Malachi 4

Malachi 4

This chapter is a wonderful way to end our Old Testament minor prophet series. It is both enlightening and encouraging. Click on the above Malachi 4 heading and read the final chapter for yourself. Here is a debrief of the final six verses of Malachi.

“For behold, the day is coming,
Burning like an oven,
And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,”

On that Day! God promised in Genesis to not destroy the world again by global flooding. This time large portions of the earth will submit to fire.

Says the Lord of hosts,
“That will leave them neither root nor branch.

No longer will God tolerate Satan’s proxy insurrection. Not a remnant of Satan’s influence will remain. He is bound in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years. Since he is the root of all sin and rebellion against God, the root is destroyed along with the branch. The branch infers his minion fallen angels and anti-God humans.

But to you who fear My name
The Son of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;

Healing? Click here and read [Ezekiel 47:12; Revelation 22:2].

And you shall go out
And grow fat like stall-fed calves

Have no fear about the weight gain. The word “fat” in the Hebrew is pûsh. It only infers that one will grow healthy and grow well; healthy, fulfilled, and complete.

You shall trample the wicked,
For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet
On the day that I do this,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

Ashes under the feet of the righteous? See 2 Peter 3:3-7. One will not trample the wicked but will trample the ashes of the wicked.

“Remember the Law of Moses, My servant,
Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel,
With the statutes and judgments.

Once again we read…it is about Israel. Yes, the believer is redeemed meaning saved but the emphasis of end time – On That Day, is upon Israel as emphasized in Malachi. Bear it well in mind. In the *Old Testament GOD is the husband of Israel. In the New Testament Jesus is the husband as head of the church called believers.

It is about Israel – Not the Church of believers

*(Jeremiah 31:31-32 NKJV) “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; [32] “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.”

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet

Send us Elijah? In this unique promise, God says He will send Elijah to Israel before the great and dreadful day of the LORD. This is In That Day. Some identify Elijah as John the Baptist. It is also possible since it is appointed for mankind once to die [Hebrews 9:27] and Elijah never died [2 Kings 2], he may be one of the two Tribulation witnesses [Revelation 2:3-11]. (emphasis mine)

And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

This verse in Malachi is a reversal of Luke 12:53. What a wonderful promise … Millennial Reign.

This concludes our series on the 12 Minor prophets in There are many other articles within this website. Feel free to search them out. Remember…

We Teach but You Decide (This is the free will of mankind)

Rev. Dr Jstark

Malachi 3

Malachi 3

…’It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance…” asks the Levite priests.

This quote is from Malachi 3:14a. It is the sum-total of the thinking (excuses) of the Levites and the Judeans. Today, one might call it a Freudian slip. The truth in their thinking surfaces. It has to do with profiting not worship. This type of profit first thinking may underline antisemitic attitudes over the centuries. Their demand and desires for riches exceeded their desire for Godly worship.

Malachi 3:1 Malachi in Hebrew means The Messenger. This verse talks about another messenger yet to come prior to the Messiah. This may have been a real downer for the Levite leadership. They have been waiting for their Messiah since Abraham. Now they are told there is to be another messenger yet to come. It is easy to see where in their minds they may think “how long must we wait?” We too as believers practice this impatience.

This is a promise of the New Testament John the Baptist. Following this Christ will be rejected by the sons of Israel at the 1st advent, a time of the Gentiles (Daniel’s 70-week prophecy), then the tribulation of Israel, finally followed by the 2nd advent of Messiah. To the sons of Israel this will be a bit of a shock. They rejected the 1st advent of Christ. It will take the Tribulation for the descendants of Jacob to finally realize their huge mistake. See Isaiah 40:3-5. Here is a simple graphics by

Verse 3:1 speaks of the suddenness of the coming of Christ as King of Kings. 1 Corinthians 15:52 affirms this suddenness.

Malachi 3:2  There is a second messenger according to this verse in Malachi. Who can endure his coming? The message of John the Baptist is ABOUT Jesus’ first advent. Malachi 3:2 is the second advent of Christ. How do we know the difference? The message of John the Baptist prepares the way for the ARRIVAL of Jesus and salvation to be provided by his crucifixion. The second talks about enduring. The entire 2nd verse, in a way, is threatening; to endure to the end of their (Israel’s) tribulation. Who can endure; who can stand when he appears (NOTE: not born but appears). This means Christ’s first coming has already happened. For those who do not know, Jews are still waiting for his FIRST coming.

