Attention!
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Malachi 3

Verse 1

Mal 3:1. The book of Malachi is the last of the inspired writings until we come to the New Testament, and there is a space of about 4 centuries to intervene. The prophets have frequently gone from fleshly to spiritual Israel in their predictions and exhortations, either drawing parallels or showing contrasts as the nature of the occasion suggested. This book so far has consisted mostly of condemnation and admonition for fleshly Israel because of the worldiness and selfish· ness of their officials especially. It was appropriate, therefore, to jump across the chasm of four hundred years to the time when the Lord expected to give the world a new religious system that would be far superior and more exacting than the old one. This and the following chapter is taken up vith alternating between fleshly and spiritual Israel, speaking first of one and then the other, going back and forth from one of them to the other. Our present verse goes to the time of spiritual Israel and predicts that the importance of that system is so great that a preparatory work will need to be done before the Author of that system begins His work. Hence God said he would send his 'messenger ahead, and according to Mat 11:10-11; Marli: 1: 2·4 he was John the Baptist. Come to his tentple means his kingdom or church, for that institution is so called in 2Co 6:16. Messenger of the covenant. The most important covenant that God made with Abraham is recorded in Gen 12:3 Gen 22:18, which is a promise of Christ. That would identify Christ as "the messenger of the covenant."

Verse 2

Mal 3:2. Abide the day of his coming means to face it or feel equal to the awfulness of that day. It is because it will be very thorough in its treatment of sinners in the process of cleansing or purifying them.

Verse 3

Mal 3:3. A refiner's fire ·is used to separate the dross from precious metal, and the fact has been used throughout the Bible to illustrate the work of purifying men tram their sins. Sons of Levi is said figuratively because they were the ones who were the priests under the Mosaic system. They had become corrupt in their office and the prediction means that the priests of this new covenant will be purified by the refining influence of the Gospel.

Verse 4

Mal 3:4. Judah and Jerusalem are used spiritually to refer to the services under Christ, in about the same sense that Levi is mentioned in the preceding verse to signify the spiritual priesthood in the system under Christ.

Verse 5

Mal 3:5, The evils named In this verse bad been commttted by the Jews in Malachi's time. and the words of condemnation were meant as a severe r ebuke ot them. And they were also a prediction of the exacting regulations regarding such practices to be instituted in the time of Christ.

Verse 6

Mal 3:6. God bas never dealt with man as his conduct deserved or he would bave been long since consumed. It has always been thus with God for he changes not; that is why the sons of Jacob had not been consumed.

Verse 7

Mal 3:7. As proof that God has always been the same lenient One he is at the present time, they are reminded of the wayward conduct of the fathers in spite of the pleadings which He made with them, in which they were urged to Return unto me, ana I 'will return unto you,

Verse 8

Mal 3:8. Will a man rob God' was doubtless answered with an emphatic "no" by these people. But they recognized the question actually to be an accusation that they had robbed Him, and then they asked in what way they had done SO. The Lord's reply was that it was done in tilhes and offerings. When the Jews held back a part of their tithes, or brought some inferior products to the service, they were thereby robbing God.

Verse 9

Mal 3:9. The whole nation could justly be charged with the evils com- plained of because all the people upheld the corrupt priests and prophets (Jer 5:31).

Verse 10

Mal 3:10. There never was or will be a time when it pays to defraud the Lord out ot His deserts. On the other hand, it is always profitable in the end to be liberal and cheerful in the service to God. Hence these people are challenged to cast their trust on the Lord and cease holding back what they were obligated to give into the service of Him because it will be to their advantage to do so in reality.

Verse 11

Mal 3:11. The Lord even promised to protect their increasing products from the ravages of those who would devour them. The plants for fruit and other articles of food were guaranteed to bring their yield to maturity.

Verse 12

Mal 3:12. Besides the general favors Indicated in this verse that fleshly Israel could have acquired, the greater one pertained to them as spiritual Israel. The words all nations were fulfilled when the Gospel was offered to Jew and Gentile alike.

Verse 13

Mal 3:13. The Lord again takes up his complaint against fleshly Israel. One ot their chief taults was to deny that what they were doing was wrong. In so speaking they virtually charged God with making a talse accusation against them.

Verse 14

Mal 3:14. The Lord specifies some of the things they were saying unjustly. Perhaps the most serious was to deny that it was worth wbile to obey the law.

Verse 15

Mal 3:15. Here Is another serious charge that reflects against the justice of God. They said that the proud and wicked persons were the ones who were accorded the most happiness by the Lord, which was the very opposite of the truth. It is no wonder that theLord said he was "wearied" with them.

Verse 16

Mal 3:16. Going back to the subject in verse 12 and others, the prophet looks forward to some of the glorious features of the Gospel age. .Then is an adverb of time, referring to things that were to be done in the Gospel system under Christ. The past tense is a grammatical form often used in prophetic writings, but it was several centuries in the future when Malachi wrote it. Space often are from one word which is DABAR and Strong defines it, "A primitive root; perhaps properly to arrange; but used figuratively (of Words) to speak." Young defines it. "To speak (consult) together." Among the many words by which it has been rendered in the King James Version are answer, communication, counsel, language, message, promise. question, r eason, r eport, re- quest, saying, speech, talk, aud word: the last one is used 770 times. With all this critical intormation at hand it would indicate that the wording in our common version is justified. It undoubtedly means that the citizens in the kingdom of Christ were to be in close touch with each other, which would require that they assemble whenever they can. This all agrees with the admonition at Paul in Hebrews that the disciples of Christ should not forsake the assembling together of tbemselves (Heb 10:25). Book of remembrance does not mean that God needs any mechanical plan to keep Him from forgetting anything. The expression is used figuratively and means that the names of God's Children are carefully inscribed in the heavenly record, and the fact is spoken of as being recorded in a book. (See Luk 10:20; Heb 12:23; Rev 3:5 Rev 21:27.)'

Verse 17

Mal 3:17. They shall be mine. If I were to buy and pay for something it certainly would be mine. Jesus purchased the church with his own blood and it is said to be His. (See Act 20:28; 1Pe 1:19 1Pe 2:9.) Jewels is from CEGULLAH which Strong defines, "wealth," It is the word for "veculiar treasure" in Psa 135:4. The Lord regards the members of bis chUrch as jewels since t hey are so valuable, He having said such a great price (his blood) for them. That day means the Gospel dispensation in which time He was to make up or gather these jewels into the fold or church. I will spare them, etc., is equivalent In thought to that in Heb 8:11.

Verse 18

Mal 3:18. The gist of this verse is that the members or the new kingdom will have superior knowledge of what is right and wrong. That is because they will have the "perfect law of liberty" for their guidance. But this is not all, for the leaders of. the Jewish kingdom, especially In the days of Malachi's writing. had mixed together the good and the evil and bad refused to make any difference between them. (See chapter 2: 17,) The Gosvel was to be clear and exacting and those who believe it will be trained to "have no fe llowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph 5:11).
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Malachi 3". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/malachi-3.html. 1952.