Isaiah 40:3

Hebrew Bible

1 “Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. 2 “Speak kindly to Jerusalem and tell her that her time of warfare is over, that her punishment is completed. For the Lord has made her pay double for all her sins.” 3 A voice cries out, “In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord; build a level road through the rift valley for our God. 4 Every valley must be elevated and every mountain and hill leveled. The rough terrain will become a level plain, the rugged landscape a wide valley. 5 The splendor of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it at the same time. For the Lord has decreed it.”

Malachi 3:1

Hebrew Bible

1 “Behold*, I am about to send my messenger, who will clear the way before me. Indeed, the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his temple, and the messenger of the covenant, whom you long for, is certainly coming,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 2 Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can keep standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire, like a launderer’s soap. 3 He will act like a refiner and purifier of silver and will cleanse the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will offer the Lord a proper offering.

 Notes and References

"... According to Sommer, a cumulative case is required to demonstrate the presence of an allusion. This case must consist of evidence like the use of rare vocabulary clusters or the frequent repetition of particular ideas or themes which are clearly rooted in an older text ... This in turn is similar to Derek Bass’s criteria for allusions, though for him, “contextual awareness is the critical criterion for identifying, confirming, and analyzing quotation and allusion since two passages may share verbal parallels or other lexical links, yet contain no formal connection.” ... Do either Exodus 23:20 or Isaiah 40:3 meet these criteria in relation to Malachi 3:1? ... a similar contextual theme undergirds both Exodus 23:20 and Malachi 3:1. If Bass is right to claim that shared context is decisive in determining the presence of an allusion (and I think he is), then Malachi 3:1 probably does allude to Exodus 23:20 ... Malachi may be leading readers to understand “the voice” in Isaiah 40:3 in light of the messenger’s voice in Exodus 23:20. This may suggest that YHWH’s messenger would prepare the way for God’s coming (Malachi 3:1) through a kind of proclamation (Isaiah 40:3) which could only be ignored at the cost of divine judgment (Exodus 23:20). Thus, given the rare vocabulary cluster and the contextual similarities, readers should probably see an allusion to Isaiah 40:3 in Malachi 3:1 ..."

Blaylock, Richard M. My Messenger, the LORD, and the Messenger of the Covenant: Malachi 3:1 Revisited (pp. 69-95) The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 20.3, 2016

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