Prophets in the Time Babylonian period
Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), with Babylon as its capital. The founder and first king of an independent Babylon was a certain Amorite chieftain named Sumuabum who declared independence from the neighboring city-state of Kazallu in 1894 BC, and was a contemporary of Eris hum I of Assyria. Babylonia emerged as a powerful nation when the Amorite king Hammurabi (fl. c. 1792 – 1750 BC) created a short-lived empire out of the territories of the former Akkadian Empire. Babylonia adopted the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, and retained the Sumerian language for religious use, which by that time was no longer a spoken language. The Akkadian and Sumerian traditions played a major role in later Babylonian culture, and the region would remain an important cultural center, even under outside rule, throughout the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. Babylon as an independent state was founded by and rose to prominence under non native Amorites and spent the most part of its history ruled by their fellow Mesopotamians, the Assyrians or by foreign dynasties such as Kassites,Elamites, Hittites, Arameans, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks and Parthians.
The earliest mention of the city of Babylon can be found in a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad, dating back to the 23rd century BC. Approximately one hundred years after the collapse of the last Sumerian "Ur-III" dynasty at the hands of the Elamites (2002 BC traditional, 1940 BC short), the Amorites gained control over most of Mesopotamia, where they usurped the thrones of Assyria, Mari, Eshnunna, Ur, Isin, Larsa and other already long established states in Mesopotamia and formed a series of small kingdoms. During the first centuries of what is called the "Amorite period", the most powerful city states in the south were the former Sumerian cities of Isin andLarsa, although Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria united the more northern regions around Ashur and Mari. One of these Amorite dynasties established the city-state of Babylonin the 19th century BC, which would over a hundred years later briefly take over the others and form the first Babylonian empire, during what is also called the Old Babylonian Period.
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word profits meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy. Claims of prophets have existed in many cultures through history, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, the Sybil line and the Pythia, known as the Oracle of Delphi, in Ancient Greece, Zoroaster, the Volusia in Old Norse and many others. Traditionally, prophets are regarded as having a role in society that promotes change due to their messages and actions In the late 20th century the appellation of "prophet" has been used to refer to individuals particularly successful at analysis in the field of economics, such as in the derogatory "prophet of greed". Alternatively, social commentators who suggest escalating crisis are often called "prophets of doom."
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET Jeremiah (626- 587 BC)
Jeremiah was born into a priestly family. He was the son of Hilkiah from the village of Anathoth The Book of Jeremiah says that Jeremiah was called by Yahweh to prophesy Jerusalem’s destruction that would occur by invaders from the North. This was because Israel had been unfaithful to the laws of the covenant and had forsaken God by worshiping the Baals. The people of Israel had even gone as far as building high altars to Baal in order to burn their children in fire as offerings to Baal. This nation had deviated so far from God that they had actually broken the covenant, forcing God to withdraw his blessings. Jeremiah was guided by God to proclaim that the nation of Israel would be faced with famine, be plundered and taken captive by foreigners who would exile them to a foreign land and Jeremiah’s ministry was active from the thirteenth year of Josiah, king of Judah (626 BC), until sometime after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in 587 BC. This period spanned the reigns of five kings of Judah: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah.
The book of Jeremiah was written by the prophet whose name the book bears (1:1). He was a priest from the village of Anathoth in Benjamin just a few miles northeast of Jerusalem. Jeremiah's prophecies were written down by Baruch, his scribe (36:4, 27-28,32). Perhaps chapter fifty-two was written by Baruch after Jeremiah's death, but at Jeremiah's previous direction.
The Lord's call to make Jeremiah His prophet summarized the message of the man of God:
"See, I have set you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant." (1:10)
It was primarily a message of doom, but it included hope. Jeremiah was the prophet of DOOM. He called Judah to repent (3:1; 7:4-7), but they refused (6:16-17; 20:1-2; 32:2-5; 37:11-21; 38:1-13; 43:1-7). Thus, Jeremiah foretold their destruction (5:9-10, 14-18, 29; 6:22-26; 7:16, 32-34; 14:15-16; 25:8-10). Israel was to be so destroyed as a nation that they could never be made completely again (19:10-11). This forever answers the premillennial claim that national Israel will someday be restored. However, Jeremiah was also the messenger of HOPE. He preached that Israel should place their trust in the Lord (9:23-24). A faithful remnant would be restored (23:3; 31:7-9). Ezra's record of the fulfillment of the restoration promise means this prophecy has been fulfilled, and one should not look for a future restoration of Israel to the land of Canaan. Jeremiah also prophesied salvation in Christ (23:5-6; 33:15-16).
Jeremiah's Message To The Exiles
In the year 3327 - eleven years before the Destruction of the (first) BeisHamikdosh - Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty King of Babylon, besieged Jerusalem with a huge army. King Jehoiachin, who had ascended the throne of Judea only 100 days earlier, now surrendered, in order to avoid the destruction of the Holy City.
Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive, together with his mother and other members of the royal family. He also rounded up leading figures in the land of Judea, including many scholars and elders, and led them all to Babylon. Altogether, some 10,000 captives were taken in this First Exile to Babylon. In addition, the Babylonian king ransacked the royal treasury as well as that of the Beis Hamikdosh and took the spoils with him.
