Lesson 11 – The 12 Lesser Prophetic Books

Hosea

He comes originally from the North. He prophesied against the Jews “during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah kings of Judah (the South) and of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel (the North)” (Hosea 1,1). He is thus a contemporary of Isaiah (who also prophesied against Ahaz). Hosea is a contemporary of Amos. It is possible that he saw the ruin of Samaria by the Assyrians (721 BC).

God asked him to be a sign for the Jews by marrying a “whore (like all the Jewish people), and get children with a whore, for the country itself has become nothing but a whore by abandoning Yahweh.” (Hosea 1,2) God declares out of his mouth: “I will put an end to the sovereignty of the House of Israel. When that day comes, I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.” (Hosea 1,2-5) This is the valley of Megiddo, where the disastrous defeat of Josiah took place a century and a half later (2 Kings 23,29-30). It comes back in the Book of Revelation as symbol of the final defeat of modern Israel (Revelation 16,16).

Hosea announces, like Jeremiah later (Jeremiah 3,18), the reunion of Israel and Judah under “one single leader… so great will be the Day of Jezreel.” (Hosea 2,2) This “single leader” is the Messiah who must unite in His Person all men after the destruction of the Israeli army, which is an obstacle to God’s plan. This is why it will be the “great Day of Jezreel”, which will see this army annihilated: “I mean to Destroy you, Israel” (Hosea 13,9). Hosea is against Jewish nationalism and its kingdom (Hosea 8,4 and 13,9-11); he reveals the non-military, spiritual salvation, a salvation which is desired “not by bow or sword or battle, horse or horsemen.” (Hosea 1,7) See also Hosea 10,13-15 on the military destruction of Israel, “you have trusted in your chariots, in your host of warriors” rather than in God. Hosea thus dared to denounce, like Samuel before him, the Israeli royalty, therefore Jewish nationalism.

Hosea rises up especially against the priests and the so-called prophets who leave the people in ignorance (Hosea 4,4-6). In reading this great prophet, be sensible to his pain; it is an internal moan which he is addressing to the Jews. He denounces their spiritual adultery, predicting the deportation of the North (Hosea 8,6-13). The Israelis persecuted him: “The prophet is mad… traps are set for him on all his paths, in the house of his God enmity awaits him.” (Hosea 9,7-8)

Joel

In reading Joel attentively, you will notice that he is addressing two different societies, centuries apart from each other:

  1. To the Jews of Judah
  2. Much later, to all the nations.

Both societies will be punished for their infidelity. After the punishment there will be a restoration. This is the general theme of Joel. Here are the details:

Punishment of Judah

It is to the Judaeans that Joel addresses the divine invectives: “Sound the trumpet in Zion (Jerusalem), give the alarm on my holy mountain!” (Joel 2,1) “For a nation has invaded my country, mighty and innumerable… it has laid waste my vines and torn my fig trees to pieces” (Joel 1,6-7). “Vine” and “Fig tree” are symbols of Israel. When Jesus curses the fig tree, He insinuated the destruction of Israel (Matthew 21,18-21).

Joel is a prophet after the exile. The announced punishment is thus the Roman invasion and the destruction of the Temple by Titus (70 AD). The priests are invited to penitence before the worship is abolished in the Temple: “Priests, put on sackcloth (symbol of repentance) … For the house of our God has been deprived of oblation and libation (that the faithful offered) … (Joel 1,13-14) … come back to Me with all your heart… Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn, turn to Yahweh your God again, for he is all tenderness and compassion… Who knows if he will not turn again (on his decision to destroy you), will not relent, will not leave a blessing as he passes (and no longer punish you because of your repentance)?” (Joel 2,12-14)

The predicted plague will come “from the North” and it will be similar, by the devastation it will cause, to different sorts of grasshoppers: “What the gnawer has left, the grown locust has devoured, what the grown locust has left, the hopper has devoured…” (Joel 1,4) This plague of grasshoppers is also mentioned by Amos (Amos 4,9) and Malachi (Malachi 3,11). It is taken up again in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 9,2-11).

