See below for notes on the twelve "Minor Prophets" from a series of classes taught by John Oakes in San Diego.

Introduction to "The Twelve"

In the Hebrew Bible, they formed one book and were not the last books in the canon.

The Prophets:

2 Peter 1:19-21     Prophet = spokesperson, one who speaks for another   Exodus 4:16, John the Baptist is "the voice of one calling in the desert"  God is the one speaking Luke 3:4  This is the voice and the message of a prophet.

Seer.   1 Samuel 9:6,9

Man of God

Servant of God  1 Kings 18:36

Watchman of Israel   Ezekiel 3:17-19

Messenger of Jehovah

Chosen of God;  not volunteers   Jeremiah 1:4-7

God made them able

Marks of a Prophet:

An uncompromising individualist

Conscious of a divine call

Access to the  inner counsel of God

A man of action with a strong character

A man of prayer

An outspoken critic of social and religious evils

Message of the Prophets;

Repentance  Joel 2:12-14  Zechariah 1:2-6

The Day of the Lord: Doom, Judgement   Obadiah 4,  Amos 5:2   Amos 3:2 Micah 3:12  Zephaniah 1:14-18

Salvation, Deliverance   Amos 9:11-14,  Hoseah 2:14-23  Micah 4:1-2  Joel 2:32, Nahum 1:15  Zechariah 9:9

Chronology of "the 12"

Obadiah   845 BC  

Joel   830 BC              contemporaries of Eliljah and Elishah

Jonah  800 BC

Amos 755 BC

Hoseah  735 BC         contemporaries of Isaiah

Micah 725 BC

Zephaniah  625 BC                 contemporaries of Jeremiah

Nahum 614 BC

Haggai    520 BC        

Zechariah  520 BC                  post-exile

Malachi  444 BC

Message of "The Twelve"

Hosea:  God’s grace and unconditional love for us.

Joel:  The Day of the Lord

Amos:  Doom for Samaria.

          God’s servant must demonstrate social justice

          Insincere worship an insult to God

Obadiah:  God rules the nations

Jonah:  Salvation is for the Gentiles too.

Micah:  Those who live luxurious lives and seek to placate God through offering money are vampires in the sight of God-sucking the life out of the poor.

Haggai:   Build the Lord’s house before your own.

Zechariah:  The Messiah is coming, get your house in order.

Malachi:  God still loves Israel.  Offer Him true not false worship.

Our first book:    Obadiah

Message:   God Rules the Nations (like that of Daniel)

Submessage:  Judgment on God’s enemies and deliverance for God’s people.


I  Judgment on Edom.  v 1-16

II Deliverance for Israel.   v 17-21

Historical context:  Edom and others have attacked and sacked Jerusalem.  The enemies of Israel are the Philistines, Edom.  2 Chron 21:8-10, 16-17

v. 3 You who live in the cleft of the rocks = Edom (Petra, Bozrah for example)

Synonyms:  Edom, Esau, Teman (chief clan of Edom at that time)

The sins of Edom:  a. pride v. 3  b. violence against God’s people v. 10   c. standing aloof while others suffer v. 11   

What did Edom trust in?  Riches, military might, physical defenses, wisdom and allies.

What should we trust in?  God!!!!

God’s message to the arrogant:  Obadiah 4   "Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down.

This is the supposedly prosperous, happy, materialistic people around us.  Do not be deceived by their sleek look.  They are coming down!

What will happen to the arrogant; those who oppose God’s people?  Read v. 8-16.

v. 15 The Day of the Lord:  a constant theme in the twelve.  Judgment.

Do you ever feel insecure when you look at prosperous, cool, sharp, confident non-Christians?  Know their true fate.  Be confident in God.  He will make everything right.

It looks bad for Israel right now but;   v. 17  But on Mt Zion (Jerusalem) will be deliverance.     Read v 17-21. 

v 17-21 a messianic prophecy?

Folks, we will "be a fire and a flame" 

Our enemies "will be stubble"

We will "occupy the fields of Ephraim and Samaria"  and "possess the land as far as Zarephath.  And the kingdom will be the Lord’s!

Memory verse:   Amos 3:2

Hosea:  The Love of God Demonstrated.

Theme:  The love and grace of God.

Hosea in Hebrew =  Joshua = Jesus = salvation, deliverance

Hosea is a prefigure of Jesus in his name and in how he treated Gomer.

His life is a symbol of God’s relationship with man in Jesus.

Prophet to Northern Israel (mentions Ephraim 37 times as well as Lebanon, Tabor, Samaria, Bethel, Jezreel, Ramah).

