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Introduction to the Book of the Twelve

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... of God, the place of his dwelling (Temple / Mt. Zion), the nations as enemies, ... chosen to dwell (see also Joel 1.9; 1.14; 2.27; 3.16-17; 3.21; Amos 1.2; Oba 21; ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to the Book of the Twelve


1
Introduction to the Book of the Twelve
  • APTS-BIB509

2
1. Name
  • "In our editions of the Hebrew Bible, the book of
    Ezekiel is followed by the book of the Twelve
    Prophets (tw/n dw,deka profhtw/n, Sir. 49.10
    called rf"" ynEv. by the Rabbins . . . who have
    been called from time immemorial the smaller
    prophets (qetannim, minores) on account of the
    smaller bulk of such of their prophecies as have
    come down to us in a written from, when
    contrasted with the writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah,
    and Ezekiel." Keil Delitzsch

3
4. Name
  • "In his "Praise of the Fathers" Jesus ben Sira,
    after naming Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Job,
    mentions in 19.10, the Twelve Prophets (rf ynv
    yaybnh), and expresses the wish that their bones
    may revive again out of their place (grave).
    There is clearly presupposed here the gathering
    together of the small books Hosea to Malachi into
    one book, just as in the Jewish canon these books
    are actually counted as one book." Eissfeldt

4
4. Name
  • "The term "minor prophet" has been applied (the
    first recorded instance being Augustine City of
    God, 18.29) to the series of shorter books from
    Hosea to Malachi, of which the book of Zechariah
    once again comprises more than one writing."
    Sellin Fohrer

5
2. Manuscripts
  • (1) Hebrew and Greek manuscript evidence for the
    Minor Prophets exits dating from the second
    century BCE to the end of the first century CE.
  • (2) This evidence includes seven Hebrew
    manuscripts from Qumran, Cave 4, all of which
    predate the turn of the era.
  • (3) The manuscript evidence allows us to trace
    variations in the Hebrew and Greek texts of the
    Minor Prophets as well as the order of the
    material in the collection and the division into
    sense units.
  • (4) The order of the compositions or books, with
    one exception, conforms to the order later found
    in the Masoretes tradition. The one exception,
    4QXIIa (ca. 150 BCE) may preserve the unusual
    order Malachi-Jonah.

6
2. Manuscripts
  • (5) The manuscript evidence seems to indicate
    that (a) The system of division of material used
    in the Masoretic tradition is closely paralleled
    as early as the first half of the first century
    BCE (R). (b) The Hebrew manuscripts from Qumran
    show variation from the system used in the
    Masoretic tradition. Although the evidence is
    fragmentary, in general, fewer divisions are
    indicated. (c) Mur 88 from the second half of the
    first century CE conforms closely to the
    Masoretic system. This may indicate
    standardization of the consonantal text and its
    'shape.'" Fuller, Russell, "The Form and
    Formation of the Book of the Twelve The Evidence
    from the Judean Desert," 95-96

7
3. The Ordering of the Twelve
  • "An orthodox understanding of canonization holds
    that the content of the biblical canon are a
    matter of divine inspiration but that the
    specific order of the contents may have been left
    in large measure to human agency. From the human
    point of view, five factors - authorship, date
    of composition, size, style, and subject matter
    (including both vocabulary and themes) - are
    factors that may have influenced canonical order
    in the Old Testament." Stuart

8
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10
3. The Ordering of the Twelve
  • "In MT the chronological criterion has clearly
    been determinative firstly those books which
    actually or supposedly belonged to the period of
    the supremacy of the Assyrian power, the second
    half of the eighth century - Hosea, Joel, Amos,
    Obadiah, Jonah and Micah - of which Joel, Obadiah
    and, so far as the composition of the book is
    concerned, Jonah are not really of that period
    secondly, those which belong to the time of the
    downfall of Assyrian world-power, the last third
    of the seventh century - Nahum, Habakkuk and
    Zephaniah finally those which may be traced to
    the beginning of the Persian period, the end of
    the sixth and the first half of the fifth century
    - Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi." Eissfeldt

