Introduction: The Minor Prophets

More often than not, we tend to forget the stories and prophecies shared by the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament. Yet, their words played a major role in God’s plan for His people, giving glimpses of the redemption and restoration fully realized through our perfect Prophet Jesus. In The Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, author Tremper Longman III takes a closer look into the context and messages shared by each minor prophet. Even thousands of years later, they continue to shape our understanding of God, faith, and the hope Jesus offers each and every day.

The minor prophets are minor because they are short. It’s easy to read them straight through before going back and then reading them a chapter or a passage at a time. These books were written in a time and a place that can feel separate and distinct from our own world and concerns. But they are part of the story of every follower of Jesus. Reading them will help us better understand God and our place in his family. Once we have a sense of the message of the book for the time in which they wrote, we can consider the prophecies’ ultimate fulfillment in Christ, and understand them and their message in the full light of him.

Our goal in this booklet is to provide you guidelines for reading the Minor Prophets and to give you a brief glimpse of the messages that they delivered to their contemporaries and to us. These prophecies have spoken to many generations down to ours and they will retain their importance to people of faith in the future.

Keep reading these important books time and again and you will learn more and more about God, yourself, and our world. As you do read, it’s helpful to keep some things in your mind. Let’s explore some things that may help us read these books better.