The Tetragrammaton = hwhy = YaHuWaH
Introduction: Mal’akhi’s name means “My messenger”. Mal’akhi may not be a proper name at all, but just a generic, anonymous title that emphasizes the message, not his personality. The Septuagint (LXX) takes it as such. He wrote around 500 B.C.E., while Yahuwdah was back in the Land by permission from Persia after the Babylonian exile. After the prophets Haggai and Z’kharyah had inspired them to rebuild the Temple under the governmental leadership of Zerubbabel in 516 B.C.E., and Ezra the priest brought thousands more people of Yahuwdah back from exile in 458 B.C.E., encouraged by King Artakhshashta of Persia, who wanted to ensure that the Torah was being obeyed (Ezra 7), Nekhemyahuw, as newly-appointed governor, made reforms that brought justice to the poor, ended marriages to pagans, and reinstated the keeping of the Sabbath and the bringing of tithes and offerings. (Nkh. 10) But after he returned to his post in Persia in 433 B.C.E., Yahuwdah backslid severely in all these areas, prompting Nekhemyahuw to come back to bring correction and much stricter rebuke. (Nkh. 13:7ff) It is around this time, or possibly prior to Nekhemyahuw’s return, that Mal’akhi prophesied.
Mala'kiy [My messenger] [around 500 BCE]
1:1 An oracle: the Word of YaHuWaH to Ysra'al by the hand of Mala'kiy:
1:2 “I have loved you,” says YaHuWaH .
Yet you say, “How have You loved us?”
[Okay.]“Wasn’t Esaw Ya'aqob’s brother?” says YaHuWaH, “Yet I loved Ya'aqob;
1:3 but Esaw I hated, and made his mountains a desolation, and gave his heritage to the great lizards of the uninhabited land.”
1:4 If Edom should say, “We are beaten down, but we will return and rebuild the ruins;” thus says YaHuWaH of Armies, “They may rebuild, but I will tear down; and men will call them ‘The Wicked Land,’ even the people against whom YaHuWaH shows wrath until the Age.”
Edom was later a code name for Rome, and as such represents the Church, which, like Esaw, is a brother to Ysra'al, but is not YaHuWaH’s chosen. It says it will be the one to rebuild the ruins, but YaHuWaH says Ysra'al will have that honor, if obedient. SFHof Ysra'al
1:5 Your eyes will see, and you will say, “ YaHuWaH be magnified—even beyond the border of Ysra'al!”
Beyond the border: literally, from above the territory (or boundary rope).
1:6 “A son respects his father, and a servant his master. If I am a Father, then where is My respect? And if I am a Master [A Master: the word is plural in Hebrew], where is the fear due Me? Says YaHuWaH of Armies to you, priests, who consider My Name to be of no value. You say, ‘In what way have we considered Your Name to be of no value?’
1:7 You offer polluted bread on My altar. You say, ‘How have we polluted You?’ In that you say, ‘YaHuWaH’s table is contemptible.’
[Table of YaHuWaH: another way of describing the altar (Y’hezq’el 41:22), with the connection being that the priests eat of the offerings that are brought there. YaHuWSHuWaH said His “food” was to do the will of the One who sent Him. (Yochanan 4:32-34)]
1:8 And whenever you bring near the blind to be slaughtered -- isn’t there something wrong with that? And when you offer the lame and sick, isn’t there something wrong with that? Try presenting it to your governor! Will he be pleased with you? Or will he lift up your faces?” says YaHuWaH of Armies.
