Malachi in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
("messenger of Jah"), or Jehovah; contracted for Malachijah,
as Abi for Abijah (2 Kings 18:2; compare 2 Chronicles 29:1).
The name is that of an office rather than of a person; it
occurs in the sense "My (Jehovah's) messenger" (Malachi 3:1,
compare Haggai 1:13). Malachi was Jehovah's last inspired
messenger of Old Testament, announcing the advent of the
great Messenger of New Testament; the transition link
between the two dispensations, "the skirt and boundary of
Christianity," to which is due his abrupt earnestness. Not
identical with Ezra, as Chaldee paraphrase represents, for
Malachi is never called a scribe, always a prophet, but Ezra
always a scribe, never a prophet.
The analogy of the headings of the other prophets
favors the view that Malachi is a proper name. He supported
or followed up the governor Nehemiah in the restoration of
the national polity civil and religious, as Haggai and
Zechariah previously had supported Joshua the high priest
and Zerubbabel the civil governor in building the temple,
Malachi (Zechariah 1:10; Zechariah 3:1-10) presupposes the
temple already built. Like Nehemiah (Nehemiah 13:5; Nehemiah
13:15-22; Nehemiah 13:23-30) he censures the secular and
mercenary spirit of the priests (Malachi 1:10; Malachi 2:14-
16; Malachi 3:8-10); the people's marriages with foreigners;
the non-payment of the tithes (Nehemiah states the cause,
the high priest's alliance with Tobiah the Ammonite and
Sanballat); and the rich men's want of sympathy toward the
poor. Nehemiah (Nehemiah 6:7) implies that "prophets"
supported him, by his desire, in his reformation...