These last six books sounded like they were arranged chronologically – Nahum speaking of Judah’s rescue from Assyria, Habakkuk and Zephaniah of the exile & restoration, and the final three speaking both encouragement and rebuke to the returned exiles. Zechariah and Malachi had an interesting blend of exhortation to the returnees blending into striking prophecies of Christ’s first and second comings. In listening, I felt these books build a sense of anticipation for the coming Messiah, which is strengthened by Malachi’s closing prophecy of Elijah’s coming as Christ’s forerunner. It makes me want to start reading the New Testament right away!
(This was a seminary class assignment originally dated November 29, 2006. For an introduction and table of contents for this series, see New Series: Old Testament Reading Journal)