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prof'-et ((nabi) to bubble forth as from a fountain, (nabhi') speaker of the Lord)
(4 Major/Greater Prophets) Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah
(12 Minor Prophets) Amos, Habakkuk, Haggai, Hosea, Joel, Jonah, Malachi, Micah, Nahum, Obadiah, Zechariah, Zephaniah
(Other Prophets) Abraham, Balaam, Barnabas, Elijah, Elisha, Gad, Jesus, Miriam, Moses, Nathan, Noah, Obed, Paul (the Apostle), Samuel, Urijah
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Easton's Bible Dictionary

(Hebrew. nabi, from a root meaning "to bubble forth, as from a fountain," hence "to utter", Compare Psalms 45:1 ). This Hebrew word is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the time of Samuel another word, ro'eh , "seer", began to be used ( 1 Samuel 9:9 ). It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel. Afterwards another word, hozeh , "seer" ( 2 Samuel 24:11 ), was employed. In 1 Chronicles 29:29 all these three words are used: "Samuel the seer (ro'eh), Nathan the prophet (nabi'), Gad the seer" (hozeh). In Joshua 13:22 Balaam is called (Hebrew) a kosem "diviner," a word used only of a false prophet.

The "prophet" proclaimed the message given to him, as the "seer" beheld the vision of God. (See Numbers 12:6 , 12:8 .) Thus a prophet was a spokesman for God; he spake in God's name and by his authority ( Exodus 7:1 ). He is the mouth by which God speaks to men ( Jeremiah 1:9 ; Isaiah 51:16 ), and hence what the prophet says is not of man but of God ( 2 Peter 1:20 , 1:21 ; Compare Hebrews 3:7 ; Acts 4:25 ; 28:25 ). Prophets were the immediate organs of God for the communication of his mind and will to men ( Deuteronomy 18:18 , Deuteronomy 18:19 ). The whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as prophetic, inasmuch as it was written by men who received the revelation they communicated from God, no matter what its nature might be. The foretelling of future events was not a necessary but only an incidental part of the prophetic office. The great task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up among the people was "to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim the great moral and religious truths which are connected with the character of God, and which lie at the foundation of his government."

Any one being a spokesman for God to man might thus be called a prophet. Thus Enoch, Abraham, and the patriarchs, as bearers of God's message ( Genesis 20:7 ; Exodus 7:1 ; Psalms 105:15 ), as also Moses ( Deuteronomy 18:15 ; 34:10 ; Hosea 12:13 ), are ranked among the prophets. The seventy elders of Israel ( Numbers 11:16 - 29 ), "when the spirit rested upon them, prophesied;" Asaph and Jeduthun "prophesied with a harp" ( 1 Chronicles 25:3 ). Miriam and Deborah were prophetesses ( Exodus 15:20 ; Judges 4:4 ). The title thus has a general application to all who have messages from God to men.

But while the prophetic gift was thus exercised from the beginning, the prophetical order as such began with Samuel. Colleges, "schools of the prophets", were instituted for the training of prophets, who were constituted, a distinct order ( 1 Samuel 19:18 - 24 ; 2 Kings 2:3 , 15 ; 4:38 ), which continued to the close of the Old Testament. Such "schools" were established at Ramah, Bethel, Gilgal, Gibeah, and Jericho. The "sons" or "disciples" of the prophets were young men ( 2 Kings 5:22 ; 9:1 , 9:4 ) who lived together at these different "schools" ( 2 Kings 4:38 - 41 ). These young men were taught not only the rudiments of secular knowledge, but they were brought up to exercise the office of prophet, "to preach pure morality and the heart-felt worship of Jehovah, and to act along and co-ordinately with the priesthood and monarchy in guiding the state aright and checking all attempts at illegality and tyranny."

In New Testament times the prophetical office was continued. Our Lord is frequently spoken of as a prophet ( Luke 13:33 ; 24:19 ). He was and is the great Prophet of the Church. There was also in the Church a distinct order of prophets ( 1 Corinthians 12:28 ; Ephesians 2:20 ; 3:5 ), who made new revelations from God. They differed from the "teacher," whose office it was to impart truths already revealed.

Of the Old Testament prophets there are sixteen, whose prophecies form part of the inspired canon. These are divided into four groups:

(1) The prophets of the northern kingdom (Israel), viz.,

Hosea, Amos, Joel, Jonah.

(2) The prophets of Judah, viz.,

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah.