11
3. The Ordering of the Twelve
  • In the Talmud, the arrangement of the books
    within this collection is explicitly said to be
    chronological, in that Hos 1.2 is understood to
    mean that God spoke first to Hosea. The sequence
    is orientated on the dates at the beginning of
    the books of Hosea, Amos, Micah, Zephaniah,
    Haggai and Zechariah, and in the case of Jonah on
    the mention of him in 2 Kgs 14.25. The order of
    the other books show how they were understood at
    the time when the Book of the Twelve Prophets was
    formed. This gives a chronological grouping the
    first six prophets are assigned to the eighth
    century, the next three to the seventh century
    and the last three to the post-exilic period.
    Rendtorff

12
3. The Ordering of the Twelve
  • "The plan adopted in arranging the earliest of
    the minor prophets seems rather to have been the
    following Hosea was placed at the head of the
    collection, as being the most comprehensive, just
    as, in the collection of Pauline epistles, that
    to the Romans is put first on account of its
    wider scope. Then followed the prophecies which
    had no date given in the heading and these were
    arranged, that a prophet of the kingdom of Israel
    was always paired with one of the kingdom of
    Judah, viz. Joel with Hosea, Obadiah with Amos,
    Jonah with Micah, and Nahum the Galilean with
    Habakkuk the Levite. Other considerations also
    operated in individual cases. Thus Joel was
    paired with Hosea, on account

13
3. The Ordering of the Twelve
  • of its greater scope Obadiah with Amos, as
    being the smaller, or rather smallest book and
    Joel was placed before Amos, because the latter
    commences his book with a quotation from Joel
    3.16.... Another circumstance may also have led
    to the pairing of Obadiah with Amos, viz. that
    Obadiah's prophecy might be regarded as an
    expansion of Amos 9.12.... Obadiah was followed
    by Jonah before Micah, not only because Jonah had
    lived in he reign of Jeroboam II, the
    contemporary of Amaziah and Uzziah, whereas Micah
    did not appear till the reign of Jotham, but
    possibly also because Obadiah begins with the
    words, "We have heard tidings from Judah, and a
    messenger is sent among the nations" and

14
4.3 The Ordering of the Twelve
  • Jonah was such a messenger. In the case of the
    prophets of the second and third periods, the
    chronological order was well known to the
    collectors, and consequently this alone
    determined the arrangement. it is true that, in
    the headings to Nahum and Habakkuk, the date of
    composition is not mentioned but it was evident
    from the nature of their prophecies, that Nahum,
    who predicted the destruction of Nineveh, the
    capital of the Assyrian empire, must have lived,
    or at any rate have labored, before Habakkuk, who
    prophesied concerning the Chaldean invasion...."
    Keil Delitzsch, ibid., 3-4

15
3. The Ordering of the Twelve
16
3. The Ordering of the Twelve
  • "The alternative LXX ordering for the first six
    suggests strongly that they circulated
    independently as a collection prior to being
    grouped with the rest of the Twelve." Stuart,
    ibid., xliv
  • Length of book. "It appears that this order has
    been determined for the first five - Hosea, Amos,
    Micah, Joel and Obadiah - by their length, while
    the place of Jonah at the end of this group of
    six, in spite of its exceeding the book of
    Obadiah in length, is probably designed to take
    account of the view that this book does not, like
    the others, provide the words of God and of the
    prophet, but only a narrative concerning a
    prophet." Eissfeldt, ibid., 383

17
4. Redactional Theology of the Twelve
  • A. First Edition
  • 1. Hosea, Amos, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah and
    Obadiah.
  • 2. "The cultural setting for such a production
    would have been the preaching and liturgical
    prayers as developed in the assemblies of the
    Jews in exile. The mood in such gatherings varied
    from resigned acceptance and regret in the early
    years to hope and determination, even optimism,
    as time went by." Collins, The Mantle of Elijah
    The Redaction Criticism of the Prophetical Books,
    62
  • 3. Dated between 587-538 BCE

18
4. Redactional Theology of the Twelve
  • B. Second Edition
  • 1. Haggai, Zechariah (1-8) Zephaniah expansion
    (3.9-20), Jonah and possibly Joel
  • 2. "It was especially aimed at maintaining
    enthusiasm for the great undertaking, which was
    apparently in danger of being bogged down in
    frustration and apathy. The setting for these
    developments was presumably that of the prayers
    and reflections associated with religious
    gatherings, but by this time these were located
    firmly around the temple construction in
    Jerusalem." Collins, 63
  • 3. Dated Between 520-515 BCE

