Tuesday, September 15, 2015


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Major Prophets:


Isaiah was a prophet (holy man). God appointed Isaiah to warn the people in Judah. The people were evil. So, they should ask God to forgive them. Isaiah lived before Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

Isaiah described the future of many countries (Isaiah chapters 13-24). But especially, he warned his own people in Judah and Israel (Isaiah chapters 28-31). But this book also contains many happy words. Isaiah wrote about a child who would have no human father (Isaiah 7:14). This child would become king (Isaiah 9:6). He would rule fairly (Isaiah 32). And the people would be glad (Isaiah 35). So, God will comfort his people (Isaiah 40). This child would be God's servant (Isaiah 42). But people would not accept him. God's servant would die so that God will forgive us. Then, God's servant would live again (Isaiah 53). Everyone must trust him (Isaiah 55). God will forgive the people who confess their evil deeds to God (Isaiah 59). So, God himself will rescue his people (Isaiah 63). We now know that Isaiah wrote these words about Jesus.

The Book of Isaiah is in the Old Testament section of the Bible.



Jeremiah was a prophet (holy man). God chose Jeremiah as a prophet when Jeremiah was a young man (Jeremiah 1). Jeremiah lived at the same time as the last kings of Judah. Jeremiah warned the people that God would punish them (Jeremiah 4). They must return to God. Otherwise, they would suffer terrible troubles (Jeremiah chapters 14-16).

God wanted the people to trust him. But they refused (Jeremiah 18). So, God told Jeremiah that the people must serve their enemies for 70 years (Jeremiah 25). But then, people from Israel would return to their land (Jeremiah chapters 30-33). Jeremiah also wrote about the future of other nations (Jeremiah chapters 46-51). And Jeremiah knew that God would send Jesus (Jeremiah 23:1-8, Jeremiah 31:31-37, and Jeremiah 33).

This Book is in the Old Testament section of the Bible.



Lamentations is a book of very sad poems. Lamentations is in the Old Testament of the Bible.

Jeremiah wrote the Book of Lamentations after soldiers from Babylon destroyed Jerusalem.

Jerusalem had been a beautiful city. The temple (house of God) was in Jerusalem. But the soldiers destroyed the buildings. They killed many people (Lamentations 2:21). They led the young men away to Babylon. The soldiers even forced the young women to have sex with them (Lamentations 5:11-13). Jeremiah saw these terrible events. And he knew why these things happened. They happened because the people in Jerusalem had not obeyed God's law. The people prayed to evil gods. And the people were very evil. God sent his servants to warn the people. But the people did not change their behaviour. So, God punished them (2 Chronicles 36:14-17). Jeremiah was very sad when he wrote Lamentations. But he still had hope. Between his sad words, he wrote about God's love. Jeremiah knew that God cares (Lamentations 3:22-33). Jeremiah wanted the people to trust God again (Lamentations 3:40-42). And Jeremiah knew that God would not always punish his people (Lamentations 4:22). Jeremiah prayed that the people could return to Jerusalem (Lamentations 5:21).



Ezekiel was a prophet (holy man) who lived at the same time as the last kings of Judah. God showed Ezekiel events that would happen in the future. God told Ezekiel that Ezekiel must warn the people about these events (Ezekiel 33). God would punish Judah because its people did not obey God's law. Their enemies would surround Jerusalem, which was Judah's capital city (Ezekiel chapters 4-5). God would leave his temple (the house of God in Jerusalem) - Ezekiel 10. This was because the leaders of Judah served false gods (Ezekiel 8). And the soldiers from Babylon would destroy Jerusalem (Ezekiel 21). God would also punish other evil nations (Ezekiel chapters 25-32). But God still cared about his people (Ezekiel 37). God would send someone from David's family to be their leader (Ezekiel 37:24-28). We now know that this person was Jesus. God also showed Ezekiel a picture of a new temple in the future (Ezekiel chapters 40-48). God himself would return to this temple (Ezekiel 43). The Book of Ezekiel is in the Old Testament section of the Bible.



God's special people, the Jews, did not obey God. So God punished them. He allowed the king of Babylon and his army to defeat them. The king of Babylon forced most Jews to live in Babylon. Babylon was a long way from their country. A young man called Daniel was among the people who went to live in Babylon. The first part of the book of Daniel in the Bible tells some stories from the life of Daniel and his friends. Many times the people of Babylon tried to make them forget the real God and to serve false gods. The people of Babylon even tried to kill Daniel and his friends because they would not serve the false gods. But Daniel and his friends were loyal to the real God. Daniel became a very important man in the government of Babylon.

