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This week we see the fall of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, the rise of the Babylonian Empire, and the reform of a third-grade boy. The continual sin of the people of God has brought judgment upon them from the east and they will be taken captive for seventy years in Babylon. Though Jeremiah, Nahum, Zephaniah and Habakkuk spoke clearly about the wrath that would come with their continual disobedience, they rejected the call of repentance and suffered just judgment in exile. At the close of 2 Kings, the city wall is destroyed, the temple is burned and the city is reduced to ashes.
See 2 Kings.
Nahum, the Elkoshite.
Between approx. 663 and 654 B.C. because Thebes (which fell in 663 B.C. and was restored in 654 B.C.) was already destroyed (Nahum 3:8), and Assyria had not yet fallen.
God’s Judgment on Nineveh
Judgment on Nineveh is coming very soon in spite of the fact that God is slow to anger.
Nahum’s name means “comfort, console.” He was a prophet to Judah about Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. Assyria was then in its height of strength and power, and they were a brutal, treacherous people. Nahum’s prophecies served as a warning to Nineveh, but also a hope and promise of relief for Judah.
© Dr. Rick Taylor
Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah, as declared by himself (Jeremiah 1:1) and confirmed by Daniel (Daniel 9:2), Ecclesiastes, Josephus and the Talmud. Only chapter 52 was evidently not written by him and may have been added by Baruch, his secretary.
Between 627 and 580 B.C. during the time of Jeremiah’s ministry. The book was likely finalized shortly after 580 B.C., possibly by Baruch.
God’s Patient Promise
God promises to judge Judah for their sin, and yet restore a remnant in the future with a new covenant and the Righteous King.
Jeremiah was a contemporary of Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Daniel and Ezekiel. He dictated all his prophecies to his secretary, Baruch. After King Jehoiakim burned all his writings, he dictated a more complete edition to Baruch (Jeremiah 36:1-4).
© Dr. Rick Taylor and Bill Parkinson
Zephaniah, son of Cushi, grandson of Gedaliah, great-grandson of Amariah and great-great grandson of Hezekiah, King of Judah.
Between approx. 622 and 612 B.C. since it was before the fall of Nineveh and he quotes Old Testament Law that was found in 622 B.C.
God’s Fiery Judgment
Fiery Judgment will come to the entire earth eventually, after Jerusalem and its enemies are judged, and then Jerusalem will be restored.
Zephaniah’s name means “YHWH hides” (in the sense of protection). He is the only written prophet of the Old Testament that we know his lineage back so far, and he is the only one with such clear ties to royalty. He prophesied in the days of Josiah, son of Amon, King of Judah. In 622 B.C. the priests found the tablets of the Law in the temple and Josiah instigated a spiritual reform. No one in that generation or even earlier had ever seen the Law. Josiah repented and led the nation into a national revival, cleaning out the Assyrian idol worship in the land.
© Dr. Rick Taylor
Habakkuk, the prophet.
Approx. 605 B.C., after Babylon defeated Assyria in 612 B.C., but before Babylon took Judah into captivity.
God’s Justice Questioned
Habakkuk questions God because He is going to use a horribly unrighteous nation to judge His chosen people.
Habakkuk was a prophet in Judah in the days leading up to the Babylonian captivity and saw the nation so quickly turn away from the reforms that King Josiah had instituted. The book is written as a conversation between the prophet and God, where God revealed what Babylon was about to do to Judah.
© Dr. Rick Taylor
Resources for 2 Kings, Nahum, Jeremiah, Zephaniah and Habakkuk