What Is the History of Malachi?


Quick Answer

Malachi is a prophet who wrote the final book of the Old Testament in or around the year 430 B.C. Around this time, the Jewish people became apathetic and disillusioned; mixed marriages and divorce were common occurrences. Malachi's testament promised the arrival of a savior.

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Full Answer

The only historical information known about Malachi comes from the testament that he wrote, in which he prophesied the arrival of a messenger who would prepare the way for the coming of the savior. The first three chapters of Malachi's testament identify the sins of the Jewish people at the time, which include neglecting the sacred, not giving tithes and offering imperfect sacrifices. The fourth chapter of Malachi's testament addresses a day of judgment in which God sets sinners ablaze with holy anger while giving hope to the faithful through the Book of Remembrance.

Malachi's testament promises the arrival of Elijah, a messenger identified as John the Baptist in the New Testament, who paves the way for the messiah, later identified as Jesus Christ. The key characters in Malachi's testament are himself and the priests.

Some Biblical scholars argue that Malachi is the title of the testament, rather than the name of its author. The name "Malachi" comes from a Greek Septuagint, where the book's title is "Malacias," a transliteration of a Hebrew word that means "messenger."

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