- Hebrew: Malakhi, My angel
Last of the Minor Prophets. The four (in the Hebrew, three) chapters have no title, for Malakhi is probably not a proper name. Septuagint reads: “My angel” and Targum Jonathan paraphrases: “My angel (messenger) whose name is Esdras.” This is probably correct. The book certainly dates from that time (after 450 B.C.). The style differs from other prophecies by use of the dialogue. The first part reprimands the priests for neglect of Divine worship and foretells a new “clean oblation which shall be offered from the rising of the sun even unto the going down” (1). According to the Council of Trent this means the Mass (sess. 23, cap. 1). Next it inveighs the people for mixed marriages, divorce and other evils (2). The question of the people: “Where is the God of judgment?” (3) is answered in the second part by the promise of the Messia! the “Sun of justice” (4). He will be preceded by the forerunner (3; cf. Mark 1). The prophecy aptly concludes with the promise of an Elias, who “shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers.” Thus Old Testament prophecy ends as New Testament prophecy begins; compare the message of Gabriel to Zacharias (Luke 1).