Malachi’s concept of a <i>Torah</i>-compliant community (Ml 3:22 [MT]) and its associated implications
KeywordsOld Testament Exegesis
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AbstractThis article focuses on Malachi’s distinctive claims that guarantee a well-ordered community, namely the validity and feasibility of a <em>Torah</em>-compliant community. Since <em>Torah</em> compliance is a fundamental core of Israel’s life, in the book of Malachi, Yahweh’s <em>Torah</em> functions as the reliable and invariable authority for the community well-being as a whole. Community well-being as pictured by Malachi is created not only by Yahweh but also as the consequent contemplation and action of community. Malachi notes clearly that it is the sins of the community as a whole that renders it inconceivable that Yahweh’s blessings should attend to them as they are now, and Malachi demands certain definite and substantial actions as preconditions to the manifestation of the desired expectations. To him the secret of creating and maintaining a healthy, viable community and living as people in covenant relationship with Yahweh, is by ‘remembering’ (upholding and practicing) Yahweh’s <em>Torah</em>. Accordingly, Malachi enjoined his audience to remember the <em> Torah</em> of Moses, which constitutes the fundamental dimensions of their relationship with Yahweh. This article is thus an attempt to understand Malachi’s concept of a <em>Torah</em>-compliant community and its associated blessings of happiness and shalom.