This punishment is “the Day of Yahweh” (Joel 1,15 / 2,1 / 2,11), a prophetic expression become traditional (Isaiah 13,6 / Ezekiel 30,2-3/ Amos 5,18). Some Jews thought that this day would be in their favor; but all the prophets invited them not to delude themselves: “For the day of Yahweh is near, it comes as a devastation from Shaddai (Powerful-God) … (Joel 1,15) … Let all the inhabitants of the country tremble… Day of darkness and gloom” (Joel 2,1-2). “Trouble for those who are waiting so longingly for the day of Yahweh… It will mean darkness, not light” (Amos 5,18).

The Restoration

After the destruction, God announces the restoration: “I will make up to you for the years devoured by grown locust and hopper… You will eat to your heart’s content” (Joel 2,25). This restoration will be done by the Christ and will be spiritual; it will be done by His Body and His Blood. Jesus had spoken to his Apostles about it: “I tell you solemnly, when all is made new…” (Matthew 19,28) Those whose mentality will remain materialistic and political will not taste this divine Food and “the new wine will be dashed from your lips.” (Joel 1,5) The “new wine” is the one Jesus gives for the restoration of the soul (John 6,53-57 / Luke 22,14-20 / Matthew 26,27-29).

This first restoration is done by the gift of the Spirit of God: “After that (the plague of grasshoppers) I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind” (therefore on all men -through Jesus- not on the Jews only) (Joel 3,1). The Jews understood this restoration politically, a “resurrection” of the State of Israel.
Yet the Apostles of Jesus understood that it was about an internal spiritual dimension, in the human soul. This is why Peter refers to this prophecy of the effusion of the divine Spirit in Acts 2,17-21. He also specifies in Acts 3,20-21 that the “universal restoration which God proclaimed, speaking through His holy prophets” is realized by Jesus.
This restoration is accomplished in two steps: the first took place with the Advent of Jesus 2000 years ago, and the second is currently taking place in our Apocalyptic times by the Return of Jesus Christ inside us. I speak of the latter further down, as well as in the text ““The Key of the Apocalypse”“.

The Punishment of the world

The punishment inflicted on Israel is an example, a lesson to all the nations of the world become indifferent to the message of Jesus. “For in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I am going to gather all the nations and take them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; there I intend to put them on trial for all they have done to Israel, my people and my heritage.” (Joel 4,1-2) “Let the nations rouse themselves, let them march to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for I am going to sit in judgement there on all the nations around. Put the sickle in: the harvest is ripe; come and tread: the winepress is full, the vats are overflowing, so great is their wickedness! … Host on host in the Valley of Decision!” (Joel 4,12-14)

The “Valley of Jehoshaphat” does not exist geographically; it is a symbolic location whose name means: “God judges”; it is also the “Valley of Judgement” or “Destruction” or “Decision”, to destroy the enemies of God and his Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.

This judgement takes place soon before the end of times since the “harvest is ripe” and the “winepress is full“. John’s Revelation brings back the same expressions of Joel (Revelation 14,14-19) and explains that Jesus, “The Word of God… is the one who will tread out the wine of Almighty God’s fierce anger.” (Revelation 19,13-15)

So then, “Israel” or “the people of God”, whom Joel (Joel 4,1) speaks of, is composed of the disciples of Jesus. They are the true people of God. In our Apocalyptic days, all the nations who support Israel will be judges, a state founded on injustice and the rejection of Jesus. The deniers of Christ are assembled from all the nations in Palestine to be “crushed” there, like the winepress. This is the “Valley of Jehoshaphat” where God judges, crushes, under the feet of the Messiah, the Antichrist and all the nations which support it.

With the first advent of Jesus, there was the first effusion of the divine Spirit. This effusion was not done without bloody events: the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple in 70 AD. Before the Return of Christ, a second effusion will occur (and it is currently taking place), always with bloody events -wars and revolutions- which prepare the 3rd World War: “After this I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind… I will display portents in heaven and on earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke”, says the Lord (Joel 3,1-3). These signs indicate wars: the columns of smoke are characteristic of modern bombs… nuclear bombs in particular.

Jesus speaks to us again of all these signs (Matthew 24/ Luke 21), on “the distress of these days” when “the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness” (Matthew 24,29), as Joel also said (Joel 3,4) and the Apocalypse (Revelation 6,12). One does not have to understand these literally, and expect the disappearance of the sun and the moon. They are symbolic and prophetic expressions; they indicate difficult times, the disappearance of faith and morality: the eclipse of the spiritual Sun.

