New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:1 my messenger. This prophecy is quoted in Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2; and Luke 7:27, as fulfilled in John the Baptist, over four hundred years later. John did, indeed, “prepare the way” for Christ with his preaching. In fact, some (possibly all) of Christ’s disciples were also John’s disciples first. A similar prophecy had previously been given by Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3-4).
3:1 come to his temple. The fact that the Lord would come to His temple (fulfilled when Christ cleansed the temple—John 2:13-16) is a clear revelation that Christ is God. This is also indicated by the fact that the Lord, who was speaking through Malachi, said that John would “prepare the way before me.”
3:1 messenger. It is interesting that Malachi, whose name means “my messenger,” speaks three times of God’s “messenger” (Malachi 2:7; 3:1; 3:1). Once he speaks of God’s priest, then of John the forerunner, last of Christ Himself.
3:2 day of his coming. The sudden coming of the Lord Jesus to cleanse His temple was a precursive type of His future coming to cleanse the world.
3:2 fullers’ soap. A chemical solution used in bleaching cloth along with stomping or beating.
3:8 tithes and offerings. This rebuke suggests that Malachi’s prophecies were given during the days of Nehemiah’s second stay in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 13:10-12).
3:10 into the storehouse. This verse, the text for innumerable stewardship sermons, actually applies in context only to the one treasury in the one house of God in Jerusalem. The New Testament contains many references to our stewardship responsibilities, involving more than mere tithing, but contains no references to this passage. The principle, of course, always applies. God’s people have the responsibility to support the work of God, rather than to heap luxuries on themselves (Haggai 1:4-11; II Corinthians 8:6-13; etc.).
3:16 book of remembrance. In heaven God keeps records of not just the actions of His people but even of their thoughts! This verse indicates His particular pleasure when His people truly fear the Lord and He occupies both their conversations and their inward thoughts, even (perhaps especially) when most of their contemporaries ignore or reject Him.
3:17 my jewels. The word translated “jewels” only this once is translated “peculiar treasure” three other times. The connotation is that of no ordinary jewels, but of certain very special treasures. To God, those who fear Him, and think on His name, and often speak to one another about Him, are very special people, as dear to Him as a faithful only son of a loving father.