BibleProject - Old Testament - Lesson 41

Malachi - BibleProject

Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament and is one of the twelve minor prophets. The book was written to the Israelites after their return from exile in Babylon, during a time when they were struggling with apathy and disobedience towards God. The book is structured as a series of dialogues between God and the people of Israel, and it addresses themes such as God's love for Israel, the importance of the priesthood and worship, and the coming of the messenger and the day of the Lord. Malachi also makes connections to the New Testament, as it prophesies the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus. The book concludes with a call to turn back to God and follow his ways.

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject - Old Testament
Lesson 41
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Malachi - BibleProject

I. Introduction to Malachi

A. Overview and Historical Context

B. Authorship and Date

C. Structure and Content

II. Themes in Malachi

A. God's Love for Israel

B. Priesthood and Worship

C. Coming of the Messenger and Day of the Lord

III. Significance of Malachi

A. Last Book of the Old Testament

B. Connection to the New Testament

C. Importance for Today

  • By watching this video, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Old Testament, including its literary design and flow of thought. You will learn about the different sections of the Old Testament, including the Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom Literature, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets. You will also gain insights into the stories, themes, and messages of each of these sections and how they contribute to the overall narrative of God's relationship with humanity.
  • By studying Genesis, you will gain a deeper understanding of the Old Testament and its key themes and characters, as well as the literary features of the book, such as its structure, style, and genre. The creation story is a key part of the book, as are the stories of Abraham and the patriarchs, the fall and sin, the flood and Noah, and God's covenant with Israel. Additionally, Genesis introduces readers to the Old Testament and sets the stage for the Pentateuch and Books of Moses, while also introducing many themes and motifs that continue throughout the Bible.
  • Discover the captivating stories of the patriarchs in Genesis Part 2, exploring themes of covenant, God's sovereignty, human responsibility, faith, and obedience.
  • Explore the Bible's book of Exodus to gain insight into God's rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the significance of the covenant and law, and its connection to the New Testament.
  • Gain insight into the book of Exodus and its themes of salvation and redemption, revealing God's character through his interactions with Israel, with significant influence on Jewish and Christian traditions and connections to the New Testament through its foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.
  • By studying Leviticus with The Bible Project, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical and literary context, themes, and structure of this important book in the Old Testament. You will also learn about the significance of Leviticus for understanding the Torah and its relevance for Christians today.
  • By studying The Bible Project's lesson on Numbers, you'll comprehensively understand its structure, themes, and significance, gaining insight into the journey of the Israelites in the wilderness, God's guidance, rebellion, priesthood, and offerings, as well as its historical, theological, and contemporary relevance.
  • Explore Numbers' authorship, context, structure, and theology to gain a comprehensive understanding of its significance to the Pentateuch and the Old Testament, as well as its relevance to the Christian faith today.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the book of Joshua, including its historical context, literary genre, and summary. You will learn about the book's themes, such as God's faithfulness, obedience, and judgment, and its significance in foreshadowing Christ's work and providing historical and theological implications.
  • Explore the historical and cultural context, literary design, and theological significance of the book of Judges in the Old Testament, and learn how it fits into the broader biblical storyline, including its relevance for today.
  • Explore the Book of Ruth to understand its historical context, literary features, themes of loyalty and faithfulness, redemption, the kinsman-redeemer's role, and its Old Testament significance.
  • Studying the Book of Samuel provides insight into the rise of the Israelite monarchy, the lives of Saul and David, and the importance of obedience to God, covering themes of leadership and kingship with the presence of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • By exploring the story of Absalom in 2 Samuel and the broader context of the Old Testament Historical Books, you will gain insight into the themes and messages of these books, as well as their historical and modern-day significance.
  • Through the study of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, you will gain a deeper understanding of the history of Israel and Judah, as well as valuable spiritual lessons from these Old Testament books.
  • By studying this lesson, you understand the historical and literary aspects of 1 and 2 Chronicles, emphasizing God's sovereignty, covenant faithfulness, worship, and obedience.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the historical context, key themes, and modern applications of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, enriching your understanding of faith, community, and commitment to God's Word.
  • You will gain an understanding of the book of Esther, a narrative in the Hebrew Bible that tells the story of a Jewish woman named Esther who becomes queen in the Persian court and, with the help of her cousin Mordecai, saves the Jews from genocide orchestrated by the villain Haman. The story highlights God's sovereignty and providential care, and the feast of Purim celebrates the Jews' victory.
