Possible prophesies for Israel’s day, the first century, our day and the future:
Malachi 1:6 “ ‘ A son, for his part, honors the father; and a servant, his grand master. So if I am a father, where is the honor to me? And if I am a grand master, where is the fear of me?’ Jehovah of armies has said to YOU, O priests who are despising my name. “ ‘And YOU have said: “In what way have we despised your name?” ‘ (vs.7) “ ‘[By] presenting upon my altar polluted bread.’
Malachi 1:14-2: “And cursed is the one acting cunningly when there exists in his drove a male animal, and he is making a vow and sacrificing a ruined one to Jehovah. For I am a great King,” Jehovah of armies has said, “and my name will be fear-inspiring among the nations.” (2:1-2)”And now this commandment is to YOU, O priests. If YOU will not listen, and if YOU will not lay [it] to heart to give glory to my name,” Jehovah of armies has said, “I shall also certainly send upon YOU the curse, and I will curse YOUR blessings. Yes, I have even cursed the [blessing], because YOU are not laying [it] to heart.”
Notice the qualities of a true priest and could typify Jesus and /or Moses and could be referring to the messenger of the covenant mentioned in Malachi 3:1:
Malachi 2:5-7 “As for my covenant, it proved to be with him, [one] of life and of peace, and I kept giving them to him, with fear. And he continued fearing me; yes, because of my name he himself was struck with terror. The very law of truth proved to be in his mouth, and there was no unrighteousness to be found on his lips. In peace and in uprightness he walked with me, and many were those whom he turned back from error. For the lips of a priest are the ones that should keep knowledge, and [the] law is what people should seek from his mouth; for he is the messenger of Jehovah of armies.”
Malachi 2:8-9 “But YOU men – YOU have turned aside from the way. YOU have caused many to stumble in the law. YOU have ruined the covenant of Levi, Jehovah of Armies has said. “And I also, for my part, shall certainly make YOU to be despised and low to all the people, according as YOU were not keeping my ways, but were showing partiality in the law.”
The first charge against false priests:
Malachi 2:10b-12a “Why is it that we deal treacherously with one another, in profaning the covenant of our forefathers? Judah has dealt treacherously, and a detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the holiness of Jehovah, which He has loved, and he has taken possession of the daughter of a foreign god as a bride. Jehovah will cut off each one that does it” – Basically by taking “possession of the daughter of a foreign god as a bride” a priest is taking on a covenant not from Jehovah. Thus, a priest in this instance would not be giving honor to his covenant arrangement with Jehovah or those under him by arrangement of the covenant. However, Jehovah requires exclusive devotion.
The second charge against false priests:
Malachi 2:13-17 “And this is the second thing that YOU people do, [this resulting in] covering with tears the altar of Jehovah, with weeping and sighing, so that there is no more a turning toward the gift offering or a taking of pleasure [in anything] from YOUR hand. And YOU have said, ‘On what account?’ On this account, that Jehovah himself has borne witness between you and the wife of your youth, and with whom you yourself have dealt treacherously, although she is your partner and the wife of your covenant. And there was one who did not do [it], as he had what was remaining of [the] spirit. And what was that one seeking? The seed of God. And YOU people must guard yourselves respecting YOUR spirit, and with the wife of your youth may no one deal treacherously. For he has hated a divorcing,” Jehovah the God of Israel has said; “and the one who with violence has covered over his garment,” Jehovah of armies has said. “And YOU must guard yourselves respecting YOUR spirit, and YOU must not deal treacherously. (vs.17) “YOU people have made Jehovah weary by your words, and YOU have said, ‘In what way have we made [him] weary?’ By YOUR saying, ‘Everyone that is doing bad is good in the eyes of Jehovah, and in such ones he himself has taken delight’; or, ‘Where is the God of justice?’ “- This tells us of the importance to KNOW Jehovah so we can cleanse any false teachings that we may feel are approved by him. See Isaiah 62:4,5 and 54:6 to help understand the symbolic wife-like covenant.
Malachi 2:15 see Isaiah 4:1
Malachi 2:15 (according to the ROTHERHAM EMPHASIZED BIBLE; “Now was it not ||One|| [who] made [you] who had ||the residue of the spirit||? What then of that one? He was seeking a godly seed. Therefore should ye take heed to your spirit, and <with the wife of thy youth> do not thou deal treacherously.”) This seems to be a difficult passage to translate but the idea is sound. Jehovah desires any marriage to be sacred in which all involved are serving him properly which would include the husbands treating their wives properly in Jehovah’s eyes. According to the arrangement (presented here in reverse order to help understanding) of Hebrew words in The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament (Kohlenberger): “indeed spirit to-him and-why? the-one seeking offspring-of God so-you-guard-yourself partner-of-you and-wife-of covenant-of-you”
Other messages to priests:
Malachi 3:6,7 “For I am Jehovah; I have not changed. and YOU are the sons of Jacob; YOU have not come to YOUR finish. From the days of your forefathers YOU have turned aside from my regulations and have not kept [them]. Return to me, and I will return to YOU,” Jehovah of armies has said.
