Malachi 4:4
Remember you the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
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(4-6) As the prophetical books began (Joshua 1:2; Joshua 1:8) with “Moses my servant is dead . . . this book of the Law shall not be removed from thy mouth, &c.,” so they close with the admonition, “Remember ye the Law of Moses my servant.” (Comp. Deuteronomy 4:1; Deuteronomy 8:14.) The path of duty is the path of safety and of light. (Comp. John 7:17.) “Mysteries belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed are for us and for our children for ever, in order to perform all the words of this Law” (Deuteronomy 29:29; comp. also Ecclesiastes 12:13). The best preparation for the reception of the New Covenant, when God would “put His law in their inward parts and write it on their heart” (Jeremiah 31:32), must needs be the hearty observance of the spirit of the Old.

Malachi 4:4. Remember ye the law of Moses — Ye are not now to expect any succession of prophets for the time to come, nor any prophet whatever, till the forerunner of the Messiah appears: your chief care, therefore, till that time, must be to attend upon the institutions, and to obey the precepts, which Moses has given to all Israel in his law; particularly in that part of it which was delivered to him by God with an audible voice from mount Horeb: see Exodus 19:9; Deuteronomy 4:10. This your lawgiver spake plainly of the Messiah, instructed you to expect his coming, and solemnly charged you to believe his doctrines and obey his commands, when he should come, threatening all those who did not with inevitable destruction. The words law, statutes, and judgments, are promiscuously used to signify the same thing, as appears from the greater part of the hundred and nineteenth Psalm.4:4-6 Here is a solemn conclusion, not only of this prophecy, but of the Old Testament. Conscience bids us remember the law. Though we have not prophets, yet, as long as we have Bibles, we may keep up our communion with God. Let others boast in their proud reasoning, and call it enlightening, but let us keep near to that sacred word, through which this Sun of Righteousness shines upon the souls of his people. They must keep up a believing expectation of the gospel of Christ, and must look for the beginning of it. John the Baptist preached repentance and reformation, as Elijah had done. The turning of souls to God and their duty, is the best preparation of them for the great and dreadful day of the Lord. John shall preach a doctrine that shall reach men's hearts, and work a change in them. Thus he shall prepare the way for the kingdom of heaven. The Jewish nation, by wickedness, laid themselves open to the curse. God was ready to bring ruin upon them; but he will once more try whether they will repent and return; therefore he sent John the Baptist to preach repentance to them. Let the believer wait with patience for his release, and cheerfully expect the great day, when Christ shall come the second time to complete our salvation. But those must expect to be smitten with a sword, with a curse, who turn not to Him that smites them with a rod. None can expect to escape the curse of God's broken law, nor to enjoy the happiness of his chosen and redeemed people, unless their hearts are turned from sin and the world, to Christ and holiness. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all. Amen.Remember ye the law of Moses, My servant - Galatians 3:24. "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ." They then who were most faithful to the law, would be most prepared for Christ. But for those of his own day, too, who were negligent both of the ceremonial and moral law, he says "Since the judgment of God will be so fearful, remember now unceasingly and observe the law of God given by Moses."

Which I commanded - o

Unto him for - (literally upon, incumbent upon) all Israel Not Moses commanded them, but God by His servant Moses; therefore He "would in the day of judgment take strict account of each, whether they had or had not kept them. He would glorify those who obeyed, He would condemn those who disobeyed them." They had asked, "Where is the God of judgment? What profit, that we have kept the ordinance?" He tells them of the judgment to come, and bids them take heed, that they did indeed keep them, for there was a day of account to be held for all.

The statutes and judgments - Better, "statutes and judgments," i. e., consisting in them; it seems added as an explanation of the word, law, individualizing them. Duty is fulfilled, not in a general acknowledgment of law, or an arbitrary selection of some favorite commandments, which cost the human will less; as, in our Lord's time, they minutely observed the law of tithes, but Matthew 23:23 : "omitted weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith." It is in obedience to the commandments, one by one, one and all. Moses exhorted to the keeping of the law, under these same words: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, Deuteronomy 4:5, Deuteronomy 4:8, Deuteronomy 4:14, "Now, therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and judgments which I teach you, to do them, that ye may live. Ye shall not add unto the word that I command you, neither shall ye diminish it. Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me. What nation so great, that hath statutes and judgments, righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? The Lord commanded me at that time, to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land, whither ye go to possess it."