The Universal Restoration

After these cataclysms, all will be renewed: “When that Day comes, the mountains will run with new wine… and all the river beds of Judah will run with water. A (spiritual) fountain will spring from the house of Yahweh” (Joel 4,18-19).

The “new wine” or the “fresh juice of the vine” (as some translate), symbolizes the “new times” that will follow the universal punishment. They are “the new Heaven and the new Earth” after the defeat of Jesus’ enemies (Revelation 21,1). Egypt symbolizes the unbelievers who will always be in desolation.

This time is that of a spiritual collective regeneration, I say indeed, spiritual and collective. It occurs inside the souls of believers, of all believers, the true. Christ Himself will appear to them as He had promised (John 14,21) and as Peter had revealed: “Then He will send you the Christ he has predestined, that is Jesus, whom heaven must keep till the universal restoration comes which God proclaimed, speaking through his holy prophets.” (Acts 3,20-21) Because, as Paul reveals: “Christ, too… appears a second time (in spirit, in the soul) … with salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9,28)

Those who will have understood that the universal restoration is an Israeli national resurrection will perish in the “Valley of Jehoshaphat”, crushed in the “vat of divine anger”.

Amos

He is the oldest of the prophetic writers; his mission lasted from 783 to 743 BC. He is thus a contemporary of Hosea, Isaiah and Micah, but preceded them.

Amos preached in the North, at the sanctuary of Bethel, where he was sent by God to prophesy against Israel and its king, Jeroboam II (Amos 7,7-17). But he was from the South, from Tekoa in Judaea (Amos 1,1), more reason to be hated by the Israelis.

Amos is a simple shepherd, without wealth or instruction. He does not belong to a recognized prophetic institution, nor did he possess a diploma to prophesy like the other claimed prophets of his time. He acknowledges so, “I was no prophet, neither did I belong to any brotherhoods of the prophets” (Amos 7,14), being no member of a fraternity or prophetic group (like some “charismatic” movements nowadays). God is not impressed by religious diplomas in the selection of His men. Also, God took Amos “as he followed the flock” (Amos 7,15), just as He chose Peter, Andrew, James and John eight centuries later, tearing them from their fishermen nets to make them Apostles of his Messiah. He disdained the Scribes and Pharisees -however more instructed and educated than him in religious matters- preferring men with soft hearts, docile to the Holy Spirit.

God asks Amos to prophesy against Israel: “Look, I am going to measure my people Israel by plumb line; no longer will I overlook their offenses… the sanctuaries of Israel destroyed…” (Amos 7,7-9) The “plumb-line” is a measuring instrument: God “measures” the rectitude of the souls, as in Revelation 11,1, to reveal the hearts and to condemn the bad. It is the prediction of the Assyrian invasion (Amos 3,11) and the deportation (Amos 5,27).

Amos is the first to speak of the “Day of Yahweh… it will mean darkness, not light” (Amos 5,18), and of the “remnant” that will survive after the punishment (Amos 5,15).

He is the prophet of social justice, because he rose against the rich and their disproportionate luxury (Amos 2,6-7 / 4,1-3 / 5,7-12).

His prophecy extended against Judah too, predicting its ruin: “Yahweh says this… I am going to hurl fire on Judah to burn up the palaces of Jerusalem.” (Amos 2,4-5)

Amos denounced the external worship, revealing that God dislikes it, that He desires rather the practice of justice as worship: “I hate and despise your feasts… I reject your oblations… But let justice flow like water, and integrity like an unfailing stream.” (Amos 5,21-24)

Obadiah

This is the shortest of the prophetic book. The name of the prophet means “Slave of God” (in Arabic: “Abdallah”).

This small book is a prophecy against the Edomites, as they had invaded Judah: “For the slaughter, for the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame will cover you and you will vanish forever.” (Obadiah 1,9-10)

Obadiah predicts a restoration to the Judaeans: “Men from the Negeb (South of Judah) will occupy the Mount of Esau (Edom), etc…” (Obadiah 1,19-21) This restoration is still nationalistic with its expansionist ambitions of seizing Edom.

Jonah

The story reported in this book is symbolic, non historical, even if it is attributed to the prophet Jonah mentioned in 2 Kings 14,25.

