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Latter Prophets: The Major and Minor Prophets Also known as Classical Prophets Classical Prophets Canonical Prophets Canonical Prophets Writing Prophets.

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Presentation on theme: "Latter Prophets: The Major and Minor Prophets Also known as Classical Prophets Classical Prophets Canonical Prophets Canonical Prophets Writing Prophets."— Presentation transcript:

1 Latter Prophets: The Major and Minor Prophets Also known as Classical Prophets Classical Prophets Canonical Prophets Canonical Prophets Writing Prophets Writing Prophets

2 Meaning of Prophet Hebrew word “nabi ” originated from Akkadian “nabitu ” meaning “to call” Hebrew word “nabi ” originated from Akkadian “nabitu ” meaning “to call” Active meaning: to call out the message Active meaning: to call out the message Passive: the one who is called Passive: the one who is called English word prophet comes from Greek “prophetes” meaning “to speak for, proclaim,” or “to speak beforehand, to foretell” English word prophet comes from Greek “prophetes” meaning “to speak for, proclaim,” or “to speak beforehand, to foretell”

3 Other Terms for Prophets Seer Seer Man of God Man of God Watchman Watchman Messenger of Yahweh Messenger of Yahweh Man of the Spirit Man of the Spirit

4 Major Prophets Major and Minor Prophets are distinguished by the length of the books that bear their names 3 Major Prophets in Hebrew Bible Isaiah Isaiah Jeremiah Jeremiah Ezekiel Ezekiel

5 The Twelve Minor Prophets MT Hosea [before 721] Hosea [before 721] Joel Joel Amos [ca ] Amos [ca ] Obadiah Obadiah Jonah [2 Kgs 14:25] Jonah [2 Kgs 14:25] Micah [ca ] Micah [ca ] LXX Hosea Amos Micah Joel Obadiah Jonah

6 The Minor Prophets… Nahum [between 663 and 612] Nahum [between 663 and 612] Habakkuk [ ] Habakkuk [ ] Zephaniah [Josiah] Zephaniah [Josiah] Haggai [520] Haggai [520] Zechariah [520 and 518] Zechariah [520 and 518] Malachi [ca ] Malachi [ca ]

7 Approximate Chronology of the Classical Prophets 8 th century (pre-exilic) 8 th century (pre-exilic) Jonah son of Amittai [Jeroboam II; 2 Kgs 14:25] Jonah son of Amittai [Jeroboam II; 2 Kgs 14:25] Amos [Uzziah of Judah and Jeroboam II] Amos [Uzziah of Judah and Jeroboam II] Hosea [before fall of Jehu’s dynasty] Hosea [before fall of Jehu’s dynasty] Isaiah [Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah] Isaiah [Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah] Micah [Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah] Micah [Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah]

8 Chronology of the Classical Prophets 7 th century: 7 th century: Zephaniah [Josiah]; Zephaniah [Josiah]; Nahum [between 663 and 612]; Nahum [between 663 and 612]; Jeremiah [ ]; Jeremiah [ ]; Habakkuk [ ; perhaps shortly after 605] Habakkuk [ ; perhaps shortly after 605]

9 Chronology of the Prophets 6 th century (exilic): 6 th century (exilic): {Obadiah} {Obadiah} Ezekiel [ or 570] Ezekiel [ or 570] (Daniel [ , or considerably later]) (Daniel [ , or considerably later]) (Isaiah [ca (possibly later)] (Isaiah [ca (possibly later)] Postexilic: Postexilic: Haggai [520] Haggai [520] Zechariah 1-8 [520 and 518] Zechariah 1-8 [520 and 518] {Joel} {Joel} Malachi [btw ca. 486 and 450] Malachi [btw ca. 486 and 450] Zechariah 9-14; Zechariah 9-14; {the book of Jonah} {} date not certain {the book of Jonah} {} date not certain

10 Factors Determining the Positioning of the Twelve Chronology: only approximately by century Chronology: only approximately by century Themes: LXX differs from MT in the ordering of the first 6 prophets to reflect different emphasis Themes: LXX differs from MT in the ordering of the first 6 prophets to reflect different emphasis House’s suggestion House’s suggestion sin of Israel and the nation sin of Israel and the nation punishment of sin punishment of sin restoration of both from that sin restoration of both from that sin

11 3 Key Moments in Israel’s History 800 BC 800 BC---  722 BC Fall of Samaria  700 BC ---  600 BC  586 BC Fall of Jerusalem --  538 BC Cyrus Decree -  500 BC --  400 BC Amos Hosea Micah Isaiah 1-39 Zephaniah Jeremiah Nahum Habakkuk Ezekiel {Obadiah} Isaiah Haggai and Zechariah Isaiah Malachi

12 Division among Latter Prophets Pre-exilic Foretelling the disaster of Exile Foretelling the disaster of Exile Message of Judgment: to warn Israel and Judah of their sins Message of Judgment: to warn Israel and Judah of their sins Against their contemporary cult Against their contemporary cult Change message after the Babylonian invasion Change message after the Babylonian invasion