…Malachi 3:3 is a continuation of verse 2. This verse once again identifies its primary audience, the Levite leadership. God’s promise is to purify the anointed Levites so once again their service will be honest; That they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. 

NOTE: There is no mention or suggestion of the gentile New Testament believers commonly called The Church. This is specific to Israel as will be the 7-year Tribulation. Raptured believers will return with Christ at the 2nd advent. Another reason there is no need to mention the believers is that they have already been raptured.

QUESTION: Why is it so difficult for so many religious people to distinguish between the church as a building or denomination and the FACT it is exclusive to those who understand what real worship is and believe (to be and to live) in Christ?

Malachi 3:4 The issue with God through his messenger (Malachi) is that most Israelis and their leadership have departed from a true worship of God. He had become but one of several gods to them. Worship had become a traditional routine. Verse 4 points out that the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will [once again] be pleasant to the Lord. What worship was like in the times of Moses, Joshua, King David, and King Solomon, Israeli worship will be once again. This renewed integrity alone will position Israel as they were originally intended to be. A light on a hillside, admired by all others. (SEE NEXT VERSE AND THE ALIENS)

Malachi 3:5 is a powerful verse. Read it closely. We can easily understand the meanings of Jesus being the discerned or the judge. We can also see the basis for judging sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, exploiting of widow and child-orphans (anyone in an honest need of help), but what about the aliens? 

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Verse 5 includes judgement against “those who turn away an alien”. Turn away aliens? Aliens are those who are not of Jacob’s DNA but living within the borders of Israel. It may mean those who are outside the borders of Israel and in need but refused their need by Israel. It may infer the lack of being a guiding light on the hillside for gentiles to admire then desire to emulate. One might find it of great interest the number of Bible commentaries that do not address this part of Jesus’s coming judgements.

We Teach but You Decide

JIV: In several of our previous Bible, book, or chapter narrative commentaries in ahabiblemoments, it has been pointed out that we must draw nearer to God for him to draw nearer to us. Verse 5 is one of but a very few times God moves closer to us first. This time it is in judgment. In other words, it is no longer a spiritual closeness but one that all will see; believers and nonbelievers alike. 

Malachi 3:6 This verse is DEEP in demonstrating God’s genuineness. He does not change. To the relief of all sons of Jacob, even though they have fallen away from what God wanted them to be, God will not fall away from his covenants with Israel and their patriarchs. Therefore verse 6 states: This is why you are not (already) consumed, oh sons of Jacob.” Another way to see this… the sons of Jacob have been preserved and will through their eventual and selective end time tribulation…. On That Day.

Malachi 3:7 Sometimes stupid breeds stupid; arrogance breeds arrogance. This is the arrogance of the Levites asking a question for which they already knew the answer. None the less, Malachi points out mid-verse that constant…If you draw closer to me, then God will draw closer to you. Their question in and of itself is shallow…”In what way shall we return?” This is another Freudian Slip. Their question is actually a confession that they have fallen away from the ordinances God gave to them. How can one ask a question about returning if they think they have not left? It isn’t ignorance, it is arrogance. These Levites were trained in the ordinances of God. Their attempt to live inside their own will’s means living outside of God’s will. They wanted their Temple worship and traditional practices to suffice as the extent of their worship. By this time of Malachi, they were offering blemished or damaged animal sacrifices. 

Malachi 3:8 The Levite leadership and priests are accused of robbing God of what is supposed to be his. They ask of Malachi, “in what way have we robbed God?” Earlier in Malachi 2 we discussed their shoddy sacrifices offered on the alter. Israelis had kept the best for themselves and offered fouled or leftovers as their offering and tithe. Deuteronomy 18:4, written by Moses almost a thousand years earlier, states that they were to give of the “first fruits” not the blemished and leftovers. 

Malachi 3:9 is expository. All the sons of Jacob have robbed God of his first fruits. Now all will be doomed. This curse will not be lifted until the end of End Time; On That Day. This will be Israel’s tribulation. Some identify it as Jacob’s Troubles.

Malachi 3:10 Be cautioned here. This verse has been abused by not-for-profit TV evangelists and mega-church preachers. Even though this verse says for us to “try it, it will work” (paraphrased), the pleading for money basically enriches the crier. Here is the real thing: (3:10b)

“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.

