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Bible: Minor prophets (Read 10546 times)
Gerrit-Jan Linker
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Bible: Minor prophets
01.05.12 at 09:12:08
Bible: Minor prophets
  • Hosea
    Hosea was directed by God to marry a promiscuous woman of ill-repute, and he did so. Marriage here is symbolic of the covenantal relationship between God and Israel.  
    Israel has been unfaithful to God by breaking the covenant, hence Israel is symbolized by a harlot who violates the obligations of marriage to her husband.
    God commands Hosea's son to be named Jezreel (which means God Sows). The naming was to stand as a prophecy against the reigning house of the Northern Kingdom, that they would pay for bloodshed.  
    God commands Hosea's daughter to be named Lo-ruhamah; Unloved, or, Pity or Pitied. On to show Israel that, although God will still have pity on the Southern Kingdom, God will no longer have pity on the Northern Kingdom; its destruction is imminent.  
    A son is born to Gomer. It is questionable whether this child was Hosea's, for God commands that his name be Lo-ammi; Not My People (Not Mine).  
    The child bore this name of shame to show that the Northern Kingdom would also be shamed, for its people would no longer be known as God's People. Also God says that "I am not your I am"; in other words, God changes His own name in connection with his current relationship with Israel.
    Further information:
  • Joel
    Lament over a great grasshopper plague and a severe drought (1:1–2:17). The effects of these events (1:1–20). A more apocalyptic passage comparing the grasshoppers to God’s army (2:1–11). A call to national repentance. (2:12–17)
    Promise of future blessings (2:18–32). Banishment of the grasshoppers and restoration of agricultural productivity as a divine response to national penitence (2:18–27). Future prophetic gifts to all God’s people, and the safety of God’s people in the face of cosmic cataclysm. (2:28–32)
    Coming judgment on God’s (Israel’s) enemies and the vindication of Israel. (3:1–21)
    Further information:
  • Amos
    The central idea of the book:  
    As it is with all nations that rise up against the kingdom of God, even Israel and Judah will not be exempt from the judgment of God because of their idolatry and unjust ways. The nation that represents YHVH must be made pure of anything or anyone that profanes the name of God. God's name must be exalted.
    Other major ideas:
    Social justice and concern for the disadvantaged; the idea that Israel's covenant with God did not exempt them from accountability for sin; God is God of all nations; God is judge of all nations; God is God of moral righteousness; God made all people; God elected Israel and then liberated Israel so that He would be known throughout the world; election by God means that those elected are responsible to live according to the purposes clearly outlined to them in the covenant; if God destroys the unjust, a remnant will remain; and God is free to judge whether to redeem Israel.
    Further information:
  • Obadiah [Obadja (NL)]
    The book is based on a prophetic vision concerning the fall of Edom. Obadiah describes an encounter with God who addresses Edom’s arrogance and charges them for their violent actions against their brother nation, the House of Jacob.
    In the vision Jerusalem falls to the hands of foreign invaders and tells about God’s anger against Edom for taking advantage of the Jews of Judah during their plight, thus sealing their doom.
    In the final aspect of the vision, Israel’s restoration, as a holy place, is declared in contrast to the Edomite lineage that shall end.  
    God’s judgment will be upon all nations.  
    Further information:
  • Jonas [Jona (NL)]
    The plot centers on a conflict between Jonah and God. God calls Jonah to proclaim judgment to Nineveh, but Jonah resists and attempts to flee. He goes to Joppa and boards a ship bound for Tarshish. God calls up a great storm at sea, and the ship's crew cast Jonah overboard in an attempt to appease God. A great sea creature sent by God, swallows Jonah. For three days and three nights Jonah languishes inside the fish's belly. He says a prayer in which he repents for his disobedience and thanks God for His mercy. God speaks to the fish, which vomits out Jonah safely on dry land. After his rescue, Jonah obeys the call to prophesy against Nineveh, and they repent and God forgives them. Jonah is furious, however, and angrily tells God that this is the reason he tried to flee from Him, as he knew Him to be a just and merciful God. He then beseeches God to kill him, a request which is denied when God causes a tree to grow over him, giving him shade. Initially grateful, Jonah's anger returns the next day, when God sends a worm to eat the plant, withering it, and he tells God that it would be better if he were dead. God then points out: "Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night. And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?"