The moral of the story: God accepts the repentance of all men, even if they are Ninevites (Assyrians), enemies of the Jews. God is thus not the monopoly, nor the possession of only the Israelites, but of the whole of mankind.

Jonah is sent to the Ninevites, just as Jesus’ Apostles, preaching repentance and the Messiah to the Pagans, and like Jesus was benevolent with Roman soldiers. All this is a cause of scandal for fanatics, Jews and others. What would Christians think today, if one of their bishops preferred Muslims over them. And vice versa, what would Muslims say of one of their religious leaders who preferred some upright Christians over some impious Muslims?

Jonah’s stay in a whale’s belly for three days and three nights (Jonah 2,1) symbolizes the Messiah’s burial for three days before his resurrection. The psalm said by Jonah, after his exit from the whale’s belly, can be perfectly applied to Christ buried in the belly of the earth after the torture of the crucifixion and his resurrection after death: “at the roots of the mountains I went down into the countries underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past. But you lifted my life from the pit, Yahweh my God.” (Jonah 2,7)

This is why Jesus spoke of Jonah as a “sign” (Matthew 12,40-41). This sign was and remains misunderstood by many, in particular by the majority of the Jews, who will be judged by the men of Nineveh -who will condemn them- for not having believed in Jesus as the Messiah! Because the Ninevites believed in Jonah, less important than Jesus (Matthew 12,41). This judgement is a fatal blow to all fanatics.

Micah

Micah is from the South Judaean country, “from Moresheth” in the South of Hebron. He prophesied “during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah” (Micah 1,1). A simple villager, he is mentally similar to Amos, a simple shepherd. He is a contemporary of Isaiah. Like Amos, he denounced the unrestrained luxury of those who “seize the fields that they covet, who take over houses as well…” (Micah 2,1-2)

He denounced the impiety of the Israelites and prophesied the ruin of Samaria and Judah: “I mean to make Samaria a ruin… For there is no healing for the blow that Yahweh strikes; it reaches into Judah, it knocks at the very door of my people, reaches even into Jerusalem.” (Micah 1,6-9) He predicts the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (Micah 3,12) as well as the deportation (Micah 4,10): “Because of this, since the fault is yours, Zion will become plowland, Jerusalem a heap of rubble, and the mountain of the Temple a wooded height (Micah 3,12) … To Babylon you must go” (Micah 4,10).

Micah comforts the Jews by the Messiah-King who will “bring them together like sheep in the fold… their king will go on in front of them” (Micah 2,12-13). This king will be born in Bethlehem: “But you, (Bethlehem) Ephrata, the least of the clans of Judah, out of you will be born for me the one who is to rule over Israel; his origin go back to the distant past, to the days of eternity” (Micah 5,1). This prophecy has been achieved in Jesus, born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2,6 / John 7,42). Retain this important prophecy well, especially as it reveals the eternal origin of the Messiah (compare with his holy names: Isaiah 9,5).

Micah still comforts the Jews by the restoration after the ruin. But this restoration was once again understood from the nationalist point of view: “The mountain of the Temple of Yahweh will be put on top of the mountains… The peoples will stream to it… to you shall be given back your former sovereignty, and royal power over the House of Israel.” (Micah 4,1-8). Likewise, the Messiah is only seen as the nationalist king who “from then on will extend his power to the ends of the land… He will deliver us from Assyria should it invade our country” (Micah 5,2-5).

Micah had a great influence. The Jews remember his prophecies several centuries after him, as Jeremiah testifies (Jeremiah 26,18) regarding the prophecy of Micah on the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (Micah 3,12).

Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk

These 3 prophets must be studied together as they are contemporaries. They lived the same difficult period which preceded the fall of Nineveh (in 612 BC), and were animated by the same hope, of seeing the national restoration of Israel after the high hopes of Nineveh’s fall. Now, after this fall, there was total despair with the crushing defeat of Megiddo and king Josiah’s death, who incarnated the hopes of the nationalist Jews.

Historically, Zephaniah is older than Nahum. I will thus introduce him before the two other prophets, contrary to his place in the Bible.

Zephaniah

Zephaniah prophesies under Josiah, so in between 640 and 609 BC (year of Josiah’s death in Megiddo). Josiah ascended to the throne at a very young age (he was only 8 years old in 640 BC: 2 Kings 22,1). He thus had not yet undertaken his religious reforms and the clergy was corrupt. Zephaniah thus rises against the ministers of worship and announces the destruction of Judah. This destruction is the “Day of Yahweh” which is “near, and coming with all speed”, and will be a “day of distress and agony…” (Zephaniah 1,14-18).

