Malachi 4

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Malachi 4
  chapter 3
Matthew 1  
CodexGigas 119 MinorProphets.jpg
The whole Book of Malachi in Latin as a part of Codex Gigas, made around 13th century.
Book Book of Malachi
Category Nevi'im
Christian Bible part Old Testament
Order in the Christian part39

Malachi 4 is the fourth chapter of the Book of Malachi in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. [1] [2] This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Malachi, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets. [3] [4]

Book of Malachi book of the Bible

Malachi is the last book of the Neviim contained in the Tanakh, canonically the last of the Twelve Minor Prophets. In the Christian ordering, the grouping of the Prophetic Books is the last section of the Old Testament, making Malachi the last book before The New Testament.

Hebrew Bible Canonical collection of Hebrew scripture

The Hebrew Bible, which is also called the Tanakh or sometimes the Mikra, is the canonical collection of Hebrew scriptures. These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew, except for some Biblical Aramaic passages in the books of Daniel and Ezra. The Hebrew Bible is also the textual source for the Christian Old Testament. The form of this text that is authoritative for Rabbinic Judaism is known as the Masoretic Text (MT) and it consists of 24 books, while the translations divide essentially the same material into 39 books for the Protestant Bible.

Old Testament First part of Christian Bibles based on the Hebrew Bible

The Old Testament is the first part of Christian Bibles, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God. The second part of the Christian Bible is the New Testament.



The original text was written in Hebrew language. This chapter is divided into 6 verses. Masoretic texts do not have chapter 4, as all six verses are contained within chapter 3.

Biblical Hebrew stage of the Hebrew language written and spoken during the composition of the Bible

Biblical Hebrew, also called classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew, a Canaanite Semitic language spoken by the Israelites in the area known as Israel, roughly west of the Jordan River and east of the Mediterranean Sea. The term "Hebrew" was not used for the language in the Bible, which was referred to as שפת כנען or יהודית, but the name was used in Greek and Mishnaic Hebrew texts.

Chapters and verses of the Bible Divisions of books of the Bible

The Bible is a compilation of many shorter books written at different times by a variety of authors, and later assembled into the biblical canon. Since the early 13th century, most copies and editions of the Bible present all but the shortest of these books with divisions into chapters, generally a page or so in length. Since the mid-16th century editors have further subdivided each chapter into verses - each consisting of a few short lines or sentences. Sometimes a sentence spans more than one verse, as in the case of Ephesians 2:8–9, and sometimes there is more than one sentence in a single verse, as in the case of Genesis 1:2.

Malachi 3

Malachi 3 is the third chapter of the Book of Malachi in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Malachi, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.

New King James Version English translation of the Bible first published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson

The New King James Version (NKJV) is an English translation of the Bible first published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson. The New Testament was published in 1979, the Psalms in 1980, and the full Bible in 1982. It took seven years to complete. The anglicized edition was originally known as the Revised Authorized Version, but the NKJV title is now used universally.

Textual witnesses

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter in Hebrew are of the Masoretic Text, which includes the Codex Cairensis (895), the Petersburg Codex of the Prophets (916), Aleppo Codex (10th century), Codex Leningradensis (1008). [5]

Masoretic Text Authoritative text of the Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism

The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the 24 books of Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism.

Codex Cairensis Hebrew codex of the Prophets ascribed to masorete Ben-Asher

The Codex Cairensis is a Hebrew manuscript containing the complete text of the Hebrew Bible's Nevi'im (Prophets). It has traditionally been described as "the oldest dated Hebrew Codex of the Bible which has come down to us", but modern research seems to indicate an 11th-century date rather than the 895 CE date written into its colophon. It contains the books of the Former Prophets and Latter Prophets. It comprises 575 pages including 13 carpet pages.

Codex Babylonicus Petropolitanus, designated by Vp, is an old Masoretic manuscript of Hebrew Bible, especially the Latter Prophets. This codex contains the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Minor Prophets, with both the small and the large Masora.

Some fragments containing parts of this chapter were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (2nd century BC or later), [6] [7] including 4Q76 (4QXIIa) with extant verses 1–6. [6]

Dead Sea Scrolls Ancient Jewish religious manuscripts found in the Qumran Caves near the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient Jewish religious manuscripts found in the Qumran Caves in the Judaean Desert, near Ein Feshkha on the northern shore of the Dead Sea. Scholarly consensus dates these scrolls from the last three centuries BCE and the first century CE. The texts have great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the second-oldest known surviving manuscripts of works later included in the Hebrew Bible canon, along with deuterocanonical and extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism. Almost all of the Dead Sea Scrolls collection is currently under the ownership of the Government of the State of Israel, and housed in the Shrine of the Book on the grounds of the Israel Museum.

