Minor prophets i
Transcript of Minor prophets i
Minor Prophets I
Amos, Hosea, Micah
Amos, Hosea, Micah
• Active in the 8th century BC• Focus is on sins of their own
people– Social Sin– Cultic Sin (Idolatry, religious
abuses)• Contemporaries of Isaiah
– Hosea is in the northern kingdom– Micah is in the southern kingdom– Amos is from the south, but
working in the north
Hosea• Images of marital infidelity are
tied to Israel’s disloyalty– Unfaithful wife who becomes a
prostitute• Hosea’s personal experience
with his wife, Gomer, is a metaphor for God’s relationship with Israel– Unfaithful wife who becomes a
Hosea• Part I: Hosea’s faithless wife
– Chapters 1-3
• Part II: Collection of prophetic speeches– Condemns Israel’s behavior– Predicts God’s punishment– Express Hope for renewal
• Part One– Gomer – not just a harlot, but a
cult prostitute serving the god Baal, making Hosea’s choice even more dramatic.• Covenant
– God and the people are bound by the covenant
• Idolatry and Infidelity– Baal is the fertility god, responsible for
crops, herds, and people– Hosea says you cannot choose when to
serve the Lord: it’s a package deal
• Part One• Understanding God
– God is all that best about human nature• Land and Desert
– The land is filled with milk and honey; worshipping Baal will lead to a desert
– In the desert, though, God may court his people and renew the covenant
• Jezreel– Jehu had royal family executed
and heads sent to Jezreel. God will punish Jehu and destroy his family ruling in Israel
• Lo-ruhama (unpitied)– God no longer pities Israel
• Lo-ammi (not my people)– Yahweh will not consider Israel
his people any longer
Hosea 11:1-4• When Israel was a child I loved him,a
• out of Egypt* I called my son.b
• 2The more I called them,• the farther they went from me,• Sacrificing to the Baals• and burning incense to idols.• 3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to
walk,• who took them in my arms;c
• but they did not know that I cared for them.
• 4I drew them with human cords,• with bands of love;*
• I fostered them like those• who raise an infant to their cheeks;• I bent down to feed them.d
How do these images apply to our world?
• One way of knowing God is through human experience. How is God like a faithful spouse, a loving parent, a friend seeking a lasting relationship?
• God’s judgment and punishment is always directed toward restoring relationship.
Amos• Priest of Bethel• Shepherd, “dresser of
sycamores”• Religion requires more than
ritual observances; it requires a moral life.
• Harsh critic of Israelite society; 25 years after Amos, Samaria falls to Assyria.
• Prophet of Doom
• Concern for justice is passionate– Demands in all areas of life:
political, economic, judicial– The fall of Israel is inevitable
because of corruption and injustice.
• Structure of two sentence pronouncements of sins, judgment
• Independent; southerner who proclaims in the north
• Does not rely on priests or kings for support
• Prophecies against the king make the priests nervous
• Independence leads to blunt and somewhat offensive style– Cows of Bashan (4:1) to refer
to women of Samaria
“words” and “woes”
• Hear this word… (3)• Hear this word… (4)• Hear this word… (5)
• Woe (5:7)• Woe (5: 18)• Woe (6:1)
• Followed by Visions for renewal
Amos• Amos was the conscience of the
nation and spoke for the powerless.– Who are the powerless in our time?– Who speaks for them?
• Take away from me• your noisy songs;• The melodies of your harps,• I will not listen to them.• 24Rather let justice surge like waters,• and righteousness like an unfailing
stream. (5:23-24)– How is acting justly linked to
prayer and worship?
• Anthology of short speeches– Judgment speeches– Salvation speeches
• Concern about the impending Assyrian invasion and social justice– Accuses ruling elite of corruption– Impatience with false prophets
• Similar to Jeremiah in tone and in terms of acceptance
• He was a poor peasant – farmer/shepherd class
• Impending Judgment– God is coming to judge– The rich have taken from the
poor; the Assyrians will take from the rich
– Virtue requires justice and facing reality
• Uses the Hebrew word hesed for covenant, which refers to the steadfast love that binds two parties together.
• Punishment is deserved, but Micah still mourns for his people.
• Zion is a plowed field
• Prophecies of Restoration– Probably added after Babylonian
exile– Hope after destruction– Prophecy for Bethlehem
• Indictment of Israel– Israel’s failure to respond to
God’s faithfulness– True religion is based on acting
justly, walking humbly, loving tenderly
• Concluding Indictment and Prayer– Only solution to the
corruption of the society is repentance and reliance on the Lord
– God will forgive a repentant people and restore them to favor.
• Prophets who point out the problems in society are not popular. – What true prophets do we
have in our time?– What “professional”
prophets in our time mislead people in our time?
Micah• But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathahleast among the clans of Judah,From you shall come forth for meone who is to be ruler in Israel;Whose origin is from of old,from ancient times.
• What does this section from Micah mean for you? Why is it significant that Jesus will come from Bethlehem?