Sunday School Bible Survey:      MALACHI

Theme: Last prophetical call before the "400 silent years."

Key verse: "Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?" (Malachi 3:7).

From the Scofield Study Bible:
MALACHI "my messenger," the last of the prophets to the restored remnant after the 70 years' captivity, probably prophesied in the time of confusion during Nehemiah's absence (Nehemiah 13:6) The burden of his message is, the love of Jehovah, the sins of the priests and of the people, and the day of the LORD. Malachi, like Zechariah, sees both advents and predicts two forerunners (Malachi 3:1; 4:5, 6). As a whole, Malachi gives the moral judgment of God on the remnant restored by his grace under Ezra and Nehemiah. He had established his house among them, but their worship was formal and insincere.

The book is in four natural divisions:

  1. The love of God for Israel (1:1-5)
  2. The sins of the priests rebuked (1:6—2:9)
  3. The sins of the people rebuked (2:10—3:18)
  4. The day of the LORD (4:1-6)


  1. Malachi's name means, "Messenger of Jehovah."
  2. We know practically nothing about his personal life.
  3. The Scofield Study Bible dates the book at 397 BC.
  4. Malachi is the last of the Old Testament prophets.
  5. His book is nearly 100 years later than Haggai and Zechariah. The temple had been completed, and sacrifices offered (1:7-10).
  6. Malachi describes three kinds of declension in Israel: moral, social, and religious.
  7. Morally, they were guilty of fraud and oppression. Socially, they were guilty of marrying unbelievers. Religiously, they were guilty of profanity and sacrilege.
  8. There were problems with the priests (1:6-8).
  9. There were problems with mixed marriages (2:10, 11).
  10. The people were not paying their tithes (3:8-10).
  11. "The formalism and skepticism of Malachi's day are seen in full bloom in the Phariseeism and Sadduceeism of the time of Christ" — John Phillips, Exploring the Scriptures.

OUTLINE (from J. Vernon McGee)

  1. The Love of God for Israel (1:1-5).
  2. The Priests Reproved for Profanity (1:6—2:9).
  3. The People Rebuked for Social Sins (2:10-17).
  4. The Prediction of the Two Messengers (3:1-6).
  5. The People Rebuked for Religious Sins (3:7-18).
  6. The Prediction of the Day of the Lord and the Sun of Righteousness Who Ushers It In (4).

These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.

—  Pastor James J. Barker  —