The Minor Prophets

The Hebrew Bible comprises the books of 12 minor prophets. Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are among them. They are also known as The Twelve Prophets or The Minor Prophets.

The book of Haggai also referred to as The Prophecy Of Aggeus, is the tenth of 12 antique testimony books that endure the names of the Minor Prophets. Haggai (fl. Sixth century BC) helped mobilize the Jewish community for the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem (516 BC) after the Babylonian Exile and prophesied the wonderful future of the messianic age.

The book includes 4 prophecies added over a 4-month length within the second year of the reign of the Persian king Darius I the superb (521 BC). Even though attributed to Haggai, the ebook must be credited to a person apart from the prophet; it becomes likely compiled soon after the prevalence of the activities, however.

Haggai’s oracles display his situation for the immediate reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. He believed that the economic distress of the people became a result of their negligent delay in starting the development and that Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah below Darius, changed into God’s chosen Davidic representative.

The book of Malachi, additionally called The Prophecy Of Malachias, is the last of 12 old testament books that endure the names of the Minor Prophets, grouped together as the Twelve in the Jewish canon. The writer is unknown; Malachi is simply a transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning “my messenger.”

The book includes six wonderful sections, every inside the shape of a query-and-solution discussion. With the useful resource of this unusual dialogue approach, the prophet defends the justice of God to a community that had begun to doubt that justice because its eschatological (cease of the sector) expectations had been still unfulfilled. The writer requires fidelity to Yahweh’s Covenant. He emphasizes the necessity of proper worship, condemns divorce, and proclaims that the day of judgment is imminent. Faithfulness to those cultic and ethical responsibilities may be rewarded; unfaithfulness will convey a curse.
The book belongs to the primary half of the fifth century BC, for it actually presupposes the reconstructed Temple (devoted in 516 BC) but does now not mirror the reconstitution of the religious community that occurred beneath Nehemiah and Ezra about 450 BC.

The book of Nahum is the seventh of 12 vintage testimony books that endure the names of the Minor Prophets (grouped collectively as the Twelve in the Jewish canon). The identity identifies the ebook as an “oracle regarding Nineveh” and attributes it to the “vision of Nahum of Elkosh.”

The autumn of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, supplied the event for this prophetic oracle. The amazing Assyrian Empire, which had long been a hazard to the smaller nations of the historic Middle East, become a specific threat to the Israelite human beings. Its decline, therefore, inside the face of the Neo-Babylonian power of the Medes and the Chaldeans and its very last fall apart inside the destruction of Nineveh (612 BC) gave the prophet Nahum purpose for extolling those activities, which, he introduced, passed off due to the fact Assyria’s regulations have been not in accord with God’s will. The book includes many styles of fabric, among which can be an acrostic hymn, oracles of judgment, satire, a curse, and funeral laments, all of which were delivered collectively and associated with the autumn of Nineveh.

The book of Hosea, also spelt Osee, is the primary of 12 vintage testament books that bear the names of the Minor Prophets, is taken into consideration as one e-book, The Twelve, within the Jewish canon. In keeping with the superscription, Hosea commenced his prophetic hobby during the reign of Jeroboam II (c. 786–746 BC). His prophetic bulletins indicate that he changed into lively till near the autumn (721 BC) of the northern kingdom of Israel, the scene of his entire ministry.

The textual content is pretty corrupt and carries hard problems of interpretation. Yahweh’s compassion for Israel, however, is generally the dominant topic. Having “played the harlot” with Canaanite rites and practices, Israel will simply experience Yahweh’s wrath, but not all the time. Yahweh will welcome Israel like a husband who takes returned an untrue wife.

The primary chapter of Hosea is a biographical record of the prophet’s marriage to Gomer, a female of harlotry; the third bankruptcy is an autobiographical account of a wedding to an adulterous woman. Whether or not the second account is Hosea’s personal account of the marriage mentioned in bankruptcy 1 or whether it refers to a 2d marriage (remarriage to Gomer?) is an awful lot discussed. Something answer, these two debts are symbolic of Yahweh’s love for Israel, portraying Yahweh’s willingness to resume his covenantal courting with his humans no matter their adulterous participation inside the Canaanite religion.

The book has a long history of formation and transmission. A good deal of the cloth, in oral form, goes again to Hosea himself. The collection of sayings and person bills, but, was likely accomplished in Judah at a much later date.

The books called Minor Prophets are not minor in the sense that they are less important or discuss less important subjects. As a general rule, they are shorter than the Books of the Major Prophets. Therefore, they are designated as Minor Prophets.

