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Chapter 3

The Messenger of the Covenant

(A)Now I am sending my messenger—
    he will prepare the way before me;[a]
And the lord whom you seek will come suddenly to his temple;
The messenger of the covenant whom you desire—
    see, he is coming! says the Lord of hosts.

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Footnotes

  1. 3:1 My messenger…before me: Mt 11:10 applies these words to John the Baptist; Mt 11:14 further identifies John as Elijah (see Mal 3:23). Some take God’s messenger in v. 1a to be a person distinct from “the lord” and “the messenger of the covenant” in v. 1b; others hold that they are one and the same person. Some consider “the lord” and “the messenger of the covenant” to be divine, while others hold that in the text’s literal sense he is a messianic earthly ruler.

    A voice proclaims:[a]
In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord!
    Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 40:3–5 A description of the return of the exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem (Zion). The language used here figuratively describes the way the exiles will take. The Lord leads them, so their way lies straight across the wilderness rather than along the well-watered routes usually followed from Mesopotamia to Israel. Mt 3:3 and gospel parallels adapt these verses to the witness of John the Baptizer to Jesus.

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