Study of Malachi


The book of Malachi is named after the prophet Malachi, which means my messenger. It is likely an abbreviated form for a name which means the messenger of the Lord.

The book of Malachi is attributed to the prophet Malachi; but apart from this book, nothing is known about him. It is estimated that Malachi delivered his messages around 450 B.C. or later. Some would allow a date as late as 400 B.C. He was a contemporary of Nehemiah.

“The theme of Malachi is that sincerity toward God and a holy manner of life are absolutely essential in the Lord’s eyes if His favor is to be bestowed upon the crops and the nation’s economic welfare. Israel must live up to her high calling as a holy nation and wait for the coming of the Messiah, who by a ministry of healing as well as judgment will lead the nation to a realization of all her fondest hopes” (Gleason L. Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, p. 416).

The following helpful outline is found in Unger’s Bible Dictionary,

p. 686:

Introductory Appeal – God’s Love for Israel, 1:1-5


Part I.  Warning Against Priests’ Sins, 1:6 - 2:9


     a.   Their carelessness and their ritual functions, 1:6 - 2:4

     b.   Their slovenly teaching, 2:5-9


Part II.Forewarning Against the People, 2:10 - 4:3


     a.   1st Warning: Against Treachery, 2:10-16

     b.   2nd Warning: Of Judgment, 2:17 - 3:6

     c.   3rd Warning: To Repent, 3:7-12

     d.   4th Warning: God’s Condemnation, 3:13 - 4:3


Part III.     Concluding Solemn Warning, 4:4-6


     a.   To observe the Mosaic law, 4: 4

     b.   To have in mind the (Second) Coming of Christ, 4:5, 6