Lesson 6: Literary Analysis of the Prophets



I. Historical Narratives 

A. Types of Narratives

  1. Biography
  2. Autobiography 

B. Content of Narratives

  1. Prophetic Call
  2. Symbolic Actions 
  3. Vision Reports 
  4. Historical Backgrounds 

II. Communication with God 

A. Prayers of Lament 

  1. Sins of People 
  2. Judgment

B. Prayers of Praise 

  1. Judgment 
  2. Blessings

III. Communication with People 

A. Speeches of Judgment 

  1. Judgment Oracles 
  2. Woe Oracles
  3. Lawsuits 

B. Speeches of Blessing

  1. Judgment of Enemies 
  2. Oracles of Blessing

C. Mixed Speeches

  1. Judgment-Salvation Oracles 
  2. Call to Repentance
  3. Call to War
  4. Prophetic Disputation 
  5. Parables



1. What are the three general kinds of content in the prophetical books?

2. Describe the variety of contents found in Old Testament prophetic narratives.

3. Describe the meaning of each symbolic action in Jeremiah.

4. How are historical narratives used within Old Testament prophetic writings?

5. Habakkuk talked to God about two big problems. What were they?

6. What do prayers of lament look like, and how did the prophets use them?

7. What do prayers of praise look like, and how did the prophets use them?

8. What do speeches of judgment look like, and how did the prophets use them?

9. What kinds of judgment were pronounced by the prophets?

10. What do we mean when we say that God is immutable?

11. What do speeches of blessing look like, and how did the prophets use them?

12. What are mixed speeches, and how did the prophets use them?

13. In general, why did prophets prophesy?


1. When was the last time you spent time lamenting to God? Why type of lament did you offer? How often do you interpret suffering in your life as a result of divine judgment? Are there other reasons that Christians suffer? What can we learn from the ways the prophets lamented that might incline God to respond to us positively?

2. The theme of praise for judgment appears many places in the prophetic writings. Is it appropriate for Christians to praise God for his judgments? Why or why not?

3. What is the most significant insight you have learned from this study? Why?
Last modified: Tuesday, 4 September 2012, 6:41 PM