19
4. Redactional Theology of the Twelve
  • C. Third Edition
  • 1. Joel (if not already included), Habakkuk
    (which had its own redactional history), Malachi
    and some "eschatological additions to other
    sections especially Zephaniah.
  • 2. "Reading between the lines of the various
    biblical texts relevant to this period
    (especially Malachi), we get the impression that
    enthusiasm for the religious aspects of the
    restored national life had become the faith of a
    minority who increasingly thought of themselves
    as a beleaguered band of the righteous in the
    midst of a nation of unfaithful sinners. Hope in

20
4. Redactional Theology of the Twelve
  • the future became combined with pessimism about
    the present and produced a king of
    "eschatological" thinking, which affected The
    Twelve.... The result was further revision of the
    book that was more agonizingly introspective in
    its questions, more wildly optimistic in it
    visions of the future and more bitterly resentful
    of the enemy within and without." Collins, 64
  • 3. Dated middle of the fifth century BCE

21
4. Redactional Theology of the Twelve
  • D. Final Edition
  • Zechariah 9-14 and the appendices to Malachi
    (Mal. 4.4-6).

22
5. Theology of the Redacted Twelve
  • "The principal themes of the whole book are those
    of covenant-election, fidelity and infidelity,
    fertility and infertility, turning and returning,
    the justice of God and the mercy of God, the
    kingship of God, the place of his dwelling
    (Temple / Mt. Zion), the nations as enemies, the
    nations as allies. For the post-exilic audience
    the message of The Twelve was primarily
    theological. At the same time the book also
    embodies a strongly political and ideological
    element in its vision of the future the ideal
    Israel is to be the restored Judah, a
    religious-political state in which all citizens
    will recognize the authority of the Lord, live
    according to his Law and give priority to the
    right and acceptable

23
5. Theology of the Redacted Twelve
  • worship of the Lord in his temple in the holy
    city free from all defilement. The book is
    ambiguous in its international views, especially
    as to whether or not the nations will ever attain
    sufficient freedom from defilement to permit them
    to participate in this religious-political
    system, but any role envisioned for the nations
    in The Twelve is definitely subordinate."
  • Terence Collins. The Scroll of the Twelve,
    The Mantel of Elijah The Redaction Criticism of
    the Prophetical Books, Sheffield Academic Press,
    1993, 65

24
5. Theology of the Redacted Twelve
  • It appears that the books are ordered as they
    are so that the main points of the prophetic
    message will be highlighted. In fact, the Twelve
    are structured in a way that demonstrates that
    the sin of Israel and the nations, the punishment
    of the sin, and the restoration of both from that
    sin. These three emphases represent the heart of
    the content of the prophetic genre. The Twelves
    external structure therefore reflects its
    literary type.
  • Paul R. House. The Unity of The Twelve, 68

25
6. Principles of Organization Hosea
  • A. Hos 1-3
  • 1. Chapters 1-3 were fashioned into a unit,
    possibly at an early stage in the transmission of
    the poetry, and were positioned as an opening to
    the Hosea collection. In this way they function
    as an introduction to Hosea and provided a
    guideline for its interpretation. However, the
    placing of Hosea at the beginning of a larger
    book gave these chapters a new role. They now
    function as an introduction to The Twelve, which
    presents a great panoramic survey of Old
    Testament prophecy up to its official finishing
    line shortly before the time of Ezra. Collins,
    66

26
6. Principles of Organization Hosea
  • 2. "The story in Hos 1-3 is one of election,
    infidelity and rejection but also of restoration
    after punishment. As such it is a summary of the
    message of The Twelve, not just the Hosean part
    of it." Collins, 66
  • 3. Collins argues that the Hosea marriage story
    was intended to symbolize the northern kingdom,
    but via 1.7 and 1.10-11 it included both Judah
    and Israel. The paralleling of marital
    relationships and religious covenant
    relationships envelopes the Twelve The
    interesting thing is that we find an echo of this
    same imagery at the end of the book in Mal
    2.13-16, which calls for faithfulness to the
    covenant between you and the wife of your
    youth. Collins, 66

