Old Testament Essays
On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919
BOLOJE, Blessing Onoriode and GROENEWALD, Alphonso. Malachi's eschatological Day of Yahweh: Its dual roles of cultic restoration and enactment of social justice (Mal 3:1-5; 3:16-4:6). Old testam. essays [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.1, pp.53-81. ISSN 2312-3621.
The theme of the Day of Yahweh is regarded as a central feature of the prophets' message to their contemporaries. It is the most striking and prominent theme in the Book of the Twelve. While Isaiah focuses on Zion, Jeremiah on the rhetoric of lament, Ezekiel on the Glory of Yahweh, so are the Minor Prophets on the theme of the Day of Yahweh. The Day of Yahweh as envisioned by Malachi is an eschatological day of judgement with a future day of renewal and restoration of the fortunes of those who fear the Lord. Malachi's vision for restoration includes a covenantal messenger, who will cleanse Yahweh's people and restore true worship and obedience to the ethical standards of the law thus giving room for a community of reverence who will enjoy righteousness and healing. Earlier Malachi had castigated the priests and people for their attitude and actions toward sacrifices and the altar. Now in the light of the lawlessness alluded to in 2:17, the corruption of the priesthood in 3:3, the inadequacy of worship in 3:4 and the corruption of personal and civil morality in 3:5, readers are introduced to three urgent issues: the need for messianic intervention, the need for the day of judgement and the need for social justice. In the discussions that follow, this article examines eschatological hope in the OT, the eschatological peculiarity of the discourse of Malachi's Day of Yahweh, the identity of Malachi's eschatological covenant messenger, the roles of the eschatological messenger: namely, cultic restoration and Yahweh 's righting of past wrongs and the reversal of sinful societal order in the overall context of the eschatological day of Yahweh.