Journey Through the Bible – 10

Journey Through the Bible – 10

(From the Series: CONCISE OLD TESTAMENT SURVEY found at Bible.org)

JOEL (The Coming of the Day of Yahweh)

AUTHOR:

As indicated by 1:1, the author is “Joel,” which means “Yahweh is God.” We know nothing else about him other than the name of his father who is Pethuel (1:1).

DATE:

Since the date is not specified within the book by any time references, we have to determine the date as much as possible from the internal evidences we find in the book, such as references to various nations, events, etc. People have suggested dates from 835-400 B.C., but determining the date is difficult.

TITLE OF THE BOOK:

The Hebrew for Joel is Yoáel, which, as stated above, means Yahweh is God. This name is extremely appropriate in view of the message of Joel, which lays stress on God as the Sovereign One who has all creation and the nations under His power and control as the God of History.

THEME AND PURPOSE:

Joel uses a recent drought and locust plague that strikes Judah without warning as an object lesson to warn of a future invasion of Israel in the Day of Yahweh. In just a very short time, a matter of hours, every piece of vegetation is stripped bare. If the nation will repent and return to the Lord, God will restore His relationship with her and bless her. This was true in the historical situation in which Joel was writing and will be true any time in the future.

For the ultimate blessings and restoration promised by Joel to occur, Israel will have to experience the judgments of the Tribulation and the outpouring of the Spirit of God. It is this combination that will cause them to return to the Lord.

KEY WORD:

The key word or words, in keeping with the warnings of the book, is the Day of Yahweh.

KEY VERSES:

2:11. And the LORD utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the LORD is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it?

2:28-32. “And it will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. “And even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. “And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire, and columns of smoke. “The sun will be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

KEY CHAPTERS:

Chapter 2 is the key chapter in that it promises that God will relent of the judgment to be poured out on Israel if she will only return to the Lord (vs. 13-14). This is then followed by the promise of the future deliverance of the nation through the outpouring of the Spirit of God, the display of wonders in the sky and on the earth, the coming of the day of the Lord, and the calling on the name of the Lord (vss. 28-32).

CHRIST AS SEEN IN JOEL:

In Joel, Christ is presented as the one who will give the Holy Spirit (cf. 2:28 with John 16:7-15; Acts 1:8), who judges the nations (3:2, 12), and who is the refuge and stronghold of Israel (3:16).

OUTLINE:

  1. The Historic Day of the Lord (1:1-20)
    1. The Historic Occurrence of Locust (1:1-12)
    2. The Historic Occurrence of Drought (1:13-20)
  2. The Prophetic Day of the Lord (2:1-3:21)
    1. The Imminency of the Day of the Lord (2:1-27)
      1. The Prophecy of an Invasion of Judah (2:1-11)
      2. The Condition Needed for the Salvation of Judah (2:12-27)
    2. The Ultimate Day of the Lord (2:28-3:21)
      1. The Final Events Before the Day of the Lord (2:28-32)
      2. The Events of the Day of the Lord (3:1-21)
        1. Judgment on the Gentiles (3:1-16)
        2. Judgment on Judah (3:17-21)
AMOS (Judgment for Abused Privilege)

AUTHOR:

Unlike Isaiah (who was a man of the court) and Jeremiah (who was a priest) this book was written by Amos, a herdsman and a tender of sycamore fruit (1:1; 7:14). He was from Tekoa, which was located near Bethlehem about ten miles south of Jerusalem. That Amos is the author is supported not only from the claim of the book (1:1; 7:14), but from the pastoral language (7:10f), and the contents which demonstrated his knowledge of an out-of-doors way of life (see 3:4-5, 12; 5:8, 9; 9:9). Though he was a farmer and rancher he was very familiar with the Word of God.

DATE:

About 760 B.C.

According to verse 1, Amos tells us that he was a contemporary of Uzziah and Jeroboam II and prophesied “in the days of Uzziah, King of Judah (790-739 b.c), and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel (793-753 b.c), two years before the earthquake” (1:1). Amos probably prophesied in the period from 767-753. We are also told that he prophesied “two years before the earthquake,” but the precise date of this event is not known.

