Lecture 18 - Literary Prophecy: Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum and Habbakuk

author: Christine Hayes, Department of Religious Studies, Yale University
published: Feb. 16, 2011,   recorded: November 2006,   views: 3716

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Micah, eighth-century southern prophet and contemporary of Isaiah, is discussed. Structurally, the book of Micah alternates three prophecies of doom and destruction and three prophecies of hope and restoration. Micah attacks the doctrine of the inviolability of Zion and employs the literary form of a covenant lawsuit (or riv) in his denunciation of the nation. Several short prophetic books are also discussed: Zephaniah; the Book of Nahum, depicting the downfall of Assyria and distinguished for its vivid poetic style; and the book of Habbakuk, which contains philosophical musings on God's behavior. The final part of the lecture turns to the lengthy book of Jeremiah. A prophet at the time of the destruction and exile, Jeremiah predicted an end to the exile after 70 years and a new covenant that would be inscribed on the hearts of the nation.

Reading assignment:

Bible: (1) Introduction to Micah (JSB pp. 1205-6), Micah 1-7 (2) Introduction to Nahum (JSB pp. 1219-20), Nahum 1-3 (3) Introduction to Habbakuk (JSB pp. 1226-7), Habbakuk 1-3 (4) Introduction to Zephaniah (JSB pp. 1234-5), Zephaniah 1-3

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