It's kind of like the Twelve Days of Christmas, if all the gifts were like…
five golden plagues, four natural disasters,
three acts of destruction, two rounds of famine…
…and a partridge in a pear tree.
Because seriously, who would want that...
So these prophets were kind of like God’s B-team. They gave a bunch of warnings about
Assyria, and they let the people know how badly they were screwing up.
Sounds like they were super fun guys to hang out with.
Since there are twelve of them, and not all of them have super cool stories like being
eaten by a whale, I’m just going to hit you with a few highlights...
Take Hosea, for example. He was ordered by God to marry a prostitute.
Sure, it sounds a little fishy––
…too soon for fish puns, I know. Sue me, I'm excited for the whale tale…
––but when God wants you to marry a prostitute, you marry a prostitute.
So Hosea, and his new wife, Gomer…
Yeah, I kid you not, her name was Gomer.
What kind of a mother looks at her newborn and goes, "Yup, this kid is definitely a Gomer"?
Hosea and Good Ol' Gomer have three kids together, and their names translate to, “No Mercy,”
“Not My People,” and “God Will Sow.”
…..Their mother was named Gomer, what did you expect?
But we can tell by those charming names that God is a little peeved with Israel.
We then move through a succession of prophets who are basically letting everyone know just
how ticked off God is, while locusts, invaders, and a partridge in a pear tree drive home
And after all the lords are done leaping and pipers have finished piping, we eventually
arrive at the most famous of all the Minor Prophets—Jonah.
And boy, oh boy, is it a whale of a tale.
…That was obvious, I know. I'm dolphinitely scaling back on the fish puns. No, sea-riously,
I've got some good ones. It's krill-ing me to not include them.
…Guess that cod've been better.
….One more, for the halibut!
Okay! So! Back to the thing they pay me to talk about…
God instructs Jonah to go to Ninevah
is like, “Dude, no, I told you I had plans that weekend, Travelocity doesn't let me cancel,
the gnome is kind of a jerk…” and he hops on a ship going the other way.
God is like, "This is why you book through the hotel, Jonah. Never trust the gnome…"
and sends a storm to sink the ship.
The sailors draw lots to see who is to blame for the storm, as one logically does when
it storms, and Jonah is chosen.
Jonah, ever the dramatic, is like, "throw me overboard, men. Priceline Negotiator never
would've let this happen," but the sailors are like, "What? That's actually crazy, dude,
let's just try and ride out the storm first. Then we'll see about tossing you over."
So they give it a good try, but pretty soon they're like, "Yeah, the dramatic Travelocity
dude is right, we gotta lose him," so they toss Jonah into the sea.
And as usual, God is watching this entire spectacle go down, because The Bachelor is
on hiatus, so he's got some free time.
So God's pretty entertained, but he decides the whole thing needs a little more excitement,
so he sends a giant fish to swallow Jonah.
Anyway, Jonah stays in the fish’s belly for three days and nights before he’s puked
back up on dry land.
He leaves a pretty negative Yelp review of the place the second he has wifi, though.
So Jonah takes a three-hour shower, then heads to Ninevah to preach to the people.
And guess what? They actually listen to him.
That doesn’t happen all too often, and Jonah's still having some whale-related PTSD, so he
runs away to live in a hut.
Which after the whale is practically Ninevah's Ritz Carlton.
Anyway, God has a nice leafy plant grow over the hut, but then is like, "Naw, this story
just got too happy," so he sends a worm to kill it, and a strong wind to blow it over.
Jonah's like, "Seriously? The whale wasn't enough?" And God's like, "Sweeps are coming
up. We need the ratings, Jonah."
Reading between the lines, people. The rest of the books follow the same pattern
of God threatening to unleash some holy wrath on the Israelites, and the Israelites being
like, “….Meh." in response.
The Twelve Minor Prophets ends with Malachi
Elijah will come and turn the people’s hearts, so that God won't have to destroy them.
Which is great…one less thing on God's calendar.
This book also marks the end of the Old Testament, which means the next time we meet, we'll be
in the New Testament.
And you can bait you'll be herring some finntastic stories.
Sorry. You don’t know how long I've been waiting to break out my fish puns.
And hey, if you think of a good one, let minnow….
Until next time, I'm Cecil B. DeShmoop.