Malachi 1-4 The LORD will send Elijah the prophet

From Malachi 1-4

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Who is this Elijah guy? Who comes after him?

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

The parting words of Malachi seem a fitting ending for the Old Testament and a precursor for the New.

4  “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. (Mal 4.1)

Malachi predicts the destruction of God’s enemies. The arrogant and all evildoers. The day ‘burning like an oven’ is coming. Sounds a bit like Hell doesn’t it? The Old Testament uses fire a lot to describe the punishment the will experience. Fire that burns and consumes until nothing is left.

2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. 4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.  (Mal 4.2-4)

But for the righteous, those who fear the LORD’s name there is hope. The LORD will raise them up over the wicked. Malachi instructs them the remember the law. Not as if they have forgotten it, but rather that they keep it as part of their lives and keep remembering it.

5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Mal 4.5-6)

Story of Israel

00 OT Story Israel Jesus
Click to enlarge.

Malachi now predicts the second coming of Elijah. Will it actually be him? We know they waited for it. What is the significance of turning the hearts of fathers to children and the hearts of children to fathers? Reconciliation among people and families. If this does not happen there will be judgment.

Story of Jesus

It was not until Jesus came that we find out the identity of the Elijah that Malachi spoke of.

17 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” 10 And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 11 He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. 12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. (Mt 17.1-13)

John the Baptist (the second Elijah predicted by Malachi) paved the way for the Christ. Jesus who suffered (v12) and was raised from the dead (v9).

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.