The contents of the book are comprised in four chapters. In the Hebrew text the third and fourth chapters (of the A.V.) form but one. The whole consists of three sections, preceded by an introduction (Mal. 1:1-5), in which the prophet reminds Israel of Jehovah's love to them. The first section (1:6-2:9) contains a stern rebuke addressed to the priests who had despised the name of Jehovah, and been leaders in a departure from his worship and from the covenant, and for their partiality in administering the law. In the second (2:9-16) the people are rebuked for their intermarriages with idolatrous heathen. In the third (2:17-4:6) he addresses the people as a whole, and warns them of the coming of the God of judgment, preceded by the advent of the Messiah. This book is frequently referred to in the New Testament (Matt. 11:10; 17:12; Mark 1:2; 9:11, 12; Luke 1:17; Rom. 9:13).