The Prophets of Israel

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1 Tuesday Bible Study Rev. Jeff Kirby Table of Contents September 6 Session 1 September 13 Session 2 The Prophets of the 9 th and 8 th Centuries September 20 Session 3 The Prophets of the 7 th Century pg. 3 pg. 7 pg. 9 September 27 No Class October 4 Session 4 The Prophets of the Exile October 11 Session 5 The Prophets Following the Exile pg. 10 pg. 11 1

2 Course One of the central leadership figures in the life of ancient Israel was the people known as the prophets. Seventeen books of the Old Testament contain the writings and teachings of the prophets. Additionally, there are large narratives within the historical portions of the Old Testament that tell their stories. Prophets were mainly men, but all were called and empowered by God to speak on His behalf. Their presence among the chosen people of God spanned over 1,000 years, from Moses to Malachi. In this study we will survey portions of the lives and ministries of The Prophets of Israel. We will want to know something of the historical events of the time, and seek to understand what God was saying to His people. We might ask why we care about what God was saying 2,800 years ago? What possible difference could it make in today s global economic, geo-political and military crisis? That is a very important question to ask. We believe in the Christian faith together with our Jewish friends that the God of Israel, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We come to Scripture seeking to learn about the cries and concerns of God s heart from the day of the prophets so that we may we may be awakened to His concerns this day. The ministry of The Prophets of Israel span an enormous swath of Israel s history, from the times of Moses and Deborah, through the ministry of Nathan, Elijah and Elisha at the time of Israel s kings to the warnings of doom of two exiles and eventual return from exile and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. This of course is far too much for us to cover in detail, but my hope is that we will encounter in the words of the prophets an awareness of God s purposes and concerns for our world today. If prophets were around today (and who says they aren t?), what would they be saying to us? Welcome to the world of the Prophets of Israel! Jeff Kirby 2

3 Session 1 1. The Seven periods of Israel s history a. The Patriarchs Genesis 11 to 50 b. The Egyptian Captivity Jacob s descent to Egypt to the Exodus c. Wilderness travel through the conquest of the land d. The period of the judges e. The United Monarchy Saul to Solomon f. The Divided Kingdom Israel falls in 722 B.C. / Judah in 586 B.C. g. The exile and post-exilic period from 586 B.C. to 400 B.C. 3

4 2. Who were the prophets of Israel? a. What makes a prophet? b. How would they know a false prophet from a true one? c. The three-fold leadership pattern: Prophet, Priest and King 3. When did they live? 4

5 4. What kind of people were the prophets? a. They were called of God b. They were sensitive to evil c. They felt God s anguish d. They challenged the religious status quo e. They were people of loneliness and pain f. They were people of great concern, conviction and courage 5

6 5. The earliest prophets of Israel: a. Moses b. Miriam c. Deborah d. Samuel 6. Were prophets unique to ancient Israel or did other nations have prophets? 7. How successful were the prophets of Israel? 6

7 Session 2 - The Prophets of the 9 th and 8 th Centuries 1. Obadiah 2. Joel 3. Amos 7

8 4. Hosea 5. Isaiah 6. Micah 7. Jonah 8

9 Session 3 - The Prophets of Israel in the 7 th Century 1. Nahum 2. Jeremiah 3. Zephaniah 4. Habakkuk 9

10 Session 4 - The Prophets of the Exile 1. Daniel 2. Biblical Prophetical Literature 3. Ezekiel 10

11 Session 5 - The Prophets Beyond the Exile 1. Haggai 2. Zechariah 3. Malachi 4. Are there prophets today? 5. What the New Testament teaches about the gift of prophecy for the church. 11

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