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Brief Overview of

The Prophets


Without going into any great detail at this stage, just take a quick look at the two categories in list of prophets below.




Old Testament Links:


*  Bible Intro


*  Pentateuch


*  The History


*  Poetry & Wisdom


*  The Prophets



Bible Contents Page

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Schematic Diagram

Old Testament Story


(A little bit of trivia here: the only reason the prophets were divided into these two categories was that some prophets wrote very long books and they became known as the Major Prophets, and all the others wrote shorter books and became known as the Minor Prophets.)


To make good sense of what the Prophets were saying, they really need to be seen in their historical and cultural setting, and there needs to be an understanding of who they were talking to, and why. 


But generally speaking, the individual books of the prophets tell the story of each one’s life and/or his teaching. 


Some of the prophets’ messages involved the future, and some of their messages were very strange.  But predicting the future was not their major role.  The prophets’ task in life was to proclaim God’s word.  They were God’s mouthpiece’ (so to speak) and sometimes they spoke to individual people, sometimes to a particular tribe or sometimes to a particular nation.


Their main basic job description was to correct the moral and religious life of God’s people.  They attacked idol worship, and delivered stinging rebukes when the rich and powerful were abusing and/or ill-treating the poor and helpless.


The previous category of books called The Poetry and Wisdom, belong to the golden age of God’s people (during the time of King David and King Solomon) when the nation was stable, safe and prosperous.  But the Books of the Prophets belong to the dark ages of God’s people, when the nation had become divided.  Dark because the people were turning away from God and embracing the false religions of their surrounding nations, and many of these religions involved living extremely debase lifestyles.  Therefore God raised up prophets to bring his people back to him.


Needless to say, the prophets’ messages were never popular!  And as a result, the life of a prophet was always tough.  They were badly persecuted even by their own people.  Many received death threats, some were stoned, some imprisoned and some killed with swords.


Unfortunately, the order in which theses prophetic writings have been collected is not historical order.  The list above gives the biblical order, but if you intend studying the prophets in detail at some point, I have designed a schematic diagram showing them in their historical order, and showing how they fit into the history of the divided kingdom and the period of the Exile.  The chart also shows whether they were addressing the northern or southern kingdoms.  Just click the icon at the bottom left of the page. 

NB: When you open it up the prophets are all written in red and the kings are in black.


Well, that is very basically what this section of books is about.  And that has brought us to the end of the Old Testament section of the Bible.  So, congratulations again!  Just quickly, review the Big Picture again by clicking the Contents Page button on the left nearer the top of the page.  And then feel free to explore the next bit – The New Testament.


Click diagram for PDF enlargement



Has Bible copying

remained accurate?


Given the age of the Bible,

how can we be sure?


Click on the scroll



The Dead Sea Scrolls

Click on the parchment



The Prophets

Schematic Diagram

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Quick intro to the

New Testament

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