About this book
The messages in this book were especially for Samaria, the capital of Israel, and for Jerusalem, the capital of Judah. Instead of leading their nations to worship and obey the Lord, the officials and people of these capital cities had led their nations to worship other gods and to cheat and rob the poor. And so the Lord was going to punish Israel and Judah.
But the Lord had also promised that in the future the people of Israel and Judah would return to him. Then he and his chosen king would take care of the people, just as shepherds take care of sheep, and there would be peace everywhere:
He will settle arguments
and powerful nations.
They will beat their swords
and their spears
into rakes and shovels;
they will never again make war
or attack one another.
Everyone will find rest
beneath their own fig trees
and they will live in peace.
A quick look at this book
1. The Lord will punish his people (1.1—2.11)
2. A promise of hope (2.12,13)
3. The Lord will punish evil rulers and lying prophets (3.1–12)
4. A new temple in a new Israel (4.1—5.15)
5. Israel is declared guilty (6.1—7.7)
6. The nation turns to God (7.8–20)