Malachi verse 4:2 is where it refers to the ‘Sun of Righteousness’ with healing in his wings: ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up [or ‘paw the ground’] as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked ...’.
Christians have long seen this phrase as a rather obscure, ancient prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ, but there is no reference to ‘Sun of Righteousness’ or even the English homophone ‘Son of Righteousness’ anywhere in the New Testament and no evidence of their use during the first century of Christianity. The Catholic New American Bible, unlike other major English Bibles, resists the Christian prophecy theory and uses the euphemism ‘its healing rays’ rather than the literal translation ‘healing in his wings’, thereby implying that the ‘sun of justice’ is merely the sun above. Since it does not attempt to explain why the sun would be referred to in the context of divine justice, this Bible’s attempt to deflect attention from the passage must be ignored. So Malachi was neither prophesying the birth of Jesus, nor talking about the physical sun helping to restore divine justice.
Or perhaps the reference to a winged Sun of Righteousness was simply a symbolic reference to the king of Israel or Judah. Throughout the ancient Middle East, the winged sun was a religious symbol that was sometimes associated with royalty. Fragments of an engraved bronze plaque from the 9th century BCE have been found at Tel Dan in northern Israel, depicting a figure with upraised arms standing next to a throne, under the royal symbol of the winged sun. And royal seals have been unearthed in Judah, showing a winged sun and inscribed with the king’s name in Hebrew. However, Malachi can not have been referring to either king, since this is most clearly a divine reference, and therefore the only reasonable meaning is the righteous sun god. The archaeological discovery of plaques and seals is evidence of sun god worship in Israel and Judah respectively (Keel and Uehlinger: Gods, Goddesses and Images of God in Ancient Israel) .
Malachi was telling the faithful that, with the sun god’s help, they will grow up as calves of the stall and will tread down the wicked. There are some further, but rather complex clues in the context of this verse that even more closely associate the ‘Sun of Righteousness’ with the sun god, but their explanation is complex.