A farmer.  Many illustrations from farming.   Emotional; a poet.

Background:   Jereboam II of Israel.  The peak of prosperity of the Northern Kingdom  about 750-725 BC.  After him, Israel had six weak kings, five of which were murdered in office.    Northern Kingdom relied on Assyria and Egypt (Hos 8:9, 10:6)

Religion in NK went from bad to worse. (Hos 4:1-2)

The story:    Jehovah’s faithful love for his people.   Our thankless unfaithfulness to Jehovah.

Take to yourself an unfaithful wife and unfaithful children.       Gomer

Jezreel = vengeance

Lo Ruhamah =  not loved

Lo Ammi =   not my people

Hosea 6:4-6   God hates hypocritical worship.  God prefers goodness to sacrifice and knowledge of him to burnt offerings

Problems for Israel:

1.  Lack of knowledge of God.  My People are destroyed for lack of knowledge Hos 4:6

2. Pride.  And the pride of Israel does testify to his face  Hosea 5:5

3. Spiritual instability (Ephesians 4 tossed to and fro) Hosea 6:4  Your goodness is like the dew of the morning.

4. Worldliness  Ephraim mixes himself among the people.  He is like a cake not turned.  Hos 7:*

5.  Corruption. 9:9

6. Idolatry 13:2


1.  Internal corruption is more dangerous than external enemies.  (5:10, 4:13-19, 4:9

2.  God’s mercy shown through Hosea’s love to Gomer    2:19, 4:1, 6:4, 10:12, 12:6

Cool passages: 

11:8   How shall I give you up, O Ephraim.

8:7  Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.


The most quotable book in the OT.  755 BC (two years before the earthquake)

Name means burden or burden-bearer.

Lived among the herdsmen of Tekoa (1:1).  From the desert mountains of Judah and the Dead Sea.

A shepherd and a tender of sycamore-fig trees.   A rustic.    Many farming references (2:13  Now then, I will crush you as a cart crushes when loaded with grain 3:4-5 Does a lion roar in the thicket when he has no prey? Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground where no snare has been set? 6:12  Do horses run on rocky crags?)

From Judah, but a prophet to the North.

In days of Uzziah and Jereboam II.  2 years before the earthquake (760 BC?)

Golden age of wealth and power from Samaria.

"Woe to those who are at ease in Zion.  That is us!!  The rich oppressed the poor.  All the luxury was especially shocking to Amos.

Message:  Samaria is doomed  (because of its sinfulness and lack of social justice)

5:2  Virgin Israel is fallen.  She shall rise no more  722 BC.

Why?  Luxury, frivolity, opulence, oppression, corruption, summer and winter palaces, ivory-inlaid beds, revelry and wine.  Victimizing the poor, confiscating their garments for debt, sexual sin under the guise of religion, hollow, hypocritical Sabbath-keeping and religious observance.


1:3-2:16  Judgment on nations, especially Samaria.

Damascus will fall because of cruelty to Gilead. (she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth)

Gaza will fall because of cruelty to Edom (took captive whole communities and sold them).

Tyre will fall for the same reason as Gaza.

Ammon will fall because they ripped open pregnant women of Gilead

Moab will fall because they burned the bones of Edom’s king.

Judah is in danger for idolatry (least said about her)

Now that I have denounced the denominations and the legalistic brothers, let’s talk about you.

Israel/Samaria  is doomed for a litany of cruelty, greed and social injustice.

God has done a lot for his people.  He has every right to expect far greater return from us than from others.

2:10-16   I did great things for you, Israel.  Is it not true?   But you made the Nazirites drink wine and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.   Now I will crush you.

3:2  You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins.

From him to whom much has been given, much will be expected.  Luke 12:48

Q:  Have you been given much?

Ch 3:  Hear this word:  Doom is coming to Samaria.

3:12  Only a remnant will be saved.   This is a constant theme throughout the prophets.  God will judge his people for their unfaithfulness, but a remnant is always saved.  This is true when God judges his church.

Ch 4  Hear this word

Why?   Let us see what the cows of Bashan on Mt. Samaria are doing:

4:1    You women oppress the poor, crush the needy and say to your husbands, "Bring us some drinks."    This sounds EXACTLY like America today.

God’s reaction:  v. 2  You will be taken out with hooks.  Not very dignified!  The things you trust in you will lose.

What did they do?  They played the religious game 4:4-5

4:6-as far as you want to read.   The message:  I tried to get your attention by causing harm, but it did not work.

Message:  God will do anything to get us back except force us.

