The Prophetical Books Of The Old Testament

Arend Remmers

Overview of the Old Testament

During the time of the OT God sent many prophets to His earthly people Israel: for example Samuel, Nathan (2 Sam. 7:2), Shemaiah (1 Kings 12:22), the Man of God out of Judah (1 Kings 13), Ahijah (1 Kings 11:29), Iddo (2 Chron. 12:15), Azariah (2 Chron. 15:1), Hanani  (2 Chron. 16:7), Jehu (1 Kings 16:1), Elijah (1 Kings 17:1), Jahaziel (2 Chron. 20:14), Micaiah (1 Kings 22:8), Eliezer (2 Chron. 20:37), Elisha (1 Kings 19:16), Zechariah (2 Chron. 24:20), Zechariah (2 Chron. 26:5) and Oded (2 Chron. 28:9).

Only twelve further prophets have left inspired writings, which were added to the canon of the OT.

The fact that the prophetical service became a necessity among the earthly people of God is a proof of their spiritual decline. Again and again we find serious calls to repentance and return in the prophetical books in order that Jehovah could turn to His people again. Therefore most of the prophets were callers who stood before the face of God (as did Elijah in 1 Kings 17:1) and spoke the Word of God for the actual time and its circumstances.

The prophets point not only to the immediate circumstances but also to the future of Israel in connection with the coming Messiah (Jonah is an exception to this). The nations of the earth are mentioned also as far as they are in connection with God's ways to His aim. This aim is the Messiah's reign over the whole universe in the Millennium in which Israel will play a special part. The prophets therefore reveal the plans of God with creation. This explains why the assembly of God does not belong to the subjects of the prophets in the OT.  For the assembly is the subject of the eternal, heavenly counsels of God, which have only been revealed after the redemption, work of Christ in the NT (compare Eph. 3:1-12).

When did the Prophets of the Old Testament Serve?

Prophet Time Period
Joelduring 9th century BC
Obadiahduring 9th century BC - or after 586 BC?
Jonah800 - 790 BC
Hosea 772/752 - 722 BC
Isaiah 767 - 697 BC
Amos767 - 753 BC
Micah750 - 700 BC
Nahum663 - 612 BC
Jeremiah627 - 586 BC
Zephaniah622 - 606 BC
Habakkuk612 - 605 BC
Daniel605 - 536/535 BC
Ezekiel593 - 571 BC
Haggai around 520 BC
Zechariah520 - 480 BC
Malachi450 - 425 BC