Josiah was influenced by Zephaniah. He undertook his reforms to avoid the worst for the nation. But, like the prophetess Huldah had predicted at this time, the divine punishment was inevitable (2 Kings 22,14-20).

After this punishment, a humble and small “remnant” will survive, which will turn back to God (Zephaniah 3,12). It is through this remnant that the “restoration” predicted by the prophets will be done. But Zephaniah continued to believe that this restoration was nationalist (Zephaniah 3,19-20).

Zephaniah prophesied not only against Judah, but against Assyria too, and predicted the fall of Nineveh: “God will make Nineveh a waste” (Zephaniah 2,13-15). By predicting the end of Assyria and the ruin of Judah, Zephaniah indirectly proclaims the coming of the Babylonian empire which, at his time, was reinforcing itself more and more.

Nahum

He prophesies a few years after Zephaniah. The danger for Nineveh becomes clearer with the increase of the Babylonian power. Nahum breaks out against Nineveh a very short time before its fall: “A destroyer (Nebupolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar) advances against you… The gates that give on the River (Tigris) are opened, in the palace all is panic (of Nineveh, the Babylonians had already crossed the Tigris to reach Nineveh) … Nineveh is like a pool whose waters are draining away (Nahum 2,2-9) … ‘Nineveh is a ruin!’” (Nahum 3,7)

Exalted on the prospect of Assyrian defeat, Israel’s enemies, Nahum sees nothing but salvation for Judah and its restoration. He is overcome by the hope of the (national) restoration: “See… ‘Peace!’ (for Judah, by the destruction of Nineveh) … (Nahum 2,1) … Yes, Yahweh is restoring the vineyard of Jacob” (Nahum 2,3). This hope did not last very long because the Jews’ defeat at Megiddo in 609 BC swiftly followed Nineveh’s in 612 BC. Thus, the hope of salvation ceded its place to disarray. Jeremiah says a few years later regarding this subject: “We were hoping for peace—no good came of it! For the moment of healing—nothing but terror!” (Jeremiah 8,15 and 14,19).

However, the prophecy of the restoration is not in vain if it is spiritually understood, according to the divine intention: in Jesus.

Habakkuk

He prophesies after the fall of Nineveh. The danger for the Israelis now comes from the “Chaldaeans” (Babylonians): “For now I am stirring up the Chaldaeans… to seize the homes of others.” (Habakkuk 1,6)

Habakkuk resumes Micah’s threats against Jerusalem in a veiled manner: “Trouble is coming to the man who builds a town with blood and founds a city (Jerusalem) on crime.” (Habakkuk 2,12 / Micah 3,10) It is the proclamation of punishment by the Babylonian invasion.

Haggai and Zechariah

These two prophets are to be seen together because they worked together for the rebuilding of the Temple after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezra 5,1).

Haggai

The two chapters of Haggai are consecrated to the rebuilding of the Temple. Haggai encourages Zerubbabel and Joshua to build this sanctuary: “… the word of Yahweh was addressed through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, high commissioner of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest… Go to the hill country (of the Temple), fetch wood (for construction), and rebuild the House (Temple)” (Haggai 1,1-8).

The second Temple was completed around the year 515 BC. It was not as luxurious as the first and the elderly cried with the nostalgic memory of the first scintillating Temple of “glory” (Ezra 3,12). Haggai consoles them and promises a Temple more marvelous than the first: “Who is there left among you that saw this Temple in its former glory? And how does it look to you now? Does it seem nothing to you? But take courage now… The new glory of this Temple is going to surpass the old, says Yahweh Sabaoth…” (Haggai 2,3-9) It was not so since this Temple was destroyed by Titus in 70 BC… is Haggai an authentic prophet?!

