The Prophets

 

Joshua

  • Joshua is the author (Josh. 24:26)
  • Title means “the Lord saves or delivers”
  • Theology/Theme: God fulfills His covenant promise
  • Many think that the mention of the Apiru in the Armana letters (1400 BC) is a specific reference to Israelite incursion into Canaan.
  • Apologetic issue: Joshua 10:13 records that the sun stood still and the moon stopped. Who could believe such a story?

Judges שֹֽׁפְטִ֑ים shophetim

  • Anonymous authorship
  • The judges were not primarily judicial officials. They were primarily military leaders.
  • Theological Message
    • Grace and Law, Conditionality and Unconditionality
    • The Administration of God’s rule of His people
  • Apologetic Issue
    • The apparent genocide of the Canaanites (or at least the command to wipe them out)

Ruth רוּת ruth

  • The Talmud says it was written by Samuel. But is it held that Samuel lived to early to have written Ruth. Other’s hypothesize that it was written by Solomon. There can be no dogmatic answer to the question of authorship.
  • God’s providence in executing his plan for the coming deliverer.
  • Divine sovereignty is clearly on display.

I – II Samuel שְׁמוּאֵל shemu’el

  • Tradition claims it was completed mostly by Samuel but after his death, the Talmud attributes the rest to Gad the seer and Nathan the prophet.
  • Authorship will have to remain less than dogmatic and likely anonymous.
  • Theological Message
    • Transition to a human monarchy
    • Transition from the Tabernacle to the Temple
    • Realization of the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience
  • Apologetic Issues
    • Who killed Goliath?

I – II Kings מַלְכֵ֨י malkhei

  • Tradition says that Jeremiah wrote the Kings.
  • Kings was likely written during the late 7th to 6th century or at least completed around that time.
  • Theological Message
    • Defense of the fidelity of God in view of Israel’s ultimate failings and the subsequent exile.
    • The Place of the prophetic word in the government of the nation of Israel.
  • Apologetic Issues
    • The numerous claims of miracles and predictive prophecy

 Isaiah יְשַֽׁעְיָ֣הוּ yesha’eyahu

  • Author was Isaiah
  • Prophesied during Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (739 -700 BC)
  • Theological Message
    • Warnings of coming judgment
    • Zion and the establishment of the Davidic house
    • The coming Messiah
    • Clearly Isaiah has influenced the NT more than any other OT book
  • Is said to have been sawn in two during the reign of Manasseh
  • Apologetic Issues
    • Predictive prophecy
    • Higher critical views that claim two to three authors of Isaiah based on philosophical bias and speculation (unbelief)