There are two ways to be humbled by God:

1. By having him pour blessings on you.

2. By having him take away your blessings. (Daniel 4:37 those who walk in pride he is able to humble)


4:12  Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.

Hear this word:    Fallen is Virgin Israel, never to rise again.  We can get to a point at which there is no hope.  There is no coming back from captivity.  The Northern Kingdom never came back!  

So, what is the solution?

1.  Amos 5:4   Seek me, not the world and live

2.  Amos 5:14  Seek good, not evil   Hate evil love good.    MAINTAIN JUSTICE

                                             Demonstrate social justice at every level.

(5:7   you turn justice into bitterness.   5:10  you hate him who reproves in court and despise those who tell the truth. 5:11 You trample on the poor, while you build stone mansions  5:12 you oppress the righteous and take bribes.  You deny justice to the poor.)

Q:  What is social justice?

3.  Amos 5:21-27  Offer God true worship, not hypocricy. (also Amos 8:5-6)  God detests hypocracy

4.  Amos 6:1f  Do not be complacent.  Do not rely on your riches, but on God.  Complacent in what?  That God is surely with you. And in your things.

5.  Amos 6:8-13 Be humble before God.  Do not say "Did we not take Karnaim by our own strength?  (1 Cor 4:7  What do you have that you did not receive?)

Ch 7  A vision of judgment on Israel.  Amaziah the priest confronts Amos, telling him to stop prophesying.    Amos’ reply:  (7:17)    Your land will be measured and divided up and you yourself will die in a pagan country.  And Israel will certainly go into exile away from their native land."   This is exactly what happened in 722 BC.

Ch 8 & 9  More apocalyptic visions of doom for Samaria.

Encouraging end.   A promise of restoration  (which did, indeed occur)

9:11  A prophecy of a restored messianic kingdom.  (Acts 15:16)

 (9:13)  Behold, the day will come, says Jehovah, when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows seed.)


1.  Insincere worship is an insult to God.  :I despise your feasts… assemblies (5:21-23)

2.  God"s servant must demonstrate social justice. (James 1:27)

Corollary:  Privelege brings responsibility.  (3:2)  You only have I known of all the families on the earth.  Therefore I will visit upon you all your iniquities." 

Very quotable passages    Amos 3:2         Amos 5:14        Amos 6:1


Fairly obscure date.  Jo-el  means Jehovah is God.  Preached to Southern Kingdom.

1:2-2:17   Plague of four kinds of locusts.  Old locusts, newly hatched, crawler, flier.

Describes an actual, literal plague of locusts and makes an application to the future.

1915 plague in Jerusalem.  Nat Geographic.  From border of Egypt to Taurus Mts.  Loud noise first, then sun darkened, showers of excrement fell.  April 15, every male 16-60 had to collect 5 kilograms of locust eggs daily.   Every green leaf disappeared.

Introduces the idea of The Day of the Lord.  Mentioned 5 times  (1:15, 2:1,11,31, 3:14)

The Day of the Lord signifies  "The moment when Jehovah grasps the reigns, which he seems to have held slackly before, when the currents of his moral rule, which have been running sluggishly, receive a mysterious quickening, and the Lord’s work on the earth is at last fully performed."

Or   "The Day in which Jehovah will manifest himself as God."

The Day of the Lord is one before which one ought to consider repenting. (2:12-17)

Describes prophetically the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Acts 2:16f.


From Gath-Hepher, about 4 miles north of Nazareth (Jonah a prefigure of the Christ.

Jonah = dove   (Interesting parallel with Aphrodite, to whom the dove was sacred, came out of  the sea.

(sleeping in a boat in a massive storm, offered his life,  gambled at his feet, 3 days and nights.)

A man for whom patriotism and emotion overcame duty and religion and will.

Timing:  some time after 782 BC when the very successful King Adanirari died.  Assyria was in a period of relative failure and discouragement.  Perhaps this prepared them to repent.

Nineveh:   1800 acres.  600,000 inhabitants?  100 foot high walls.   Diodorus:  60 miles in circumference.  More accurate  7.5 miles in circumference.  Chariots could drive three abreast across top of the wall.


Running from God.

Running to God.

Running with God.

Running Ahead of God.

Theme:  God saves the Gentiles too.

(Sub theme:  need for obedience, repentance, God will relent sending calamity to those who repent, loyalty to God, not country.)


Theme:  The grace of God.

Subtheme:  Repentance and salvation is for the Gentiles too!

Subsubtheme:  You cannot run from God.

Subsubsubtheme:  Our loyalty should be to God, not our country.

Historical setting:    About 782 BC  Assyria was in a fairly brief period of partial decline.  Assyria itself was in a time of failure and disappointment-open to the "gospel?" Prepared to repent? 

But do not forget, Assyria was the avowed and hated enemy of Israel!

Nineveh:  The greatest city in the world at that time.  1800 acres, 100 ft. high walls.  7.5 miles around.  120,000+ inhabitants?  Chariots could drive three across on top of the wall.  Jonah 3:3 "a visit required 3 days"

Jonah:  a prefigure of the Messiah.

Jonah is like Jesus:

1. Matthew 12:39-41    "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the

    belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights

    in the heart of the earth."

2. John 7:52  "Are you from Galilee, too?  Look into it, and you will find

    that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.

Actually, Jonah, the prefigure of the Messiah, came from Gath-Hepher, about 4 miles north of Nazareth. (2 Kings 14:25)

It is amazing that Jonah even made it into the OT.

3.  Sleeping in a boat during a massive storm which could very well kill all

     those in the boat.  (Luke 8:23)  "As they sailed, he fell asleep.  A squall

     came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they

     were in great danger.

4.  Right before he offered his life, they were gambling at his feet. (Jonah

     1:7 and Luke 23:34)

5.  Calmed the storm.  (Jonah 1:15 the raging storm grew calm, Mark 4:39

     "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm)

6.  Most important of all, he willingly offered his life to save the Gentiles

     Jonah 1:12   "Pick me up and throw me into the sea."

Outline of Jonah:

Ch 1  Running from God

Ch 2  Running to God

Ch 3  Running with God

Ch 4  Running ahead of God.

Jonah 1

Jonah 1:1-3   Go and preach against Nineveh.

Jonah went in the exact opposite direction.

Q:  Why did Jonah flee?

Point:  It is possible to hate what God hates, but not love what God loves.

Q:  How might we be like Jonah?

Jonah 1:4-17     God is in control.  (note, the lot fell to Jonah!)  You cannot escape from God.


Message:  God may ask you to do something you desperately do not want to do.  Do it anyway!

For me, it is public evangelizing and confronting sin in certain circumstances.

Notice 1:14   Please do not hold us accountable.  You have done as you pleased.   A lot like us and the death of Jesus.

Jonah 2     Repentance, Grace and Salvation.

Rhetotical Q:  Why did Jonah wait three days to repent?

Remember, we too, like Jonah have been lost-tossed by the waves and destined to be swallowed up and die.

V 8,9  to paraphrase.    Those horrible heathens do not deserve to be saved, but if you INSIST, I will go.

You would think Jonah would be humbled and very grateful.

You would think he would get the idea that God loves these people too.

Q:  Again, how might we be like Jonah?

Jonah 3

Apparently, Jonah had reneged on his promise.  God had to tell him one more time.     Us:  OK fine, I will share my faith, but do not expect me to do it with a good attitude!


v. 3   Jonah obeyed.    Did he really?

Q:  What was Jonah’s message?

Did he preach repentance?    Did he preach salvation?

Jonah must have been a really awesome preacher!!!!

But remember (as you evangelize) their hearts were prepared.

Look what the most hated, violent, arrogant man in the world did!!!   Get a vision!!!

3:10    God relented bringing disaster on them.

Jonah is fired up that his work has brought about the salvation of 100,000 people, right?

Jonah 4

4:1-3     Jonah having a self-pity party.    Why is Jonah angry?    Again, how might we be like this?

I am so mad that you are gracious and slow to anger (towards my enemies, of course, please be gracious and slow to anger toward me!)

4:4-5    Jonah waiting for the destruction, wanting to be the first to bring the happy news to Israel.  

These Catholics went to hell.  Cool!   These gangsters or fill in the blank.

The key passage in Jonah is 4:6-12     The Grace of God.

v. 6  Q:  How has god provided a vine for our own shade?

v. 7-9  Now, God is disciplining us rather than showering blessings on us.  How will we react to that?   (Hebrews 12:6   The Lord disciplines those he loves)

Q:  Are you more concerned with your own comfort than with the salvation of souls?

v. 10-11   Summary:     God even cares about the cattle!   Should we not have deep concern for this city?


Micah = Who is like Jehovah?

1:14 from Moresheth Gath, near Gath, 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem.  From Judah to Judah.

"He had Hosea’s loving heart and Amos’ heart for social justice.

Younger contemporary of Isaiah, but not a courtier like Isaiah.   More a prophet of the people than Isaiah.  About 735-715 BC.  Both before and after destruction of Samaria (722 BC).   Judah begins to decline.  Both rich and poor suffer during deprivations under Sargon.  Much abuse of the poor by the rich.  Judges accepting bribes.  Judah waffling between trusting Egypt and Assyria.  The wealthy think their wealth and power will protect them from danger. (Micah 3:11).

Theme:  Those who live luxurious lives and seek to placate God through offering money are vampires in the sight of God-sucking the life out of the poor.


Ch 1-3  Judgement.

Judgment on Judah for the evils described above. (3:12)  His enemies tell him to stop speaking (2:6)

Ch  4-5  Glimpses of future glory.

Messianic and Eschatological hope.

4:1-5   A prophecy of the Kingdom.  Judah to become  the spiritual metropolis of the entire world (parallel Is 2:2-4)

5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephthrah,…

Ch 6-7  God defends his justice and mercy.

The people say God is hard and unmerciful.  God defends his character against the people.     "And what does Jehovah require of you?  To act justly, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God."  (Micah 6:8)

God contrasts himself with the cruelty and injustice of Judah’s rich.  "The best of them is as a brier."

Important scriptures which should be know and, perhaps, memorized:

Micah 3:12  Zion will be plowed as a field.

Micah 5:2  But you Bethlehem…

Micah 6:8  What does Jehovah require?    Justice, Kindness and Humility.

Ethical righteousness before ritual and religious observance.

Peace to be found in the Prince of Peace.  Micah 4:3 And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war any more?   About the church and the kingdom now or about the still future kingdom of God?


Nahum the Elkoshite.  From Elko?   Nothing known.  Nahum = "comforter."

Carried away in the deportation of Sargon? (722 BC) or Tiglath Pileser? (734 BC)

Setting:   Nahum 3:8-10  After fall of Thebes to the Asyrians under Assurbanipal (663 BC) but before the destruction of Nineveh (612 BC).  Probably closer to 663 BC.  Assurbanipal boasted of his excessive cruelty.  He describes tearing off the lips and limbs of conquered kings., forced three captured Elamite kings to drag his chariot through the streets, compelled a prince to wear the severed head of his father around his neck.  No other king, EVEN of Assyria boasted of such outrageous war crimes.  Assyrians the cruelest of Near Eastern empires.  They had boasted "space failed for corpses." They made "pyramids of human heads"  They "covered pillars with the flayed skins of their rivals."

Nineveh.  Opposite the Tigris from modern day Mosul, founded by Nimrod (Genesis 10:11).  Capital of Assyria 1100-880 and 705-612 BC.  7.5 mi circumference walls; three chariots abreast wide.


Historical Background:

605 BC  Nebuchadnezzar attacks and defeats Jerusalem.  Exiles (including

              Daniel) go to Babylon.

587 BC  Nebuchadnezzar destroys Jerusalem and the temple.  Takes

              thousands to Babylon.

538 BC  Cyrus defeats Belshazzar and Babylon.  Persia takes over.

537/536 BC  42,000 Jews return to Jerusalem with permission to rebuild the

              temple.  The ruins are cleared an altar is set up and the foundation is

              laid.  (Ezra 1:1-3:13).

             Opposition to the rebuilding of the temple arises and the people,

             discouraged, give up and turn to establishing their own households.

521 BC  Darius son of Cyrus takes the throne.

520 BC  Haggai and Zechariah preach to Jerusalem.  (Ezra 5:1-6:22)

518 BC  Temple completed.


A Jewish leader and a prophet (Ezra 5:1).  Probably quite old (unlike Zechariah) from Haggai 2:3.

The Message of Haggai:   Build up the house of the Lord, not your own house.   (Matt 6:19-21)

Submessage:  Discouragement is not sufficient excuse to neglecting the work of the Lord.

Haggai 1:1-4

v. 2

"The time to build has not yet come."   We are too discouraged.  We need to be strengthened first.  The leadership is not what it needs to be.   We do not have the budget.

The song, "Excuses"

The Lord’s answer:  v. 3   Hmmm……   This is very suspicious.  You have been building up your own houses, yet you do not have the ability to build up my house?

When the church is doing well, we are fired up, but when things are not going so well we use it as an excuse to attend to our own affairs.

Q:  Is it wrong to have paneled houses?  Answer:  Yes, if it means that the temple has no paneling!!!   Yes, if it takes you away from the more important thing, which is building the temple.

Q:  What is "the temple" for us?

Q:  What are some applications?

Q:  Have you been like this?

Is it wrong to pursue an advanced degree?…..

Haggai 1:5-11

Message:  You sought personal wealth and gain.  You received the opposite.  If you want blessings in your life   (Q:  Who here wants blessings?)    It is through giving first to the Temple.  "Indifference to the things of God produces calamity."

"You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little."   Can anyone relate?

So, what should we do?   V. 8  "Go up into the mountain and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored."


Aside:  Haggai 2:10-19.

"parable" of consecrated and defiled flesh.  

Does coming into contact with clean meat make you clean?   No!

Does coming into contact with defiled flesh make you defiled?  Yes!

Defilement is a thing.  Holiness is a lack of a thing.  Holiness is purity and lack of defilement.  (heat is a thing, cold is not a thing)

The message:  sin in general, but especially materialism are contagious.  Holiness in not contagious.   We need to deal with materialism before God will bless our work.

The good news:  If we will repent, then GOD WILL BLESS US! (2:19)

Back to the text:

1:12-15.  So the people set to work building the temple!   God says to us, I am with you!!!     That is what I want!  (Matthew 28:20)

They wanted blessings, but they had forgotten how to get them.

Zechariah 2:1-9 and 20-23  Encouragement from God for doing the work.

God knows that doing the work can be tiring and discouraging.  God knows that we can be discouraged by the size of the task and by our limited resources.

v. 3.   This new temple seems puny.   We remember the glory days.   Our self-image is taking a nose dive here.

v 4,5  My spirit is with you just like it was in the glory days.  Do not fear.  Whether the beginnings are big or small means nothing to God.  We can do amazing things if we will put off our materialism, do the work of the temple and rely on God.   Do not be deceived by the outward circumstances.

I love 2:6   "In a little while, I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry lands."

Let’s say it together out loud!!!    Do you believe it?

v. 8  The silver and the gold…..    the things you are giving up to the temple….  The things all your neighbors think is valuable.   They are mine.

Oh, and I love v. 9 as well….

The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house.

Historical side note.  If you look at the temple, you might not agree, but the second temple period was far more spiritual and glorifying to God.

Final encouragement:   Haggai 2:20-23 (just read it).


· Dated prophecies:  Nov. 520 BC – Dec 518 BC

· Contemporary of Haggai

· Mentioned in Ezra 5:1

· Jerusalem is in ruins.  The foundation for the temple has been built.  However, the

   exiles who returned from the captivity have stopped work on the temple to build their

   "paneled houses."  There is serious need for a revival.

· The book is apocalyptic (it contains vivid symbolism which represents spiritual truths).

· The book contains many predictive prophecies, especially of the Messiah.

· The book is eschatological in nature (it is about end times).

Theme of Zechariah:   The Messiah is coming; get your house in order.

Zechariah 1:1  November, 520 BC

1:2-6   Repent!      Return to me so I can return to you  (Revelation 3:20)

            vs. 6.  Good news.  They repented and rebuilt the temple.  What about you?  Are you building God’s temple?   The temple was actually completed in April, 516 BC

1:7-17  The first vision: A messenger on a red horse.     

            The messenger reports the world is at peace, which is bad news to Israel as that means they will stay in bondage to Persia.

            God’s reply: (v 16)  I will return to Jerusalem and rebuild my house!   Do not look at outward appearances.

            Application:  If your situation or church seems stagnant, do not look at the outward appearance.  God can and will work in your life.

1:18-21  Vision #2:  The vision of four horns.

            The four horns are four nations which scattered Israel.  The message:  God will judge these nations.  Trust in God.

            Question:  How do you feel about the fact that God is a God of judgment on his enemies?

2:1-13  Vision #3   The man with a measuring line.

            God will make his kingdom into a city without walls.  The church will become very great and will spread across the world.  God will protect his kingdom like a flame around a wall-less city.    2:6  Only come back, escape Babylon (sin) and come into my city (the kingdom of God).    This scripture is being fulfilled before our very eyes in this day.  2:13  Be in awe of what God is doing.

3:1-10   Vision #4    Joshua (the high priest) accused by Satan.   Joshua = Jeshua in Hebrew = Jesus in Aramaic.  This is a vision concerning Jesus himself.   Are you accused (Zech 3:2, Rev 12:10)  Or are you the deceived type (Jn 8:33-41)?

            The branch (3:8) is Jesus.  The Messiah is coming to Jerusalem!!!

            3:10   Have you invited your neighbor to sit under your vine by sharing your life and faith with him yet?

4:1-16   Vision #5    The golden lampstand with a bowl and seven lamps and the two olive trees.

