Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online

Bible History Online

Sub Categories

Back to Categories

January 29    Scripture

More Bible History
Old Testament: The Prophets
Details and Events about the Prophets in the Old Testament of the Bible.

A Brief Overview Of The Old Testament Prophets The history of the rise and fall of the Hebrew nation are found in the history books (Genesis-Esther). The prophets appeared during the days of the fall of the Hebrew nation. At the moment of the apostasy of the 10 tribes at the close of Solomon`s reign and Israel`s golden age the ministry of the prophets began. The prophets gave a wake up call as soon as people began to forget God.

Assyrian Period Prophets Jonah, Joel, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, and Nahum

Babylonian Period Prophets Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Ezekiel, Obadiah, and Daniel were the prophets of the Babylonian Period.

Persian Period Prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi were the prophets of the Persian Period.

The Prophet Amos Amos (780-740 B.C.) "amos" (burden). Amos was born in Judah but prophesied in Israel during the reign of Jeroboam II. He condemned Israel`s neighboring countries for their cruelty, but mostly Israel for breaking God`s laws. He prophesied at Bethel which became the center of idol worship and the residence of king Jeroboam II. He warned that the Israelites would be taken captive by the Assyrians. Amos` message was that God could no more dwell with His people any more than a man could maintain a normal relationship with his wife who commits adultery.

The Prophet Daniel Daniel (606-534 B.C.) "Dani El" (My Judge is God). Daniel was taken captive during Nebuchadnezzar`s first attack on Jerusalem in 607 B.C., he became a chief minister at the royal court in Babylon. God used him mightily through dreams and interpretation of visions. Some of the famous miracles of the Bible are found in Daniel such as The Fiery Furnace, The Handwriting on the Wall, and Daniel in the Lion`s Den. Daniel was a man of incredible character and his book is considered one of the most important prophetic books of the Old Testament. Some of the topics mentioned are: the antichrist, the great tribulation, the second coming of Christ, the resurrection and the judgements. Probably the most important passages in Daniel are in chapter 9 which deal with the exact time of the death of the Messiah. After 7 + 62 (69) weeks (seven year periods) the Messiah would be "cut off" which is a clear prediction of His death.

The Prophet Ezekiel Ezekiel (592-570 B.C.) "yehetzk`el" (God will strengthen). Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah 3 times and took captives each time. In 607 one of the captives was Daniel, in 597 Ezekiel was taken, and in 586 Jerusalem was destroyed and all the people taken. Ezekiel prophesied to the captives in Babylon. The captives thought Jerusalem would be delivered by the Lord and they would be rescued. God spoke through Ezekiel using Words, Parables, Visions, and many Similitudes (doing strange things as a sign of something greater). Ezekiel was married to a woman who was "the desire of his eyes". God told him that his wife was going to die on the very day the armies of Babylon laid siege against the holy city of Jerusalem and he was not to mourn, as a sign to the people. Ezekiel was commanded not to grieve her death; he was to brace himself for this tragedy even as God had prepared Himself for the death of His beloved city (24:15-22).

The Prophet Habbakkuk Habakkuk (606-586 B.C.) "haba kuk" (embrace). Habakkuk asked two questions to God, first: Why He allowed such evil to continue in Judah for so long and go unpunished? And second: How could a holy God allow the cruel Babylonians to defeat His own people. In response to the first question God revealed to Habakkuk: "Look among the nations and watch-- be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you. For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans (Babylonians), a bitter and hasty nation which marches through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful; their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves. . . they fly as the eagle that hastens to eat. "They all come for violence; their faces are set like the east wind. They gather captives like sand. They scoff at kings, and princes are scorned by them. They deride every stronghold, for they heap up earthen mounds and seize it." And to the second He replied that Babylon has a big appetite so He`s gonna use them as an instrument of judgement but their time is gonna come: Hab 2:12-13 "Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establishes a city by iniquity! Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the peoples labor to feed the fire, and nations weary themselves in vain?"

The Prophet Haggai Haggai (520-516 B.C.) "haggay" (festal). In 520 B.C. eighteen years after the Jews had returned from exile in Babylon, Haggai urged them to forget their own interests and finish rebuilding the temple. The Jews, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, started to rebuild the Temple but somehow they became discouraged and quit. They were more concerned with their paneled houses than the Temple which laid desolate. The Lord said through Haggai that they were not being blessed and the recent drought and misfortunes were directly related to their laziness in the things of God. Haggai, along with the prophet Zechariah, urged them on. Within 4 years it was completed. They became courageous in the work and the Lord told them to mark this day and to watch from now on because they were obeying and His blessings were going to come.

The Prophet Hosea Hosea (760-720 B.C.) "hoshea" (deliverer) Israel`s continued unfaithfulness is dramatically illustrated in brokenhearted Hosea`s relationship with his unfaithful wife. God`s love is also illustrated in Hosea`s willingness to buy back his wife after her harlotry had led her to be sold at the slave block. In the years leading up to the fall of Samaria, Hosea warned that the people would become slaves in Assyria because they had forgotten God. They had even turned to Assyria and Egypt for help. God would later restore them but after some measure of discipline.

The Prophet Isaiah Isaiah (745-695 B.C.) "yesha yahu" (Yaweh is salvation). Isaiah lived in Jerusalem at the time Judah was threatened by the Assyrians. He warned Jerusalem about idolatry and foreign alliances, although he was usually scoffed at. He spoke about the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem from the Assyrians. He also spoke of the destruction and captivity of Jerusalem by the Babylonians as well as the release of the Jews by Cyrus the Persian. Jewish tradition records that the leaders in Jerusalem sawed the prophet Isaiah in half between two planks. The book of Isaiah says more about the ministry of the Messiah than any other Book in the Old Testament.