TITLE OF THE BOOK:

The name Amos comes from the Hebrew áa„mas, “to lift a burden, carry.” His name means “burden” or “Burden-bearer,” which is entirely fitting for the burden given to him. Though from Judah rather than the Northern Kingdom of Israel, he was given the burden of carrying a message of warning against the greed, injustice, externalism, and self-righteousness of the Northern Kingdom. Amos should not be confused with Amoz, the father of Isaiah (Isa. 1:1).

THEME AND PURPOSE:

The divine message given to Amos was primarily one of judgment, though it ends with words of hope. Amos warned that the Lord God, the sovereign Ruler of the universe, would come as a Warrior to judge the nations that had rebelled against His authority. Israel in particular would be punished for her violations against God’s covenant. Amos sought to bring the prosperous and materialistic northern tribes under Jeroboam to repentance as the only escape from imminent judgment. In the process, the book demonstrates God’s hatred of evil because of His holiness and that His justice must act against Israel’s sin for He cannot allow it to go unpunished.

However, even though the nation would be destroyed, God would still preserve a repentant remnant and one day this remnant would be restored to their covenant blessing and political prominence when the Lord would then also draw all nations to His Himself.

KEY WORDS:

The words “transgress” and “transgression” occur 12 times. This highlights one of the key elements of the book, the judgment of God on Israel for her sinful ways. A key phrase of the book is “I will not revoke its punishment because . . .” (see 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6).

KEY VERSES:

3:1-2. Hear this word which the LORD has spoken against you, sons of Israel, against the entire family which He brought up from the land of Egypt, “You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; Therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities.”

4:11-12. “I overthrew you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD. “Therefore, thus I will do to you, O Israel; Because I shall do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”

8:11-12. 11 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. “And people will stagger from sea to sea, And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it.

KEY CHAPTER:

Chapter 9 is a key chapter because of its focus on the restoration of Israel. Set in the midst of the harsh judgments of Amos are some of the greatest prophecies of restoration of Israel anywhere in Scripture. Within the scope of just five verses the future of Israel becomes clear, as the Abrahamic, Davidic, and Palestinian covenants are focused on their climactic fulfillment in the return of the Messiah.75

CHRIST AS SEEN IN AMOS:

Amos presents Christ as the One who will rebuild David’s dynasty (9:11) and as the one who will restore His people (9:11-15).

OUTLINE:

  1. The Introduction: the Author and Theme (1:1-2)
  2. The Eight Judgments of Amos (1:3-2:16)
    1. Concerning Damascus (1:3-5)
    2. Concerning Philistia (1:6-8)
    3. Concerning Tyre (1:9-10)
    4. Concerning Edom (1:11-12)
    5. Concerning Ammon (1:13-15)
    6. Concerning Moab (2:1-3)
    7. Concerning Judah (2:4-5)
    8. Concerning Israel (2:6-16)
  3. The Sermons of Amos (3:1-6:14)
    1. The Doom of Israel (3:1-15)
    2. The Depravity of Israel (4:1-13 )
    3. A Dirge over Israel (5:1-6:14)
    4. The ruin of Israel in coming judgment (5:1-17)
    5. The rebuke of religious people (5:18-27)
    6. The reprimand of the entire nation (6:1-14)
  4. The Five Visions of Amos (7:1-9:15)
    1. A Vision of Devouring Locusts (7:1-3)
    2. A Vision of Fire (7:4-6)
    3. A Vision of a Plumb Line (7:7-9)
    4. An Historical Interlude: Opposition from the Priest of Bethel (7:10-17)
    5. A Vision of a Basket of Summer Fruit (8:1-14)
    6. A Vision of the Lord Judging (9:1-10)
  5. The Five Promise of Restoration for Israel (9:11-15)
OBADIAH (Poetic Justice)

AUTHOR:

The author is an unknown prophet of Judah by the name of Obadiah (1:1). A number of Old Testament men were named Obadiah. These include an officer in David’s army (1 Chron. 12:9), Ahab’s servant who hid God’s prophets (1 Kings 18:3), a Levite in the days of Josiah (2 Chron. 34:12), and a leader who returned from the Exile with Ezra (Ezra 8:9). Nothing is known of Obadiah’s home town or family. The fact that his father is not named suggests that he was not out of a kingly or priestly line.

