View Malachi 4 in the note window.
The approaching misery of the wicked, and happiness of the righteous,
ver. 1 - 3.
A direction to keep to the law, and to expect Elijah, that is,
John the Baptist, the fore - runner of the Messiah, ver. 4 - 6.
1: Cometh - Tho' it be at a distance from you, yet it is coming and
will overtake you and overwhelm you too. As an oven - The refiner's fire,
chap. (Mal 3:2), is now represented as a fire, burning more dreadfully, as
it did indeed when Jerusalem and the temple were on fire, when the fire
raged every where, but most fiercely where the arched roofs made it double
itself, and infold flames with flames. And this may well be an emblem of
the day of judgment.
2: The sun of righteousness - Christ, who is fitly compared to
the sun, being the fountain of light, and vital heat to his church.
And of mercy and benignity; for the Hebrew word imports both.
With healing - His beams shall bring health and strength, with delight
and joy, safety and security. Go forth - Go out of Jerusalem, before
the fatal siege. Grow up - In strength, vigour and spiritual stature.
Of the stall - Where they are safe guarded and well ordered.
3: Tread down the wicked - When believers by faith overcome the
world, when they suppress their corrupt appetites and passions, and
when the God of peace bruises Satan under their feet, then they indeed
tread down the wicked.
4: Remember - Now take leave of prophecy, for you shall have no
more 'till the great prophet, 'till Shiloh come, but attend ye
diligently to the law of Moses. For all Israel - So long as they
should be a people and church. Statutes and judgments - Be not partial;
statutes and judgments, that is, the whole law must you attend to,
and remember it as God requires.
5: Behold I will send - Though the spirit of prophecy cease for four
hundred years, yet at the expiring of those years, you shall have one
sent, as great as Elijah. Elijah - Namely John the Baptist,
who came in the spirit and power of Elijah, (Lu 1:17), and
therefore bears his name. Before - That is, immediately before; so he
was born six months before Christ, and began his preaching a few years
before Christ began to exercise his publick office.
The great and dreadful day of the Lord - This literally refers to the
times of vengeance upon the Jews, from the death of Christ to the final
desolation of the city and temple, and by accommodation, to the end of
6: And he - John the Baptist. Shall turn the heart - There
were at this time many great and unnatural divisions among the
Jews, in which fathers studied mischief to their own children.
Of the children - Undutiful children estranged from their fathers.
With a curse - Which ends in utter destruction; leaving Jerusalem a
desolate heap, and a perpetual monument of God's displeasure. Some
observe, that the last word of the Old Testament is a curse: whereas
the New Testament ends with a blessing, yea, the choicest of blessings,
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all! Amen.
Dec. 24, 1766.