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December 18

Saint of the day:

Prophet Malachi  

Prophet Malachi 's Story 

Malachi's name means "my messenger" or "my angel."  He prophesied in Judah after the reconstruction of the Temple, but before or during the rule of Ezra and Nehemiah.  He is not mentioned in other books of the Old Testament, but he is quoted in the New Testament (Matt 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 7:27; Rom 9:13).


In Malachi's time, the people had returned to the land but were becoming lax and disobedient in the practice of their faith.  The prophet reproved them for offering polluted sacrifices, for intermarrying with other people and for withholding their tithes from the Lord.  These were the same problems that Nehemiah had to address during his rule of Judah.  Malachi's prophecy probably encouraged the efforts of Ezra and Nehemiah to bring reform.


The Lord emphasizes his love for Israel at the beginning of the Book of Malachi, but then he challenges the people with a series of questions about their relationship with him.  First, he charges the priests with offering illegal sacrifices at the newly rebuilt Temple.  The Mosaic law prescribes that only clean animals without blemish be offered as sacrifices and the priests were disobeying (Lev 22:21-22).  Second, the Lord rebukes the priests for turning aside from the way and corrupting the covenant of Levi (Mal 2:8).  Third, he upbraids the men of Judah for marrying non-Jewish women and blames some for divorcing their Jewish wives in order to marry foreigners (2:11, 14).  Intermarriage with other peoples, an act of disobedience to the Law (Deut 7:3), was an important issue in the time of the Restoration under Ezra's spiritual leadership (Ezra 9-10).  Malachi then announces the messenger who will prepare the way of the Lord, purify the priests and bring the Lord's judgment against social injustice (Mal 3:1-5).  The Gospels recognize John the Baptist as this messenger (see above references and 1:17, 1:76).  Next, the prophet addresses the people's holding back of their tithes (3:8).  The Law mandated an annual tithe of produce, but the people were disobediently withholding the Lord's portion (Deut 14:22).


The people respond to the prophet's words by pledging their loyalty to the Lord and writing their names in a book (3:16).  In the last section, Malachi announces the Day of the Lord, a day of judgment for evildoers, but a day of healing for those who fear the name of the Lord (Mal 4:1-2).  The last couple verses announce that Elijah will come before the day of the Lord (4:5-6).  The Gospels again understand John the Baptist to fill this role (Matt 11:14, 17:12; Mark 9:13).


Malachi's message is in harmony with the other prophets, but some of his points may be surprising to us.  Most of the sins which the prophet brings up are basically ceremonial: impure sacrifices, intermarriage and tithe avoidance.  Yet the Lord views these acts as serious offenses against his covenant relationship with his people.  What seems trivial is in fact definitive for Judah's relationship with the Lord, revealing the heart of his people.


Malachi is the last of the prophets before the arrival of John the Baptist.  This book concludes the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets and the entire Old Testament canon.  It reminds us of God's love for us.  It reveals the importance of worshiping him correctly and it causes us to look forward to the "sun of righteousness" who will come with healing in his wings (4:2).  While Malachi reproves the people for their sins, his anticipation of the joy of redemption sounds a note of hope at the close of the Old Testament.












Mandelhörnchen (Chocolate-Dipped Marzipan Almond Horns)


  • 8 ounces marzipan

  • 1 cup blanched super finely ground almond meal

  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted

  • 1 egg white

  • 1/2 teaspoon quality almond extract

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 egg white for brushing

  • 1 cup sliced almonds


  1. Place the marzipan, ground almonds, powdered sugar, almond extract, fresh lemon juice, and egg white in a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor with the paddle attachment in place. Knead the mixture until it comes together in a thick and tacky, but overly sticky, dough. If it's too sticky add a little more ground almonds and/or sugar to it. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (This can be made days in advance.)

  2. When you're ready to make the almond horns, break the dough off into pieces and roll them into 1-inch balls. Then roll each ball into a small log, tapering it off so each end is a little thinner.

  3. Use a pastry brush to brush egg white all over the cookie dough.

  4. Roll each cookie into the slivered almonds. They don't have to be completely coated and keep in mind also that the ends will be dipped in chocolate. Bend each cookie into the shape of a crescent and place them on a lined cookie sheet about an inch and a half apart.

  5. The oven should be preheated to 350 degrees. Bake the marzipan almond horns on the middle shelf for 10-15 minutes or until the tips are just starting to turn golden. Remove and let them cool completely.

  6. Microwave some chocolate chips or chunks of chocolate until melted and then dip each end of the almond horns into the chocolate. Place the almond horns back on the cookie sheet or other surface to let the chocolate harden.

  7. Store in an airtight container for up to a couple of weeks.




Easy Homemade Marzipan or Almond Paste


  • 1 1/2 cups very finely ground blanched almond flour/meal  

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  •  1 1/2 cups Confectioner Sweetener

  • 2 teaspoons quality pure almond extract

  • 1 teaspoon quality food grade rose water

  • 1 egg white (vegan: use egg substitute 3+ tablespoons corn syrup


  1. Place the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor and pulse until combined and any lumps are broken up. Add the almond extract and rose water and pulse to combine. Add the egg white and process until a thick dough is formed. If the mass is still too wet and sticky, add more powdered sugar and ground almonds. Keep in mind that it will become firmer after it's been refrigerated.

  2. Turn the almond marzipan out onto a work surface and knead it a few times. Form it into a log, wrap it up in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

  3. Will keep for at least a month in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer. Bring to room temperature before using in any recipe.

  4. Makes about 12 ounces of marzipan or almond paste

Recipe Notes

* Egg white is what is traditionally used. If you're concerned about raw egg you can use pasteurized egg whites in the carton instead. If you absolutely must (though I don't recommend it), you can use a few tablespoons of corn syrup instead.
* Marzipan vs. Almond Paste - the difference: Almond paste is softer and is used in baked goods. Marzipan is firmer and is used in making candies/chocolates or as fondant for cakes. Marzipan also uses rose water. To adjust this recipe according to what you're using it for, follow this recipe as instructed for almond paste (I still include the rose water because it tastes amazing), or add an extra 1/4 cup or more of ground almonds/almond meal until you reach a firmer consistency (one that you can roll out with a rolling pin without it sticking).

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