Understanding the OT prophets

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Puritan Board Sophomore
How do you older Christians who are more educated on the word, study the Prophets?
I find my self reading the prophets but being not quiet as adapt to understanding the heavier stuff.
Do you have recommendations for study aids?
Use one of the many free commentaries available online. Calvin wrote on most of the prophetic literature (he died in the middle of his last study, Ezekiel). Calvin doesn't just focus on words/phrases, or proceed stolidly and stiffly verse-by-verse; but he is very good at explaining the flow of the author's thinking.
I have found real blessing in reading the prophets. They are a constant reminder for believers to examine their walk before Christ, to make sure we are not engaging in mindless rituals thinking they impress God, and to flee idolatry in all its forms. A series I have found helpful is The Gospel According to the Old Testament, in particular, Love Divine and Unfailing (Hosea) by Michael P.V. Barrett.

As you approach one of the prophets, you'll want to see him in his historical context by reading the portion of OT history which the prophet is addressing. The basic story is that the northern kingdom is about to get pounded by the Assyrians and the southern kingdom by the Babylonians as God carries out his wrath against the unfaithfulness of his people. But remember that prophesy points toward a person: Christ, and not just events.

I can point you to some excellent sermon series if you'd like.
I'm not older but it may help to understand the purpose of the prophets. First, in Hebrew the historical books are part of the prophets, as there are only 3 divisions in Hebrew OT: Law, Prophets and Writings (Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, SoS, Ecc, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Chronicles)

At the end of Deuteronomy (ch. 32), God makes a covenant with Israel. The former prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings) show the history of how Israel broke the covenant. The Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, 12 minor) upholds the covenant promises and executes the lawsuit upon Israel because they broke the covenant (because of the history or former prophets). So the latter prophets are something like lawyers upholding the covenant...
I'm neither that old nor that educated but I have been enjoying (painful at times too) Vos on biblical theology. He tackles a number of difficulties and affords a high view of progressive revelation particularly with regard to the prophets. Amazon.com: Biblical Theology (9780851514581): Geerhardus Vos: Books

If I may make one more suggestion; next time you ask for recommendations from the seasoned, you may want to substitute mature for "older" as those of us growing long in the tooth can get sensitive. :pilgrim:
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