MINOR PROPHETS. A common desigma Hon for a group of twelve prophetical books in the Hebrew canon, which in the English I;ible form the close of the Old Testament. It was em ployed as early as the time of Augustine and Ru tms, who are careful to explain that its use is occasioned by the brevity of the books and does not characterize their merit or iniportance. The corresponding designation, major prophets, is applied to the longer books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. The Hebrews called this group of writings 'the Twelve' and this nomen clature was followed by the Greeks. (See the article BIBLE.) The first reference to the collec tion is in Ecclus. xlix. 10, a section probably written in the time of John Hyrcanus. The books included in the collection. in the order in which they are arranged in the Hebrew Bible, are Hosea, Joel, Amos. Obadiah, Jonah. Micah, Na hum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. This order is retained in the English Bible. In the Greek version the arrangement is as follows: Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah. Nahum. Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, :NI ala eh i. Both no doubt were intended to be chronological. There is a general advance from the Assyrian to the Chaldxan and Persian periods. The three prophets of the Clmhhran period (Nahum, Habakkuk. Zephaniah) and the three of the Persian period (Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi) are given in the same order. On the other hand, the earlier prophets seem to have formed two groups in the Greek, viz. Hosea, Amos, Micah, and Joel, Obadiah, Jonah. It is significant that of these six only the first group of three ern be assigned to the Assyrian period in the light of modern criticism. It would appear, therefore, that the late hooks, Joel. Obadiah, and .Tonah, once were appended to the others, but subsequently were copied after the prophets of the Assyrian period on aecount of the reference to .Tonah in IT. Kings xiv. 25. The same consideration may have led to the placing of Jonah before Micah as in the Hebrew recension. For the dates of the books and further information, consult the articles upon the individual books.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Many commentaries have been Bibliography. Many commentaries have been written upon the twelve minor prophets as a whole. The following are the more recent: Rosenmiiller. Prophetic inores (2d ed., Leipzig. Hitzig. Die zieW f Heinen 1835; 4th ed. by Steiner, 15511: Ewald. Prophe ten Hess alien Bundes (ni?ttiiren, 15111-11: 2.1
ed. 1867) Henderson, Commentary on !be Twilre Minor PropfietR (London. 1860-G1): Pusey, The Minor Prophets (ib., 1860 seq.) : Neil. Kleine Prophetcn (Leipzig, 1866; 3d ed. 1888); Reuss, La Bible, vol. ii. ( l'aris, 1876) knabenbauer, 'urn menhir/US in I/ i/100 1880 ; I trelli, Kteinc Propheten (Munich, 1555; 2d ed. 1596) ; Farrar, The Minor Prophets, ".Mon of the series" ( London. 1890) Wellhausen, Die Heinen Prophet en (8kizzen and 1 orarbeiten, v., Berlin, 1892; 3d ed. ; Deane, "Minor Prophets" I Pulpit Commentary, London, 1893) : George Adam Smith, "'The Book of the Twelve Prophets" (Expositor's Bible, London, 1896) ; Nowack, Die lacinen Propheten (Gottingen, 1897). Consult In Smith, Prophets of Israel 2d ed., London, 1595). Fla works, see the articles upon the different prophets.
IVIrNOS (Gk. 31/vans). .1 legendary King of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa. and brother of Rhadamanthus and Sarpedon. In the ordinary version he appears as a just and wise ruler. giv ing to Crete a code of laws received from his father, Zeus. He was also a powerful monarch, establishing the first fleet and clearing the _Egcan of pirates. He thus exercised a sway over the Greek coast-lands. After his death his reputa tion for justice led the to make him a judge in the lower world, where with Rhada manthus and -Mims he passed sentence on the souls of the dead. In contradiction to this char acter is the group of legends which gather about the :\finotanr, where he appears IS at first de priving Poseidon of his due offering, the bull sent by the god from the sea in answer to his prayer. From this bull and Pasiphae, wife of Minos, sprang the Minotaur (q.v.), for whose keeping Thedalus (q.v.) built Minos the Laby rinth. When his son Androgeos was slain by the Athenians. Minos made war upon them, and com pelled them to pay the tribute of seven youths and seven maidens to he food for the Minotaur. until Theseus (q.v.) released them by killing the monster. The cruel character of Minos in this legend led later writers to distinguish two kings, the elder, a son of Zeus. who was just, and his grandson, who was cruel. The recent discoveries of a splendid palace at Cnosus and the evidences of a very powerful and splendid kingdom in Crete during the Mycelia-an .age warrant the be lief that the story of Alinos contains reminis cences of an early Cretan supremacy in the _Egean.