According to Jehovah’s Witnesses who are these two messengers in Malachi 3:1?

Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the Lord of hosts." - Malachi 3:1

The NWT of Malachi 3:1 says,

Look! I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me. And suddenly there will come to His temple the [true] Lord, whom you people are seeking, and the messenger of the covenant in whom you are delighting. Look! He will certainly come, Jehovah of armies has said."

It is clear that the first messenger is John the Baptist who will clear the way of the Lord God (that's who the "Me" is in the verse) and Mark 1:1-4 confirms who the messenger is. "Behold, I send My messenger before your face, Who will prepare Your way; verse 3, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make read the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight."

I would like to know if the "true" Lord (which the NWT states) that comes to His temple and is identified as the Lord God Almighty the same being as the messenger of the covenant?

  • 1
    Why two and not one ?
    – user46876
    Jun 11, 2020 at 10:32
  • Can you explain with what relevance you connect this passage with the JWs?
    – curiousdannii
    Jun 11, 2020 at 11:20
  • @ Kris Well thank you Kris. How about giving a Biblical answer?
    – Mr. Bond
    Jun 11, 2020 at 15:46
  • Related christianity.stackexchange.com/q/47902/23657
    – Kris
    Jun 27, 2020 at 1:42

1 Answer 1


Well you have asked two different questions here.

  1. Who are the two messengers?

  2. Is the True Lord and the messenger of the covenant the same entity?

The verse in Malachi 3:1 mentions 3 different beings.

There is the 1st messenger who clears up the way which in the first century. This was John the Baptizer who prepared the Jewish people for the coming of the Christ.

Then we have two more entities,namely, the True Lord and the Messenger of the covenant. These two are not the same individual according to our understanding.

“The true Lord” is Jehovah God, while the “messenger of the covenant” is Jesus Christ.

As you no doubt well know the word angel means messenger. As you are also aware we teach that in his prehuman existence and post resurrection heavenly existence God’s Son is known by the name Michael.

The term Archangel means chief angel or messenger. Thus it is fitting that the messenger of the covenant would be none other than God’s Son.

The temple belongs to Jehovah as the verse makes clear:

suddenly there will come to His temple the [true] Lord,

That is person (1)in the sentence.

Then the verse goes on:

and the messenger of the covenant in whom you are delighting.

This is person 2 in the sentence. The messenger is the one sent forth to cleanse the temple and as John 13:16 says:

I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.

And who sends the message?

Malachi 3:1 concludes:

Jehovah of armies has said.

The initial fulfillment of the prophecy took place when Jesus cleansed the temple. (Mark 11:15-17)

Here is where our doctrine conflicts with the premise of your question.

In the view of those who believe that Jesus is God Almighty the verse is held out as proof that Jesus as the messenger of the covenant and the true Lord who comes to his temple are the same entity since it was Jesus who cleansed the temple, driving out the money changers etc...

However the true Lord (YHWH) himself said that no one could see him and yet live. Jesus was seen by many as he cleansed the temple of the riffraff. These people did not die. Still it was the will of the true Lord YHWH that was carried out on that day. Jehovah came to His temple representatively or by proxy. Jesus (the messenger) came on YHWH’s behalf.

So question 1) the two messengers are John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.

Question 2) the Messenger of the covenant and The True Lord are not the same being.

  • The first messenger is John the Baptist which is proved at Mark 1:1-4, Matt 3:3, Luke 3:4, John 1:3. All four references say "clear the way of the Lord" who is identified as the Lord God. Isaiah 40:3, Make smooth in the desert a highway for OUR GOD, not "a god." This prophecy is fulfilled by the Messiah/Jesus Christ. He is the one who arrives and John the Baptist recognizes Him at John 1:15-16. Isaiah 44:24, "Thus says the Lord, your redeemer." Galatians 3:13, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law." Colossians 2:9, "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form."
    – Mr. Bond
    Jun 12, 2020 at 0:02
  • 1
    If the [true] Lord is Jehovah as you have indicated, then the verse declares that the [true] Lord, aka Jehovah is the one who will suddenly come to His temple. If Jesus is the one who came and cleansed the temple, then these two are one and the same. This makes sense since the question of 2:17 is answered in 3:1. The messenger, which is definitively John the Baptist, (says Jehovah) will prepare the way before me, meaning Jehovah not another messenger. Jun 12, 2020 at 12:43
  • @MikeBorden did the Jewish people see the one who came and cleansed the temple. Most certainly they did. Yet we know that yhwh declares no one can see my face and live. Thus jws teach that the true Lord (Jehovah) coming to his temple was by proxy. When Jesus cleansed the temple it was the true Lord’s will being accomplished through his Son.
    – Kris
    Jun 12, 2020 at 13:08
  • @Kris Or anybody for that matter. Am I aloud to answer or address comments people make in the comments section in the body of my initial thread? Thank You!
    – Mr. Bond
    Jun 12, 2020 at 20:25
  • @Mr.Bond options are to use comments to ask fir clarification on the answer. Or ask another question.debating who is right or wrong on the subject is not allowed.
    – Kris
    Jun 12, 2020 at 20:34

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