The twelve books of the Minor Prophets were written by a variety of people. Although some were professional prophets; others had different occupations (such as farming) and probably prophesied on a short-term basis. Most of them prophesied to Israel, but some prophesied to other countries. Most of the Minor Prophets emphasize a single important theme, whereas the Major Prophets because of their length emphasize many different themes.

The books are put in the order of the time period in which they prophesied.

I . The prophets of the Assyrian period were first (from Hosea to Nahum).

2. The prophets of the Babylonian period (Habakkuk to


3. The prophets of the Persian period (Haggai, Zechariah,


4. However, the books within the subdivisions were not always placed in chronological order. For example, Hosea is placed first in the first category not because he was the first prophet but because it is the longest book in that division.

D. These books can be studied by grouping them into several

different ways;

1. According to their recipients (including the major prophets as well).

a. To Israel; Hosea, Amos

b. To Judah: Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

c. To Nineveh: Jonah, Nahum

d. To Babylon: Daniel

e. To the exiles: Ezekiel

f. to Edom; Obadiah

2. According to chronological periods;

a. Pre-exilic: Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, Hosea, Amos, Isaiah, and

Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Habakkuk

b. Exilic: Daniel, Ezekiel

c. Post-exilic: Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

3. According to dates

a. Obadiah 845 BC.

b. Joel 835

c. Jonah 782

d. Hosea 760

e. Amos 760

f. Isaiah 739

g. Micah 735

h. Nahum 650

i. Zephaniah 640

j. Jeremiah 627

k. Habakkuk 609

l. Daniel 605

m Ezekiel 593

n. Haggai 520-

o. Zecharia 520

p. Malachi 433

E. The prophets were written by the person whose name they bear.

F. We will look at them in the order in which they are found in the Bible rather than the chronological order.-

Study Guide Methodology: (I have prepared an inductive

A. study guide for use in studying the minor prophets which are found in Appendix A at the end of this book. The material in this section comes from questions found in the study guide.)

B. Color Coding: A standard method of studying the Bible is to go through a particular book. and mark certain themes in certain colours. Hosea is a good book to see the importance of figures of speech. If one marked all references to adultery in red and all references to .idolatry in yellow, he would see an interesting tiling. There would be plain red references marked at the beginning of the book and almost none at the end of the book. In addition, there would not be many yellow references in the early part of the book but many in the latter part of the book. Why is this? Because apparently, Hosea was using adultery as a figure of speech for idolatry. The further Hosea got into, the book, the more he dropped the figure of speech and spoke about the sin of idolatry directly.


1. Date: 760 BC.

2. Themes: Sin, Judgment, and Love

a. Sin- 1:2; 2:2, 8

b. Judgment – 1:4, 2:3-7 ,

c. Love- 1:7, 10; 2:1

3. Interesting characteristics: God uses. a living illustration to make a point to Israel. He uses the marriage of Hosea and Gomer.

D. Demonstration of the Study Guide Methodology; Each of these numbers below answer one of the questions in the Study Guide,

1. Question 3 from Study Guide: Hosea means “Jehovah is my help” or “God is Salvation.”

a. Hosea was from Israel; there is no town specified.

b. His father was Beeri; nothing is known about him.

c. There is no way of telling what social strata he came from.

Some suggest that he may have been a baker due to references about baking in Chapter 7. Others think he may have been a farmer because of agricultural references.

d. The length of his ministry demands that he obviously was a

“full-time” prophet. He may have also served as a baker or farmer as stated above.

e. Hosea was married to Gomer.- They had at least three

children; Jezreel, Lo Rulmmah, and Lo-Ammi. The names of the children were symbolic of the conditions in Israel at that time. After having these three children, Gomer left Hosea and lived as a harlot. Sometime later, perhaps years; “Hosea bought Gomer for 15 pieces of silver and some grain over a common slave market. He required her to live alone for quite a while. Though she was his, she was not to enjoy the privileges of being his wife, nor was she to “play the harlot” again. Later, she was allowed to return to Hosea as his wife with all the rights and privileges, and honours pertaining thereto.

f. He prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, AJiaz, and Hezekiah in Judah. He probably prophesied at least 40 years; some suggest as long as 65 or 70 years.

g. We know very little about Hosea’s initial call except that God

told him to the lake a wife of harlotry or maybe one who was going to turn to harlotry.

h. He is called the “Jeremiah of Israel.” He, too, may be called

a “weeping prophet,” for one can hardly read the book without seeing a “broken-hearted man” writing about a “broken-hearted God.” Hosea is unique. God never before nor since gave a message to a nation in this manner. Hosea and Gomer were a little illustration of God and Israel. Hosea could properly prophesy because he was experiencing a little of what God was experiencing. Hosea was the only prophet from Israel.

