One of the most important things to keep in mind when you read through the Old Testament Prophets is that all these stories took place in real lives in actual history.
To understand their messages correctly, you need to understand their historical context, and to help you do that, I created a chart that will help you see what prophets preached when.
You can click on the image of the chart to download it and you have permission to reproduce and use it however you want.
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Here is a video that explains it:
More about the timeline of the Old Testament Prophets
In the overall history of the prophets in the latter part of our Bible, the nation of Israel was divided into two parts, Israel and Judah, after the reign of Solomon. Both nations deteriorated in their faithfulness to God, though Judah had some periods of revival. Ultimately Israel was conquered by Assyria and went into captivity in 721 BC, never to return as an independent nation. Judah was conquered by Babylon in 586 BC and returned to the land after 70-year captivity.
During all these times, God sent his prophets to challenge and encourage his people. The history of this time is told in the books of Kings and Chronicles, but the preaching of the prophets is scattered, and not in chronological order in the final books of the Old Testament. Unless you read the messages of the prophets in their proper historical setting, outside of a few verses pulled out of context, they make little sense. This chart will help you see overall how they fit correctly into the history of the time.
I organized the chart so that the prophets of Israel are grouped together; as are the prophets of Judah. The ones who spoke to other nations are clearly marked. Each of the historical periods before, during, and after the captivity of Judah is also clearly marked.
Go to the lessons with the name of the prophet for more detailed teaching on each of them (just enter the prophet’s name into the search box above.)
Following is a PDF of the chart—you can use it however you want.