Malachi is the last of the post-exilic prophets and the last of the minor prophets. He describes the new generation as a people who are immature and ignorant. They do not know God or understand their covenant with Him.
Author and Date
Most likely, Malachi was prophecying during the days of Nehemiah. Many of the issues that Malachi mentions, Nehemiah also mentions. Also, Malachi mentions a clearly Persian governor (1:7). Most date the message of Malachi about 430 B.C.
- God’s Love (1:2-5)
- God’s Honor (1:6-2:9)
- God’s Covenant (2:10-16)
- God’s Hope (2:17-3:6)
- God’s Law (3:7-12)
- Fear of God (3:13-4:3)
- God’s Coming (4:4-6)
The message of Malachi assumes a dialogue between the people and the Lord. The people seem to have an entire lack of spiritual understanding. The Law states that they must sacrifice, and they do, but they bring sick and blemished animals for sacrifice. The people were to go to the priest for instruction from the Law. Instead, the priests were telling them what they wanted to hear.
Another major question in this little book is who is Elijah mentioned in 4:6. Malachi adds to the information about the Day of the Lord by stating that Elijah will preach during the Day of the Lord and before the great and awesome day of the Lord.