4. Question from Study Guide

a. Hosea prophesied to Israel. However, occasionally (his

message overlaps with Judah. The specific message was given to Israel., but both Israel and Judah were included.

b. He prophesied during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and

Hezekiah in Judah. This would have included the period of lime when Israel was all her political peak under Jeroboam, and nil the way through her decline and distraction.

c. What were (the prevailing spiritual conditions of his day?

1) The prevailing spiritual condition was very low and declining.

a) Israel is represented as n “harlot” all the way through my prophecy -“harlotry” was a figure of speech for Baal worship; 1:2b, 2 2; 21 V -1 17, 5:3, 4; 6:10.

b) All kinds of sin were prevalent; ‘I; 1-2.

c) The priesthood was wicked and sinful; 4:6-9, V 1, 6.9.

d) The kings set an example of drunkenness and debauchery; 7:3-5

2) Socially, Israel was declining. During the first part of Tosca’s ministry, Israel enjoyed peace and prosperity. However, before Hosea’s ministry ended, Israel was to be completely destroyed and all her occupants taken captive. Clod said thrill lie had given Israel gain of new ‘wine and oil all and multiplied silver and gold (3:8). “She also decked herself with her earrings (2; 1-3); they made idols out of their silver and gold (8, 4).

3) At the beginning of Hosea’s ministry, Isaac was stable; but saw Israel decline to the point of being a puppet nation, and then an extinct nation

d. The major crisis facing the nation was God’s judgment upon

her because of ha sin

God was going to bring the Assyrians against the killer (5:13, M; 7:1 1, I?.; () 3)

c. Though none of the other prophets is mentioned, Hosea

probably knew Ames and Obadiah in Israel and Isaiah and Micah in Judah.

Question 5 from the Study Guide; Chapter Titles

a. Chapter 1; Hosea, God’s Messenger; Background

b. Chapter 2: Uosca’s Message: God’s Judgment for Sin

Followed by Mercy and Pardon.

c. Chapter 3: Hosea, God’s Mirror; Hosea Buys Gomer.

d. Chapter 4: God’s Controversy with Israel; The Sin of Israel Harlolry

c. Chapter 5: God’s Condemnation of Israel because of her “Harlotry ”

d. Chapter 6: God’s Compassion for His People

e. Chapter 7: Israel is about to be destroyed, though she does

not know it

f. Chapter 8: Israel has forgotten God.

g. Chapter 9; Israel shall be exiled among the other nations

h Chapter 10; Israel is guilty of sin and must be punished.

i. Chapter I 1. God’s Love for Israel.

j. Chapter 12: God’s Controversy with Jacob.

k. Chapter 13: Israel’s Sin is Full.

m. Chapter 14: God’s Pardon and Restoration of Israel.

Question 6 from the Study Guide:

A loving broken-hearted God must punish Israel for

her sin, especially her harlotry or idol-worship.

a. Her sin is primarily idolatry.

b. Her harlotry:

There arc twenty-nine references in Hosea to harlotry, punishment. etc. (not counting Gomcr’s). Twenty-three of these are in the (list) I chronicle None arc found after Chapter 9. There are twenty-one references In ideal-worship Fourteen of these arcs in Chapters 8-14. Out of seven indirect references In idol worship, only one is found before, Chapter 8. Apparently, 1 local user; the figure of speech, harlotry, describe idolatry in the. earlier chapters and then becomes nion1-specific and definite in the latter chapters.

Question 7 from the Study Guide

a. Chapters 1-3: God mirrors His relationship in Hosea.

b. Chapters 1-1-1: God sadly decrees punishment to Israel

(These chapters are not highly organized probably becomes (the prophet was emotional when writing, them).

c. G. C. Morgan suggests Hosea’s ministry lasted 70 years. Hosea’s message centred around three words, “sin, judgment, and love.”

Freeman makes the following chart which shows the point of comparison that Hosea was apparently trying to make.

Hosea God

1. Hosea marries Gomer, 1:3 Jehovah marries Israel; 2:14-16

2. Hosea finds Gomer Jehovah finds Israel an adulterous;

adulteress; 1:2; 3:1 4:11-14; 5:3-4

3. Hosea buys his wife but-she Jehovah will destroy Baal and woe stays alone; 3:3

Israel back; 3:3

4. Hosea and Gomer have reunited Jehovah and Israel are reunited;

2:14-20; 14:4-8

Question 8 from the Study Guide: There are over 140 figures of speech in Hosea.

The major figure of speech is a sexual impurity which Hosea compares to idolatry.

Question 9 from the Study Guide: Major Principles God will bring judgment for sin.