  • By studying the Book of Job, you will explore the complexities of human suffering, the search for divine wisdom, and the tension between God's sovereignty and human limitations within a unique literary structure.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Psalms, including its background, structure, authorship, and theology. You will also learn about the various themes and motifs present in the Psalms, which will help you better understand and appreciate this important book in the Old Testament.
  • By studying Proverbs, you will understand the definition and purpose of wisdom, the fear of the Lord, and the personification of wisdom in the book. You will also gain insights into the literary structure of Proverbs and the themes of the book, including the importance of listening to wisdom, the power of words, and the value of hard work.
  • In the Ecclesiastes lesson, you gain insights into the book's structure, themes, and significance, while exploring the search for meaning, vanity, and the importance of fearing God and enjoying life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the literary features, interpretation, theology, and application of the book Song of Songs, including its authorship, historical and cultural context, allegorical and literal interpretation, and its teachings on God and human love, sexuality, and relationships.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Isaiah's historical context, literary features, major themes, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover how Isaiah's prophetic message of judgment and hope for Jerusalem evolves, as it predicts the fall of Israel's kingdom and envisions a new, purified Jerusalem where God's kingdom will be restored through a future messianic king, uniting all nations in peace.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain understanding of the book of Jeremiah, including its historical and cultural context, literary features, major themes and message, and significance in the Old Testament.
  • In this lesson, you learn about the Book of Lamentations, its structure, themes, and the role of God in the midst of suffering and divine judgment, while ultimately highlighting His faithfulness and mercy.
  • In the book of Ezekiel, you follow the story of a priest named Ezekiel who has a vision of God's glory riding on a royal throne chariot, and is commissioned by God to accuse Israel of rebellion and warn them of their impending destruction due to their covenant violations and rampant social injustice, while also providing a small glimmer of hope for the future.
  • By viewing this lesson on Daniel, you will gain understanding of its structure, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, gaining knowledge about living as faithful exiles in a hostile culture, God's sovereignty and faithfulness in times of trial, and remaining faithful to God even in difficult circumstances.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the complexities of Hosea, discovering the book's themes, messages, and its role in the Old Testament, emphasizing the relationship between Israel's unfaithfulness and God's unwavering love.
  • By studying the book of Joel, you will gain insight into the historical and cultural context of Judah, the literary features of prophetic literature, and the themes of repentance, restoration, and the Day of the Lord. Joel's prophecy also has significance in the New Testament as it is quoted by Peter at Pentecost, emphasizing the fulfillment of Joel's vision through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the Amos lesson, you explore its historical context, literary features, and themes, enhancing your understanding of justice, the Day of the Lord, and God's sovereignty within the Old Testament.
  • By studying Obadiah, you will gain insight into the historical context and literary features of this prophetic oracle. You will learn about the pride of Edom, their judgment, and the hope for Israel. Through understanding the significance of Obadiah in the Old Testament, you will have a deeper appreciation for the themes and message of this book.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Jonah's themes, including God's mercy, human rebellion, repentance, and the significance of mission, while also understanding its connections to other biblical narratives.
  • Studying the book of Micah will give you an understanding of its historical context, literary genre, prophetic message of judgment and restoration, and insights into God's character and how He interacts with His people.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the historical context, structure, and themes of the book of Nahum, learning about God's sovereignty, justice, and the relevance of these concepts in today's world.
  • Studying Habakkuk will deepen your understanding of how to wrestle with difficult questions about God's character and the problem of evil and respond with faith and trust in God's sovereignty.
  • In this lesson, you explore the book of Zephaniah, gaining insights into its background, context, literary features, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, including the central message of the Day of the Lord and the promise of future hope.
  • You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Book of Haggai, including its historical and cultural context, literary structure, purpose and themes, individual sections, and theological significance in relation to the Exile, Restoration, and Messiah.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into Zechariah's historical context, structure, themes of restoration, the coming Messiah, God's sovereignty, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover the last book of the Old Testament and its themes, such as God's love for Israel, the importance of worship, and the coming of the messenger and the day of the Lord, as well as its connection to the New Testament, which prophesies the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus and calls for a return to God.