DATE:

The shortest book of the Bible, containing only 21 verses, bears the distinction of being the most difficult of the minor prophets to date. Regarding the date Ryrie writes:

The question of date relates to which battle against Jerusalem the Edomites were associated with (vv. 11-14). There were four significant invasions of Jerusalem in Old Testament times: (1) by Shishak, king of Egypt, during Rehoboam’s reign, in 926 B.C. (1 Kings 14:25-26); (2) by the Philistines and Arabians during the reign of Jehoram, from 848-841 (2 Chron. 21:16-17); (3) by King Jehoash of Israel during the reign of Amaziah, in 790 (2 Kings 14:13-14); (4) by Babylon during the years 605-586 (2 Kings 24-25). Obadiah prophesied against Edom either in connection with invasion #2 or #4. If the first, this book is the earliest of the writing prophets (see 2 Kings 8:20 and 2 Chron. 21:16-17; then see Joel 3:3-6 compared with Obad. 11-12 and the use of Obad. 1-9 in the extended passage in Jer. 49:7-22 as support for the earlier date).

TITLE OF THE BOOK:

The Hebrew name means “servant or worshipper of Yahweh.”

THEME AND PURPOSE:

The theme of Obadiah is a reiteration of the truth that pride goes before a fall. Obadiah declares that Edom stands judged and under certain doom because of her pride in rejoicing over the misfortunes that befell Jerusalem.

KEY WORD:

Judgment on Edom. Combined, Edom and Esau occur nine times.

KEY VERSES:

1:10. “Because of violence to your brother Jacob, You will be covered with shame, And you will be cut off forever.

1:15. “For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.

1:21. The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion To judge the mountain of Esau, And the kingdom will be the LORD’S.

CHRIST AS SEEN IN OBADIAH:

Christ is seen in Obadiah as the judge of the nations (15-16), the Savior of Israel (17-20), and the Possessor of the kingdom (21).77

OUTLINE:

  1. The Prophecies of Judgment on Edom (1-9)
    1. The Certainty of Judgment (1-4)
    2. The Completeness of the Judgment (5-9)
  2. The Basis for the Judgment on Edom (10-14)
    1. For an Absence of Brotherly Love (vs. 10)
    2. For Aloofness (11-12)
    3. For Aggressiveness (13-14)
  3. The Time of the Judgment (vs. 15)
  4. The Results of the Judgment (16-18)
  5. The Deliverance of Israel (19-21)
JONAH (Fleeing From God’s Will)

AUTHOR:

The author of the book is Jonah, the son of Amittai, a prophet from Galilee in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. This is evidenced by the book itself (1:1), the historical character of the book which names real places and persons, and by corroboration from other sources (2 Kings 14:25) including the testimony of Jesus in the New Testament (Matt. 12:40).

DATE:

In 2 Kings 14:27 Jonah is connected with the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel (793-753). Jonah ministered after the time of Elisha and just before the time of Amos and Hosea. While no Assyrian inscription mentions a religious awakening such as that described in Jonah, during the reign of Ashurdan III there was a swing toward monotheism which could have been related to the preaching of Jonah.

The repentance of Nineveh probably occurred in the reign of Ashurdan III (773-755). Two plagues (765 and 759) and a solar eclipse (763) may have prepared the people for Jonah’s message.

TITLE OF THE BOOK:

Jonah is from the Hebrew Yo’na’h, which means “dove.” The Septuagint Hellenized this word into Ionas, and the Latin Vulgate used the title Jonas.

THEME AND PURPOSE:

Jonah clearly demonstrates that the God of the Hebrews (1) has concern for the whole world, (2) is sovereign over nature and all human affairs. Jonah demonstrates that “salvation is of the Lord” (2:9), and that God’s gracious offer of salvation extends to all who repent and turn to Him. The book also demonstrates how our prejudices like Jonah’s warped sense of Jewish nationalism can hinder us from following the will of God.

KEY WORD:

A word that is repeated several times emphasizing God’s sovereignty is the word “prepared.” God prepared the wind, tempest, fish, gourd, worm, and an east wind. A key idea is revival.

