Malachi’s final message from God:
The end of the world is fast approaching, when I will burn all bad people and save all the righteous people who followed the laws that I told Moses several thousand years ago. So get ready! But don’t panic! You’ll know the day is nigh because I will send Elijah back to get you all ready!
And so ends (most Protestant versions of ) the Old Testaments. Some commentary and observations gleaned from this most careful read through. The most common denunciations that showed up again and again in most of the books (aside from cheating on god with other gods) were 1) Don’t oppress poor people, especially widows and fatherless children; 2) Don’t oppress “sojourners” (i.e. immigrants); and don’t lie, cheat, or bamboozle for your own gain. Sure there was lots of genocide, war, rape, rampant misogyny, insane family dramas, two long-ass books of obscure and often contradictory laws, and wacky prophets who we would totally medicate when/if they weren’t free-range homeless men, but Israel/Judah’s most common sin (aside from cheating) was allowing the powerful to unjustly oppress the powerless and poor.
I’m travelling next week, but when I get back, I guess I will start the New Testament (still using the ESV translation). I might as well see this thing through!
Malachi told everyone another message from God:
Listen to this dude, cuz he’s my messenger. One day, y’all are going to get a surprise visit from me, and you ain’t gonna like it. I mean, no one can really live up to my standards, and you think y’all will live through my visit? I’m gonna purify all those shitty priests and their shitty offerings! I’m sick of you guys skimping on the good stuff! Where my tithes at? If you want good harvests, then you better pay up! I make it rain, yo!
Also, quit bitching about if evildoers prosper, then I’m not real. You don’t know my ways, yo! And I’m, like, omniscient and omnipotent and stuff. So just believe that justice will prevail, on some dimensional plane or other!
But wait, there’s more! When I come to town, I’m will destroy sorcerers, of course. But I also hate cheaters and liars, so I will destroy anyone who’s ever cheated on their spouse and any one who ever swore falsely–don’t swear to god unless you mean it, yo! I also hate the fact that rich humans are dicks to poor humans, so I will destroy shitty bosses who treat their workers bad and don’t pay them enough and anyone who mistreats or oppresses poor single women and their children. Also, y’all have been immigrants! People who mistreat immigrants are the worst, and they will feel my wrath, too.
So everyone was like, well since this Malachi dude says he’s speaking from God and is preparing the way for all this punishment, we better take him seriously! So they wrote all that he said down in a book so they could remember it and promised that they would do their best to please God from then on.
Malachi went to the priests and was all, God has this message for you:
You guys are shitty priests who don’t really believe in what you’re doing and because you do such a shitty job, I’m going to smear shit all over your faces and make sure your kids have shitty lives. I made the Levites my priests because Levi was such an awesome priest. His little finger would make a better priest than any on of you. You shame your ancestor. Also, it’s really shitty that so many of you divorced your first wives when they got old. I’m down for polygamy, but you gotta take care of the first wife, yo.
The priests were pretty pissy about this guy coming in and criticizing them, but Malachi was all, Look, we’ve all messed up. Our entire country cheated on God and got punished. God’s sick of hearing you complain about there being evil in the world and the rain falling on the just and unjust alike, yadda yadda yadda. Suck it up and do better!