Encountering the Old Testament, 3rd Edition

A Christian Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies


33. Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah: God's Plan for the Nations

Chapter Intro Video

Chapter Objectives

  • Summarize the basic content of the books of Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah
  • Identify the major focus and themes of each book

Chapter Summary

  1. The prophet Obadiah focused on Edom’s judgment because of its violence against Judah.
  2. The book of Jonah describes how Jonah initially resisted God’s call to go to Nineveh, but how through a storm and a fish, God convinced him to go.
  3. The book of Jonah’s conclusion speaks of God’s deep care for people and his desire to extend grace to people everywhere who repent of their sin.
  4. Micah’s prophecy centered on the themes of social injustice, true worship, and false security.
  5. Micah prophesied that God’s King would be born in Bethlehem.
  6. Nahum includes three cycles that describe vengeance on Nineveh and compassion toward Judah.
  7. The book of Habakkuk reveals little about Habakkuk’s person or background.
  8. Habakkuk questioned God’s ways but determined to have faith no matter what.
  9. Zephaniah prophesied judgment against Judah and the nations but also predicted future blessing for the nations.

Study Questions

  1. What is the major theme of Obadiah? What had Edom done that the prophet considered so terrible?
  2. Summarize the story of Jonah. Identify the important spiritual lessons Jonah learned.
  3. Describe Micah’s background. How does his message parallel that of the prophet Amos? What did Micah have to say about the coming Messiah?
  4. Identify Nahum’s historical setting. What is the major theme of his book?
  5. Summarize Habakkuk’s dialogue with God in fifty words or less. What was Habakkuk’s basic complaint? How did he respond (at first and finally) to God’s answer?
  6. How did the apostle Paul use Habakkuk 2:4 in his letter to the Romans?
  7. Identify the key issues surrounding Zephaniah’s background. How did the prophet affirm God’s sovereignty over all nations?