Major Prophets Introduction to the Prophets
Introduction to the Prophets 1) Pentateuch: Genesis through Deuteronomy 2) Historical Books: Joshua through Esther 3) Poetry/Wisdom Literature: Job through Song of Songs 4) Major & Minor Prophets: Isaiah through Malachi
Introduction to the Prophets In this session, we will be looking at the books classified as Major Prophets Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel
WHAT WAS AN OLD TESTAMENT PROPHET? G-d, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son... (Hebrews 1:1-2a).
There are many different ways in which G-d spoke to men in the Old Testament 1. Old Testament Designations for "Prophet." (1 Chronicles 29:29). a. Prophet (Genesis 20:7 - first usage; Exodus 7:1). The Hebrew word nabiis thought to be related to the Akkadiannabu, meaning "to summon or call." The Prophets served as a mouthpiece for G-d. He spoke through them. The prophet was one who announced a message from God or who was called by God This was the primary word for a prophet in the Old Testament.
1. Old Testament Designations for "Prophet." (1 Chronicles 29:29). a. Seer (1 Samuel 9:9). The prophets had special insight into the workings of God in the past, the present and the future. b. Servant: Moreover, we have not listened to Thy servants the prophets, who spoke in Thy name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land (Daniel 9:6). The prophets served as servants of the royal court of God.
1. Old Testament Designations for "Prophet." (1 Chronicles 29:29). c. Messenger. The same word is used of both heavenly messengers (angels) as well as earthly messengers. Haggai 1:13, d. Man of God (used of prophets and especially of Elisha). This suggested a message based on relationship. The prophets were men who had a relationship with God.
WHAT WAS AN OLD TESTAMENT PROPHET? 2. The Function of the Old Testament Prophet a. They functioned as Preachers. b. They functioned as Predictors
WHAT WAS AN OLD TESTAMENT PROPHET? 3. The Distinctive Roles of Prophet Versus Priest. Priest Prophet Represented the people to God. Represented God to the people. Ministered the ceremonies of worship Ministered the proclamation of the Word Priests and prophets held two very different roles. The priest faced toward the Lord while the prophet faced toward the people.
Introduction to the Prophets Who is the second prophet according to the Bible? “But now give back [Abraham’s] wife. Indeed he is a prophet and he will pray for you; thus you will live. But if you don't give her back, know that you will surely die along with all that belong to you." Genesis 20:7
Introduction to the Prophets Who is the first prophet according to the Bible? Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, even prophesied of them, saying, "Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment on all, and to convict every person of all their thoroughly ungodly deeds that they have committed, and of all the harsh words that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Jude 14-15
Introduction to the Prophets Who is the third prophet according to the Bible? So the LORD said to Moses, "See, I have made you like G-d to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You are to speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron is to speak to Pharaoh that he must release the Israelites from his land.” Exodus 7:1-2
Introduction to the Prophets The LORD said, "Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known to him in a vision; I will speak with him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so; he is faithful in all My house. With him I will speak face to face, openly, and not in riddles; and he will see the form of the LORD.” Numbers 12:6-8b No prophet ever again arose in Israel like Moses, who knew the LORD face to face. He did all the signs and wonders the LORD had sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, all his servants, and the whole land, and he displayed great power and awesome might in view of all Israel. Deuteronomy 34:10-12
Introduction to the Prophets “. . . Miriam the prophetess . . .” (Exodus 15:20) Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman he had married (for he had married an Ethiopian woman). They said, "Has the LORD only spoken by Moses? Has He not also spoken by us?" And the LORD heard it. Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than any man on the face of the earth. Numbers 12:1-3
Introduction to the Prophets So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD. He then gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and had them stand around the tabernacle. And the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to them, and He took some of the spirit that was on Moses and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but did not do so again. But two men remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested on them. Now they were among those in the registration, but had not gone to the tabernacle. So they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, and he said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” Joshua son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his choice young men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” Moses said to him, "Are you envious for me? O that all the LORD's people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit on them!" Numbers 11:24-29 For no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from G-d (2 Peter 1:21)
Introduction to the Prophets Who is the first false prophet according to the Bible? • Perhaps Satan qualifies for this designation? • If not, Balaam would be the one. He is never actually called a prophet but rather a “diviner” (Deut 13:22; cf. Num 22:7) • The introduction to Baalam in Numbers 22 focuses on: • Balak’s belief that he can successfully bless/curse (6) • The wages that were to be given to Balaam (7, 17-19) • Later Scriptures also emphasize that Balaam was “hired” (Deut 23:4; Neh 13:2) • 2 Peter 2:15 says that Balaam “loved the wages of unrighteousness” (cf. Jude 11; Rev 2:14)
Introduction to the Prophets [Regarding Mesopotamian divination:] The means of divination practiced may be divided into two classes: unarranged forms and arranged forms. As to the unarranged, these concerned any omen-type events that might occur in the natural course of a day. The Mesopotamians had a lengthy list of such omens and their meanings. Usually when something happened on the right of a person it was a good omen, and when something happened on the left it was bad. Included in the unarranged types of omens were those pertaining to nature, heavenly bodies, the flight of birds, dreams, and weather conditions.
