What are the major and minor prophets of the Old Testament?

Author: BibleAsk Team

The Major and Minor Prophets

The major and minor prophets of the Old Testament are terms that are used to differentiate between the long and short prophetic books, respectively. This kind of grouping doesn’t imply that the minor prophets are less inspired or less important than the major prophets. The truth is that these books contain very valuable knowledge about God’s mercy, justice, and His prophetic truths. For this reason, we need to give them special attention.

The major prophets consist of five books with a total of one hundred and eighty-three chapters. These books are: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel. They are centered on a prophet, traditionally regarded as the author of the book bearing his name. The Hebrew Bible has the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel among the Nevi’im (prophets) but puts Lamentations and Daniel among the Ketuvim (writings). Baruch (including the letter of Jeremiah) is not part of the Hebrew Bible.

The Minor Prophets consist of 12 books with the total number of sixty-seven chapters. These books are: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. In the Hebrew Bible, these books are counted as one book.

Some do not study the books of the major and minor prophets because they are part of the Old Testament, however Jesus Himself upheld these books in high regard and stated: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). He often based His teachings on these books (Matthew 7:12), quoted their prophecies (Matthew 11:13), and from their references showed the disciples that He was the fulfillment of their prophecies (Luke 24:13-35). After all, many of these books contained the Messianic prophecies pointing to the coming of Jesus as the Messiah.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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