Prophets

What Is a Prophet? (Part 2)

Elijah Fed by an Angel - Ferdinand Bol, 17th Century

Read Part 1.

Prophecies of Far Future Events

The ministries of Samuel (see 1 Sam. 3:9-18), Elijah (2 Ki. 1:3-4), Micaiah (1 Ki. 22:17-20), and Elisha (2 Ki. 3:14-19) included short-term predictions which could be verified. But there were also prophecies which anticipated things much further off, like Nathan’s oracle,

I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly… (NASB, 2 Samuel 7:10)

This hope for David’s people has not yet been realized, and the later prophets repeat it. These later writing prophets often made long-range predictions which could not be confirmed during their lifetimes, but these far off prophecies were established on the assurance of contemporary foretellings which came to pass. One thinks about Amos’s oracle against Israel (and the interfering priest Amaziah) in Amos 7:14-17, or Jeremiah’s pronouncements concerning the conquering Babylonians in Jeremiah 21:1-10. Ezekiel was told that there were still Jews in the land who foolishly believed that God would not drive them out of the land. His prediction to the contrary (Ezek. 33:21-33) ended with the solemn words,

1270 reads

What Is a Prophet?

Elijah Fed by an Angel - Ferdinand Bol, 17th Century

A draft excerpt from the book “The Words of the Covenant” (forthcoming, DV)

It is commonly asserted within biblical scholarship that the main focus of the prophet was on proclamation; that only incidentally was he (or she) concerned with prediction. In many studies of the role of the prophet the emphasis is put upon the prophet’s function as a moral exhorter to his time and place. Here is a recent example:

The prophet’s role was to speak the word of God to the king, nation, or people to reveal his will for their lives and how they should act. Prophecy sometimes included predictions, but always with a view to revealing something of God’s plan, nature, or personality so that the hearers would respond appropriately in worshipful obedience.1

2671 reads