Outline of Malachi
Rhetorically, much of the book is organized around questions and answers-questions that might be posed by the people, then answered by the prophet.
1. The Desolation of Edom (Malachi 1:1-5)
To the question, “How have you loved us?” Yahweh points out that JacobThe son of Isaac and Rebekah, renamed Israel, became the father of the twelve tribal families More was loved but his twin brother EsauSon of Isaac and Rebekah and the older twin brother of Jacob More was hated. Edom (Esau’s descendants) is a wicked country and will be desolated.
2. Corrupt Priesthood (Malachi 1:6-2:9)
Sons should honor their fathers and servants their masters. Should not therefore Yahweh be honored? Yet the priests have despised the Lord’s name by offering stolen, sick, or maimed animals as sacrificeSacrifice is commonly understood as the practice of offering or giving up something as a sign of worship, commitment, or obedience. In the Old Testament grain, wine, or animals are used as sacrifice. In some New Testament writings Jesus’ death on the cross as the… More.
3. Disregarding the Marriage CovenantA covenant is a promise or agreement. In the Bible the promises made between God and God’s people are known as covenants; they state or imply a relationship of commitment and obedience. More (Malachi 2:10-17)
“Have we not all one Father?” Husbands and wives share the covenant God made with them, but they profane the covenant by marrying foreigners and falling into idolatry.
4. The Coming Messenger (Malachi 3:1-7)
“Who can endure the day of his coming?” Yahweh is sending “my messenger” (malaki), who will purify priests (“the descendants of Levi”), refining them like gold and silver. Return to the Lord and the Lord will return to you.
5. The Full Tithe (Malachi 3:8-18)
“Will anyone rob God?” Rather than robbing God by bringing faulty sacrifices, the people should bring the full tithe. Then all nations will count God’s people happy. They will be a land of delight, and their names will be written in “a book of remembrance.”
6. The Great Day of the LordThe Day of the Lord, in prophetic writing, is the day of judgment when God will intervene directly in world affairs. As described in Zephaniah, for instance, God will sweep everything away. In Matthew’s gospel God is described as gathering the elect on the day… More (Malachi 4:1-6)
The day is coming when evildoers will be like straw, and the sun of righteousness will rise for all who revere God’s name. Before that day Yahweh will send ElijahA miracle working Israelite prophet who opposed worship of Baal. More to reunite parents and children so that the land will not be cursed.