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Breezin’ Through the Bible, 17B – The Fall of Jerusalem

February 14, 2014

The Pre-exile Prophets

Amos – 760-750 BC, Israel under Jeroboam

Hosea – 745 BC, Israel under Jeroboam

Isiah – 742-701 BC, Judah under Uzziah to Hezekiah

Micah – 750 BC, Judah under Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah

Nahum -623-610 BC, Judah under Josiah

Zephaniah – Judah under Josiah

Habakkuk – 615-598 BC, Judah (?)

Jeremiah – 627-587 BC, Judah to the fall of Jerusalem

The pre-exile messengers of God are called the Mnor Prophets, although their warnings were major. Ungrateful and prideful kings often ignored their messages.

Amos saw the prosperous times in Israel as a time of moral decay and ethical corruption. He stressed personal responsibility for God’s chosen people. Amos was banished because his words were too harsh.

Hosea was told by God to marry a prostitute. No matter what his wife did, he always took her back and forgave her. With an unfaithful wife, Hosea used his relationship with her to show God’s unfailing love to his sinful people.

Isaiah‘s words have had an impact on language. Many of his words and phrases are used in the libretto of Handel’s Messiah and the “Hallelujah Chorus”. His book has been called the 5th Gospel because so many of his prophesies were fulfilled. Isaiah combines warnings of doom with hope for a prosperous time.

Micah warned of impending doom and predicted the destruction of the temple. Micah told what the Lord required of his people, “do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:9)

Nahum was more of a poet than a prophet. His words were a vicious attack on evil, corruption, and immorality. The Lord said, “I will lift up your skirts over your face, and I will let the nations look on your nakedness and kingdoms on your shame. I will throw filth at you and treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.”(Nahum 3: 1-6) Disturbing words for a depraved people.

Zephaniah predicted destruction of Jerusalem in the days of reformer king Josiah if the people failed to reform. He predicted that Gentiles, other non-Jewish nations, would be converted and God would rebuild Jerusalem.

Habakkuk praised God for his work in nature, but he questioned God’s cruelty to the people who followed him as they were swept up in the punishment of the wicked.

Jeremiah was told by God not to marry of have children because they would only end up dead. A jeremiad is a sad, angry, doom-laden tirade. Jeremiah scolded the people and warned they they would suffer for their weak faith. He predicted the deportation and how “human corpses would fall like dung upon the open field.” He was carried off to Egypt and was murdered.

The book of Jeremiah is followed by the book of Lamentations. Jerusalem had fallen.

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