    Ironically, the relentless God demonstrated in the first chapter becomes the merciful God in the last two chapters (see 3:10). In a parallel turnabout, Jonah becomes one of the most effective of all prophets, turning the entire population of Nineveh (about 120,000 people) to God.
    Further information:
  • Micah [Micha (NL)]
    Judgement against the nations and their leaders (chapters 1-3).
    Restoration of Zion (chapters 4-5).
    God's lawsuit against Israel and expression of hope (chapters 6-7).
    Further information:
  • Nahum
    Chapter 1 shows the majesty and might of God the LORD in goodness and severity.
    Chapters 2 & 3 describe the fall of Nineveh in 612 BCE
    Themes: 1. the fall of Nineveh; 2. the nature of God
    Nahum shows God to be slow to anger but that He will by no means clear the guilty, but will bring his vengeance and wrath to pass. God is presented as a God who will punish evil but will protect those who trust in Him.
    Further information:
  • Habakuk
    Major theme:
    Trying to grow from a faith of perplexity and doubt to the height of absolute trust in God. Habakkuk addresses his concerns over the fact that God will use the evil Babylonian empire to execute judgment on Judah for their sins.
    Habakkuk openly questions the wisdom of God. Habakuk sees the injustice among his people and asks why God does not take action.
    God explains that he will send the Chaldeans to punish his people.Habakuk expresses shock at God's choice of instrument for judgment.
    Habakkuk expresses his ultimate faith in God, even if he doesn't fully understand.
    Further information:
  • Zephaniah [Sefanja (NL)]
    1:1      (Superscription)
    1:2-13      The Coming Judgment on Judah
    1:14-18      The Great Day of the Lord
    2:1-15      Judgment on Israel's Enemies
    3:1-7      The Wickedness of Jerusalem
    3:8-13      Punishment and Conversion of the Nations
    3:14-20      Song of Joy
    It contains the most vivid descriptions in the prophetic literature of God’s wrath. Yet, it is also unequivocal in its proclamation of a restoration for those who survive the ‘Great Day of the Lord`.
    It incorporates a good deal of phrases and terminology which are found in other books of the Bible.
    Further information:
  • Haggai
    Haggai urges the people to proceed with the rebuilding of the second Jerusalem temple.  
    Haggai attributes a recent drought to the peoples' refusal to rebuild the temple, which he sees as key to Jerusalem’s glory.  
    The book ends with the prediction of the downfall of kingdoms, with one Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, as the Lord’s chosen leader.  
    Further information:
  • Zachariah
    A theological and pastoral book.  
    The main emphasis is that God is at work and plans to live again with His people in Jerusalem.  
    He will save them from their enemies and cleanse them from sin.
    Zechariah's concern for purity is apparent in the temple, priesthood and all areas of life as the prophecy gradually eliminates the influence of the governor in favour of the high priest
    Chapters 7 to 14: Messianic prophecies
    Chapters 9-14: apocalyptic literature
    Further information:
  • Maleachi
    The book of Malachi was written to correct the lax religious and social behaviour of the Israelites – particularly the priests – in post-exilic Jerusalem.
    n 1:2, Malachi has the people of Israel question God's love for them.
    In 2:10, Malachi addresses the issue of divorce.
    Malachi also criticizes his audience for questioning God's justice.
    Malachi assures the faithful among his audience that in the eschaton, the differences between those who served God faithfully and those who did not will become clear.
    Further information:
    See also:  
    The books of the bible (top)  
    Other books of the bible:
    Historical books
    Wisdom books  
    Major prophets  
    Biblical apocrypha [Deuterocanonieke boeken (NL)]  
    New Testament  
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    « Last Edit: 02.05.12 at 16:54:10 by Gerrit-Jan Linker »  

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