God is not nearly so concerned with the comfort and security and worldly success of His people as He is with their accomplishing their life work/His will. However, fulfilling God’s will brings the greatest personal fulfilment to us, greater than worldly success and therefore God does us a favour by allowing tragedy to take place in our lives.


A. Author: Joel

1. His name means “Yahweh is God”

2. All that is known about him is what is given within the book itself—which is little.

B. Date

1. The date is debated because there are no time indicators in the book.

2, The best guess is that it was written about 835 BC,

C. Theme: A Double Natural Calamity: A Locust Plague and Drought

1. The book describes a huge locust plague. The debate rages about whether this

was a real locust plague or whether this was a figurative description of a foreign

nation that was oppressing the people

2. I accept the literal locust plague idea. It seems to answer most questions.

3. Note 1:6-12; 2:2

D. Principle: How to deal with natural disasters—things that are beyond one’s control.

E. Details

!. The description of the locust plague uses extensive figurative language.

a. The locusts are described as a “nation” (1:6a), having “teeth of a lion, (he fangs of a lioness” (a “large fine/mighty any”(2:3, 5, 11), “horses”(2:4-5), a

” crackling ft ra” (2:5), “warriors” and “soldiers” (2:7)

b. Fire is apparently a figure of speech for the drought that plagued the land at the same time as the locust plague (1:19; 2:3) However, the movement of the locusts is also compared to the sound of fire; “With a noise like that of chariots, they leap o\’er the mountain tops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle” (2:5).

c. 2:10 contains a good example of hyperbole; “Before them [the locusts] the earth shakes, the sky trembles,”

(I Apparently the locust plague was a judgment upon the people. Therefore, they were called upon to repent (2:12-17).

2. The phrase “day of tin: Lord” is used to referring to the locust plague (2:1 I). This implies two things

a. The word “day” car means more than a twenty-four-hour period. Obviously, this locust plague lasted longer than twenty-four hours.

b. The Day of the Lord is nearly always associated with judgment.


3. The most important part of Joel for the Christian is the prophecy regarding the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (2:28-32),

a. Peter quoted this verse as being fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16).

b. This is a prophecy that the spiritual privileges (such as dreams, visions, and prophecy) which only the spiritual giants experienced in the Old Testament period would be experienced by all in the new age, even by some as low on (the social ladder as a servant.

Only the first part of this section was fulfilled at Pentecost, the part referring to (the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The references to celestial signs and wonders are to be fulfilled, These things will happen “in rose days. ” Since we are still living “in those days” we might expect the fulfilment of this part of the prophecy later.



  1. 1. “Amos” means “load” or “burden.”

2. The book contains much biographical information about the prophet.

a. Amos was not a professional prophet. He was a farmer from Judah whom Godsend to Israel to prophesy. One might even call him a missionary.

b. His occupation was a “dresser of sycamore frees.

c. He was apparently not from priestly lineage and had no claim to royal parentage like some of the prophets.

Date: The book was written about 760 BC.

1:1 gives specific dating information, “two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Joshua’s was king of Israel. “


“The Book of Amos is prophetic writing of nine chapters, containing the announcements of judgment upon the northern kingdom of Israel because of her social injustices, moral degeneracy, and apostasy. The prophet foretells not only the coming dissolution of Israel but also the expectation of judgment upon the surrounding nations. to sees justice and ethical conduct between men as the foundation of society, and maintains ‘that worship by a people whose lives are characterized by selfish in, greed, immorally and oppression is an abomination to God” (Freeman, p. 184).

D. Outline

1. Judgments Against the Nations; 1 -2

2. Judgment Against Israel; 3-6

3. Symbolic Visions of Coming Judgment; 7-9

a. The plague of Locusts

b. The Devouring Fire

c. The Plumbline

d. The Basket of Summer Fruit

e. The Altar


  1. 1. When one compares the judgments upon the nations surrounding Judah with those of +Judah, one discovers that the principle “to whom much is given, much shall Ac- required” was a principle in force even in the Old Testament period. These nations seemed to be judged for inhumane acts and other violations of basic human rights. Ammon ripped open pregnant women (1:13). Moab burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime (2:1), perhaps for such a common purpose as to make soap. On the other hand, Judah was condemned for only lying (2:4).
  1. 2. “For three sirs even four” is a common Hebrew poetic way of expressing numbers

This phrase is used eight times in the first two chapters of Amos,

  1. 3. Chapters 2-6 contain graphic descriptions of the judgment which is to be poured one

upon Israel.

Chapters -:3-5 contain as tries rhetorical questions that almost appear to be proverbs-.

“Do two “‘a/K together unless they have agreed to do ?” (3:3),

5. Amos received several visions which contained scenes illustrating the judgment of God These include the visions of the locust (7; 1-2), (ire, (7:4-5), a punishment (7:7-8) am a basket of ripe fruit (8:1-3).

