Malachi 4CHAPTER IV God's awful judgments on the wicked, 1. Great blessedness of the righteous, 2, 3. The prophet then, with a solemnity becoming the last of the prophets, closes the Sacred Canon with enjoining the strict observance of the law till the forerunner already promised should appear, in the spirit of Elijah, to introduce the Messiah, and begin a new and everlasting dispensation, 4-6. NOTES ON CHAP. IV Verse 1. Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven] The destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. And all the proud] This is in reference to Mal 3:15 of the preceding chapter. The day that cometh shall burn them up] Either by famine, by sword, or by captivity. All those rebels shall be destroyed. It shall leave them neither root nor branch.] A proverbial expression for total destruction. Neither man nor child shall escape. Verse 2. You that fear my name] The persons mentioned in the sixteenth verse of the preceding chapter, ye that look for redemption through the Messiah. Mal 3:16 The Sun of righteousness] The Lord Jesus, the promised Messiah; the Hope of Israel. With healing in his wings] As the sun, by the rays of light and heat, revives, cheers, and fructifies the whole creation, giving, through God, light and life everywhere; so Jesus Christ, by the influences of his grace and Spirit, shall quicken, awaken, enlighten, warm, invigorate, heal, purify, and refine every soul that believes in him, and, by his wings or rays, diffuse these blessings from one end of heaven to another; everywhere invigorating the seeds of righteousness, and withering and drying up the seeds of sin. The rays of this Sun are the truths of his Gospel, and the influences of his Spirit. And at present these are universally diffused. And ye shall go forth] Ye who believe on his name shall go forth out of Jerusalem when the Romans shall come up against it. After Cestius Gallus had blockaded the city for some days, he suddenly raised the siege. The Christians who were then in it, knowing, by seeing Jerusalem encompassed with armies, that the day of its destruction was come, when their Lord commanded them to flee into the mountains, took this opportunity to escape from Jerusalem, and go to Pella, in Coelesyria; so that no Christian life fell in the siege and destruction of this city. But these words are of more general application and meaning; "ye shall go forth" in all the occupations of life, but particularly in the means of grace; and- Grow up as calves of the stall] Full of health, of life, and spirits; satisfied and happy. Verse 3. Ye shall tread down] This may be the commission given to the Romans: Tread down the wicked people, tread down the wicked place; set it on fire, and let the ashes be trodden down under your feet. Verse 4. Remember ye the law of Moses] Where all these things are predicted. The Septuagint, Arabic, and Coptic, place this verse the last. Verse 5. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet] This is meant alone of John the Baptist, as we learn from Lu 1:17, (where see the note,) in whose spirit and power he came.
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