Introduction to the Prophets Of the arranged types two were most important. The first was hydromancy in which oil was poured upon water or visa versa. Since oil and water do not mix, the action of these when put together was observed and that which happened was thought to be significant as an omen. The other means was hepatoscopy which was the most important of all. This was the reading of a sheep’s liver though sometimes the kidneys of an animal might be observed. This organ apparently was thought of as the seat of life of the animal and therefore significant for revelation. Leon J. Wood, The Prophets of Israel, p. 24-25
Introduction to the Prophets From the time your ancestors left the land of Egypt until now, I sent My servants the prophets to you again and again, day after day. Jeremiah 7:25
Introduction to the Prophets Now Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time (Judges 4:4) Now it came about when the sons of Israel cried to the LORD on account of Midian, that the LORD sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the G-d of Israel, 'It was I who brought you up from Egypt, and brought you out from the house of slavery. 'And I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land, and I said to you, "I am the LORD your G-d; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me."'" Judges 6:7-10
Introduction to the Prophets Word from the LORD was rare in those days; revelatory visions were infrequent. 1 Samuel 3:1b
Introduction to the Prophets Prophets in Samuel/Kings • Elijah and Elisha central to the book of Kings • Samuel an important figure in Samuel • David a prophet according to Acts 2:30 • Gad, Nathan, Micaiah, Jonah, Ahijah, Jehu, Isaiah, Huldah • Prophetic guilds around Samuel, Elijah/Elisha • “When Jezebel destroyed the prophets of the LORD, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them” (1 Kgs 18:4) • . . . performing . . . • Miracles (e.g., 1 Kgs 13:4-5; 18:30-38; 2 Kgs 4:32-37) • Confrontation (e.g., 1 Sam 15:12ff; 2 Sam 12; 1 Kgs 16:7) • Prediction (e.g., Psa 16:8-11; 1 Kgs 13:2; 2 Kgs 10:30) • Insight (e.g., 1 Sam 9:6; 22:5; 2 Kgs 16:8-12) • Interpretation! (e.g., 2 Kgs 24:2; cf. Jer 44:11-19; 9:12-13; 2 Sam 7:2) • Encouragement (e.g., 2 Sam 7; 2 Kgs 19:20-35; 22:18-20)
Introduction to the Prophets Document G-d’s Choosing of Israel and Preserve their “Constitution” Document G-d’s repeated acts of mercy and demonstrate His justice in bringing the covenant curses. Demonstrate G-d’s justice in bringing the covenant curses and provide hope for the future. Encourage and instruct the waiting remnant until the day of restoration. Document G-d’s Choosing those in the church and Preserve their “Constitution” 1) Torah 2) Former Prophets 3) Latter Prophets 4) Writings 5) New Testament
Introduction to the Prophets The Latter Prophets and the Torah • The basis of their contending • Hosea 4:1
Introduction to the Prophets Exodus 20 Hosea 4:1-2 1) … no other gods before Me (v. 3) Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, for the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of G-d in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing, and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed 2) … not make for yourself an idol (v. 4) 3) … not take the name of the LORD your G-d in vain (v. 7) 4) Remember the sabbath day (v. 8) 5) Honor your father and mother (v. 12) 6) You shall not murder (v. 13) 7) You shall not commit adultery (v. 14) 8) You shall not steal (v. 15) 9) You shall not bear false witness (v. 16) 10) You shall not covet … (v. 17)
Introduction to the Prophets The Latter Prophets and the Torah • The basis of their contending • Hosea 4:1 • Jeremiah 7:9-10: “Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known, then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’ -- that you may do all these abominations?”
Introduction to the Prophets The Latter Prophets and the Torah • The source of their prophesied judgments • Jeremiah 8:10: “Therefore I will give their wives to others, Their fields to new owners; Because from the least even to the greatest Everyone is greedy for gain; From the prophet even to the priest Everyone practices deceit.” • Amos 5:11: “Therefore, because you impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, Though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine.” • Zephaniah 1:13: “Moreover, their wealth will become plunder, And their houses desolate; Yes, they will build houses but not inhabit them, And plant vineyards but not drink their wine.” • Deuteronomy 28:30: “You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall violate her; you shall build a house, but you shall not live in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but you shall not use its fruit.”
Introduction to the Prophets The Latter Prophets and the Torah • The source of their prophesied judgments • Amos 4:9a: “I struck you with blight and mildew.” • Deuteronomy 28:22: “The LORD will strike you with . . . blight and with mildew.”
Introduction to the Prophets The Latter Prophets and the Torah • The framework for their predictions • Deuteronomy 28-32, esp. 30:1-10; 31:14-18, 24-29; 32:1-43 • They will fill in the details • Timing: e.g., Hos 3 (cf. Dan 9) . . . But, Psa 74:9! • Leadership: e.g., Jer 30:9 • Means: e.g., Isa 53! • Participation: e.g., Isa 11:10 (cf. Deut 32:43 and Romans 15:8-12)
Introduction to the Prophets The Latter Prophets and the Former Prophets • Provide further details (e.g., Isa 7) • Provide further interpretation (e.g., Isa 36-39) • Provide further and much more complete explanation of guilt (e.g., Isa 1) • Provide perspective on G-d’s thoughts/emotions (e.g., Hos 11:8) • Provide hope!!!!!!!!! (remember Kings?) • Provide information on the nations (Isa 11:10)
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