The Book of Hosea

The Book of Hosea

Together with Amos, Micah and Isaiah, Hosea was an eighth-century BC prophet to Israel and to Judah. While he ministered during the reigns of four kings of Judah (the Southern kingdom), Hosea ministered primarily to the Northern kingdom (Israel), including the reign...

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The Book of Amos

The Book of Amos

Amos was not what some may call a ‘full-time theologian’, but he was a shepherd (1:1) and a dresser of sycamore figs (1:1; 7:14). While Amos lived in Tekoa, a town about 10 miles south of Jerusalem, God called him to prophesy to the Northern kingdom (1:1; 7:15). . . ....

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The Book of Jonah

The Book of Jonah

2 Kings 14:23-25 says that Jonah was a prophet who lived three miles from Nazareth, in a place called Gath-hepher, and he ministered during the time of king Jeroboam II. As the king over the Northern kingdom, Jeroboam II reigned during 793-753 BC and Ashur-Dan III...

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The Book of Joel

The Book of Joel

The name of the prophet Joel means ‘Yahweh is God’ (cf. 1:1). Little is known about this prophet, but given references to offerings, priests and the temple (1:9, 13-14, 16; 2:14, 17; 3:17-21), Joel was most likely a prophet from Judah in Jerusalem to the Southern...

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Obadiah

Obadiah

Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament. Even its introduction is short — ‘the vision of Obadiah’ — with no mention of the name of the prophet’s tribe, where he lived or whose son he was. The name ‘Obadiah’ means the ‘servant of the LORD’. Perhaps that is...

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Ezekiel

Ezekiel

The name ‘Ezekiel’ means ‘God strengthens’ or ‘God will strengthen’. As a Levite (1:3), Ezekiel would have started to work in the temple when he was 30 years of age. Ezekiel was, however, about 25 years old when he was part of the second deportation to Babylon in...

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Jeremiah

Jeremiah

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah in the 13th year of king Josiah, who was the last good king of Judah before the Babylonian captivity (Jeremiah 1:1-2). Jeremiah’s ministry as a prophet to Judah and Jerusalem continued until the 11th year of the reign of Zedekiah...

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Isaiah

Isaiah

After John the Baptist (cf. Matthew 11:9-11), Isaiah was probably the greatest Old Testament prophet. The opening verse of the book states that Isaiah ministered during the reigns of four kings of Judah, namely king Uzziah (who died in 740/739 BC; cf. Isaiah 6:1),...

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The Books of 1 and 2 Kings

The Books of 1 and 2 Kings

The Books of 1 and 2 Kings are the last of what the Hebrew canon calls the Former Prophets (being Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings), which then leads to Latter Prophets (namely Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the Twelve (‘minor prophets’)). In the Hebrew canon, 1 and 2...

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The Books of 1 and 2 Samuel

The Books of 1 and 2 Samuel

In the original Hebrew composition, 1 and 2 Samuel is one book. During the second half of the third century BC, 70 scribes translated the Hebrew Old Testament into the Greek Septuagint. Because the scrolls at that time did not have enough space for the content of...

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Ruth

Ruth

The Book of Ruth is a literary masterpiece. Just as well it is, for if Ruth is placed immediately after the Book of Judges — as is done in the Septuagint and in most Bibles today — then it makes for a refreshing and comforting alternative to the dire ending of Judges....

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Judges

Judges

The Book of Judges is not about the ‘good old days’ in Israel. On the contrary, it describes the decline of Israel through many cycles of oppression and (temporary) deliverance under the Judges (Judges 3:7-16:31). The God of Israel, however, is faithful to fulfil His...

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