(3) The prophets of Captivity, viz.,

Ezekiel and Daniel.

(4) The prophets of the Restoration, viz.,

Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.


Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names

(no entry)


Smith's Bible Dictionary

The ordinary Hebrew word for prophet is nabi, derived from a verb signifying "to bubble forth" like a fountain; hence the word means one who announces or pours forth the declarations of God. The English word comes from the Greek prophetes (profetes), which signifies in classical Greek one who speaks for another, especially one who speaks for a god , and so interprets his will to man; hence its essential meaning is "an interpreter." The use of the word in its modern sense as "one who predicts" is post-classical. The larger sense of interpretation has not, however, been lost. In fact the English word ways been used in a closer sense. The different meanings or shades of meanings in which the abstract noun is employed in Scripture have been drawn out by Locke as follows: "Prophecy comprehends three things: prediction; singing by the dictate of the Spirit; and understanding and explaining the mysterious, hidden sense of Scripture by an immediate illumination and motion of the Spirit."

Order and office . --

The sacerdotal order was originally the instrument by which the members of the Jewish theocracy were taught and governed in things spiritual. Teaching by act and teaching by word were alike their task. But during the time of the judges, the priesthood sank into a state of degeneracy, and the people were no longer affected by the acted lessons of the ceremonial service. They required less enigmatic warnings and exhortations, under these circumstances a new moral power was evoked the Prophetic Order. Samuel himself Levite of the family of Kohath, ( 1 Chronicles 6:28 ) and almost certainly a priest, was the instrument used at once for effecting a reform in the sacerdotal order ( 1 Chronicles 9:22 ) and for giving to the prophets a position of importance which they had never before held. Nevertheless it is not to be supposed that Samuel created the prophetic order as a new thing before unknown. The germs both of the prophetic and of the regal order are found in the law as given to the Israelites by Moses, ( Exodus 13:1 ; 18:20 ; 17:18 ) but they were not yet developed, because there was not yet the demand for them. Samuel took measures to make his work of restoration permanent as well as effective for the moment. For this purpose he instituted companies or colleges of prophets. One we find in his lifetime at Ramah, ( 1 Samuel 19:19 , 19:20 ) others afterward at Bethel, ( 2 Kings 2:3 ) Jericho, ( 2 Kings 2:2 , 2:5 ) Gilgal; ( 2 Kings 4:38 ) and elsewhere. ( 2 Kings 6:1 ) Their constitution and object similar to those of theological colleges. Into them were gathered promising students, and here they were trained for the office which they were afterward destined to fulfill. So successful were these institutions that from the time of Samuel to the closing of the canon of the Old Testament there seems never to have been wanting due supply of men to keep up the line of official prophets. Their chief subject of study was, no doubt, the law and its interpretation; oral, as distinct from symbolical, teaching being thenceforward tacitly transferred from the priestly to the prophetic order. Subsidiary subjects of instruction were music and sacred poetry, both of which had been connected with prophecy from the time of Moses ( Exodus 15:20 ) and the judges. ( Judges 4:4 ; 5:1 ) But to belong to the prophetic order and to possess the prophetic gift are not convertible terms. Generally, the inspired prophet came from the college of prophets, and belonged to prophetic order; but this was not always the case. Thus Amos though called to the prophetic office did not belong to the prophetic order. ( Amos 7:14 ) The sixteen prophets whose books are in the canon have that place of honor because they were endowed with the prophetic gift us well as ordinarily (so far as we know) belonging to the prophetic order.

Characteristics . --

What then are the characteristics of the sixteen prophets thus called and commissioned and intrusted with the messages of God to his people?

(1) They were the national poets of Judea.

(2) They were annalists and historians.

A great portion of Isaiah, of Jeremiah, of Daniel of Jonah, of Haggai, is direct or in direct history.

(3) They were preachers of patriotism, --

their patriotism being founded on the religious motive.

(4) They were preachers of morals and of spiritual religion.

The system of morals put forward by the prophets, if not higher or sterner or purer than that of the law, is more plainly declared, and with greater, because now more needed, vehemence of diction.

(5) They were extraordinary but yet authorized exponents of the law.

(6) They held a pastoral or quasi-pastoral office.

(7) They were a political power in the state.

