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And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the sons, and the hearts of the sons to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.

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Then he (Elijah) will cause the hearts of fathers to once again be properly attuned to the needs of their sons, and he will cause the hearts of the sons to be properly respectful of the authority and righteous example of their fathers. These changes are necessary, for if these changes are not made, I will have to once again strike the whole earth with a curse!


1: “a curse”

This would have reminded every Jew of the only other world-wide curse of God upon men in history, the curse of death spoken to Adam and Eve. So they would have known that this is serious business. They would also have known how serious God is about bringing His redemptive plan to fruition.

Some people lament the fact that the Old Testament ends with the word “curse” (in Hebrew and in English). However, I see it as a perfect set-up for the coming of the Messiah in the New Testament. In fact, only 17 verses into his written account of the life of Jesus, Luke (in Lk 1:17) partially quotes and partially edits this verse from Malachi. The Old Testament ends on a note of dreadful anticipation, hoping that God would do this important thing, or they would be in big trouble. The New Testament starts with the revelation that God did indeed do what He said He would do.