The Book of the Twelve (Minor Prophets) 02
The Book of the Twelve (“minor prophets” part 2) - THE DAY OF THE LORD
Dr. Gregg Strawbridge, Minister
The Book of the Twelve is one scroll or one book in the oldest copies. Jerome (translator of the Vulgate Latin) observed, “the eighth is the book of the Twelve Prophets.” Acts 7:42 also recognizes, “the book of the prophets.” Two themes are found in this scroll: 1) “The Day of the Lord” and 2) God is jealous of His Bride and inspects Her. (see Numbers 5ff). The Book of the Twelve also has an interested sequential relationship: 1) Hosea references grain and wine, then 2) Joel begins with locust plague devastating the grain/wine and ends with Yahweh who roars like a lion from Zion. 3) Amos begins with the Lord who roars from Zion and in 9:10 with the sinners who die by Sword and the Tabernacle of David in Edom. 4) Obadiah begins and references Edom and ends with all nations. . .
Would you marry a prostitute? In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of the Twelve begins with Hosea, whom Yahweh instructs to take a prostitute wife, as a portrait of Israel’s harlotry toward her divine Husband. The background in the Torah is found in Numbers 5, called the “inspection of jealousy” rite. “If anyone has a wife who goes astray and is unfaithful to him . . . without any witness against her, and without anyone catching her in the act; . . . the man will bring his wife before the priest, and on her behalf make an offering of one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal. 5 the man will bring his wife before the priest . . . this is a cereal offering for a case of suspicion, a memorial offering to recall guilt to mind. . . . 5:29 “Such is the ritual in cases of suspicion, when a woman has gone astray and made herself unclean while under her husband’s authority.” The Book of the Twelve is framed by references to Israel’s unfaithfulness, and the Lord’s threat to cut off His people, to divorce His bride. God is always accomplishing an “inspection of jealousy” on His people. In the Tabernacle/Temple, the Menorah (the Seven Stars) lamps on the “watcher tree” (the Hebrew for “almond”) illuminate the twelve loaves of “face” bread with incense. God’s “light” was always shining to inspect the twelve tribes. At various times God shone down the light of cleansing down upon the people. The inspection or suspicion ritual includes the “ingesting” of the water of the Word which then brings judgment. We still do this. It is called the Lord’s Supper. In our day we eat bread and drink wine, but are warned, “anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily is answerable for the body and blood of the Lord” (11:27).
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more