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Introduction To The Prophets “In times of spiritual and moral repression and decay, God raised up men (prophets) in whose mouth He put His word and whom.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction To The Prophets “In times of spiritual and moral repression and decay, God raised up men (prophets) in whose mouth He put His word and whom."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction To The Prophets “In times of spiritual and moral repression and decay, God raised up men (prophets) in whose mouth He put His word and whom He sent to the people in an effort to turn them back to himself” Homer Hailey Heb 1:1-2 “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, …”

2 The Old Testament comes to a close with 17 books of prophecy with the ministry of 16 men (Lamentations, dated 586 BC is the additional book) Introduction To The Prophets

3 Reading The Prophets Today The message of the prophets is not limited to their own time or to their witness about Jesus, they spoke and wrote Gods word for His people then and now. Understanding their message in their time and in relationship to Jesus helps us know what they mean for us today, individually and as Gods people.

4 Origins of Hebrew Prophecy Becoming a Prophet was based on a call of God (not unlike today) to reveal His will for Israel and to speak his word of judgment and salvation. Two Types Of Prophets –Literary or Classical Prophets Have a recorded/written legacy –Nonliterary or Preliterary No books written about them but get mentioned in Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah

5 Terms for Prophets Men & Women Man of God –A Person Possessed By God For Special Service Seer Visionary –Based on experience and insights of dreams and visions Prophet or Prophetess –Meaning to speak or one who is called by God (Preachers) Diviner or Soothsayer –Never applied to those that spoke for Yahweh! –Practiced witchcraft

6 Forces That Shaped The Prophets & Were Shaped By Them Historical Events Monarchy Idolatry Social Oppression

7 Literary Forms Used Prophetic Oracles –Introduced by thus says the Lord or the word of the lord was to ____ –Usually contain a word of judgment or a confronting message of salvation Visions Poetry –Examples: Doxologies, Short sayings and prayers Autobiographical narrative –Written in first person by the prophet the book is named after. Biographical narrative Written about the prophet in common speech

8 To speak for God to Men To speak Gods word To be a forth teller To contend with false prophets Their Calling

9 The prophets heralded judgment for sin, or spoke with compassion of Gods mercy and forgiveness when the people would turn and repent of their sin. They prophesied of the coming Messiah and his kingdom. 1Pe 1:10-12 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. God spoke with them through dreams visions or a direct word from God, and they spoke with parables, metaphors and similes to the people.

10 How Will You Know Them? First Test (Deut. 13:1-5) –Test From Truth Already Revealed A true prophet will never contradict what God has already established. He will never lead people away from God, or the correct worship of God. Second Test (Deut. 18:14-19) –Test From The Example of Moses A true prophet will be like Moses in that: –No Sorcery or magic involved –A humble spirit –He will be raised up from the people not brought in from the outside Third Test Deut. (18:20-22) –A true prophet speaks truth and it will come to pass in order to verify it. –This includes an accurate exposition of Gods revealed word, but also any prediction or miraculous sign ALL THREE OF THE TEST MUST BE MET IN ORDER FOR A PROPHET TO QUALIFY AS A TRUE PROPHET OF GOD!

11 Prophecy “Prediction is prophecy, but not all prophecy is prediction. Prophecy may concern the past or the present as well as the future. In the former case it is an inspired forth-telling; in the later, it is an inspired fore- telling. Prophecy in the non-predictive sense is a declaring of the truth, on any given subject, Prophecy in the predictive sense is declaring of the future such as is impossible to the unaided wisdom of man, and which can only come by direct inspiration of God” J Sidlow Baxter

12 Prophecy Just like there are types and anti types or types and shadows, prophecy has a near and far fulfillment especially when dealing with the phrase the day of the Lord. Look for this as we read the prophets where there will be an immediate fulfillment at that time but also a future expectation of it being fulfilled

13 How Will You Know Them? Deu 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. Deu 18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. Deu 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. Deu 18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