Haggai and all the community understood this “glory” materially, believing in the gathering of wealth from all non-Jews. Indeed, Haggai makes the Lord say: “I will shake all the nations and the treasures of all the nations shall flow in, and I will fill this Temple with glory, says Yahweh Sabaoth. Mine is the silver, mine the gold!” (Haggai 2,7-8) It is difficult to believe that the Lord demanded all this material wealth for the coffers of the State of Israel! Such was certainly not the intention of God who always insists on the spiritual glory of the spiritual Temple, which is found in the souls of believers, and not money and gold. This spiritual glory infinitely exceeds the mediocre and false material glory of Solomon’s Temple. It is of this Jesus speaks of in saying: “Think of the flowers growing in the fields…I assure you that not even Solomon (reputed for his taste for luxury) in all his regalia was robed like one of these.” (Matthew 6,28-29)

Before the invasion, the prophets predicted the punishment. During the exile, they spoke of consolation, and, in return to Palestine, they pushed for the national restoration. At the time of Haggai and Zechariah, the national hope was based on Zerubbabel, the descendent of king David. He was the High-Commissioner. The community hoped he that would restore the kingdom of Israel. He was believed to be the announced Messiah and Haggai, “inspired”, says to him: “I will take you Zerubbabel… -it is Yahweh who speaks- and make you like a signet ring. For I have chosen you” (Haggai 2,23). This divine choice did not mean that Zerubbabel was the Messiah, but that the Messiah comes from his descendants (Matthew 1,12-13).

Zechariah

Zechariah pushed the people to rebuild the Temple (Zechariah 1,16). He had 8 visions of which the two most important are:

  1. The “measurement” of Jerusalem: to test the hearts so to restore the community with the true believers: Zechariah 2,5-9 (Compare with Revelation 11,1 and 21,15).
  2. The “two Olive-Trees” (“the two Anointed ones” who build the Temple: Zechariah 4,1-10. Compare with Revelation 11,4).

Zechariah proclaimed an important prophecy on the Messiah, “humble and riding on a donkey”, and not on a chariot of war, who “will banish chariots and horses” of war (Zechariah 9,9-10). It is an innovation in the Jewish warlike mentality. This prophecy is accomplished with Jesus, the humble Messiah par excellence, who entered Jerusalem on a donkey (Matthew 21,1-5 and 11,29).

Malachi

This book derives its name from the word “Malachi”, which means “my Angel”. This name is derived from the fact that the author prophesies the near advent of the Messiah called “the Angel -malach- of the Covenant” (Malachi 3,1). Malachi (My Angel) is thus an alias and the author, unknown, writes after the return from exile and the rebuilding of the Temple, around 450 BC.

Like the other prophets did before him, Malachi denounces the impiety of the priests and the vanity in their worship, declaring the covenant of God with Levi destroyed, the tribe which produces the priests: “And now, priests, this warning is for you… I will send the curse on you and curse your very blessing… I am going to paralyze your arm and throw dung in your face—the dung from your very solemnities—and sweep you away with it… But you, you have strayed from the way… You have destroyed the covenant of Levi” (Malachi 2,1-8. See the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31,31-32).

Remind yourself that David had prophesied the establishment, by the Messiah, of a priesthood different from that of Levi, a priesthood “of the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110,4). This priesthood was instituted by Jesus; it is the only priesthood pleasing to God (Hebrews 7,11-19).

The new point with Malachi is the revelation of a precursor sent to prepare the Coming of the Messiah: “Look, I am going to send my messenger (a precursor) to prepare a way before me. And the Lord you are seeking will suddenly enter his Temple; and the Angel of the Covenant (the Messiah) whom you are longing for, yes, he is coming” (Malachi 3,1).

This precursory messenger of Christ is “Elijah”: “Know that I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before My Day comes, that great and terrible Day” (Malachi 3,23). Jesus explained that it was of John the Baptist (Matthew 17,10-13), who has come, not as a reincarnation of Elijah, but in the same “spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1,17), as I have already explained.

This prophecy of the Angel (Malachi), the forerunner of the Messiah, is specific to Malachi. No other prophet speaks of it. This is why it is the most salient point of this book and gave it its name: Malachi.

Here ends the study of the books of the Old Testament, a covenant become obsolete, as you have noted, and necessitates a reform. This was fulfilled by Jesus who inaugurated the times of the spiritual and universal restoration which we still live today. Because, as Paul points out, the material rules of the Old Covenant “are rules about outward life (the body), connected with food and drink and washing at various times, intended to be in force only until it should be time to reform them.” (Hebrews 9,10) We will now study the books which present to us this marvelous and vivifying New Covenant in Jesus, the Messiah.