The Hebrew canon is divided into three great groups, a division recognized by the Lord himself, The Law, the Prophets and the Psalms. The Prophets include some historical books, for Old Testament history often is a foreshadowing of that which is yet to come.
Let us first of all set out before the eye the books of the Prophets according to the Hebrew canon.
|The Lord of all the earth (Josh. 3:11,13)|
|Failure to posess the land (Josh. 18:3)|
|The Canaanite still in posession (Josh. 15:63|
|B||Judges||Failure. Thirteen Judges|
|Israel, forsaking and returning. No king (Jud. 21:25)|
|C||Samuel||Saul, type of Antichrist. David, type of Christ|
|Israel want to be like the nations|
|D||Kings||Decline and Fall. Removal from land.|
|LAST PAGE of Hebrew O.T. “No Remedy” (2 Chron. 36:16)|
|FIRST PAGE of Greek N.T. “Jesus… He shall save” (Matt. 1:21)|
|D||Isaiah||Israel’s only hope of restoration. The Messiah.|
|C||Jeremiah||Nebuchandezzar, type of Antichristian Beast.|
|Israel in captivity among the nations|
|B||Ezekiel||Glory and the Cherubim|
|The glory forsaking and returning “The Lord is there”|
|A||Minor Prophets||Joshua, the high priest (Zech. 3)|
|The Lord of all the earth (Zech. 6:5)|
|Return to the land from captivity|
|No more the Canaanite (Zech. 14:21)|
It will be seen that if we follow the Hebrew canon, we shall include Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, but exclude Daniel. The Hebrew conception of a Prophet was wider than simple predictions, but it is the predictive aspect of prophecy that interests us at the moment. We shall therefore, omit the historical books mentioned above, but include Daniel. This will give us the following prophecies, which come under the heading “Predictive”: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Twelve Minor Prophets and Daniel. (To this collection must be added a number of Psalms which are predictive in character.) This necessarily makes a formidible list of works that call for examination, and the words, “The burden of prophecy” recur to the mind as one contemplates the task.
The four prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel are dated.
- Isaiah. Isa 1:1 KJV ” The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. “
- Jeremiah. Jer. 1:1-2 KJV “1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: 2 To whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.”
- Ezekiel. Ezek. 1:2-3 KJV “2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, 3 The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.”
- Daniel. Dan 1:1; 2:1,36 KJV “1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.” “2:1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.” “36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.”
It will be seen that Ezekiel should come after Daniel if the order of appearance is to be strictly observed.
Of the twelve Minor Prophets, six are dated and six are undated. The six that are dated are Hosea, Amos, Micah, Zephaniah, Haggai and Zechariah. The six undated are Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk and Malachi.