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LDS Old Testament Notes 17: Amos, Hosea, Jonah, Micah

LDS Old Testament Notes 17: Amos, Hosea, Jonah, Micah

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Published by Mike Parker
All Old Testament notes: http://www.scribd.com/collections/4343354
Class website: http://bit.ly/ldsarc
Handouts for these notes: http://www.scribd.com/doc/29505439 &
http://www.scribd.com/doc/208254590
Slideshow for these notes: http://www.scribd.com/doc/29549523
All Old Testament notes: http://www.scribd.com/collections/4343354
Class website: http://bit.ly/ldsarc
Handouts for these notes: http://www.scribd.com/doc/29505439 &
http://www.scribd.com/doc/208254590
Slideshow for these notes: http://www.scribd.com/doc/29549523

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Published by: Mike Parker on Apr 06, 2010
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09/07/2014

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© 2014, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Old Testament Week 17: The early prophets
Amos, Hosea, Jonah, Micah
1)
 
Introduction. a)
 
[SLIDE 2]
 With this lesson we now move into the final section of the Old Testament known as the
 prophets
. i)
 
The prophets are different from the writings of the Law, history, and wisdom/poetry literature. These writings are
oracles
, utterances given by the prophet in response to an inquiry made of God or a message of judgment against people who have offended God. ii)
 
 Although prophets and prophecy go back to the beginning of human history,
1
 the  written prophets of the Old Testament
don’t appear until well after the time of David
and Solomon. iii)
 
 With the exception of Jonah, all of the prophetic books were
or at least
claim
2
to have been written by the prophet after whom the book is named. (1)
 
These books typically begin with a
superscription
 that identifies the author and explains that the words that follow are from God. For example: (a)
 
―The vision of Isaiah…‖ (Isaiah 1
:1). (b)
 
―The words of Jeremiah…
to whom the word of the L
ORD
came
…‖ (Jeremiah
1:1
2). (c)
 
The word of the L
ORD
 came expressly unto Ezekiel
…‖ (Ezekiel 1:3).
 (d)
 
―The word of the
L
ORD
 
that came unto Hosea…‖ (Hosea 1:1).
 iv)
 
The writings of the prophets are largely composed of Hebrew poetic verse.
3
 (1)
 
 Again, we can’t see the verse structure in our King James Bibles, but a perceptive
reader can usually pick these out. A modern-English Bible translation can also help you identify poetic passages.  v)
 
The prophets are typically divided into two groups: (1)
 
The
 Major Prophets
, consisting of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel.
4
 (2)
 
The
 Minor Prophets
, consisting of Hosea through Malachi, also sometimes known as the Book of the Twelve.
5
 (3)
 
 Major
and
minor
 do not refer to their importance, but rather to their length.  vi)
 
The prophetic books are not in chronological order, but rather are grouped by length first and then by date.
1
 Adam himself is described as one who prophesied in the name of God (Moses 5:10; 6:8).
2
 
 As we’ll see as we study the individual books, the subjec
t of authorship is complicated in some cases. The books of Isaiah and Daniel especially have difficulties in establishing who wrote some of their material.
3
 See notes to lesson 16, pages 3
5 (
http://bit.ly/ldsarcot16n
).
4
 In the Hebrew Bible, Daniel is not classed among the prophets (
 Nevi’im
), but rather is part of the historical writings (
 Ketuvim
), alongside Ezra and Chronicles.
5
 Or
Trei Asar
 in Aramaic.
 
Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class Old Testament: Amos, Hosea, Jonah, Micah Week 17, Page 2 © 2014, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
(1)
 
The traditional dates that determined the order in which they were placed were sometimes wrong. In our course we will study them in the likely order in which they were produced, beginning tonight with Amos, Hosea, Jonah, and Micah.  b)
 
[SLIDE 3]
 
Before we start, I’d like to recap a little of the history from lesson 1
5.
6
 i)
 
Following the death of Solomon around 931
B
.
C
., his kingdom was divided in two. The northern kingdom was called Israel or Ephraim, and the southern kingdom was called Judah. ii)
 
The four prophets we’ll be studying tonight
lived about 200 years after the kingdoms  were divided, during the 8th century
B
.
C
. (1)
 
[SLIDE 4]
 During this time, Assyria was the dominant power in the Near East,
and was a constant threat to Israel and Judah’s independence and security.
 (a)
 
The dark green area on this map indicates the boundaries of Assyria at the end of the 9th century, when Israel and Judah were still independent kingdoms. By the time we get to the end of this lesson and the beginning of the 7th century, Assyria will have overrun Israel, and turned Judah into a  vassal state.
2)
 
 Amos. a)
 
[SLIDE 5]
 Biography. i)
 
 Amos is probably the earliest prophet in the Old Testament
’s prophetic writings
. ii)
 
He was one of a few prophets who ministered in the northern kingdom of Israel. iii)
 
