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Malachi's Rhetorical Questions

THE BOOK OF MALACHI

The Book of Malachi is a delightful book and humorous. It is largely book of rhetorical questions. Think of it as kind of like 2 persons arguing. One says: "Why did you throw a rock at my window?" And the other replies, "Why do you play your 1000 watt stereo at night?"

Yet this is not an exactly correct characterization as in Malachi there are 3 parties :
(1) the Lord (Jehovah),
(2) Israel,
(3) Malachi the prophet.

The 2 chief persons uttering rhetorical questions at each other are the Lord and the people of Israel. It is like Israel scoffing at the Lord with unbelieving rhetorical questions. It is like the Lord accusing Israel of sin, and Israel answering, "Who? Me?"

When Israel says things like, "Wherein have You loved us?" and "Why?" Think of a spoiled kid protesting to his parents, as when a kid is told he can't go outside at play without a coat on in the snow, and the kid responds,
"Why-ay-ay?"

Below are the questions listed, with Jehovah's (and Malachi's) questions in capital letters. Pronouns refering to the Lord are capitalized. If an asterisk ( * ) follows a word, the asterisk indicates that the word is plural in the original (e.g., "you*" might stand for "ye.")

The purpose of this presentation is to whet your interest in the Book of Malachi so that you will go and read it and understand it
better. (Along those same lines, note that the Book of Malachi ends with a prophecy of the second coming of Elijah.)


The Rhetorical Questions of Malachi

Wherein have You loved us? ( 1:2 )

WAS NOT ESAU JACOB’S BROTHER? ( 1:2 )

IF THEN I AM A FATHER, WHERE IS MY HONOR?
AND IF I AM A MASTER, WHERE IS MY FEAR? ( 1:6 )

Wherein have we despised Your name? ( 1:6 )

Wherein have we polluted You? ( 1:7 )

AND WHEN YOU* OFFER THE LAME AND SICK, IT IS NO EVIL!
PRESENT IT NOW TO YOUR GOVERNOR;
WILL HE ACCEPT YOUR PERSON? ( 1:8 )

AND NOW I PRAY YOU*, ENTREAT THE FAVOR OF GOD THAT HE MAY BE GRACIOUS UNTO US; THIS HAS BEEN BY YOUR MEANS;
WILL HE ACCEPT ANY OF YOUR* PERSONS? (1:9)

THUS YOU* BRING THE OFFERING;
SHOULD I ACCEPT THIS AT YOUR* HAND? (1:13)

DO NOT WE HAVE ALL ONE FATHER?
HAS NOT ONE GOD CREATED US?
WHY DO WE DEAL TREACHEROUSLY EVERY MAN AGAINST HIS BROTHER, PROFANING THE COVENANT OF OUR FATHERS? (2:10)

Why? ( 2:14 ) (older translation, "Wherefore?" )


AND DID HE NOT MAKE ONE, ALTHOUGH HE HAD THE RESIDUE OF THE SPIRIT?
AND WHY ONE? (2:15 )

Wherein have we wearied Him? (2:17 )

where is the God of justice? (2:17 )

BUT WHO CAN ABIDE THE DAY OF HIS COMING,
AND WHO SHALL STAND WHEN HE APPEARS? ( 3:2 )

Wherein shall we return? ( 3:7 )

WILL A MAN ROB GOD? ( 3:8 )

Wherein have we robbed thee? ( 3: 8 )

What have we spoken against You? ( 3: 13 )

what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked mournfully before Jehovah of hosts? ( 3:14 )