Micah 1:2-7 — Yahweh is Coming!

September 9, 2013

The small-town prophet receives a big-time message from Yahweh. Micah announces that Yahweh is coming to Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom Israel. This, however, is about more than Israel. It is  Yahweh’s witness against the nations even though it is the nations who devastate Israel. The opening address functions as a lawsuit where […]


Amos 1:11-2:3 — Amos Addresses Edom, Ammon and Moab

January 16, 2013

Amos continues his prophetic word against the sins of the nations in Amos 1:11-2:3. He first addressed Damascus, Gaza and Tyre (Amos 1:3-10) which lie to the north and southwest of Israel and Judah.  Now he addresses Edom, Ammon and Moab which lie to the east and southeast of Israel and Judah. The pattern of […]


Amos 1:3-10 – Amos Addresses Damascus, Gaza and Tyre

January 9, 2013

International ethics are important to Amos.  He condemns violent aggression (perhaps even torture and wanton killing), enslavement of populations, and the slave trade. The oracles against the nations are intricately structured. They each follow the same rhetorical pattern. Address:  ”The Lord Says” Proverb:  ”Because of the three transgressions of … and because of four,  I […]


Amos Addresses the Nations: Amos 1:3-2:3

January 7, 2013

The first section of Amos startles us. The editorial heading prepared us to hear a word from Yahweh to Israel. Instead, the first six of eight proverbial sayings are addressed to regional nations. How does a Yahwehist prophet speak to the nations, on what basis, and about what? To be sure, he does finally get to […]


Haggai 2:20-23 — Shake the Nations, Lord!

June 29, 2012

Haggai’s fourth oracle comes on the same day as his third, that is, the day on which the foundation of the temple is laid. As Judah gathered to celebrate the occasion (cf. Ezra 3:10-13), Haggai addressed first the priests and people (2:10-19) and now he specifically addresses Zerubabel who is the governor of Judah (2:20-23). […]


Zechariah 12:1-8 — Jerusalem and the House of David Redeemed

April 20, 2012

Zechariah 12-14 is the second oracle of the second half of the book of Zechariah. The first half of Zechariah contained eight visions (Zechariah 1-6) and four messages (Zechariah 7-8). The second half of Zechariah comes in the form of two oracles (the Hebrew term only occurs in Zechariah 9:1, 12:1 and Malachi 1:1). The […]


Zechariah 8:18-23 – Rejoice, O Israel, God is with You!

March 22, 2012

For the fourth time the “word of the Lord” comes to Zechariah in response to the question asked by the representatives of Bethel (Zechariah 7:1-3). They had asked whether they should continue their lament fasts. Finally, Zechariah answers their question. Zechariah, however, did not give them a quick answer. Rather, he took them through their […]


Zechariah 2:1-13 — The Vision of the Measuring Line

January 19, 2012

Zechariah sees a man with a measuring line in his hand. He is about to measure the length of Jerusalem’s borders, partly for the purpose of erecting a wall around it. Jerusalem needs protection from its enemies. Though Pax Persiana has brought peace among the nations, this does not secure Jerusalem from its regional enemies (cf. […]


Zechariah 1:18-21 — The Vision of the Four Horns

January 13, 2012

Zechariah’s second vision continues a theme that was only briefly noted in the first vision, that is, Yahweh is angry with the nations who treated Judah with “evil” (ra’ah; 1:15). Zechariah, presumably having lowered his eyes to reflect on the first vision, now looks up to see a second vision. Here he sees “four horns.” The […]


Zechariah 1:7-17 — The Vision Among the Myrtle Trees

January 12, 2012

Zechariah sees a rider on a “red” (more like reddish-brown) horse among myrtle trees in a “glen.” Behind this rider is an indefinite number of horses with a range of colors which reflect the variety of horses within the Persian Empire. Scouting is the only function given these horses (and their unidentified riders)—they “patrol the […]