Who Was The Prophet Malachi

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CHABAD.ORG)

 

Malachi (d. 312 BCE) was a member of the Great Assembly during the beginning of the second Jewish commonwealth and was considered the last Jewish prophet.

Who Was Malachi?

Some opinions in the Talmud maintain that Malachi was Mordechai,1 the hero of the Purimstory, but referred to as Malachi because of his position as viceroy of Persia—a designation similar to that of an angel (“malach”) who is subordinate to G‑d.2 Another view, supported by many authorities,3 is that Malachi is a pseudonym for Ezra the Scribe,4 while a third perspective identifies Malachi as neither Mordechai nor Ezra, but a third prophet entirely.

Some contemporary authors suggest that the name Malachi is a reference to the final prophecy of his book which opens with the words, Hineni sholeach malachi (“Behold I send My messenger”).5

The Book of Malachi

The Book of Malachi comprises three chapters of prophecies exhorting the Jewish people to better their ways and portending future upheavals should they fail to do so. It is the last of the series of 12 prophets known collectively as Trei Asar (“twelve”) or Minor Prophets.

Some suggest that the prophecies ascribed to ChaggaiZechariah, and Malachi were actually transmitted to the prophets of preceding generations but publicized by Chaggai, Zechariah, and Malachi who had received them by tradition.6 In the interim, Jeremiahprophesied and was the last to do so.7 Nevertheless, the Talmud still ascribes the conclusion of the prophetic period to Malachi because his prophecies were published at a later date.8

An alternate perspective is that prophecy continued, albeit in minute measure, during the lifetime of Chaggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Indeed, the Talmud teaches that these prophets prophesied during the second year of King Darius’ reign9 regarding the rebuilding of the Temple.10

The Withdrawal of Prophecy

The life of the prophet Malachi is an important turning point in Jewish history, as it marks the close of the glorious era of Jewish prophecy.11 The Talmud teaches, “After the last prophets Chaggai, Zechariah, and Malachi died, the Divine Spirit of prophetic revelation departed from the Jewish people.”12

Nevertheless, the works of the Talmudic era testify to the continued presence of Divine inspiration amongst the Jewish people well after Malachi’s demise. Moreover, many medieval Jewish works point to the possibility of achieving Divine inspiration should one be worthy of it.13 Although varying in degree and intensity from that of the prophets, Divine inspiration is a subcategory of prophecy,14and the Talmud’s statement limiting prophecy to the pre-Malachi era therefore implies only a general decline in the spiritual efficacy of subsequent generations without precluding the possibility of exceptional individuals attaining prophecy.15

Read: Why Are There No More Prophets?

Love by Choice

Although small in size, the prophecies of Malachi are noted with great interest in Jewish thought, beginning with the very first line—a sententious statement that is most telling of G‑d’s unique relationship with the Jewish people:

I have shown you [Israel] love, said the L‑rd. But you ask, “How have You shown us love?” After all—declares the L‑rd—Esau is Jacob’s brother; yet I have accepted Jacob and have rejected Esau.

This declaration conveys a fundamental principle of Jewish thought: While from a human vantage point it may appear that Esau and Jacob are brothers—equals—and that Jewish identity and Jewish destiny are not guided by Divine preference, Malachi informs us that the Jewish people were singled out by G‑d to be His people. Rabbi Yosef Albo explains that the love described by G‑d in these verses is supra-rational; it cannot be justified by logic alone. It is a love of choice.16

The Chassidic masters further develop this teaching, considering the unique qualities of Divine choice. Unlike human choice, which is an exercise in decision-making based on specific advantages and characteristics of an object or experience, G‑d’s choices are made within His essence which is not contingent upon anything else.17 As such, His love of the Jewish people is unconditional and eternal; as G‑d is eternal so is His chosen people.

Read: Who Is a Jew? Solving the Mystery of Jewish Identity

No Changes

Another of Malachi’s noteworthy prophecies speaks to the heart of Jewish theology:

For I am the L‑rd—I have not changed; and you are the children of Jacob—you have not ceased to be.18

The prelude to the daily prayers includes the following declaration of Malachi’s:

You were the same before the world was created; You are the same since the world has been created.19

G‑d’s enduring and unchanging existence is the fundamental principle of faith upon which the entire edifice of Judaism stands. More specifically, it involves the recognition that the act of creation does not redefine G‑d in any way.

Maimonides writes:

He who is everlasting, constant, and in no way subject to change; immutable in His Essence, and as He consists of naught but His Essence, He is mutable in no way whatever; not mutable in His relation to other things: for there is no relation whatever existing between Him and any other being . . and therefore no change as regard; such relations can take place in Him. Hence He is immutable in every respect, as He expressly declares,” I, the L‑rd, do not change”20: i.e., in Me there is not any change whatever.21

Chassidic teachings expound upon this and explain that since the world is truly nullified in its entirety in relation to G‑d, and is wholly united with Him, He remains one after the world was created as He was prior to its creation.22

Malachi also implies that G‑d’s immutability is what drives the eternal nature of the Jewish people (“And you are the children of Jacob—you have not ceased to be”). Even if worldly affairs seem to indicate that G‑d has abandoned His people, we are reminded by Malachi that G‑d does not change and His love for His people always remains intact. And just as it is impossible for Him to cease to exist, so will the Jewish people eternally endure.23

The eternality of the Jewish people leads us directly to the final lines of Malachi’s prophecy, which tell of the Messianic redemption:

Lo, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord, that he may turn the heart of the fathers back through the children, and the heart of the children back through their fathers…24

FOOTNOTES
1.

