Today we will look at a fresco of the Prophet Malachi, painted in 1546 at the Stavronikita Monastery on Mount Athos:
First, let’s look at the name inscription:
At left we see these Greek letters joined in a decorative rather than logical abbreviation:
And that of course means “Prophet.”
On the right side we see his name:
Now on to his scroll text. As you will recall, there are three basic kinds of scroll texts used for Prophets. A straight biblical quotation (often just an incomplete excerpt), a biblical quotation with an introductory phrase, and finally a text that is neither of those. Malachi’s scroll is the first kind — a straight biblical quotation:
It is taken from Malachi 3:19 (KJV numbering, 4:1 Septuagint numbering):
… ἰδοὺ ἡμέρα Κυρίου ἔρχεται καιομένη ὡς κλίβανος καὶ φλέξει αὐτούς …
… idou hemera Kyriou erkhetai kaiomene hos klibanos kai phlexei autous
“… behold, the day of the Lord is coming, burning like an oven, and it shall consume them ….”
Well isn’t that cheerful? Did it inspire you and brighten your day? Good old biblical doom and gloom. The Bible was always predicting death and destruction, and even the end of the world. And regarding that, Jesus supposedly said this in Revelation 22:12:
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Quickly? Well, that was some 2,000 years ago, so obviously that prediction did not work out. Jesus never came back — something many fundamentalistic Christian groups studiously ignore as they still wait for a “Second Coming.” But if we look at that quote in Greek, we can at least learn something from it other than a major failed prophecy:
Ἰδοὺ ἔρχομαι ταχύ, καὶ ὁ μισθός μου μετ’ ἐμοῦ, ἀποδοῦναι ἑκάστῳ ὡς τὸ ἔργον.
Idou erkhomai takhu, kai ho misthos mou met’ emou, apodounai hekasto hos to ergon.
Remember the word ΙΔΟΥ/ἰδοὺ/idou, meaning “behold,” from Malachi’s scroll — because it comes up a lot in biblical texts on scrolls. And you saw it in the failed “Second Coming” prediction in Revelation 22:12 as well. And did you notice in that Revelation quote another word similar to one on Malachi’s scroll? It is erkhomai /”I come” — and on the Malachi scroll it is in the third person: erkhetai /”He/she/it comes.”
By now you should also know well the word KYRIOY/Κυρίου/Kyriou on Malachi’s scroll — the “of” form of ΚΥΡΙΟC/Kyrios — “Lord.” And so Kyriou means “of the Lord.” We often find that in scroll texts as well.
Thus endeth the lesson for the day. Have a snack and a nice cup of something warm.