KEY VERSES:

2:8-9. “Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness, But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD.”

3:10. When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.

4:2. And he prayed to the LORD and said, “Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore, in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that Thou art a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.

KEY CHAPTERS:

The third chapter stands out in that it records one of the greatest revivals of history.

CHRIST AS SEEN IN JONAH:

Through Jonah, Christ is portrayed in His resurrection (Matt. 12:40), seen as a prophet to the nations (though obviously not reluctantly like Jonah), and as the Savior of the nations. In Jonah’s life, He is seen as the Savior and Lord (2:9).

OUTLINE:

  1. The Fleeing of Jonah (1:1-17)
    1. The Reason for His Flight (1:1-2)
    2. The Route of His Flight (1:3)
    3. The Results of His Flight (1:4-17)
  2. The Praying of Jonah (2:1-10)
    1. The Characteristics of His Prayer (2:1-9)
    2. The Answer to His Prayer (2:10)
  3. The Preaching of Jonah (3:1-10)
    1. God’s Command to Preach (3:1-3)
    2. The Content of Jonah’s Preaching (3:4)
    3. The Consequences of Jonah’s Preaching (3:5-10)
  4. The Learning of Jonah (4:1-11)
    1. Jonah’s Complaint to God (4:1-3)
    2. God’s Curriculum for Jonah (4:4-11)
MICAH (Who Is Like God?)

AUTHOR:

Little is known about the author of this book other than what can be learned from the book itself and from Jeremiah 26:18. Micah suggests this truth in 7:18 when he said, “Who is a God like You?” In Jeremiah’s day the elders referred to Micah and quoted Micah 3:12 in defense of Jeremiah’s message of judgment on the nation (Jer. 26:18).

Micah was from Moresheth (Micah 1:1; cf. 1:14), a town in Judea about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem near the Philistine city of Gath. Moresheth was located in Judah’s fertile foothills near Lachish, an international trading town.

DATE: 740 – 690 BC 

TITLE OF THE BOOK: 

The name Micah is a shortened form of Micaiah, which means “Who is like Yahweh?”

THEME AND PURPOSE:

Micah shows how the people had failed to live up to the covenant stipulations God had made with Israel in which there would be blessing for obedience (Deut. 28:1-14) and cursing for disobedience and eventually cast from the land of promise (Deut. 28:15-68). He indicts Israel and Judah for sins like oppression, bribery among the judges, prophets, and priests, and for covetousness, cheating, pride, and violence. Of course, this discipline on the nation demonstrated His love for them and that He would restore them.

The theme of judgment is prominent in each of Micah’s three messages, but he also stressed the truth of restoration. Further, Micah referred to the principle of the remnant in each of his three messages (Micah 2:12; 4:7; 5:7-8; 7:18). He declared that in the future Yahweh would restore the people of Israel to a place of prominence in the world under the coming Messiah. 

KEY VERSES:

Micah 7:18-20 NKJV Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. (19) He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. (20) You will give truth to Jacob And mercy to Abraham, Which You have sworn to our fathers From days of old.

CHRIST AS SEEN IN MICAH:

Micah presents Christ as the God of Jacob (4:2), the Judge of the nations (4:3), and the Ruler who would be born in the city of Bethlehem (cf. 5:2 with Matt. 2:1-6). The priests and scribes quoted Micah 5:2 in answer to Herod’s question about the birthplace of Messiah. 

NAHUM (The Doom of Nineveh) 

AUTHOR:

Other than what Nahum tells us in 1:1, that the book is of the vision of Nahum, the Elkoshite and that it is an oracle about Nineveh, we know nothing about this prophet. Nahum means “consolation,” but his message was certainly not one of comfort to the wicked Assyrians who occupied Nineveh. 

DATE: 630 – 612 BC

TITLE OF THE BOOK:

As with all the minor prophets, the book gets its name from the prophet who spoke the prophecy. The title used in the Greek and Latin Bible is Naoum and Nahum. 

THEME AND PURPOSE:

The theme of this book is the coming destruction of Nineveh because after the repented following the message from the Prophet Jonah, they repented again of the repentance. 