Before returning to his country, Nebuchadnezzar placed Zedekiah, the uncle of the deposed king and youngest son of the late King Josiah, on the throne of Judea, after taking an oath of loyalty to his Babylonian overlord. The new king, however, did not intend to remain the obedient servant of his Babylonian master, and secretly looked for a way of throwing off the Babylonian yoke. With his chief officers and leaders of his army gone, and the country greatly impoverished, Zedekiah knew that he could not achieve independence without outside help. He turned to Egypt for help, since the ever-growing power of Babylon was a threat to Egypt too. In addition, he looked around for help from neighboring kingdoms. The only real and sure help that was his for the asking - the help of G-d, the king recklessly ignored.
In those critical times, as for many years earlier, the great prophet Jeremiah of Anathoth, the Town of Kohanim, was the God-sent messenger to warn the people of the mortal danger hanging over their heads. He did not cease calling on the king and the people to mend their ways and return to God. Only wholehearted repentance and a complete break with the way of idolatry, injustice and immorality, could save the people from doom, he preached. Jeremiah tried to convince the king that it was useless to depend on false hopes of freeing himself from the Babylonian yoke with the help of Egypt. The prophet sternly warned him, in God's Name, to follow a peaceful path with the mighty Babylonian, who was God's rod to punish the Jewish people if they persisted in their faithlessness.
If the memory of the destruction and exile of the Northern Kingdom of the Ten Tribes by King Shalmanesser of Assyria more than a century earlier (in 3205) had faded, the fall of Jehoiachin and First Babylonian captivity should have shaken up the people and the king to heed the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah. However, his words were ignored. The king and the people were more inclined to listen to the false, self-appointed "prophets," who misled them by their predictions of glorious days ahead. These false prophets made them believe that the rise of Babylon's power was only temporary, and that in a couple of years it would break down. The people were inclined to follow the false prophets because this did not call for them to alter their way of living and begin to live the holy and moral life, which G-d's Torah and Mitzvos demanded.
There were false prophets not only in Jerusalem, but also among the Jews who had been exiled to Babylon with Jechoniah. These prophets, too, deceived the exiles with false predictions that their exile would soon be over, as the subjugated kingdoms in the Babylonian empire would rebel and topple their overlord. Like their counterparts in Jerusalem, they agitated against the "Prophet of Doom," Jeremiah, and his tragic prophecies. Jeremiah, on his part appealed ever more strongly to the Jews, urging them not to be misled by the false prophets. He also kept in touch with the exiles in Babylon, encouraging them to hold on to their Jewish faith. Indeed, having been driven from their land and forced to live among non-Jews in a foreign land, it was more important than ever that they should keep faith with G-d and the Torah, until the time of salvation, when G-d would return them to their land.
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET Zephaniah 
Zephaniah or " is the name of several people in the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. He is also called Sophonias as in the New Catholic Encyclopaedia and in Easton's [Bible] Dictionary. The name might mean "Yah(weh) has concealed", "[he whom] Yah(weh) has hidden", or ""Yah(weh) lies in wait"
The Prophet Zephaniah
The most well known Biblical figure bearing the name Zephaniah is the son of Sushi, and great-grandson of Hezekiah, ninth in the literary order of the minor prophets. He prophesied in the days of Josiah, king of Judah (B.C. 641-610), and was contemporary with Jeremiah, with whom he had much in common. The only primary source from which we obtain our scanty knowledge of the personality and the rhetorical and literary qualities of this individual is the short book of the Old Testament (containing only three chapters), which bears his name. The scene of his activity was the city of Jerusalem. (Zeph 1:4-10; 3:1, 14)The most well known Biblical figure bearing the name Zephaniah is the son of Sushi, and great-grandson of Hezekiah, ninth in the literary order of the minor prophets. He prophesied in the days of Josiah, king of Judah (B.C. 641-610), and was contemporary with Jeremiah, with whom he had much in common. The only primary source from which we obtain our scanty knowledge of the personality and the rhetorical and literary qualities of this individual is the short book of the Old Testament (containing only three chapters), which bears his name. The scene of his activity was the city of Jerusalem. (Zeph 1:4-10; 3:1, 14)
Date of activity
Zephaniah is the only one of the few prophets whose chronology is fixed by a precise date in the introductory verse of the book. Under the two preceding kings,Amon and Manasseh, idolatry had been introduced in the most shameful forms (especially the cult of Baal and Astarte) into the Holy City, and with this foreign cult came a foreign culture and a great corruption of morals. Josiah, a dedicated reformer, wished to put an end to the horrible devastation in the holy places. One of the most zealous champions and advisers of this reform was Zephaniah, and his writing remains one of the most important documents for the understanding of the era of Josiah.The prophet spoke boldly against the religious and moral corruption, when, in view of the idolatry which had penetrated even into the sanctuary, he threatened to "destroy out of this place the remnant of Baal, and the names of the ... priests" (Zeph 1:4), and pleaded for a return to the simplicity of their fathers instead of the luxurious foreign clothing which was worn especially in aristocratic circles (1:8).The age of Zephaniah was also a key historical period, because the lands of Anterior Asia were overrun by foreigners due to the migration of the Scythians in the last decades of the seventh century, and because Jerusalem was only a few decades before its downfall in 586. In light of these events, a message of impending judgment is the primary burden of this figure's preaching (1:7).He is commemorated with the other Minor prophets in the Calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31. On the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar, his feast day is December 3.