            Oil = the Spirit of God = annointing by God   (Heb 1:9, Ps 23, etc.)

            Memory verse:   Zechariah 4:6.  Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.

            The twin olive trees represent the permanent, unending, river of power which can flow into our lives if we remain tapped into God.  The two trees, are symbolically, the priesthood and the kingship/governorship, which were combined forever in Jesus Christ.  Jesus is priest and king!  (Messiah is Hebrew for annointed).

            4:7  The capstone is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10,11)

5:1-4  Vision #6.  The flying Scroll.

            Judgment on  sinners and the enemies of God’s people.

5:5-11  Vision #7  The woman in a basket.

            Measuring basket = judgment.  The woman = "sin" = Babylon  (Revelation 18:2)

            Sin has fallen, Judgment has come

6:1-8  Vision #8   The four chariots.     Judgment! (again)

            See Revelation 6:2-7 for a parallel passage about judgment on sinners and on the enemies of God’s people

6:9-15  The coronation scene.   The Messiah is coming!

            vs 11-13   Joshua = Jesus   v13 "harmony between the two" means between the priesthood and the government/king/governor.  This was accomplished in Jesus who is both high priest and king

            vs. 15  A great picture of the kingdom of God.

7:1-14.  Religious observance versus true worship of God. 

Should we stop fasting in the fifth month?  God:  you were doing it as a hypocrite anyway, so what use were your fasts?  God’s answer is found in Zech 8:18,19.  No, your fasting will turn to joy when the Messiah comes and restores the (spiritual) kingdom to Israel.

A great memory scripture:  Zech 7:9.10     Show true justice.  Act like God.

Application:   Should I take care of this need over here?  Duhhhh!  Of course you should.

8:1-23   The Messiah will come to Jerusalem.  God can’t wait for it to happen

            v. 3 We are the "city of truth."  What a thought.  This prophecy was partially fulfilled in April, 516 BC when the temple was completed, but to a fuller extent in about 30 AD when Jesus came to Jerusalem.

            v 4-23  Peace safety and security in God’s kingdom described in great detail.  A great passage to meditate/pray on.

            v. 23 a great Bible talk.

9:1-8   Judgment on Phoenecia.

9:9-17.  The Messiah is coming to Jerusalem.  (do you see a pattern here yet?)

            9:9  A great Messianic prophecy.  Fulfilled in Mark 11:4-10

            9:11  waterless pit = us before salvation

            9:13  Judah (Judea)  ®  Ephraim (Samaria) ® Greece   That is exactly how the church spread.  A very specific prophecy.

10:1-11:3   Judgment on God’s enemies.  This shows God protecting his people and judging those who persecute the church (or the Jews before NT times).

11:4-17   God will revoke the Old Covenant and establish a New Covenant.

            God will judge unfaithful Israel for rejecting his appearing to them (fulfilled in 70 AD when Jerusalem was destroyed).    Favor = (old) covenant  Union = unity of God’s people.

            v. 10  the old covenant will be revoked.

            v. 12, 13  A very specific prophecy about the Messiah.  Fulfilled in Matt 26:14 and 27:1-10 where a literal potter’s field was bought for a literal 30 pieces of silver.

12:1-9   God will bless his kingdom.   v. 8 very encouraging.

12:10-14.   A prophecy about the Messiah and about the church. 

            Pour out spirit = Acts 2:  Pentecost.

            pierced = the sword in Jesus’ side  John 19:31-37.

13:1-9   Further prophecies about the kingdom of God.

            v. 1.  On that day…  The day of Pentecost (Acts 2:  )

            v. 7,8  Fulfilled in Mark 14:49

            v. 8  2/3 struck down = those who were not able to remain faithful during the horrible persecutions under Rome.   Would you be among the 2/3 to stay faithful, even when your life was threatened for your faith, or would you be among the 1/3 who remain faithful?  Look at those around you and think about where you are at.

            v. 9  Even if you survive, you will be refined 1 Peter 1:6,7

14:1-21    End Times.  Judgment day.

            Zech 14  =  Revelation 20:11-22:6

            Also, compare Zech 14:2-9 with Matthew 24

            v. 10  Jerusalem will be raised….   = Rev 21:2

            v. 20-21   A picture of heaven.  No Canaanites = no merchants.  All your needs will be provided by God.

Predictive Prophecies in Zechariah


Zechariah 3:8-9  My servant the branch (The Branch of Jesse Isaiah 11:1,10)

Zechariah 6:11-13   A symbolic crowning of the Messiah in the form of the high priest Joshua.     Here is the man whose name is the Branch….      There will be harmony between the two.   Before Jesus, Israel had priests and kings.  Jesus is both.

