Time Travel with the Prophets
Encouraging people to read through the Bible in order works great for much of the Old Testament. My plan is to make sure that readers get the larger story of the Bible. But then when it comes to the prophets, especially the minor prophets (the short books), reading in order does not help at all. In fact, we seem to time travel through the prophets and really need to read closely or read a good commentary to even figure out when the prophet is speaking! Yet in many ways even though we jump from era to era, many of the great lessons of the prophets are timeless and still apply to us today!
For those who enjoy time travel, here is a quick reference I found online showing approximately when the prophets preached. As you can see, we read Daniel (speaking during the Babylonian captivity) before we read Joel and Amos both of whom preached before even the northern kingdom fell. No wonder we get confused when we read the Bible!! Hope this helps you figure out who the prophets are speaking to and when!! Try not to get too confused as we jump from time to time!!!
Jonah – 820-804 BC – spoke to the Assyrians
Amos – 810-785 BC – spoke to the northern kingdom
Joel – 800 BC – spoke to the southern kingdom
Hosea – 785-725 BC – spoke to the northern kingdom
Micah – 749-722 BC – spoke to the northern kingdom
Isaiah – 740-681 BC – spoke to the southern kingdom
722 BC – Northern Kingdom of Israel destroyed by the Assyrians
Nahum – 661-612 BC – spoke to the Assyrians
Zephaniah – 630 BC – spoke to the southern kingdom
Habakkuk – 610-599 BC – spoke to the southern kingdom
Jeremiah – 625-582 BC – spoke to the southern kingdom
605, 597, 586 BC – Jerusalem is attacked in three waves and ultimately destroyed by the Babylonians
Daniel – 605-534 BC – spoke to captives in Babylon
Ezekiel – 592-570 BC – spoke to captives in Israel
Obadiah – 585 BC – spoke to the Edomites
539 BC – Babylon is conquered by Cyrus, Jews allowed to return to Jerusalem
Haggai – 520 BC – spoke to the returned exiles of Babylon
Zechariah 518 BC – spoke to the returned exiles of Babylon
Malachi – 430-400 BC – spoke to the returned exiles of Babylon
Thanks to http://minorprophetsbiblestudy.com/timeline-prophets/ for this great time line!!