The Book of Malachi Bible Study Chapter 1 Part 1

We are so privileged to have the opportunity to study another book together! All of the commentary is based on the NKJV. Like I often say…please don’t take my word for things, but, like the Bereans (Acts 17:10-11), search out all of these things for yourselves. We begin our reading by looking at Malachi 1:1-5
Most scholars believe that Malachi returned to the land of Israel after the exile had been completed. Malachi was a prophet. He prophesied the Word of the L-rd to those who had resettled in the Promised Land. At the time of Malachi, the temple had been rebuilt and it was functional. However, the people were not submissive. They were rebellious. They did not want to recognise the authority that Malachi had been given. 
The people also doubted G-d. G-d was not pleased with His people (the children of Israel). They were not interested in honouring Him. They did not have reverence for Him (they had no fear of the L-rd). This meant that they did not want to acknowledge His authority over them. They were disagreeable. They rejected G-d’s standards, His rules, His ways and His commandments. In essence they were simply going about things by themselves. When we are separated from G-d, we’re not going to experience anything that is good. We need to be wise and humble enough to invite G-d into our lives (through believing in and confessing Messiah Yeshua as our L-rd and Saviour) so that He can send us the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. It is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that the necessary changes and adjustments in our lives can be brought about. 
v1: Burden: G-d had a difficult message, a burden, that He was going to load up onto the people. This burden is connected to prophetic truth.
·      Israel: Those who had returned to the Promised Land after the exile. The remnant of the Israelites (those who had returned from the Babylonian exile as well as those who had remained in Judah) were once again a temporarily united people. After King Solomon’s reign the empire had been divided – the Northern Kingdom was called “Israel’ or ‘Ephraim’ (1 Kings 11:30-31, 1 Kings 12:19, Hosea 11:12) and the Southern Kingdom was called ‘Judah’ (1 Kings 14:21). According to Ezekiel, true unity between the tribes of Israel is going to be established in the last days (Ezekiel 37:21 – 22). 
·      Malachi: Literally means: ‘My messenger’. This is a word that could be referring to a messenger or an angel. The context informs us that this is referring to a messenger, a prophet, who had been sent by G-d. 
v2: I have loved you: Written in the past tense. G-d had said this to them in the past, but He is reaffirming it to them now. G-d loved these people. He had demonstrated His love for them by redeeming them from Egypt, sustaining them in the wilderness, causing them to take possession of the Promised Land, giving them victory over their numerous enemies, and, by establishing His temple in Jerusalem, causing His Name (Presence) to dwell among them. 
·      Yet you say: G-d is still speaking. 
·      In what way have You loved us?: G-d is quoting back to the people what their response is in regard to Him telling them that He loves them. They are a doubting people. They are disagreeable to the Word of G-d, and therefore things are not going to go well for them. The people do not remember all the good things that G-d has done for them – the fact that they are back in the land, that they have a functioning temple, etc.
·      Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?: The answer to this question is ‘yes’.
·      Jacob: G-d had chosen that the older twin (Esau) was going to serve the younger twin (Jacob) – Gen 25:23. G-d is Sovereign and He can do as He wills, but (as the doctrine of election wrongly concludes) He did not simply choose Jacob and reject Esau in a vacuum because it was His prerogative to do so. Instead, as we shall see, there was a reason why He chose Jacob and rejected Esau. 
·      Jacob I have loved: This is written in the present tense. The present tense is used infrequently in the Old Testament so whenever it is used it is used for the purpose of emphasizing. This is important – G-d loved Jacob in the past, He loved Him now and He will continue to love Him into the future. 
v3: Esau I have hated: This is written in the past tense. This speaks about hating in a general sense as well as in a continuing sense.
v4: Note: This verse gives us a glimpse into the Edomite spirit. 
·      Edom: This is a word that relates to ‘red’. It is a name by which Esau is also known because he was born red and hairy (Gen 25:25). Esau also loved red stew. For a plate of red stew, he was willing to forfeit his birth right (Gen 25:29-34). 
·      Impoverished: Trodden on or beaten down. Made poor. 
·      We will return and (re)build: Esau had a defiant spirit and he disagreed with G-d and G-d’s order. He desired to rebuild what G-d had destroyed. 
·      Desolate places: The ruins.
·      L-rd of hosts: There is a change in the way G-d is revealed. Here He is being referred to as the Mighty G-d – the L-rd of the armies. 
·      They may build, but I will throw (tear) down: This is the way G-d responds. He is going to destroy the things that Esau, in his defiance, tries to rebuild.
·      They: Referring to Esau and his descendants (the Edomites).
·      Territory: A border.  An area.
·      The people against whom the L-rd will have indignation (wrath) forever: They are forever disobedient. They are committed to wickedness. They choose to live within the border, or boundaries, of wickedness. 
v5: Your…you: Referring to the children of Israel. 
·      You shall say: Based upon G-d’s punishment of Esau.
·      The L-rd is magnified beyond the border of Israel: The same Hebrew word (גְּב֣וּל ) is used to refer to the border – the border of Esau being a border of wickedness, but G-d being magnified and  proclaimed as great beyond the border of Israel. Prophetically the territory or border of Israel is going to get larger and not smaller as we near the end of this age. Currently, according to the wisdom of men, men want Israel to give up land. They think that if she gives up land it will bring peace. However, this would not be the case [and historically this has been proven true – Israel has given back land (The Sinai, Gaza etc) and there is still no lasting peace]. If Israel concedes any land, it will encourage her enemies, even more, to want to stamp out and destroy the Jewish people. G-d’s will is for Israel to increase her borders (Ex 34:24, Isaiah 54:2-3. Josh 1:4 still needs to be fulfilled in its entirety). In order for Israel to fulfil what G-d has called her to be, and to do, she is going to need to increase, to enlarge geographically. This is going to happen in its entirety when the wrath of G-d is poured out upon Esau at the end of this age (Isaiah 63:1-6). 

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