Malachi-Historical Commentary on the Old Testament


It is not difficult to find excellent commentaries on the book of Malachi. What is really difficult is to find a commentary that really fits with you and your needs. Scholars are more prone to read exegetical and technical books, while pastors prefer expository commentaries. But, can both disciplines be combined in a single volume? The answer is yes, but there are few commentaries that combine both exegesis and exposition in a magnificent way.

Malachi (Snyman, 2015) is a volume published by Peeters Publishers and part of the series Historical Commentary of the Old Testament. Though this book is written from a scholar perspective, I anticipate pastors will find this commentary to be very helpful for their teaching and preaching ministries.

The author begins the commentary by addressing the indispensable points a historical commentary should address. The introduction is devoted to discuss the name, date, historical background, authorship, text (Masoretic Text), content and structure, theology, and the inclusion of Malachi as part of the Twelve Prophets. Snyman covers these issues in an elegant and concise way. He provides sufficient information in a way readers will have the feeling of being informed concerning necessary details.  At the same time, he does not go too far with secondary details. Especially remarkable are the points addressing the historical situation, the economic situation, the family situations, and the religious situation. The points Snyman addresses are very informative and explanatory.

As most of the scholars interpret today, Snyman argues in favor of a nonprophetic authorship; the author of the book of Malachi was not the prophet.  He elaborates his argument based on Malachi 1:1, where the prophet is mentioned in third person.

Regarding dates of the events recorded in the book of Malachi, Snyman suggests the date 460-450 B.C.E as the most probable historical date. He defends that date based on the internal evidences contained in the book itself.

The commentary section is fractioned in pericopes. Every pericope is at the same time divided in four sections: Translation; Bibliography; Essentials and Perspectives; Scholarly Exposition. As natural, the commentary section comprises the main body of the commentary.  Snyman elaborates from a scholar perspective. However, despite of the minimum use the author makes of Hebrew terms, this volume is very accessible for initiated Bible students, pastors, as well as scholars.

What I admire about this book is the ability of Snyman in writing an exegetical and scholarly commentary that is accessible for different publics. I cannot think of any weakness in this book as it accomplishes its purpose in an excellent and brilliant way. The price (US $81.00 or 60 EUR) may be a handicap for some readers. However, I would like to encourage you to consider the quality-price factor this book offers. You will not regret it.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s