Between Malachi and Matthew, four hundred years passed in the Holy Land for which we have no prophetic record. Much happened during this period that affects our understanding of the New Testament, so it is important to be familiar with at least the major events that occurred in this intertestamental period.
The 400-year period between the Old Testament and New Testament is called the Intertestamental Period about which we know a great deal from extra-biblical sources. This period was violent, with many upheavals that affected religious beliefs.
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes. And yet, some wonder if He was an angry God in the Old Testament and a “nice” God in the New Testament.
The Biblical authors want us to see that God’s anger is always a response to human betrayal and evil, and it’s expressed through handing humans over to the logical consequences of their decisions. In other words, He lets us have what we insisted that we want, in spite of His warnings that it would harm us. God’s anger is expressed by giving humans what they want, or at least, what they’ve chosen, since we decided that we didn’t want His graciously offered kind input in our decision making.
He addresses the priests because they ought to be leaders in piety to the rest of the people, but instead, they are rather the foremost in “despising His name.” 4 The priests have failed in the purpose and their responsibility yet again.