Prophets and Prophecy

 

By

 

Yochanan Zaqantov

 

The prophets were an important part of the writing in the Tanakh. One section is the Neviim or Prophets. Therefore it must have an importance to us as Karaites. But how should we view the Prophets and the Prophecy they give to us. Is it future foretold to warn the people of their time, a future warning for us or a confirmation of Yehovahs existence and power?

 

We will look first at the Hebrew words for Prophets as well as identify who where the prophets. We will also look at prophecy and see how should we look at what is written.

 

The first word we will be examining is the word Naviy (Nun-Bet-Yod-Aleph) which is a masculine noun found on page 611 of the BDB and on page 784 of the NEHC. It is reference number 5030.

 

Bereshit/Genesis 20:7 (6-13)

 

6 Elohim said to him in the dream: I also know that it was with a whole heart that you did this, and so I also held you back from being at fault against me, therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 But now, return the man's wife -indeed, he is a prophet (naviy ), he can intercede for you-and live! But if you do not return her: know that you must die, yes, die, you and all that is yours! 8 Early in the morning Avimelekh called all his servants, he spoke all these words in their ears, and the men became exceedingly afraid. 9 Then Avimelekh had Avraham called and said to him: What have you done to us? In what did I fail you, that you have brought me and my kingdom into such great fault? Deeds which are not to be done, you have done to me! 10 And Avimelekh said to Avraham: What did you foresee, that you did this thing? 11 Avraham said: Indeed, I said to myself: Surely there is no awe of Elohim in this place, they will kill me on account of my wife! 12 Then, too, she is truly my sister, my father's daughter, however not my mother's daughter-so she became my wife. 13 Now it was, when the Power-of-Elohim caused me to roam from my father's house, that I said to her: Let this be the faithfulness that you do me: in every place that we come, say of me: He is my brother. 14 Avimelekh took sheep and oxen, servants and maids, and gave them to Avraham, and returned Sara his wife to him. 15 Avimelekh said: Here, my land is before you, settle wherever seems good in your eyes. 16 And to Sara he said: Here, I have given a thousand pieces of silver to your brother, here, it shall serve you as a covering for the eyes for all who are with you and with everyone, that you have been decided for. 17 Avraham interceded with HaElohim and Elohim healed Avimelekh: his wife and his slave-women, so that they gave birth.

 

We see that Abraham was a prophet (Naviy).

 

Shemot/Exodus 7:1-2

 

1 Yehovah said to Moshe: See, I will make you as an elohim for Pharaoh, and Aharon your brother will be your prophet (neviyekha ). 2 You are to speak all that I command you, And Aharon your brother is to speak to Pharaoh so that he may send free the Children of Israel from his land.

 

Aaron is in the role of a Naviy to Moshe. Moses speaks the word and Aaron repeats them to Pharaoh. This shows that the Naviy is a messenger of the word of HaElohim.

 

Bamidbar/Numbers 11:29 (24-29)

 

24 Moshe went out and spoke to the people the words of Yehovah. He gathered seventy men from the elders of the people, and had-them-stand around the tent. 25 And Yehovah came down in a cloud and spoke to him, and Yehovah extended some of the rushing-spirit that was upon him and put it upon the seventy men, the elders; and it was, when the spirit rested upon them, that they acted-like-prophets (vayitnabu ), but did not continue. 26 Now two men remained in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, the name of the second, Meidad, and the spirit rested upon them -they were among those-recorded, but they had not gone out to the Tent- and they acted-like-prophets (vayitnabu ) in the camp. 27 A (certain) lad ran and told Moshe, he said: Eldad and Meidad are acting-like-prophets (vayitnabu ) in the camp! 28 Then Yehoshua son of Nun, Moshe's attendant from his youth, spoke up, he said: My lord Moshe, contain them! 29 But Moshe said to him: Are you jealous for me? O who would give that all the people of Yehovah were prophets (Neviyim ), that Yehovah would put the rush-of-his spirit upon them!