27
6. Principles of Organization Hosea
  • B. Hos 4-14
  • 1. Hos 9.10-14.8 are about turning and returning,
    a theme that was first developed in Hos 2.15-3.5.
    Sinful Israel called to repentance and offered
    forgiveness and healing by a loving and merciful
    God (Hos 11.8-9 2.14-15). Collins,67
  • 2. Promise of restoration with rich vegetation
    14.5 after destruction of vegetation in 2.9-13.
  • 3. Hos 14.1-3 uses liturgical language

28
6. Principles of Organization Joel
  • B. Joel
  • 1. Joel continues the promise of blessing in
    vegetation terms. Locust, etc. destroy it (Joel
    1.8, 13 2.15-16) and this is lamented
    liturgically in 2.17. This destruction of
    vegetation of the reversal of the end of Hosea
    and a return to Hos 2 4.1-3. Note the words
    grain, the wine and the oil (Joel 1.10, Hos
    2.22).
  • 2. Animals are dismayed in both Hos 4.3 and Joel
    1.18.

29
6. Principles of Organization Joel
  • 3. The juxtaposition produces some interesting
    effects, not the least of which is the way the
    older, pre-exilic material of Hosea is redirected
    towards a post-exilic setting through its
    association with the later material of Joel. In
    this new setting considerable emphasis is placed
    on the Jerusalem temple as the location for
    liturgical repentance and penance, so that the
    poetry of Hosea is effectively absorbed into the
    cultic activity of the restored temple.
    Collins, 68

30
6. Principles of Organization Joel
  • 4. Liturgical thrust of Joel the prayers, Joel
    2.17 the answer, Joel 2.18-19ff. (note Hos
    2.21-23).
  • 4.1 Happy ending of Joel is like Hosea barren
    becomes fruitful, Joel 3.18, but the Temple is
    the source of the blessing!! (1.13-16 2.15-17
    2.23 2.32 3.16-21)
  • 4.2 The temple is the place where the Lord
    dwells, the center of his reassuring presence
    among his people, the holy mountain from which
    life-giving waters flow. Collins, 68

31
6. Principles of Organization Joel
  • 4.3 The connection of Joel 3.16 with Amos 1.2 is
    based on the Zion / Jerusalem roaring of the
    LORD. Also Joel 3.18a and Amos 9.13c the
    mountains shall drip sweet honey.

32
6. Principles of Organization Amos
  • A. Connections with Joel
  • 1. . . . the dire threats against Israel which
    dominate Amos are softened when read in the light
    of the more optimistic ending of Joel. This,
    however, is a feature which is peculiar to the
    version of The Twelve as found in the Hebrew
    Bible. The idea that it is the result of
    deliberate choice on somebodys part is supported
    by the fact that Greek version does not follow
    the same order but instead places Joel after
    Micah. Collins, 68

33
6. Principles of Organization Amos
  • 2. The theme of Israel and the other nations is a
    connection to Joel 3.1-3. However note The
    significant difference between the two passages
    lies in the fact that, for Amos, the judgment on
    the nations is a prelude to the condemnation of
    Judah and Israel, 2.4ff, whereas in Joel 3 the
    condemnation of the nations is to be a prelude to
    the restoration of the fortunes of Judah and
    Israel. The condemnation of Israel in Amos has
    once again been pre-empted by the more hopeful
    vision of Joel, so that in literary terms the
    force of the blow is softened. Everything is seen
    from a post-exilic viewpoint, and the broader
    context of The Twelve envisages the state of
    affairs after the punishments predicted in Amos
    have been inflicted on Israel and Judah.
    Collins, 69

34
6. Principles of Organization Amos
  • B. Covenant Election The theme of Israel among
    the nations is inevitably linked with the idea of
    covenant election. In Amos this idea is given a
    dark interpretation as something that will count
    to Israels disadvantage when it is judged
    alongside the rest (Amos 3.1 3.9-10 6.2 9.7).
    However, the rejection of Israel which is the
    main burden in Amos is counteracted by the
    forgiveness and restoration which precedes it in
    Joel and even before that in Hosea (esp. Hos
    11.1-4). Collins, 69
  • C. Amos happy ending, 9.8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-15.

