Malachi or Mal'achi was a prophet in the Bible, the Christian Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh.
He was the last of the minor prophets, and the writer of the Book of Malachi, the last book of the Christian edition Old Testament canon (Book of Malachi ), and is 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 inferred that he prophesied after Haggai and Zechariah (, ) and speculated that he delivered his prophecies about 420 BCE, after the second return of Nehemiah from Persia (Book of Nehemiah), or possibly before his return, comparing with ; with ).
In Rabbinic Judaism
Malachi is identified with Mordecai
by Rav Nachman
and with Ezra by Joshua b. Karcha (Meg. 15a). The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel to the words "By the hand of Malachi" (i. 1) gives the gloss "Whose name is called Ezra the scribe." According to Soṭah 48b, when Malachi died the Holy Spirit departed from Israel. According to the tractate
] Rosh Hashanah
19b, he was one of the three prophets concerning whom there are certain traditions with regard to the fixing of the Jewish calendar.
Early Christian writings
Jerome, in his preface to his commentary on Malachi, mentions that in his day the belief was current that Malachi was identical with Ezra ("Malachi Hebræi Esdram Existimant").
He also rejects and attributes to Origen the view that Malachi was an angel according to his name.
A tradition preserved in pseudo-Epiphanius (De Vitis Proph.) relates that Malachi was of the tribe of Zebulun, and was born after the Captivity. According to the same apocryphal story he died young, and was buried in his own country with his fathers.
On the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar
, his feast day is January 3
. He is commemorated with the other Minor prophets
in the Calendar of saints
of the Armenian Apostolic Church
on July 31
In contemporary Biblical criticism
According to the editors of the 1897 Easton's Bible Dictionary
, the name is not a "nomen proprium" and is assumed to be an abbreviation of ("messenger of Yhwh"), which conforms to the Μαλαχίας of the Septuagint and the "Malachias" of the Vulgate. The Septuagint superscription is ὲν χειρὶ ἀγγήλου αὐτοῦ, (by the hand of his messenger).