[Bring near: A clue as to what was going on, for it is not the priests who bring the animal to be slaughtered, but rather deal with it after the offered kills it, and take the appropriate parts up to the altar. (v. 7) It is their responsibility to uphold the standard of what Ysra'al is to bring to YaHuWaH’s altar, and by accepting deformed animals instead of only allowing healthy ones, as YaHuWaH requires (Ex. 12:5; Lev. 1:3 et al), they are counted as complicit with the “worshippers” who are proving not to consider YaHuWaH very important and maybe even doubtful that He exists, since they are bringing something they know they would not get away with giving to a human ruler. Thus they themselves set the stage for their own complaint that there is no pleasure in eating from this table. (v. 7) By putting up with second best or leftovers, they guarantee that their own food will be tainted. Ya'aqob was substituted for Esau (v. 2), yet now the Levites themselves are acting no better than Esau, the man of the world (compare Gen. 25:27 with Mat. 13:38) who lived for his belly and was willing to settle for less than what YaHuWaH intended for the firstborn—for whom the Levites are also substitutes. (Ex. 13:13; 22:29; Num. 3:12ff). Blind: YaHuWaH wants us to be “living offerings” (Rev. 12:1-2), but if we are blind, He too will spit us out of His mouth. (Rev. 3:16-17) Lift your faces: the meaning becomes appallingly clearer in verse 9:]
1:9 “And now, please beg the favor of Aluahiym, [to the point of becoming sick] that He may show favor to us. While this comes from your hands?, Won't He lift your faces off you?”
1:10 “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you,” says YaHuWaH of Armies, “neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
1:11 For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same, My Name is great among the heathen, and in every place incense will be offered to My Name, and a pure offering: for My Name is great among the heathen,” says YaHuWaH of Armies.
1:12 “But you profane it, in that you say, ‘YaHuWaH’s table is polluted, and its fruit, even its food, is contemptible.’
1:13 You say also, ‘Behold, what a weariness it is!’ and you have sniffed at it,” says YaHuWaH of Armies; “and you have brought that which was taken by violence, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring the offering. Should I accept this at your hand?” says YaHuWaH.
1:14 “But the deceiver is cursed, who has in his flock a male, and vows, and slaughters to YaHuWaH a blemished thing; for I AM a great King,” says YaHuWaH of Armies, “and My Name is awesome among the heathen.”
2:1 “Now, you priests, this commandment is for you.
2:2 If you will not listen, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give weight to My Name,” says YaHuWaH of Armies, “then will I send the curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have cursed her already, because you do not lay it to heart.
2:3 Here I am making your seed decay, and I will spread dung on your faces, even the dung of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it.
2:4 Then you will know that I have sent this Commandment to you, that My Covenant may be with Lewi,” says YaHuWaH of Armies.
2:5 “My Covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him who he might be reverent toward Me; and he was reverent toward Me, and stood in awe of My Name.
2:6 The Torah of Truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips. He walked with Me in shalom and uprightness, and turned many away from iniquity.
2:7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the Torah at his mouth; for he is the messenger of YaHuWaH of Armies.
2:8 But you have turned aside out of the Way. You have caused many to stumble in the Torah. You have corrupted the Covenant of Lewi,” says YaHuWaH of Armies.
2:9 “Therefore I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according to the way you have not kept My Ways, and are showing partiality in the Torah [showing favoritism/or "choosing what part you will follow].
2:10 Don’t we all have one father? Hasn’t one Aluahiym created us? Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, profaning the covenant of our fathers?
2:11 Yahuwdah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Ysra'al and in Yahrushalom; for Yahuwdah has profaned the Set-apart Place of YaHuWaH which He loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign Aluahiym.[ba'al] (as Ach'ab did in marrying Yizebel and worshipping Ba'al/the lord!)
2:12 May YaHuWaH cut off from the tents of Ya'aqob the one who does this, him who wakes and him who answers, and him who offers an offering to YaHuWaH of Armies.
2:13 This again is what you do: you cover the altar of YaHuWaH with tears, with weeping, and with sighing, because He doesn’t regard the offering any more, neither receives it with good will at your hand.
2:14 Yet you say, ‘Why?’ Because YaHuWaH has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion, and the wife of your covenant.
The “wife” of the priests is the Torah, and while they individually may not have been divorcing their wives (though they could have been), they had forsaken His covenant.
2:15 Did He not make ECHAD, and what remains of Breath is His? Why One? He sought an undefiled Seed. Therefore take heed to your ruwach [breath], and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
2:16 For I hate divorce,” says YaHuWaH, the Aluahiym of Ysra'al, “and him who covers his garment with violence!” says YaHuWaH of Armies. “Therefore take heed to your ruwach [breath], that you don’t deal treacherously.
