STUDY THE BIBLE 17 THE PROPHETS

                                                                                                                                                                                         

STUDY THE BIBLE 17

“THE PROPHETS”

 

Prophets were chosen of God, to tell the certain future before it happened, with prophecy.

They would not predict the future, as this would imply guesswork on the part of the prophet.

God simply used these messengers, to tell what WOULD be happening. No guessing needed!

The books of the prophets, Isaiah to Malachi, cover about 400 years, 800-400BC approximately, when the Hebrew nation was in decline.

THEIR MISSION AND MESSAGE

1.    To try and save the Hebrew nation from IDOLATRY and wickedness.

2.    Failing this, to announce to the nation, that they will be destroyed.

3.    But not completely destroyed, as a remnant (a few left) will be saved.

4.     Out of this remnant will come a Person who will bring all nations to God.

5.    That person will be a great man who will one day arise out of the family tree of David. The prophets called him THE BRANCH. This family tree of David, once the most powerful family in the world, was cut down in the days of the prophets, and disappeared. But the family would comeback with this man called THE BRANCH, and he would become KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev 19:16)

       Not understanding the full meaning and importance of their words, the prophets were still obedient.

 

MEMORIZE THE ORDER OF THE PROPHETS

Although there are 17 books of the prophets, there are only 16 prophets, as Jeremiah wrote two of them – Jeremiah and Lamentations.

They are divided into 2 groups – the Major Prophets and the Minor Prophets, not because of their importance, but because of the size of the books they wrote.

The Major Prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah (Lamentations), Ezekiel, Daniel (remember the order as I J E D)

The Minor Prophets – Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. A nonsense sentence to help you remember the order is as follows:-

Imagine you are talking to two of your friends called Joel and OJ, about the unhealthy state of some Zebras, that belong to a neighbour of yours. Here is a sentence, or you can make up your own.

The first letter of each of these words is the first letter of the books.

 

Hey Joel And OJ, My Neighbour Has Zero Healthy Zebras, Man!”

Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

 

 

NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN KINGDOMS

Israel, after entering Canaan, Israel had series of Judges (the book called Judges in the Bible) that ruled till 1050BC. Saul then reigns for 40 years, David for 40 years, and then Solomon for 40 years, ending in 930BC. At this time, God divides Israel into two kingdoms – the Northern and the Southern.

 

The Northern kingdom, CALLED ISRAEL, had the ten tribes, and lasted about 210 years, and the prophets during this period were Joel, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah.

The destruction and captivity Northern kingdom went from 734-721BC. They were taken to Assyria have simply disappeared from the face of the earth.

 

 

The Southern kingdom, CALLED JUDAH, had the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and lasted about 320 years, and the prophets during this period were Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Obadiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah.

The destruction and captivity of the Southern kingdom, went from 606-586BC. Taken to Babylon.

Invading armies didn’t kill and destroy everything at once, but slowly strangled their captive nations, with taxes, slaves and goods. Under their rule, they then left the very poorest in the land to struggle on.

The RESTORATION of the Nation, made up of only Judah and Benjamin, NOW CALLED ISRAEL, happened from 536-444BC, and the prophets during this period were Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

                                                       

                                      

Ten Northern tribes ________

   Saul ______David_____ Solomon           930BC                      722BC (lasted 210 years)

 1050BC        1010BC         970BC      

                                                        Two Southern Tribes _____________

                                                               930BC                                606BC (lasted about 320 years)

 

 

 

 

THE RELIGION OF THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH

To deliberately keep themselves separate from the South, the North adopted as their national religion of

CALF WORSHIP, the religion of Egypt, and soon after added BAAL WORSHIP. This Baal worship got hold of the South, when some rulers from the North, inter-married into the Southern line of kings. This is when God’s name started disappearing from their minds.

 

 

THE PROPHETS ARE GROUPED AS FOLLOWS

Northern - ISRAEL

Southern - JUDAH

Other Nations

Amos

Before captivity

Ninevah

Hosea

Joel

Jonah

 

Isaiah

Nahum

 

Micah

 

 

Jeremiah

Edom (Esau)

 

Habakkuk

Obadiah

 

Zephaniah

 

 

Before & to Babylon

 

 

Daniel

 

 

Captives in Babylon

 

 

Ezekiel

 

 

Return from Captivity

 

 

Haggai

 

 

Zechariah

 

 

Malachi

 

 

 

 

PROPHETS AND PRIESTS

 

The Levitical priests were the religious leaders and teachers, and were regularly appointed as such. It was passed down from generation to generation, so if your father was a Levite priest, then so were you. It was hereditary. Instead of crying out against the sins of the people, they were the ones who were starting it all. They became the wickedest men in the land.

