Praying through the Prophets: Zechariah & Malachi


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The majority of scholars consider the book to be made up of six distinct oracles. According to this scheme, the book of Malachi consists of a series of disputes between Yahweh and the various groups within the Israelite community. In the course of the book's three or four chapters, Yahweh is vindicated while those who do not adhere to the law of Moses are condemned.


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Some scholars have suggested that the book, as a whole, is structured along the lines of a judicial trial, a suzerain treaty or a covenant—one of the major themes throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Implicit in the prophet's condemnation of Israel's religious practices is a call to keep Yahweh 's statutes. The Book of Malachi draws upon various themes found in other books of the Bible.

Malachi appeals to the rivalry between Jacob and Esau and of Yahweh 's preference for Jacob contained in Book of Genesis 25— Malachi reminds his audience that, as descendants of Jacob Israel , they have been and continue to be favoured by God as God's chosen people. In the second dispute, Malachi draws upon the Levitical Code e. Leviticus in condemning the priest for offering unacceptable sacrifices. In the third dispute concerning divorce , the author of the Book of Malachi likely intends his argument to be understood on two levels. Malachi appears to be attacking either the practice of divorcing Jewish wives in favour of foreign ones a practice which Ezra vehemently condemns or, alternatively, Malachi could be condemning the practice of divorcing foreign wives in favour of Jewish wives a practice which Ezra promoted.

Praying through the Prophets: Zechariah & Malachi by John Calvin

Malachi appears adamant that nationality is not a valid reason to terminate a marriage, "For I hate divorce, says the Lord. In many places throughout the Hebrew Scriptures — particularly the Book of Hosea — Israel is figured as Yahweh 's wife or bride.

Malachi's discussion of divorce may also be understood to conform to this metaphor. Malachi could very well be urging his audience not to break faith with Yahweh the God of Israel by adopting new gods or idols. It is quite likely that, since the people of Judah were questioning Yahweh 's love and justice , , they might be tempted to adopt foreign gods.

William LaSor suggests that, because the restoration to the land of Judah had not resulted in anything like the prophesied splendor of the messianic age which had been prophesied, the people were becoming quite disillusioned with their religion. Indeed, the fourth dispute asserts that judgment is coming in the form of a messenger who "is like refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. Following this, the prophet provides another example of wrongdoing in the fifth dispute — that is, failing to offer full tithes. In this discussion, Malachi has Yahweh request the people to "Bring the full tithe.

This request offers the opportunity for the people to amend their ways. It also stresses that keeping the Lord's statutes will not only allow the people to avoid God's wrath, but will also lead to God's blessing. In the sixth dispute, the people of Israel illustrate the extent of their disillusionment. Malachi has them say "'It is vain to serve God. Now we count the arrogant happy; evildoers not only prosper, but when they put God to the test they escape'" — Once again, Malachi has Yahweh assure the people that the wicked will be punished and the faithful will be rewarded.

7. Malachi

In the light of what Malachi understands to be an imminent judgment, he exhorts his audience to "Remember the teaching of my servant Moses , that statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel " ; , MT. Before the Day of the Lord , Malachi declares that Elijah who "ascended in a whirlwind into heaven.

Primarily because of its messianic promise, the Book of Malachi is frequently referred to in the Christian New Testament. What follows is a brief comparison between the Book of Malachi and the New Testament texts which refer to it as suggested in Hill 84— Although many Christians believe that the messianic prophecies of the Book of Malachi have been fulfilled in the life, ministry, transfiguration , death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth , most Jews continue to await the coming of the prophet Elijah who will prepare the way for the Lord.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy. But we reject this view altogether, lest we be compelled to accept the doctrine of the fall of souls from heaven. Eerdmans Publishing. My Jewish Learning.

Retrieved The Biblical World. Minor prophets.

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  5. One would expect a positive answer to this question. This article illustrates that there is no recorded prayer in these prophetic books and only a few indirect references to prayer cf. Zech , 13; ; , 6; ; ; ; Mal These passages do not refer to the prophet as petitioner, but to the interaction between YHWH and his people.

    Zechariah even states that YHWH will not answer the prayers of his people. There may be different reasons for this scarcity of prayer references and the other post-exilic prophetic literature provides more questions than answers. We can probably say that prayer was not an integral part of the ministry of these post-exilic prophets, but that it was eclipsed by their proclamation of the word of God and their focus on the rebuilding of the temple and the post-exilic community.

    Prayer in the post-exilic prophetic books of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi

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