35
6. Principles of Organization Obadiah
  • A. Connection with Amos Obadiah focuses on Edom
    which is already mentioned in Amos 1.11-12, and
    especially in the closing 9.12 (note Joel 3.19).
    Edoms guilt is put in the context of strangers
    and foreigners (Oba 11, 15).
  • B. Day of Lord The theme of the day of the Lord
    begins, as far as The Twelve is concerned, in
    Joel 2.1-2, and it is continued in Amos 5.18
    where it is used to convey the idea of a day of
    judgment for Israel. The threat against Israel in
    Amos is counteracted in Obadiah 15ff. which
    anticipates

36
6. Principles of Organization Obadiah
  • Gods judgment of the nations and the exaltation
    of Jerusalem to a position of domination not only
    over Edom but also over Philistia, Samaria,
    Gilead, Phoenicia and the Negeb. The conclusion
    of Obadiah thus parallels that of Joel. In
    particular, we can point to the way in which the
    hope of Jerusalem expressed in Oba 21, saviors
    shall go up to Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau and
    the kingdom shall be the Lords matches that of
    Joel 3.20-21.... Collins, 70

37
6. Principles of Organization Jonah
  • A. Connections
  • 1. Jonah continues to develop the theme of
    Israel and the nations Collins, 70-71 Amos 9.7
    and Jon 4.11 argues for the other nations being
    recipients of Gods care and mercy.
  • 2. Its contribution comes both from the ideas it
    embodies and from its position after Obadiah to
    which it acts as a counterfoil in its attitude to
    the nations. Collins, 72

38
6. Principles of Organization Jonah
  • B. The Jonah story emphasizes the themes of
    repentance and forgiveness. It is intended to
    illustrate, among other things, the theological
    view that the Lord is a gracious God and
    merciful, slow to anger and abounding in
    steadfast love who repents of evil (Jon 4.2 cf.
    Exod 34.6 Num 14.18), and that consequently the
    exile could not be attributed to any
    unjustifiable impatience on Gods part. Thus the
    Jonah story makes an important contribution to
    the theodicy which is a major element in The
    Twelve. Collins, 71

39
6. Principles of Organization Jonah
  • C. The prayer in Jon 2 influences the message of
    The Twelve. Also that the power of God is not
    limited geographically. This universalism is a
    major element in the overall message of The
    Twelve. Collins,71
  • 1. Fasting and prayer in Jon 3.5 gt Joel 1.13-14
    2.15-16 even animals (Jon 3.7-8 Joel 1.20).
  • 2. Turn from evil Jon 3.10 Hos 11.8-9 Jon 4.11.

40
6. Principles of Organization Micah
  • A. In Micah the pendulum swings back to a
    preoccupation with the sins of Israel, but now
    the condemnations are specifically directed
    against Jerusalem and the sins of its
    inhabitants, especially the corrupt and
    oppressive rulers. Thus Micah marks a sharpening
    of the focus in the progression of The Twelve
    towards the explicit concern with Jerusalem and
    its temple which is one of the main features of
    the book. Collins, 72

41
6. Principles of Organization Micah
  • 1. Mic 3.12 a prediction of the destruction of
    the Temple
  • 2. Mic 4.1-4 (Isa 2.2-4) a prediction of its
    restoration.
  • 3. Mic 1.2 . . . from his holy Temple.

42
6. Principles of Organization Micah
  • B. Divine Theophany Mic 1.3ff. first in Amos
    4.13 5.8-9 9.5. Micahs move from threatening
    presence to consolation in Mic 7.14-20 with the
    nations seeing and being ashamed (Mic 7.15-16).
  • C. Mic 7.18-20 ends positively like Jon 4.11 with
    echoes of Gods compassion.

43
6. Principles of Organization Nahum
  • A. Connection . . . Nahum . . . returns to the
    menacing aspect of the expected theophany and a
    stress on the Lords jealousy, anger and
    vengeance (Nah 1.2-5). Collins, 73
  • B. Theophany
  • 1. Becomes apocalyptic in terms of dealing with
    the destruction of evil itself and therefore
    brings a happy future for Judah and its temple.
    (Nah 1.15)
  • 2. The triumphalism of Nahum, i.e., the
    destruction of the wicked and the triumph of good
    over evil is brought into question in Habakkuk.