The second part of the book of Daniel tells about Daniel's dreams. These were strange dreams. Sometimes Daniel was awake when he had his dreams. These were special dreams that God sent to Daniel to tell him what would happen in the future. Some things that Daniel saw in his dreams have now happened. Other things that God told Daniel in his dreams have not happened yet. But God is in control of the future. God will do what he has promised.



Minor Prophets:



Hosea was a prophet (holy man). The Book of Hosea is in the Bible (Old Testament).

God told Hosea to marry a wife who was not loyal (Hosea 1). Hosea loved his wife. He tried to persuade his wife to remain with him. His wife was not loyal to him. But Hosea still loved her. And he still wanted her to be his wife (Hosea 3). Hosea's troubles with his wife were like God's troubles with Israel. The people in Israel were not loyal to God. God loved them. But they were very evil. So, God would punish them for their evil deeds. But afterwards, the people from Israel would trust in God again. They would confess their evil deeds to God. God would forgive them. And he would love them again (Hosea 14).



Joel was a prophet (holy man). The Book of Joel is in the Old Testament part of the Bible.

The Book of Joel describes some terrible events. Joel called these events 'the Day of God'. A terrible army would attack Jerusalem. They would destroy everything. Nobody could escape from this army. So, the people must confess their evil deeds to God.  Even when these terrible things happen, they must ask God to save them (Joel 2:12-17). Then, God will be kind to his people. He will hear their prayers. He will cause this terrible army to leave. He will provide food for his people. And he will send his Spirit on all people (Joel 2:28-32). God will also punish the nations that attack Jerusalem (Joel 3:1-16). But God will protect his own people always (Joel 3:17-21).



Amos was a not a prophet (holy man). Amos looked after sheep. But God sent Amos with a message to his nation (Amos 7:14-15). Amos knew that many nations were evil. Because of these evil deeds, God would punish the nations (Amos chapters 1-2). But Amos's own nation, Israel, was also evil. They were cruel to poor people. The judges were not fair in court. And they served evil gods. Amos warned his people that they must confess their evil deeds to God. And they must learn to do the right things (Amos 5). Otherwise, God would allow Israel's enemies to attack (Amos chapters 6-9). And these enemies would destroy the nation.

But God would not always punish the people from Israel. After these terrible punishments, God would allow some of the people to return to their own land (Amos 9:11-15).

The Book of Amos is in the Bible (Old Testament).



Obadiah was a prophet (holy man). The Book of Obadiah is in the Bible (Old Testament).

The Book of Obadiah contains a short message about the country called Edom. The people from Edom were relatives of the people from Israel. But the inhabitants of Edom refused to help when the people from Israel suffered. So, God would punish the people from Edom for this evil deed. God would destroy their country. In the future, people who trust God will live in Edom.



God sent Jonah to Ninevah. Nineveh was an enemy of Jonah's country, Israel. So, Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh. Jonah tried to escape God. He tried to travel elsewhere, by ship. But there was a terrible storm. Jonah knew that God had caused the storm. So, he asked the sailors to throw him into the sea. But Jonah did not drown, because God sent a whale (large fish) to swallow Jonah. Then, Jonah prayed to God again. He thanked God, who had rescued him (Jonah 2). And God caused the fish to return Jonah to the dry land. So, Jonah went to Nineveh. He warned the people that they must confess their evil deeds to God. Otherwise, God would destroy their nation. The people obeyed Jonah. So, God forgave the people in Nineveh. God did not destroy Nineveh at this time. But Jonah was sad, because Nineveh was his enemy. Jonah wanted God to destroy Nineveh. But God told Jonah that God cares about the people from every nation. The Book of Jonah is in the Bible (Old Testament).



Micah was a prophet (holy man). The Book of Micah is in the Old Testament part of the Bible.

Micah warned the people in Israel and Judah (Micah 1). God would punish them for their evil deeds. The people had cruel schemes. They were thieves. And they listened to false prophets (false holy men) whose words were lies (Micah 2). God did not want terrible things to happen. God wants to teach people. And he wants the nations to be at peace (chapter 4). God promised to send a leader for Israel. This leader would be from Bethlehem. We now know that this leader was Jesus (Micah 5:1-5). So, God accused the people (Micah 6). God did not want their gifts (Micah 6:6). God wanted them to be humble and to do the right things (Micah 6:8). But they refused to obey God. They were proud, and they did many evil deeds. This is why God would punish them (Micah 6:9-16). But afterwards, when the people served God, Israel would become a great nation again (Micah 7:7-20).