6. Amos contains one of the most comforting and beautiful descriptions of Israel’s future restoration. This promises to be a time of abundance and success. “‘The days are coining, ‘declares the Lord, ‘when the reaper will he was overtaken by the ploughman, and (lie planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills”‘(9:1,}.


Author: “Obadiah” means “servant of the Lord.”: Almost nothing else is known about him. Date

1. Obadiah is considered by most to be the earliest of the written Hebrew prophets.

2. It was probably written in the ninth century BC, around 8-45.

3. However, some consider a much later date because at one point it appears that Obadiah quotes from Jeremiah 49:7-22. If that is the case it would have to have been written after the fall of Jerusalem in 539. However, the earlier date is more likely,

C. Details

1. This is the shortest book in the Old Testament, containing only 27 verses.

2. It is basically a prophecy against Edom. Edom was another name given to Esau, Jacob’s

younger brother (Genesis 25:25-26). The Edomites were descendants of Esau. As

such, they were distant relatives of the Israelites. To give a message to a non-Israelite

the nation was a bit unusual. A prophet of God was usually God’s spokesman to God’s

people. In this instance, God had a message for the abusers of his people. So in one

sense, though (he prophesies was given against Edom, it was a message of comfort for the Israelites.

3. Verse 10 tells the reason for the judgment; “Because of the violence against your

brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever. ” Edom

had been a proud and haughty nation who was being judged because of her treatment of Israel. Judgment is the key theme in the book.

  1. 4. Verse 3, “You who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights.”

This is apparently a literal description of the home of the Edomites. They lived as

high as possible in the Rocky Mountains south of the Dead Sea.

Obadiah contains beautiful poetic imagery; “If thieves came to you if robbers in (he

night—Oh, what a disaster awaits you—would (hey not steal only as much as they

wanted? If grape pickers came lo yon, would they not leave a few grapes? fin! how

Esau will be ransacked, his hidden treasures pillaged!”



  1. 1. The Book of Jonah does not claim to have been written by Jonah. However, there

is no better suggestion for an author than the main character of (the book, Jonah.

2. Only a few facts are known about Jonah. His name means “dove.” He is mentioned

in II Kings 14:25 where he is described as a “son of Anultal, the prophet from Gath Hepher” He had apparently delivered a message concerning the restoration of the boundaries of Israel during the ‘sign of Jeroboam II.

B. Date: The book was probably written during the reign of Jeroboam II who ruled from 782 -753 DC. It is more likely that the Book of Jonah was written near the end of that lime.

D. Approaches to Interpretation: because of the supernatural element and the almost sinful story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale, many methods of interpretation have been used to interpret the book.

1. Mythological Approach: This is simply a religious tale from ancient Israel which is pure mythology. 11 is no different fin n the story about the founding of Rome by twins who were nurtured by a she-wolf or any other ancient story. Obviously, this approach is taken by those who reject the Bible as God’s Word.

2. Symbolic Approach: Freeman describes this approach as follows: “The three-day sojourn of Jonah in the great fish is symbolical of Nineveh, the great city of three days’ journey’; his being vomited out symbolizes the prophet going out of the repentant city; is he was out of place there. The name Jonah, which means Ugyg,1 was chosen by the author because Nineveh was the chief sanctuary of the goddess she and that sacred bid was the dove” (p. 160).

3. Religious Fiction Approach: Those holding this view believe the author took an ancient mythological (ale and built a story around Israel’s enemies and God’s compassion toward them to counter the intense nationalism of the Jews and to show God was interested in Gentiles as well. This was done in the new testamental books of Tobit and Judith

4. Literal Approach; This is the approach that has historically been taken by both Jews and Christians. The book appears to be written as history. Jesus himself talked about Jonah as though he were a genuine historical character (Matthew 12:38-41, 16:4, Luke II 2′?-32). For these reasons, we believe the events in the book are literal actual events, including the two miraculous stories—Jonah being swallowed by the whale real the miraculous growth of the gourd.

C Details

I. The book is probably the best known of the Minor Prophets because it contains one of the popular Bible stories.

2. The book is about Nineveh but it would not be appropriate to say that it was written (q Nineveh. The book is really about the prophet, Jonah himself The real lesson to be learned comes from the man. The account about preaching to Nineveh is only incidental to the story. Perhaps the most important lesson in Jonah is how God responds to rebellion.

