The name of the last book of the Old Testament and of the Prophet whose oracles it contains. Malachi ( from Hebrew meaning "my messenger") is an invaluable source concerning the Judaean Jews during the Persian period. Two themes are predomination: the sin and apostasy of Israel (1-2); and the coming judgment upon the faithless, with blessings promised for those who repent (3-4). The growing Messianic expectation in the Old Testament is apparent in Malachi by the announcement of God’s "messenger of the covenant", by whose coming Israel will be purified and judged; and of the return of the Prophet Elijah who will proclaim the Day of the Lord.
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