2:17 You have wearied YaHuWaH with your words. Yet you say, ‘How have we wearied Him?’ In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of YaHuWaH , and He delights in them;’ or ‘Where is the Aluahiym of justice?’
Your words: possibly referring to the “breath” we are to guard. (vv. 15-16) These are the very things that are said so often today that YaHuWaH must again be wearied. The unrepentant are counted as just as well-favored by the “G-d who loves everyone the same” and who has mercy on everyone no matter whether they turn from their sin or not. The priests were “guaranteeing atonement” to people who brought the wrong things to YaHuWaH. They are falsely representing Him, just like those today who say He will forgive anyone and judge no one.
3:1 “Behold, I send My Messenger, and he will clear the way before Me; and the Master, Whom you seek, will suddenly come to His Hekal; and the Messenger of the Covenant, Whom you desire, behold, He comes!” says YaHuWaH of Armies.
Clear the road: or, cause the road to turn. If the sons of Tzadoq would not rise to their calling, YaHuWaH would send a tzadiq (righteous one) to carry out His will. In the first fulfillment of this prophecy, He did choose one who was a rightful priest yet denied his place because of corrupt usurpers to the position. Yahuwchanan the Immerser came in the “spirit and power of Aliyahuw” (Luqa 1:17; see v. 23 below.)
3:2 “But who can endure the Day of His coming? And who will stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like launderer’s soap;
The return of the Messiah will not be what people expect. It will not be a painless transition, but unless we are willing to enter into this spirit of purging, we will not arrive at His Kingdom. Smelter: one who puts metal ore through very hot fire to test it and prove its strength. Fuller: one who makes a sheep’s wool “full” by shrinking it with water, stomping on it, pressing it out, and cleaning it with lye (a full-strength, caustic soap).
3:3 and He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Lewi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer to YaHuWaH offerings in righteousness.
Distil: to purify and refine by straining. After these processes are complete, these metals are more durable and malleable, withstand corrosion better, are more capable of high polish, can undergo change without breaking, and can be hammered out as thin as wire. As we purge our lives of leaven at the feast of Unleavened Bread, in our day YaHuWaH wants to purge all Ysra'al (and especially the priesthood, which according to Yashayahuw 66:21 may include some from other tribes than Levi) of everything not conducive to His sole reign on earth. There may be some sense in which YaHuWaH intends the priesthood, who again have intermarried with pagans as in Ezra 10, to get back to being a pure lineage.
3:4 Then the offering of Yahuwdah and Yahrushalom will be pleasant to YaHuWaH, as in the days of old, and as in ancient years.
The most ancient offering that YaHuWaH accepted was that of Hebel. (Gen. 4:4) As we move forward in pleasing Him, He works in us further to make us even more pleasing to Him. (Mat. 25:29)
3:5 I will come near to you to judgment [in court]; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against the perjurers, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and who mislead the newcomer , and don’t fear Me,” says YaHuWaH of Armies.
Mislead: literally, turn or influence, even thrust away. They send the one who does not know the language or customs in a direction that will put them unknowingly at a disadvantage. Newcomer: or guest, sojourner, foreign visitor who wants to stay in Ysra'al to learn the Torah. Afraid of Me: i.e., expecting there to be consequences for their actions. Note that all of the sins listed here are against our neighbors, not against YaHuWaH as such. But how they are following the social laws of Ysra'al is the litmus test for whether they truly fear Him.
3:6 “It is because I AM YaHuWaH and do not change that you, sons of Ya'aqob, have not come to an end!
Ya'aqob1:17 Every good act of giving and every perfect bestowment is from above, coming down from the Father of the Lights, with Whom can be no changing, nor even a shadow of change.
3:7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My ordinances, and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says YaHuWaH of Armies. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ 3:8 Will a man rob Al? Yet you rob Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.
3:9 You are cursed with the curse; for you rob Me, even this whole nation.
3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My House, and test Me now in this,” says YaHuWaH of Armies, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for.
3:11 I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before its time in the field,” says YaHuWaH of Armies.
3:12 “All nations shall call you blessed, for you will be a delightful Land,” says YaHuWaH of Armies.