The massage of Prophet Zephaniah
The great day of the Lord is near - near and coming quickly" - Zephaniah 1:14 The first prophet in Judah after a gap of more than fifty years, he warns of the coming Day of the Lord, emphasizing that Judah will not be exempt from the judgment due to the surrounding nations merely because of its history: God's people must seek him for themselves, not rely on their ancestors' relationship with him. Predicts the survival of a faithful remnant when God's judgment falls on Jerusalem.
The Prophet Joel 
Joel was a prophet of ancient Israel, the second of the twelve minor prophets and the author of the Book of Joel. He is mentioned by name only once in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, in the introduction to his own brief book, as the son of Pethuel (Joel 1:1). The name Joel combines the covenant name of God,YHWH (sometimes written Jehovah), and el (god), and has been translated as "one to whom Jehovah is God," that is, a worshipper of YHWH.
The dates of his life are unknown; he may have lived anywhere from the 9th century BCE to the 5th century BCE, depending on the dating of his book. The book's mention of Greeks has not given scholars any help in dating the text since the Greeks were known to have had access to Judah from Mycenaean times. However, the book's mention of Judah's suffering and to the standing temple has led some scholars to place the date of the book in the post-exilic period, after the construction of the Second Temple. Joel was originally from Judah/Judea, and, judging from its prominence in his prophecy, was quite possibly a prophet associated with the ritual of the Jerusalem temple. On the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar, his feast day is October 19. He is commemorated with the other Minor prophets in the Calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31. Joel's statement that "I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions" was applied by St Peter in his sermon at Pentecost to the events of that day. Since then other religious figures have interpreted the words as having special significance for their own time.
The prophet’s hope of deliverance The prophet’s hope resided not in the merit of Israel, but in the nature of Israel’s God. God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding loving-kindness and relenting of evil (2:13-14) The priests are urged to appeal to God’s desire to protect His Name from blasphemy among the nations. God would not want the nations around Israel to think that He had failed to be with the people He had
Chosen and that their reliance upon false gods had secured better conditions for them than for Israel. Thus Joel gives a preview of what was possible if only Israel would
The Message of the Joel
Important Lessons From Joel’s Prophecy In Joel we see God’s covenant faithfulness. He keeps His covenant—bringing both the blessings and punishments, He has promised. We see the nature of repentance. We see that God seeks from His people genuine repentance that grows out of deep heart-felt regret over sin and not mere symbolic gestures. We see the promise of Pentecost. The day of the outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh has come (Ac2:13). The abundant coming of the Spirit upon both Jews and Gentiles brings the blessings of salvation to those who would hear the Spirit’s message. We see the only hope of deliverance at judgment day. There is hope for deliverance for those who “call upon the name of the Lord” (Rom. 10:13). It is Joel’s prophecy that is the basis for the statement of Paul that salvation is possible for all who turn to the Lord. We see the ultimate defeat of God’s enemies and the victory of His people over them in the eternal kingdom, the new Jerusalem. Perhaps many of the OT statements concerning the victory of God’s people over their enemies and ideal provisions of will not find their ultimate fulfillment until the end of time when God judges the nations finally and grants His people entrance in the eternal kingdom where all is perfect in every way.
Conclusion: Joel’s prophecy helps us understand the principles by which God deals with His people—the demands of faithfulness, the need for repentance, the need to trust in God’s grace, and to put our hope in His blessing.
Much of the book of Joel concerns a terrible locust plague that causes starvation for animals and humans. Joel takes this as a sign that people should lament and repent. God responds positively beginning in 2:18. After 2:29, the book moves from historical events to conjecture about the end-time (the Day of the Lord) when the world will be changed and when strange and frightening signs will appear (2:30-32). In the new age, all people will prophesy (2:28-29). This section of Joel is quoted in the account of the Pentecost experience in Acts 2:17-21.
Joel probably lived during the Persian period of Old Testament history (539-331 B.C.E.) During that time, the Persians allowed some of the Jews to return to Jerusalem and the temple was eventually rebuilt. Joel was familiar with the temple, so he must be dated after its restoration. He knows earlier prophets. No kings of Judah are mentioned (there were none after the defeat by Babylon in 586 B.C.E.). All this points to a period between 400 and 350 B.C.E.
The Book of Nahum
The book of Nahum was written between 633-612 BC and he is cited as the author. His message is to the Assyrians, referred to as those of the land of Nineveh. This is the same Nineveh that Jonah spoke to but the people have reverted to their corrupt and violent ways. The prospect of their rising up puts Israel in fear and it is a word of reassurance and comfort that the Lord gives to Nahum. The prophet encourages the Israelites and reinforces to the Assyrians the certainty of judgment against them.
THE MESSAGE OF NAHUM
The people of Nineveh had quickly reverted to their cruel and heathen practices. "They had not transmitted their knowledge of the true God to their children" They had repented of their repentance! Therefore, God, through Nahum, foretold the complete destruction of this kingdom. He had spared them once (during the time of Jonah), He would not do so again. Unlike Jonah, Nahum does not actually go to the city of Nineveh; rather he declares his oracle from afar. There is no hope of any repentance-taking place, thus no need to go to the city.