Critical insight: Please grasp the intent of this verse. Is one giving in anticipation of receiving a high return on one’s investment? Is such more of an investment than a tithe? A true tithe is somewhat like the Lord’s Prayer. Go into your prayer closet praying in privacy. Wealthy so-called minister use this to extract funds from the one who is giving in hopes of a high return. This is not giving. It is investing. Their deceptive appeal is a play on words.

JIV NOTE: This is also why a group chanting or quoting the Lord’s Prayer is NOT scriptural prayer. Is it being done as commanded? Where is the prayer room and privacy in a group performance? Matthew 6:5-13. People wish to hear their own words instead of a prayer from the heart. Read the verses BEFORE the Lord’s Prayer. It explains the conditions upon which prayer should be offered. A group chant is NOT even remotely mentioned here.

Malachi 3:11 There is often an oversight in this verse. The first line in verse 11 promises that the devourer of Israel’s proceeds will be rebuked. This includes the deception of tithes and offerings including investing in hope of a great return. Is one’s tithes and offerings being bestowed upon the denomination without expecting a greater financial return for the giving? This incorporates both the one using a deceptive appeal for funds and the one giving to it. In short, Malachi is pointing out that God’s blessing will be equal to or greater than a tithe given as an offering. It has been heard by this writer to “give until it hurts.” To be more scriptural, one should say, ”Give until it feels right (good).”

Malachi 3:12 is after End Time and within the Millennial Kingdom. Thy kingdom come, thy will (is being) be done…

Malachi 3:13-15 is self-evident: [NKJV]

  “Your words have been harsh against Me,” Says the LORD, Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You? You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, And that we have walked as mourners Before the LORD of hosts? So now we call the proud blessed, For those who do wickedness are raised up; They even tempt God and go free.’ “

Note the underlying motive of the Levites. They asked, what does it PROFIT US to keep God’s ordinances?” 

Malachi 3:16 is a very consequential verse. Those who believed and followed what Malachi was pointing out are added to a Book of Remembrance. It isn’t that God needs a notebook to remember. Do we meditate on his name? Might this be one of the books that are opened as stated in Revelation 20:12? Also see Daniel 12:1. Take note that according to Daniel, Michael is the guardian angel of Israel.

Malachi 3:17 is prophetic. It states, On that day…”. What day? The day of redemption. The day the books are opened. What may be overlooked is the fact that Israel will then become God’s jewels. We assume or have assumed that Israel was already the jewel of God. This verse states one of two things.

  1. Israel returns to being the jewel of God (see Jeremiah 3:8)…apple of his eye.
  2. This verse is speaking of all who believe (v16 and 17)

Rev Dr Jstark

Malachi 2

Chapter summarized: …as if God is bound to bless them (Israel), while they consider themselves to be free from any conditional obligation to God for receiving God’s blessings. (JIV).

This is the purpose-in-point for chapter 2 of Malachi. It has been stated in other narrative commentaries found in that man has then and now determined God is somehow our creation, not the other way around. He is obliged to love us. We are somehow not obliged to honor (fear) him. We need only to acknowledge he exists. How wrong! Even Satan and his minions acknowledge his existence.

Malachi 2:1 zeroes in on Judah’s religious leadership. This chapter applies to all, past and present, but is specific to the religious sect of Judaic Judaism. A reminder to the reader of this commentary. The Old Testament is to a nation called Israel. The New Testament is to the world as individuals. The Bible is still our guiding light and GPS.

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Malachi 2:2 God through his messenger Malachi is as blunt as anyone can be in this verse. We have often reminded our readers that all promises or covenants in the Bible are conditional to If you (we) ____ then God will___.” This verse states promise in the negative. If you will not hear, then I (God) will curse any blessings intended to be yours. This is a paraphrase but exacting. The end of verse 2 points out that this has already happened to Israel/Judah and to the Levitical leadership. The example used in chapter 2 regarding God’s chosen (elect, not select) reflects a religious attitude but there is no sincerity of true worship. Week after week people sit in their same pews without “fear” of the Lord God. Many are more concerned about protecting his or her pew seat. God is a worship symbol more than a purpose to their daily living. This was true of Judah in the time of Malachi and is true today.

