Books of the Bible

Isaiah to Malachai

Isaiah:- Prophecies of Isaiah delivered to Judah during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. The main emphasis of the prophecy is to supply warnings relating to events in Judah and Jerusalem, particularly around the time of the Sennacherib’s Assyrian invasion of Judah and the saving of Jerusalem from this onslaught at the time of Hezekiah. There are also many prophecies relating to the long term future of Israel and Judah, the life and work of Jesus Christ and judgments against the neighbouring nations. Hosea, Amos and Micah were contemporary with Isaiah.

Jeremiah:- Prophecies delivered mainly in Jerusalem to Judah from the reign of Josiah to that of Zedekiah, covering both times that Jerusalem fell to Babylon (Jehoiachin’s and Zedekiah’s captivities) with prophetic visions of what the 70 year Babylonian captivity would entail. Ezekiel, Daniel and Zephaniah were contemporary with Jeremiah who also provides prophetic visions of judgments that will fall on other surrounding Middle Eastern nations.

Lamentations of Jeremiah:- A poetic writing detailing the personal impact on the mind of Jeremiah of the events surrounding the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon.

Ezekiel:- Prophecy, contemporary with Jeremiah, delivered to captives of Jehoiachin’s captivity residing by the River Chebar, a tributary of the Euphrates in Mesopotamia. Ezekiel provides the captives with commentary on the events that will unfold in Jerusalem during the build up to its final overthrow and Zedekiah’s captivity. Detailed prophecies relating to judgments of Judah’s surrounding nations are provided together with outcomes on Judah’s return from captivity. The latter chapters, Ezekiel 40-48 detail a temple in Jerusalem with division of the land between the 12 tribes of Israel, something that has not to date been seen fulfilled.

Daniel:- Daniel was chosen to be taken to Babylon in Jehoiachin’s captivity to serve amongst the wise men of Babylon. Living in Babylon, he was contemporary with Jeremiah who prophesied at Jerusalem, and Ezekiel who prophesied at the river Chebar. Reference is made to his studying of Jeremiah’s prophecies relating to the return of Judah’s captivity from Babylon. The book details events from the life of Daniel and also prophetic visions received by himself and kings of Babylon relating mainly to the empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.

Hosea:- Contemporary with Isaiah during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hosea’s prophecy, deals mainly with God’s relationship with Israel and Judah, played out as a simile in the form of a marriage.

Joel:- No date for the prophecy is given, but it deals mainly with the Chaldean threat to Judah.

Amos:- Amos’ prophecy relating to Israel; was contemporary with the early period of Isaiah (who prophesied in Judah) and Hosea prophesied in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and Jeroboam II of Israel. A major part of the book of Amos speaks out against oppression of the poor by the hierarchy.

Obadiah:- Date not given, but Obadiah’s prophecy is against Edom and their treatment of Israel and Judah.

Jonah:- No date is given in the prophecy, however 2 Kings 14:25 speaks of Jonah the son of Amittai as a prophet in the reigns of Amaziah king of Judah and Jeroboam II king of Israel. The book of Jonah deals with his prophetic work in Nineveh (the capital of Assyria) who responded to the warning he delivers and thus saved the city from impending judgment.

Micah:- Contemporary with Isaiah and Hosea in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. Micah in some cases is delivered with almost identical visionary words to Isaiah, for example Micah 4:1-3 and Isaiah 2:2-4, however, generally his prophecy is more colloquial to his home town of Moresheth in Judah, on the borders of the land of the Philistines. Micah 5:2 delivers that famous prophecy stating that Bethlehem would be the birth place of Christ, as interpreted by the chief priests and scribes when asked by Herod where he would be born.

Nahum:- No date is given for the prophecy, but it deals with events that would befall Nineveh the capital of Assyria.

Habakkuk:- No date is given for the prophecy, but it deals with the time of Chaldean aggression, and request for God’s support.

Zephaniah:- Contemporary with the early part of Jeremiah’s prophecy in the time of Josiah king of Judah. The prophecy details events that would befall Judah and the surrounding nations.

Haggai:- Contemporary with Zechariah and the record of Ezra in the time of the Achaemenid Empire’s hegemony over the regathered Jews. The intent of the prophecy was to encourage the Jews to complete the building of the temple in the face of opposition from their surrounding neighbours.

Zechariah:- Contemporary with Haggai with the same purpose of the prophecy to complete the temple building.

Malachi:- Date not given, the prophecy is aimed mainly at decline in the quality of the Levitical priesthood’s work.

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