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Malachi 1:1

ESV The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
NIV A prophecy: The word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi.
NASB The pronouncement of the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi:
CSB A pronouncement:The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.
NLT This is the message that the Lord gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi.
KJV The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

What does Malachi 1:1 mean?

The name "Malachi" literally means "My Messenger," so this might not be the name of a specific person. The choice of this name is interesting, for several reasons. First, the priests were meant to be the messengers of God to the people. As this chapter explains, they are failing in that regard. So, for the message to come from God's self-titled "messenger" highlights the difference between those who do and do not follow God's will.

Second, this will be the last prophetic lesson given to Israel for four centuries. After that will come John the Baptist, the "messenger" predicted in Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3. This long period of quiet is bracketed on both ends by people specifically referred to as God's messengers.

This verse also begins with an interesting word, mas'sa, translated as an "oracle" or "burden." The Hebrew word implies the idea of "raising" something, as one would raise an alarm. Or, of "carrying" something. This is a word often used in Old Testament prophecies (Habakkuk 1:1; Nahum 1:1; Isaiah 13:1). Typically, this word is used to set up a message that is threatening or dangerous (Zechariah 9:1; Isaiah 14:28).
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