The anonymous author of the biblical book of Malachi and the last of the Twelve (Minor) Prophets. The name comes from a Hebrew word meaning my messenger. The book consists of dialogues in question-and-answer form, in which the prophet defends the justice of God to a community doubtful because its expectations of salvation for Israel are unfulfilled. Malachi calls for faithfulness to God's covenant and promises that the day of judgment will soon arrive. The book was probably written in the 5th century BC.