Although this book is concerned with the downfall of Assyria, it is nevertheless written for the benefit of Judah. God has demonstrated His patience and long-suffering; now He will demonstrate His wrath! The message of this book is that although God may be slow to wrath, He nevertheless always "settles His accounts in full!" "Though God is slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness (as His action toward Nineveh in the book of Jonah shows), His long-suffering is not to be interpreted as indifference or as lack of power --- Nahum 1:1-6" (Willis).
This is also a message of consolation for the people of Judah who are being oppressed by Assyria. Regardless of how things may seem, God does not forget His people. The book of Revelation is a perfect example of this message. "When the forces opposing God are so firmly ensconced and the flickering lamp of God's people is at the point of extinction, however, it is easy for the remnant to forget. Nahum reminds us, as do the ruins of ancient Nineveh, that God Himself is the ultimate Ruler. HE WILL HAVE THE FINAL WORD!” 
"Some have objected to the joyous attitude with which Nahum greets the prospect of the fall of Assyria's capital, and regard it as an exhibition of nationalistic fanaticism and vengeful malice. This, however, is a misunderstanding of the ground, which the prophet occupies. Because he is a man of God, he speaks as one who is wholly preoccupied with the Lord's cause on earth. His earnest desire is to see Jehovah vindicate His holiness in the eyes of the heathen, as over against the inhumane and ruthless tyranny of that God-defying empire which had for such a long time trampled upon all the subject nations with heartless brutality" (Gleason Archer).
J.M.P. Smith describes him as an "enthusiastic, optimistic patriot," but "his book is not the recording of personal glee over the fall of Nineveh, expressing the narrow hatred and prejudice of a single individual; but it is the fervent expression of the outraged conscience of mankind" (Homer Hailey). "It is one great 'At Last'" (G.A. Smith).
"His cry is not only the cry of jubilation at the fall of an oppressive foe, but is also the cry of faith in the sovereign rule of Jehovah and a vindication of confidence that He will avenge His elect when the time is ripe. The lesson of his beautifully worded yet dreadful prophecy is one to which the world could well give heed today. The prophet reveals the eternal principle of the omnipotent God that for a nation to survive it must be established upon and directed by principles of righteousness and truth. Wickedness will eventually turn a nation back to Sheol, the oblivion of the unseen, when it makes cruelty and wickedness the standard by which it lives" (Homer Hailey).
The Book of Habakkuk
Habakkuk is the author and the book was written between 610-605 BC. It is actually a book written to the Lord. Habakkuk is in deep distress over why the people of Judah have been taken captive by Babylon. He asks the Lord to tell him why such suffering is occurring. What is special about this book is that the. Lord answers the prophet and reveals to him the reasons and purposes of His actions. What a refreshing concept to take hold of—that there are times when a sovereign God will respond to our ever-present need to know “why?”
The Message of Habakkuk
The major theme of Habakkuk is trying to grow from a faith of perplexity and doubt to the height of absolute trust in God. Habakkuk addresses his concerns over the fact that the punishment for Judah's sins is going to be executed by what was thought to be a sinful nation in Habakkuk's eyes. Habakkuk is unique among the prophets in that he openly questions the wisdom of God. In the first part of the first chapter, the Prophet sees the injustice among his people and asks why God does not take action. "1:2 Yahweh, how long will I cry, and you will not hear? I cry out to you “Violence!” and will you not save?" - In the middle part of Chapter 1, God explains that he will send the Chaldeans to punish his people. 1:5 “Look among the nations, watch, and wonder marvelously; for I am working a work in your days, which you will not believe though it is told you. 1:6 for, behold, I rise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, that march through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. One of the "Eighteen Emendations to the Hebrew Scriptures" appears at 1:12. (Actually, there were more than eighteen.) According to the professional Jewish scribes, the Sopherim, the text of 1:12 was changed from "You [God] do not die" to "We shall not die." The Sopherim considered it disrespectful of God to say, "You do not die."In the final part of the first chapter, the prophet expresses shock at God's choice of instrument for judgment. 1:13 You who have purer eyes than to see evil, and who cannot look on perversity, why do you tolerate those who deal treacherously, and keep silent when the wicked swallows up the man who is more righteous than he,
In Chapter 2, he awaits God's response to his challenge. God explains that He will also judge the Chaldeans, and much more harshly. 2:8 because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples will plunder you, because of men’s blood, and for the violence done to the land, to the city and to all who dwell in it. 2:9 Woes to him who gets an evil gain for his house,
Finally, in Chapter 3, Habakkuk expresses his ultimate faith in God, even if he does not fully understand. 3:17 For though the fig tree doesn’t flourish, nor fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive fails, the fields yield no food; the flocks are cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls: 3:18 yet I will rejoice in Yahweh. I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
Because of the final chapter of his book, which is a poetic praise of God, it has been assumed that Habakkuk was likely a member of the Leviticus choir in the Temple. Contemporary scholars point out, however, that this chapter is missing from the Dead Sea Scrolls and has some similarities with texts found in the Book of Daniel. They therefore suggest that it is a later interpolation which influenced the authors of Daniel, and that it is impossible to make the assumption of Habakkuk's background based on it.
The worship of created things, human inventions, gods of our imaginations, and the worship of our possessions, anything, and us that is not the creator God is a great sin, which lives in the hearts of people. Idolatry is something Habakkuk speaks about with brutally honest. Though we may not see ourselves, worshipping statues of gold there are many substitute saviors that populate our hearts and lives. Find the Source of True Rejoicing and Happiness— that which we all long for in our journeys on the earth can indeed. It is no pipe dream — we were made for joy, even when the darkness falls on our days. Habakkuk will help us believe this deeply.