After turning around: Malachi 3:12 “And all the nations will have to pronounce YOU happy, for YOU yourselves will become a land of delight,” Jehovah of armies has said.
The arrival of “Elijah” (the messenger), Jesus, and the messenger of the covenant (Moses or heavenly priestly class – This priestly class may be made of “one half ” of the “two witnesses” mentioned at Revelation 11:2,3).
Compare Malachi 3:1 with Malachi 4:5,6: Malachi 3:1 “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me. And suddenly there will come to his temple the [true] Lord, whom YOU people are seeking, and the messenger of the covenant in whom YOU are delighting. Look! He will certainly come,” Jehovah of armies has said. // Malachi 4:5,6 “Look! I am sending to YOU people Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah. And he must turn the heart of fathers back toward sons, and the heart of sons back toward fathers; in order that I may not come and actually strike the earth with a devoting [of it] to destruction.” // It is evident that this “Elijah” is the same as “the messenger” in 3:1. // The “messenger of the covenant” appears to be the same one mentioned in 4:4 “Remember, YOU people, the law of Moses my servant with which I commanded him in Horeb concerning all Israel, even regulations and judicial decisions.” // Compare Revelation 22:6,7
It is interesting that Jesus, “Moses”, and “Elijah” appeared in the transfiguration mentioned in Matthew17:1-9. See Elijah.
Malachi 3:2-4: “But who will be putting up with the day of his coming, and who will be the one standing when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen. And he must sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and must cleanse the sons of Levi; and he must clarify them like gold and like silver, and they will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness. And the gift offering of Judah and of Jerusalem will actually be gratifying to Jehovah, as in the days of long ago and as in the years of antiquity.” // It appears that this cleansing work is done by Jesus and when they are presented to Jehovah, Jehovah forgives them of their error (deducted by tying in other scriptures). This work is after the “straightening” work done by “Elijah”. John the Baptist declared in Luke 3:16,17: “John gave the answer, saying to all: “I, for my part, baptize YOU with water; but the one stronger then I am coming, the lace of whose sandals I am not fit to untie. He will baptize YOU people with holy spirit and fire. His winnowing shovel is in his hand to clean up his threshing floor completely and to gather the wheat into his storehouse, but the chaff he will burn up with fire that cannot be put out.” // This “chaff” is also in Jehovah’s organization today. This separating work (also the time of “sealing” in Revelation 7:3 and the 1,260 “sackcloth” days mentioned in Revelation 11:3) seems to take place for our day during the 1,290 days mentioned in Daniel 12:11. The burning of the chaff happens when Jesus arrives in power. He will start with his people and then will go to the nations.
Malachi 3:16 “At that time those in fear of Jehovah spoke with one another, each one with his companion, and Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance began to be written up before him for those in fear of Jehovah and for those thinking upon his name.”
Malachi 4:1,2 “For, look! the day is coming that is burning like the furnace, and all the presumptuous ones and all those doing wickedness must become as stubble. And the day that is coming will certainly devour them,” Jehovah of armies has said, “so that it will not leave to them either root or bough. And to YOU who are in fear of my name the sun of righteousness will certainly shine forth, with healing in its wings…”
Malachi 4:5,6 Malachi prophesied, for our day, that “before the coming of the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah” some actions were so important that if they were not accomplished, Jehovah would “strike the earth with a devoting [of it] to destruction.” // Compare Exodus 32:11-14; Ezekiel 18:30,31; Elijah
Malachi 4:6 see Elijah link
Malachi 4:6a “And he must turn the heart of fathers back toward sons, and the heart of sons back toward fathers;” // See Isaiah 1:4; 59:20; Jeremiah 23:11,12; Daniel 11:35 – This is a straightening work. And notice the phrase “he must“.
Malachi 4:6b “in order that I may not come and actually strike the earth with a devoting [of it] to destruction.” // This reminds me of the account of Sodom and Gomorrah at Genesis 18:23-33 where Abraham humbly “pleaded” with Jehovah not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and got Jehovah to say in verse 32b “I shall not bring it to ruin on account of the ten.” (Talking about not ruining Sodom and Gomorrah if Jehovah found 10 righteous ones there) Well, we know what happened. And the current situation of “all of” Jehovah’s people offering “polluted bread” (apostasy) by including false teachings as part of his word (although most are unaware of this) certainly does not make them legally righteous in his eyes. (Isaiah 1:9; 9:16,17 and Jeremiah 17:13) Jehovah has grounds for a spiritual divorcing.
The New American Bible (Saint Joseph Edition) translates Malachi 3:23,24 (same as Malachi 4:6 in many translations); “Lo, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, Before the day of the LORD comes, the great and terrible day, To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the land with doom.”