The prophets were not a hereditary class, in that, they did not inherit the office of prophet. Each one got their call directly from God. They were from all walks of life, and often complete no-bodies, as in the case of Amos, who was a simple shepherd.

WHAT THE PROPHETS SAW

 

FOR THE TEN NORTHERN TRIBES (ISRAEL)

AMOS 780-740BC DAVID’S HOUSE WILL YET RULE THE WORLD Wickedness of Israel, doom and restoration Ch1-2 Doom ch3. Luxury palaces ch4. Time to meet God ch5. Day of God ch6. Captivity ch7. Three visions ch8. Basket of Summer fruit ch9. Future glory. He sees 1. Return of Jews to God 9:11-12 2. Millennium 9:13-15

HOSEA 760-720BC GOD WILL ONE DAY BE GOD OF ALL NATIONS. Israel will be cast off. About 200yrs before, they have a golden calf as their god. Ch1-3 A harlot wife reflects Israel with a faithful God. Children Jezreel = retribution, Loammi = no longer my people, Loruhamah=no more mercy Ch4-13 idols, desolation, lewd priests murder, adultery  Ch14 He sees Israel return to God 3:45, 6:1-2

 

FOR THE TWO SOUTHERN TRIBES (JUDAH)

JOEL 830BC 1st of Judah’s 11 prophets. GOD WILL RESCUE ISRAEL. THE COMING DAY OF GOD.  The locust plagues herald the up-coming day of the Lord. He sees: 1. The great tribulation 2:28-32 2. Pouring out of Holy Spirit on Israel in the 7 year tribulation 2:28-32 3. Removal Russia & Arab nations in 1st half of the tribulation 2:20 4. Armageddon 3:1-17 5. Millennium 3:18-21

ISAIAH 750-695BC THE MESSIANIC PROPHET. While his whole life was spent under Assyrian threat, & their capturing the Northern kingdom, his greatest success was to keep Jerusalem out of their hands with Sennacherib repelled Ch36-37. He sees: 1. Birth of Christ 7:14, 9:6-7, 11:1-3. 2. Calvary 50:6, 53:1-12. 3. Return of the Jews 11:11-16, 60:8-16 4. Antichrist 14:14-20 5. The great tribulation 2:19-21 6. Armageddon 26:20-21, 11:4-5, 63:1-6 7. Millennium 35:1-10, 11:4-10 8. Millennial temple 2:2-4 9. New Jerusalem, new heavens & earth 60:18-22, 66:22

MICAH 740-700BC THE COMING PRINCE OF BETHLEHEM AND HIS UNIVERSAL REIGN Coming  fall of Judah & Samaria - the latter with  robbing the poor, seizing fields, false prophets & national corruption He sees: 1. Birth of Christ 5:2 2. Millennium 4:1-7

JEREMIAH 626-586BC GOD’S FINAL EFFORT TO SAVE JERUSALEM. Jerusalem’s sin, doom and future glory Isaiah saved Jerusalem from Assyria, Jeremiah fails to save it from Babylon. If Judah will repent from wickedness, God will save her. He persistently advises Judah to surrender to Babylon. Judah to be destroyed but will rule the world. Babylon to be destroyed never to rise again. He sees: 1. Birth of Christ 31:5 2. Return of the Jews 3:18, 16:14-15, 23:3-8, 31:8 3. Millennium 31:27-34, 33:12-26

(Book of LAMENTATIONS: Mourning, crying and lamenting over the desolating of Jerusalem).

HABAKKUK 607BC INVASION OF JUDAH; DOOM OF THE CHALDEANS Complains to God about Judah’s destruction 1:1 – 2:11 but then admits their sins. Babylon to be destroyed & Israel to fill the earth 2:12-2:20 He sees: 1. Millennium 3:1-19.

ZEPHANIAH 639-600BC WRATH FOR JUDAH; WRATH FOR THE NATIONS; COMING OF A ‘PURE LANGUAGE’ Under Josiah the 15th king, there was a temporary revival (see 2 Ki 22) A. Near invasion by Nebuchadnezzar 1:1-2:3  B. Judgment on other nations – eg Moab, Ammon, Ethiopia, etc C. Filthy moral state of Jerusalem 3:1-7 D. Armageddon 3:8 & the Millennium 3:20

DANIEL 606-534BC High office & prophet in Babylon & Persia. THE FOUR KINGDOMS; GOD’S EVERLASTING KINGDOM Ch1 As a youth taken & trained with three others in Babylon Ch2 Four world empires predicted Ch3 Fiery furnace Ch4 Nebuchadnezzar’s madness & recovery Ch5 Belshazzar’s feast Ch6 Lion’s den Ch7 Four beasts Ch8 Ram & He-goat Ch9 Seventy weeks Ch10 Angels of nations Ch11 Two kings of North & South Ch12 Time of the end. He sees: 1. Calvary 9:24-27 2. Destruction of Jerusalem 9:26 3. Times of the Gentiles 2:31-45 4. Antichrist 7:19-27, 9:26-27 5. The Great Tribulation 12:1 6. Second Advent 7:9-14.