44
6. Principles of Organization Nahum
  • C. Nahum deals primarily with the theme of
    Israel and the nations epitomized in Nineveh,
    which is pictured in a way very different from
    the presentation of the repentant and pardoned
    Nineveh seen in Jonah.... The name Nineveh has
    been turned into a symbol of all that is opposed
    to God, the Lords enemies who in their arrogance
    have raised themselves up against the Lord and
    his chosen ones. This is made explicit in the
    opening lines, The Lord takes vengeance on his
    adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies (Nah
    1.2). Thus Nahum (along with Obadiah, Jonah,
    Zephaniah 1.17-2.15, Joel 2.30-3.21, Amos
    1.3-2.3) functions in the same way as the Oracles
    on the Foreign Nations in Isaiah and the other
    prophetical books. Collins, 73

45
6. Principles of Organization Habakkuk
  • A. Connections
  • 1. Hab 1.2-4, 12-13 contrasts with the
    triumphalism of Nahum.
  • 2. It is the thematic relationships as much as
    any historical considerations that have
    determined the positioning of Habakkuk in between
    Nahum and Zephaniah. At this point theodicy comes
    to the fore as a major concern in The Twelve, and
    in the question How long? a common chord is
    struck with some of the psalms of complaint (for
    example, Ps 13.1-2), and with the problem of
    Gods silence in Job. Collins, 74

46
6. Principles of Organization Habakkuk
  • B. Theodicy
  • 1. The question of the delay in the fulfillment
    of predictions is a central theological problem
    for biblical prophecy.... The answer which
    Habakkuk supplies to the question of the delay in
    fulfillment is that the righteous must persevere
    in patience, sure in the faith that the vision of
    the triumph of good over evil will be realized in
    Gods own time... (Hab 2.3). Collins, 74-75
    i.e., faith in God is the answer.

47
6. Principles of Organization Habakkuk
  • 2. N.B. the use of the Theophany in Hab 3.3-16
    Nah 1.3ff.
  • 3. The new element lies in the insistence that
    faith can and should be maintained even in the
    face of a complete lack of any fulfillment of the
    material prosperity (the grain, the wine, the
    oil) traditionally associated with the promises
    about future salvation. Collins, 75 N.B. Hab
    3.17.
  • 4. In the arrangement of The Twelve the patience
    advocated in Habakkuk is given its reward in the
    eschatological judgment scenes of the following
    Zephaniah collection. Collins, 76

48
6. Principles of Organization Zephaniah
  • A. Connection
  • 1. Zephaniah tales the judgment of Judahs sins
    and gives it a universalistic spin. Therefore
    judgment is a cosmic judgment like Gen 6.5-8
    (Zeph 1.4-13).
  • 2. Zeph 2-3, an Oracles against the Foreign
    Nations will surprisingly include Jerusalem as
    the oppressing city (see Mic 4.11-12 Joel
    3.11-14).
  • B. Happy ending Zeph 3.9-13 looks forward to
    signs of a new life and the song of rejoicing
    (Zeph 3.14-20) tops it off.

49
6. Principles of Organization Zephaniah
  • C. Temple They Zeph 3.9-20 give the fullest
    expression to a theme that has been regularly
    present throughout preceding sections, namely,
    the central role of the temple in the vision of
    the future. The importance of Jerusalem lies in
    the fact that it is the location of the temple,
    the house in which the Lord has chosen to dwell
    (see also Joel 1.9 1.14 2.27 3.16-17 3.21
    Amos 1.2 Oba 21 Mic 4.2 4.7 Hab 2.20 Zeph
    3.5). The glorious future predicted for Mount
    Zion as the center of life for all nations is
    only possible because it can be said of
    Jerusalem, The Lord, your God, is in your midst
    (Zeph 3.17). The central importance of the temple
    is

50
6. Principles of Organization Zephaniah
  • thus further established as a keynote in the
    composition of The Twelve, and the ground is
    prepared for the three closing sections (Haggai,
    Zechariah, Malachi), which are primarily
    concerned with the rebuilding of the temple and
    the proper conduct of those chosen to act as its
    custodians. Collins, 77

51
6. Principles of Organization Haggai
  • Temple
  • 1. The main thrust of the Haggai collection lies
    in the assertion that the key to the future of
    Jerusalem is to be found in it status as the
    location of the Temple.... In a nutshell no
    temple, no people, no future. Thus the starting
    points for Haggai are the twin facts that the
    material blessings of the grain, the wine and the
    oil are lacking (Hag 1.11) and that the temple
    has not yet been restored. Collins, 77

52
6. Principles of Organization Haggai
  • 2. When the temple is rebuilt then... (Hag
    2.6-7). Only after the Temples rebuilding will
    the issue of the establishment of a Zerubbabel as
    messiah come into play (Hag 2.20-23).

