|English Standard Version (© 2001)|
"Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
King James Bible
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
American Standard Version
Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom ye desire, behold, he cometh, saith Jehovah of hosts.
Young's Literal Translation
Lo, I am sending My messenger, And he hath prepared a way before Me, And suddenly come in unto his temple Doth the Lord whom ye are seeking, Even the messenger of the covenant, Whom ye are desiring, Lo, he is coming, said Jehovah of Hosts.
Malachi 3:1 Additional TranslationsKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Coming of the Lord to judgment. Malachi 3:1. "Behold, I send my messenger, that he may prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to His temple, and the angel of the covenant, whom ye desire; behold he comes, saith Jehovah of hosts." To the question, Where is or remains the God of judgment? the Lord Himself replies that He will suddenly come to His temple, but that before His coming He will send a messenger to prepare the way for Him. The announcement of this messenger rests upon the prophecy in Isaiah 40:3., as the expression וּפנּה דרך, which is borrowed from that passage, clearly shows. The person whose voice Isaiah heard calling to make the way of Jehovah in the desert, that the glory of the Lord might be revealed to all flesh, is here described as מלאך, whom Jehovah will send before Him, i.e., before His coming. This maleâkh is not a heavenly messenger, or spiritual being (Rashi, Kimchi), nor the angel of Jehovah κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν, who is mentioned afterwards and called maleakh habberı̄th, but an earthly messenger of the Lord, and indeed the same who is called the prophet Elijah in Malachi 4:5, and therefore not "an ideal person, viz., the whole choir of divine messengers, who are to prepare the way for the coming of salvation, and open the door for the future grace" (Hengst.), but a concrete personality - a messenger who was really sent to the nation in John the Baptist immediately before the coming of the Lord. The idea view is precluded not only by the historical fact, that not a single prophet arose in Israel during the whole period between Malachi and John, but also by the context of the passage before us, according to which the sending of the messenger was to take place immediately before the coming of the Lord to His temple. It is true that in Malachi 2:7 the priest is also called a messenger of Jehovah; but the expression הנני שׁלח (behold I send) prevents our understanding the term maleâkh as referring to the priests, or even as including them, inasmuch as "sending" would not apply to the priests as the standing mediators between the Lord and His people. Moreover, it was because the priests did not fulfil their duty as the ordinary ambassadors of God that the Lord was about to send an extraordinary messenger. Preparing the way (פּנה דרך, an expression peculiar to Isaiah: compare Isaiah 40:3; also, Isaiah 57:14 and Isaiah 62:10), by clearing away the impediments lying in the road, denotes the removal of all that retards the coming of the Lord to His people, i.e., the taking away of enmity to God and of ungodliness by the preaching of repentance and the conversion of sinners. The announcement of this messenger therefore implied, that the nation in its existing moral condition was not yet prepared for the reception of the Lord, and therefore had no ground for murmuring at the delay of the manifestation of the divine glory, but ought rather to murmur at its own sin and estrangement from God. When the way shall have been prepared, the Lord will suddenly come. פּתאם, not statim, immediately (Jerome), but unexpectedly. "This suddenness is repeated in all the acts and judgments of the Lord. The Lord of glory always comes as a thief in the night to those who sleep in their sins" (Schmieder). "The Lord" (hâ'âdōn) is God; this is evident both from the fact that He comes to His temple, i.e., the temple of Jehovah, and also from the relative clause "whom ye seek," which points back to the question, "Where is the God of judgment?" (Malachi 2:17). The Lord comes to His temple (hēkhâl, lit., palace) as the God-king of Israel, to dwell therein for ever (cf. Ezekiel 43:7; Ezekiel 37:26-27). And He comes as the angel of the covenant, for whom the people are longing. The identity of the angel of the covenant with the "Lord" (hâ'âdōn) is placed beyond the reach of doubt by the parallelism of the clauses, and the notion is thereby refuted that the "covenant angel" is identical with the person previously mentioned as מלאכי (Hitzig, Maurer, etc.). This identity does not indeed exclude a distinction of person; but it does exclude a difference between the two, or the opinion that the angel of the covenant is that mediator whom Isaiah had promised (Isaiah 42:6) as the antitype of Moses, and the mediator of a new, perfect, and eternally-enduring covenant relation between God and Israel (Hofmann, Schriftbeweis, i. p. 183). For it was not for a second Moses that the people were longing, or for a mediator of the new covenant, but for the coming of God to judgment. The coming of the Lord to His temple is represented as a coming of the covenant angel, with reference to the fact that Jehovah had in the olden time revealed His glory in His Maleakh in a manner perceptible to the senses, and that in this mode of revelation He had not only redeemed Israel out of the hand of Egypt (Exodus 3:6.), gone before the army of Israel (Exodus 14:19), and led Israel through the desert to Canaan (Exodus 23:20., Exodus 33:14.), but had also filled the temple with His glory. The covenant, in relation to which the Maleakh, who is of one essence with Jehovah, is here called the angel of the covenant, is not the new covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:31., but the covenant of Jehovah with Israel, according to which Jehovah dwells in the midst of Israel, and manifests His gracious presence by blessing the righteous and punishing the ungodly (cf. Exodus 25:8; Leviticus 25:11-12; Deuteronomy 4:24; Isaiah 33:14): (Koehler). The words "Behold he (the covenant angel) cometh" serve to confirm the assurance, and are still further strengthened by אמר יי צ (saith Jehovah of hosts). This promise was fulfilled in the coming of Christ, in whom the angel of the covenant, the Logos, became flesh, and in the sending of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Him. (See also at Malachi 4:6)
Malachi 3:1 Parallel CommentariesArmies Clear Covenant Desire Messenger Prepare Seek Suddenly Temple WayArmies Clear Covenant Desire Messenger Prepare Seek Suddenly Temple WayThe ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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Matthew 11:10 This is he of whom it is written, "'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.'
Matthew 11:14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.
Mark 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way,
Luke 1:76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
Luke 7:27 This is he of whom it is written, "'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.'
John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
John 1:7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.