Malachi (450-400 B.C.) "malachi" (My messenger)

A prophet who lived in the fifth century B.C. By this time the Jews had become disillusioned and apathetic. Things were not as good as they had hoped. Drought and crop failures along with opposition from various enemies had made life difficult. They were neglecting the things of God and offering imperfect sacrifices as well as failing to give their tithes. The priests were lax and did not encourage them. Mixed marriages and divorce had become common.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Mal 2:16-17

"For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one's garment with violence," says the LORD of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously. "You have wearied the LORD with your words; yet you say, "In what way have we wearied Him?" In that you say, "Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them," or, "Where is the God of justice?"

The heart of Malachi's message was to point to the fact that as long as they neglected the things of God, they could never expect to prosper. If they would repent, then God would bless them. Then he speaks of the approaching day of the Lord which will be ushered in by Elijah, who will be a forerunner of the Messiah, and then Messiah would come. The New Testament identifies Elijah as John the Baptizer and Jesus as the Messiah (Matt. 3:1-12; 11:14).

Mal 3:1

"Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts.

The book of Malachi closes the Old Testament and a prophet is not revealed in the Scriptures for approximately 400 years until the beginning of the New Testament.

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The Story of the Bible - Part One - The Old Testament