The Book of Obadiah
The canonical Book of Obadiah is an oracle concerning the divine judgment of Edom and the restoration of Israel. The text consists of a single chapter, divided into 21 verses, making it the shortest book in the Hebrew Bible..In Judaism and Christianity, its authorship is attributed to a prophet who lived in the Assyrian Period, Obadiah, whose name means “servant or worshipper of Yahweh”. In Christianity, the book of Obadiah is classified as a minor prophet of the Old Testament, due to its short length.
In Judaism, Obadiah is considered a “later prophet” and this Masoretic Text is chronologically placed in the Tanakh under the section Nevi'im in the last category called The Twelve Prophets. Although there is general agreement that Obadiah is the author, there is a broad speculation on the date the book was written. Some scholars place it near the exile (586 BC) while others place it as far back as 850 BC. As the shortest book in the Old Testament, the twenty-one verses carry a unique message. Obadiah is addressing the Edomites, the descendants of Esau. Edom has refused to allow the children of Israel to cross their land during the exodus and continually turn their backs on them when Israel’s enemies rise up. This has not been forgotten, and will be punished. When our brothers, other believers, are in need, we cannot refuse to help them. We cannot let our pride make their journey longer nor give power to their enemies. This is a lesson that the body of Christ today seems to need to remember
The Message Of Obadiah
The book of Obadiah is based on a prophetic vision concerning the fall of Edoma mountain dwelling nation whose Founding Father was Esau.[v.6] Obadiah describes an encounter with God who addresses Edom’s arrogance and charges them for their violent actions against their brother nation, the House of Jacob. The vision then embraces the fall of Jerusalem to the hands of foreign invaders and God’s anger against Edom for taking advantage of the Jews of Judah during their plight, thus sealing their doom In the final aspect of the vision, Israel’s restoration, as a holy place, is declared in contrast to the Edomites lineage that shall end. Obadiah’s prophecy also includes a reminder that God’s judgment will be upon all nations. “For the day of the Lord upon all the nations is near… But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance”
The Hope of Obadiah
Obadiah is a prophetic book, rooted in particular historical circumstances but looking to a future time when God's reign will be established on earth. You should read it, therefore, both with some knowledge of its historical background and with an understanding of its future vision. Obadiah is concerned both with the events of 587 B.C.E. and with a coming age that is in God's hands. Like most prophetic books then, Obadiah calls its readers to have faith in God as they find themselves in an already-and-not-yet time; a time between what has already happened and what God has promised is yet to come.
The Book of Ezekiel
Ezekiel is generally held to be the author. The book was composed between 593-565 BC. Ezekiel is a prophet during the Babylonian captivity, and his message to the captives stresses the continual need for repentance while encouraging that a bright future still lay ahead of them. He reminds them of the constancy of God’s promises and that the kingdom will most certainly manifest itself if they are faithful to His word. What is most compelling about the book of Ezekiel is the fact that his incredible vision occurred in a place of captivity. In that place, the sovereignty of God is seen in perhaps a greater splendor than before. Ezekiel makes it known that we need to recognize that sovereignty no matter situation we find ourselves in. In other words, even when things seem so totally out-of-control in our lives, God is still God.
Defining Ezekiel’s Message
Misson is another theme he picks up throughout the book, showing Ezekiel does have a concern that the nations come to know Yahweh in a saving way. His treatment of the final chapters of Ezekiel avoid fanciful speculation and show how the vision primarily is concerned with the return of the presence of God and the restoration of the worship of God. By calling Ezekiel’s Message the Captivity Doctrine, it may be understood by that Unfamiliar with the concept. It also succinctly portrays this truth in a manner easily Grasped. Let us take a brief look at some of the material on the subject and carefully analyse some of the relevant material to assist us to ascertain how they were written which would enable us to write similar articles today.. It may be viewed as the ultimate condensation of the Ezekiel Message. This energetic booklet shocked people out of their complacency. It’s unfortunate title has been a major reason for derision being brought upon this doctrine from certain quarters. Yet it contains vital information for us in a brazen way and a style which is becoming more and more acceptable to the community at large today (the type of graphic details portrayed by Basil Wolverton are a part of our mass culture today). In many ways, it was a work ahead of its time. Many other booklets have been
The Persian period
For nearly all of their history, the Jewish people were not the political masters of their own destiny, but instead were subject to the control of foreign empires. In this wiki, we examine the history of Second Temple and pre-Rabbinic Judaism and we start with the Persian period, when the Jewish people were allowed to return to the land of Israel. Our story begins with the Babylonian exile, where, around 600 BCE, the Babylonian Empire assumed military control over the land of Syria-Palestine, and after the native Jews, under the rule of Zedikiah, organized a brief revolt, which was quickly crushed. At this time (circa 586-587 BCE) the city of Jerusalem, and the Temple, was destroyed, and the Jews (or at least several thousand of them, it is unclear the full amount) were exiled, mostly to Persia and other geographic areas to the east of Palestine. Understandably, the exile, and the destruction of the Temple which preceded it were incredibly traumatic to the Jewish population; and while several prophets expected a return to their homeland, and the Jewish population tried to maintain a decree of cultural cohesion (especially though the continued usage of Hebrew names), the loss of the holiest site in their religious constellation caused enormous mental grief and angst within the population. However, within a generation, (such that some people who had witnessed the destruction of the Temple were still alive), the political winds had changed, and the Persian Empire, led by Cyrus the Great, re-took the Palestinian lands thus beginning the Persian Period in Jewish history.