13 Division among Latter Prophets Postexilic Look beyond disaster to more favorable divine purposes for Israel Look beyond disaster to more favorable divine purposes for Israel Still have oracles that predict selective judgment Still have oracles that predict selective judgment Moral teachers to exhort Moral teachers to exhort Encourage the re-establishment of cult Encourage the re-establishment of cult

14 Cf. Jer 38:4 Jere 38:4 (NASU) Then the officials said to the king, "Now let this man be put to death, inasmuch as he is discouraging the men of war who are left in this city and all the people, by speaking such words to them; for this man is not seeking the well- being of this people but rather their harm." The Lachish Ostraca VI

15 May good fortune attend thee just now! Who is thy servant, a dog, that my lord sent (him) the king’s [letter] and the letters of the princes, [saying]: “Read pray!” In truth, the words of the [prophets] are not good, in as much as they weaken the hands of the whole [people], and slacken the hands of the [men] who serve in the army…. …my lord, wilt thou not write to them, saying “Why do ye such a thing? …in Jerusalem… King… …As YHWH, thy God, liveth, since thy servant hath read the letters, thy servant no longer had… To my lord Ya’ush. May YHWH regard my lord with favor!

16 Tell Lachish

17 Room where Lachish Letters are found

18 Some of the Lachish Letters Some of the Lachish Letters

19 The role of the prophets Member of the divine council Member of the divine council Member of prophetic tradition Member of prophetic tradition Speaker for God’s kingdom Speaker for God’s kingdom Critic of human kingdoms Critic of human kingdoms

20 The Characteristic of the Prophets Ecstatic behavior Ecstatic behavior Called by God to speak God’s message Called by God to speak God’s message Moved by the Holy Spirit Moved by the Holy Spirit Their lives set as paradigm Their lives set as paradigm

21 The Themes of the Prophets Theo centric Theo centric The condition of Israel The condition of Israel Sinful Worship Sinful Worship Failure of the leaders: King, Prophets, Priests, Judges Failure of the leaders: King, Prophets, Priests, Judges Social injustice against the poor Social injustice against the poor Treacherous business practices Treacherous business practices Excess extravagance Excess extravagance Relationship between God and Israel Relationship between God and Israel The future The future

22 True and False Prophets Criteria of validation: When they misled people (Deut 13:2; 18:20; Jer 2:8; 23:27) When they misled people (Deut 13:2; 18:20; Jer 2:8; 23:27) When their morals were loose (Jer 23:14) When their morals were loose (Jer 23:14) When they practiced magic and divination (Isa 8:19; Jer 14:14) When they practiced magic and divination (Isa 8:19; Jer 14:14)

23 Characteristic of True and False Prophets True Prophets Revelation Holistic proclamation Independence from power structures Members of divine and social institution Vision of the reality of God’s kingdom Theo centric ethics Suffering for the sake of God False Prophets Syncretistic Selective proclamation Dependence on power structures Members of a social institution Guardians of status quo: monarchy, temple Man-centered ethics Popularity and power

24 The Relevancy of the Old Testament Prophets

25 5 characteristics of the message of the prophets Preachers of the law of Moses Preachers of the law of Moses God’s delegates God’s delegates The prophets as social reformers The prophets as social reformers The prophets as messengers of the oracles of God to the nations The prophets as messengers of the oracles of God to the nations The prophets as announcers of judgment and salvation The prophets as announcers of judgment and salvation

26 Chiastic Structure of the Book of Micah

27 Judgment against Samaria and Jerusalem 1:2-2:11 Promise of deliverance 2:12-13 A. Judgment against Israel’s leader 3:1-12 Hope for Zion’s future 4:1-5 B. Remnant’s hope: restoration of ruler 4:6-8 C. Present dire situation in Zion with hope of deliverance 4:9-10 Present siege by nations but eventual victory 4:11-13 Present helpless judges and the future ideal king 4:14-5:5 B’. The future role of Israel’s remnants 5:6-8 A’. God’s future purge 5:9-13 Hope of deliverance in the future 5:14 God’s indictment against Israel 6:1-7:7 A prophetic liturgy: hopes and prayers 7:8-20

28 Contemporary Relevance of the Prophets Take the moral teaching of the prophets at their face value Take the moral teaching of the prophets at their face value We are summoned to repent and to execute a “U-turn” theology We are summoned to repent and to execute a “U-turn” theology The Messiah will come a 2 nd time just as the prophets foretold he would come the first time The Messiah will come a 2 nd time just as the prophets foretold he would come the first time

29 Case Study: Jer 31:15 What is the historical meaning? What is the historical meaning? How does NT (Matt 2:18) reinterpret it? How does NT (Matt 2:18) reinterpret it? How do we appropriate its message? How do we appropriate its message?


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