3:13 “Your words have been harsh against Me,” says YaHuWaH. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’
3:14 You have said, ‘It is worthless to serve Aluahiym;’ and ‘What profit is it that we have followed His instructions, and that we have walked mournfully before YaHuWaH of Armies?
3:15 Now we call the proud blessed; yes, those who work wickedness are built up; yes, they even tempt YaHuWaH, and get away with it!’
Built up: or, established, made permanent. They have tested the limits to see how far they could go. His long-lasting mercy makes them think they will get away with these things forever. (Rom. 2:4) We each have our own ways of doing this. Christians claim all is forgiven and the Torah is obsolete. The rabbis think YaHuWaH has abdicated His authority and left it in their hands (according to the Talmud). Modern Yahuwdah sees the miracles YaHuWaH has done to protect them, and chalks it up to the superiority of their armed forces.
3:16 Then those who feared YaHuWaH spoke one with another; and YaHuWaH listened, and heard them, and a book of remembrance (Sefer Zikarone) was written before Him, for those who feared YaHuWaH, and who think on His Name.
3:17 They shall be Mine,” says YaHuWaH of Armies, “My own possession on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.
3:18 Then you shall again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves Aluahiym and him who does not serve Him.
4:1 (3:19) “For, behold, The Day comes, it burns as a furnace; and all the proud, and all who work wickedness, will be stubble; and The Day that comes will burn them up,” says YaHuWaH of Armies, “that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
4:2 But to you who fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings. You will go out, and frisk about like calves of the stall.
Frisk about: implies having plenty of space to move about freely. (Compare Iyov/Job 36:16; Psalm 18:19.) Her wings: traditionally, his wings, emphasizing the connection of the bridegroom (Messiah) with the sun in Psalm 19:4-6. There is merit to this, as the woman healed by touching the “hem” of Yahushua’s garment (called the “wing” in Hebrew), where His tizitzit would have been attached (Heb. version of Mat. 9:20 and Num. 15:38-39) was indeed healed, and was apparently counting on this very promise. The Hebrew term for “sun” can be either masculine or feminine. But here “wings” clearly has a feminine possessive ending, indicating that we must look beyond simply the Messiah for its fulfillment. Messiah’s bride is who is being rewarded here for her faithfulness, and our emphasis should be on doing our part to bring about these conditions.
4:3 You shall tread down the wicked; for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet in The Day that I am preparing,” says YaHuWaH of Armies.
1 Kepha 1:3 Blessed be YaHuWaH and Father of our Sovereign YaHuWSHuWaH the Anointed, Who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living expectation through the resurrection of YaHuWSHuWaH the Anointed from the dead, 1:4 into an inherited possession that is not liable to decay [Matt. 6:19], unsoiled, and unfading, having been kept under guard for you in heavenly realms 1:5 who are protected by the Power of YaHuWaH through belief for a rescue ready to be revealed in the final decisive epoch.
The Two Witnesses of Rev. 11 mentioned here together.!?
4:4 “Remember the Torah of Moshah My servant, which I commanded to him in Choreb for all Ysra'al, even statutes and ordinances.
4:5 Behold, I will send you Ali'Yahuw the prophet before the great and terrifying Day of YaHuWaH comes.
4:6 He will turn the heart of the fathers back onto sons, and the heart of the sons onto their fathers, or else I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
(alternate: "He will turn many back to YaHuWaH the Father and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for YaHuWaH.")
Terrifying: or awe-inspiring. This prophecy has at least two fulfillments. One, YaHuWSHuWaH said, could have been fulfilled if Yehudah had accepted His message (Mat. 11:14), in accord with the “spirit and power of AliYahuw”—the “office” of AliYahuw, in which the herald Messenger said Yahuwchanan the Immerser would operate. (Luqa 1:17) His task was to turn many back to YaHuWaH the Father and (in place of the phrase” hearts of the sons onto their fathers” in v. 24, and thus explaining it) “the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for YaHuWaH”. And the spirit of “AliYahuw” (meaning “My Al, YaHuWaH is He”) is what is retuning even now, with the spirit of his successor AliShuwa (“My Aluahiym will deliver”) to follow.