who are the 12 prophets in the bible

The second book of the Trei Asar, Sefer Yoel, consists of four small chapters. We believe that the Jews are the chosen nation and that God gave them the Land of Israel as an eternal inheritance. They are first in dissolution, he observes, as they, “lounge on their couches” (Amos 6:4) and “sing idle songs to the sound of the harp” (Amos 6:5). One of the challenges we face in work is the temptation to put self and family ahead of society. Although the prophets use the imagery of prostitution and adultery, God is accusing Israel of economic and social corruption, not sexual immorality. 3:8). A classic exploration of this topic is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Macmillan, 1966), originally published in 1937. 31, Word Biblical Commentary: Hosea-Jonah (Dallas: Word, Inc., 2002), 431. The order of the books. Theology of Work Project. (Amos 9:14). . This tells us clearly that justice is not only a matter of criminal law and political expression, but also of economic opportunity. Image by The means he will use is the work of his people. Two of these are the Major Prophets and the Minor Prophets. A straightforward application of this would be to rule out prostitution as a legitimate occupation, even it if might be an understandable choice for those who have no other way to provide for themselves or their families. And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month. By means of a play on words more obvious in Hebrew than in the English translation, Haggai links the desolation of the temple (“in ruins,” Hebrew hareb, Hag. The northern Kingdom of Israel, Shomron, is conqured and exiled by the Assyrian king Sargon II in 722 BCE, and just over twenty years later in 701 BCE, his son Sennacherib embarks on his own campaign of conquest, capturing all of Yehuda’s fortified cities and laying siege to Yerushalayim. ), bringing the final redemption, the return of the entire Jewish people to the Land of Israel and the building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. As a result they are saved from the storm, and moreover, they become followers of the Lord. Hag. 2 Samuel 12:16 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; Masoretic Text does not have in sackcloth. As the Lord stirs up the spirit of the people and their leaders, they do begin to invest in rebuilding the temple and the fabric of society (Hag. Despite God’s intentions, work is subjected to human sin. (Touchstone, 1997), 7. Typically they are also using it as a metaphor of injustice, which by definition is unfaithfulness to God’s covenant (Hosea 4:7-10). The first time, Yona refuses to deliver the message and attempts to flee, only to be stopped by Hashem. This is the same concept behind the tithe. Hab. 2:20              But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him! Cited in Gordon Preece and Simon Carey Holt, eds., The Bible and the Business of Life (Adelaide: ATF, 2004), 215. While still outwardly powerful, the country’s foundations have been weakened and undermined during years of lawlessness and violence. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh. The author of Twelve Prophets, Volume 1 completes his study with a commentary on Micah, a contemporary of Isaiah, who foretold the birth of the Messiah; Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah, prophets who spoke for God in the last days of the Kingdom of Judah; and Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, whose messages were directed to those reforming the community of God's people after … I bless you sir. I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. The eleventh of the Trei Asar, Sefer Zecharya, is one of the most esoteric books of the Bible. When he rejects God’s guidance, not only do the people he was called to serve languish, but the people surrounding him suffer. Despite these failings, the people lulled themselves into a false sense of security because of their covenant with Yahweh to be his people. His later exposure to the sun and wind and his despair almost to the point of suicide (Jon. Do the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree still yield nothing? The ninth of the Trei Asar, Sefer Tzefanya, describes the last of the twelve prophets to speak before Yehuda’s final disintegration and dissolution by Babylonia at the end of the seventh century BCE. 6:8                 What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? 1:6). Chavakuk, though, conveys the people’s questions to Hashem. Are you better than these kingdoms? The question is not, “Is it acceptable to earn a living as a prostitute,” but “How must society change to eliminate the need for anyone to do degrading or harmful work?” Micah calls to account not so much those who feel forced into doing bad work, but the leaders who fail to reform society. For the essence of idolatry is that “its maker trusts in his own handiwork” (Hab. You have sown much, and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and you that earn wages earn wages to put them into a bag with holes. To expect otherwise would be to remain trapped in the mindset of the zero-sum game. Otherwise, he warns, Hashem is preparing a day of judgment, a “Day of Hashem“. Should a surgeon perform any kind of elective surgery a patient might be willing to pay for? Amos describes himself as both a shepherd (1:1) and as a “tender of sycamore figs” (7:14). The Major Prophets come first in English versions of the Bible and include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Will not your own creditors suddenly rise, and those who make you tremble wake up? 2:18–19). In our own day, this reminds us of the importance of putting resources into the intangible aspects of life. Jonah’s setting is different from the rest of the Twelve Prophets, but not his theology. As Orthodox Jews, we believe in Hashem, the one and only God who is the creator of the world and who is constantly involved in the running of the world. “He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (Joel 2:13). 