EZEKIEL 597-570 THE FALL OF JERUSALEM, RESTORATION AND GLORIOUS FUTURE. Prophet of captivity. Daniel in the palace at Babylon 9 years before Ezekiel arrives. Ch1 Cherubim Ch2-3 His commission of hardship & persecution Ch4-7 Symbolic siege of Jerusalem Ch8-11 Vision journey to Jerusalem Ch12 Moves house goods Ch13 False prophets Ch14 Hypocritical inquirers Ch15 Parable of vine tree Ch16 Allegory of unfaithful wife Ch17 Parable of two eagles Ch18 Soul that sins dies Ch19 Fall of David’s throne Ch20 Israel’s idols Ch21 Sword against Jerusalem Ch22 Sins of Jerusalem Ch23 Oholah & Oholibah Ch24 Boiling cauldron Ch25 Other nations Ch26-28 Tyre Ch29-32 Six visions of Egypt Ch34 Shepherds Ch35 Edom’s doom Ch37 Valley of bones Ch38-39 Gog & Magog Ch40-48 Rebuilt temple He sees: 1. Return of the Jews 20:40-44, 34:11-28, 36:24-32, 37:1-28 2. Antichrist 28:11-19 3. Armageddon 39:1-19 4. Millennium 36:33-38 5. Temple of the Millennium 40:1-48:35

HAGGAI 520-516BC REBUILDING THE TEMPLE; THE 2ND COMING OF A GREATER TEMPLE  Temple rebuilding from 520-516. Since the Jews return in 536, nothing done for 15years. Ch1 Foundation laid but no interest & poor crops. Ch2 Future glory of temple. 1. Haggai’s 1st appeal 1:2 2. Work begins 1:4 3. Haggai’s 2nd appeal 2:1-9 4. Zechariah 1st speech Zec 1:1 5. Haggai’s 3rd 2:12-19, 6. Haggai’s 4th 2:21-23 6. Zechariah’s visions Zech 1:7 7. Zechariah’s vision  Zech 7:1 He sees 1. Armageddon 2:6,22  2. Millennium 2:7-9.

ZECHARIAH 520-516BC THE COMING KING AND HIS HOUSE AND HIS KINGDOM Worked with Haggai for 4 years on temple rebuilding. Ch1-6 Visions of horses, horns & smiths; measuring line; Joshua the priest; candlestick, two olive trees; flying roll & ephah; four war chariots, coronation Ch7-8 Fasting Ch9-11 Other nations Ch12-14 Future. Sees: 1. Calvary 9:9, 11:12-13 2. Antichrist 11:15-17 3. Armageddon 14:1-3 4. 2nd Advent 12:9-14, 14:4-11 5. Millenium 8:3-4, 14:16-21

MALACHI 450-400BC FINAL MESSAGE TO ISRAEL - THE DISOBEDIENT NATION  Jews been home for about 100 years - degenerate priests, tithes neglected, inferior sacrifices, intermarrying with others. Messiah will come but it will mean judgement. Ch1 Disdain for temple sacrifices Ch2 Intermarrying Ch3 Day of the Lord, tithes, scepticism Ch4 Coming day of the Lord He sees: 2nd Advent 3:1-3, 4:1-6 

 

For ASSYRIA (Nineveh) and EDOM (Esau)

JONAH 790-770BC 2Ki 14:25 GOD’S INTEREST IN ENEMY NATIONS Nineveh Assyria’s capital – the Jew’s greatest enemy 900-606. God’s concern for a pagan nation. Jonah to preach to his hated enemy. Ch1 – flight Ch2 prayer Ch3 repentance Ch4 disappointment.

NAHUM 630 THE FALL OF NINEVEH (Assyria) God slow to anger 1:3 (Jonah 150 years before, saves Nineveh). Zephaniah (2:13-15) predicts the fall of Nineveh the bloody city 3:1.

OBADIAH 586 THE DOOM OF EDOM (Esau) to be ‘cut off forever’ (10) ‘as though they had not been’ (16). Descendants of Esau had perpetual enmity with Jacob (Gen 25:23). Refused Moses passage Num 20:14-21). Always ready to aid an attacking army. But Judah will prevail (17, 19, 21). After Jerusalem falls in 70AD, they disappear from history.

 

 

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