But the prophets were something more than national poets and annalists, preachers of patriotism moral teachers, exponents of the law, pastors and politicians. Their most essential characteristic is that they were instruments of revealing Gods will to man, as in other ways, so specially by predicting future events, and in particular foretelling the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the redemption effected by him. We have a series of prophecies which are so applicable to the person and earthly life of Jesus Christ as to be thereby shown to have been designed to apply to him. And if they were designed to apply to him, prophetical prediction is proved. Objections have, been urged. We notice only one, vis., vagueness. It has been said that the prophecies are too darkly and vaguely worded to be proved predictive by the events which they are alleged to foretell. But to this might be answered,

(1) That God never forces men to believe, but that there is such a union of definiteness and vagueness in the prophecies as to enable those who are willing to discover the truth, while the willfully blind are not forcibly constrained to see it.

(2) That, had the prophecies been couched in the form of direct declarations, their fulfillment would have thereby been rendered impossible or at least capable of frustration.

(3) That the effect of prophecy would have been far less beneficial to believers, as being less adapted to keep them in a state of constant expectation.

(4) That the Messiah of revelation could not be so clearly portrayed in his varied character as God and man, as prophet, priest and king, if he had been the mere teacher."

(5) That the state of the prophets, at the time of receiving the divine revelation, was such as necessarily to make their predictions fragmentary figurative, and abstracted from the relations of time.

(6) That some portions of the prophecies were intended to be of double application, and some portions to be understood only on their fulfillment, Comp. ( John 14:29 ; Ezekiel 36:33 )


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

prof'-e-si, prof'-e-si, prof'-ets:




1. Abraham

It is a characteristic peculiarity of the religion of the Old Testament that its very elementary beginnings are of a prophetical nature. The fathers, above all Abraham, but also Isaac and Jacob, are the recipients of visions and of divine revelations. Especially is this true of Abraham, who appeared to the foreigners, to whom he was neither kith or kin, to be indeed a prophet (nabhi') (Genesis 20:7 ; compare Psalms 105:15), although in his case the command to preach the word was yet absent.

2. Moses

Above all, the creative founder of the Israelite national religion, Moses, is a prophet in the eminent sense of the word. His influence among the people is owing neither to his official position, nor to any military prowess, but solely and alone to the one circumstance, that since his call at the burning bush God has spoken to him. This intercourse between God and Moses was ever of a particularly intimate character. While other men of God received certain individual messages only from time to time and through the mediation of dreams and visions, Yahweh spoke directly and "face to face" with Moses (Numbers 12:6 ; Deuteronomy 34:10 ; compare Exodus 33:11). Moses was the permanent organ through whom Yahweh brought about the Egyptian plagues and through whom He explained what these meant to His people, as also through whom He led and ruled them. The voice of Moses too had to explain to them the divine signs in the desert and communicate to them the commandments of God. The legislation of Moses shows that he was not only filled with the Spirit of God occasionally, but that he abode with God for longer periods of time and produced something that is a well-ordered whole. A production such as the Law is the result of a continuous association with God.

3. Period of the Judges

Since that time revelation through prophecy was probably never entirely wanting in Israel (Deuteronomy 18:15). But this fountain did not always flow with the same fullness or clearness. During the period of the Judges the Spirit of God urged the heroes who served Yahweh rather to deeds than to words. Yet Deborah enjoyed a high rank as a prophetess, and for a long time pronounced decisions of justice in the name of the Lord before she, through her prophetical utterances, aroused the people to rise up against their oppressors. What is said in 1 Samuel 3:1 concerning the times of Eli can be applied to this whole period, namely that the word and vision of the prophet had become rare in the land. All the more epoch-making was the activity of Samuel, who while yet a boy received divine revelations (1 Samuel 3:1). He was by the whole people regarded as a "seer" whose prophecies were always fulfilled (3:19 f). The passage 1 Samuel 9:6 shows that the people expected of such a man of God that he should also as a clairvoyant come to the assistance of the people in the troubles of life. Such a professional clairvoyant, indeed, Samuel was not, as he was devoted entirely to the service of his God and of his people and obeyed the Divine Spirit, even in those cases when he was compelled to act contrary to his personal inclinations, as was the case when the kingdom was established in Israel (8:6).

