The Neviim [נְבִיאִים], translated as “Prophets,” is the second of the three major divisions in the Hebrew Bible. The Neviim follows the Torah and precedes the Ketuvim. The Neviim is comprised of two subsections, the Former Prophets or Neviim Rishonim [נביאים ראשונים]; and the Latter Prophets or Neviim Aharonim [נביאים אחרונים]. The New Testament has one prophetic book, the book of Revelation.
In the Neviim, the Former Prophets include Joshua through 2 Kings; these narratives are also classified as historical books. The Latter Prophets contain the writings of three major prophets as well as the works of the twelve minor prophets. Here is the complete listing of the Neviim:
As a classification or title, Prophets may be confusing to Christian readers who typically think of prophets as those who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote with pinpoint accuracy of future events. Indeed, fifteen such prophetic writers are included in this section of the Old Testament. But, according to Jewish tradition, the Neviim also serves to tell the story of the Jewish people and the land given to them in perpetuity by God. For this reason, many of the writings classified as historical books are also included in the Neviim.
As the Neviim tells ancient Israel’s thrilling story, let us examine the sequence of historical events chronicled in these twenty-one books:
While the Neviim is an immensely valuable historical record, these books are not limited to an understanding of the past. On the contrary, God pulled back the curtain of time thus allowing His holy prophets to peer far into the future—and what they saw is amazing. Because the future is not hidden from God, today’s diligent Bible students who study the writings of God’s prophets can know tomorrow’s headlines.