerings dedicated to the Lord. Three times a year the Israelites were commanded to come to Jerusalem to keep the feasts unto the Lord. At this time, many of the Jews brought offerings that were keep in the rooms adjacent to the Temple.

Andrew Wommack says the storehouse was a place where food was stored. This interpretation is supported by the statement, "that there may be meat in mine house." Therefore, he believes the tithe should be given to the place where a person is spiritually fed. It may be a good local church, or it may be a para-church ministry that is teaching the Word of God accurately and feeding him. 9] If a local church is teaching wrong doctrine and not feeding the congregation, a para-church ministry that feeds one spiritually is the better description of the storehouse. He says in the Old Testament, the Jews brought their tithes to the local Levites and priests in their cities. They did not bring all of the tithes to Jerusalem. They brought the tithe to the minister that was feeding them spiritually.

9] Andrew Wommack, "Financial Stewardship: The Tithe," [on-line]; accessed 4March 2013; available from http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/finance; Internet.

"and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts" - Comments- Mike Murdock says that the Lord's challenge to prove him with the tithe is a practical way that God gives us an opportunity to practice sowing. 10] As we faithfully tithe unto the Lord and see the marvelous results, we will be encourages to take an additional step and give additional sacrificial offerings. Thus, the tithe can be described as the testing ground for a child of God to learn how to give to the Lord.

10] Mike Murdock, interviewed by Rod Parsley, Breakthrough (Columbus, Ohio: Rod Parsley Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program, 23May 2010.

"if I will not open you the windows of heaven" - Word Study on "the windows" - Strong says the Hebrew word "windows" ( אֲרֻבָּה) (H 699) means, "a lattice, a window, a dove-cove (because of its pigeon-holes, a chimney (openings for smoke), a sluice (openings for water)."

Comments- In the KJV, this word is translated eight times as "windows" and one time as "chimney." An appropriate means for this Hebrew word is "opening." J. B. Rotherham translated this word as "sluices" because of the idea of the blessings being "poured from heaven."

Rotherham, "Bring ye all the tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, Yea, I pray you, put me to the proof hereby, saith Yahweh of hosts, whether I will not open to you the sluices of the heavens, and pour out for you blessing, until there be no room."

Scripture References- Note other verses in the Scriptures where this phrase is used:

Genesis 7:11, "In the six hundredth year of Noah"s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."

Genesis 8:2, "The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;"

2 Kings 7:2, "Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof."

2 Kings 7:19, "And that lord answered the man of God, and said, Now, behold, if the LORD should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.

Isaiah 24:18, "And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake."

In contrast, the Scriptures refer to God closing up heaven:

Deuteronomy 11:17, "And then the LORD"S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you."

Deuteronomy 28:23-24, "And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed."

1 Kings 8:35, "When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:"

2 Chronicles 6:26, "When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them;"

2 Chronicles 7:13, "If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;"

Malachi 3:10Comments - Abraham gave the first tithe recorded in the Scriptures in Genesis 14:20. While many people of the land were giving tribute to powerful rulers out of fear and compulsion, Abraham chose to give a portion unto God. After Abraham gave this tithe to Melchizedek king of Salem, the Lord appeared to Abraham and assured him that He would protect him and prosper him in the midst of people who survived under tribute and fear. The tithe was such an effect way of worshipping the Lord that He included this principle in the Mosaic Law. Malachi 3:10-11 essentially gives the same promise of the Lord serving as a Shield and Reward to those who tithed when God promised to open the windows of heaven and to rebuke the devourer.

Genesis 14:20, "And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all."

Malachi 3:10 shows the principle of sowing and reaping. If a man says that he will give if he can first get the money, then it is like a farmer waiting for a harvest before he sows. The harvest does not come before sowing ( Genesis 6:7).

Galatians 6:7, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Malachi 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 3:11 — "saith the LORD of hosts" - Comments- The name of the Lord used in Malachi 3:11 is the Lord of Hosts, or the Lord of the Armies. This means that there is a battle to be fought within the context of this passage. As we look for an adversary, we find him described as the devourer. This refers to Satan at work taking from God's children who are disobedient. The Lord of Hosts will rebuke this devourer when God's children begin to give their tithes and offerings.

Malachi 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 3:10-12Comments - Tithes and Offerings- If we do not pay God our tithes, then He will not rebuke the devourer. I have seen a dear relative work hard for many years to save for retirement. Because he drifted away from Church and serving the Lord, and thus, paying his tithe, two divorces have devoured much of his income. (August 9, 1983) He will have money devoured up by the devourer because he is not giving back to God His due tithes.

Malachi 3:15-16Comments - The Israelites were not giving tithes or offerings unto the Lord; yet, they were complaining that it was useless to serve Him because they were not being blessed. They saw the material prosperity of those around them with envy, only compounding their sinfulness. The psalmist made a similar observation in Psalm 73:3, "For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked." The prophet Malachi was telling them the source of their lack of prosperity, which was their refusal to give to the Lord so that they could reap His blessings.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Malachi 3:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/malachi-3.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, August 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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