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ATS Bible Dictionary

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PROPHECYPROPITIANTION
 
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• Nave's Topical Bible
» Prophets
• Torrey's Topical Textbook
» Prophets
» Prophets, False
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• Easton's Bible Dictionary
» Schools of the Prophets
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» False Prophets
» Prophecy, Prophets, 1
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» Schools of the Prophets
Lexicons
Greek - prophets
Greek - of the prophets, prophets
Greek - false prophets
Hebrew - prophets
Hebrew - prophets
Hebrew - prophets
PROPHETS

A class of men of God, especially in the Old Testament dispensation, inspired to foretell future and secret events; and who also revealed he will of God as to current events and duties, and were his ambassadors to men. But the word is sometimes used in a wider sense; thus Aaron was Moses; prophet, Exodus 7:1, appointed to deliver to the people the messages that Moses received from God; the sacred musicians are said to prophecy, 1 Chronicles 25:1; and Paul gives the name, according to the custom of the Greeks, to the poet Aratus, "a prophet of their own," Titus 1:12. Scripture does not withhold the name of prophet from impostors, although they falsely boasted of inspiration. As true prophets, when filled y the energy of God’s Spirit, were sometimes fervidly and vehemently agitated, similar motions were called prophesying when exhibited by persons who were filled with an evil spirit, "prophesied in his house," 1 Samuel 18:10. In the New Testament, the "prophets" were a class of men supernaturally endowed, and standing next to the apostles. They seem to have spoken from immediate inspiration, whether in reference to future events of to the mind of the Spirit generally, as in expounding the oracles of God. See 1 Corinthians 11:4 14:1,30, etc. Thus it is said in Acts 13:1, that Judas and Silas were prophets; that there were in the church at Antioch certain prophets and teachers, that is, official instructors. God has set in the church, first apostles, then prophets, 1 Corinthians 12:28. See also Ephesians 2:20 Revelation 18:20 Acts 21:9.

The Old Testament prophets were special agents of Jehovah, raised up and sent as occasion required, to incite to duty, to convict of sin, to call to repentance and reformation, to instruct kings, and denounce against nations the judgments of God, 2 Kings 17:13 Jeremiah 25:4. They aided the priest and Levites in teaching religion to the people, especially in the kingdom of Israel, from which the true priests of the Lord withdrew, 2 Kings 4:23; and cooperated with the kings in public measure to promote piety and virtue. They were humble, faithful, self-denying, fearless men, 2 Kings 1:8 Zechariah 13:4 Matthew 3:4; aloof from the pleasure and luxuries of life, 2 Kings 5:15; often persecuted, and slain, Matthew 23:34-37 Hebrews 11:32-38 James 2:10; but exerting a powerful influence as witnesses for God. Some of them were called from the plough and the herd, 1 Kings 19:20 Amos 7:14 Zechariah 13:5. There were also "schools of the prophets," first mentioned in the time of Samuel, established at Gibeah, Naiotyh, Bethel, Gilgal, and Jericho, where young men were instructed in religion and prepared to guide in religious worship, 1 Samuel 10:5 19:20 2 Kings 2:3,5 4:38. Many of the "sons of the prophets" here taught became not only religious teachers, but inspired prophets. Amos speaks of his own case as an exception, Amos 7:14,15. There are several prophetesses mentioned in Scripture; as Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah; and in the New Testament, Anna, Elisabeth, and Mary, and the four daughters of Philip seem to have partaken for a time of prophetic inspiration.

The prophets received their messages from God, sometimes in visions, trances, and dreams. Compare Numbers 24:2-16 Joel 2:28 Acts 10:11,12 Revelation 1:10-20. These revelations were at times attended with overpowering manifestations of the Godhead; and at other times were simply breathed into the mind by the Spirit of God. Their messages were delivered to the kings, princes, and priests whom they most concerned, or to the people at large, in writing, or by word of mouth and in public places; often with miracles, or with symbolic actions designed to explain and enforce them, Isaiah 20:1-6 Jeremiah 7:2 19:1-15 Ezekiel 3:10.

The Old Testament contains the inspired writings of sixteen of the Hebrew prophets; four of whom, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel are called the greater prophets and the other twelve the minor prophets. Respecting the true chronological order of the prophets, there is in some cases great diversity of opinion. Below is given the arrangement preferred by some; while others, so far as the minor prophets ace concerned, adhere to that given in the Hebrew Bible and our common version. See each name in its place, for further particulars.

1. Jonah, during the reign of Jeroboam III, king of Israel, which commenced 825 B. C.; or perhaps as early as Joash, the predecessor of Jeroboam.

2. Joel, under Uzziah king of Judah, nearly 800 B. C., before Amos and Hosea came upon the stage.

3. Amos, under Uzziah king of Judah, and during the latter years of Jeroboam II, king of Israel. About 787 B. C.

4. Hosea, under Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and under Jeroboam II And his successors, kings of Israel. From about 785 to 725 B. C.

5. Isaiah, near the death of Uzziah king of Judah, and the beginning of the reign of Jotham, B. C. 758, to the reign of Manasseh, B. C. 697.

6. Micah, under Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Jotham began to reign B. C. 758, and Hezekiah died B. C. 697. Thus Micah was contemporary with Isaiah

7. Nahum, in the latter part of the reign of Hezekiah, and after the expedition of Sennacherib. Between 710 and 700 B. C.

8. Zephaniah, soon after the beginning of the reign of Josiah, and before the destruction of Nineveh. About B. C. 630.

9. Jeremiah, in the thirteenth year of Josiah king of Judah, B. C. 628. Jeremiah continued to prophesy under Shallum, Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah, to the taking of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, B. C. 588. It is supposed he died two years afterwards in Egypt.

10. Habakkuk, in Judah, near the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, about 610 B. C., and before the coming of Nebuchadnezzar.

11. Obadiah, near the fall and captivity of Jerusalem, B. C. 588, and before the desolation of Idumaea.

12. Ezekiel, carried captive to Babylon with Jeconiah king of Judah, 598 B. C. He began to prophesy about B. C. 590; and continued, under Nebuchadnezzar, till fourteen years, after the final capture of Jerusalem B. C. 588.

13. Daniel, taken into Chaldea while young, B. C. 606, the fourth year of Jehoiadim king of Judah. He prophesied in Babylon to the end of the captivity and probably finished about 534 B. C.

14. Haggai, returned from the captivity B. C. 536, and prophesied in the second year of Darius son of Hystaspes, B. C. 520.

15. Zechariah, prophesied in Judea at the same time as Haggai, B. C. 520, and seems to have continued after him.

16. Malachi supposed to have prophesied about 416 B. C., in the latter part of the administration of Nehemiah at Jerusalem.

Christ, of whom all the prophets bore witness, Luke 24:27,44 Acts 10:43 1 Peter 1:10-11, is eminently THE PROPHET of his church in all ages, Deuteronomy 18:15-19 Acts 3:22-24; revealing to them, by his inspired servants, by himself, and by his Spirit, all we know of God and immortality.


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. "Entry for 'PROPHETS'". "American Tract Society Bible Dictionary".
<http://classic.studylight.org/dic/ats/view.cgi?number=T1675>. 1859.

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