There is also a translation into Koine Greek known as the Septuagint, made in the last few centuries BC. Extant ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint version include Codex Vaticanus (B; B; 4th century), Codex Sinaiticus (S; BHK: S; 4th century), Codex Alexandrinus (A; A; 5th century) and Codex Marchalianus (Q; Q; 6th century). [8]

Koine Greek, also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek spoken and written during the Hellenistic period, the Roman Empire, and the early Byzantine Empire, or late antiquity. It evolved from the spread of Greek following the conquests of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC, and served as the lingua franca of much of the Mediterranean region and the Middle East during the following centuries. It was based mainly on Attic and related Ionic speech forms, with various admixtures brought about through dialect levelling with other varieties.

Septuagint Greek translation of Hebrew scriptures

The Septuagint is the earliest extant Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. It is estimated that the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century BCE and the remaining texts were translated in the 2nd century BCE. The Septuagint was the Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament and was in wide use by the time of Jesus and Paul of Tarsus because most Jews could no longer read Hebrew. For this reason it is quoted more often than the Hebrew Old Testament in the New Testament, particularly in the Pauline epistles, by the Apostolic Fathers, and later by the Greek Church Fathers.

Codex Vaticanus 4th-century handwritten Bible manuscript in Greek

The Codex Vaticanus is regarded as the oldest extant manuscript of the Greek Bible, one of the four great uncial codices. The Codex is named after its place of conservation in the Vatican Library, where it has been kept since at least the 15th century. It is written on 759 leaves of vellum in uncial letters and has been dated palaeographically to the 4th century.

Verse 1

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;
and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble:
and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts,
that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. [9]

Verse 2

But unto you that fear my name
shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings;
and ye shall go forth, and grow up
as calves of the stall. [12]

Verse 3

And ye shall tread down the wicked;
for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet
in the day that I shall do this,
saith the Lord of hosts. [14]

Verse 4

Remember ye the law of Moses my servant,
which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel,
with the statutes and judgments. [16]

Verse 5

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: [17]

Verse 6

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children,
and the heart of the children to their fathers,
lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. [20]

After the glad tidings, Malachi, and the Old Testament in him, ends with words of awe, telling us of the consequence of the final hardening of the heart; the eternal severance, when the unending end of the everlasting Gospel itself shall be accomplished, and its last grain shall be gathered into the garner of the Lord. [10]

Elijah the prophet

This chapter states "Elijah the prophet" not "Elijah the Tishbite" for it is in his official, not his personal capacity, that his coming is here predicted. In this sense, John the Baptist was an Elijah in spirit ( Luke 1:16, 17 ), but not the literal Elijah. [13]

The Archangel Gabriel interprets this for us, to include the sending of "John the Immerser" (John the Baptist). [10] For he not only says Luke 1:17 to Zechariah the priest, John's father, that he shall "go before" the Lord "in the spirit and power of Elias," but describes his mission in the characteristic words of Malachi (Malachi 4:5), "to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children:" and those other words also, "and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just," perhaps represent the sequel in Malachi, "and the hearts of the children to the fathers;" for their hearts could only be so turned by conversion to God, whom the fathers, patriarchs and prophets, knew, loved and served; and whom they served in name only. [10]

When John the Baptist was asked, "Art thou Elias?" ( John 1:21 ), he answered, "I am not." "Art thou that prophet?" "No." In denying that he was Elias, denied only, that he was that great prophet himself. [10] Though knowing from the angel's announcement to his father that he was referred to by Malachi 4:5 ( Luke 1:17 ), whence he wore the costume of Elijah, yet knew by inspiration that he did not exhaustively fulfil all that is included in this prophecy: that there is a further fulfilment (compare Malachi 3:1). [13]

Our Lord, in saying Matthew 11:14 , "This is Elias, which was for to come Matthew 17:12 that Elias is come already and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed," met the error of the scribes, that He could not be the Christ, because Elias was not yet come. When He says in Matthew 17:11 , "Elias truly shall first come and restore all things," He implies a coming of Elijah, other than that of John the Baptist, since he was already martyred, and all things were not yet restored. This must also be the fullest fulfillment. "For the great and terrible Day of the Lord" is the Day of Judgment, of which all earthly judgments, however desolating, (as the destruction of Jerusalem) are but shadows and earnests. Before our Lord's coming all things looked on to His first coming, and, since that coming, all looks on to the second, which is the completion of the first and of all things in time. [10]

As Moses in Malachi 4:4 represents the law, so Elijah represents the prophets. The Jews always understood it of the literal Elijah. Their saying is, "Messiah must be anointed by Elijah." [13] There seems to be no valid reason for not holding the literal sense of the words, and seeing in them a promise that Elijah the prophet, who was taken alive from the earth, shall at the last day come again to carry out God's wise purposes. That this was the view adopted by the Jews in all ages we see by the version of the LXX., who have here, "Elijah the Tishbite;" by the allusion in Ecclus. 48:10; and by the question of our Lord's disciples in Matthew 17:10 , "Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come." Christ himself confirms this opinion by answering, "Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things." He cannot be referring here to John the Baptist, because he uses the future tense; and when he goes on to say that "Elias is come already," he is referring to what was past, and he himself explains that he means John, who was announced to come in the spirit and power of Elias ( Luke 1:17 ), but of whom it could not be said that he "restored all things." [11]

