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Tuesday, 13 July 2021 18:03

Who is the promised messenger of Malachi 3:1?

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Many Muslim and non-Muslim scholars argue that the messenger in Malachi 3:1 fits Prophet Muhammad more than anyone else and it is one of the prophecies of Prophet Muhammad in the Bible. While others denied and argued this Biblical Prophecy fits other figures such as Jesus. In this article, I will go through all these candidates and evaluate the best possible interpretation.

Introduction to Malachi 3:1

The last book of the Canonical Jewish Code of the Bible bears the name of “Malachi.” It was written at about the beginning of the fourth century BCE when the people of Israel were also tired of Yahweh; and used to say: “The Table of the Lord (Yahweh) is an abomination, and His meal is contemptible” (Malachi 1:3).

Prophet Malachi Prophecy was then issued, so he said that God says:

Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts.”. (Malachi 3:1 kjv\ESV)

This is a well-known Messianic prophecy. All Christians will tell us that the first messenger mentioned in the text is St. John Baptist, and the second messenger is Jesus Christ (PBUH)!

This was a direct effect of the quotation in the New Testament of this verse to mean that (See, for example, Mark 1:2, Luke 7:27, Matthew 11:10). While the main characteristic of Matthew is to show and prove the fulfillment of some predictions in the Old Testament concerning nearly every event in the life of Jesus Christ. He is very careless to guard himself against contradictions and less scrupulous in his quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures.

But with a close look at Malachi 3:1 in Hebrew, we will see that this understanding is very far from the truth.

Malachi 3:1 Hebrew | What Does Malachi 3:1 Mean?

The original text tells us that Yahweh Sabaoth, i.e. God of Hosts, is the speaker and the believers are the people addressed, as can be readily seen in the words “whom ye are seeking … whom ye desire.” While the writer of the Gospels changed it to be as if Jesus is one who the messenger prepares the way to.

The traditional idea says that the verse is talking about one messenger, not two, and to translate it as the Hebrew letter (הָ) does not mean in that context “then or even,” (as translated in KJV) it rather means “and,” meaning God is still talking about the same person. You can get this meaning by reading more trustworthy translations such as English Standard Version, New American Standard Bible, NASB, English Revised Version, etc.

The Hebrew phrase also mentions key Hebrew words here:

  • upinna וּפִנָּה־ (prepare or pave).
  • derek דֶ֖רֶךְ (the way, or road), but as God has not a physical road, it metaphorically means “worship and religion” when used with God (as used throughout the Psalms and the Prophets).
  • The word “before me [God] לְפָנָ֑י (ləp̄ā·nāy)”, does not mean literally “before” his coming, it rather means the surface or the face. (Strong's 6440)

Therefore, the text could logically be understood the Messenger “will put straight and clear the worship or the religion.” We should open our eyes of wisdom to see that he is not dispatched to prepare the way before another Messenger called “Adon אָד֣וֹן” and the “Messenger of the Promise,” but he is commissioned to found and establish a straight, safe, and good Religion or rood to God. He is commissioned to remove all the obstacles in the way between God and his creatures.

The main signs of this Messenger are:

  • He was to come suddenly to his temple;
  • Construct a new Path, or complete and clear religion, that connects people with their Creator with no absolute mediator, no priest, saint, or sacrament.

Does it speak of John the Baptist and Jesus?

The Churches have always believed that the “Messenger of the way” is John Baptist and not Jesus. However, John Baptist (PBUH) was not the Messenger foretold by Malachi. In addition, the accounts given about him by the four Evangelists are very contradictory, but the one thing that they together agree on is that he prepared no way at all; for he was not accredited with a sacred scripture: he neither founded a religion nor reformed the old one.

He only used to stay in the desert and baptize the crowds in the waters and occupy himself with half a dozen disciples.  Baptism could not be considered a “religion” or “way,” it is only a small thing that most people were practicing at that time.

He also could not be Jesus that the Church means i.e. the second person in the divine trinity. If Jesus were the Yahweh Sabaoth who made this prophecy, then who was the other Yahweh Sabaoth before whose face the way was to be prepared?

Who is the promised messenger of Malachi 3:1?

As Malachi existed in the fourth century BCE, the two mean signs of the messenger mentioned above were only done by an apostle whose name is Muhammad!

  • He was to come suddenly to the temple (it was reported he miraculously travel to the Temple in Jerusalem during what is knowing as al-Israa);
  • He Constructed a complementary Path or complete and clear religion that connects people with their Creator with no absolute mediator (unlike the other corrupted religions).

So, who can be then the promised messenger of Malachi 3:1 other than this glorious man who is the great benefactor of humanity, and this valiant Commander who rendered noble services in the cause of God and His religion other than Muhammad (PBUH)?

Conclusion | Who will prepare the way: Jesus or Muhammad?

In light of the Hebrew text, we concluded that the text prophecies the coming of only one messenger, not two, and the text could logically be understood as: the Messenger will put straight and clear the way of worship to God. This could be done by the new complementary religion. The “Messenger of the Promise,” is commissioned to found and establish a straight, safe, and good Religion or rood to God. He is commissioned to remove all the obstacles in the way between God and his creatures.

We could not find any suitable figure to accomplish this prophecy except Prophet Muhammad, not Jesus not John the Baptist.

For a full and expanded discussion of this prophecy and many of the prophecies of Prophet Muhammad in the Bible, I would urge you to read the book written by the former Roman Catholic priest, Professor David Benjamin (later Abd al-Ahad Dawood) under the title: "Muhammad in the Torah and the Gospel". Click here and check it now!

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