#16 Book of Malachi

  • Malachi means ‘my messenger’ so it may mean this or be his actual name. Chapter 3 “ I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.”  Some claim that Ezra was the prophet of the book Malachi, as this was not a name but a description. The messenger could be John the Baptist preparing a way for the Messiah or Ezra himself making a way forward.
  • The message of this book is addressed to priests in the newly rebuilt Temple – serve God faithfully and distinguish what is right.  Do not bring blemished sacrifices. 
  • Ezra’s entire focus was on the setting up of the Second Temple so it would make sense if he was, in fact, the prophet Malachi.
  • Ezra may have returned to Jerusalem with the first returnees, gone back to Babylon and returned definitively with the second lot of returnees.  Thus, some of this writing was done in Babylon, some in Jerusalem and again in Babylon and again Jerusalem.
  • Genre: Minor prophet

1 Esdras This is the Greek version of the book of Ezra which was written in Hebrew.

2 Esdras (4 Esdras)
  • 2 Esdras is only conserved in Greek and was not included in the canon of the Hebrew Bible.  It is sometimes labelled 4 Esdras. It is part of the Apocrypha.
  • This is a different book and not just a Greek translation. It describes the seven visions and questions of Ezra, with the archangel Uriel answering the questions.
  • It is an apocalyptic book speaking about the rise of an empire symbolized by a three-headed eagle.  It is explained that this empire is the 4th kingdom in the vision of Daniel.  The Messiah appears who is the Son of God and he triumphs over this final evil empire.
  • It is thought that the Jews did not want to conserve this book as it was too messianic, sounding like what Christians believe about Jesus.
  • It is said that 2 Esdras (or 4 Esdras) only exists in Latin, but some parts of it have been found in Greek, translated from Hebrew.
  • I think it is a valid book of the Bible.  Ezra is always labelled as a scribe, but he was also a prophet, and probably the prophet Malachi.
  • Genre: Apocalyptic vision

Published by clarevmerry

Christian - Bible - Catholic belief reassessment website. How does Catholic belief relate to the Bible? An even-handed approach by the author who has been a Catholic as long as she has been an Evangelical.

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