As there is another consummating advent of Messiah Himself, so also of His forerunner Elijah; perhaps in person, as at the transfiguration ( Matthew 17:3 ; compare Matthew 17:11 ). [13] He in his appearance at the transfiguration in that body on which death had never passed is the forerunner of the saints who shall be found alive at the Lord's second coming. Revelation 11:3 may refer to the same witnesses as at the transfiguration, Moses and Elijah; Revelation 11:6 identifies the latter (compare 1 Kings 17:1 ; James 5:17 ). Even after the transfiguration Jesus ( Matthew 17:11 ) speaks of Elijah's coming "to restore all things" as still future, though He adds that Elijah (in the person of John the Baptist) is come already in a sense (compare Acts 3:21 ). [13] However, the future forerunner of Messiah at His second coming may be a prophet or number of prophets clothed with Elijah's power, who, with zealous upholders of "the law" clothed in the spirit of "Moses," may be the forerunning witnesses alluded to here and in Revelation 11:2-12 . The words "before the … dreadful day of the Lord," show that John cannot be exclusively meant; for he came before the day of Christ's coming in grace, not before His coming in terror, of which last the destruction of Jerusalem was the earnest ( Malachi 4:1 ; Joel 2:31 ). [13]

As John the Baptist came, in the spirit and power of Elias, before His first coming, so, before the second coming, Elijah should come in person, as Jews and Christians have alike expected. This has been the Christian expectation from the first. [10]

Whether Elijah is one of the two witnesses spoken of in the Apocalypse, is obviously a distinct question. Of commentators on the Apocalypse, Arethas remarks that as to Elijah, there is clear testimony from Holy Scripture, this of Malachi; but that, with regard to Enoch, we have only the fact of his being freed from death by translation, and the tradition of the Church. John Damascene fixed the belief in the Eastern Church. In the West, Bede e. g., who speaks of the belief that the two witnesses were Elijah and Enoch, as what was said by "some doctors," takes our Lord's declaration, that Elijah shall return, in its simple meaning. (on Matthew 17:11; Mark 9) Yet it was no matter of faith. When the belief as to a personal Antichrist was changed by Luther and Calvin, the belief of a personal forerunner of Christ gave way also. [10]

The same opinion is found in the Revelation ( Revelation 11:3, 6 ), where one of the witnesses is very commonly supposed to be Elijah. It is argued by Keil, Reinke, and others, that, as the promise of King David in such passages as Jeremiah 30:9 ; Ezekiel 34:23 ; Ezekiel 37:24 ; Hosea 3:5 , etc., cannot imply the resurrection of David and his return to earth, so we cannot think of an actual reappearance of Elijah himself, but only of the coming of some prophet with his spirit and power. But, as Knabenbauer points out, for the attribution of the name David to Messiah, long and careful preparation had been made; e.g. by his being called "the rod of Jesse," the occupant of David's throne, etc.; and all who heard the expression would at once understand the symbolical application, especially as David was known to have died and been buried. But when they found Malachi speaking of the reappearance of "Elijah the prophet," who, as they were well aware, had never died, of whose connection with the coming Messenger they had never heard, they could not avoid the conclusion to which they came, viz. that before the great day of judgment Elias should again visit the earth in person. [11]

See also

Notes and references

  1. Collins 2014.
  2. Hayes 2015.
  3. Metzger, Bruce M., et al. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  4. Keck, Leander E. 1996. The New Interpreter's Bible: Volume: VII. Nashville: Abingdon.
  5. Würthwein 1995, pp. 35-37.
  6. 1 2 Dead sea scrolls - Malachi
  7. Timothy A. J. Jull; Douglas J. Donahue; Magen Broshi; Emanuel Tov (1995). "Radiocarbon Dating of Scrolls and Linen Fragments from the Judean Desert". Radiocarbon. 38 (1): 14. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  8. Würthwein 1995, pp. 73-74.
  9. Malachi 4:1
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Barnes, Albert. Notes on the Old Testament. London, Blackie & Son, 1884. Reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998.PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Joseph S. Exell; Henry Donald Maurice Spence-Jones (Editors). The Pulpit Commentary. 23 volumes. First publication: 1890.PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  12. Malachi 4:2
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset; David Brown. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary On the Whole Bible . 1871.PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  14. Malachi 4:3
  15. 1 2 3 4 John Gill. John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible. Exposition of the Old and New Testament. Published in 1746-1763.PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  16. Malachi 4:4
  17. Malachi 4:5
  18. T. Bab. Eruvin, fol. 43. 2. & Gloss. in ib.
  19. T. Bab. Sabbat, fol 118. 1.
  20. Malachi 4:6




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