The Minor Prophets

The term "Minor Prophet" has nothing to do with the authenticity or force of their utterance, it simply refers to the length of their recorded sayings; they are not a "school" or unified in any way.


See Study Sheet 137

Reading: The decline of the 'golden age' Daniel 2:36-45; "Ancient of days", "son of man" Daniel 7; resurrection of the dead Daniel 12:3.


See Study Sheet 85

Reading: Hosea 1; 2; 3


Because he does not mention Assyria, Joel has traditionally been dated to the 8th Century BC, but a reference to the Greeks and other textual evidence points to the 4th Century BC, a view supported by his frequent references to  the "darkening of the sun" which might relate to the three total eclipses of the sun visible in Jerusalem in that Century. He is the prophet of the Christian Pentecost (Acts 2:14-21). In contradiction of Acts 2:11 he is quintessentially cultic and draws on traditional language and ritual to express new ideas.

Reading: Acts 2:14-21


See Study Sheet 64. The earliest collection of a prophet's original words whose predictions in the first half of the 8th Century BC were fulfilled. He was a literary stylist and well versed in law and politics in spite of his disclaimer. An additional passage by another author was added to give hope to an otherwise bleak prognostication.

Reading: Amos 5


Associated with the first six minor prophets of the Assyrian period.


See Study Sheet 2. Contemporary of Amos; depicted as 8th Century BC but probably much later.

Reading: Jonah


Last of the six Assyrian period minor prophets, probably written, like most of the other five, in the Babylonian exile. no biographical details. Micah 4:1-4 echoes Isaiah 2:2-5 and his style, of biting criticism and the promise of hope to the faithful, echoes Isaiah 1:12.

Reading: Micah 3


First of three prophets of the second half of the 7th Century BC during the decline of Assyrian ascendancy, culminating in the fall of Nineveh in 612 BC, and therefore full of hope, exemplified in Chapters 2-3.

Reading: Nahum 2; 3.


Like Nahum lived in the reign of Josiah. The book moves from lamentation to hope.

Reading: Habakkuk 3.


Probably the earliest of the three Josiah’s. Although there is much softness and consolation, Christianity has inherited the "Day of the Lord' imagery in the Dies Irae.

Reading: Zephaniah 1:1-18; 3:8-20


Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi are post exilic and are supposed to have  founded the "Great Synagogue" but only the last two were associated with the building of the Temple. With them the age of Prophecy is supposed to have ended with the departure from Israel of the Holy 'spirit.


Probably a priest as well as a prophet, Zechariah is interested in the Temple and its liturgy but the burden of his writing is eight visions (Zechariah 1-8),  culminating in a vision of the new age and, Like Haggai, pointing towards heaven. The second part (Zechariah 9-14) is largely political and written later, after the death of Alexander the Great (332 BC). this part contains new thinking (e.g. Zechariah 9:9; 12:10-11). The book is highly Messianic (Zechariah 7:14).

Reading: Zechariah 7-8


May not refer to a person, meaning "my messenger". Possibly Ezra, he represents the transition from prophecy to Torah scholarship and Rabbinic theology. Unique emphasis on the messenger that is to precede the coming of the Lord (Malachi 3:1; 4:5); for Christians this was John Baptist but for Jews it still is Elijah.

Reading: Malachi 3; 4.

KC VI/10

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