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Malachi 4:1-3

Context

4:1 (3:19) 1  “For indeed the day 2  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 3  will not leave even a root or branch. 4:2 But for you who respect my name, the sun of vindication 4  will rise with healing wings, 5  and you will skip about 6  like calves released from the stall. 4:3 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.

1 sn Beginning with 4:1, the verse numbers through 4:6 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 4:1 ET = 3:19 HT, 4:2 ET = 3:20 HT, etc., through 4:6 ET = 3:24 HT. Thus the book of Malachi in the Hebrew Bible has only three chapters, with 24 verses in ch. 3.

2 sn This day is the well-known “day of the Lord” so pervasive in OT eschatological texts (see Joel 2:30-31; Amos 5:18; Obad 15). For the believer it is a day of grace and salvation; for the sinner, a day of judgment and destruction.

3 tn Heb “so that it” (so NASB, NRSV). For stylistic reasons a new sentence was begun here in the translation.

4 tn Here the Hebrew word צְדָקָה (tsÿdaqah), 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.”

sn 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.

5 sn The point of the metaphor of healing wings is unclear. The sun seems to be compared to a bird. Perhaps the sun’s “wings” are its warm rays. “Healing” may refer to a reversal of the injury done by evildoers (see Mal 3:5).

6 tn Heb “you will go out and skip about.”



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