Malachi was the last of the minor prophets and God's last inspired messenger recorded in Scripture until the coming of John the Baptist four hundred years later. As with most of the minor prophets, nothing is known of him beyond what is contained in his book of prophecies.
Malachi was a fearless spokesman for God who rebuked the people of Israel for their sins and hypocrisy. The people of God had become careless in keeping Godís Law. Priests neglected their duties (Malachi 2:1-10). People offered lame and sick animals for sacrifice (Malachi 1:7,8). They failed to give their tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8-10). They even questioned Godís goodness and His love for them (Malachi 2:17). Divorce was commonly practiced. Many of the Jews were putting away their original wives in order to marry pagan women (Malachi 2:14-16). They came to worship God, but they did not enjoy it. It made them weary (Malachi 1:13).
Malachi strongly condemns these sins. He had a unique way of teaching. He would make a statement. Then he would examine objections against what he had said. He would then answer his own objections. This style of teaching became the accepted style in the synagogue. Malachi was permitted to reveal the coming of John, the Baptist, who would prepare the way for Jesus (Malachi 4:5,6).
Text partly sourced from Truth for the World Correspondence Studies.