Malachi 2:3 Malachi is telling the religious leadership of Judah that they will now suffer the consequence of fake, insincere God/Jehovah worship. Fact is, they have already missed their intended blessings from God. Now it will get worse. Just around the corner they will lose their independence and be removed, forced to occupy other lands. Judah will cease to exist being renamed by the Romans to Palestine. First mentioned are their descendants. God will rebuke them. Do not misunderstand the meaning and focus of this rebuke. If their descendants follow and seek God, this prophetic consequence will not apply. They will all be blessed or cursed, not in their roots, but in their fruits. Choice is still theirs. There are far too many self-proclaiming Christians who are rooted in their denominational roots with no fruits. Attendance or tithing is misunderstood as a or their root.

Malachi 2:4Then you shall know my covenant with Levi” [Exodus 32:29]. This chapter is specific since verse 1 tells us it is the Levite priests and leadership Malachi is addressing. According to Numbers 3:41 it is by proxy the Levites become the “the first born” of the Israelites. Their job as first born is to lead, teach, instruct, and demonstrate what and how to worship and fear the Lord God Jehovah.

JIV: There is a possible and fascinating connection with this ordination of the Tribe of Levi. In previous ahamoment articles under the file name “Which Way Did They Go,” we discuss the dispersion of Israelites over the centuries to the north, south, east, and west. One of them is which way did the Levites go. There is a country today whose currency and former name identify them as The Levitical Confederacy.” We know it as SWITZERLAND! The Levite Confederacy.

Malachi 2:5 Click on this verse. It is a continuation of verse 4 stating that God’s covenant with Levi is one of life and peace. Consider this verse in addition to the comment in the above JIV. Switzerland avoided both World Wars. [Nevil Wylie’s Britain, Switzerland and the Second World War; Oxford University Press, 2003] does not mention any attempts by either warring side to press Switzerland to take an active part in the war[s]. Levitical life and peace as promised by God through Moses over 3,500 years ago. It continued during the world wars. If these scriptures from Malachi, Exodus, and Numbers do not echo an aha-moment concurrent with history, it is difficult to understand why not.

 Malachi 2:6 The 6th verse in this chapter expands upon why God put this responsibility and blessing on the Tribe of Levi. It all goes back the progenitor of the Tribe of Levi…Levi himself. Levi was anointed as the light to his own people. What is wrong here? Malachi points out the current Levitical leadership no longer had truth in their mouths or upon their lips. They no longer walked in peace and equity within the tribes of Israel.”

Malachi 2:7 For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts…”

Malachi 2:8 Now comes the reason Malachi singled out the Tribe of Levi in chapter 2.

“… you have departed from the way;
You have caused many to stumble at the law.
You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,”
Says the Lord of hosts

This is the charge being brought against them by God through his messenger Malachi. They are accusations they cannot deny, but they try. These charges against the Levites continue through the end of this chapter (v8-v17).

Malachi 2:9 [ESV] “….so I [now] make you despised and abased (despised) before all the people, because you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.” This is a direct reference and reminder of God’s specific charge to them in Leviticus 19:15. 100 plus years earlier this charge was also brought against the Northern Ten Tribes of Israel. We see this in verse 11: “…in Israel (northern kingdom) and Jerusalem (Kingdom of Judah). “Jews have been despised by the world for many generations. Simply put…They brought it upon themselves. This does not excuse Gentile rejection of Israelis too often mistakenly identified as “Jews”.

Malachi 2:10  Here is a charge of treachery and Infidelity. The infidelity being their unfaithfulness to God and God alone. Worship of God had become a routine, a habit, a tradition, something of less priority, not a heartfelt deep relationship with him and him alone. The one father referred to in the opening of this verse is Adam. The fiasco, even in the leadership of Judah, was they wandered off and into marriages with foreigners as individuals and as a nation. They wanted to do it their way. God said they must isolate and not mix [Ezra 9:1-2; Joshua 23:7]

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Numbers 36:6 states the Israelis may marry whomever they wish if it is within a clan of their father’s tribe. God knew that there would be inheritance issues of title to lands if they married outside of their tribal identity. Here is the stinger. Not only were they to marry within their own people (Israelis) but within their own tribe. For some reason God had set this DNA identifier to be for his people. WARNING: This has no connection with marriages of Gentiles including race. All races come from Adam and Eve. Societal culture has set a contrary scale of standards. Don’t be horrified. Did we not all come from Adam and Eve? Today all descended from Noah?

