“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.
Malachi was the last of the postexilic prophets; he was also the last prophet in Judah for over 450 years until John the Baptist began to preach. And when the angel announces John’s coming birth to Zacharias, he will quote from the very last verse in Malachi:
This will be John’s calling and purpose:
Jesus Himself identified John as the messenger of Malachi 3:1:
As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,
‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
Do you know what the name Malachi means? Gleason Archer writes:
“The most reasonable explanation for the meaning of Malachi (Mal’ ākī, Hebrew) is that it is hypocoristic [an endearing diminutive] for the full form Mal’ ak-Yah, or Messenger of Jehovah.”1
So Malachi, Messenger of Jehovah, prophesied of John, Messenger of Messiah, who would prepare the way of the Messiah and “turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord,” — Jesus, the Christ.
Архангел Гавриил поражает Захарию немотой The Angel Appears to Zacharias, Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov 1824.
1Gleason L. Archer, Jr., “Postexilic Prophets: Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi,” A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Moody Press, Chicago IL: 1966, 1974) 430.
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