The Prophet Jeremiah Jeremiah (626-586 B.C.) "yeremi yauw" (Yaweh will lift up). Prophesied to Judah and against the surrounding nations. He emphasized the folly of idolatry as God pleaded with His people. He continually warned that Jerusalem would be captured and the inhabitants would be exiled to Babylon. He also prophesied against the pagan nations around (Jer 46- 51) and foretold that after 70 years the Jews would return from Babylon. Jeremiah`s words were vehemently rejected and he was heavily persecuted. Jeremiah was forced to live in Egypt after the destruction of Israel in 586 BC.

The Prophet Joel Joel (790-770 B.C.) "yo el" (Yaweh is God). Joel prophesied during a devastating plague of locusts that was unparalleled in history. He warned all of the inhabitants of the land of Israel of devastation which would sweep across the land in the days soon to come. He called for a season of fasting, mourning, and repentance. Joel seized upon the imagery of the locusts as a type of the greater judgement that would come on "the Day of the Lord" in the last days. He also gave a message of hope and prophesied of great blessings that would follow and the glories of the Messiah`s kingdom.

The Prophet Jonah Jonah (790-770 B.C.) "yonah" (dove). Sent to warn the inhabitants of Nineveh (Capital of Assyria) of God`s Judgement. Jonah fled his call because it was the Assyrians who were destroying the Jews. As he was escaping on a ship bound for Tarshish a great storm arose. The sailors discovered that this tempest came on account of Jonah so they threw him overboard. He was immediately swallowed by a great sea monster prepared by God. Jonah repented in the bowels of the creature and was released the third morning. He came to Nineveh and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" As a result of his preaching the people changed their ways and God spared the city. Jonah was very upset at Gods mercy toward gentiles (non-Jews) and by the lesson of a plant, God taught Jonah about His love for all mankind and not just Israel.

The Prophet Malachi Malachi (450-400 B.C.) "malachi" (My messenger). A prophet who lived in the fifth century B.C. By this time the Jews had become disillusioned and apathetic. Things were not as good as they had hoped. Drought and crop failures along with opposition from various enemies had made life difficult. They were neglecting the things of God and offering imperfect sacrifices as well as failing to give their tithes. The priests were lax and did not encourage them. Mixed marriages and divorce had become common. The heart of Malachi`s message was to point to the fact that as long as they neglected the things of God, they could never expect to prosper. If they would repent, then God would bless them. Then he speaks of the approaching day of the Lord which will be ushered in by Elijah, who will be a forerunner of the Messiah, and then Messiah would come. The New Testament identifies Elijah as John the Baptizer and Jesus as the Messiah (Matt. 3:1-12; 11:14). The book of Malachi closes the Old Testament and a prophet is not revealed in the Scriptures for approximately 400 years until the beginning of the New Testament.

The Prophet Micah Micah (740-700 B.C.) "mika yahu" (who is like Yaweh). Warned of the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions and predicted the fall of both Samaria and Jerusalem, the capital cities of both the northern and southern kingdoms. It is set forth in the form of a lawsuit by God with Micah as the prosecuting attorney and the mountains and hills (places of idolatry) as the silent judges. He says, "her wounds are incurable," because the people are corrupt and also the leaders were described as "butchering the people." Micah also proclaimed the birthplace of the Messiah and the glories of the future kingdom.

The Prophet Nahum Nahum (630-610 B.C.) "nahum" (compassionate). Nahum`s main message was the destruction of Nineveh as a judgement on the Assyrians for their cruel treatment of other nations. He revealed much about the majesty and goodness of God as well as God`s anger and wrath. Nah 1:7 The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him. God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; the LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies;

The Prophet Obadiah Obadiah (586-583 B.C.) "obadi yah" (servant of Yaweh). Obadiah prophesied judgement against Edom for attacking Judah at the time of the Babylonian invasion and for rejoicing over the misfortunes that befell Jerusalem. Obad 1:13-15 You should not have entered the gate of My people in the day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped; nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained in the day of distress. "For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you; your reprisal shall return upon your own head. The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob. The Edomites were always in conflict with Israel. They thought they were impregnable in their mountain strongholds high up in the rocky gorges (Petra). Obadiah predicted their doom. Within 4 years after Jerusalem was burned, Edom was raided and desolated (582 B.C.), by the same Babylonians whom they had helped against Jerusalem.

The Prophet Zechariah Zechariah (520-516 B.C.) "zekari yah" (Yahweh is my remembrance). Zechariah, along with Haggai prophesied to the returned Jewish exiles between 520 and 518 B.C. The message begins with a reminder that the captivity had been a result of disobedience. He then has a series of visions revealing that God is in control of history and will bring a glorious blessing to the faithful remnant of His people. Jerusalem is pictured as so prosperous that it must be enlarged to contain all the people (ch. 2). The vision of Joshua, the high priest, clothed in filthy rags (ch. 3) apparently is a vision of the future cleansing of the nation at the return of Christ. Other visions in the book point to the coming judgement of God, His ultimate victory over sin, and culminates in the coming of the Messiah.

The Prophet Zephaniah Zephaniah (639-608 B.C.) "tzephani yah" (Yaweh is my treasure). Watched Judah revert back to their evil ways under Manasseh and Amon. He prophesied during the revival under good king Josiah`s reign. Condemned the worship of Canaanite and Assyrian gods and predicted disaster for the pagan nations around such as Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Ethiopia, and Assyria. He also foretold the destruction and restoration of Jerusalem, and also prophesied of blessings in the future for both the gentiles and the Jews.

If you notice a broken link or any error PLEASE report it by clicking HERE
© 1995-2019 Bible History Online

Bible Maps