MINOR PROPHETS

MINOR PROPHETS, a collection of the books of 12 prophets: hosea , joel , amos , obadiah , jonah , micah , nahum , habbakuk , zephaniah , haggai , zechariah , and malachi . This collection counts as a single book (the last) of the second division – the Prophets (Heb. Nevi'im) – of the Palestinian Canon. In the Alexandrian Canon (according to the Septuagint), Minor Prophets, again as a single book, occurs in the fourth and last division, that of prophecy, and is the first of the ten books enumerated there, but the order of the first six of the 12 is there Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel, Obadiah, and Jonah. The designation "Minor Prophets" alternates with the title "The Twelve" as the designation of this collection, the latter being the native Jewish one (Heb. שנים עשר; Aram. תרי עשר, BB 14b) and that of the Septuagint (Dodekapropheton), while the former seems to be rooted in the Latin designation of the Vulgate (Prophetae Minores). The adjective "minor" in the title "Minor Prophets" does not reflect upon the relative importance of the 12 prophets in comparison to Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, but rather upon their much smaller size. This is implied by the observation about Hosea in Bava Batra 14b. The order of the prophets within the anthology is based on a combination of Midrash, the chronological understanding current at the time of compilation, and certain word associations. For example, Hosea is first because his book opens (1:2): "When God first spoke to Hosea" (cf. BB 14b). Amos is placed third after the Book of Joel because of the occurrence of two very similar verses, one at the end of Joel (4:16) and the second at the beginning of Amos (1:2). Finally, the last three books, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, were put at the very end of the anthology because they were thought to be the only prophets of the 12 who belonged chronologically to the Second Temple period. The Minor Prophets could not have been compiled as an anthology any earlier than the fourth century B.C.E., the probable date of the Book of Jonah, the latest of the 12 books. Its compilation can be no later than the time of Ben Sira (c. 180 B.C.E.), however, since the latter, in praising the Israelite heroes in chronological order, mentions all the other prophets by name, each one in his own age, while the Minor Prophets are grouped together namelessly as "the twelve prophets" (Ecclus. 44–49).   -BIBLIOGRAPHY: M.L. Margolis, The Hebrew Scriptures in the Making (1922), 18; M.Z. Segal, Mevo ha-Mikra, 4 (1964), 838; O. Eissfeldt, The Old Testament, an Introduction (1965), 382–4, incl. bibl. (Chayim Cohen)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Minor Prophets — n. 1. the twelve relatively short books of prophecy in the Bible, from Hosea to Malachi 2. the writers of these books …   English World dictionary

  • minor prophets — noun plural Usage: usually capitalized M&P 1. : the group of Old Testament prophets from Hosea to Malachi whose biblical writings are relatively brief 2. : the books of the Bible written by the Minor Prophets * * * Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Minor Prophets — Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Cf. Major Prophets. * * * …   Universalium

  • Minor Prophets — /maɪnə ˈprɒfəts/ (say muynuh profuhts) plural noun → Prophets (def. 2b) …   Australian English dictionary

  • Minor Prophets of the Old Testament — Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zacharia, Malachi …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Twelve Minor Prophets — Hebrew Bible Tanakh …   Wikipedia

  • the twelve minor prophets — twelve lesser prophets of the Bible …   English contemporary dictionary

  • PROPHETS, LIVES OF THE — PROPHETS, LIVES OF THE, name given to one of the few examples of ancient Jewish hagiographic writings (another example being the Martyrdom of Isaiah ). Although in its present form the book contains some Christian elements, there is a general… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Minor prophet — A minor prophet is one of the writings in the Twelve Prophets section of the Hebrew Bible, also known to Christians as the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament. Twelve individuals had their names attributed to a section of the Hebrew Bible which… …   Wikipedia

  • Prophets of Islam — Muslims regard as Prophets of Islam (Arabic: نبي) those non divine humans chosen by Allah as prophets. Each prophet brought the same basic ideas of Islam, including belief in one God and avoidance of idolatry and sin. Each came to preach Islam… …   Wikipedia

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