Malachi

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n. (Abbr. Mal. or Ml)
A book of the Bible.

[After MALACHI.]

The anonymous author of the biblical book of Malachi and the last of the Twelve (Minor) Prophets. The name comes from a Hebrew word meaning “my messenger.” The book consists of dialogues in question-and-answer form, in which the prophet defends the justice of God to a community doubtful because its expectations of salvation for Israel are unfulfilled. Malachi calls for faithfulness to God’s covenant and promises that the day of judgment will soon arrive. The book was probably written in the 5th century BC.

Last book of the Minor Prophets in the Prophets section of the Bible. Malachi may be the personal name of the prophetic author; on the other hand, the term may be derived from the Hebrew malakhi (my messenger), referring to the poet’s Divine mission (cf. Mal. 3:1), so that his given name would then be unknown. The Book of Malachi supplies no biographical data concerning the prophet. Some talmudic rabbis identified this last of the prophets with Ezra, maintaining, for example, that the evils against which Malachi preached are similar to those encountered by Ezra and Nehemiah. According to the Talmud (Meg. 15a), Malachi was a contemporary of Haggai and Zechariah, and all prophesied in the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia. Once these three died, the Talmud states, prophecy came to an end.

The Book of Malachi is divided into three chapters and contains 55 verses. (The next to last verse (“I will sent you Elijah …”) is repeated at the end in order not to have the book—and the entire prophetic section—end on a negative note.) According to modern scholars, the contents indicate that the book was written in the post-exilic period after the rebuilding of the Temple, probably in the time preceding the reforms that were finally instituted by Ezra and Nehemiah. Worthy of note is the book’s universalism: “For from where the sun rises to where it sets, My name is honored among the nations, and everywhere incense and pure oblation are offered to My name; for My name is honored among the nations—says the Lord of Hosts” (1:11). Malachi was the first to suggest an eschatological role for Elijah (3:23-24).

Possibly the personal name of the prophetic author of the last book of the Minor Prophets. It is also possible that the Hebrew malachi, which means “my messenger”, refers to the prophet’s divine mission (cf Mal 3:1) and that his given name is unknown. The Book of Malachi supplies no biographical details concerning the prophet. Hence the Talmudic rabbis, in accord with their tendency to identify less famous persons with their more familiar contemporaries, identified this last of the prophets with Ezra the scribe.

Concordance
Mal 1:1

Malachi, book of the Bible, the last book in the order of the Authorized Version and 12th of the books of the Minor Prophets. Its title Malachi is taken from the opening verse of chapter 3 and means “my messenger.” On internal evidence the book, a collection of prophetic oracles, is usually dated c.460 B.C., shortly before the reforms of Nehemiah and Ezra. After a protestation of God’s love for Israel, the prophet rebukes the priests for their negligence and the people for their foreign marriages. Finally, there is a prophecy of the coming Day of Judgment, anticipated by the appearance of a messenger and the reappearance of Elijah.

For the prophetic book, see Book of Malachi.

Malachi, Malachias or Mal’achi (“My Messenger”, see malakh) was a Jewish prophet in the Hebrew Bible.

He was the last of the prophets, a farmer’s son from Cunderdin. He had two brothers, Nathaniel and Josiah, and he was the writer of the Book of Malachi, the last book of the Christian edition Old Testament canon (Book of Malachi 4:4-6) and the last book of the Neviim (prophets) section in the Jewish Tanakh. No allusion is made to him by Ezra, however, and he does not directly mention the restoration of the temple. The editors of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia implied that he prophesied after Haggai and Zechariah (Malachi 1:10; Mal 3:1, Mal 3:10) and speculated that he delivered his prophecies about 420 BC, after the second return of Nehemiah from Persia (Book of Nehemiah 13:6), or possibly before his return, comparing Malachi 2:8 with Nehemiah 13:15; Malachi 2:10-16 with Nehemiah 13:23).

Contents

* 1 In contemporary Biblical criticism
* 2 See also
* 3 References
* 4 External links

In contemporary Biblical criticism

According to the editors of the 1897 Easton’s Bible Dictionary,[1] the name is not a “nomen proprium” and is assumed[not in citation given] to be an abbreviation of (“messenger of Yhwh”), which conforms to the of the Septuagint and the “Malachias” of the Vulgate. The Septuagint superscription is ? ?, (by the hand of his messenger).

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