Millennium in the Old Testament: Minor Prophets
Millennium in the Old Testament: Minor Prophets
By Dr. David R. Reagan
Hosea talks about how God will use the Millennium to fulfill all the promises He has made to the Jewish people (Hosea 1:10-11, 2:14-20, and 14:4-7).
He confirms that God will establish peace in the animal kingdom and peace between the nations (Hosea 2:18). And he makes it clear that God's blessings will also be poured out on the Gentiles (Hosea 2:23).
Hosea's most fascinating prophecy has to do with the timing of the Lord's return. He indicates that it will be "two days" after His ascension into Heaven (Hosea 5:15 - 6:2). The context of the passage indicates that the two days represent 2,000 years. Hosea says that after the two days, the Messiah "will raise us up" (the resurrection) that "we may live before Him" for "the third day" (the 1,000 years of the Millennium).
Joel's end time prophecies focus mainly on "the day of the Lord" which, in his context, is the day of the Messiah's Second Coming (Joel 1:15, 2:1,13 and 3:14). But he does give us a glimpse of the Millennium when he states that when the Messiah returns, He will dwell "in Zion, My holy mountain" and that Jerusalem will be characterized by holiness (Joel 3:17,21). He also confirms that the land will be revitalized for great agricultural production: "The mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah will flow with water" (Joel 3:18). He also affirms that Egypt will be a desolation (Joel 3:19).
Amos presents a picture of the Messiah returning as a roaring lion (Amos 1:2). The only thing he has to say about the Millennium is that it will be characterized by agricultural abundance (Amos 9:14) — so much so that "the plowman will overtake the reaper" (Amos 9:13).
Obadiah's only significant comment about the Millennium is his statement that it will be characterized by holiness (Obadiah 17).
Jonah has nothing to say about the Millennium.
Micah begins his prophecy with a vision of the Second Coming (Micah 1:3-4). Regarding the Millennium, Micah presents a glorious vision of it and does so in words that are almost identical with Isaiah's (Micah 4:1-7 and Isaiah 2:2-4). He emphasizes the peace and prosperity that will characterize the Millennium (Micah 4:3-4). He also underlines the promise of God that He will make the Jewish people the primary nation of the world during the Millennium (Micah 4:6-7).
Nahum echoes Joel by focusing his prophecies on "the day of the Lord" (Nahum 1:1-8). The only thing he has to say with regard to the Millennium is that the Jewish people will enjoy perfect peace (Nahum 1:15) and the splendor of their nation will be restored (Nahum 2:2).
Habakkuk begins his book by assuring the reader that God will be faithful to send the Messiah back "at the appointed time" (Habakkuk 2:3). He follows that by presenting a very dramatic vision of the Second Coming (Habakkuk 3:3-13). He does not have anything to say about the Millennium.
Zephaniah begins his book by presenting a powerful and frightening vision about the Second Coming (Zephaniah 1:14-18). He concludes his book with a brief prophecy about the Millennium (Zephaniah 3:14-20). He reveals that the Lord will regather all believing Jews back to the land of Israel and that He will live in their midst (Zephaniah 3:17-20). And he promises that God will make the Jewish nation the prime nation of the world (Zephaniah 3:20).
Haggai asserts that at the time of the Second Coming, God will shake the heavens and earth (Haggai 2:6-7), overthrowing all Gentile kingdoms (Haggai 2:22). The wealth of the nations will be transferred to Jerusalem, and the Temple will be rebuilt in glory (Haggai 2:7). And then, using Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, as a prophetic type of the Messiah, Haggai says that God will give him His "signet ring" — meaning that he will become the King of kings and Lord of lords (Haggai 2:23).
Zechariah says that the Lord "will return to Jerusalem" and will rebuild the Temple (Zechariah 1:16). He calls upon the Jewish people to "sing for joy and be glad" because the Lord has told him that "I am coming and I will dwell in your midst" (Zechariah 2:10).
Concerning the nature of the Lord's reign, Zechariah says He will be "a priest on His throne," confirming that the government will be a theocracy (Zechariah 6:12-13). The city of Jerusalem will be called "The City of Truth" and "The Holy Mountain" (Zechariah 8:3). Believing Jews will be regathered from all over the world (Zechariah 9:14-17), and the population of Jerusalem will live in peace and prosperity (Zechariah 8:8,12). The Jewish people will be so greatly blessed that when a Jew walks by, ten Gentiles will grab his robe and say, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you" (Zechariah 8:23).
Zechariah further states that during the Millennium, all the nations of the world will be required to send delegations to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16). Those nations that fail to do so will receive no rain (Zechariah 14:17-18).
Zechariah concludes his book by emphasizing the holiness that will abound during the Millennium. He says that the bells on the horses' bridles will be engraved with the words, "Holy to the Lord" (Zechariah 14:20-21).
Malachi contains several passages about the Second Coming, but the only thing it says about the Millennium is that the name of the Lord "will be great among the nations" (Malachi 1:11).
Other Old Testament Prophecies
There are scattered references among the history books of the Old Testament concerning both the Second Coming and the Millennium, and the Psalms are full of them, but I do not have the space to list them in detail. You can find such a listing in my book, The Christ in Prophecy Study Guide. Suffice it to say that I believe I have presented more than enough evidence to prove that the Old Testament is full of prophecies about the end times and the Millennium.
In the last part of this series on the Millennium in the Old Testament, we'll quickly cover what new information Revelation reveals concerning the Millennial Kingdom.