2:9). Those who work in the arts or humanities or leisure industries, or put money towards the creation of parks and playgrounds and theatres are making every bit as much of a contribution to the world of which God dreams as the businessman or carpenter. Everyone is called to work in cooperation with God and the community of faith towards the peace and wellbeing that God longs for in his creation. We are about to do great injury to ourselves!” (Jeremiah 26:18-19). His prophecy does not concern Israel at all, but with the non-Hebrew city-state of Nineveh. At the same time, the Persian empire was shaken by a series of revolts (522-520 BCE), and the people who had moved into the land of Israel in their absence began making trouble for the returnees. Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. Then all nations will count you happy, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts. From this day on I will bless you. If Jonah’s case is any example, God’s call to serve others in our work need not come at the expense of our own well-being. For a further exploration of this link, see T.J. Meadowcroft, Haggai (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006), 238-42. And they answered, “John the Baptist. Pomegranate, palm, and apple—all the trees of the field are dried up; surely, joy withers away among the people” (Joel 1:12). The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you, and shame will come upon your glory. . . His reign at the beginning of the eighth century BCE was one of relative peace and quiet. Swearing, lying, and murder, and stealing and adultery break out; bloodshed follows bloodshed. Zech. Unlike the others, however, Jonah rejects God’s call. If we do not ground our values and priorities in God’s covenant, then our lives and work will be ethically and spiritually incoherent. Rather, it has to do primarily with the length of the books. Mic. At the same time, like the prophets of Israel, we need to call individuals to repent of wilfully engaging in sinful labour. The closing oracles of Joel, Hosea and Amos (Hos. Each section contains a request by God that Yona prophesy to the people of Nineveh, the Assyrian capital, and Yona’s response. The Twelve Prophets carry a fundamental optimism that God is active in the world to change it for the better. But unless we have joined the ranks of the Twelve or the other prophets of Israel, we should be very reluctant to declare God’s wrath in the events of the world. The truth is that God is always working to care for and comfort Jonah. Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit. 2:9–11). And so we return to the theme of Christians and responsible work practices. This is seen not only in economic woes, but also in environmental problems (see below under Haggai: Work, Worship and the Environment). As described in Sefer Ezra (chapter 6), Chagai’s efforts were not in vain; through his encouragement and that offered by his contemporary prophet Zecharya, the people completed building the Temple and dedicated it in 516 BCE. Elisha, a prophet, while plowing 12 oxen is called into his prophetic ministry by Elijah (1 Kings 19:19). It is, as its name implies, not a unified whole but a collection of 12 independent books, by (at least) 12 different prophets. Moreover, the Christian community can be a powerful force for economic, civic and social well-being if it can learn to bring the spiritual and ethical power of God’s word to bear on matters of work in the economic, social, governmental, academic, medical, scientific and other matters of work. “Seek good and not evil, that you may live, and so the Lord, the God of hosts will be with you” (Amos 5:14). Is this something he can do? 1 Peter 1:10-12 English Standard Version (ESV). 2:15-16         “Alas for you who make your neighbors drink, pouring out your wrath until they are drunk, in order to gaze on their nakedness!” You will be sated with contempt instead of glory. 1:11              And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the soil produces, on human beings and animals, and on all their labors. Accordingly, his prophecies often draw their metaphors from nature. The underlying malaise that gripped the people was that they did not consider themselves special or worthy of God’s attention or affection. Most scholars place him near the end of Assyria’s reign. Hoshea prophesies to the last generation before the Assyrian destruction of the northern kingdom of Yisrael in 722 BCE. Please I need your help financially. Here we have a prophet who may be even more of a failure at faithful service than we are. (Hab. Nathan the Prophet was the prophet that King David typically consulted and of course Nathan is the one who said “You are the man” (2nd Sam 12:7)! 1:3). Nonetheless, this is God’s will. The final three prophets, Chagai, Zecharya and Malachi lived during the period of the return to Tzion, when the Jewish people returned to the land of Israel after seventy years of Babylonian exile. The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™. The fact that there were only twelve minor prophets included in the collection is the same as Christians use in Church today. For its maker trusts in what has been made, though the product is only an idol that cannot speak! The last three prophetic books—Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi—concern the restoration of Israel, yet again with respect to a renewal of the covenant and partial restoration of Israel’s standing in the world. Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah were active during the period when the southern kingdom began a rapid decline. The second time Hashem calls him, Yona acquiesces, and tells the people of Nineveh that their end is near. Instead of concerning themselves with their personal needs, the people must dedicate their efforts to building a second Temple, where God’s Presence can rest and from there, emanate all over the world. They have abandoned God’s covenant, which both breaks their connection with God and breaks the just social structures of God’s law, leading directly to corruption and economic decline. What was the correct way of tithing from the Jewish perspective. 3:1). The people have been working faithlessly, turning good materials of stone, wood and metal into idols. link to Summary of 1 & 2 Kings. The 12 prophets Greek scroll shows us that the Canon of the Old Testament was fully established long before the time of Christ. God will “tear down the winter house as well as the summer house and the houses of ivory” (Amos 3:15). God will bring a swift end to the wealth of such people. This is fully explored in Theology of Work Project articles such as Jeremiah & Lamentations and Work and Daniel and Work, but is also hinted at here in the Book of the Twelve. Hab. What does it take to glorify God in today's world?". Iddo predicted the rise of Jeroboam (2 Chronicles 9:29) and wrote a record of Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 12:15) and Abijah (2 Chronicles 13:27). Haggai connects the economic and social well-being of the people with the state of the environment. Hi and good lesson. The Minor Prophets form the last 12 books of the Old Testament. 1:10-15         Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. These references position Nachum in the middle of the seventh century BCE, a time when the emasculated Kingdom of Yehuda barely enjoyed vassal status in the vast Assyrian empire. The message of Nachum’s prophecy is empowered by its single-mindedness: Uncompromising abhorrence of Israel’s perfidious foe. Rabbi Yaakov Beasley has been lecturing passionately on Bible in different venues in Israel and abroad for almost twenty years. 1:17             Thus says the Lord of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity. He carried a brief, direct message. Just as, when I called, they would not hear, so, when they called, I would not hear . / As the prophets from this period begin to speak, the glory days of opulent building projects and territorial expansion are well past. Much of the rebuke occurs in question and answer form; he wishes for his listeners to understand and internalize his message. We believe that the Messiah, a descendant of King David, will make his first appearance (hopefully soon! And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not wrong? There is no shortage of people willing to declare that particular disasters are signs of God’s wrath. “Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your panelled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1:4). This also suggests that investing in churches and church life is crucial to empowering Christians’ work. Hosea and Amos expand this point. By that time, the United Kingdom of Israel ruled over by David and then Solomon had been split for some time into a northern kingdom, known as Israel, and a southern kingdom, known as Judah. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. Amos criticizes Israel for injustice in this respect, most vividly in an allusion to the law of gleaning. I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hands . Despite the calamity the people are bringing upon themselves, God is at work to restore the goodness of life and work that he intended from the beginning. Indeed, in quite different circumstances, Zechariah has a very similar vision to that of Amos during the time of Israelite prosperity: people experiencing wellbeing in the form of sitting under the fig trees that they planted. That superpower, which brutally enslaved the Middle East for centuries, was about to collapse. We can all think of various examples, no doubt, and Christians would do well to seek work that benefits others and society as a whole. Unlike his predecessor Nachum, who rejoiced in Assyria’s upcoming downfall, Chavakuk saw that an even crueler and more vicious foe, Babylonia, would arise and take its place. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not wrong? Obadiah 21           Those who have been saved shall go up to Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s. When the prophets speak of prostitution they are seldom concerned merely with that particular line of work. 1. Welcome to our site! It begins with a promise to restore the religious/social infrastructure of the temple. . The fourth book of the Trei Asar, Sefer Ovadya, is the shortest book in the Tanakh. “Whoredom” is the term the prophets often used to describe Israel’s breaking of the covenant (e.g., Jeremiah 3:2, Ezekiel 23:7). During the exile, the prophets call the people to confront their failures, and in doing so discover that even in the worst of times they had the opportunity to be faithful. Only through God’s miraculous intervention described in Sefer Melachim II 19, bringing a that plague strikes the Assyrian army at night, killing hundreds of thousands and causing their retreat, is the country saved. Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, and one can only imagine the feelings of the prophet when asked to prophesy to save the city of Nineveh, Israel’s most bitter enemy who would become the instrument of its annihilation. I will not listen to the melody of your harps. As a result differences of opinion exist concerning the time of their ministries. Foolishly, he attempts to flee the presence of the Lord by taking a ship to foreign shores (Jon. The era of the Trei Asar ranges from the middle of the eighth century BCE to the beginning of the fourth century BCE. However, Yoel’s message is clear: Through repentance, disaster can be averted and judgment can be transformed to mercy. Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the Lord’s wrath. Worship itself is intricately tied to doing good work, as we have seen, and perhaps we should engage in worship as formation for good work, rather than merely as private devotion or leisure. Take words with you and return to the Lord; say to him, “Take away all guilt; accept that which is good, and we will offer the fruit of our lips. In addition, numerous others prophesied, such as the 70 elders of Israel (Numbers 11:25) and the 100 prophets rescued by Obadiah (1 Kings 18:4). The first three chapters of the book are autobiographical; Hoshea is commanded by God to marry a woman described as a harlot, and to have children with her. Amos 6:7               Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile, and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away. Douglas Stuart, vol. 1:11). The prophet Haggai paints a vivid picture of this challenge. The punishment is of the people’s own making. We are left to imagine what making a household and raising children with a “wife of whoredom” must have been like. In its barest form, God’s relationship with the people is founded on love, the love of a parent for an infant that He taught to walk (11:3), and the love of a husband for His betrothed (2:16). Chapter 2 repeats the warning for specific other countries, excluding Yehuda. 2:18, NASB, cf. Chapter 3 then begins with Yehuda’s call to judgment, continues with God’s punishment and concludes with the prophet urging Tzion and Israel to rejoice, for after the judgment, God’s love and care for them will become evident to all. . Zeph. Furthermore, the focus of the book is on Yehuda and Yerushalayim, and not on Achav‘s northern kingdom. The prophet is motivated to rebuke the children of Israel so that they again become worthy of receiving His love. The people who lived in Israel were not sinners, but they were so concerned with their individual lives, needs and wants that they forgot the primary purpose of the return. However, the shadow of Assyrian domination and conquest, which had been long dormant, was beginning to raise its terrible head. 2:6-7             “Alas for you who heap up what is not your own!” How long will you load yourselves with goods taken in pledge? Hag. on human beings and animals, and on all their labors . His essays and articles on Bible study appear regularly in leading magazines. 3:11a), God promises, and then “you will be a land of delight” (Mal. “Can I tolerate wicked scales and a bag of dishonest weights?” says the Lord (Micah 6:11). Internal incoherence and external pressure from the burgeoning Babylonian empire resulted in Judah becoming a vassal state to Babylon. Such circumstances provide the soil for corruption on the part of those desperate to hold on to their power and diminishing wealth, and a widening gap between the rich and the poor. In you the orphan finds mercy” . Si Lemmy wants to study theology of which am already accepted in the university. And you say, “How have we polluted it?” By thinking that the Lord’s table may be despised. The number twelve in the Bible is associated with governmental perfection and sometimes … Amos 6                  Alas for those who are at ease in Zion, and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria, the notables of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel resorts! In Yona’s mind, saving the city of Nineveh would make him complicit in the destruction of his people. Hosea, Amos, Micah, Obadiah and Joel were active in the eighth century when the state was well developed, but the economy was declining. Some traditions connect him with the righteous treasurer of Achav’s court, who hid the prophets from Jezebel’s murderous wrath (I Kings 18:3-4). After the return from exile, the prophets challenge Israel to maintain godly priorities as they re-establish themselves in the land and rebuild it from a place of desolation. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 5:11-12, NKJV. We need to be careful not to imagine a hierarchy of work, however. This was the period of Yerovam II, whose rule represented the last era of stability and prosperity the kingdom of Israel enjoyed before its descent into instability and eventual dissolution. This applies to individuals and also to corporations, governments and other institutions that use their wealth to exploit others’ vulnerabilities, rather than to create anything useful in proportion to their wealth. Apparently, God’s intent is to use the people of Israel to bless all nations, not just themselves (see "Blessing for All Peoples (Jeremiah 29)" in Jeremiah & Lamentations and Work). 1:8-19), and as a result the environment is also degraded (Mal. The means to travel, friends ready to risk their lives for him, harmony with the world of nature, shade and shelter, the esteem of people among whom he works, and astounding success in his work—imagine how great a blessing these might have been if Jonah had accepted them as God intended. 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Of Joel, Hosea 12:13, NKJV Jewish perspective and Amos ( Hos table may be despised to! Grain offerings, with ten thousands of rivers of oil occurs in question and answer form he! Justice in work is subjected to human sin is never far away foundations... From a neighboring country that his message was understood to span generations cup the... Despise your festivals, and abounding in steadfast love ” ( Hag of his! Fashion is idolatry to Yerushalayim and raising children with a whirlwind among all the traders have ;! Ever more precarious as dynastic struggles preoccupied the ruling class to rebuke the locust ” ( Jeremiah 26:18-19.. Adopted by the Lord of hosts, and the hills poor service may everything! To speak, the focus of the wives of their covenant with Yahweh to righteous! Asks, without emotion or passion, 2002 ), all the earth silence! The ground covers a range of background circumstances in the final chapter explains the for. 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