4. Schools of Prophets

Since the days of Samuel we hear of schools of prophets, or "sons of prophets." These associations probably originated in this way, that an experienced prophet attracted to himself bands of youths, who sought to receive a measure of his spirit. These disciples of the prophets, together with their families, lived in colonies around the master. Possibly Samuel was the first who founded such a school of prophets. For in or near the city of Ramah we first find nayoth, or colonies of such disciples (1 Samuel 19:18; 20:1). Among these pupils is found to a much greater extent than among the teachers a certain ecstatic feature. They arouse their feelings through music and induce a frantic condition which also affects others in the same way, in which state they "prophesy" and, throwing off their garments, fall to the ground. In later times too we find traces of such ecstatic phenomena. Thus e.g. in Zechariah 13:6 ; 1 Kings 20:37 , 38 , the "wounds" on the breast or on the forehead recall the self-mutilation of the priests of Baal (1 Kings 18:28). The deeds, suggestive of what the dervishes of our own day do, probably were phenomena quite similar to the action of the prophets of the surrounding tribes. But that prophecy in Israel was not, as is now not infrequently claimed, merely a less crude form of the heathen prophetic institution, is proved by such men as Moses and Samuel, who even in their times represent something much higher. Also in the colonies of prophets there was assuredly not to be found merely an enthusiasm without the Spirit of God. Proof for this is Samuel, the spiritual father of this colony, as Elijah was for the later colonies of this kind. These places were rather the centers of a religious life, where communion with God was sought by prayer and meditation, and where the recollection of the great deeds of God in the past seemed to prepare for the reception of new revelations. From such centers of theocratic ideas and ideals without a doubt there came forth also corresponding influences that affected the people. Perhaps not only was sacred music cultivated at these places but also sacred traditions, which were handed down orally and in writing. Certain it is that at these colonies the religion of Yahweh prevailed.

5. Period of the Kings

During the period of the kings prophetically inspired men frequently appeared, who demanded even of the kings that they should submit to their divinely-inspired word. Saul, who refused such submission, perished as the result of this conflict. David owed much to the support of the prophets Samuel, Nathan, Gad (1 Samuel 16:1 ; 2 Chronicles 29:25, and elsewhere). But David also bowed in submission when these prophets rebuked him because of his transgression of the divine commands (2 Samuel 12 ; 24). His son Solomon was educated by the prophet Nathan. But the destruction of his kingdom was predicted by the prophet Abijah, the Shilonite (1 Kings 11:29). Since Yahweh, as the supreme Sovereign, has the right to enthrone or to dethrone kings, this is often done through the mouths of the prophets (compare 1 Kings 14:7 ; 16:1). After the division of the kingdom we find Shemaiah forbidding Rehoboam to begin a war with his brethren of Israel (1 Kings 12:21 ; compare 2 Chronicles 11:2; compare another mission of the same prophet, 2 Chronicles 12:5). On the other hand in the Northern Kingdom the prophetic word is soon turned against the untheocratic rule of Jeroboam (1 Kings 13; 14). It is in this very same Northern Kingdom that the prophets unfolded their full activity and generally in opposition to the secular rulers, although there was no lack of accommodating "prophets," who were willing to sanction everything that the king wanted. The opposition of the true prophets to these false representatives of prophecy is illustrated in the story of Micaiah, the son of Imlah (1 Kings 22). But a still higher type of prophecy above the ordinary is found in Elijah, whose historic mission it was to fight to the finish the battle between the followers of Yahweh and the worship of the Tyrian Baal. He was entirely a man of action; every one of his words is a deed on a grand scale (compare concerning Elijah and Elisha the article ISRAEL, RELIGION OF). His successor Elisha inherited from him not only his mantle, but also a double measure of his spiritual gifts. He exhibits the prophetic office more from its loving side. He is accustomed to visit the schools of prophets found scattered throughout the land, calls the faithful together around himself on the Sabbaths and the new moons (2 Kings 4:23), and in this way establishes centers of a more spiritual culture than was common elsewhere among the people. We read that first-fruits were brought to him as to the priests (2 Kings 4:42). But while the activity of Elijah was entirely in antagonism to the ruling house in the kingdom, this feature is not entirely lacking in the work of Elisha also. He has even been charged with wicked conspiracies against the dynasty of Omri and the king of Syria (2 Kings 8; 9). His conduct in connection with these events can be excused only on the ground that he was really acting in the name of a higher Master. But in general it was possible for Elisha, after the radical change in public sentiment that had followed upon the work of Elijah, in later time to assume a more friendly attitude toward the government and the people. He often assisted the kings in their arduous contests with the Syrians (compare 2 Kings 6:8 ; 13:14). His deeds are generally of a benevolent character. In connection with these he exhibits to a remarkable degree the gift of prophetic foresight (2 Kings 4:16 ; 5:26 ; 6:8 ; 7:1 ; 8:10 , 12 ; 9:6 ; 13:19). Jonah, too, the son of Amittai, had at that time a favorable message for the Northern Kingdom (2 Kings 14:25).

6. Literary Prophets, Amos, Hosea

However, the flourishing condition of the kingdom under Jeroboam II had an unfavorable influence on its spiritual development. Soon Amos and Hosea were compelled to announce to this kingdom its impending destruction through a great world-power. These two prophets have left us books. To put prophetic utterances into written form had already been introduced before this. At any rate, many scholars are of the conviction that the prophecies of Obadiah and Joe belong to an earlier period, although others place them in the post-exilic period. In any case, the expectation of a day of settlement by Yahweh with His people was already in the days of Amos common and current (Amos 5:18). As the writing of individual prophecies (Isaiah 8:1 ; 30:8 ; Habakkuk 2:2) had for its purpose the preserving of these words in permanent authentic form and later to convince the reader of their wonderful fulfillment, thus too the writing down of larger collections of prophecies had for its purpose to intensify the power of the prophetic word and to secure this as a permanent possession of the people (Jeremiah 30:2 ; 36:1). Pupils of the prophets assisted them in this writing and in preserving their books (compare Jeremiah 36:4 ; Isaiah 8:16).

7. Poetical Form of Prophecy

It is to this custom that we owe our knowledge of the very words of the utterances of many of the prophets of a later period. In addition to the larger books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, we have a number of smaller prophetical books, which have been united into the Book of the Twelve Prophets. These utterances as a rule exhibited an elevated form of language and are more or less poetical. However, in modern times some scholars are inclined to go too far in claiming that these addresses are given in a carefully systematized metrical form. Hebrew meter as such is a freer form of expression than is Arabic or Sanskrit meter, and this is all the more the case with the discourses of the prophets, which were not intended for musical rendering, and which are expressed in a rhythmically-constructed rhetoric, which appears now in one and then in another form of melody, and often changes into prose.

8. Prophets of Judah, Isaiah, and Others Down to Jeremiah

In the kingdom of Judah the status of the prophets was somewhat more favorable than it was in Ephraim. They were indeed forced in Jerusalem also to contend against the injustice on the part of the ruling classes and against immorality of all kinds. But in this kingdom there were at any rate from time to time found kings who walked more in the footsteps of David. Thus Asa followed the directions of the prophet Azariah (2 Chronicles 15:1). It is true that the prophet Hanani censured this king, but it was done for a different reason. Jehoshaphat also regularly consulted the prophets. Among those who had dealings with him Elisha is also mentioned (2 Kings 3:14), as also some other prophets (compare 2 Chronicles 19:2 ; 20:14 - 37). The greatest among the prophets during the period of the Assyrian invasions was Isaiah, who performed the duties of his office for more than 40 years, and under the kings Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and possibly too under Manasseh, through his word exercised a powerful influence upon the king and the nation. Although a preacher of judgments, he at critical times appeared also as a prophet of consolation. Nor did he despise external evidences of his prophetic office (compare Isaiah 7:11 ; 38:22 , 8). His contemporary Micah is in full agreement with him, although he was not called to deal with the great of the land, with kings, or statesmen, as was the mission of Isaiah. Nahum, Zephaniah and Habakkuk belong rather to the period of transition from the Assyrian to the Chaldean periods. In the days of Josiah the prophetess Huldah had great influence in Jerusalem (2 Kings 22:14). Much more important under this same king was the prophet Jeremiah, who was called by God for a great mission. This prophet during the siege and destruction of Jerusalem and after that time spoke as an unyielding yet deeply feeling exponent of God, and was compelled again and again to dash to the ground the false hopes of the patriots, whenever these arose. Not so firm was his contemporary and fellow-sufferer Uriah (Jeremiah 26:20).

9. During the Exile, Ezekiel, Deutero-Isaiah, Daniel

In the time of the exile itself we find the period of the activity of Ezekiel. It was significant that this prophet became the recipient of divine revelations while on Babylonian territory. His work was, in accordance with the condition of affairs, more that of a pastor and literary man. He seems also to have been a bodily sufferer. His abnormal conditions became symbolical signs of that which he had to proclaim. Deutero-Isaiah, too (Isaiah 40), spoke during the Babylonian period, namely at its close, and prepared for the return. The peculiar prophecies of Daniel are also accorded to a prophet living during the exile, who occupied a distinguished position at the court of the heathen rulers, and whose apocalyptic utterances are of a kind different from the discourses of the other prophets, as they deal more with the political condition of the world and the drama of history, in so far as this tends toward the establishment of the supremacy of Yahweh. These prophecies were collected in later times and did not receive their final and present form until the Greek period at the beginning of the 2nd century BC.

10. After the Exile, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

After the return from Babylon the Jews were exhorted by Haggai and Zechariah to rebuild their temple (about 520 BC). At that time there were still to be found prophets who took a hostile attitude to the men of God. Thus Nehemiah (Nehemiah 6:6-14) was opposed by hostile prophets as also by a prophetess, Noadiah. In contrast with these, Malachi is at all times in accord with the canonical prophets, as he was an ardent advocate for the temple cult of Yahweh, not in the sense of a spiritless and senseless external worship, but as against the current indifference to Yahweh. His style and his language, too, evidence a late age. The lyrical form has given way to the didactic. This is also probably the time when the present Book of Jonah was written, a didactic work treating of an older tradition.

11. Cessation of Prophecy

Malachi is regarded by the Jews as the last really canonical prophet. While doubtless there was not a total lack of prophetically endowed seers and speakers of God also in the closing centuries of the pre-Christian era, nevertheless the general conviction prevailed that the Spirit of God was no longer present, e.g. in the times of the Maccabees (compare 1 Macc 4:46; 9:27; 14:41). It is true that certain modern critics ascribe some large sections of the Book of Isa, as well as of other prophets, even to a period as late as the Greek. But this is refuted by the fact mentioned in Ecclesiasticus (beginning of the 2nd century BC) that in the writer's time the prophetical Canon appeared already as a closed collection. Daniel is not found in this collection, but the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets is. It was during this period that apocalyptic literature began to flourish, many specimens of which are foundamong the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha. These books consist of eschatological speculations, not the product of original inspiration, but emanating from the study of the prophetic word. The very name Pseudepigrapha shows that the author issued his work, not under his own name, but under the pseudonym of some man of God from older times, such as Enoch, Ezra, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Baruch, and others. This fact alone proves the secondary character of this class of literature.


12. Prophecy in the New Testament

Malachi finds a successor in John the Baptist, whose coming the former had predicted. John is the greatest of the prophets, because he could directly point to Him who completed the old covenant and fulfilled its promises. All that we know in addition concerning the times of Jesus shows that the prophetical gift was yet thought of as possibly dwelling in many, but that prophecy was no longer the chief spiritual guide of the people (compare e.g. Josephus, Ant, XIII, xi, 2; XV, x, 5, among the Essenes, or in the case of Hyrcanus, op. cit., XIII, x, 7). Josephus himself claims to have had prophetic gifts at times (compare BJ, III, viii, 9). He is thinking in this connection chiefly of the prediction of some details. Such "prophets" and "prophetesses" are reported also in the New Testament. In Jesus Christ Himself the prophetic office reached its highest stage of development, as He stood in a more intimate relation than any other being to His Heavenly Father and spoke His word entirely and at all times. In the Christian congregation the office of prophecy is again found, differing from the proclamation of the gospel by the apostles, evangelists, and teachers. In the New Testament the terms prophetes, propheteia, propheteuo, signify speaking under the extraordinary influence of the Holy Ghost. Thus in Acts 11:27 f (prophecy of a famine by Agabus); 21:10 f (prediction of the sufferings of Paul); 13:1 f (exhortation to mission work); 21:9 (prophetical gift of the daughters of Philip). Paul himself also had this gift (Acts 16:6 ; 18:9 ; 22:17 ; 27:23). In the public services of the church, prophecy occupied a prominent position (see especially 1 Corinthians 14). A prophetical book in a special sense is the Apocalypse of John. The gift of prophecy was claimed by many also in later times. But this gift ceased more and more, as the Christian church more and more developed on the historical basis of revelation as completed in Christ. Especially in spiritually aroused eras in the history of the church, prophecy again puts in its appearance. It has never ceased altogether, but on account of its frequent misuse the gift has become discredited. Jesus Himself warned against false prophets, and during the apostolic times it was often found necessary to urge the importance of trying spirits (1John 4:1 ; 1 Corinthians 12:10 ; 14:29).







16 prophets of the old testament, bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, characteristics of prophets, greater prophets, interpreter of God, major prophets, minor prophets, nabi, prophets, prophets of captivity, prophets of judah, prophets of the northern kingdom (israel), prophets of the restoration, seer, spokesman for God



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