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Malachi 1:1-5

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The opening word מַשָׂא (maśśāʾ, “burden,” “oracle”) is commonly used for describing a prophecy. It is related to the verb נַשָׂא (nāśāʾ, “to bear”), hence implying a responsibility, duty, charge, or assignment from God. Most modern translations, including NIV, render it “oracle,” which communicates better than “burden” but fails to bring out the onerous aspects the prophet’s duty often entailed.

The opening word מַשָׂא (maśśāʾ, “burden,” “oracle”) is commonly used for describing a prophecy. It is related to the verb נַשָׂא (nāśāʾ, “to bear”), hence implying a responsibility, duty, charge, or assignment from God. Most modern translations, including NIV, render it “oracle,” which communicates better than “burden” but fails to bring out the onerous aspects the prophet’s duty often entailed.

The opening word מַשָׂא (maśśāʾ, “burden,” “oracle”) is commonly used for describing a prophecy. It is related to the verb נַשָׂא (nāśāʾ, “to bear”), hence implying a responsibility, duty, charge, or assignment from God. Most modern translations, including NIV, render it “oracle,” which communicates better than “burden” but fails to bring out the onerous aspects the prophet’s duty often entailed.

The Last Old Testament Prophet

A prophet carries a burden

The opening word מַשָׂא (maśśāʾ, “burden,” “oracle”) is commonly used for describing a prophecy. It is related to the verb נַשָׂא (nāśāʾ, “to bear”), hence implying a responsibility, duty, charge, or assignment from God. Most modern translations, including NIV, render it “oracle,” which communicates better than “burden” but fails to bring out the onerous aspects the prophet’s duty often entailed.

The opening word מַשָׂא (maśśāʾ, “burden,” “oracle”) is commonly used for describing a prophecy. It is related to the verb נַשָׂא (nāśāʾ, “to bear”), hence implying a responsibility, duty, charge, or assignment from God. Most modern translations, including NIV, render it “oracle,” which communicates better than “burden” but fails to bring out the onerous aspects the prophet’s duty often entailed.

A prophet communicates the word of the LORD
The word of covenant keeping God
It is true
It is trustworthy
It is absolute
It is authority
A prophet called Malachi
The name means, my messenger
He’s placed last by the Talmud with the postexilic books Haggai and Zechariah
Probably a contemporary with Nehemiah

From the contents of Malachi, we deduce that the prophet wrote sometime after Ezra. Zerubbabel, the first governor after the return from the Babylonian exile, had, with the aid of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, encouraged the people to rebuild the temple. That was in 515 B.C. Ezra returned with another group of exiles in 458 B.C. That was also the seventh year of King Artaxerxes. In the twentieth year of that same king (445 B.C.), Nehemiah returned and led the people in rebuilding the walls of the city of Jerusalem. In the twelfth year of his governorship, Nehemiah returned to Persia for an unknown period of time (cf. Neh 5:14; 13:6). It was during this interim, perhaps in 434 B.C., that Malachi took the helm of spiritual affairs in Jerusalem.

Many similarities exist between the thrust of Malachi’s message and Nehemiah’s reforms. This is why we connect the two. Among the points the two books have in common are the following: mixed marriages (Neh 10:30; 13:23–27; Mal 2:11; cf. Ezra 9–10); corrupt priesthood (Neh 13:9; Mal 1:6–2:9); financial abuses (Neh 13:10–13; Mal 3:5–10).

So the exiles had returned; the temple had been rebuilt; the city of Jerusalem had returned to a substantial degree of normalcy; and the inevitable lethargy, laxity, and’ leniency in spiritual matters had developed. A measure of comfort and security under Persian suzerainty encouraged the people of Judah to let their hands fall in their task of building their nation under God. To this declining state of affairs the last prophet of the OT addressed himself.

His style was direct and he used the question and answer method. He would ask rhetorical questions. This style is used in the New Testament as well
Matthew 3:7 NKJV
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Matthew 3:7
Matthew 11:7–9 NKJV
As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.
Matthew 11:
Romans 3:1–4 NKJV
What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”

Love of God for Israel

The statement of God’s love
God’s love is undeserved
Deuteronomy 7:7–8 NKJV
The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy 10:15 NKJV
The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day.
Deuteronomy 10:
Deuteronomy 23:5 NKJV
Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.
Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Deuteronomy 23:
Hosea 11:1 NKJV
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.
Hosea 14:4 NKJV
“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him.
Hosea 14:
God’s love should not be doubted
The root of all her (Israel) sins was her unawareness of God’s love and her own sin. —Charles L. Feinberg
Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Hosea 11:1 NKJV
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.
Hosea 14:4 NKJV
“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him.
Hosea 14:
God’s love is shown by the contrast between Jacob and Esau
God chose Jacob to receive the blessing and birthright
Genesis 25:21–23 NKJV
Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.”
Romans 9:10–13 NKJV
And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
Romans 9:
Genesis 25:21
Romans 9:10–15 NKJV
And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”
God’s choosing of Jacob proves His love
Romans 5:8 NKJV
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:
1 John 4:9–10 NKJV
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
I John 4:9
The sovereignty of God over all nations
God’s rejection of Esau (He and his seed)
Esau was the father of the Edomites
His name change
Genesis 25:30 NKJV
And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.
Genesis
His genealogy is given In
His character was revealed in his choice of wives
Genesis 26:
Genesis 26:34–35 NKJV
When Esau was forty years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.
Edomites history
Numbers 20
Numbers 20:20–21 NKJV
Then he said, “You shall not pass through.” So Edom came out against them with many men and with a strong hand. Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory; so Israel turned away from him.
2 Chronicles
2 Chronicles 25:20 NKJV
But Amaziah would not heed, for it came from God, that He might give them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought the gods of Edom.
Ezekiel 25:12–14 NKJV
‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because of what Edom did against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended by avenging itself on them,” therefore thus says the Lord God: “I will also stretch out My hand against Edom, cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate from Teman; Dedan shall fall by the sword. I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel, that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance,” says the Lord God.
Ezekiel 35:5 NKJV
“Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end,
Ezekiel 25:12-
Ezekiel 35:5
waste (land) n. — an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation.
Esau’s land became a wilderness
waste (land) n. — an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation.
Esau’s land became the home of dessert jackals

a long-eared mammal of the dog family (smaller than a true wolf), an omnivore which will also eat carrion, that hunts at night, often in packs, with a distinctive howl

God will continue to thrown down what the people of Edom try to rebuild
Compare with what God had allowed the Jewish exiles to do in Israel and Jerusalem
Notice their arrogance and pride
God’s action on Edom will cause Israel to see God’s majesty go beyond their borders
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