Introduction To The Prophets

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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 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, …”
Introduction To The Prophets
• 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)
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.
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
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
Forces That Shaped The Prophets
&
Were Shaped By Them
•
•
•
•
Historical Events
Monarchy
Idolatry
Social Oppression
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
Their Calling
•
•
•
•
To speak for God to Men
To speak Gods word
To be a forth teller
To contend with false prophets
Their Calling
• 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.
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!
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 foretelling. 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
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
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.
Major VS Minor Prophets
• Minor prophets are designated as such only because of
the length of the books.
The Prophets
• The Major Prophets
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Isaiah 742-687 BC *
Jeremiah 627-580 BC
Daniel 605-536 BC
Ezekiel 593-563 BC
• The Minor Prophets
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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
Non Writing Prophets, Or Prophets
Of Whose Writings Nothing Has
Come Down To Us
• Pre Divided Kingdom
– Samuel, Nathan, Gad, Ahija
Judah
Israel
•Shemaiah
•Aijah
•Azariah
•Jehu
•Hanani
•Elijah & Micaiah
•Huldah
•Elisha
Prophetic Periods
•
Prophets of the Neo- Assyrian Period
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•
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Prophets of the Neo Babylonian Period
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•
•
934 BC and ended in 609 BC
Fall of the Northern Kingdom 722 BC
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
Periods Of Prophets
•
9th Century (Early Assyrian Period)
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Obadiah
Joel
Jonah
Amos
Hosea
Isaiah
Micah
7th Century (Chaldean Period)
Fall Of The Northern Kingdom (Israel) 722 BC
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Jeremiah
Zephaniah
Nahum
Habakkuk
6th Century (Exilic Period)
Fall Of The Southern Kingdom (Judah)
Exile 586 BC
– Ezekiel
– Daniel
– Lamentations
8th Century (Assyrian Period)
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–
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•
•
•
6th & 5Th Century (Post Exilic Period)
– Haggai
1st Return From Babylon
538 BC
– Zechariah
– Malachi
2nd & 3rd Return 457 BC and
445 BC
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*
Different Dates For Minor Prophets
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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
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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
Before The Assyrian Exile
Timeline
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 ?
Ministry Location
Other
EZEKIEL
DANIEL
OBADIAH
JONAH
NAHUM
Exiles in Babylonia (Josiah, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah)
In Babylon
(Josiah, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah)
Concerning Edom (Zedekiah)
In Nineveh
(Jeroboam II)
Concerning Nineveh
(Manasseh, Josiah, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah)