The purpose of the book of Amos was to announce God’s holy judgment on the Kingdom of Israel (the Northern Kingdom), call them to repentance, and to turn from their self-righteous sins and idolatry. God raised up the prophet Amos, as an act of His great mercy to a people who repeatedly shunned and disobeyed Him. • Chapter 1-3, Amos came as the days of the wicked Northern Kingdom were winding down. The people were religious but it was sadly superficial. Amos announces that the neighboring nations would be punished. There were many of these wicked nations including Damascus, Gaza, Edom, and Tyre. • In chapters 4-8, Amos warns that Israel will be destroyed, and gives examples of this judgment. Amos comes, announces God’s coming judgment to the Northern Kingdom and uses the phrase, “the day of the Lord” referring to God intervening to punish and judge the wicked city, which would eventually be exile by the Assyrians. “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you, just as you have said!” (5:14). • In chapter 9, Amos tells of the restoration and hope of Israel, “In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins And rebuild it as in the days of old” (9:11).
The book of Obadiah is a book of Prophetic Oracles. The prophet Obadiah wrote it. Its authorship is difficult to date but was possibly written about 853-841 B.C. or 605-586 B.C. The key personalities are the Edomites. The purpose of Obadiah is to show that God will judge all those who are against His children, His chosen people; Edom is used as an example of this truth. Obadiah is only one chapter (the shortest book in the Old Testament) yet it tells of God’s prophet Obadiah as he announces God’s powerful and authoritative judgment on the nation of Edom. This is the fateful end of the nation of Edom. They had been in conflict with Israel since ancient times, in reality, Edom is the descendant of Esau, Jacobs’s brother. • In verses 1-9, Obadiah declares the wickedness of the Edomites and gives examples of their pride, “In the loftiness of your dwelling place, who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?” He proclaims God’s judgment on Edom, “Will I not on that day,” declares the LORD, “Destroy wise men from Edom and understanding from the mountain of Esau?” (vs 8). • Verses 10-14 tell of the transgressions and offenses of Edom. Implying that they should have acted like a brother who would stand for them since they descended from the brothers; Jacob and Esau. “Because of violence to your brother Jacob, You will be covered with shame, And you will be cut off forever” (vs. 10). • In verses 15-21, we read about the victory of Israel in the end, “Esau’s house will be as stubble” and “The house of Jacob will be afire” (vs. 18). Edom was utterly nonexistent by the 1st century A.D.
The book of 1st Chronicles is a book of Narrative History and Genealogies. The author appears to be the prophet Ezra who wrote it circa 430 B.C. It covers the events from 1000 to 960 B.C. Key personalities are King David and Solomon. This book parallels some of 2nd Samuel and therefore describes similar events. It was written after the exile, its purpose was to encourage the remnant that had come out of the Babylonian captivity. It begins with the ancestry of the nation’s past, but it is not chronological. • In chapters 1-9, the book begins with Adam and runs through the genealogies of Israel. It continues through all the 12 tribes of Israel, then King David, and then the Priestly line. The descendants teach the history of the nation, extending from God’s creation all the way through the exile in Babylon. “Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested” (4:10). • From chapters 10-29, there is a review from King Saul’s death with the Philistines, through King David’s reign, including the preparation for the building of the new temple, which Solomon would build, “David also told his son, Solomon, ‘Be strong and courageous and do the work. Don’t be afraid or terrified. The LORD God, my God, will be with you. He will not abandon you before all the work on the LORD’s temple is finished” (28:20). The book ends with Solomon’s reigning as king of Israel.
The book of 2nd Chronicles is a Narrative History. The author appears to be the prophet Ezra who wrote it circa 430 B.C. It covers the events from the beginning of King Solomon’s reign in 970 B.C. up to the beginning of the Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C. The key personalities are King Solomon, the queen of Sheba, Rehoboam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Joash, Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, and Josiah. It was written to emphasize the blessings of the righteous kings and to expose the sins of the wicked kings. It parallels some parts of 1st and 2nd Kings. Like 1st Chronicles, it is written from the viewpoint of a priest who spoke from spiritual perspectives, including revivals. It too was written after the exile and focuses on correct worship to YHWH. • Chapters 1-9 teach the details of the reign of King Solomon. It covers the wisdom of Solomon, the building and construction of the temple in Jerusalem, which was dedicated to the Lord God. “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (7:14). • Chapters 10-36 describe the events in the split of the nation of Israel. The nation split into two kingdoms: North and South. The Northern Kingdom revolted against King Rehoboam, and took a new king; his name was Jeroboam. 2nd Chronicles focuses mainly from here, on the events of the Southern Kingdom. These include 20 kings and are a dynasty from King David. These chapters describe the events all the way up through the Northern Kingdom and its captivity to Babylon. Nevertheless, the mercy of the Lord is seen in the last two verses of this book. Cyprus, King of Persia declares that the remnant of Israel may return to Jerusalem, “in order to fulfill the word of the LORD” (36:22).