KEY WORD:

The key word or idea is simply the judgment of Nineveh, but the words that stand out in this connection are “avenging” and “vengeance” occurring three times in the opening chapter (1:2). 

HABAKKUK (Solution to Perplexity) 

AUTHOR:

The author is identified as Habakkuk in 1:1 and 3:1. He clearly identifies himself as a prophet and the fact that his prayer and praise is concluded with the statement, “For the choir director, on my stringed instruments” suggests he had a priestly background. 

DATE: 606 – 604 BC 

TITLE OF THE BOOK:

The book gets its title from the name of the author. Habakkuk comes from a Hebrew word, which means “embrace.”

THEME AND PURPOSE:

The theme of this prophecy flows out of Habakkuk’s perplexity over the coming invasion of the wicked Babylonians. It concerns the problems of his faith in the face of two apparent difficulties: (1) Why did God permit the increasing evil in Judah to go unpunished (1:2-4)? And how could a Holy God (1:13) use sinful nations like Babylon as His source of judgment (1:12-2:1)? Habakkuk grapples with these difficulties which are solved in the light of God’s continuing revelation, and the prophet closes in a psalm of joyous trust. The book is thus a theodicy, a defense of God’s goodness and power in view of the problem of evil. 

KEY WORD:

Two words are key not because of their repetition but because of the content of the book. One is “why” as Habakkuk struggled with the issues here and the other is “faith” as declared in 2:4, “the just shall live by faith.” 

KEY VERSES: 

Habakkuk 3:17-19 NKJV Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls– (18) Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (19) The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills. To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.

CHRIST AS SEEN IN HABAKKUK:

Habakkuk 2:14 NKJV For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea. 

ZEPHANIAH (Blessing Through Judgment)

 AUTHOR:

As seen in 1:1, the book was written by Zephaniah, the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah. In tracing the prophet’s ancestry through four generations, this heading is unique. Usually only the prophet’s father is identified (cf. Isa. 1:1; Jer. 1:1; Ezek. 1:3; Hos. 1:1; Joel 1:1) when the author provides genealogical information. Such a long genealogy suggests the noble birth of the prophet, his great-great-grandfather being the good King Hezekiah. 

DATE: 630-625 B.C.

TITLE OF THE BOOK:

The book takes its name from the prophet Zephaniah It means “hidden of Yahweh.” See 2:3. The Greek and Latin title is Sophonias. 

THEME AND PURPOSE:

Zephaniah clearly divides into three sections: retribution or judgment for sin, a call for repentance, and a promise of future redemption or blessing.

KEY WORD:

The key words are “day of the Lord,” “that day,” the day,” which combined occur some twenty times. The key idea is that of judgment and restoration in the day of the Lord. 

CHRIST AS SEEN IN ZEPHANIAH:

Though not specifically mentioned in this book, Messiah is presented as the Righteous One within the nation of Israel (3:5) who is also their King (3:15).

HAGGAI (Encouragement)

With Haggai, we come to the only three post-exilic prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, all of whom spoke to the returned remnant. Their objective was to encourage their spiritual and moral life of this remnant, now back in their homeland, as they sought to rebuild the temple and the nation. Haggai and Zechariah dealt mostly with the spiritual needs as they related to the rebuilding of the temple and Malachi dealt primarily with the moral and social needs involved with the reconstruction of the nation itself. 

AUTHOR:

Haggai is known only from this book (mentioned 9 times) and the mention of him in Ezra 5:1-2 and 6:14. Little is known about him. He refers to himself as “the prophet Haggai” (1:1), but nothing is known about his parents or geneaology. He was a comtemporary of Zechariah the prophet and Zerubbabel the governor. His authorship is uncontested.

DATE: 520 B.C.

As stated by Haggai in 1:1, his first message was given on the first day of Elul (Aug.-Sept.) in the second year of Darius. This was in 520 B.C.

THEME AND PURPOSE:

Haggai wrote to encourage and exhort the returned remnant to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. In the process of this he taught (1) God blesses His people when they put Him first, (2) that we should not grow weary in the service of the Lord, and that (3) God’s promises for tomorrow become the foundation for our confidence for today.

