Trapp S Complete Commentary - Malachi (John Trapp)

Trapp S Complete Commentary - Malachi (John Trapp)

《Trapp ’s Complete Commentary - Malachi》(John Trapp)


John Trapp, (5 June 1601, Croome D'Abitot - 16 October 1669, Weston-on-Avon), was an English Anglican Bible commentator. His large five-volume commentary is still read today and is known for its pithy statements and quotable prose. His volumes are quoted frequently by other religious writers, including Charles Spurgeon (1834 -1892), Ruth Graham, the daughter of Ruth Bell Graham, said that John Trapp, along with C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald, was one of her mother's three favorite sources for quotations.

Trapp studied at the Free School in Worcester and then at Christ Church, Oxford (B.A., 1622; M.A., 1624). He became usher of the free school of Stratford-upon-Avon in 1622 and its headmaster in 1624, and was made preacher at Luddington, near Stratford, before becoming vicar of Weston-on-Avon in Gloucestershire. He sided with parliament in the English Civil War and was arrested for a short time. He took the covenant of 1643 and acted as chaplain to the parliamentary soldiers in Stratford for two years. He served as rector of Welford-on-Avon in Gloucestershire between 1646 and 1660 and again as vicar of Weston from 1660 until his death in 1669.

Quotes from John Trapp:

Be careful what books you read, for as water tastes of the soil it runs through, so does the soul taste of the authors that a man reads. – John Trapp
He who rides to be crowned will not mind a rainy day. – John Trapp
Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy – John Trapp

00 Introduction

Book Overview - Malachi

The Prophet. His name means "Messenger of the Lord." or "My Messenger". He was connected with the reform movement of Nehemiah and Ezra and condemned the same sins which they condemned. He must, therefore, have lived about 100 years after Haggai and Zechariah, or about 430-420 B. C. He was the last of the Old Testament inspired prophets.

The Condition of the Time. The people had been restored to Jerusalem and the temple and walls rebuilt. They had become sensual and selfish and had grown careless and neglectful of their duty. Their interpretation of the glowing prophecies of the exilic and pre-exilic prophets had led them to expect to realize the Messianic kingdom immediately upon their return. They were, therefore, discouraged and grew skeptical (2:17) because of the inequalities of life seen everywhere. This doubt of divine justice had caused them to neglect vital religion and true piety had given place to mere formality. They had not relapsed into idolatry but a spirit of worldliness had crept in and they were guilty of many vices such as we see today in professedly Christian communities.

The Prophecy. The purpose of this prophecy was to rebuke the people for departing from the worship of the law of God, to call the people back to Jehovah and to revive their national spirit. There are in it: (1) Unsparing denunciations of social evils and of the people of Israel. (2) Severe rebukes for the indifference and hypocrisy of the priests. (3) Prophecies of the coming of the Messiah and the characteristics and manner of his coming. (4) Prophecies concerning the forerunner of the Messiah.


Introduction: Jehovah's love of Israel. 1:1-5. This is seen in the contrast between Israeli and Egypt.

I. Israel's Lack of Love of God, 1:6-2:16. It is proved.

1. By their polluted offerings, 1:6 end.

2. By the sins of the priests. 2:1-9.

3. By their heathen marriages and by their divorces, 2:10-16.

II. God Will Come and Judge His People, 2:17-4:6 end.

1. His messenger will separate the righteous from the wicked, 2:17- 4:6.

2. This is seen in the effect of their withholding or paying tithes. 3:7-12.

3. Faithful services will be rewarded. 3:13-4:6 end.

For Study and Discussion. (1) Make a list of the particular sins rebuked. (2) Make a list of all the different things said about the Messiah and his mission and also that of the forerunner. (3) Analyze and study each of the seven controversies. 1:2, 7; 2:13, 14, 17; 3:7, 8, 14. (4) Compare the future destinies of the righteous and wicked as revealed in this book, making a list of all that is said of each. (5) Make a list of all the promises of the book.