Megillah 15a.

2.

Maharsha, ibid.

3.

See Targum Yonatan, Malachi 1:1; Rabbeinu Chananel, Megillah ibid. Rashi, Malachi 2:11. Tosafot, Ketubot 16a, Bosar d’Kansinu; Yevamot 86b., Mipnei Mah. Kuzari, 3:65. Meiri, Avot 1:1. Cf. Radak, Malachi, ibid.

4.

Megillah 15a.

5.

See Otzar Yisrael (Eisenstein), Malachi (vol. VI p. 209). Encyclopedia l’Toarei kavod b’Yisrael, p. 1550.

6.

This is in line with the teaching of the Midrash that all prophecies were initially transmitted at Sinai and were later revealed by the prophets when the time was ripe (See Rashi, Malachi 1:1).

7.

Midrash Aggadah, Bamidbar 30:15. Pesikta d’Rav Kahana, p. 116a.

8.

See Midrash Aggadah ibid. stating, “The prophecies were deposited with them [for safekeeping].”

9.

Megillah 15a.

10.

See Chaggai 1:1. Radak, ibid.

11.

Bava Batra 14b.

12.

Yoma 9b. Sotah 48b. Tosefta ibid, 13:4; Sanhedrin 11:1.

13.

See Pirkei Giluyim, introduction to She’elot uteshuvot Min Ha-Shamayim (Margolis), pp. 25-41.

14.

Likutei Sichot, vol. XIV, p. 73, note 20.

15.

See Likutei Sichot ibid. where the language of the Talmud is demonstrated to be most precise in that the word chosen for the removal of prophecy is nistalkah, meaning withdrawn, as opposed to batlah (“annulled”), or paskah(“curtailed”). Cf. Griz Ha-Levy, Malachi ibid.

16.

Sefer Ha-Ikarim 3:37.

17.

See Torah Ohr p. 120c, Likutei Torah (Gimel Parshiyos) 37a, Ohr Ha-Torah Bereishit vol. III, pp. 565a, and Likutei Sichot vol. IV p. 1341, vol. VII p. 25, vol. XXXVI p. 50.

19.

See Yalkut Shimoni, Va-Etchanan sec. 836.

21.

Guide to the Perplexed I:XI.

22.

See Sha’ar Ha-Yichud Ve-Ha-Emunah ch. VII.

23.

Rambam, Igeret Teiman, sec. U’kvar hivti’ach.

Warnings From G-d For President Trump (and family) And The Republican Party!

Warnings From G-d For President Trump (and family) And The Republican Party!

 

The very last Book of the Old Testament is the Book of Malachi who the Jewish people consider as one of the “Minor” Prophets. This Book is only 4 chapters long yet it has many warnings to the House of Israel as well as for all humans. You may wonder why I chose the title that I did but after you read this short letter I believe that most of you will understand.

 

For this letter to you today I am using information from 2 verses in the Book of Malachi and these two can be found at chapter 3 verse 5 and chapter 4 verse 1. If these warnings do not describe President Trump and his adult family as well as the Republican Leadership, then I am baffled by one’s ignorance of reality.

 

Chapter 3:5   Then I (G-d) will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the Sorcerers (Witches), against the Adulterers, against those who swear falsely (Liars), against those who oppress the hired worker in their wages, the Widow and the Orphan, against those who thrust aside the Aliens (foreigners), and who do not fear me, says the Lord of Hosts.

 

Chapter 4:1   See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evil doers will be stubble (in Hell’s fire); the day that comes will burn them up, says the Lord of Hosts.

 

Now I would like to tell you why I believe this title is correct, I wish that it wasn’t correct but to me, it obviously is. Let’s start with the first Scripture in 3:5.  Adulterers, Trumps, obvious yes.  Those who swear falsely (lie). Folks, our President is an habitual liar, even with the ‘Oath of Office’ he constantly lied. Remember “you swear to uphold the Constitution”, the man hates the Constitution and breaks it daily yet the Republican Leadership covers for him no matter what. Do not think for a moment that I am a Democrat, I’m not, I am and have been an Independent for many years. I totally believe that if Hillary Clinton were our President right now that the Democratic Leadership would be shielding her just like the Republicans are shielding Mr. Trump right now. In my opinion, both parties are totally disgusting, neither party leadership seems to care about the people, just ‘the Party.’ “Against those who oppress the hired worker in their wages. Folks, that is and has been as a base of the Republican Party for as long as I have been alive and I was born in 1956. Think about this for a moment, in the last 63 years not one time has the workers minimum wage ever gone up, not at their own initiative when a Republican was in the White House. G-d also has said that He is against those who oppress the Widow and the Orphan, the Republican Party calls all help programs for the poorest citizens ‘Welfare’ and are constantly trying to lower the amount of help, or stop it all together. G-d says that He is against those who thrust/push aside the Aliens/Foreigners, Think about Mr. Trump and his Wall as well as his other policies against the poorest of people at the U.S Mexico Border. Remember, G-d hates it when we treat each other badly like in these examples’

 

In (chapter 4:1) this two sentence verse is quite explanatory so I will close this letter to you with that verse for us all to think about. ” See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evil doers will be stubble (in Hell’s fire); the day that comes will burn them up, says the Lord of Hosts.”

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