14 Major VS Minor Prophets Minor prophets are designated as such only because of the length of the books.

15 The Prophets The Major Prophets –Isaiah 742-687 BC * –Jeremiah 627-580 BC –Daniel 605-536 BC –Ezekiel 593-563 BC The Minor Prophets –Obadiah 840-830 BC –Joel 830-750 BC –Jonah 780-740 BC –Hosea 765-725 BC –Amos 760 BC –Micah 740-700 BC –Nahum 640-620 BC –Zephaniah 640-609 BC –Habakkuk 680-605 BC –Haggai 520 BC –Zechariah 520-480 BC –Malachi 420-400 BC

16 Non Writing Prophets, Or Prophets Of Whose Writings Nothing Has Come Down To Us Pre Divided Kingdom –Samuel, Nathan, Gad, Ahija Israel Aijah Jehu Elijah & Micaiah Elisha Judah Shemaiah Azariah Hanani Huldah

17 Prophetic Periods Prophets of the Neo- Assyrian Period 934 BC and ended in 609 BC Fall of the Northern Kingdom 722 BC Prophets of the Neo Babylonian Period 626 BC and ended in 539 BC Fall of the Southern Kingdom 586 BC Prophets of the Persian Period 538 BC and ended in 334 BC

18 Periods Of Prophets 9 th Century (Early Assyrian Period) –Obadiah –Joel –Jonah 8 th Century (Assyrian Period) –Amos –Hosea –Isaiah –Micah 7 th Century (Chaldean Period) Fall Of The Northern Kingdom (Israel) 722 BC –Jeremiah –Zephaniah –Nahum –Habakkuk 6 th Century (Exilic Period) Fall Of The Southern Kingdom (Judah) Exile 586 BC –Ezekiel –Daniel –Lamentations 6 th & 5Th Century (Post Exilic Period) –Haggai –Zechariah –Malachi 1st Return From Babylon 538 BC 2 nd & 3rd Return 457 BC and 445 BC

19 Alternative Grouping Of The Prophets Because Exact Dates Cannot Be Determined, Opinions Vary On The Chronology Of Certain Prophets! Neo- Assyrian Period –Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah Neo Babylonian Period –Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Ezekiel, Obadiah, Lamentations The Persian Period –Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, Joel, Malachi *Major Prophets in Red*

20 Different Dates For Minor Prophets –Amos 750 BC * –Hosea 745-734 BC * –Micah 701 BC –Zephaniah 628-626 BC –Nahum 614-612 BC –Habakkuk 605-600 BC –Haggai 520 BC –Zechariah 520-519 BC –Malachi 460 BC –Obadiah 400-350 BC –Joel 350 BC –Jonah 300 BC –Obadiah 840-830 BC –Joel 830-750 BC –Jonah 780-740 BC –Hosea 765-725 BC –Amos 760 BC –Micah 740-700 BC –Nahum 640-620 BC –Zephaniah 640-609 BC –Habakkuk 680-605 BC –Haggai 520 BC –Zechariah 520-480 BC –Malachi 420-400 BC

21 Before The Assyrian Exile



24 Timeline

25 Ministry Location Northern Kingdom (ISRAEL) All BAD KINGS ELIJAH (Ahab-Joram) ELISHA (Joram-Jehoahaz) HOSEA (Jeroboam II-Hoshea) AMOS (Jeroboam II) *The 10 Northern Tribes fell to the Assyrian ruler Sargon II in 722 BC and the people were scattered and assimilated. Southern Kingdom (JUDAH) IN 586 Judah fell to Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, The temple destroyed, in 539 Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians, In 538 Cyrus allowed Jews to return to Palestine the temple was rebuilt in 516 70 years after it was destroyed. ISAIAH (Uzziah, Jotham, (Ahaz, Jehoahaz)Hezekiah, Manasseh) JEREMIAH (Manasseh, Josiah, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah) JOEL (Governor Ezra) MICAH (Jotham, (Ahaz, Jehoahaz), Hezekiah) HABAKKUK (Josiah, Jehoiakim) ZEPHANIAH (Josiah) HAGGAI ? ZECHARIAH ? MALACHI ?

26 Ministry Location Other EZEKIEL Exiles in Babylonia (Josiah, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah) DANIEL In Babylon (Josiah, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah) OBADIAH Concerning Edom (Zedekiah) JONAH In Nineveh (Jeroboam II) NAHUM Concerning Nineveh (Manasseh, Josiah, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah)

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