Introduction to the Minor Prophets.

Key Notes: The historical sequence. Two dozen topics are to be found in these twelve books.

The minor prophets are called minor because of their smaller book-size, not because their messages are less significant than the major prophets. In fact, they are a great resource for understanding Bible history and prophecy. It comes as a surprise to find that they are not in historical order. The earlier books, starting with Genesis and going through Esther, are in historical order. The books of Wisdom, Job through Song of Songs, are not in a time sequence, partly because wisdom rather than history is their central message. The major prophets, Isaiah through Daniel are listed in historical order. Why Hosea was put first in “The Twelve”, the minor prophets, is not known, except possibly because it is the longest.

The order of The Twelve is not conclusive, even today, because most of them do not have direct reference to kings or other specific events. The tentative order, and the one that will be used for these studies comes from Whitcomb’s chart*. Dates with the range of times that the prophet may have written, come from three sources. Some of the ranges are more than a hundred years, showing that we really don’t know the date. The chronological order for the purposes of our studies is as follows.

JOEL 875–740 BC
JONAH 824–586
AMOS 810–750
HOSEA 780–720
MICAH 758–700
OBADIAH 889–586
NAHUM 710–625
HABAKKUK 650–586
HAGGAI  520–516
MALACHI 440–410

The first nine prophets are before Israel’s Exile into Babylon 586BC. The last three take up the task of encouraging and reproving those who returned after 536BC.

*Old Testament Kings and Prophets; John C. Whitcomb;  Grace Theological Seminary; Winona Lake; 4th edition,’62


If you accept the challenge of studying the Minor Prophets, you will be able to study the following topics that these books present. Some of them are summarized in Minor Prophets Lessons 2,3. They are in addition to a basic understanding of the text. Since each chapter has a lesson, you could develop lesson outlines from these studies if you have the opportunity to teach. Micah ad Zechariah are rich resources.

A way of looking at national tragedy. Joel 1
The Day of the Lord. Minor prophets. Lesson II.
Pentecost. Joel 2
God and the international scene. Micah 4
Cause and effect in nature. Amos 3–4
A spirit of harlotry. Hos.4–6
The knowledge of God. Hos.7–9
God as parent. Hos.10–14
The Remnant. Micah 2
The Holy Spirit. Micah.3
Zion in the future. Mic.4
Social justice. Mic.6–7
Christ as prophesied in the OT. Micah 1–5
The root of bitterness. Obadiah
Loving mercy. Micah 6
The prophet as a person. Micah 7
Total destruction of the earth. zeph.1–2
The song of God. Zeph. 3
A prophet challenges God. Hab.1
Justification by faith. Its early history. Hab.2
Zerubbabel and the signet ring. Hag.1–2
Apocalyptic vs. ordinary prophecy. Zech. 1–3
Christ’s appearances in the OT. Zech.1–2
Christ at once priest and king. Zech. 5–6
Religious rituals. Mal.2–4
Israel’s modern wars. Zech.10
The tale of two shepherds. Zech.11
A view of Christ’s return. zech.13–14
Election. Mal.1A
Worship and sacrifice. Mal.1B
God’s justice and ours. Mal.2–4