Malachi 2:11 Verse 11 differs from the charges and challenges of verse 10. In verse 10 it is a personal issue of marriage. In verse 11 Malachi juxtaposes the nation of Israelis with an adulterous scenario of Gentiles. God commanded marriage of Israelis to be within their tribal clans. The foreign god(s) referenced in this verse is the culture and other worship options outsiders bring into Israel if Israelis marry outsiders.

CAUTION: Depending on the translation we can read that Israelis as a nation is called “she” or “he.” Example:

For Judah has profaned The Lord’s holy institution which He [God] loves: He [Israelis] has married the daughter of a foreign god [NKJV]. The KJV, MKJV, LITV, ESV and other translations do not use the word “He.” Example from the LITV: …for Judah has profaned the holy place of Jehovah, which He loves and he [Judah] has married a daughter of a foreign god.” Usual practice is to refer to a nation or State as “she.” We defer to the accuracy of the YLT in this verse. It uses neither he nor she.

Malachi 2:12 may help explain why Bible versions like the NKJV use the word “HE” in the above paragraph. The identifier HE is found in verse 12… “The man who does this…” We see the word MAN is used. This should not be an issue within churches or bible study groups but the like has divided denominations. A nation cannot be cut off from itself, but an individual can be. The first line in this verse states: “may the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob the MAN…” who does such. Those of us who may have some degree of Israeli DNA are the consequence of a marriages outside of the Tribes and clan-ship of a tribe. In Bible times they were called Samaritans.

Malachi 2:13 Be careful. This verse smacks in the face of some denominational and individual customs and practices. It becomes an emotional display but shows no genuine worship. This is the second thing God has against (13) the [Tribe of] Levites. Bare in mind, the first thing was their fake religious practice and devotion by offering blemished sacrifices. Perhaps it was cattle or sheep with wounds or disease. Maybe something that no longer was of value to the owner. It even included sacrifices stolen from another to use as the thief’s personal offering.

An interesting word in English that sometimes does not translate well is regards. “So He does not regard the offering anymore…” The word “regard” in this verse is pânâh [H6437]. It means to face if translated directly. Within the context and content of verse 13 it means God does not face (accept) the false offerings and worship. These offerings may look good to onlookers but are not accepted by God. We might say today “face up to it.” He [God] does not see their tears, weeping and false offerings as meaning a worship of him. Their wailing, tears, perhaps tearing of clothing at the alter does not get God’s attention. It is more of a demonstration performance, not worship. It is Fake. This is true of or in some charismatic churches. A false or fake demonstration of one supposedly worshiping.

Malachi 2:14 The context of this verse if read without including the previous verse can be complex. Is this a reference to one’s marriage or is it, considering verse 13, the people of Israel have left their first love that being God…the God of their fathers in Israel’s younger years. An honest answer to this verse is God’s attitude about divorce. This is divorce at the man level and at the worship alter. Look at the verse  15.

Malachi 2:15 We are to be one in spirit, one in worship, one with God, one relationship. It boils down to what Maurer and Hengstenberg explain per this verse. Seek God meaning also seek a godly seed. Did not God make (us Israelites) one with God? He commanded they isolate from other nations and avoid mixed marriages. Israel was to be a Godly seed. There are many covenants with Israel that do not apply to those outside of Israeli DNA. Some have yet to be fulfilled.

JIV: Many seminaries try to teach students what to think instead of how to think. Liberal colleges and universities have routinely do this for many years.

Malachi 2:16  “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.” For some this is a pill too large to swallow.

We Teach but You Decide.

Rev. Dr. Jstark

Malachi 1

Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. As we mentioned in the Malachi Introduction article, this is the ONLY time in the Bible where the word or name Malachi is given. Since the word malachi (lower case) means messenger of the Lord, it is feasible the assumed name Malachi could simply be written… The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by a “messenger of the Lord.” Some opinions in the Talmud maintain that (M) malachi was Mordechai, the hero of the Purim story in the Book of Esther, but referred to as malachi because of his position as viceroy of Persia—a designation similar to that of an angel (“malach”). Another view, supported by many authorities, is that malachi is a pseudonym for Ezra, a messenger of the Lord.