KEY WORDS:

The repetition of the term “house” as it is used in relation to the Temple focuses the readers attention on the reconstruction of the Temple as the key focus of the book. 

KEY VERSES:

Haggai 1:7-8 NKJV Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! (8) Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD.

Haggai 2:6-9 NKJV “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; (7) and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. (8) ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. (9) ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.” 

CHRIST AS SEEN IN HAGGAI:

Here Messiah is portrayed as the Restorer of the Temple’s glory (2:7-9) and the Overthrower of the kingdoms of the world (2:22). 

ZECHARIAH (the Jealousy of Yahweh) 

AUTHOR AND TITLE:

Zechariah the prophet was the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the priest who led the Levites (Neh. 12:4), and a contemporary of the previous prophet (Ezra 6:14). His name (Zekarya‚h) means “Yahweh remembers” or “Yahweh has remembered.” This is a theme that runs like a thread through the whole book. In the Greek and Latin version Zechariah is Zacharias. Also a contemporary of Haggai. 

DATE: 520-515 B.C.

THEME AND PURPOSE:

Zechariah was written to encourage the returned remnant to complete their work in rebuilding the temple. The prophet also showed that God was at work in the world restoring Israel to their spiritual inheritance in preparation for the coming Messiah. Doctrinally, Zechariah demonstrates the prominence of the temple in God’s spiritual restoration of Israel; shows the providence of God in bringing back His people to their land, and it highlights the preeminence of the Messiah in the future spiritual restoration of the Nation. 

KEY VERSES: 

Zechariah 8:3 NKJV “Thus says the LORD: ‘I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain.’

Zechariah 9:9 NKJV “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

KEY CHAPTERS:

Zechariah builds to a tremendous climax in chapter 14 where he discloses the last siege of Jerusalem, the initial victory of the enemies of Israel, the cleaving of the Mount of Olives, the Lord’s defense of Jerusalem with His visible appearance on Olivet, judgment on the confederated nations, the topographical changes in the land of Israel, the Feast of Tabernacles in the Millennium, and the ultimate holiness of Jerusalem and her people.82

CHRIST AS SEEN IN ZECHARIAH:

Zechariah presents Messiah or Christ in both of his advents and as both Servant and King, as Man and God, as the Angel of the Lord (3:1), the Righteous Branch (3:8), the Stone with the seven eyes (3:9), the Crucified Savior or the pierced One (12:10), the coming and humble King (9:9-10), the smitten Shepherd who will be abandoned (13:7), and the coming Judge and righteous King (14).

MALACHI (Repent and Return)

AUTHOR AND TITLE:

Malachi is only mentioned in Malachi 1:1 as the author of this prophecy. However, though there is an unsubstantiated Jewish tradition that claims it was written by Nehemiah (interpreting the word Malachi as a designation of an unnamed messenger),84 the authorship, date, and unity of the book has never been effectively challenged. Malachi (Maáa„chi‚) means “My Messenger” and may be a shortened form of Maláak Ya‚h, “Messenger of Yahweh.” This is fitting for the book anticipates the coming of the “messenger of the covenant” (cf. 3:1), a prophecy of John the Baptist (Matt. 11:10). The Septuagint has Malachias and the Latin uses Maleachi for the title.

DATE: 450-400 B.C. 

THEME AND PURPOSE:

Malachi wrote to answer the questions of the priests and people, to reveal and rebuke them for their sins, their backsliding, and poor attitudes, but to also encourage them by ending on a note of encouragement through the coming of the Lord’s messenger who would clear the way for Messiah. Thus, Malachi rebuked the people for their neglect of the true worship of the Lord and called them to repentance (1:6; 3:7).

KEY WORD:

Twelve times in Malachi we read either “you say” (11 times) or “you also say” (once). Also, the word curse or cursed occurs seven times in four verses. In answer to their questions and their failure to understand God’s judgment, Malachi answers and shows them why. The key idea that prevails is Malachi’s answer and appeal to the wayward remnant that had returned. 

KEY VERSES:

Malachi 3:6-7 NKJV “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. (7) Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’

The Book of Malachi is the prelude to four hundred years of prophetic silence, broken finally by the words of the next prophet, John the Baptist: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

Malachi 3:1 NKJV “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts.