Who was the author? The book of Malachi was inspired through the prophet Malachi, likely the last of the Old Testament era.
What is the book? The book contains prophecies God made through Malachi to the people of Judah.
Where was it written? Given that the prophecies were directed to the people of Judah, the book was likely written in Judah, likely even its capital city, Jerusalem.
When was it written? Malachi probably prophesied from 440-430 B.C. and wrote the book shortly thereafter.
Why? The exiles repeatedly fell into sin upon their return from exile, and God through Malachi condemns those sins and rebukes the people for doubting God's love and being faithless, thereby calling them to repent and promising blessing to the faithful.
How? Malachi calls itself an "oracle" and is written in "lofty" prose, arguably structured in six sections, each consisting of a thesis, queston or challenge of some sort, and a defense of the original statement. Throughout Malachi uses vivid images and figures of speech and repeats key words and phrases.
For further reading on the book of Malachi:
- Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch. Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume X: Minor Prophets , translated by James Martin and published as two volumes in one. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted March 1986. (There are some 53 pages on Malachi.)
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The Old Testament, Volume II, The Poetical and the Prophetical Books. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1924. (This volume, one that is in our Grace library, has 6 pages on Malachi.)