Malachi 41 [Heb. 3:19] ▼ “For indeed the day ▼ is coming, burning like a furnace, and all the arrogant evildoers will be chaff. The coming day will burn them up,” says the Lord who rules over all. “It ▼
▼ Heb “so that it” (so NASB, NRSV). For stylistic reasons a new sentence was begun here in the translation.will not leave even a root or branch. 2 But for you who respect my name, the sun of vindication ▼
▼ Here the Hebrew word צְדָקָה (tsedaqah), usually translated “righteousness” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV, NLT; cf. NAB “justice”), has been rendered as “vindication” because it is the vindication of God’s people that is in view in the context. Cf. BDB 842 s.v. צְדָקָה 6; “righteousness as vindicated, justification, salvation, etc.”▼
▼ The expression the sun of vindication will rise is a metaphorical way of describing the day of the Lord as a time of restoration when God vindicates his people (see 2 Sam 23:4; Isa 30:26; 60:1, 3). Their vindication and restoration will be as obvious and undeniable as the bright light of the rising sun.will rise with healing wings, ▼ and you will skip about ▼
▼ Heb “you will go out and skip about.”like calves released from the stall. 3 You will trample on the wicked, for they will be like ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the Lord who rules over all.
Restoration through the Lord4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, to whom at Horeb ▼ I gave rules and regulations for all Israel to obey. ▼
▼ Heb “which I commanded him in Horeb concerning all Israel, statutes and ordinances.”5 Look, I will send you Elijah ▼
▼ I will send you Elijah the prophet. In light of the ascension of Elijah to heaven without dying (2 Kgs 2:11), Judaism has always awaited his return as an aspect of the messianic age (see, e.g., John 1:19–28). Jesus identified John the Baptist as Elijah, because he came in the “spirit and power” of his prototype Elijah (Matt 11:14; 17:1–13; Mark 9:2–13; Luke 9:28–36).the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord arrives. 6 He will encourage fathers and their children to return to me, ▼
▼ Heb “he will turn the heart[s] of [the] fathers to [the] sons, and the heart[s] of [the] sons to their fathers.” This may mean that the messenger will encourage reconciliation of conflicts within Jewish families in the postexilic community (see Mal 2:10; this interpretation is followed by most English versions). Another option is to translate, “he will turn the hearts of the fathers together with those of the children [to me], and the hearts of the children together with those of their fathers [to me].” In this case the prophet encourages both the younger and older generations of sinful society to repent and return to the Lord (cf. Mal 3:7). This option is preferred in the present translation; see Beth Glazier-McDonald, Malachi (SBLDS), 256.so that I will not come and strike the earth with judgment.” ▼
▼ Heb “[the] ban” (חֵרֶם, kherem). God’s prophetic messenger seeks to bring about salvation and restoration, thus avoiding the imposition of the covenant curse, that is, the divine ban that the hopelessly unrepentant must expect (see Deut 7:2; 20:17; Judg 1:21; Zech 14:11). If the wicked repent, the purifying judgment threatened in 4:1–3 will be unnecessary.
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