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4. Prophecy

Four Major and Five Minor Prophets comprise about one-sixth of a one year read-through of the Bible. While reading, put the background, theme, and outline of these books into your own words and memorize. Historical dates given here are approximate.

ISAIAH

Background

Around the time of the Northern Kingdoms fall and following Isaiah prophesied to Judah that it too would go into exile for its apostacy

Theme

The coming exile and hope

Outline

Warning and Rebuke, Immanuel, the Nations, Warning and Rebuke, Israel, Warning and Rebuke, Hezekiah, and Comfort

JEREMIAH

Background

Before and after the fall of the Southern Kingdom (586 BC) Jeremiah warns of God's judgement and urges submission to Babylon as the LORD's agent

Theme

Coming judgement, exile, and restoration

Outline

Judgement on Judah, Jeremiah's life, Judgement on the Nation

LAMENTATIONS

Background

Written by Jeremiah Following the Destruction of Jerusalem (586 BC)

Theme

Mourning after God's Judgement on Jerusalem

Outline

Grief, the Cause, Hope, Repentance, and Prayer

EZEKIEL

Background

Ezekiel was taken to Babylon (597 BC) before the fall of Jerusalem. He ministered to the exiles.

Theme

The purposes of God revealed through judgement and blessing

Outline

Before, during, and after the exile

DANIEL

Background

Before the final fall of Jerusalem, Daniel and his friends are taken as hostages to Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar

Theme

God's control of the nations

Outline

Danielís History, Future of the Nations, and Future of Israel

HOSEA

Background

The one writing prophet of the Northern Kingdom, his ministry centered in the quarter of a century preceeding the fall of that kingdom in 722 BC

Theme

The spiritual adultery of Israel

Outline

Hosea's marrage, Israel's unfaithfulness and judgement, Restoration

JOEL

Background

Possibly written around 830 BC during reign of Joash on the occaision of a double plague of locusts and drought

Theme

The Great and Terrible Day of the LORD

Outline

Locusts prefigure Day of the LORD, Blessings and Judgements

AMOS

Background

At the height of power for the Northern Kingdom under Jeroboam II, approx 760 BC, Amos preaches impending judgements

Theme

Impending judgement due to social injustice, moral decline, and spiritual apostacy

Outline

Judgements on Nations, 3 judgements on Israel, 5 Visions, future restoration

OBADIAH

Background

The Edomites aided the enemies of Israel, either around 845 BC or 586 BC

Theme

Although a related nation (Esau was Israel's brother), the Edomites gloated over Jerusalem's defeat

Outline

Judgement on Edom and Restoration for Israel

JONAH

Background

Jonah was active during the reign of Jeroboam II. Ninevah was an Assyrian city, later the capital. Assyrians were oppressors of Judah, although not at this time. Jonah's story was about 760BC.

Theme

God's concern for a pagan nation, including judgement and repentance

Outline

Jonah flees, prays, preaches, and complains

MICAH

Background

Micah prophesied to both kingdoms before and after the destruction of the Northern Kingdom in 722 BC

Theme

Judgement and Restoration

Outline

Judgement, Hope through the coming one, God's Lawsuit

NAHUM

Background

Nahum preached against Ninevah prior to it's fall (612 BC). Ninevah had repented under Jonah in 760 BC but returned to ruthless practices.

Theme

God will judge the arrogance and cruelty of Assyria

Outline

Judgement Proclaimed, Accomplished, and Explained

HABAKKUK

Background

Habakkuk is dismayed at the sin in Judah prior to the invasion by Babylon

Theme

God is the Master of History and the Nations

Outline

Sin in Judah,God's Use of Babylon, Praise to God

ZEPHANIAH

Background

Zephaniah's preaching (about 630-625 BC) led to revival during the reign of King Josiah

Theme

The Great and Coming Day of the LORD

Outline

Judgement and Restoration

HAGGAI

Background

Haggai preaches sixteen years after the first return from exile

Theme

A call to renewed effort in restoring the Temple in Jerusalem

Outline

The Temple and Blessings of God

ZECHARIAH

Background

Zechariah preached at the time of Haggai
and possibly for fifty years (520-470 BC)

Theme

God's program for his people leading to the coming of the Messiah

Outline

Eight Visions, Four Messages, and Two Burdens

MALACHI

Background

The last prophet condemned prevalent sin in Judah. Four hundred years of silence followed his messages (432-425 BC)

Theme

Cynical and Empty Worship of God

Outline

Sins of the Priests and People and Promises for the future

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Written by BrRon, updated 3 Mar 97