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Monday, August 6 2012
Israel In History and Prophecy: The Prophets
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
In the Holy Bible, "prophet" means an inspired speaker, as in an in-spirit-ed speaker - someone who is guided by the Truth of God (on the other hand, for the Bible word for "false prophet," see What's The Bible Word For False Prophet?). A very large amount of the Bible is prophecy of the yet-future - including many of the "Old Testament" prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled.
As such, along with those who are popularly recognized as prophets (e.g. Daniel, Isaiah), many well-known people of the Bible, who are usually not regarded as prophets, are indeed prophets.
Abraham was a prophet:
"20:7 Now therefore restore the man his wife [i.e. Sarah; see A Biography Of Abraham: Sarah]; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine." (Genesis 20:7 KJV)
Isaac was a prophet:
"11:20 By faith Isaac [see A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac] blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come." (Hebrews 11:20 KJV)
Jacob, who the LORD renamed as Israel (see Where Jacob Became Israel), was a prophet:
"49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Jacob's Family], and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. 49:2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
Moses, Aaron and Miriam
While Moses is usually regarded as a prophet, according to the Scriptures, his brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam, were also prophets.
"7:1 And the LORD [see Who Is The LORD?] said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. 7:2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land." (Exodus 7:1-2 KJV)
To assist Moses with the heavy task of responsibility that he was given, others, by means of the Holy Spirit, also became prophets.
"11:24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people [see What Did The Elders Of Israel Do?], and set them round about the tabernacle. 11:25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease." (Numbers 11:24-25 KJV)
The prophet Moses even prophesied that a later prophet would arise from among their own people to point people to the Law of the LORD.
"18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; 18:16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Law Of The LORD] in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
The Prophet Judges
Some of the Judges were prophets, including at least one woman, who was both a prophet and a judge of Israel.
"4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges]. 4:5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment." (Judges 4:4-5 KJV)
Samuel was a prophet of the LORD.
"3:19 And Samuel [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Samuel] grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. 3:20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. 3:21 And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD." 1 Samuel 3:19-21 KJV)
Although it isn't always clear in translation, a "prophet" was in earlier times called a "seer."
"9:8 And the servant answered Saul again [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Saul and David], and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way. 9:9 (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)
Although Saul squandered the means of prophecy that he was given, Saul, Israel's first king, was also made a prophet at that time.
"10:10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. 10:11 And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets? 10:12 And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets?" (1 Samuel 10:10-12 KJV)
Gad was a prophet in Jerusalem when David became king.
"24:11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,
Nathan was another prophet in Jerusalem at the time of King David. Nathan was involved in the rebuke of David for his involvement with Bathsheba (see David And Bathsheba) and then later on the side of Solomon when Solomon was made king.
"1:32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king.
King David was a living prophecy of the Messiah to come who will rule the Kingdom of God. But David was also a prophet; his Psalms provide some of the most detailed Messianic prophecies of the Holy Scriptures, including witnessing the Crucifixion of the Messiah, as seen through the Messiah's own eyes (see The Messianic Psalms).
"22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 22:17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." (Psalm 22:16-18 KJV)
The Books of The Prophets
The specific prophetic books of the Bible were written by prophets who were sent by the LORD to Israel and Judah.
There are no prophetic books for them, but Elijah and Elisha are major prophets who also lived in the time of Israel and Judah. Elijah's name became a generic term for later prophets i.e. for John the Baptist, "11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come" (Matthew 11:13-14 KJV)
"18:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet [see also Moses And Elijah At The Feast Of Tabernacles] came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
Elisha continued the prophetic ministry of Elijah.
"2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven [see Where Did Elijah Go?]. 2:12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
Israel and Judah's Deaf Ears To The Warnings Of The Prophets
The fall of Israel and Judah were not sudden, or unjust. Both kingdoms were warned to repent, or be destroyed. They choose to turn a deaf ear to the Truth that would have saved them.
First, Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes):
"17:7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, 17:8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. 17:9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. 17:10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: 17:11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: 17:12 For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. 17:13 Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Law Of The LORD] which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.
"36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God [see also The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today], great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.
Fact Finder: Who were the two greatest prophets?
This Day In History, August 6
1195: Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, died at age 66.
1284: The Republic of Genoa defeated the Republic of Pisa at the Battle of Meloria.
1415: Jan Hus, a Czech who spoke out against Roman Catholic Church corruption, was burned at the stake as a "heretic."
1538: Bogota, Colombia, was founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.
1497: John Cabot returned to England after his first successful journey to the Labrador coast.
1806: A premature historical account: "The Holy Roman Empire came to an end when Francis II formally resigned his titles in deference to Napoleon's victories. Founded in 962 by Otto I of Germany, the Holy Roman Empire was a political entity in parts of Europe, primarily German states, over which the pope had spiritual control. The empire reached its zenith under the Hohenstaufens (1138-1254). Its end came when the Confederation of the Rhine, a league of German principalities, renounced its allegiance under pressure from Napoleon." (see What Is The Mark Of The Beast?).
1825: Bolivia declared its independence from Peru.
1845: The Russian Geographical Society was founded in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
1861: The United Kingdom annexed Lagos, Nigeria.
1890: Convicted murderer William Kemmler became the first person to be executed in the electric chair when he was put to death at Auburn State Prison in New York.
1914: The British light cruiser Amphion struck a German mine and sunk immediately; 150 men drowned, including the German prisoners on board that had been captured from the minelayer that had laid the fatal mine.
1945: During the Second World War, the U.S. B-29 Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing an estimated 140,000 people, and horribly burning tens of thousands more, in the first use of a nuclear "weapon of mass destruction" in warfare. The second came a few days later when another U.S. bomber dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.
1986: William Schroeder died after living 620 days with the "Jarvik Seven" artificial heart.
1996: Scientists from NASA and a number of universities reported that a meteorite found in Antarctica in 1984, and later identified as having originated from Mars, provided "unequivocal" biological evidence that life once existed on Mars. The findings were later disputed.
2011: A helicopter carrying members of Navy SEAL Team 6 was shot down (the "official" account was it was a simple crash, however independent military witnesses from allies report that it was in fact shot down) in Afghanistan killing 38. Reportedly among those killed were some of the SEAL Team 6 members who killed Osama bin Laden during a raid into Pakistan 3 months earlier.