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Malachi 1:1

Introduction and God’s Election of Israel

1:1 What follows is divine revelation. 1  The word of the Lord came to Israel through Malachi: 2 

1 tn Heb “The burden.” The Hebrew term III מַשָּׂא (massa’), usually translated “oracle” or “utterance” (BDB 672 s.v. מַשָּׂא), is a technical term in prophetic literature introducing a message from the Lord (see Zech 9:1; 12:1). Since it derives from a verb meaning “to carry,” its original nuance was that of a burdensome message, that is, one with ominous content. The grammatical structure here suggests that the term stands alone (so NAB, NRSV) and is not to be joined with what follows, “the burden [or “revelation”] of” (so KJV, NASB, ESV).

2 tn Heb “The word of the Lord to Israel by the hand of Malachi.” There is some question as to whether מַלְאָכִי (malakhi) should be understood as a personal name (so almost all English versions) or as simply “my messenger” (the literal meaning of the Hebrew). Despite the fact that the word should be understood in the latter sense in 3:1 (where, however, it refers to a different person), to understand it that way here would result in the book being of anonymous authorship, a situation anomalous among all the prophetic literature of the OT.

TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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