I started reading more in depth with Robert Alter on the five Books of Moses. From there I have been expanding and slowly working my way along.

Which led me to Malachi.

One surprise was to learn that:

The Book of Malachi was written to correct the lax religious and social behaviour of the Israelites – particularly the priests – in post-exilic Jerusalem.


That message is repeated by Christ. Viz.

“For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by your instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts,” (2:7–8)

“therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach” (Matthew 23:3)


In 2:1, Malachi states Yahweh Sabaoth is sending a curse on the priests who have not honored him with appropriate animal sacrifices: “Now, watch how I am going to paralyze your arm and throw dung in your face–the dung from your very solemnities–and sweep you away with it. Then you shall learn that it is I who have given you this warning of my intention to abolish my covenant with Levi, says Yahweh Sabaoth.”

Malachi also criticizes his audience for questioning God’s justice. He reminds them that God is just, exhorting them to be faithful as they await that justice.

I found it interesting that Malachi is reprised by Christ (there is a lot of scholarship on that, I chose just one example that was easy to cite).

I also thought it was interesting that both Christ and Malachi encouraged patience and faith in response to the messages.

I also found it interesting that Malachi condemned people leaving their spouses over nationality or faith differences. A good note for our times.

I’m curious.

What do you take away from studying Malachi?

Do you think any of his message will apply to general conference this year?

How often do you think we should be more patient? Less?