God really does not want any person to perish, and He proved it when He called a simple prophet named Jonah (c. 780–750 BC) to preach repentance to the Ninevites (Assyrians), who were brutal enemies of Israel and Judah.
Seven is the number that celebrates the sacred purpose of infusing holiness into the whole of Creation. And while most people are aware of the seven-day cycle of the Shabbat, and the holiness it infuses to the week, few realize that God instituted a yearly cycle of seven for the Holy Land.
The authors of the Major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel) were described or referred to by a number of terms due to the nature of their ministry and calling. They were called prophets, seers, watchmen, men of God, messengers, and servants of the Lord.
First, they functioned as preachers who expounded and interpreted the Mosaic law to the nation.
Second, they functioned as predictors who announced coming judgment, deliverance, and events relating to the Messiah and His kingdom.
Finally, they functioned as watchmen over the people of Israel. Ezekiel stood as a watchman on the walls of Zion ready to trumpet a warning against religious apostasy.
In the Hebrew canon the Prophets are divided into the Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings) and the Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel,) and the Twelve, or Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi).
We will be talking about the six books called the former prophets in this lesson.