Chronology Of The Prophets In The Old Testament
Deuteronomy 18 – “And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’–“when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken”
The prophets of ancient Israel spoke about the events mentioned in the Old Testament long before they actually happened. Israel was confronted with the choice of blessings or curses. Blessings if they followed the LORD and curses if they forsook him. Moses their great leader warned the people of Israel not to disobey the LORD or else:
Deuteronomy 28:49-50 – “The LORD will bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flies a nation whose language you will not understand a nation of fierce facial expressions, that doesn’t respect the elderly, nor show favor to the young.”
Jesus confirmed all of the events mentioned in the Old Testament .
Below is a list of the prophets with dates, kings and historical events regarding Israel and her prophets.
|Chronological List of Prophets in the Old Testament|
List Of The Major And Minor Prophets
Before we go more in-depth, here is a list of the major and minor prophets mentioned in the Bible:
The Four Major Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel
The Twelve Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi
David’s Offspring Will Have An Eternal Kingdom
“When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” .
“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham”
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Like The Passover Lamb None Of The Christ’s Bones Will Be Broken
“It must be eaten inside the house take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones” .
“Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken'”
Who Are The Named Women Prophets In The Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible describes five women prophets, all in Israel. The four named women prophets are:
Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron. When baby Moses needed an overseer, young Miriam watched over him, in his basket among the reeds, until an Egyptian princess rescued him. Miriams prophetic ministry included music and singing. She was also described as one of the three leaders who led Israels children out of captivity.
Then Miriam the prophet, Aarons sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. Miriam sang to them: Sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.
Deborah was a prophet and one of the twelve major judges God called forth to lead the nation Israel. She spoke the Word of the Lord to Barak. Under her command, the Israelites defeated King Sisera and the Canaanites, thereby ensuring forty years of peace. And, her song of victory and praise is recorded in Judges 5.
Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.
Noadiah was described as a prophet in Nehemiahs prayer. She opposed Nehemiahs work to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Some consider her a false prophet.
Note: A fifth woman prophet is found in the book of Isaiah:
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Why Did We Need Prophets
Why would people need this messenger in the first place?
A number of reasons can necessitate a prophet.
1. Prophets increased credibility of the Scriptures. First, a prophet can give veracity to the Scriptures. If, for instance, someone prophesied about a Messiah who would be born in Bethlehem , and hundreds of years later it happened, this would bolster the truth of Scripture.
The odds of a prophecy coming true hundreds of years after the prediction would be so small, that its fulfillment would increase belief in God rather than belief that it happened by chance.
2. Prophets represented time for repentance. Second, a prophet gives a group of people a chance to turn back to God. Usually, God places a buffer of time between immoral actions of a group of people and consequences which follow.
Take, for instance, the Jeremiah example listed above. God gave the Israelites time to turn from their wicked waysvia a prophetic messagebefore He would enact a just, yet severe future punishment.
3. Prophets delivered Gods word to sinful people. Third, before Christ came, a prophet provided an arbitration between God and His people. Because sin had divided a Holy God from sinful people, a prophet served as a sort of bridge to convey Gods word to a group in need of hearing that message.
Jesus Would Become The Perfect Sacrifice
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire but my ears you have opened burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.Then I said, Here I am, I have come it is written about me in the scroll.I desire to do your will, my God your law is within my heart” .
“Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.'”Then I said, Here I amit is written about me in the scroll I have come to do your will, my God.
“First he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them’though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” .
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The Nations Will Be Blessed Through Abraham’s Lineage
“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” .
“And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed. When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways .
Women Prophets In The New Testament
Luke presents Anna as a woman prophet , which is the same Greek word the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, uses to translate the Hebrew nbh . Like the prophet Simeon who is paired with her , Anna is led by the Holy Spirit to speak about Jesus to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem . The masculine gender of the signifiers describing her intended audience suggests Anna prophesies to both men and women. Elsewhere, Luke uses the feminine signifier to define an audience of women only .
Lukes depiction of Anna as a prophet anticipates Pentecost, when Mary the mother of Jesus and other women prophesy . Luke makes another link between Anna and early Christian women prophets when he introduces Philips daughters as virgins who prophesy
Note: Scripture references are the authors translation throughout.