01 Chapter 1

Verse 1

Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

Ver. 1. The burden] That is, the burdenous prophecy (as Tremellius renders it): a burden, as, 1. Enjoined and imposed upon the prophet to utter, to cry aloud and not spare, to lift up his voice as a trumpet, &c., straining every vein in his heart to do it; declaiming lustily against sin and sinners, and proclaiming hell-fire for them in case they amend not. This is a business of some burden, onus ipsis etiam Angelis tremendum. This was typified in the staffrings that were made to continue upon the ark; the Kohathites’ shoulders felt wherefore. If God had not helped those Levites they could never have borne the ark, 1 Chronicles 15:26. St Paul was very sensible of the ministerial burden rolling upon him daily, 2 Corinthians 11:28. And Latimer leaped when lighted of his bishopric. 2. As burdening the people with their sins, and breathing out threatenings for the same; for sin (how lightly soever accounted of) hales hell at the heels of it, and procures Divine vengeance, which is a burden unsupportable. It brake the angels’ backs, and made the Son of God groan piteously then when he "bare our sins in his body on the tree," 1 Peter 2:24. His soul was heavy therewith even to death; and had he not had the better shoulders, had not God laid help on one that was mighty (even the mighty strong God, as he is styled, Isaiah 6:6), he had fainted and failed under his burden. David complains that his sins were gone over his head, and, like a sore burden, were too heavy for him to bear, Psalms 38:4. That which comforted him was, that no sooner he had said Peccavi, I have sinned, but the prophet Nathan said, Transtulit Deus peccatum tuum,2 Samuel 12:13, God hath translated thy sin upon Christ, hath caused thy sin to pass over to him, and (as it were) by a writ of removal, hath cast thy burden upon his shoulders. And this incomparable mercy David afterwards celebrateth, Psalms 32:4-5 "For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me"; the guilt of sin and sense of wrath quelled him and killed him almost; for his natural moisture was turned into drought of summer; he was turned into a very skeleton, or a bag of bones, a bottle of smoke, woefully wanzed he was, and wasted. But for remedy, "I acknowledged my sin unto thee," I fled by faith to the true scape goat, Christ Jesus, on whom was laid as a burden the iniquity of us all, Isaiah 53:6, Romans 5:8, and thou presently forgavest the iniquity of my sin, that is, the guilt of it, that till then lay like a load upon my conscience, and, as an obligation, bound me over to condign punishment. Cain, for want of this comfort, ran roaring up and down, my sin, that is, my punishment "is greater than I can bear," Genesis 4:13. And a far better man than Cain (even holy Job, with whom God was but in jest, as it were) cries out that his calamity was "heavier than the sand of the sea," Job 6:3, and that "yet his stroke was heavier than his groaning," Job 23:2. Those that have ever felt the masery of a laden conscience can tell what an evil and bitter thing sin is, Jeremiah 2:19. Those that now run away with it, and make as light of it as Samson did of the gate of Gaza, shall one day groan out, woe and alas, when God shall set himself to load them with tortures in hell who do now load him with their sins, and weary him out with their iniquities, Isaiah 43:24. For prevention, oh that they would be persuaded to believe the prophets, that their souls might prosper; to be sensible of sin’s burden, that Christ might ease them; to take upon them his burden, which is onus sine onere, and would be no more burden to them than the wings are to the bird, whereby he is borne aloft; that they would imitate porters, who being called and offered money to bear a burden, will poise it and weigh it in their hands first, which when they see they are not able to stand under, no gain will entice them to undertake it. Do we provoke the Lord to anger? are we stronger than he? Is it not a fearful thing to fall into the punishing hands of the living God? Hebrews 10:31. Is the wrath of a king as the roaring of a lion, as the messengers of death? surely they that tremble not in hearing shall be crushed in pieces in feeling, as that martyr (Bradford) said, and let all those scoffers that make children’s play of God’s dreadful menaces, (as St Peter’s word εμπαικται, 2 Peter 3:3, importeth), that, leviathan-like, esteem God’s iron as straw, Job 41:27; that read his prophetic burdens as they do the old stories of foreign wars, or as they behold the wounds and blood in picture or piece of arras, (a) which never makes them smart or fear; let all these, I say, read and ruminate that flaming place, Jeremiah 23:33; Jeremiah 23:37, and let them know, that if they belong to God he will cripple their iron sinews by the sense of their many and massy or bony sins, Amos 5:12. As if otherwise, he will fall upon them with his full weight, and grind them to powder, Matthew 21:24. Cavete; cavebitis autem si pavebitis. Beware, you shall beware if you are terrified.

