The last of the minor prophets, and of all the Old Testament writers; so little known, that it is doubted by some, though without sufficient reason, whether his name be a proper name, or only a generical one, signifying the angel of the Lord that is, a messenger, a prophet, Haggai 1:13; Malachi 3:1. Malachi most probably prophesied about B. C. 416, in the latter part of the administration of Negemiag, and after Haggai and Zechariah, at a time of great disorder among the priests and people of Judah, whom her reproves. He inveighs against the priests; reproves the people for having taken strange wives, for inhumanity to their brethren, for divorcing their wives, and for neglect of paying tithes and first fruits. He seems to allude to the covenant that Nehemiah renewed with the lord, together with the priests and chief of the nation. In the latter part he foretells the coming of John the Baptist in the spirit and power of Elijah, Malachi 3:1; 4:5,6; Matthew 11:10,14; 17:10-13; Luke 1:17. He also foretells the two-fold coming of Christ, and the blessedness of those who fear and serve him. Thus the Old Testament closes with Predictions of the Messiah, and the New Testament opens with the record of their fulfillment.
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.