Friday, 22 July 2016

Does God strike the earth with a curse?

What is so significant about the last three verses of the book of Malachi?

Is God warning his people that unless they obey His laws and statutes and commandments, He would bring destruction to the earth?

Or does He really say something else?

The Message

Interesting that Malachi is not the name of a person. The word means straight-out: "My Messenger". The author of the book is thought to be Ezra.

But even more interestingly the book of Malachi contains proportionally 85% of dialogue directly from God, that is God speaking to His people. That is more than any other book in the Bible. Also, the prophetic word is directed to one specific nation, Israel (read chapter one verse one). And in the last chapter the word is directly from God the Father to His Son, Jesus.

Even if you read this scripture as God's message to the people of Israel, it is still mind-blowing wow.

The verse

So, let's look at those last verses in the book preceding Matthew in our Bibles ...
Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.Mal 4:4-6
Let me remind you that the original text in the Hebrew is without punctuation. And let me remind you that the context in which God is saying this is very important ... it gives us a clue on how to read these ending verses. I also submit to you that translation has perverted what is actually being spoken here in the Hebrew. See for yourself.

The context. 

God is giving a prophetic word (starting from Chapter 1 and 2) to the people of Israel informing them that even from the very start they have never been able to honor Him by keeping His commands; the priests twisted the commands to suit their own lusts and greed; His covenant of life that was joint to (Levi) Him was corrupted; people were diminished as unimportant; YHVH was betrayed in favour of other gods; and they twisted good for bad and bad for good. In Chapter 3 God says how He would send His Messenger, Jesus, and how he would refine all, yet also destroy (judge) the evil (satan); how even Jacob will not be consumed; how He would bless and restore all onto Him. Chapter 4 talks about the great and awesome day of YHVH whence these things will happen. When? When Jesus died, defeated death and arose victoriously.


With that in mind, let me re-translate taking the same liberty and freedom to use punctuation as did the Bible translators of old ... and taking the same liberty to translate Hebrew words into more appropriate English. Here goes:

Keep in mind the law given to Moses, God's servant, and all the commands given to him at Horeb, including the statutes and ordinances. With this in mind, now, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the the great and awesome day of God [remember Jesus spoke about this having been fulfilled in Mat 17:11-13] [the conversation now turns to the One of Whom that day is all about, Jesus saying] And he shall turn the hearts of the father [singular used - thus pointing to God the Father] to the children [all people], and the hearts of the children [all people] to their father [singular used - thus pointing to God the Father] ... [and then this sentence which I have translated with the better English words for the original Hebrew. See how the whole sentence suddenly fits in with the rest of the message here as well as the Gospel ...]

lest I come H935 and smite H5221 the earth H776 with a curse H2764.

Rather: "I enter (introduce Myself to this world) to strike the earth (the wilderness or land or this world, this desolation) with a devotion or something perforated (Jesus) [BDB Definition: a thing devoted, thing dedicated, ban, devotion, a net, thing perforated, something utterly destroyed, (appointed to) utter destruction].

When curse is translated ... incorrectly.

The word used for curse here is not the usual m'ëräh or arar, but chërem, meaning: a thing devoted, thing dedicated, ban, devotion, a net, thing perforated, something utterly destroyed, (appointed to) utter destruction - referring to Jesus!

That last sentence has absolutely nothing to do with God striking the earth with a curse because of the disobedient.

It is the Good News, the Gospel.

Instead, it is a beautiful summary of His Message regarding His Messenger Who tabernackled amongst man to conquer death so that man can enjoy everlasting life, freedom and fellowship with Him!

A lovely promise. The very last sentence in the so-called old testament of our Bibles shows forth what would happen 400 years later when Messiah Yah'shua is born for that very purpose - to destroy death!

Check it out for yourself.

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This changes the traditional law-picture somewhat, doesn't it?

What did Jesus come to destroy?



By fulfilling the law completely and thereby not even death could have a hold on Him!
"Who is he that condemneth? It is the Messiah that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of יהוה, who also maketh intercession for us." Rom 8:34
It can thus be declared:
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to יהוה, which giveth us the victory through our Master Yahushua the Messiah." 1Co 15:55-57
Remember the law ...?

Well, now you have Jesus!

Now you have life!

Now you have Grace!
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