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Article 60 - O.T. Survey: Minor Prophets

Survey of the Old Testament
Minor Prophets

Jon Gary Williams


I. Meaning of the name Hosea
A. The name Hosea means "salvation" or "deliverance"

B. This book is so named because Hosea is its author and it had to do with his prophetic
II. Facts about Hosea
A. Hosea is one of only two prophetic books written concerning the northern division Israel

B. The work of this prophet began at the reign of Jereboam II king of Israel

C. This was during some of the darkest days of Israel's history - the people were bent on
backsliding (4:1,2)

D. Spiritual adultery is a major theme of the book - the word "whoredom" is found 16 times

E. The book depicts Israel's downfall as well as God's love

III. Outline of Hosea
A. The time of Hosea (1:1)

B. Hosea's family members and their symbolism

1. Hosea's wife (1:2,3)
2. Hosea's children (1:4-9)
C. God's love (1:10,11)

D. Israel's wickedness and God's judgment (2:1-13)

E. God's love (2:14-23)

F. Hosea (God) takes back his adulterous wife (Israel) (3:1-5)

G. Prophetic message

1. The nation's guilt (4)
2. Universal corruption and inevitable judgment (5 - 8)
3. Exile and destruction - punishment for religious and moral apostasy (9 - 10)
4. God's love verses Israel's ingratitude and faithlessness (11 - 13)
5. God's divine favor (14)


I. Meaning of the name Joel
A. The name Joel means "Jehovah is God"
B. The book is so named because Joel is its author and it deals with his work as a prophet of God
II. Facts about Joel
A. Joel was one of the earliest prophets and is referred to by some of the other prophets

B. He did his work probably about the time of Amaziah and Uzziah kings of Judah

C. Joel emphasizes the divine judgment of God and the need for spiritual religion in contrast
to external forms or observances

D. Joel is especially known for his prophesy of the coming of Christ's kingdom on the day of
III. Outline of Joel
A. The author and his inspiration (1:1)

B. Locust plague and Judah's lamenting (1:2-20)

C. God's judgment on Judah (2:1-11)

D. The summons to repentance and the people's response (2:12-17)

E. Joel's prediction and prophecy

1. Blessing of the near future (2:18-27)
2. Blessings of the distant future (2:28-32)
3. Judgment of God on enemies of Judah (3:1-8)
4. Spread of the gospel prophesied (3:9-17)
5. Restored Judah a type of Christ's kingdom (3:18-21)


I. Meaning of the name Amos
A. The name Amos means "burden bearer"

B. The book is so named because Amos is its author and it pertains to his work as a prophet
of God
II. Facts about Amos
A. Among the earliest prophets Amos was one of only two who prophesied to Israel the northern division of the Jews

B. The work of Amos was at the time of Uzziah king of Judah and Jereboam II king of Israel

C. Amos deals with the conditions of the people revealing much about their social and
religious life - luxury, ease, indifference, resisting truth and formalism in worship

D. Amos also addressed many nations surrounding Israel

III. Outline of Amos
A. Amos and his time (1:1,2)

B. The judgments of God against the nations

1. Against Damascus - cruelty in war (1:3-5)
2. Against Gaza - enslaving captives (1:6-8)
3. Against Tyre - enslaving captives (1:9,10)
4. Against Edom - pursuing brother without mercy (1:11,12)
5. Against Ammon - senseless cruelty (1:13-15)
6. Against Moab - inhume vengeance (2:1-3)
7. Against Judah - rejecting the law of God (2:4,5)
8. Against Israel - unrighteousness, injustice and apostasy (2:6-16)
C. Israel's sins and impending doom
1. Punishment due to iniquity and oppression (3)
2. Condemnation for pompous women, insincere worship and continued impenitence (4)
3. Lament over Israel's afflicting the poor, love for luxury and disregard for the word of God (5 - 6)
D. Five visions pointing to the end
1. The locusts (7:1-3)
2. The devouring fire (7:4-6)
3. The plum-line (7:7-9)
4. Confrontation between Amos and Amaziah (7:10-17)
5. The basket of fruit - Israel ripe for destruction (8)
6. The smitten sanctuary (9:1-10)
E. The promise of a better day - to be fulfilled in the Messianic hope (9:11-15)


