Ordering and chronology of the Minor Prophets

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Ordering the Prophets:

When the books of the twelve Minor Prophets in the Bible were ordered, an effort was made to place them chronologically. However for a few of them, namely Joel, Obadiah and Jonah, that placement was not very accurate.

Jonah was certainly the earliest of the recorded Prophets, and should have been placed before Hosea. Jonah was a memory in the days of Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:25) and Hosea began his prophesying closer to the end of Jeroboam's long tenure as king of Israel. Obadiah wrote when Jerusalem was already destroyed, and therefore should have been placed much later in order, after Zephaniah and before Haggai. Chapter 3 of Joel shows that the prophet wrote after the Assyrian deportations and before the fall of Jerusalem. Therefore he should have been placed in order next to Nahum.

If we could reorder the Minor Prophets, we should have Jonah, then Hosea, Amos and Micah, who were all contemporary with Isaiah, then Nahum and Joel who both seem to have been not long before Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and the early years of a very young Daniel, then Habakkuk and Zephaniah who were both in the days of Josiah and contemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel, then Obadiah, and then after the time of Daniel we have the post-captivity prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

- William Finck, September 19th, 2014, minor clarification September 13th, 2023