Skip to comments.Books of The Prophets / Chronological Timeline Chart
Posted on 08/20/2022 10:36:47 AM PDT by OneVike
When you open the Bible to read the books of the Prophets, you will notice they are not listed in chronological order. I have stated time and time again that while I believe every Word in the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit, I do not believe the divisions of chapters nor verses are inspired. Like the division of chapters and verses, I also do not believe the placement of where all the books themselves are located was inspired.
With the exception of Job, the Old Testament books from Genesis through to 2 Chronicles are pretty much placed in their proper chronological order. These are all handed down to us from the Hebrew Bible, or the Old Testament which were originally gathered into three groups: the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. Besides the five books in the Torah, which have always been listed in the same order, the books have been placed in variuous order at different times by different groups of Jewish Religious scribes, depending upon their preference.
In the centuries after the Jews returned from captivity, long before the coming of Jesus, the Old Testament books were translated into Greek under the request of Ptolemy in about 250 B.C.. Ptolemy wanted a copy of the Hebrew Bible for his famous library in Alexandria. By then many Jews were dispersed and living in places outside of Palestine, and so Jewish scribes agreed to tranaslate the Hebrew texts into Greek, which had become the common language of the day. This translation was known as the Septuagint.
The Jewish translators rearranged the placement of the Old Hebrew books in the order they are pretty much at today. Although they recatagorized the thm into new divisions. These categories are the Law, History, Wisdom (or Poetry), and Prophets. Since the Septuagint was the Bible of the early church, this new order was carried over into Christian Bibles as they (slowly) began to come together.
Through the years there have been varying accepted books by different Christian faiths. Without getting into the reasons for, or the choices of books accepted, my main point of this post is to offer my understanding of the correct chronological order the books of the prophets that have been accepted in the Protestant Bible.
As a rule I have no problem where the majority of books have been placed, as far as where each category of books are concerned. However, when it comes to the order of the prophets in their category, I do have a problem. So I repeat, it is not where the category is placed, but rather the order in which the books of the prophets are arranged in their category. I am of the belief that the prophetic books should have been listed in chronological order, because it would then make it easier for the readers to follow the various books by matching them in proper historical order of kings. This will help the reader better understand how some prophecies are related to the various kings of the Northern and Southern kingdoms through the years.
Every prophet of ancient Israel spoke about the events mentioned in the Old Testament long before they actually happened. Israel was continualy confronted with the choice of blessings or curses. Blessings if they followed the LORD and curses if they forsook him. Moses, warned the people not to disobey the LORD or else:
Jesus confirmed all of the events mentioned in the Old Testament
Below is a list of the Books of the prophets with dates, kings and historical events regarding Israel and her prophets.
|Chronological List of Prophets in the Old Testament|
|The Prophets||The Dates||Bible History||Kings and Events|
|Prophets of Israel|
|Jonah||810-790 BC||2 Kings 13-14||Jehoash, Jeroboam II (Amaziah)|
|Joel||790-760 BC||2 Kings 11-15||Uzziah|
|Amos||780-760 BC||2 Kings 14-15||Jeroboam II (Uzziah)|
|Hosea||785-725 BC||2 Kings 15-18||Jeroboam II to Hoshea (Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz)|
|Isaiah||750-695 BC||2 Kings 15-20||Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah|
|Micah||745-725 BC||2 Kings 15||Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah|
|Prophets of Judah|
|Nahum||660-630 BC||2 Kings 15-18||Manasseh, Amon, Josiah|
|Zephaniah||630-620 BC||Isaiah 10||Josiah|
|Habakkuk||620-610 BC||2 Kings 23||Josiah, Jehoahaz|
|Jeremiah||628-588 BC||2 Kings 22-25||Josiah to Zedekiah. The Captivity|
|Prophets of the Captivity|
|Daniel||606-534 BC||2 Kings 23-25||The Captivity|
(Reign of Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus)
|Obadiah||587 BC||2 Kings 25||After Jerusalem's Destruction|
(Reign of Nebuchadnezzar)
|Ezekiel||596-574 BC||2 Kings 24||to the Jews Before and During the Captivity|
(Reign of Nebuchadnezzar)
|Prophets of the Return to Jerusalem|
|Haggai||520-518 BC||Ezra 5-6||Rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem|
(Reign of Darius I)
|Zechariah||520-510 BC||Ezra 5-6||Rebuilding and Dedication of the Temple|
(Reign of Darius I)
|Malachi||420-397 BC||Nehemiah 13||Second Reformation by Nehemiah|
(Reign of Artaxerxes I)
This is very useful; thanks!
One note: there are those who believe that the Obadiah of this list was actually contemporary w/ Elijah/Ahab/Jezebel, rather than w/ the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Opinions vary and there is adequate evidence for either.
The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
and tenements halls
and whispered in the sounds of silence
For the words of the profits were written on the studio wall
And echoes with the sound of salesmen.
Say, you could be the next Rush!
I’m too busy with an annoying rash and neck thrush.
Yeah, I hate that. Blogging in sentence fragments helps.
You cite reasons for your opinion. Did you consider reasons why God might have wanted the canon this way?
That is not merely shorthand for claiming that "God wouldn't have allowed the current sequence if He didn't want it". Rather, it is a challenge to attempt to understand whether this sequence is, in fact, God's will--and, if so, why.
I'll try that, I hear it's popular.
Thank you for this post.
After I read at least one and often several commentary volumes on each book of the Bible I found that I felt more ignorant than before. Knowing that I did not know a lot and respecting the scholars of faiths who work to reveal the wonders of it all to us.
One line found in several Jewish commentaries is: The Bible is not a history book and is not chronological.
Similar statements are made in several of the Bible handbooks I have from Christian publishers.
Yes while I think there is merit to my desired sequence, I readily admit, silently, Thy will be fine not my will.
I offer conjecture, however I have argued pretty successfully why I doubt the placement of chapters and verses are not anointed though.
The commentary I wrote about why we are not commanded to honor the Sabbath has been lauded by many theologians I have shared it with.
That he is said, I do not hold fast to my believe on the placement of the books of Scriptures so hard.
Yet I offered this chart more fir those who may desire a tool to understand how to fit them in the historical record as they read the Bible, or fir studies.
I usually read the Bible at least once and sometimes twice a year
I always read it every morning when I first wake up
I offer this, because I have found I discover more answers to my questions by repeatedly reading and doing my own studies more than I do from various theological books I own
The Bible is certainly a treasure box if we work to unlock its mysteries. Never gets exhausted no matter how many times we read it.
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