3. Although one of the themes of the book is to show the compassion of God for non-Israelites, it is not appropriate to see this as an Old Testament missionary book. Missionary actively To” foreign countries was “not one of Israel is These sibilities. However, this incident does perhaps the show is symbolic of the mercy of God for all mankind and the future activity of the church in spreading the gospel to every race Unlike Hosea and An Teisirio indication in the book? 5o “which (his prophecy came to Jonah. This is a further indication that the real problem in the book was not Nineveh but Jonah. Therefore, the message of Jonah Ins universal application. Nineveh was originally built by Nimrod (Genesis 10:11) and eventually became the capital of the Assyrian Empire.

one can partially understand the reason for Jonah’s objection to preaching to the Ninevites (1:2-3; 4:1-3). The Israelites had a very holistic view of life and religion. In fact, all of life was one total package. There was no difference between their religion, their family, their business, and their government. They were all intimately intertwined Therefore, an enemy of the nation of Israel, was an enemy of his family, his business, and his God. Jonah, knowing the mercy of God, knew that if Nineveh repented, God would be merciful and spare the city. If the city were spared, these enemies of Israel might come and fight against Israel sometime in the future. And Jonah was absolutely right. God did spare the city of Nineveh, and the Assyrians-the people of Nineveh did come and destroy Israel and scatter them all over the Mediterranean world. The casting of lots to determine the person responsible for this catastrophe (1.7) was used by God to identify Jonah as the guilty person. It is interesting that God often adapts his method of communication to fit the culture of the person or persons receiving the message.

8. Various attempts have been made by showing parallel historical events to

prove that a man could’ve been inside the belly of a what for three days. However, the preserving of Jonah’s life inside the big fish was obviously a supernatural miracle,

9. The prayer in Chapter 2 is not the actual prayer that awaits prayers That is probably a later poetic version of that prayer, much like the prayer of David in Psalm 51, It is highly Unlikely that Jonah would have prayed such perfect Hebrew poetry while in such emotional state.

10. Chapter 3:1 begins, “Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.” For five years, I was a prison chaplain. I used this text many times to preach to prisoners on ilic theme, “God is the God of a Second Chance.”

11. The book of Jonah ends in a rather strange way. Jonah had complained about this unpleasant assignment and God rebuked him and concluded His remarks with a rhetorical question: “You have been concerned about this vine . . . But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people . . . Should I not be concerned about that great city?” The way the book ends further supports the idea that the real crisis in the book is not the problem in Nineveh, but the problem in the prophet.

12 Although Jonah grudgingly obeyed God’s requirement for him, his ministry really proved to be a failure in the end. He made no attempt to follow up his proclamations will) teachings about the true and living God. There was no discipleship included in his ministry. And as a result, the revival in Nineveh did not continue. As stated earlier, it was these same people who later destroyed Israel, and Nineveh was eventually destroyed by the Babylonians in 612 BC We know that God is sovereign and works all things, including the poor performance of his prophets, lo his own glory. However, from a human point of view, had Jonah really been faithful and taught these people properly, perhaps both of those disasters could have been avoided.



1. “Micah” means “Who is like the Lord?” This name is also spelt Micah at times

2. Not a lot is known about him. His home town was More shell-Galli a town about

twenty nines southwest of Jerusalem, He lived in Jerusalem but he also


B. Date: The book was written in approximately 735 BC ”

1. Micah was a contemporary with Isaiah.

2. He ministered during the reigns of Jothah, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.

C. Details

1. Micah is a very typical prophet in that his books contain the twin themes of judgment and hope. God is particularly angry with idolatry, shallow rituals, and injustice.

2. The book consists of three major prophesies. Each one begins with (the word

“Hear.” Freeman writes, “Each division contains a description of the present corruption, an announcement of imminent judgment, and promises of a glorious future. Chapters 1-2 announce a general judgment upon Israel and Judah because of their sins, The second address, after pronouncing divine judgment upon the leaders of the nation, the wicked princes, and false prophets (chap. 3) announce the .future hope of the Messianic kingdom (chaps. 4-5). The third address consists of an admonition to repentance and hope of future deliverance and salvation (chaps. 6-7)” (p. 215).

3. Proportionately, Micah has more prophecies in his writings than any other prophet

about the Messiah, including the prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (5:2) and that during his time there would be a great period of peace (4;1-7).

4, Israel was guilty of many injustices including plotting iniquity and evil (2:1), covetousness (2:2), fraud (2:3), false prophecy (2:6; 3:5-7), robbing innocent people (2:8-9), hating good and loving evil (3:1-3), despising justice (3:9), bribery (3:11), cheating

in the market (6:10-11), violence, and deceitfulness (6:12).