King Cyrus the Great was persuaded by several Jewish members of his court to allow the Jews to both return to Israel and to re-build the Temple. This was done in his Declaration of Cyrus (c538 BCE), which officially allowed Temples to be rebuilt in his newly conquered lands. This act of religious toleration was probably not directed exclusively at the Jews, but was broadly targeted at all minority groups within the empire, as an olive branch proposal. Of the Jewish population, many (although probably not most) returned, although a significant proportion chose to remain outside the land of Israel, forming what would later be known as the Diaspora. Information on this group is sketchy at best, although there was at least a relatively well-established community in Elephantine Egypt. The Jewish people quickly re-established many of their traditions, including sacrifices at the Temple (after they could establish who was properly a Priest), and rebuilt the Temple. At the same time, Cyrus and some of his descendents began an expansionary program to conquer Greece, which would eventually fail, and cause their eventual retreat from the Palestinian region.
However, the Jews did not appear to have an extremely strong linkage to the Persian authorities, although some, such as Ezra, were confidants (to a degree) of Kings, especially Artaxerxes, and others had relatively senior positions within the Imperial authority. The High Priests, especially, were considered to have benefitted from the Persian period, as their authority was both re-established and confirmed by external actors, (or at least they wrote as if it did, and they were the main scribes of the period--a potential historiography issue). Other scholars also note that the Persian Empire was not concerned with interfering in the internal affairs of the Jewish people, and some, including Ezra and Nehemiah, had a very favorable impression of the Persians. The Persians probably did not care very much about the Palestinian portion of their Empire; it was a small adjunct, and they soon had a far more relevant threat in the form of the Greeks.
The Jewish people used this period as a time to rebuild their political and religious institutions. The Temple, destroyed, was rebuilt into the arguably more impressive Second Temple, and the Priests assumed their ascendency as the main political and religious leaders of the Jewish Community. This was, however, done within the broad context of Persian authority, and there were not the outright revolts, which were found in later Hellenistic and Roman eras. In essence, Jews were content to be autonomous, if not independent.
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET DANIEL
The prophet Daniel is one of four Major Prophets in Hebrew Scripture, along with Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. The Book of Daniel is followed by the Prophet Hosea. Daniel in the Lions' Den is a favorite Bible story for children. In addition, the captivating prophecy, imagery, and symbolism make the Book of Daniel one of the most read of the Old Testament. The Book of Daniel is unusual in that it takes its name from the hero of the book, Daniel, a young Jewish prophet who lived in Babylon during the Babylonian captivity, which began in 597 BC. The prophet Ezekiel, who wrote his prophecy in Babylon about the same time, mentioned three Biblical figures in a row as men of righteousness, Noah, The Book of Daniel is rich in imagery. Chapters 1-6 refer to the great Kings of Persia. Chapter 6 describes Daniel in the Lions' Den. Chapters 7-12 reveal the angels Gabriel and Michael in the apocalyptic visions. Daniel 12:2 is one of the rare passages in the Old Testament that refers to the Resurrection of the Dead. The Book of Daniel serves as the only apocalyptic Book of the Old Testament, as Chapters 7-12 foretell the End Times. The great nations of the world have risen against Yahweh; but God's Kingdom shall overthrow existing powers and last forever. Jesus, in calling himself the "Son of Man," reminds us that he fulfills the destiny of the mysterious figure in Chapter Seven of the Book of Daniel.
The Message Of The Book Daniel
The Book of Daniel, supposedly written by Daniel himself during the Babylonian Exile, tells of the miracle in which Daniel's friends survived in a furnace so hot that those who threw them in were killed by the heat. It tells the famous story of Daniel surviving a night in a den of lions, protected by an angel. In addition, it tells of prophecies that accurately foretold the future of Judah. In chapter 2, Daniel prophesied that King Nebuchadnezzar would be followed by an inferior kingdom, then a third and a fourth kingdom. The fourth kingdom would then become divided. In addition, in the days of these kings, God would set up a kingdom that would never be destroyed. Some Christians interpret this as a prophecy that includes the Roman Empire and the advent of Christianity. More objectively, it was simply a prophecy of King Nebuchadnezzar's successor, then the Persian Empire and the kingdom of Alexander, which was divided after Alexander's death. The author of Daniel knew of the four consecutive kingdoms because he was writing about Daniel from the perspective of the second century, just before the Maccabeus revolt. The book was written during the darkest period since the Exile to give the people a sense of pride and hope for the future. Please note that from the Jewish perspective, Daniel was not a prophet. This book was included in the Tanakh because it was deemed important for future generations; however, it is located in the Writings section, not Prophets.
