A prolific author, he wrote and edited numerous books, biographies, articles, poems, tracts, and over hymns. Horatius Bonar died on May 31, Format: Digital. Publishers: J.
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET DANIEL
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The category of covenant is considered to be the dominant and cohesive idea in the theology of the OT. It is the means through which Israel conceptualise its relation with Yahweh.
Although the term "covenant" is variously and even contradictorily defined, its applicability to Israel's conceptualisation of its relationship with Yahweh is pervasive and well-known. The covenant relationship between Israel and Yahweh is considered to be its constitution, its vocation, and its salvation. From a theological view point, the essential components of Malachi's oracles are the personhood of Yahweh - the God of Israel, Yahweh's covenant relationship with Israel, and the all-pervasive message of unreserved and enthusiastic personal response of Israel to the truth assertions of the prophetic voice.
This article thus demonstrates the significance of covenant as the central and cohesive theological motif connecting and coordinating several themes present in the book of Malachi as well as illuminating its message. In Malachi, one observes that certain religious fundamentals were compromised. In order to deal with the indifference and its adverse consequences in the gradual decline towards an unstructured existence and to hold together a society that upholds values and maintains an ancient faith, Malachi was skilful and creative in his employment of the covenant theme to the advantage of his ministerial context.
The article presents precise background and historical information about the book of Malachi that are crucial to an understanding of its theme and message, the book's literary style, theme and structure, examines the various covenant themes and then concludes by synthesising these themes with the overall message of the book's context. The concept of covenant is considered to be the dominant and cohesive theme in the theology of the OT.
Mendenhall holds that, "the relationship between God and man is established by a covenant. Within the ane context, Kessler identifies and describes four important types of covenant as well as provides biblical illustrations of these covenant patterns: first, covenants that were made between two individuals or groups of relatively equal status or power, sometimes called "bilateral parity covenants.
These are usually called "loyalty oaths. These are usually called "promissory covenants, or covenants of grants. While the idea is a multifaceted one, it includes descriptive norms though it is more a motive for justice than a source of law and shared experience of Yahweh's saving acts. It serves as the hermeneutic for interpreting history as continuance of those acts. It adopts a formal structure and involves ritual acts.
This article intends to demonstrate the significance of covenant as the central and cohesive theological motif connecting and coordinating several themes present in the book of Malachi as well as illuminating its message. The prophet's message with particular reference to certain kinds of unacceptable behaviour: ritual malpractices, inappropriate marriages and associated divorce, failure to tithe and social inequalities are all violations of the responsibility of Y ahweh's covenant with Israel. Written at a time following the return from the Babylonian captivity, the book of Malachi illustrates the steady and ongoing infidelity of Yahweh's people in the Second Temple period.
The book reflects in many ways prophetic notion at the close of an era and then looks forward to a different kind of future, yet to come. Sweeney become very fascinating:. In projecting YHWH's appearance, Malachi calls for observance of Mosaic Torah, and thereby recalls the instruction in Yhwh's Torah that will be given in Zion Mic 4 ; it looks forward to the appearance of Elijah, who is perhaps associated with the allusions to Jehoshaphat in Joel and Obadiah, when Israel turns its heart back to Yhwh.
Insofar as Malachi expresses Yhwh's distaste for divorce and calls for return of Israel to Yhwh, it rounds out the themes introduced in the book of Hosea. In Malachi, one observes that certain religious fundamentals were compromised: did Yahweh actually love Israel and what evidence of Yahweh's justice does one find in his world?
These fundamental misgivings affected several other areas of Israel's life. While the priesthood and religious worship lost all sense of integrity, intermarriage became widespread and social vices ram-pant. In order to deal with the indifference and its adverse consequences in the gradual decline towards an unstructured existence and to hold together a soci-ety that upholds values and maintains an ancient faith, Malachi was skilful and creative in his employment of the various covenant ideas to the advantage of his ministerial context.
As a literary endeavour, the article presents precise background and historical information about the book of Malachi that are era-cial to an understanding of its theme and message, the book's literary style, theme and structure, examines the various covenant themes and then concludes by synthesising these themes within the overall context of the book's message. Establishing background and historical information about the book of Malachi is crucial to an understanding of its theme and message.
Very little is known about Malachi and his time. The various scholarly opinions that consider the author of the book of Malachi as someone who is acquainted with scribal pursuit, 25 has given rise to the deduction that the author was not a Levite. While his date is masked in uncertainty, 28 evidences within the inner surface structure of the book reveal that the prophecy took place at a time following the return from exile and after the rebuilding of the temple in the Persian era, most likely in the fifth century B.
Verses on missions: Christian missions in the Bible
From his writing, it is noticeable that Malachi did not live during a period of major political developments or violent situation. The oracles in the book of Malachi reflect everyday life in a context that has been known to be a small province of a great Persian Empire. Thus like the rest the prophetic books, the book of Malachi is rooted within the framework of the environmental circumstances of the prophet's period.
The book's perspective of lived reality divides the prophet's audience into various groups. While there was relative peace in Malachi's world, it was not par-ticularly happy moment for the Judean population. In this period of interna-tional tranquillity, Israel had little sense of vitality, direction as there was col-lapse of internal discipline. Depression and discontent were the prevailing feelings in Malachi's day. The expectations of preceding generation had crashed on the rock of reality.
Those who had hoped for the establishment of a new international order following the restoration of the temple Hag , 9, ; Ezek and kingdom promises made to David Ezek , , were sadly disappointed as these promises remained unrealised. The people had inherited hopelessness which could not equip them to adequately cope with the gloomy and seemingly unchanged world in which they now found themselves. In the cultic department the situation culminated in the superficial and heartless performance of duty. The altar of Yahweh was disregarded Mai , 13 , vows were offhandedly fulfilled Mai , justice was perverted Mai ; 35 and hypocrisy took place in the area of tithes and offerings Mai His generation, like that of Haggai and Zechariah, faced harsh and seri-ous economic situations and lived in an atmosphere that was unenthusiastic for the practice of orthodoxy.
The ruined lives, the collapse of hopes, and the loss of faithfulness make it an abomination to Yahweh Mai He interprets their thoughts, puts them in the abrupt, naked language and pictures them as protest to every charge brought against them.
Light and Truth: or Bible Thoughts and Themes. Old Testament. Summary
He spoke of the esteemed faith to a people for whom religion had become a routine and who were apa-thetic in their observance of cherished ancient traditions. Malachi's task was that of strengthening his people and this was obviously not a simple one in view of the fact that the prophetic promises of the prosperity of the land after the temple had been reconstructed had failed to manifest.
His major concern was to correct the wrong view about the covenant relationship with Yahweh that had developed following the failure of the promises of the earlier prophets. As affirmed by Malachi, the loving relationship between Israel and Yahweh is a covenant condition not a covenant cost. He sought therefore, to dispute orientation based on cause and effect theology. Malachi's style of disputation with his audience no doubt helps one to appreci-ate the different and distinctive concerns of the book.
Scholars have generally noted that what is distinctive about the book of Malachi is its literary style. Several labels have been given to the literary style with which he communicates with his audience: disputation, 43 covenant lawsuit, 44 confrontational dialogue, 45 and catechetical format. It is a pattern that is strictly followed in all the six oracle units making up the prophecy, and serves to make crystal clear what exactly the failure of the people is and why they continue to undergo the punishments looming upon them as covenant breakers.
As one deeply involved in his community and obviously affected by what he experienced, Malachi confronted immediate community circumstances and the community in turn, disheartened, resentful, and doubtful reacted by questioning all that he said. This indeed enables one to see prophetic process at work.
Each oracle contains a claim of the people that is closely refuted by the prophet. Of interest is the fact that there are no recognisable formulae indicating the opening or closing of any of the oracles. The divisions are thus based on thematic distinctions only. Zion , the nations as enemies, the nations as allies. While one may find it difficult to contend that one essential theme summarises the entire message of the book, 60 thematic ideas that are noticeable in the book of Malachi includes the unifying theme of the Day of Yahweh, 61 found in the book of the Twelve including covenant, temple worship and ministerial integrity, and the concern for justice.
These themes have no doubt, mapped out the book as a literary masterpiece with unbiased conformity with the thematic thread of the Book of the Twelve. In the following sections the theme of covenant in the book of Malachi is placed in perspective.