Q. In Malachi 4:5-6 it says that the Lord will send Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers toward the children and the hearts of the children towards the fathers “lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Some believe that Elijah will be one of the two witnesses (most believe it’ll be someone holding the office of Elijah, not the prophet himself). The final promise in the OT and the final book in the NT seem to conflict. A promise of no curse before the great and dreadful day of the Lord…then the apocalypse…worse curse the earth has ever had. The Hebrew word for “earth” in Mal. 4:6 is “arets” (if I’m spelling it right) which means “land” not earth. Does Elijah’s second coming bring some respite for certain areas (“lands”)? Obviously Elijah’s message will not receive world-wide acceptance. Will the nations that reject his message receive a greater judgment than those who do? First there’s a mention of a “great and dreadful day of the Lord” then a promise of no curse…but no curse for who?
The concepts you have been exposed to have nothing to do with Bible history or prophecy. Here is what Jesus said about the application of Malachi 4:5-6:
10 “This is the one about whom it is written, ‘BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.’
11 “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.
13 “For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
According to Jesus, John the Baptist was the fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy. There will be NO future fulfillment. John the Baptist’s work was to turn the lost house of Israel back to God. His work was completed before Jesus began His ministry.
Malachi 4:6 says:
6 “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
John the Baptist was sent to the lost house of Israel. He had great success in his preaching and teaching, but the majority of the people in the land of Judea were not converted to the Lord, they did not believe in the Messiah when He came, but rejected him. Because the Jews rejected the Christ Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD, in fulfillment of the curse announced here. This was a sign of God’s judgment on the Jewish religion and the nation of the Jews as a whole.
There will be no future fulfillment’s of the prophecies in Malachi since Jesus CLEARLY reveals the application of these verses.