1The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.Next Verse 2
Malachi (or Malachias; Hebrew: Mál'akhî) is the last book of the Neviim contained in the Tanakh, the last of the twelve minor prophets (canonically) and the final book of the Neviim. In the Christian ordering, the grouping of the Prophetic Books is the last section of the Old Testament, making Malachi the last book before the New Testament.
The book is commonly attributed to a prophet by the name of Malachi. Although the appellation Malachi has frequently been understood as a proper name, its Hebrew meaning is simply "My [i.e., God's] messenger" (or 'His messenger' in the Septuagint) and may not be the author's name at all. The sobriquet occurs in the superscription at 1:1 and in 3:1, although it is highly unlikely that the word refers to the same character in both of these references. Thus, there is substantial debate regarding the identity of the book's author. One of the Targums identifies Ezra (or Esdras) as the author of Malachi. St. Jerome suggests this may be because Ezra is seen as an intermediary between the prophets and the 'great synagogue'. There is, however, no historical evidence yet to support this claim.
Nothing is known of the biography of the author of the Book of Malachi, although it has been suggested that he may have been Levitical (which is curious, considering that Ezra was a priest). The books of Zechariah and Haggai were written during the lifetime of Ezra (see 5:1); perhaps this may explain the similarities in style. Although the Ezra theory is disputed, it remains the dominant authorship theory.
According to the editors of the 1897 Easton's Bible Dictionary, some scholars believe the name "Malachi" is not a proper noun but rather an abbreviation of "messenger of YHWH". This reading could be based on Malachi 3:1, "Behold, I will send my messenger...", if my messenger is taken literally as the name Malachi. Several scholars consider the book to be anonymous, with verse 1:1 being a later addition. However, other scholars, including the editors of the Catholic Encyclopedia, argue that the grammatical evidence leads us to conclude that Malachi is in fact a name.
Another interpretation of the authorship comes from the Septuagint superscription, which can be read as either "by the hand of his messenger" or as "by the hand of his angel". The "angel" reading found an echo among the ancient Church Fathers and ecclesiastical writers, and even gave rise to the "strangest fancies", especially among the disciples of Origen of Alexandria.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who said to Your Apostles: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you," regard not my sins but the faith of Your Church, and deign to give her peace and unity according to Your Will: Who live and reign, God, world without end.