The Canon of the Hebrew Bible Torah Prophets Writings Former Latter Genesis Joshua Isaiah Psalms Exodus Judges Jeremiah Job Leviticus Samuel Ezekiel Proverbs Numbers Kings The Twelve RuthDeuteronomy Song of Songs Ecclesiastes Lamentations Esther Daniel Ezra-Nehemiah Chronicles
What’s the Torah about?✦ God desires to bless humanity.✦ God covenants with His people.✦ The God of Sinai (Yahweh) is the God of the Patriarchs and the God of Creation.✦ Salvation was always by grace through faith.✦ Law seems to be a barrier to faith.✦ God’s people need the new heart that He will provide.✦ The way God worked in the past is the way He will work “in the last days.”
Gen 49 Num 24 Deut 31 Jacob Balaam Moses “assemble “come” “assemble to me” yourselves” “I will advise “that I may“I may tell you” you” speak” “what will “what this people “you will” happen” will do”“in the last days” “in the last days” “in the last days”
What are the Former Prophets about?✦ Blessing and security comes to God’s people under the leadership of God’s righteous king.✦ Israel & Judah were exiled because they ✦ failed to believe ✦ failed to worship Yahweh exclusively (idolatry) ✦ failed to listen to God’s written torah or to the words spoken by the prophets✦ The law did not provide lasting change in the hearts of the people or the kings.✦ THE son of David had not yet come.
Relationship to the Former Prophets 10 Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knewface to face, 11 for all the signs and wonderswhich the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and all his land, 12 and for all the mighty power and for all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel. Deut 34:10–12
Relationship to the Former Prophets 15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. 16 This is according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD myGod, let me not see this great ﬁre anymore, or I will die.’ 17 The LORD said to me, ‘They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you,and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.’ Deut 18:15–18
Designations for the Prophets1. Prophet (nabhi)2. Man of God3. Seer
Reformation rather than InnovationSent to a disobedient people, they were like modern-day revivalists, calling the people back to the faith of the fathers, the faith ofthe covenant promises to Abraham, Moses, and David. Thus they were not so much innovators as revivalists.
Preservation of Tradition, seen in…✦ prophetic cry for Israel to return to Yahweh✦ literary dependence of later prophets upon Torah and earlier prophets
Interpretation1. A Textual Approach2. Intertextuality3. Biblical Realism
3 Ways to Read the Bible:1. Mythological Approach2. Naturalism3. Biblical Realism
Biblical Realism & Interpretation of Prophecy When applied to biblical prophecy, biblical realism believes that future events are also described in the Bible just as they will happen. That is, both future events and past events are recounted realistically— though one must remain sensitive to the various types of literature used by the biblical authors to depict future events.
Interpretation1. A Textual Approach2. Intertextuality3. Biblical Realism4. Theology (see “Importance” below)5. Apocalyptic Literature
Apocalyptic Literature✦ Deﬁnition – a highly symbolic form of historical narrative✦ A picture of what the future holds, yes.✦ Speciﬁc details of its fulﬁllment, no.
Hope & Promise: Why the church needs the prophets1. They continue to be God-breathed Scripture.2. They speak of the Messiah or the messianic promise.3. They reﬂect a New Covenant theology and hope.4. They demand and impart godly wisdom.5. They present a balanced picture of judgment and grace.6. They are “big picture” books, so keep the “big picture” in the forefront.
Big Picture Book✦ God’s sovereignty over the nations.✦ God’s covenant with His people.✦ God’s judgment of sinners.✦ God’s plan of redemption.✦ God’s work in the past as a pattern for God’s work now and in the future.