Four Prophets Author:J. B. Phillips In this book J. B. Phillips brings into the language of today the eloquence of four men who lived and wrote during one of the crucial periods of human history--a turning point marked by an outbreak of fresh creativity throughout the world. In some remarkable way the spirit of man was stirred during the hundred years from 750 BC to 6... more »50 BC. This was the time of the first four writing prophets: Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah. At this time also The Iliad and The Odyssey were being written, the skills that led to the Parthenon originated, Zoroaster was born, the Upanishads appeared, Hinduism blossomed in preparation for the great reforming movement of Buddhism and in China arose the movement leading to Confucius and the Taoism of Lao-tse.
The four prophets had little in common except that they all spoke Hebrew, believed that what they declared to their people was the Word of God, and lived at a time when Judah and Israel were crushed between the world empires of Assyria and Egypt. Their prophecy has both intrinsic excitement and relevance to our lives today. Here are the rustic shepherd Amos, denouncing an over-formalized religion; the obedient Hosea who marries a prostitute to demonstrate in his own life God's love for Israel despite her misdoings; the urbane courtier Isaiah who reminds Israel that God and not man determines the course of history; and Micah, passionately excoriating the exploitation of the weak by the strong. All four hold fast to the hope of an eventually purified and restored Israel. « less