I. Meaning of the name Obadiah

A. The name Obadiah means "servant or worshiper of God"

B. The book bears this name because Obadiah is its author and it deals with his work as a
prophet of God
II. Facts about Obadiah
A. Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament containing only one chapter

B. Its message pertains to the Edomites who were descendants of Esau - (Gen. 36:43)

C. In Obadiah each verse leads to the next giving a connected thought throughout the entire
III. Outline of Obadiah
A. Obadiah's vision
1. Edom to be destroyed (1,2)
2. Edom's false hopes (3-9)
B. Edom's sin against Israel (10-16)

C. Deliverance in Zion (17-21)


I. Meaning of the name Jonah
A. The name Jonah means "a dove"

B. The book is so named because Jonah is its author and it has to do with his work as one of
God's prophets
II. Facts about Jonah
A. Jonah did his work near the time of Jereboam II king of the southern division of Israel (II Kings 14:24,25)

B. While being labeled a prophecy, the book of Jonah is actually the story about the work of
a prophet

C. Jonah has to do with the pagan city of Nineveh

D. Jonah's stay in the belly of the "great fish" became a type of Christ's burial in the tomb
(Matt. 12:40)
III. Outline of Jonah
A. Jonah - his calling and desertion (1:1-3)

B. Jonah the rebuked (1:4-17)

C. Jonah the penitent (2)

D. Jonah the prophet

1. Experience in Nineveh (3:1-5)
2. The king's declaration (3:6-9)
3. The mercy of God (3:10)
E. Jonah the disappointed and presumptuous prophet (4:1-3)

F. The lesson of the gourd vine (4:4-11)


I. Meaning of the name Micah
A. The name Micah means "Who is like Jehovah?"

B. The book carries this name because Micah is its author and it deals with his work as a
prophet of God
II. Facts about Micah
A. Micah prophesied during the reign of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah , kings of Judah (1:1)

B. The book deals with the corrupted nature of the Jews and the need for repentance and
respect for God's authority

C. Micah contains two special prophecies - Christ's coming kingdom (ch. 4) and the place of
Christ's birth (ch. 5)
III. Outline of Micah
A. Judgment coming upon Judah and Israel
1. The prophet and his call to harken (1:1,2)
2. The coming calamity (1:3-15)
3. Mourning for Judah (1:16)
B. The sins of the people
1. Evil, covetousness, violence, oppression (2:1-3)
2. A parable against the (2:4-6)
3. God's rebuke (2:7)
4. Robbery, pollutions, accepting false prophets (2:8-11)
5. Deliverance promised (2:12,13)
6. Charges against the princes and false prophets (3:1-7)
7. Micah's claim to power (3:8)
8. More charges against the people (3:9-11)
9. Jerusalem to be destroyed (3:12)
C. Prophecies of the future
1. Prophecy pf Christ's coming kingdom (4:1-8)
2. Captivity and the good results that followed (4:9 - 5:15)
3. Note: Prophecy of the place of Christ's birth (5:2)
D. God's controversy with his people
1. The people invited to plead their case (6:1-5)
2. The people respond (6:6,7)
3. The people answer through Micah (6:8,9)
4. Their sins reviewed (6:10-16)
E. Confession of guilt and the need to trust in God (7:1-7)

F. Though defeated, God's people will be victorious (7:8-13)

G. Future conditions under God's providence (7:14-20)


I. Meaning of the name Nahum

A. The name Mahum means "comfort" or "compassion"

B. The book is so named because Nahum is its author and it has to do with his work as one
of God's prophets
II. Facts about the book Nahum
A. Nahum is a strong prophetic message against the capital city of Assyria, Nineveh