53
6. Principles of Organization Zechariah
  • A. Temple
  • 1. Rebuilding Zech 1.16 2.11 4.9
  • 2. The point of view adopted in Zechariah
    maintains that the exile will not be truly over
    until the temple has been rebuilt. Collins, 80
  • 3. Zech 8 gives the same message in sermon style.

54
6. Principles of Organization Zechariah
  • B. Starting to Summarize and Conclude The Twelve
  • 1. Zech 1.2-6 history of prophecy.... The
    composite picture presents the prophets as
    servants of God (Amos 3.7), sent by him (Hos
    12.10 Amos 2.11) with a mission to prophesy
    (Amos 5.15), to rebuke (Hos 6.5 Jon 1.2 Mic
    3.8), to predict disaster (Jon 3.4), and to guide
    and preserve the people (Hos 12.13). Like Moses
    they are filled with the power of Gods spirit
    (Mic 3.8), but must face mockery and hatred (Hos
    9.7-8) and peoples attempts to silence them
    (Amos 2.12 7.13 Mic 2.6). When they are well

55
6. Principles of Organization Zechariah
  • received and obeyed as Gods messengers (Hag
    1.12) the result will be prosperity and all kinds
    of blessings in a new world in which all will be
    filled with the power to prophesy (Joel 2.28).
    This composite picture has much in common with
    the Deuteronomist understanding of prophets and
    their role in the history of Israel. Collins,
    78

56
6. Principles of Organization Zechariah
  • 1. Zech 1.7-17 gives a cosmic view of Gods
    governance of the world. Zech 6 has the four
    chariots patrolling the earth.... Zech 7 then
    turns to a historical survey.... (former
    prophets Zech 7.7-12).
  • C. Zech 9-14 This new ending gives both Zech and
    The Twelve a more futuristic outlook than they
    would otherwise possess.

57
6. Principles of Organization Malachi
  • A. The Malachi collection also comes as an
    appendix to Zech 1-8. It was probably attached to
    Zech 8 long before 9-14 were composed, and it
    became separated when that section was
    inserted.... Throughout Malachi there is a strong
    sense of Israels election as Gods people, bound
    to his service in a covenant relationship. The
    tone is set by Mal 1.2, I have loved you, and
    it is continued in 2.5ff. 3.1 and elsewhere in
    language very reminiscent of Deuteronomy....
    Collins, 81

58
6. Principles of Organization Malachi
  • B. The main point of Malachi is an idea that has
    been developed throughout The Twelve, namely,
    that Jerusalem is a holy city, destined to be the
    world center of a universal worship of the Lord
    by all the nations. According to Malachi, the
    fulfillment of this ideal is still impeded by the
    unworthy behavior of the priests in the temple,
    the very place where Gods name should be honored
    most. Collins, 81

59
6. Principles of Organization Malachi
  • C. ...Malachi also brings us back to the themes
    and languages which were dominant at the very
    start of The Twelve. This is evident in the use
    of the father-son relationship as an image of the
    relationship between God and Israel (Mal 1.6-7
    and Hos 11.1-1), and in the fact that both appeal
    to the need for covenant faithfulness in
    marriage, though in slightly different ways (Mal
    2.13-16 and Hos 2.14-19). Collins, 81

60
6. Principles of Organization Malachi
  • D. Mal 4.2-3 The effect of giving the book such
    an ending was that the whole weight of the
    assembled twelve prophets were harnessed and
    redirected towards sustaining the faith and
    religious fervor of the God-fearing minority in
    Judah during the decades before the arrival of
    Nehemiah and Ezra. Indeed the book of The Twelve
    can be said to have played its part in preparing
    the ground for the success of Ezras reforms in
    so far as it provided a source of inspiration to
    those who spoke with one another and put their
    names to the religious pact which seems to be
    referred to in Mal 3.16. Collins, 83

61
6. Principles of Organization Malachi
  • E. The End One of the implicit purposes behind
    the production of The Twelve was to use the
    prophets in support of the call to stricter
    observance of the Law. This is made explicitly in
    the closing verses of Malachi, which probably
    date from the time of Ezra, Remember the law of
    my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances
    that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel
    (Mal 4.4). Collins, 84
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