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Malachi (; ) is the traditional author of the
Book of Malachi The Book of Malachi (or Malachias; , ') is the last book of the Neviim contained in the Tanakh, canonically the last of the Twelve Minor Prophets. In the Christian ordering, the grouping of the Prophetic Books is the last section of the Old Testam ...
, the last book of the
Nevi'im Nevi'im (; he, נְבִיאִים ''Nəḇīʾīm'', "Prophets", literally "spokespersons") is the second major division of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the ...
(Prophets) section of the
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, ...

Tanakh
. According to the 1897
Easton's Bible Dictionary The ''Illustrated Bible Dictionary'', better known as ''Easton's Bible Dictionary'', is a reference work on topics related to the Christianity, Christian Bible, compiled by Matthew George Easton. The first edition was published in 1893, and a revi ...
, it is possible that Malachi is not a
proper name A proper noun is a noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (lingu ...
, but simply means "messenger".
Malachi
' at the
Easton's Bible Dictionary The ''Illustrated Bible Dictionary'', better known as ''Easton's Bible Dictionary'', is a reference work on topics related to the Christianity, Christian Bible, compiled by Matthew George Easton. The first edition was published in 1893, and a revi ...
The editors of the 1906
Jewish Encyclopedia ''The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day'' is an English-language encyclopedia containing over 15,000 articles on the ...
implied that he prophesied after
Haggai Haggai (; he, חַגַּי – ''Ḥaggay''; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common su ...

Haggai
and Zechariah and speculated that he delivered his prophecies about 420 BC, after the second return of
Nehemiah Nehemiah is the central figure of the Book of Nehemiah, which describes his work in rebuilding Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. He was governor of Yehud Medinata, Persian Judea under Artaxerxes I of Persia (465–424 BC). The name i ...

Nehemiah
from Persia, or possibly before his return. No allusion is made to him by
Ezra Ezra (; he, עֶזְרָא, '; fl. 480–440 BCE), also called Ezra the Scribe (, ') and Ezra the Priest in the Book of Ezra The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scripture ...

Ezra
, however, and he does not directly mention the
restoration of the Second Temple
restoration of the Second Temple
.


Name

Because the name ''Malachi'' does not occur elsewhere in the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites ...

Hebrew Bible
, some scholars doubt whether it is intended to be the personal name of the prophet. The form ''mal'akhi'' (literally "my ''
malakh In Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultura ...
''") signifies "my messenger"; it occurs in Malachi 3:1 (compare to Malachi 2:7, but this form would hardly be appropriate as a proper name without some additional syllable such as
Yah Yah may refer to: * Jah Jah or Yah ( he, , ''Yāh'') is a short form of (YHWH), the four letters that form the , : , which the ancient used. The conventional Christian English pronunciation of ''Jah'' is , even though the letter here translit ...
, whence ''mal'akhiah'', i.e. "messenger of Yah". In the
Book of Haggai A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of its characteristics. The conc ...
,
Haggai Haggai (; he, חַגַּי – ''Ḥaggay''; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common su ...

Haggai
is designated the "messenger of the ." The
non-canonical Canonical may refer to: Science and technology * Canonical form, a natural unique representation of an object, or a preferred notation for some object Mathematics * Canonical coordinates, sets of coordinates that can be used to describe a physic ...
superscriptions prefixed to the book, in both the Septuagint and the
Vulgate The Vulgate (; also called , ) is a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, ...
, warrant the supposition that Malachi's full name ended with the syllable -yah. The Septuagint translates the last clause of Malachi 1:1, "by the hand of his messenger", and the
Targum A targum ( arc, תרגום 'interpretation, translation, version') was an originally spoken translation of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic la ...

Targum
reads, "by the hand of my angel, whose name is called
Ezra the scribe Ezra (; he, עֶזְרָא, '; fl. 480–440 BCE), also called Ezra the Scribe (, ') and Ezra the Priest in the Book of Ezra, was a Jewish scribe (''sofer'') and priest (''kohen''). In Ancient Greek, Greco-Latin Ezra is called Esdras ( grc-gre, ...
".


Works

The Jews of his day ascribed the Book of Malachi to
Ezra Ezra (; he, עֶזְרָא, '; fl. 480–440 BCE), also called Ezra the Scribe (, ') and Ezra the Priest in the Book of Ezra The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scripture ...

Ezra
, but if Ezra's name was originally associated with the book, it would hardly have been dropped by the collectors of the prophetic canon who lived only a century or two after Ezra's time. Certain traditions ascribe the book to
Zerubbabel According to the biblical narrative, Zerubbabel, ''Zorobabel''; la, Zorobabel; AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Wo ...

Zerubbabel
and Nehemiah; others to Malachi, whom they designate as a
Levite A Levite (or Levi) (, ) is a Jewish male who claims Patrilineality, patrilineal descent from the Tribe of Levi. The Tribe of Levi descended from Levi, the third son of Jacob (Bible), Jacob and Leah. The surname ''Halevi'', which consists of the ...
and a member of the
Great AssemblyAccording to Jewish tradition the Men of the Great Assembly ( he, כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה) or Anshei Knesset HaGedolah (, "The Men of the Great Assembly"), also known as the Great Synagogue, or ''Synod'', was an assembly of 120 scrib ...
. Certain modern scholars, however, on the basis of the similarity of the title declare it to be anonymous. G.G. Cameron suggests that the termination of the word "Malachi" is adjectival, and equivalent to the Latin ''angelicus'', signifying "one charged with a message or mission" (a missionary). The term would thus be an official title, and the thought would not be unsuitable to one whose message closed the prophetical canon of the Old Testament.


Date

Opinions vary as to the prophet's exact date, but nearly all scholars agree that Malachi prophesied during the Persian period, and after the reconstruction and dedication of the
Second Temple The Second Temple (, ), also known in its later years as Herod's Temple, was the reconstructed Jewish holy temple that stood on the Temple Mount The Temple Mount (Hebrew language, Hebrew: , ; "Mount of the House f God, i.e. the Temple in ...

Second Temple
in 516 BC. More specifically, Malachi probably lived and labored during the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. The abuses which Malachi mentions in his writings correspond so exactly with those which Nehemiah found on his second visit to Jerusalem in 432 BC that it seems reasonably certain that he prophesied concurrently with Nehemiah or shortly after. According to W. Gunther Plaut,


References

* * * * L. Vianès: Malachie. ''La Bible d'Alexandrie'', vol. xxiii/12, Éditions du Cerf, Paris, 2011.


External links

* *
Prophet Malachi
Orthodox
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icon
and
synaxarion Synaxarion or Synexarion (plurals Synaxaria, Synexaria; el, Συναξάριον, from συνάγειν, ''synagein'', "to bring together"; cf. etymology of ''synaxis'' and ''synagogue''; Latin language, Latin: ''Synaxarium'', ''Synexarium''; co ...
{{Authority control Levites