To Israel] The two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, with those few of the ten tribes that returned among them from the Babylonish captivity: These, though we never find them again going a whoring after idols, the sin that they had paid so dear for, and had now bought their wit, yet forgetful of former both beatings and benefits, as children are, they soon returned to their old flagitious practices of polygamy, blasphemy, sacrilege, defilement of divine worship, unlawful marriages; and so had lost in a manner the fruit of their sufferings, putting God to his old complaint, Why should ye be smitten any more, &c., and causing him to sigh out, as even sick of them, "Ah, sinful nation," "Reprobate silver shall men call them," Isaiah 1:4, Jeremiah 6:30.

By Malachi] Heb. By the hand of Malachi, i.e. by his mouth and ministry. Hand is put for mouth by a catachresis; (b) because the hand is the instrument of instruments, as saith the philosopher, οργανον οργανων. See the like Exodus 9:35, Numbers 4:37; Numbers 4:45, Isaiah 8:11. One expositor noteth here, that this expression, by the hand, is used to teach us that prophets and ministers must preach not with their tongues only, but with their hands too; lest they be found in number of those Pharisees that say, but do not, that bind heavy burdens, and hard to be borne, upon other men’s shoulders, but they themselves touch them not with one of their fingers, Matthew 23:3-4. Let our hands also preach as well as our tongues, ne dico factis deficientibus erubescant, as Tertullian speaketh, lest talking by the talent and working by the ounce, our hands give our tongues the lie.

By Malachi] i.e. Mine angel, or, an angelic man. Not a heavenly angel, as Origen held; nor as told and taught by an angel how to deliver and deport himself in his office; like as when the Bathcol, or voice from heaven, came to Christ, John 12:28, the people that stood by and heard it said that it thundered, others said, an angel spake to him, John 12:29. But either he was so called by his parents at his birth and circumcision (as Angelus Politianus and others), or else so surnamed by the good people of those times; as whose disposition, communication, conversation, countenance, and whole carriage were angelic. Chrysostom, for like cause, calleth Paul Angelum terrestrem, an earthly angel. And the author to the Hebrews, speaking of those faithful martyrs that lived and suffered soon after Malachi’s time, he saith, "Of whom the world was not worthy," Hebrews 11:38, meaning that they were fitter to be set as angels in heaven, to be fixed in the region of happiness, to shine full fair upon the celestial shelf (as that martyr said), than to abide here among sinners. Chrysostom, in his 55th Homily upon Matthew, calleth certain religious men of his time angels, for their sanctimony and celestial conversation. And Dr Taylor, martyr, blessed God that ever he came in company with that angel of God, John Bradford.

Verse 2

Malachi 1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? [Was] not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

