Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. — Malachi. Nothing is known of him apart from this prophecy.

2. DATE. — Probably about 430 B. C., during the time of the second visit of Nehemiah to Jerusalem.

3. PLACE. — Jerusalem.

4. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — At the time when certain evils had come to be practiced by the Jews, after the walls had been rebuilt by Nehemiah, who also sought to correct what Malachi reproves. The Jews had been restored from exile, but they were again departing from Jehovah.

5. LEADING TOPIC. — Reproof for complaining of God's lack of love; for violation of the law by the priests; for defrauding God; for intermarriage with the heathen; with the promise of the sudden coming of the Messiah preceded by Elijah.

6. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To rebuke the Jews for departing from the requirements of the law, which they had probably been induced to do through disappointment in their condition after their restoration to their land; and to give assurance that God's purpose in regard to his people would be realized, that the expected Messiah would surely be sent, and to induce them to be faithful in waiting for him.


(a) God's love for Jacob, Ch. 1:1-5.

(b) Violation of law by the priests, Ch. 1:6-2:9.

(c) Heathen marriage and divorce, Ch. 2:10-16.

(d) God coming to judge his people, Ch. 2:17-3:6.

(f) Offerings withheld from God, Ch. 3:7–12.

(g) Faithful services will be rewarded, Ch. 3:13–4:6.

8. POINTS OF ESPECIAL INTEREST. — God's love as a father; faithlessness of the priests; divorce for trivial reasons; a book of remembrance for them that feared the Lord; Elijah to come before Christ.

9. SPECIAL SINS CONDEMNED. — Polluted offerings by the priests, profanation of God's name, taking strange wives, sorcery, adultery, oppression, withholding offerings.

10. NATIONAL HOPES PRESENTED. — Promise of plenty and prosperity on condition of fidelity; righteousness to prevail; Israel's heart to be turned to the Lord by Elijah.

11. MESSIANIC IDEAS. — A time when Jehovah would be honored among the nations; a time of righteousness; the expected Messiah to come suddenly; Elijah preceding to prepare the way.

12. RELATION TO OTHER O. T. BOOKS. — This has been called the “seal” of the prophets, being the last. It bids God's people be faithful in what was required of them, assuring them that the promises made would certainly be fulfilled. It sums up reproofs and promises given by the long line of prophets, and exhorts to fidelity and patience that Israel's mission might not fail.

13. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — The formation of the Old Testament canon; the extent to which prophecy has been fulfilled.