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Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi: An Exegetical Commentary

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The books of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are particularly relevant and beneficial to modern Christians, for they can see in them the covenant faithfulness of God to His ancient people--a faithfulness exhibited in the coming of Jesus Christ--and they can take heart in the realization that the God who restored Israel long ago can also restore them in times of spiritual decline and personal tragedy. This exegetical commentary was written to confront the reader with the power and presence of the God of Israel and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


In a day of profound discouragement and misplaced priorities following the return of the Jews from Babylonian exile, the prophet Haggai sounded a clarion call of rebuke, exhortation, and encouragement to his contemporaries. They had begun to rebuild their own homes and businesses and to establish their statehood as a Jewish community but had been derelict in tending to the construction of the temple and making the Lord the central focus of all their hopes and dreams. The message of Haggai, so effective in shaking the Jews of 520 B.C. from their lethargy, has an abiding relevance for all who fail to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.


Whereas Haggai's vision encompassed, for the most part, his immediate, temporal situation, the range of his contemporary and colleague was much more expansive; for Zechariah not only shared Haggai’s burden about the inertia of the postexilic community, but by vision and dream saw the unfolding of Divine purpose for all of God's people and for all the ages to come. Rich in apocalyptic imagery and packed with messianic prediction and allusion, Zechariah's writings became a favorite of the New Testament evangelists and apostles. The glorious hope expounded by the prophet was viewed by them as being fulfilled in the saving work and witness of Jesus Christ. No Minor Prophet excels Zechariah in the clarity and triumph by which he looks to the culmination of God's program of redemption.


The burden of this, the last of the Old Testament prophets, was the glaring inconcinnity between the identity of the Jewish community as the people of God and the living out of all that this required of them. Theirs was not the problem of rebuilding the Temple and holy city, for that had long been done by Malachi's day; rather, it was the issue of holy living and holy service in the aftermath of all the external accomplishments. Malachi, though dead, yet speaks to the modern world about the need to bring performance into line with profession. His message, therefore, is current, especially in light of the coming of the One of whom the prophet so eloquently spoke.

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Top Highlights

“This is most significant because the crowning of the priest here must have regal implications.” (Page 173)

“It seems best, then, to adopt the interpretation that it is YHWH who has been pierced, if only in a figurative way.” (Page 281)

“The case to be argued here is that this oracle serves as a comment on and climax to the night visions as a whole” (Page 171)

“The verb used (בּוּז‎, bûz) here fundamentally means ‘to hold in contempt,’ that is, to view as unimportant.” (Page 344)

“Jacob survived despite the Babylonian conquest whereas Esau did not.” (Page 341)

  • Title: Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi: An Exegetical Commentary
  • Author: Eugene Merrill
  • Publisher: Biblical Studies Press
  • Publication Date: 2003
Eugene H. Merrill

Eugene Merrill (1934– ) is an Old Testament scholar who currently serves as distinguished professor of Old Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has also taught at Bob Jones University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Berkshire Christian College. Merrill served as the president of the Evangelical Theological Society in 2010 and has been involved in international Christian ministry in Europe, Asia, and the Near East.

Merrill attended Bob Jones University where he earned his BA, MA in Bible, and PhD in Old Testament interpretation. He also earned an MA in Jewish studies at New York University, MPhil and PhD in Middle East languages and culture at Columbia University, and completed research at Tyndale House in Cambridge.

Merrill has published several books and contributed to many collaborative projects. His works include An Historical Survey of the Old Testament, 2nd ed., Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel, 2nd ed., Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi: An Exegetical Commentary, and The New American Commentary: Deuteronomy.


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Print list price: $19.95
Save $1.96 (9%)