Zech 9:9  Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  (Matt 21:2-7, Mark 11:4)

Zech 11:7-13   30 pieces of silver  Matt 26:14-15

                        Throw it to the potter   Matt 27:3-10

Zechariah 12:10-14   The one they have pierced  (John 19:31-37)

By the way, Zech 12:11   The weeping that day will be …like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.    This is a reference to the death of Josiah.  609 BC    (2 Kings 23:29-30, 2 Chron 35:24-25)

Josiah was the last righteous king of Judah.   His death parallel to the death of the righteous king of Israel:  Jesus

Zechariah 13:7  (Mark 14:27)

Kingdom Prophecies:

Zechariah 6:15   Those who are far away will come and help build the temple of the Lord.

Zechariah 8:1-7

Zechariah 9:10

Zechariah 13:1-3   On that day….  Pentecost.

Zechariah 14:  the whole thing!!!




Last book in the Bible:  What are God’s last thoughts to us?


Malachi = "my messenger"     Malachi may not be an actual name of a prophet


Date:  between 458-432 BC   Between the two visits by Nehemiah.


The situation:  The temple is rebuilt, but the people are relying in themselves.  They have faith in God, but their faith is in what God will do for them, but they are not being faithful to God.


Having faith in God vs being faithful to God.




Introduction:  God still loves Israel  1:1-5 


I  The Priests have been unfaithful  1:6-2:9


II  The People have been unfaithful 2:10-3:18


III  The Day of the Lord  is coming   4:1-6


Style:   Socratic.   Make a point,   Propose a question from a theoretical person,   Answer the question.


You have robbed God.


How have we robbed you?


In tithes and offerings.




1:1-5   I still love Israel.   Jacob have I loved, Esau I have hated.   Look at how Edom is doing even today.  I have every intention to bless Israel (if you will let me)


I.   The Priests have been unfaithful.    (and don’t forget that we are all priests)


It is time for us to look at our hearts!!!!


A. The priests have not honored me      1:6-14

You have not honored me.   How?


You have given me the leftovers.  Your job, your government, your family, your….   are obviously more important to you than to me?    (v 6-9)    God:  Do you think I am stupid?


Q:  How have we been like this?


Nooooooo.  How can you say that????    They act so innocent, as if God does not know their hearts.


They say, "What a burden!"   (v. 12-13a)


Cursed is the one who makes me an afterthought (v 13b-14)


Q:  How might we be like this?


2:1-4 some very tough words.  I will spread the bloody innards from the sacrifice on your faces.


Why?   Because you have not honored God.


B.  The Priests have not taught the truth.  2:5-9  


You have not taught the truth.  You have compromised/watered down the message.  You have made it too easy to be righteous.

True instruction should be in your mouth (v6)

Your lips should be preserving knowledge.(v7)

But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble (v8)       violated the covenant        shown partiality


II  The People have  been unfaithful


A.  They have been getting divorces.   2:10-16


B.  The people have stopped trusting in God     2:17  Where is God’s justice? 


Q:  How have we been like this?


Also Malachi 3:13-14   It is futile to serve God.  What am I getting out of this?


Q:  How have we been like this?


But God is going to take care of us.  Do not worry!


3:1-5  God is coming in justice to punish the evildoers.


And   Malachi 3:16-18  God will take care of his people who trust in him.


3:6-7  Only return to me      What do you mean we left you?


You have robbed me. (v8)  Who, me?     You have not trusted me to take care of your things.


This is not about money.  It is about trusting that God will take care of us.   You have held back.  In your heart of heart, you did not really believe that God has your back.  That’s why you gave better stuff to your boss than to me.


It is about being faithful.    "Test me in this"


How?      Trust fully in me.


3:14  It is futile to serve God.  What are we getting out of this?


III  The Day of the Lord


Malachi 4:1-6    This passage summarizes everything we have learned in "The Twelve."


v. 1   The day is coming.   For sure.   Will the Day of the Lord be a bad day or a good day for you?   It depends.


a. Every evildoer will be stubble.   Not a root or a branch will be left to them.


b. Those who revere my name…    The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.    You will leap like a calf in its stall.   Like Bella when we open up her can of dog food.


Summary:   Remember my law (v 4)


I will send Elijah before that day.     (Luke 1:17  John comes in the spirit and power of Elijah,  Matt 11:14  He [John] is the Elijah who is to come)

Comments are closed.