 According to the superscription (Amos 1:1), Amos prophesied during the long and peaceful reign of Jeroboam II (788
747
B
.
C
.). His ministry was probably during the decade of 760
750
B
.
C
.
7
 (1)
 
During this time, Israel was at the height of prominence and prosperity. (2)
 
But, as we see so often in the scriptures, this prosperity led to wickedness. In this case there were gross inequalities between the wealthy and the poor. Wealthy landowners manipulated debt and credit to take land away from small family farmers. iv)
 
 Amos himself was a farmer and shepherd from Tekoa, a small village in the southern kingdom of Judah, about 10 miles south of Jerusalem.
8
  v)
 
His name means ―b
urden.
 (1)
 
His name has connections to Malachi, who referred to his calling as
the
burden
 of the word of the L
ORD
‖ (Malachi 1:1), and the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob,
 who told the Nephites that
―the word of God
burdens
 me because of your grosser
crimes‖ (Jacob 2: 23).
  vi)
 
 After Amos was called by the Lord, he went to Bethel, the capital of Israel and center of idol worship where king Jeroboam II lived.
6
 See notes to lesson 15, pages 2
4 (
http://bit.ly/ldsarcot15n
).
7
 
The superscription indicates that Amos’ ministry started ―two years before the earthquake.‖ This earthquake was apparently an event significant enough to be remembered as simply ―
the
 
earthquake.‖ Amos indicated several times that this
earthquake was a sign of the truth of his prophecy against Israel (Amos 4:13; 8:8; 9:1, 5).
8
 Tekoa is most often identified as the modern Khirbet Taqu
a, a site on the eastern slopes of the Judean hills about 10 miles south of Jerusalem.
 
Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class Old Testament: Amos, Hosea, Jonah, Micah Week 17, Page 3 © 2014, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
 b)
 
[SLIDE 6]
 Outline. i)
 
The book of Amos has three major parts: (1)
 
Chapters 1
2
are an ethical tour of the region from the Lord’s perspective,
culminating in judgment on Israel itself. (2)
 
Chapters 3
6 are a collection of short prophetic sayings that indict Israel for sin and injustice. (3)
 
Chapters 7
9 contain the visions of Amos, including a dialog with Amaziah, the priest of Bethel (Amos 7:10
17), and a final speech of comfort addressed to the kingdom of Judah (Amos 9:11
15).
9
 c)
 
[SLIDE 7]
 The judgments against the nations (Amos 1:3
2:16). i)
 
In chapters 1 and 2 Amos pronounced judgment on the surrounding nations. (1)
 
His audience would have listened with delight as he listed the evil things their enemies had done and what God was going to do to them. ii)
 
It seems that Amos used these speeches to build to a climax: He started with foreigners, then denounced
Israel’s neighbors
, and then the seventh speech was against Judah. The number seven is significant in the Bible; his audience would have thought Judah was the culmination of the sermon and they certainly would have  been pleased that she was going to
get what was coming to her.
 (1)
 
[7.1]
 
Damascus (Syria), ―because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron‖
 (Amos 1:3
5).
10
 (2)
 
[7.2]
 Gaza (the
Philistines), ―because they carried away captive [an entire
population], to deliver them up to Edom [as slaves]
 (Amos 1:6
8). (3)
 
[7.3]
 Tyre (the Phoenicians), for their slave trade with Edom (Amos 1:9
10). (4)
 
[7.4]
 
Edom, for ―pursu[ing] his brother with the sword.‖
11
 (Amos 1:11
12.) (5)
 
[7.5]
 
 Ammon, ―because they…ripped up [pregnant] women…tha
t they might enlarge their [territory]
 (Amos 1:13
15). (6)
 
[7.6]
 Moab, for desecrating graves (Amos 2:1
3). (7)
 
[7.7]
 Judah, for rejecting the law of the Lord, not keeping the commandment, and following false gods instead of the one true God (Amos 2:4
5). (8)
 
One can
almost hear the cheering from Amos’ audience as each of Israel’s
neighbors, one by one, was condemned. iii)
 
[7.8]
 And then, surprise!: He continued and added an unexpected eighth item to the list (Amos 2:6
16).
9
 It seems odd that an entire prophetic book directed toward Israel would end with a few verses addressed to Judah. Because of this, some scholars believe that the closing passage was added later when the book of Amos was incorporated into the Jewish prophetic writings.
10
 
―A threshing sledge
 was made of wooden boards embedded with sharp stones or iron teeth. As the sledge was pulled over the threshing floor the stones or iron teeth would separate the grain from the stalks. Here the threshing metaphor is used to emphasize how violent and inhumanely the Arameans (the people of Damascus) had treated the people of Gilead (located
east of the Jordan River).‖
 NET Bible
, 1st ed. (2005), Amos 1:3 fn.
11
 The nation of Edom descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob/Israel (Genesis 36:1).

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