The people had returned from Babylon to Judah. Malachi renews their faith and hope. He motivates them to live the covenant.
The book is named for its author.
The English name “Malachi” is from the Hebrew word is malakee. It might be a shortened version of malakeeya.
Malachi is a prophet. Nothing is known of his family line. He is not mentioned by name anywhere else in the Bible.
Malachi ministered in the fifth century BC.
It was after Cyrus issued the decree in 538 BC which permitted some Jewish people to return to Judah from exile in Babylon.
Malachi’s reference to a Persian governor in Malachi 1:8 shows that the book was written after 538 BC.
Most scholars agree that the Book of Malachi was written around 450-430 BC.
Malachi’s message is similar to that of other prophets: covenant blessing requires covenant faithfulness.
On the one hand, obeying the Law is rewarded with blessing in the land of promise.
On the other hand, disobeying the Law brought a curse on the people and eventually exile.
After their exile in Babylon, people returned to Judah. They were distant from the Law and unfaithful and discouraged.
Malachi points to the past, present, and future dealings of the LORD God with Israel. He aims to renew their perspective, reestablish their hope, and motivate them to proper covenant faithfulness.
The First Oracle: Respond to God’s love
The Second Oracle: Honor the LORD God
The Third Oracle: Be Faithful
The Fourth Oracle: Hope in God
The Fifth Oracle: Tithe
The Sixth Oracle: Fear God
Malachi 2:16. The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. (NIV translation)
Malachi 3:10. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have enough room for it. (NIV translation)
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.