Any time humans in any culture consider primary ethical concepts, justice will be to the fore.
Much seems to hinge upon it whether human society is to function with any semblance of civil
order, security and harmony. When justice is pervasively trampled upon, the very fabric of
liveable society crumbles. The apprehension for justice is clearly reflected in almost all of the
Old Testament (OT). It is an important theological motif in the OT. This is found in such OT
literature as historical, legal, prophetic and wisdom writings. This evidence thus reveals that the
apprehension for the issue of justice was one of the many ways by which Israel’s multifaceted
social life was knit together throughout its various ancient historical developments. No aspect
of the life of Israel was excluded from this kind of apprehension for justice, and Yahweh was
understood to be actively involved in its entire phase. This article examines Malachi’s fourth
disputation in the light of the lawlessness alluded to in Malachi 2:17 and the corruption of
personal and civil morality in Malachi 3:5. In the discussions that follow, this article examines
the need for the justice of Yahweh; that is, Yahweh’s righting of past wrongs and the reversal
of sinful societal order. The purpose is to enact a communal ethic for those who generously
care for the neighbourhood and are firm in their devotion to Him, that is, God.
The article is based on research conducted by B.O.B.
(University of Pretoria) for his PhD thesis. A.G. (University
of Pretoria), co-author of the article, acted as supervisor for