Malachi 1:2I have loved you”. Chapter 1 begins a series of seven questions asked to the messenger of Jehovah by the leaders of Judah. Let’s remember throughout this narrative commentary of Malachi that Jehovah God is not speaking directly to the people of Judah. He has a messenger…Malachi. Verse 2 is the first of the seven questions asked by Malachi throughout the 4 chapters of this book. Each of the seven questions asked by the Jewish leaders are a basic challenge to God himself, his Old Testament word, and COMMITMENT TO ISRAEL. The ones asking (challenging) questions are the same people to whom this book was written.

I have *loved Jacob, but (v3) I have *hated Esau. This challenge comes from priests asking MalachiHow has God loved us?These leaders of Judea do not need to ask a question for which they already know the answer(s). It is an avoidance question, a deference, not a question from ignorance. Might one go back to the beginning of how the captive Israelis were allowed to leave Egypt 1,000 years earlier. The identities of Jacob and Esau, twin brothers of their father Isaac, references their identities as Edomites and Israelis. From birth these two went in opposite directions in respect to their attitudes toward God. The Edomites, Esau’s descendants, go by several names: Edomites, Men of Mt. Seir, Idumeans, sons of Esau. King Herod of New Testament fame was a descendant of Esau…an Idumean. 

*John Calvin sees these two Hebrew words, loved and hated, as meaning accepted and rejected to be the light on the hillside [emphasis mine].

God, as promised, made a great nation of both twins. Esau’s offspring grew up hating Jacob’s offspring. When Moses led the captive Israelis out of Egypt, the Edomites refused to allow them passage through their lands. They had allied with the Amalekites to harass Israel when it was migratory from Egypt then continued attacking them as a new nation after the northern ten tribes seceded into a kingdom separate from the kingdom of Judah. No longer were the 12 tribes a nation, but two separate kingdoms. Edomites fought alongside the Babylonians to conquer Judah, especially Jerusalem. Then, moved into Judah’s abandoned homes. In end time God will again bring justice to the enemies of Israel. God does not need to justify himself. Genesis 12:3. Heaven and earth are God’s creation. God is not our creation. [John 1:3]

Malachi 1:3 Some modern day people have asked in their hearts or of their ministers, what did God ever do for Esau and his descendants? Look closer at the word “heritage” in verse 3. Nachălâh in the Hebrew means to be given something through inheritance. God promised to bless Jacob AND Esau. Esau saw his inheritance as a birthright. In Genesis 25:29-34 Esau willingly sold that birthright to Jacob. Later he wanted it back as do his descendants today. They try to take the lands of Israel as an inheritance via aggression, the UN, peace agreements, alliances, news media, and wars.

NOTE: The word “dragons” in Malachi 1:3 in some translations (v3) is a reference to female jackals. They are not the fire-breathing dragons some try to make them out to be.

Malachi 1:4 From the birth of Esau and Jacob around 1800 B.C., God has given Esau’s descendants, grandchildren of Isaac, ample time to turn (back) to him. They never did and still haven’t. Just as God brought judgment on many nations for denying HIM as God, He is the creator; He sets the conditions. Not us!

JIV NOTE: It may help our understanding of enemies of Israel by explaining or differentiating between those we group together (often incorrectly) as Arabs. The first people identified as (pure) Arabs descended through Eber. He had two sons: Joktan and Peleg. Joktan had twelve sons all identified today as pure Arabs. Abraham eventually descended through the line of Peleg. We can read about them as a point of reference in Genesis 10:25; 1 Chronicles 1:19. The short of this historical sidetrack is:

  1. Abraham is connected to one source of Arabs (Ishmael). Abraham’s great-great-great-great grandfather (Eber) is connected to both Arabs and Israelites. The same is true of Isaac through Ishmael. For a brief overview look at generational sequence of patriarchs before and after Noah, click on this

Abraham fathered Isaac and Ishmael. Ishmael fathered a different portion of the people we call (dirty) Arabs. Hagar mothered the Hagarites, Ishmael the Arab Ishmaelites. 