5. Micah almost rivals Isaiah in his beautiful symbolic language.

a. When the Lord came down from his high place, “‘The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope. ” (1:4).

b. The violence; of the leaders is figuratively described in 3:2-3; “You who hate good and love evil; who tear the skin front my people, and that from their bones who eat

my people’s flesh, snip off their skin and break their bones in pieces; who chop them up like meat for the pan, like flesh for the pot. ” This was not an indictment of cannibalism but rather an a-figurative description of their inhumane violence.

c. Chapter 3:6b; “The sun will set for the prophets and the day will go dark for them.”

d. Chapter 4:3 contains the wonderful comforting prophecy; “They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take, up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”

c. Israel’s enemies in the future will have this reaction: “Nations will see and be .. ashamed. . . They will lay their hands on their mouths and their cars will become deaf. They will lick the dust like a snake, like creatures that craw! on the ground. have will come trembling out of their dens” (7:16-17)

Micah 6:8 contains (the theme: “He has shown you, 0 men, what is good. And what

does the Lord require of you? To actually and to love mercy and to walk humbly him

your God.”


A. Author

1. The name “Nahum” means “comfort” or “consolation.”

2. The only thing known about the prophet is that he came from the unknown (own of Elkosh.

B. Date

The destruction of Thebes, a city in Egypt, was already a past place in 663 BC so the book had to have been written after that time. Nahum prophesies the fall of Nineveh which took place in 612 DC has was written before that time.

3. The book was written sometime between those [wo dales. The best guess, however, is about 650 BC.


1, This theme of the prophecy is the judgment of Nineveh. However, though Nineveh is His primary subject, as in Jonah, the book was obviously written for the people of Judah This is illustrated with certain phrases, addressed lo Judah, which are interspersed throughout the text: “Look, there on /he mountains, (ha fee I of (the one who brings good news, will proclaim peace Celehrale your festivals, 0 Judah, and fulfil your vows. No more will the wicked invade yon; (hey will be completely destroyed. ” ( Nineveh became the capital of the Assyrian Empire in about 700 BC under (lie leadership of Sennacherib. Nineveh continued to be a strong base for the Assyrian Empire until it was destroyed in 612 BC by the Babylonians. Divisions of the book:

a. -Chapter 1 is an introductory psalm of triumph about the coming fall of Nineveh

b. Chapter 2 tells about the siege and destruction of Nineveh.

c. Chapter 3 gives the causes of the fall of Nineveh.

Nahum is also written in beautiful classical Hebrew poetry similar to that of Isaiah these examples:

a. God is described in 1:4-5; “Re rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry. Joshua and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade. The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at v presence, (the world and all who live in it. “

b. 2:8; “Nineveh is like a pool and its water is draining away. “

c. An amazing accurate poetic description of the battle is given in 3:1-3, “The crack of whips, the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots! Clearing cavalry, flashing swords, and glittering spears! Many casual of ley. piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses. “

The books of Jonah and Nahum were linked together in the Septuae because they both dealt with the heathen city of Nineveh.

Minor Prophets

One of Nineveh’s major sins was idolatry. Sometimes this is described in literal terms (1:14). At other times it is described figuratively. The battle of Nineveh was fought: “all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, with enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft” ( 3:4).


He ministered as a prophet to Israel, but lilac

A. Author

The name “Habakkuk” means “embrace1 else is known about him.

Like Jonah, the message of the book seems to revolve around questions in the heart of the prophet. The sin of Israel and the upcoming judgment by the Babylonians appear to.-: be only incidental details to the internal struggle that the prophet was having about the justice of God. Date

1. The prophecy is not dated. A principle of Biblical interpretation is that if no information about time is given apparently the prophecy can be understood properly without it.

2. Internal evidence suggests a date between the death of King Josiah (609 BC) and The beginning of the Babylonian Captivity (605 BC.). Therefore, the date 609 is usually given.


I. The book of Habakkuk is built around (two questions that the prophet had and the two answers God gave.

Note this sequence:

a. Question One: (1:1-4); Why are the wicked prospering and (he righteous suffering? Why are you not doing something about (being wicked?

b. Answer One: (1:5-11); I am doing something; I am raising up the Chaldeans who will judge Judah.

c. Question Two: (1:12-2:4); How can you use people who are more wicked to punish those who are less wicked?

d. Answer Two: (2:5-20); I will judge them also.

The real issue in the book is related to the justice of God. Habakkuk was asking God these questions but he was indirectly accusing God of being unfair and unjust. God’s first reply so impressed Habakkuk that he was confident God would also reply to his second question. Habakkuk says in 2:1. “I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer am to give to this complaint.” After the second reply, Habakkuk was so satisfied with God’s reply that he concluded his book with one of the most exalted hymns of praise to be found in the Old Testament: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no grape.; on the vine, though the olive crop fails and the field.

produce no food, (though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls

yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign

Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go

on (he heights” (3:17-19).