Ver. 2. I have loved you, saith the Lord] Thou hast loved us (might they reply) while we were willing and obedient. Thou lovest them that love thee, Proverbs 8:17 "and showeth mercy to thousands of them that love thee, and keep thy commandments," Exodus 20:6; but now "thou hast utterly rejected us: thou art very wroth against us," Lamentations 5:22. Nay, saith God, I do love you, so Tremellius renders this text: I am Jehovah, "I change not," Malachi 3:6. I do rest in my love, and will seek no further, Zephaniah 3:17. Surely "Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of hosts: though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel," Jeremiah 51:5. Thus it was before the captivity. But how after? See Zechariah 1:17. The Lord had professed before that he had been sore displeased with their fathers, Zechariah 1:2, and it appears, Zechariah 1:3-4, they were no better than their fathers; all which notwithstanding, see a sweet promise, Zechariah 1:17 "Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad, and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem." There are four "yets" in the text, and all very gracious ones; to show that the fulness of sin in us doth not abate the fulness of love in God towards his people. And the same in effect is thankfully acknowledged by those holy Levites at their solemn fast, held much about the time of our prophet Malachi, Nehemiah, where they make a catalogue of the many fruits and expressions of God’s love to themselves and their fathers. Besides extraordinary favours not a few, he gave them good laws, Nehemiah 9:13, good sabbaths, Nehemiah 9:14, his good spirit to instruct them, Nehemiah 9:20. He forsook them not when they dealt proudly against him, Nehemiah 9:16-17, but crowned them with outward comforts, Nehemiah 9:21; Nehemiah 9:25, afflicted them when they provoked him, Nehemiah 9:26-27, sent them saviours when they cried to him, Nehemiah 9:27, after often revolts was often entreated, Nehemiah 9:28, withheld his worst and consuming judgments for a long time, Nehemiah 9:30-31. And was there not love in all this? Might not God well say, I have loved you? Ribera thinks there is an aposiopesis (a) in the words, as if God would have said more; but very grief breaks off his speech, out of a deep sense of their detestable ingratitude. David hath such an abrupt expression, Psalms 116:1, I love, because the Lord hath heard my voice. Such a pang, such a passion he felt, that he was not able to say, I love the Lord, but I love, and so breaks off abruptly. The like whereunto may here be conceived of God; who cannot endure to have his love lost, his grace undervalued, as it was by these obstreperous questionists, who put him to his proof, as those did Jeremiah 2:25.

Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?] Their recent captivity and calamity so stuck still in their stomachs, that they could not see wherein he had showed them any love. But had they considered Daniel’s weeks they might have known that (besides their free election, all blessings flowing therefrom, as Daniel 9:3-5), for their seventy years’ captivity, they had seven seventies of years granted them afterwards for the comfortable enjoyment of their own country. Sed ingrato quod donatur, deperditur, But for ingratitude which was forgiven, he is utterly destroyed, saith Seneca. And Amare non redamantem est amoris impendia perdere, saith Jerome. All is lost that is laid out upon an unthankful people, who devour God’s best blessings as brute beasts their prey, haunch them up and swallow them, as swine do swill; bury them, as the barren earth doth the seed; use them as homely as Rachel did her father’s gods, which she laid among the litter, and sat upon; yea, fighting against God with his own weapons (mercies, I mean), as Jehu did against Jehoram with his own messengers, as David did against Goliath with his own sword, as Benhadad against Ahab with that life that he had given him; as if God had hired them to be wicked, &c.

Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?] Did they not both tumble in a belly? were they not both dug out of the same pit, hewn out of the same rock? Isaiah 51:1; and yet, as the Great Turk and his brethren, born of the same parents, the eldest is destined to a diadem, the rest to a halter, so here Esau, though the elder and heir, was rejected, at least he was less loved (for so the word hated is to be taken, Genesis 29:31, Luke 14:20, Matthew 10:37). Jacob, though the younger and weaker (for Esau was born a manly child, born with a beard, as some think, and was therefore called Esau, that is, Factus et perfectus pilis, a man already, rather than a babe), yet was God’s beloved one. And so were his posterity too the people of God’s choice, above the Edomites; who were now left in captivity at Babylon, when as the Jews were returned into their own country; yea, for the Jews’ sakes and as a testimony of God’s love to them, were these Edomites still held captives, and their land irreparably ruined because they showed themselves merciless and bloody in the day of Jerusalem’s calamity, Obadiah 1:10-11, Psalms 137:7. God had charged the Israelites, saying, "Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother," Deuteronomy 23:7; but as Esau began betime to persecute Jacob, bristling at him, and bruising him in their mother’s womb, Genesis 25:22, so his posterity were bitter enemies to the Church, joying in her misery, and joining with her enemies, wherefore thus saith the Lord God, "I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it," Ezekiel 25:13-14.