  1. Isaac fathered twins: Esau and Jacob. Esau had wives of Hittite DNA and (AHA MOMENT) seeing that Abraham and Sarah were troubled by his marriage to Hittite women, married a third wife…Mahalat, a daughter of Ishmael. What a mess! Esau fathered the Edomites and Idumeans who are classified as Arabs. This means there are three branches of so-called Arabs:
    1. Joktan, son of Eber, had twelve sons known as pure Arabs even by today’s Arab standards. His brother Peleg brought in the line through Abraham people known as Israelites. Both A and B are Hebrews, descendants of Eber.
    2. Ishmael, along with his mother Hagar brought into the Arab fold people known as dirty Arabs since they were not from a direct line of descendants as were Joktan’s 12 sons; Eber’s grandsons.
    3. Esau added to the line of dirty Arabs through his Hittite wives and the daughter of Ishmael, Mahalat.

Three sources of Arabs: One is considered pure and the other two are identified a dirty Arab mix.

Malachi 1:5 The eyes have it (The first words in verse 5). This verse portrays God’s concern for mankind well beyond the borders of “then-times” Israel/Judah. This is not selection but election. It is not predestination meaning rejection of different DNA peoples. A mankind today is connected through Noah. Every race today is somehow a cousin!

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Malachi 1:6 is an continuation of verse five. Malachi goes beyond descendants of Esau and Jacob. In general, parents, particularly fathers (not so much true in today’s society) are honored by their children (sons). Certain servants honor their masters. By extension, faithful employees reflect their employment. God asks, if this is true and I am your Father, where is my honor? This sets the stage for the next question by the Levitical priests who have dishonored God. They ask, In what way have we dishonored (despised) God?” 

Malachi answers in verse 7.

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Malachi1:7 Click on this verse and read it for yourselves. Bottom line: the Jews of that time were no longer honoring the God-set conditions for sacrifices and sin forgiveness. The people of Israel no longer brought the best of their flocks for sacrifice. The priests could see that the animals to be sacrificed were blemished. Yet, they defiled the alter and name of God by knowingly offering the blemished animals as good-enough sacrifices. This event set the stage some 400 years later for Christ to be the unblemished sacrifice for mankind’s sin. Verse 8 continues this question to the Levitical Priests.

Malachi 1:8 Would these same priests try to honor their governor (leader?) with blemished foods? Would he be honored? Would he accept being offered the blemished of their flock as a gift? Would such a gift to the governor be pleasing to him? Would it be deemed as a prized and honorable offering? We don’t need to try and sidestep this rebuttal by God through his messenger Malachi. Such is total insincerity as an offering and attitude.  

In another sense, the Levites are not happy since they were also the recipients of those food offerings. Historically they ate of it themselves. In the back of their minds, they are loathsome of the food that eventually goes on their dinner plates.

Malachi 1:9,10 God through Malachi goes full circle. Verses 9 & 10 sound like God had tolerated such offerings. God asserts in verse ten that the alter is HIS. It isn’t a property of the ones making the offerings. John Calvin suggest that God’s alter will not accept such deceptive offerings. It is not the acts of an individual that brings salvation as much as it is the intent of the heart and following God’s GPS: God’s Plan of Salvation. It is not man’s attempt to analyze what is good and what is not; what is honoring and what is insulting, then write the prescription on their terms. It is following God’s prescribed way. 

Malachi 1:11 is a critical verse. No longer can Israelis proclaim that God is “their” God alone. He never was exclusive to them, but this verse is a declared turning point. In a way, an introduction to the New Testament.  [NKJV]

“For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down,
My name shall be great among the Gentiles;
In every place incense shall be offered to My name,
And a pure offering;
For My name shall be great among the nations,”

My name SHALL BE GREAT. It does not say this in the current tense. This is pointing to the New Testament and the eventual unblemished sacrifice for sin through Jesus Christ. Add to this the millennial conditions.

Malachi 1:12 – 14 can be seen as not only contempt toward God by the priests themselves, but contempt toward the service of man to God. The priests knew better but continued to offer the blemished sacrifices. This is like a minister today who has no real relationship with God in his (sadly ‘her’) messages and personal life (one’s prayer closet). S/he sees the ministry as a social process, a habit, a routine, a tradition. S/he sees it as a job or career. This is why Malachi chapter 1 leads up to the break away from Israel being the light unto the world. Gentiles beyond Israel’s borders become that light unto the word. This includes Gentiles today being a light unto the former banner carriers instead of Israelis themselves. 

Rev. Dr. Jstark