Christians sometimes approach the Old Testament with a mixture of awe and bewilderment, knowing that it contains pearls of wisdom, but unsure how to dive for them … especially when it comes to the Prophets.

In The Message of the Prophets, author J. Daniel Hays offers a scholarly, yet readable and student-friendly survey of the Old Testament prophetic literature that presents the message of each prophet in its historical and its biblical context and then tracks that message through the New Testament to challenge readers with what it means for them today.

Hays focuses on synthesizing the message of the prophets, which enables students to grasp the major contours of the prophetic books clearly and concisely. Hundreds of colorful pictures help to illustrate the historical and cultural background of the prophets. After identifying what the message meant for ancient Israel, Hays helps the readers to move toward theological application today, helping readers to gain a better understanding of God and the relationship between God and his people.

The Message of the Prophets is essential for professors, students, and others seeking to understand the role that the OT prophets play in the Christian faith.

About the Author

J. Daniel Hays (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary; PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies and professor of Old Testament at Ouachita Baptist University. He is the author of From Every People and Nation, and he has coauthored Grasping God's Word; Preaching God's Word; Journey into God’s Word; The Story of Israel: A Biblical Theology; Iraq: Babylon of the End Times?; Apocalypse; and The Dictionary of Biblical Prophecy. He teaches adult Sunday school at his local church in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and preaches frequently throughout the nation.

Table of Contents

  • Part One: The Big Picture
  • Part Two: The Major Prophets
  • Part Three: The Book of the Twelve


“In this volume, Hays provides his readers with a superb overview of the message and significance of the Old Testament prophets. After introducing prophetic literature in general, Hays guides his readers through each prophetic book. Numerous clear images and helpful sidebars add to the richness of this book. He includes features like suggestions for further reading, discussion questions, and writing assignments that make the book ready-made for classroom use. Hays takes a number of the complicated issues of prophetic literature and provides a clear explanation of this important part of the Old Testament.” – Michael A. Grisanti, PhD

“To the burgeoning interest in the Old Testament prophets and the recent literature reflecting that interest must be added this magnificent overview of the men and their writings that make up a major part of the Old Testament canon. Although presupposing up-to-date scholarship on the prophets in a technically accurate fashion, Hays spares the beginning student the morass of argument pro and con on various issues, preserving instead the crucial facts and facets of the prophets’ messages in their historical and cultural contexts. The photographs and other visual assets greatly enhance the beauty and reader-friendliness of the work, making it, with its other virtues, the finest volume of its kind. Highly recommended!” – Eugene H. Merrill, PhD

“The Message of the Prophets is an excellent introduction to the prophets of the Old Testament. From the attractive and inviting format, with photographs, maps, and sidebars, to the very fair and even-handed treatment of controversial issues, this book will be of great benefit to any who are seeking to get an understanding of this complex but vital field. The introductory overview is careful and complete, the writing style is clear and engaging, and the contents of the books are effectively summarized without becoming pedantic. In view of all these factors, I predict that this book will become a standard text in the coming years.” – John Oswalt, PhD

“J. Daniel Hays gives the students a front-row seat into the world of the prophets. Students will learn to appreciate the struggles of the prophets, their literature, and their theology, plus gain insight into their poetry and eschatological messages. Hays traces their messages and highlights the key theological themes in each major literary unit in both the major and minor prophets. The text is attractively designed with either a large illustrative picture or a sidebar on almost every page. Students will love the beautiful pictures that show what a high place, an olive tree, or a Bedouin tent looks like, plus the maps will raise their consciousness of the land where these events took place. The sidebars explain theological terms, an ancient custom, or an important archaeological discovery that is mentioned in the verses under discussion. The text flows smoothly and is spiced up with modern illustrations and numerous connections to the New Testament.” – Gary Smith

Teaching Resources

This title includes 9 Teaching Resources for instructors. These resources may include presentation slides, image and map libraries, quizzes and exam questions, and more.

Study Resources

This title includes 56 Study Resources for those wishing to enhance their learning. Watch videos featuring the textbook authors, test your knowledge with quizzes and flashcards, and more.

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