The Minor Jewish Prophets

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The Books of the Minor Prophets

The Minor Jewish Prophets, also known as The Twelve, The Twelve Prophets, or The Minor Prophets, were the prophetic and visionary Jewish spiritual figures and authors Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The term "minor" does not refer to their importance, but only to the length of their writings, in contrast with the "Major Prophets" of Judaism, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Samuel, and Daniel, who wrote longer books.

In the Jewish sacred text, the Tanakh, which was originally written on scrolls, it took just one scroll to accommodate all twelve of these texts, and that scroll was often referred to "The Twelve." In modern Jewish book form, these writing are now compiled into one book, the eighth book in the second division of the Tanakh, known as "Neviʾim" or "The Prophets." In Christian scripture, which originated in book form, each prophet was given a chapter of the Bible, called a book, such as "The Book of Hosea," "The Book of Joel," and so forth. The last of these, "The Book of Malachi," closes out what Christians call "The Old Testament," their version of the Jewish Tanakh.

The predominant spiritual themes of The Twelve are religious purity, religious reform, justice, warnings of disaster and plagues, and the threat of divine abandonment if conditions of purity and justice are not met.


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