Sunday, September 11, 2011

Old Testament

Finished the Old Testament today, ending with the final 12 "minor prophets." After the Big Four (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel), you have:

1. Hosea
2. Joel
3. Amos
4. Obadiah
5. Jonah
6. Micah
7. Nahum
8. Habakkuk
9. Zephaniah
10. Haggai
11. Zechariah
12. Malachi

So these guys pretty much all had the same thing to prophesy about: God's gonna get mad if you don't smarten up. Well, technically, I know you ain't gonna smarten up, and He's gonna get mad regardless, but you should still make an effort 'cause He's forgiving.

"And prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." -- Malachi 3:10

My favourite prophet, and probably the most famous, is Jonah, as in Jonah and the Whale. The guy gets swallowed by a "big fish" for trying to shirk his prophetic duties, and then gets vomited out by the fish onto the shore because Jonah repented, praying for days inside the belly of the beast. I have no idea how anyone can take this story seriously, but supposedly Jesus later speaks of it like it's fact. Not sure what to make of this, but anyway, a great story, no doubt.

All told, the Old Testament took me almost 10 months of almost daily reading. It's a very long collection of historical, wisdom and prophetic books written by several different people over a long period in history around what is today known as the Middle East.

There is SO much that can be said about the Old Testament, and it depends from what context you read it (religious, scholarly, historical, etc.), and I've learned A LOT. The Old Testament is by far the majority of the Bible -- about three quarters of the whole book -- and I've realized the books can pretty much be read in any order, because they're not chronological. Oh, and one other thing I noted as I was reading through the many books, was the use of the word "selah," which I've learned is a Hebrew word without a good translation, but which means something like "stop and think of that." Maybe kind of like "Amen"? Anyway...

I am eagerly now awaiting the story of Jesus in the New Testament.

**NEXT: Matthew

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