Although they ministered for more than three centuries during some of Israel’s most tumultuous days, the Minor Prophets remain a mystery to many Christians in the 21st century.
Old Testament scholars Richard Alan Fuhr, Jr. and Gary E. Yates believe that the message of the twelve Minor Prophets is relevant for the church today, and they re-introduce these important books of the Bible to contemporary Christians. Ideal for use as a textbook as well as for personal study, The Message of the Twelve surveys the historical background of each prophetic book, the prophet’s message and themes, as well as the book’s place in the biblical canon. The authors also provide in-depth exposition of each book—from Hosea’s metaphor of Israel’s infidelity and Nahum’s warnings of foreign judgments, to Haggai’s postexilic call and Malachi’s vision of future restoration. The Message of the Twelve goes beyond typical biblical surveys to examine the key interpretive issues in each book, including important literary insights from the Hebrew text.
Drawing on the prophets’ proclamations to ancient Israel and Judah, the authors emphasize that the church today must heed the call to reject apathy and return to a vibrant relationship with the living God.
“The lives of the prophets in the Book of the Twelve span a period of more than three centuries (c. 770–430 BC), and they ministered in some of Israel’s most tumultuous days. The Lord had promised through Moses that he would send prophets to communicate his word to his people (Deut 18:15–22), and he kept his promise even as he prepared to bring judgment against Israel and Judah for their unfaithfulness, which had persisted for hundreds of years. The specific mission of the Twelve was threefold: to call the people to repentance so that they might avert divine judgment, to warn them of the judgment of exile when there was no repentance, and then to offer hope for the future as the people returned to the land following the exile.” (Page 1)
“Furthermore, the role of foretelling the future was often secondary to the role of forth-telling; that is, preaching the heart of God to his people.” (Page 20)
“The structure of Amos is clear, albeit complex. Following an introduction (1:1) and summary oracle (1:2), the main body of Amos consists of three sets of judgment oracles (1:3–2:16; 3:1–4:12; 5:1–6:14), five visions (7:1–3; 7:4–6; 7:7–9; 8:1–3; 9:1–4), and a concluding salvation oracle (9:11–15). Within these primary units lie a rich variety of literary devices.” (Page 112)
“the people ought to tremble in fear and anticipation of judgment.” (Page 114)
“The oracles of salvation were anchored in the promises of the unilateral covenants; the unconditional blessings of the Abrahamic, Davidic, and new covenants are acknowledged by the prophets as the basis for eschatological hope. As much as the oracles of judgment were tied to violations of the bilateral Mosaic covenant, so the blessings promised by the oracles of salvation were based in the Abrahamic, Davidic, and new covenants. Every eschatological promise within the Prophets links back to some aspect of God’s promises in the unilateral covenants (see Gen 12:1–3; 15:18–20; 2 Sam 7:12–16; Deut 30:4–6). Certainly the prophets expand and refine aspects of these covenants, but they do not replace them, nor do they prophesy apart from them.” (Page 21)
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