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET HAGGAI
Apart from the designation "Haggai the prophet," little is told about this prophet. No record of his family or his prophetic call has been preserved, and even the analysis of his name, which is related to the word for "festival," has produced nothing more than the suggestion that he may have been born on a feast day. His oracles, which because they refer to the prophet in the third person appear to have been gathered by an editor, provide us with a rather precise chronology, indicating that all were given within a four-month period between August and December, 520 B.C., which falls in the second year of Darius I. Unfortunately, some slight disarrangement appears to have occurred in these oracles and although four addresses are listed, some scholars think there are really five. Verse 1:15a seems to stand-alone. By linking it with 2:15-19, the following sequence is obtained:
Like Haggai, Zechariah provides important information about the struggle of the Jews to form a new state after the Exile and about problems associated with the construction of the second Temple. There can be little doubt that the two prophets were instrumental in bringing the temple to completion. With the new temple, Jewish religion was given a center for worship, an altar for sacrifice and a headquarters for administration and interpretation. In Babylon, Jewish scholars were to continue wrestling with the implications of the faith for centuries, but it was always to Jerusalem that the faithful looked as the center of the religion.
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET ZECHARIAH
Zechariah prophesied in the same period as the prophet Haggai, and the first eight chapters of Zechariah's work reveal the pressure of problems and issues similar to those found in Haggai's oracles. Chapters 9-14 belong in a different and later context, as we shall see, and represent the work of another person. These later chapters are often labeled Deutero-Zechariah (Chapters 1-8 are, therefore, Proto-Zechariah) and will be considered separately. Like Haggai, Zechariah is mentioned in Ezra 5:1 and 6:14 where he is called a prophet, but in Nehemiah 12:16 he is listed among the priests. It is quite possible that, like Ezekiel who appears to have had great influence upon him, he was both. Because he is called "the prophet Zechariah" and is referred to in the third person, his work, like that of Haggai, was compiled by an editor. The edited work may be divided into three major sections, with several subsections:
The Message of Zechariah
The effect of the teachings of the Exilic prophets, particularly Ezekiel, is readily recognizable, and belief was strong that fulfillment of Exilic prophecies of the ideal kingdom was at hand. With Haggai and Zechariah the concept of leadership begins to acquire overtones that later become messianic and eschatological, but it was not until the hopes for the future failed and the possibility of an earthly king ruling an ideal kingdom faded that messianic and eschatological themes developed. Zechariah and Haggai are really not concerned with eschatological (end of time) ideas, but rather with the new tomorrow that was so close that it was to follow the completion of the temple, a new day that was imminent in Zerubbabel, the "servant of Yahweh" (Hag. 2:23; Zech. 3:8), "Yahweh's signet" (Hag. 2:23), "the Branch" and the "Rod" (Zech. 3:8; 6:12 f.) of the root of David. The political ends and the national triumph to be experienced under Zerubbabel came not through the monarch but through mighty acts of Yahweh, and it was the conviction that this new day was at hand that give these prophetic oracles their sense of urgency and of the immediacy, reflections enthusiasm and driving power of the two prophets.
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET MALACHI
The book titled "Malachi" is the last in the prophetic collection known as "The Twelve," or Dodecapropheton. Despite the opening words, the author is unknown, and the superscription was appended by an editor who believed the words "my messenger" (mal’akhi) in 3:1 were a clue to the personal name of the prophet. The term translated "burden" or "oracle" ( massa') in 1:1 appears also in Zechariah 9-14 and it has been suggested that the four chapters of Malachi which are a unity, were at one time gathered in a larger collection incorporating the chapters now appended to the work of Zechariah.
There are indications within Malachi that suggest it was a product of the first half of the fifth century, possibly from the time of Artaxerxes I. The temple had been rebuilt (3:1, 10) and Judah was under a governor (1:8). Complaints about poverty, poor harvests and locust plagues (3:6 ff.) which, according to Haggai, ought to have ceased with the completion of the temple, and inferences of disappointment because of the delay in the coming of the ideal kingdom (2:17 ff.), point to a period after 515. The discussion of "mixed marriages," which were ultimately forbidden by Ezra, suggests that his legislation had not yet been passed.
Malachi's oracles are given in response to a series of questions, perhaps representing the give-and-take situation of the street orator. It appears that there were those who questioned current theological dogma, and in a manner similar to that employed by the wisdom school, argued from experience that prophetic utterances had been inaccurate.
The Message of Malachi
The book appears to begin in the middle of a discussion. The prophet has been asked, "What evidence is there that Yahweh loves his people?" His response drew upon history, past and present. In the choice of Jacob and the rejection of Esau, Yahweh had expressed his love (election). When the Babylonians came, Edom had escaped the devastation that came to Judah by quietly submitting to Nebuchadnezzar and rejoicing in the fall of Jerusalem (cf. Ps. 137:7; Lam. 4:21 f.). Now Edom was tinder pressure from the Nabataea’s, a people that had formerly lived by preying on caravans and was now moving toward a settled mode of life.8 The Edomites, forced out of their homeland, migrated into the territory south of the Persian province of Judah, becoming the people known in later times as Idumeans. The Edomites were, according to Malachi, confident that they would recover, just as the Jews were recovering, but the prophet declares that their efforts would fail. The immediate and future problems confronting the Edomites were, for the prophet, evidence that Yahweh hated the descendants of Esau, just as the reestablishment of the Jews demonstrated divine love.