BP100-41 Malachi

The book of the prophet Malachi. He lived about a hundred years after the Israelites had returned from their Babylonian exile. And his message was directed to the people who had been living in Jerusalem for some time now. The temple had been rebuilt a while ago and things were not going well. Just remember the stories from Ezra and Nehemiah. When the Israelites first returned from exile their hopes were high they would return and rebuild their lives and the temple all of the great promises of the prophets would come true. The Messiah would come and set up God's kingdom over a unified Israel and over the nations and bring justice and peace for all. But that is not what happened. The Israelites who repopulated the city proved to be just as unfaithful to God as their ancestors, resulting in poverty and injustice. So in Malachi we find out just how corrupt this new generation has become. The book is designed as a series of disputes. Most sections begin with God saying something making a claim or an accusation and then Israel will disagree or question God's statement. Then God will respond and offer the last word. This happens six times. In the first three disputes. God exposes Israel's corruption and in the final three disputes he confronts their corruption. The overall impression you get from these arguments and disputes is that the exile fundamentally didn't change anything in the people. Israel's hearts are as hard as ever. The first dispute starts when God says that he still loves his covenant people, despite their failures. Israel rudely objects saying, "How have you shown us any love?" So God reminds them of how he graciously chose the family of Jacob their ancestor to become the carrier of God's covenant promises instead of Esau, his brother, and the family that came from him, who eventually came to ruin. Remember the stories from Genesis and the book of Obadiah. So right from this first dispute, Israel is exposed as suspicious, doubting God's love and faithfulness. The second dispute exposes a problem with Israel's Second Temple. God accuses the people of despising and defiling the temple The people fire back, "How have we despised you?" So God responds by focusing on the people, how they are bringing shamefully lame offerings of these sick blemished animals that show that they do not value or honor their God. But it is not just the people. It is the priests, too, who run the temple. Not only do they tolerate but participate in these corrupt forms of worship. From top to bottom, God's people have proven faithless. In the third dispute God accuses the Israelite men of treachery against him and their wives, which, of course, they deny. God exposes the toxic combination of idolatry and divorce taking place. You have Israelite men marrying non-israelite women and then adopting the worship of their wives' ancestral gods into their homes. Remember the story from Nehemiah chapter 13. So Malachi connects this to a wave of men divorcing their wives for no good reason. The people are all fine with this. Malachi says, "No, it is a betrayal of your covenant with God." So Malachi transitions into the second set of disputes that confront Israel's rebellion. The fourth dispute begins with the Israelites accusing God of neglect saying, where is the God of justice? They see injustice and corruption abounding and God seems to do nothing. God responds by saying that he will send a messenger who will prepare the people for God's personal return in the day of the Lord. He will come like fire to purify His people and to remove idolatry and sexual immorality and injustice so that only the faithful remnant is left to become His people. In the fifth dispute, God calls the people to turn back to him, to which the people say, "How can we turn back?" So God confronts their selfishness. He shows how they have stopped offering a tithe of their income to the temple. That word "tithe" just means "one-tenth". It is the amount of their income and produce that Israelites were to annually donate to support the temple and its priests. The practice is laid out in different parts of the Torah. We know from Malachi and from the book of Nehemiah that the people were neglecting this responsibility. So the temple was falling into disrepair. So God confronts them. He says he wants to bless them with abundance, but only if they are going to be faithful. In the final dispute that people accuse God and say that it is pointless to serve Him. They observe wicked, prideful people succeeding in life and God does nothing. God's response, for the first time in the book, is not a speech. Rather, it is a short story about the faithful remnant in Israel, people who fear the Lord. They love to get together and talk about how to honor God and serve Him. So God orders that a scroll of remembrance be written for these people so that they can read the scroll and remember God's character and promises. Malachi is reflecting here on the divine gift of the scriptures, how they point us to the past to remember what God has done in order to inspire faithfulness and hope for the future which leads to the conclusion of the book. It picks up and develops the imagery of the fourth dispute about the coming day of the Lord, but it develops it further. God says that He has appointed a day of purifying judgment that will consume the wicked from among His people. But what the conclusion adds is the future of the faithful remnant because for them, the day of the Lord is not a threat; it is a cause for joy. It will be like the rays of the rising sun that bring healing, life and hope for the future. So Malachi's disputes come to a close but there is still a little bit more to this book. The final three verses are not part of the disputes. Actually, they function like a concluding appendix bringing closure, not just to Malachi, but to the whole collection of the Torah and the Prophets. First, the reader is called to remember the law or the Torah of my servant Moses. This recalls the story and the laws of the covenant that you find in the first five books of the Bible. Then we hear this summary of the books of the prophets: I will send the prophet Elijah before the day of the Lord who will restore the hearts of God's people. This conclusion summarizes the Torah and the prophets as a unified story that points to the future. Israel was redeemed by God and then they betrayed him through their rebellion and hard hearts, breaking the laws of the Torah. But the Scriptures anticipate a future day when God is going to send a new prophet Moses, a new Elijah, who will restore God's people and heal their hard hearts Remember all of the promises from Deuteronomy, in Jeremiah and Ezekiel. So, this concluding appendix presents the scriptures as a divine gift to read and to ponder and to pray over. They tell the truth about the human condition, about our selfishness and our sin. But they also announced God's promise that one day he would send a messenger and then show up personally to confront evil, to restore his people, and bring his healing justice. It is that future hope that Malachi and the Torah and all of the prophets are about.