Boston Public Library

Delivering the message. Looking unshakeably determined, four of the so-called Minor Prophets— from left to right, Micah, Haggai, Malachi and Zechariah—fill one portion of John Singer Sargent’s “Frieze of the Prophets” at the Boston Public Library.

Malachi is the last book of the Hebrew Bible in most English translations and brings the number of the Minor Prophets to twelve—the same as the tribes of Israel. But was there an actual person by the name by the name of Malachi? Author Richard Simon Hanson points out that the Hebrew word for Malachi literally means “my messenger” and may never have been intended to connote a person and he demonstrates instead that what we know as the Book of Malachi belongs thematically to the concluding chapters of Zechariah.