The Minor Prophets are minor because they are shorter in length than the Major Prophets, not because they are less important: Isaiah is 66 chapters long; Obadiah is 1 chapter.
All of the Minor Prophets write during the time of the kings, 1050 – 586 B.C., or after the return from Babylonian Captivity, 539 – 430 B.C. Most tell us when they are active. Hosea, for example, begins: “The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah…” (Hosea 1: 1). That is the same time during which Isaiah takes place, and the historical context for Hosea is the same as that of Isaiah: The Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. and the Assyrian attack against Judah and Jerusalem in 701 B.C.
Remember, a prophet always writes into his own historical context, and the primary meaning we draw from what he says always emerges from that historical context.
©2014 William C. Creasy (P)2013 William C. Creasy