4. Remember … law—"The law and all the prophets" were to be in force until John (Mt 11:13), no prophet intervening after Malachi; therefore they are told, "Remember the law," for in the absence of living prophets, they were likely to forget it. The office of Christ's forerunner was to bring them back to the law, which they had too much forgotten, and so "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" at His coming (Lu 1:17). God withheld prophets for a time that men might seek after Christ with the greater desire [Calvin]. The history of human advancement is marked by periods of rest, and again progress. So in Revelation: it is given for a time; then during its suspension men live on the memories of the past. After Malachi there was a silence of four hundred years; then a harbinger of light in the wilderness, ushering in the brightest of all the lights that had been manifested, but short-lived; then eighteen centuries during which we have been guided by the light which shone in that last manifestation. The silence has been longer than before, and will be succeeded by a more glorious and awful revelation than ever. John the Baptist was to "restore" the defaced image of "the law," so that the original might be recognized when it appeared among men [Hinds]. Just as "Moses" and "Elias" are here connected with the Lord's coming, so at the transfiguration they converse with Him, implying that the law and prophets which had prepared His way were now fulfilled in Him.

statutes … judgments—ceremonial "statutes": "judgments" in civil questions at issue. "The law" refers to morals and religion.

Now take leave of all prophecy, for you shall have no more till the great Prophet, till Shiloh come; and attend ye diligently to the law of Moses, keep its precepts and directions.

The law; in the full extent: the moral precepts; rules of a holy and religious life for all. The ceremonial precepts; rules of your worship, so long as your temple shall stand a type of Christ to come. The judicial precepts; whilst you have any government, or power of judicatures. By a due keeping this you may escape future judgments and obtain future blessings, Le 26 Deu 28: besides, by this attending to the law, they might be enabled to see the Messiah, and own him of whom Moses wrote in the law. Now though the law only be expressed, the prophets are included, who also wrote of Christ, Deu 18:15 John 5:46,47 Ac 13:27. This was excellent advice to this people, who (had they taken it) had escaped the sins they ran into and the miseries they fell under; they had not crucified the Lord of glory, nor rejected their own mercy, nor pulled fiery judgments on their own heads, to their utter ruin.

Of Moses; whose memory you venerate, in whom you glory, whose law therefore you ought to obey. My servant; who was my servant, and delivered my commands to you. I do therefore expect that my authority, and Moses’s esteem among you, prevail with you to study most carefully this law.

Which I commanded unto him in Horeb, with most majestic circumstances, to awe you to the observance of all its precepts; and which was an emblem of that terror and majesty wherein the Lawgiver would appear to judge, to give rewards, or adjudge to punishments.

For all Israel; so long as they should be a people and church.

With the statutes and judgments; be not partial; statutes and judgments, i.e. the whole law, must you attend to, and remember it as God requires, not turn aside from any of its prescripts. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant,.... Who was faithful as such in the house of God, in delivering the law to the children of Israel, which was given him; and who are called upon to remember it, its precepts and its penalties, which they were apt to forget: and particularly this exhortation is given now, because no other prophet after Malachi would be sent unto them, this is what they should have and use as their rule and directory; and because that Christ, now prophesied of, would be the end of this law; and this, and the prophets, were to be until the days of John the Baptist, spoken of in the next verse Malachi 4:5; and the rather, because in this period of time, between Malachi and the coming of Christ, the traditions of the elders were invented and obtained, which greatly set aside the law, and made it of no effect:

which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel; for though the law came by Moses, and is therefore called his, yet God was the author and efficient cause of it; Moses was only a servant and minister; and this was given in Horeb, the same with Sinai: these are names of one and the same mountain, at least of the parts of it; one part of it was called Horeb, from its being a dry desert and desolate place; and the other Sinai, from its bushes and brambles. So Jerom (o) says,

"Horeb, the mountain of God, is in the land of Midian, by Mount Sinai, above Arabia in the wilderness, to which are joined the mountain and wilderness of the Saracens, called Pharan; but to me it seems the same mountain is called by two names, sometimes Sinai, and sometimes Horeb;''

see Exodus 31:18. Agreeably to which Josephus (p) calls Horeb, where Moses fed his flock, and saw the vision of the burning bush, Mount Sinai; and says, it was the highest of the mountains in those parts, very convenient for pasture, and abounded with excellent herbage. Some say (q) the eastern part of it was called Sinai, and the western part Horeb; it is very likely they joined together at the bottom of the mountain, and were the two tops of it. This being mentioned shows, that the law, strictly taken, and not the prophets, is here designed, for no other was commanded, ordered, or delivered in Horeb; and that was for all the children of Israel in successive ages, until the coming of the Messiah, and for them only, as to the ministration of it by Moses.