B. Wile Jonah, two hundred years earlier, recorded the repentance of Nineveh, Nahum
speaks of its destruction.

C. Key phrase: "I am against thee saith the Lord of Hosts" (2:13; 3:5) (Assyria had

ruthlessly crushed other nations, including the Jews, but now it was time to suffer.)
III. Outline of Nahum
A. The severity and goodness of God
1. To the wicked - a jealous and avenging God (1 - 6)
2. To those who trust him (7)
B. Nineveh's doom declared
1. It will be final (8 - 10)
2. The "wicked counselor" (11)
3. The divine decree (12 - 14)
4. Assurance to Judah that Nineveh will be no more a threat (15)
C. Nineveh's utter destruction
1. The enemies of Nineveh at the gate (2:1)
2. A reason for God's judgment (2:2)
3. The enemies of Nineveh and her inadequate defenses (2:3-5)
4. Nineveh open d to plunder (2:6-10)
5. The mighty have fallen for God is against them (2:11-13)
D. God's righteousness demands judgment
1. Conquest of the "bloody city" (3:1-3)
2. God's just cause for destruction (3:4)
3. God repeats his decree of destruction (3:5-7)
4. Nineveh's destruction will be like her destruction of No (3:8-13)
5. In irony God tells Nineveh to defend itself - but any defense is hopeless (3:14,15)
6. The might of Nineveh will disappear (3:16-18)
7. The destruction complete (3:19)


I. Meaning of the name Habakkuk

A. The name Habakkuk means "embrace" or "embracing"

B. The book is so named because Habakkuk is its author and it has to do with his work as
one of God's prophets
II. Facts about Habakkuk
A. Habakkuk was contemporary with Jeremiah and wrote to Judah concerning the nation of Babylon (Chaldeans) (The Babylonian empire had already begun its ruthless attack on Judah to being carried into captivity)

B. Habakkuk deals with the problem of evil (how God could allow lawlessness to go
 unchecked - and with the problem of the punishment of evil - how long could God wait)

C. The book illustrates the slow, but eventual, punishment of God's enemies (that
 wickedness will destroy itself) and the need to trust in God's ways)
III. Outline of Habakkuk
A. The state of things in Judah
1. Habakkuk's perplexity over sinful conditions among his own people (1:1-4)
2. Punishment, at the hands of the Babylonians, is on its way (1:5-11)
3. Habakkuk's protest - how could God use a wicked nation like Babylon against his people?
B. The Chaldeans denounced
1. Habakkuk's patience (2:1-4)
2. The coming doom of the Chaldeans (the five woes - of plunder, selfish gain, oppression, encouraging sin and idolatry) (2:5-20)
C. Habakkuk's prayer and psalm
1. His prayer (3:1,2)
2. His psalm of the power of God (3:3-16)
D. Habakkuk's statement of faith (3:17-19)


I. Meaning of the name Zephaniah

A. The name Zephaniah means "God has hidden"

B. The book is so named because Zephaniah is its author and it has to do with his work as
one of God's prophets
II. Facts about Zephaniah
A. Zephaniah was contemporary with Jeremiah and prophesied just prior to the fall of Nineveh (Assyria) which came at the hands of the Babylonians

B. Because of its corruption, Judah's fall (also coming at the hands of Babylon) was on the
horizon - Zephaniah now speaks against he idolatrous practices of his own people

C. Because of his straightforward approach Zephaniah has been labeled harsh and negative -
however, thnis is what Judah needed to hear
III. Outline of Zephaniah
A. Destruction to come upon Judah and Jerusalem
1. Zephaniah speaks for God (1:1)
2. Destruction of Judah and Jerusalem (1:2-13)
3. The great "day of the Lord" is near (1:14-18)
B. Admonition to repentance
1. Their repentance must occur soon (2:1,2)
2. Only the meek and righteous will be spared (2:3)
C. Gentile nations also to be punished
1. Philistia to be devastated (2:4-7)
2. Moab and Amon to be as Sodom and Gomorrah (2:8-11)
3. The Ethiopians to be slain (2:12)
4. Assyria and Nineveh to be desolate (2:13-15)
D. Conditions of Jerusalem described
1. Jerusalem is filthy and disobedient (3:1,2)
2. Their princes, judges, prophets and priests are corrupt (3:3,4)
3. God's righteousness stands in sharp contrast (3:5)
4. God's punishment on the heathen was a warning that went unheeded by Judah (3:6,7)
E. Restoration after the return from captivity
1. After devastation the people will serve God (3:8,9)
2. Price and naughtiness will no longer exist (3:10,11)
3. The remnant of Judah will be secure (3:12,13)
4. This will be a time of joy (3:14-19)
5. The return from captivity predicted (3:20)


I. Meaning of the name Haggai

A. The name Hagai means "festive"

B. The book is so named because Haggai is its author and it has to do with his work as
one of God's prophets
II. Facts about Haggai
A. Haggai is the first of the three post-captivity prophets and was contemporary with
Zechariah (Hag. 1:1; Zech. 1:1)

B. The book was written to the remnant of the Jews who had returned from captivity and
deals with the Jew's delay in ebuilding the temple

C. A more detailed history of the setting of Haggai is found in the 4th, 5th and 6th chapters of
the book of Ezra

D. The book is made up of the four discourses of Haggai

III. Outline of Haggai
A. First discourse
1. The people rebuked (1:1-11)
2. A call to action (1:12-15)
B. Second discourse
1. A reminder of the ruined temple (2:1-3)
2. A call to courage and a prophetic message about the church (2:4-9)
C. Third discourse - a reminder of their condition (2:10-19)

D. Fourth discourse - God's revenge on heathen nations and a message of hope (2:20-23)


I. Meaning of the name Zechariah
A. The name Zechariah means "God has remembered"

B. The book is so named because Zechariah is its author and it has to do with his work as
one of God's prophets
II. Facts about Zechariah
A. Zechariah is the second of the post-captivity prophets and contemporary with Haggi (Hag. 1:1; Zech. 1:1)

B. With Haggi, Zechariah shared in the work of encouraging Zerubbel, Joshus and the
people in rebuilding the temple, following their return from Babylonian captivity

C. Zechariah also deals with the sin of the people and the need to repent

D. Zechariah is a highly symbolic book containing a series of visions and several prophecies
about Christ
III. Outline of Zechariah
A. Oracles and visions during the building of the temple in Jerusalem
1. The Lord's call to repentance (1:1-6)
2. The divine visions of Zechariah (1:7 - 6:8)
3. The crowning of the king (6:19-15)
4. Questions about certain fast days (7:1-7)
5. Exhortations to repentance (7:8-14)
6. Jerusalem's restoration (ten short oracles beginning with "Thus saith the Lord") (8:1-23)
B. Oracles and prophesies after the building of the temple in Jerusalem
1. Surrounding heathen nations to be brought low (9:1-8)
2. The coming of the Messiah (9:9-11)
3. God's promise of victory (9:12-17)
4. Though his people have been misled, God will guide them (10)
5. The Jews' rejection of God and the consequences (11)
6. God will use his people for victory (12)
7. A cleansing of the people and a rejection of false prophets (13:1-6)
8. Persecution of the Messiah and his followers (13:7-9)
9. Victory of the Messiah and his followers (14)


I. Meaning of the name Malachi
A. The name Malachi means "My messenger"

B. The book is so named because Malachi is its author and it has to do with his work as one
of God's prophets
II. Facts about Malachi
A. Malachi is the third of the post-captivity prophets and the last to write in the record of the Old Testament

B. Malachi wrote to Judah about 100 years after the beginning of the Jews's return from
captivity in Babylon

C. The book contains lists of accusation against: 1) the priests, because of leading the people
astray, 2) the people, because of their sins

D. Often found in this book are the words "ye say" which introduce the Jews' attempts to
justify themselves
III. Outline of Malachi
A. God's love for his people (1:1-5)

B. The faults of the priests condemned

1. Their meaningless sacrifices, their ingratitude to God and their empty service (1:6-14)
2. The results of their conduct (2:1-3)
3. What true priests should be (2:4-9)
C. The sins of the people
1. The people reproved for their idolatry, adultery and infidelity (2:10-17)
2. Prophesy of the coming of John the baptist and God's cleansing (3:1-6)
3. The need for a right attitude toward material possessions (3:7-12)
4. The results of God's corrective measures (3:13-18)
D. The day of God
1. The righteous and wicked in that day (4:1-4)
2. The coming of "Elijah" (John the baptist) (4:5,6)