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An Introduction to the Old Testament The Nevi’im (The Prophets)

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Presentation on theme: "An Introduction to the Old Testament The Nevi’im (The Prophets)"— Presentation transcript:

1 An Introduction to the Old Testament The Nevi’im (The Prophets)

2 The Latter Prophets The 12 Minor Prophets Hosea – Malachi

3 The 12 Minor Prophets “minor” not in importance but in length
Unlike the 3 major prophets; read as a unit “12” probably used as reference to the 12 tribes Most were contemporaneous with one of the major prophets Written over a period of 300 years Evidence of many redactors/editors

4 - 8th century B.C.E. before the fall of the Northern Kingdom (Israel)
Dates of origin: Amos, Hosea, Micah - 8th century B.C.E. before the fall of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) Zaphaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk - 7th century B.C.E. during the fall of Assyria and the rise of Babylon Haggai, Zechariah (1-8) - circa 520 B.C.E. during the rebuilding of the temple Joel, Jonah, Obadiah, Malachi, Zechariah (9-14) - difficult to date; postexilic - 5th century – 330 B.C.E.

5 The 12 Minor Prophets Part 1 Amos Hosea Micah Zephaniah Nahum Habakkuk

6 Amos Earliest of the prophets who have a book bearing their name
From the southern kingdom of Judah; a shepherd from Toka Ministered in the northern kingdom during the prosperous reign of Jeroboam II ( B.C.E) Oracles against the nations Oracles against the cult at Bethel The northern kingdom seen as heretical because it established two worship centers (Bethel & Dan) in opposition to Jerusalem The oracles against Israel come in the form of Words & Woes

7 Amos Theme: all people are equal in the sight of God
Exodus does not guarantee Israel privilege but adds to its responsibility Introduces the concept of the “Day of the Lord” as a day of judgment not vindication Speaks directly to social justice with a vigor unparalled anywhere in the Bible A prophet of divine judgment Sovereignty of Yahweh in nature & history dominates his thoughts Day of the Lord from earliest times meant a benevolent intervention by God Ch 5, 18-27

8 Hosea From the Northern Kingdom
Prophesied during the end of Jeroboam II’s reign During a time of crises in the Northern Kingdom Unrivaled for beauty of poetry and emotional power of his oracles Called to marry a harlot (Gomer) Uses the metaphor of “marriage” to describe the relationship between Israel and God Major problem addressed was idolatry; specifically the cult of Baal Also addressed Israel’s treatment of the poor Assyria was on the rise…Israel was going to become a vassal in 732 and taken into captivity in 722 Baal was a common form for husband…the Canaanite worship of Baal was as a fertility God Ch 5, 1-4; ch 6, 1-3; ch 8,7; ch 10,1-4; 8-11 The image of the covenant love as the love between husband and wife is used by John and Paul in the NT

9 Micah Contemporary with Amos, Hosea & Isaiah
Prophesied in the Southern Kingdom (Judah) Preoccupied with issues of social justice and the impending war with Assyria Like Amos, the appearance of God is for judgment not vindication Addressed the issue that the professional prophets were leading the people astray “covenant lawsuit”; God indicts the people for not following the Sinai covenant Ch 1, 1-2; ch 2, 1-2; ch 4, 1-3; ch 5, 1-4; ch 6, 6-8

10 Zephaniah Prophesied during the reign Josiah (640-609)
A time of religious degradation The “day of the Lord” seen in cosmic terms: God will make an end of all who live on earth; a day of doom Despite Judah’s infidelities, God will spare a remnant Josiah tried to reform and call the people back to the deuteronomic law, but was not very successful A more apocalyptic understanding of judgment (final judgment) Dies Irae based on Zephaniah 1, 2:18; ch 3,12-13

11 Nahum Concerned with a single event the fall of Nineveh (Assyria) in 612 Assyria was a bloodthirsty conqueror Uses the image of the “warrior God” who tempers justice with mercy Descriptions of Assyria in secular history tells of mounds of heads, impaled bodies, enslaved citizens Ch 1, 1-3

12 Habakkuk Dates from the years 605-597
Situation in Judah was desperate with political intrigue and religious idolatry Concerned with the injustice in Jewish society Questions why God allows his people to suffer God responds by assuring that the just Israelite will not perish Prophesy filled with reminiscences of Israel’s past Ends with a joyous profession of confidence in God The theme of questioning the actions of God will occur again in Job Ch 1, 1-3; ch 2, 1-4

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