1. The Civilization of Babylonia and Assyria; its remains, language, history, religion, commerce, law, art, and literature, by Morris Jastrow, Jr. ... with map and 164 illustrations, 1915 (a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries; DjVu & layered PDF format or Readable HTML)
2. Legends of Babylon and Egypt in Relation to Hebrew Tradition, by Leonard W. King, 1918 (a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries; DjVu & layered PDF format)
3. The Babylonian Legends of the Creation and the Fight between Bel and the Dragon, as told by Assyrian Tablets from Nineveh, 1921 (a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries; DjVu & layered PDF format)
4. Wells, John C. (1990). Longman pronunciation dictionary. (Harlow, England: Longman). entry "Jeremiah"
5. Jeremiah, New Bible Dictionary, Second Edition, (Tyndale Press, Wheaton, IL, USA) 1987.
6. "That day of wrath, that dreadful day," as described in Nelson's Compact Illustrated Bible Dictionary, pp. 283, 283, Thomas Nelson Publishers (1964),
7. Berlin, Adele. Zephaniah: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. The Anchor Bible Volume 25A.( Toronto: Doubleday), 1994.
8. Faulhaber, M. (1913). "Sophonias (Zephaniah)". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.( Transcribed by Thomas M. Barrett. 2003).
9. A-Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, B. M. Wheeler, Joel
10. Leslie C. Allen, The Books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah and Micah (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976),
12. Beit Midarsh( The triumphant church Publications) , USa
13. (Ryrie Study Bible).
14. Expositor's Bible Commentary).
15. Achtemeier, Elizabeth. (1993). "Habbakuk", the Oxford Companion to the Bible,. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504645-5.
16. Bailey, Waylon. Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah. New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1999.
17. Brownlow, Leroy. (1961). "Habakkuk", the Old Testament Books and their Messages in the Christian Age . Fort Worth: Fort Worth Christian College.
18. Coogan, M. “A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in its Context. Oxford University Press, New York (2009)
19. Nelson's Compact Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1978, ISBN 0840756364
20. R. H. Pfeiffer, Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 585; J. A. Thompson, "The Book of Obadiah: Introduction," The Interpreter's Bible, Vl, 858.
21.  http://www.originofnations.org/HRP_Papers/Ezekiel's%20Message.PDF
22. Encyclopaedia Judaica. Eds. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Vol. 15. 2nd ed. (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007
24. R. A. Bowman, "Ezra: Exegesis," The Interpreter's Bible, III,
25. John Bright, A History of Israel, p. 343 where the identification is supported, and M. Noth, The History of Israel where the theory is dismissed
26. article on Sheshbazzar in The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible.
27. article on "Petra" in The Biblical World, C. F. Pfeiffer (ed.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1966),.
 The Civilization of Babylonia and Assyria; its remains, language, history, religion, commerce, law, art, and literature, by Morris Jastrow, Jr. ... with map and 164 illustrations, 1915 (a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries; DjVu & layered PDF format or Readable HTML)
 Legends of Babylon and Egypt in Relation to Hebrew Tradition, by Leonard W. King, 1918 (a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries; DjVu & layered PDF format)
 The Babylonian Legends of the Creation and the Fight between Bel and the Dragon, as told by Assyrian Tablets from Nineveh, 1921 (a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries;DjVu & layered PDF format)
 Wells, John C. (1990). Longman pronunciation dictionary. (Harlow, England: Longman). p. 383 entry "Jeremiah"
 Jeremiah, New Bible Dictionary, Second Edition, (Tyndale Press, Wheaton, IL, USA) 1987.
 "That day of wrath, that dreadful day," as described in Nelson's Compact Illustrated Bible Dictionary, pp. 283, 283, Thomas Nelson Publishers (1964),
 Berlin, Adele. Zephaniah: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. The Anchor Bible Volume 25A.( Toronto: Doubleday), 1994.pp 64-66
 Faulhaber, M. (1913). "Sophonias (Zephaniah)". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.( Transcribed by Thomas M. Barrett. 2003).pp 160-170
 A-Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, B. M. Wheeler, Joel
 Leslie C. Allen, The Books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah and Micah (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976), p.31
 Beit Midarsh( The triumphant church Publications) Page16 , USa
 (Ryrie Study Bible).
 (Expositor's Bible Commentary).
 Achtemeier, Elizabeth. (1993). "Habbakuk", the Oxford Companion to the Bible, pp 265–266. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504645-5.
 Bailey, Waylon. Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah. New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1999.
 Brownlow, Leroy. (1961). "Habakkuk", the Old Testament Books and their Messages in the Christian Age, pp 439–453. Fort Worth: Fort Worth Christian College.
 Coogan, M. “A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in its Context. Oxford University Press, New York (2009) p. 315
 Nelson's Compact Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1978, p. 191, ISBN 0840756364
 R. H. Pfeiffer, Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 585; J. A. Thompson, "The Book of Obadiah: Introduction," The Interpreter's Bible, Vl, 858.
 Encyclopaedia Judaica. Eds. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Vol. 15. 2nd ed. (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007). p782-792. 22 vols.
 R. A. Bowman, "Ezra: Exegesis," The Interpreter's Bible, III, 571.
 John Bright, A History of Israel, p. 343 where the identification is supported, and M. Noth, The History of Israel, p. 309, where the theory is dismissed
 article on Sheshbazzar in The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible.
 article on "Petra" in The Biblical World, C. F. Pfeiffer (ed.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1966), pp. 443 ff.
 article on "Petra" in The Biblical World, C. F. Pfeiffer (ed.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1966), pp. 443 ff.