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God’s Anointed Will Not See Decay
“Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices my body also will rest secure,because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.You make known to me the path of life you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” .
“Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay” .
How Many Prophecies Are In The Bible
This week, we will address several questions related to the Bible and statistics.
I have heard it said that prophecy is one of the stronger proofs pointing to the fact that the Bible is from God. Can you tell me approximately how many prophecies the Scriptures contain?
Various books cite different figures, depending upon the manner in which one counts the prophecies. For example, one writer may count a single verse as a prophecy, while another may see three or four prophetic elements within the same passage.
J. Barton Paynes Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy lists 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 prophecies in the New Testament, for a total of 1,817. These encompass 8,352 verses.
Do we have any idea about how many people there were on earth at the time of the flood?
The Genesis narrative indicates that Adam and Eve were charged with the responsibility of multiplying and filling the earth . By the time of the flood, which seems to have been in the tenth generation of human historyand a span of at least 1,656 years Moses records that the earth was filled with violence . This suggests an extensive population already. The language indicates a tremendously rapid expansion. This conclusion is supported further by the fact that the flood was designed to destroy living creatures of the entire globe .
One does not precisely know, of course, but the figure must have been significant.
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The Messiah Will Have All Authority Over Judgment
“I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” .
“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” .
The Messiah Will Be Humbled In Order To Serve Mankind
“You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.You made them rulers over the works of your hands you put everything under their feet”
“It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified:
‘What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him?You made them a little lower than the angels you crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet.’
“In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” .
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The Messiah Will Usher In A New Covenant
“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenantwith the people of Israel and with the people of Judah'” .
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” .
Astute observers will recognize the topic of justice coming up again and again in these prophecies. Its an idea central to the biblical theme. To learn more, check out 24 Informative Bible Verses about Justice.
The Nations Will Be Blessed Through Jacob’s Offspring
“Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring” .
Jacob is part of Jesus genealogy.
“the son of Jacob,the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,the son of Terah, the son of Nahor”
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How Did These Men And Women Become Prophets
The Bible doesnt explain how the word of the Lord came to a prophet, however, there are a number of examples where the Lord revealed his will through visions aside from an audible or internal voice or dreams . Jesus also fulfilled this advocacy of his father as a priest, prophet, and king.
The Bible uses the terms major and minor simply as a way to divide the prophetic books of the Old Testament. The Major Prophets are described as major because of the longer lengths of their books, not their significance. In order of occurrence, the Major Prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel.
The Minor Prophets of the Bible are shorter books with more specific content, compared to the broader subjects of the Major Prophets. These men were just as significant as the Major Prophets despite the title of minor. The Minor Prophets are Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The Minor Prophets are also sometimes called The Twelve.
Christ’s Forerunner Would Come In The Spirit Of Elijah
“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction” .
“This is the one about whom it is written:
‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.
“Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears, let them hear” .
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They Would Cast Lots For Jesus’s Clothing
“They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment” .
“When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
‘Lets not tear it,’ they said to one another. ‘Lets decide by lot who will get it.’
“This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,
‘They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.’
“So this is what the soldiers did” .
Jesus Would Draw The Gentiles To Himself
“In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious” .
“Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!’
“Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we would like to see Jesus'” .
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Mission And Message Of The Prophets In The Bible
Regarding the previous description of each of the prophets, we can now talk about the mission and the messages that each one of them wanted to convey in the Old Testament Bible scriptures.
- They sought to defend the nations from idolatry and all evil.
- When this mission was lost, they sought the announcement that the nation would be destroyed.
- But in the same way they prophesied that it would not be completely destroyed because a remnant would be saved.
- From only the remnant that could be left, an authority would come that would be spread throughout the earth and would bring Jehovah to all nations.
- This authority would be found represented by a man who would one day rise up in the family of David. The prophets would call him the Branch. The family of David, being at one time the strongest in the world, in the days of the prophets was cut off and brought down until only managing to rule a small kingdom, already on the verge of disappearing because it was a family of kings without a kingdom, there was no to succumb. It is where from the throne of the family a offspring would be born that would be in a special sense the Branch.
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