Calculating as to the time, Malachi
is the last of the twelve smaller prophets, and the nearest to the coming of JESUS CHRIST; he has prophesied when the temple and the city of Jerusalem were now built up again. His name is Malachi
signifying, My angel
, or, My messenger, My ambassador. The sum of his prophecy is this: first of all he reproves the wicked Jews for their excessive unthankfulness towards God, Who had shown them so many benefits, and brought them again into their own country, and had set up His true worship among them. He reproves the priests for having falsified His worship and the people for their manifold sins and transgressions. This is in particular for their profanation of wedlock, marrying with idolaters, taking more than one wife, divorcing their wives again on slight occasions, and for blasphemies and obstinacies, foretelling them the judgments which hang over their heads for these reasons, and thereupon exhorting them to repentance and amendment of life. He foretells likewise, for the comfort of the godly, the future of CHRIST, as also of His forerunner John the Baptist
, and that CHRIST would abolish the shadows and figures of the Old Testament, and instead of it plant and establish the true worship of God, consisting in spirit and in truth, throughout the world. As he exhorts the people of God to true repentance and steadfastness in the true worship, he likewise threatens the wicked and hypocrites throughout with heavy punishments which shall come upon them. In the New Testament different passages are quoted out of this prophet Malachi
, such as Mat. 11:10
; Mark 1:2; 9:12
; Luke 1:16, 17; 7:27; Rom. 9:13.