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Altho, esp. Amos and Hosea are called minor prophets yet their prophetic messages have great impact on all of us today.
Jehovah proceeded to take [Amos] from following the flock” and made him a prophet.—Am 7:15.
From the solitude in the wilderness of the south, Amos was sent to the idolatrous ten-tribe kingdom in the north with its capital Samaria.
Amos began his career as a prophet two years before the great earthquake that occurred during the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah. At the same time Jeroboam II, son of Joash, was king of Israel. (Am 1:1) Amos’ prophecy is, therefore, placed sometime within the 26-year period from 829 to about 804 B.C.E., when the reigns of these two kings of Judah and Israel overlapped. The great earthquake that occurred two years after Amos was commissioned to be a prophet was of such magnitude that nearly 300 years later Zechariah made particular mention of it.—Zec 14:5.
How long Amos served as a prophet in the northern kingdom is uncertain. Amaziah, the wicked calf-worshiping priest of the state religion centered at Bethel, attempted to have him thrown out of the country on the grounds he was a threat to the security of the state. (Am 7:10-13) Whether Amaziah succeeded is not disclosed. At any rate, when Amos’ prophetic mission to Israel was completed, he presumably returned to his native tribal territory of Judah. Jerome and Eusebius report that the prophet’s sepulcher was located at Tekoa in their day. It also seems that after returning to Judah, Amos wrote down the prophecy, which at first had been delivered orally. He is often called one of the 12 “minor” prophets (his book is cataloged 3rd among the 12), yet the message he delivered is by no means of minor significance.
2. One of Jesus’ ancestors, the eighth generation before Mary.—Lu 3:25.Hebrew prophet and writer of the Bible book of Hosea; identified merely as the son of Beeri. Hosea served as Jehovah’s prophet during the reigns of Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah as well as Jeroboam II (son of Joash) of Israel, in the late ninth century and well into the eighth century B.C.E. (Ho 1:1) Prophets of the same general period included Amos, Isaiah, and Micah.—Am 1:1; Isa 1:1; Mic 1:1.
Hosea may be identified as a prophet (and probably a subject) of the ten-tribe northern kingdom of Israel. That kingdom was the principal object of the declarations in the book of Hosea. Whereas Judah was named therein only 15 times, and its capital city, Jerusalem, not even once, the book contains 44 references to Israel, 37 to Ephraim (Israel’s dominant tribe), and 6 to Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom. Most of the other locations mentioned in the book either were a part of the northern kingdom or were on its borders.—Ho 1:4, 5; 5:1, 8; 6:8, 9; 10:5, 8, 15; 12:11; 14:6, 7.
Hosea, nevertheless, apparently attached primary importance to the kings of Judah, mentioning all four who reigned there during his ministry, while listing only the one ruling in Israel when he began his work. (Ho 1:1) But, instead of indicating that the prophet came from, or was born in, Judah, this factor may show that Hosea, like other prophets of God, regarded only the Judean kings of David’s family as rightful rulers over God’s people, viewing the northern kingdom of Israel as a general religious and civil apostasy from Jehovah. Of course, this listing of rulers in both kingdoms facilitates more accurate dating of Hosea’s prophetic activity.
I·sa′iah) [Salvation of Jehovah].
A prophet, the son of Amoz (not the prophet Amos). He served Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah. (Isa 1:1) Kings Pekah and Hoshea were ruling in the northern kingdom of Israel, which ended in 740 B.C.E., during the time of Isaiah’s prophetic service. Contemporary prophets were Micah, Hosea, and Oded. Isaiah evidently began his prophesying later than Hosea did and before Micah began.—2Ch 28:9; Ho 1:1; Mic 1:1.
Isaiah’s Family. Isaiah was married. His wife is called “the prophetess” (Isa 8:3), which seems to mean more than merely the wife of a prophet. Evidently, like Deborah of the time of the Judges and like Huldah during Josiah’s reign, she had a prophetic assignment from Jehovah.—Jg 4:4; 2Ki 22:14.
The Bible names two sons of Isaiah, given to him as “signs and as miracles in Israel.” (Isa 8:18) Shear-jashub was old enough in the days of Ahaz to accompany his father when Isaiah delivered a message to that king. The name Shear-jashub means “A Mere Remnant (Those Remaining Over) Will Return.” This name was prophetic in that, just as certainly as a son born to Isaiah was given that name, so the kingdom of Judah would in time be overthrown and only a mere remnant would return after a period of exile. (Isa 7:3; 10:20-23) This return of a small remnant took place in 537 B.C.E. when King Cyrus of Persia issued a decree liberating them from Babylon after an exile of 70 years.—2Ch 36:22, 23; Ezr 1:1; 2:1, 2.
The prophecy indicated that relief would come to Judah soon; relief did come when Assyria interfered with the campaign against Judah by King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah of Israel. The Assyrians captured Damascus and, later, in 740 B.C.E., despoiled and destroyed the kingdom of Israel, fully carrying out the prophetic meaning of the boy’s name. (2Ki 16:5-9; 17:1-6) However, instead of trusting in Jehovah, King Ahaz tried to stave off the threat made by Syria and Israel, resorting to bribery of the king of Assyria to gain his protection. Because of this, Jehovah allowed Assyria to become a great threat to Judah and actually to flood into the land right up to Jerusalem itself, as Isaiah had warned.—Isa 7:17-20.
Isaiah spoke many times of “signs” that Jehovah would give, among them being his two sons and, in one instance, Isaiah himself. Jehovah commanded him to walk about naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and against Ethiopia, signifying that they would be led captive by the king of Assyria.—Isa 20:1-6; compare Isa 7:11, 14; 19:20; 37:30; 38:7, 22; 55:13; 66:19.
The thing that undoubtedly gave Isaiah the greatest joy was the privilege accorded him by Jehovah to speak and to write many prophecies of restoration of his beloved Jerusalem. Although Jehovah would allow the people to go into exile to Babylon because of rebellion and revolt against him, God would in time judge Babylon because she acted out of malice and intended to hold God’s people in captivity forever. A number of Isaiah’s prophecies are devoted to God’s judgment on Babylon and the desolate ruin she would become, never to be rebuilt.—Isa 45:1, 2; chaps 13, 14, 46-48.
The restoration prophecies that are found throughout the book of Isaiah glorify Jehovah’s undeserved kindness and mercy toward his people and toward all mankind. They foretell the time when Jerusalem would be elevated to a new position with Jehovah, a glory that would be seen by all nations, and when she would be a blessing to all nations. Jerusalem was indeed restored and rebuilt and was blessed by the presence of the Messiah, who “shed light upon life and incorruption through the good news.” (2Ti 1:10) Jerusalem’s restoration also had a greater and grander fulfillment to come.—Ro 15:4; 1Co 10:11; Ga 4:25, 26.
(2Ch 26:22) In faithfully carrying out the prophetic work assigned to him by Jehovah, he had a strong influence on the nation’s history, particularly as a result of his counseling and guiding righteous King Hezekiah. Many of Isaiah’s prophecies also have a larger fulfillment in the Messiah and his Kingdom. Isaiah’s book is quoted or referred to many times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. In many instances the Christian writers make application of Isaiah’s prophecies to Jesus Christ or point to a fulfillment of his prophecies in their day.
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