The principle which seems to be taught in the prophecy is that honest questions

directed to God will not be considered insubordinate or arrogant.

Like most of prophets, Habakkuk writes in a very beautiful literary style. Note

these examples

a. 1:4; “Therefore (he law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in (he righteous, so that justice is perverted.”

b. 2:14; “You have made men like fish hi (he .vc-a, like sea creatures that have no niler”

c. 2:14; “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. ”

thought there is some question about whether Zechariah contains true apocalyptic


Like all the other prophets, the book promises both judgment and blessing.

Some believe that Zechariah gives the clearest messianic teachings in the entire Old

Testament. He prophesies that the Messiah would come in lowliness (6:12), (is

a betrayal for thirty pieces of silver is anticipated (11:12-13). Several other aspects: of his

life and ministry are suggested including his crucifixion (13:7), priesthood (6.13), and is

Kingship (6:13.


A. Author

1. “Malachi” means literally “My Messenger.”

2. Some consider the word “Malachi” to be a description rather than a proper name. However, it is more likely a proper name. We know very little about (his prophet other than the fact that he was the last of the Old Testament prophets.

B. Date

1. Unlike many of the prophets, the prophecy contains no dating indicators such as the year of a certain ruler,

2. However, internal evidence suggests that the book was written when Judah had a governor and was under Persian rule (1:8) A considerable amount of time had apparently elapsed since the return of the captives and the rebuilding of the Temple and the walls of the city (1:7, 10; 3:1),

3. The most likely date of the book is between 433 and 400.

Theme: Warnings about apostasy. The people had been in the land for several generations arid the corruption and backsliding that had been so common in the kingdom period was starting again.

Outline: The following outline gives a fair theme of the book (from Geisler, pp. 298-299):

1. Religious Decline (1:1-2:9)

2. Social Debasement (2:10-16)

3. Moral Defection (2:17-3:6).

4. Material Dissipation (3:7-18)

5. Messianic Declaration (4:1-5)

E. Details

1. This is the last book in (the Old Testament and probably the last revelation received in the Old Testament period. As such, its message is even more significant since we know there will not be any fresh revelation for four hundred years,—

One of the common literary devices Malachi uses is to make a charge, raise objections, and then refute the objects. Freeman calls this affirmation, interrogation, and refutation and states that this literary device is called the didactic-dialectic method (p. 348).

a. Note this example in 2:17:

1) Affirmation: “You have wearied the Lord with your words. “

2) Interrogation; ‘”How have we wearied him?’ you ask”

3) Refutation: “By saying, ‘All who do evil ore good in the eyes of the Lard,, and he is pleased with them’ or ‘Where is the God of justice ?'”

b. There are seven examples of this type of dialogue including 1:2-3; 1:6-7; 2:10-16, 2:17; 3:7; 3:8; 3:13-14.

Israel was guilty of several major sins during this time.

a. The priests were dishonouring God by offering blemished sacrifices (6-A). Malachi sarcastically says, “Try offering them to your given of TJ: ). In fact, the bulk of the book is addressed to the leaders of Israel who are 30 morally bankrupt,

b. The Israelites were 11-12) and divorce (2; I3-16).

c. They were guilty of injustice, immorality, and fraud. Malachi declares, ‘( I will come near from you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against

adulterers, and perjurers, against those who defraud labourers of their wages, who

oppress the widows, and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do no!

fear me, ‘says the Lord” (3:5)

d. They have robbed God by not giving their tithes and offerings (3:6-12).

1. The ministry of John the Baptist who would prepare the way for the Lord Is indicated in two places (3:1; 4:5).

5. Malachi has a beautiful picture of the coming Messiah in 3:2-4 which is an excellent way to conclude the study of the Old Testament: “But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.”


From this part of the world, Its all thanks and be rupturable, from pastor Godstrong.



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4 thoughts on “The Minor Prophets”

  1. I really enjoyed reading through such a detailed article about the minor prophets and of the Hebrew bible. I am a Muslim and reading about other religions and its history and life stories is inspiring and an insight to the powerful times that existed.

    The twelve books dictates the prophets stories and tribulations that they went through and of the life lessons gained and endured. It is always a step closer to God and when tragedies occur – you remember Him and remember the good in life and to appreciate life more than before:) A great read and spiritual.

  2. It is obvious that you have spent a considerable amount of time on this post.  You have went into great detail setting the background and context of these minor prophets and in so doing make then more ‘real’, rather than merely names in a book.

    By doing this you will enable people to better understand what is being said and what was actually happening during the period.

    Thank you for this excellent post and for bringing these minor prophets to life.  Keep up the good work.


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