Nahum was a prophet (holy man). He wrote about a country which was an enemy of Israel, called Nineveh. The people in Nineveh were very evil (Nahum 3:1).

The people from Nineveh were also cruel to the people in other countries. But God cares about the people who trust him (Nahum 1:7). So, God would send the enemies of Nineveh to destroy Nineveh. God would end Nineveh's cruelty. But God would help his own people, Israel. And Israel would become a great nation again (Nahum 1:15).

The Book of Nahum is in the Bible (Old Testament).



Habakkuk wrote a book in the Old Testament part of the Bible. Habakkuk was a prophet (holy man). In his book, Habakkuk complained twice to God. Habakkuk asked God why good people must suffer. And, Habakkuk asks why cruel people seem to succeed. Firstly, Habakkuk complained that the rulers of his country were wicked. God replied that soldiers from Babylon would attack these wicked rulers (Habakkuk 1:2-11). But Habakkuk complained to God again. Habakkuk said that God allows cruel people to attack good people (Habakkuk 1:12 to Habakkuk 2:1). God replied that he would punish cruel people. But this does not always happen immediately. But God told Habakkuk to write this down, because God will definitely punish evil people. (Habakkuk 2:2-20). So, good people must trust God (Habakkuk 2:4). The time will come when God will rule the whole world (Habakkuk 2:14). The Book of Habakkuk ends with a Psalm (song) - Habakkuk 3. This song says that God will rescue his people.



Zephaniah was a prophet (holy man). The Book of Zephaniah is in the Bible (Old Testament).

Zephaniah explained that God would punish many countries because of their evil deeds (Zephaniah chapters 1-2). God would also punish the evil people in Jerusalem (Zephaniah 3:1-5). So, the people should pray to God (Zephaniah 2:1-3). They must confess their evil deeds to God. And they must be humble. When these terrible punishments happen, God will protect the people who trust him (Zephaniah 3:9-13). God will rescue them. He loves them. And he will make them glad (Zephaniah 3:14-20).



Haggai was a prophet (holy man). He lived at the same time as Zechariah. Then, some people from Israel had returned from Babylon. They rebuilt their own houses in Jerusalem. Haggai explained why they were poor. He said that God was not blessing them. Haggai told them that they should also rebuild God's temple (the house of God) - Haggai 1. The new temple was small. But God told Haggai that it would be greater than the old temple (Haggai 2). And now, God would bless the people because they had rebuilt the temple.



Zechariah was a prophet (holy man). The Book of Zechariah is in the Old Testament part of the Bible. Zechariah lived at the same time as Haggai. God showed Zechariah many strange pictures to encourage the people in Jerusalem. These pictures explained good things that God would do in the future. Zechariah wrote about some things that would happen during his own life. And we now know that Zechariah wrote some things about Jesus. Jesus is both a priest and a king (Zechariah 6:12-13). Zechariah describes Jesus' death in Zechariah 12:10. Some things that Zechariah described have not happened yet (Zechariah 14). These things will happen in the future.



Malachi was a prophet (holy man). The Book of Malachi is the last book in the Bible's Old Testament. Malachi said that God accused the people. They were doing many wrong things. They did not give the best gifts to God (Malachi 1:6-14). The priests did not teach well (Malachi 2:1-9). The men divorced their wives without a proper reason (Malachi 2:13-16).

But God himself would come to his temple (the house of God) (Malachi 3:1-5). But before this, God would send his special servant. This servant would teach the correct way to serve God. Then, the people would be ready for God's arrival. This was good news for the people who respected God. But this was terrible news for the people who refused to obey God (Malachi 4).

Malachi's book was written after all the other books in the Old Testament. 400 years later, Jesus came. But before Jesus began his work, a special servant of God taught near the river Jordan. This servant of God was called John the Baptist. John taught the people that they must confess their evil deeds to God. He taught that they must prepare themselves for the arrival of the Christ. (The 'Christ' means God's king. Many Old Testament prophets taught that the Christ would save us from the punishment for our evil deeds.)

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