With the statutes and judgments; the laws ceremonial and judicial, which were given to Moses, at the same time the law of the decalogue was, to be observed by the children of Israel, and which were shadows of things to come; namely, those of them that were of a ceremonial nature, and therefore to be remembered and attended to as leading to Christ, and the things of the Gospel.

(o) De locis Hebr. fol. 92. E. (p) Antiqu. l. 2. c. 12. (q) Vid. Adrichomii Theatrum Terrae Sanctae, p. 122. Well's Geography of the Old Testament, vol. 2. p. 118.

{d} Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

(d) Because the time had come that the Jews would be destitute of Prophets until the time of Christ, because they should with more fervent minds desire his coming, the Prophet exhorts them to exercise themselves diligently in studying the Law of Moses in the meantime, by which they might continue in the true religion, and also be armed against all temptations.

Ch. Malachi 4:4-6. Concluding Exhortation (Malachi 4:4) and Promise (Malachi 4:5-6)

Remember ye the law of Moses] The revelation of God is always continuous. Each fresh step is evolved out of, and is in harmony with, those which went before. To “remember” the past is to prepare for the future. The exhortation here is a direction to the Church in prospect of the four centuries which would elapse, before any other prophet should arise and the promise (Malachi 4:5-6) be fulfilled.

To the more careful study of the law, in the wider sense of the O. T. Scriptures, to which this exhortation led, may be traced much of the advance in theological knowledge which we find among the Jews in the time of our Lord.

which I commanded unto him in Horeb] A statement like this, put by an inspired prophet into the mouth of God Himself, has an important bearing on the historical character and date of composition of the Pentateuch.

with the statutes and judgments] Rather (consisting in) statutes and judgments: “even statutes and judgments”, R.V.: “(Nempe) statuta et judicia.” Calv. The words are explanatory of the nature of the law. Comp. Deuteronomy 4:8; Leviticus 26:46.Verses 4-6. - § 5. Concluding admonition to remember the Law, lest they should be liable to the curse. In order to avert this, the Lord, before his coming, would send Elijah to promote a change of heart in the nation. Verse 4. - If the people would meet the judgment with confidence and secure for themselves the promised blessings, they must remember and obey the Law of Moses. Thus the last of the prophets set his seal to the Pentateuch, on obedience to which depended, as of old (see Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28.), so now, the most abundant blessings. My servant. Moses was only the agent and interpreter of God. The origin and authority of the Law were Divine. Horeb. The mention of the mountain would remind the people of the awful wonders that accompanied the promulgation of the Law (Exodus 19:16, etc.; Deuteronomy 4:10-15) For all Israel Not merely for the people who heard the Law given, but for the nation unto all time. Nor could they be true Israelites unless they observed the terms of the covenant then made. With the (even) statutes and judgments. These terms, which explain the word "Law," include all the enactments, legal, moral, ceremonial. Malachi might well remind the people of their duty, and thus support Nehemiah in his struggle to win them to obedience (see Nehemiah 9:38; Nehemiah 10:29). The LXX. places this verse at the end of the chapter, probably because the original conclusion (ver. 6) was thought too harsh to be left as the close of the Old Testament. The Jews had a feeling that books in the Bible should end with the name Jehovah. In the case of Isaiah and Ecclesiastes, they repeated, after the last verse, the last but one. Zechariah 8:7. "Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, Behold, I save my people out of the land of the rising and out of the land of the setting of the sun. Zechariah 8:8. And I bring them hither, and they will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and will be my people, and I shall be their God, in truth and righteousness." The deliverance of the people of God out of the heathen lands did indeed commence with the return of a body of exiles from Babylon under the guidance of Zerubbabel, but their deliverance out of all the countries of the earth is still in the future. Instead of all countries, the land of the rising (the east) and the land of the setting (the west) are individualized (cf. Psalm 50:1; Psalm 113:3; Isaiah 59:19; Malachi 1:11). This deliverance is first effected through the Messiah. This is indisputably evident from the words, "I bring them to Jerusalem," by which of course we cannot understand the earthly Jerusalem, since that would not furnish space enough for the Jews scattered throughout all the world, but the open and enlarged Jerusalem mentioned in Zechariah 2:8, i.e., the Messianic kingdom of God. Then will those who have been gathered together out of all the countries of the earth become in truth God's nation. Israel was the nation of Jehovah, and Jehovah was also Israel's God from the time of the establishment of the old covenant at Sinai (Exodus 24). This relation is to be restored in the future, "in truth and righteousness." This is the new feature by which the future is to be distinguished from the present and the past. The words "in truth and righteousness" belong to the two clauses, "they shall be" and "I will be." For the fact itself, compare Hosea 2:21-22; and for the expression, Isaiah 48:1 and 1 Kings 3:6.
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