The Minor Prophets #4

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This entry is part 4 of 32 in the series The Minor Prophets

In the days of the Old Testament prophets, the gate of the city was like the county courthouse used to be. It was where the courts were but also where most business was conducted. It was the official gathering place for the town council—the elders in those days.

Even today, if you’re going to foreclose on a piece of property, you have to go down to the steps of the county courthouse and auction it off, right there, on the courthouse steps.

In Old Testament times it would have been the gate. In those days, that’s where the prophet went to pronounce his message, and that’s what you see as you read through the prophets and they talk about the gate. They’re talking about the courts, they’re talking about the public arena; they’re talking about the place where the public comes together. So when you read in the book of Amos, a statement like, they hate him that rebukes in the gate or they hate him that speaks uprightly, you begin to see what he is talking about. This is a time where you go down to the county courthouse, as it were, you put up your little box, and you get up on your soap box and preach. This is what Amos is about to do.

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Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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