 

Here we see the seventy elders receive the spirit and prophesied. However, they did not continue to prophesize. In addition, two others in the camp did also. We see they spoke. It does not say what they spoke.

 

Bamidbar/Numbers 12:6 (5-8)

 

5 And Yehovah descended in a column of cloud and stood at the entrance to the Tent; he called out: Aharon and Miryam! and the two of them went out. 6 He said: Pray hear my words: If there should be among-you-a-prophet (Neviyokhem ) of Yehovah, in a vision to him I make-myself-known, in a dream I speak with him. 7 Not so my servant Moshe: in all my house, trusted is he; 8 mouth to mouth I speak with him, in-plain-sight, not in riddles, and the form of Yehovah (is what) he beholds. So why were you not too awestruck to speak against my servant, against Moshe?

 

Here we see how Yehovah will speak to his prophets in a dream or vision. The exception was Moshe who he spoke face to face.

 

Devarim/Deuteronomy 13:1 - 6

 

1 Everything that I command you, that you are to take-care to observe, you are not to add to it, you are not to diminish from it! 2 When there arises in your midst a prophet (naviy ) or a dreamer of dreams and he gives you a sign or a portent, 3 and it comes-about, the sign or the portent of which he spoke to you, saying: Let us walk after other haelohim-whom you have not known-and let us serve them, 4 you are not to hearken to the words of that prophet (HaNaviy ) or to that dreamer of dreams, for Yehovah Eloheykhem is (only) testing you to know if you (truly) love Yehovah Eloheykhem with all your heart and with all your being. 5 After Yehovah Eloheykhem you are to walk, him you are to hold-in-awe, his commandments you are to keep, to his voice you are to hearken, him you are to serve, to him you are to cling! 6 Now that prophet (HaNaviy ) or that dreamer of dreams is to be put-to-death, for he has spoken defection against Yehovah Eloheykhem -the one taking you out from the land of Egypt, the one redeeming you from a house of serfs- by leading-you-away from the way on which Yehovah Eloheykha has commanded you to walk; so shall you burn out the evil from your midst!

 

Here we see what a false dreamer or prophet is. Note also this is a test of Yehovah. The punishment for the False prophet was death.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:15, 18, 20, 22 (15-22)

 

15 A prophet (naviy ) from your midst, from your brothers, like myself will Yehovah Eloheykha raise up for you, to him you are to hearken, 16 according to all that you sought from Yehovah Eloheykha at Horev on the day of the Assembly, saying: I cannot continue hearing the voice of Yehovah Elohayv, and this great fire I cannot (bear to) see anymore, so that I do not die! 17 And Yehovah said to me: They have done-well in their speaking; 18 a prophet (naviy ) I will raise up for them from among their brothers, like you; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will speak to them whatever I command him. 19 And it shall be: (any) man who does not hearken to my words which he speaks in my name, I myself will require (a reckoning) from him. 20 But: the prophet (haNaviy ) who presumptuously speaks a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or that he speaks in the name of other elohim: die that prophet (HaNaviy ) shall! 21 Now if you should say in your heart: How can we know it is the word that Yehovah did not speak? 22 Should the prophet (HaNaviy ) speak in the name of Yehovah but the word not happen, not come-about- (then) that is the word that Yehovah did not speak; with presumption did the prophet (HaNaviy ) speak it; you are not to be-in-fear of him!

 

Here we see Moshe telling the Children of Yisrael Yehovah will send a future prophet to speak for him to the people like Moshe. Moshe recounts what is said to him. If we fail to heed that prophet we a held responsible for what is commanded of us. Yet, if what the prophet says does not come to past then we know they are a false prophet or if they lead us to follow another Elohim.

 

Devarim/Deuteronomy 34:10

10 Never again did there arise in Israel a prophet (Naviy ) like Moseswhom Yehovah singled out, face to face, 11 for the various signs and portents that Yehovah sent him to display in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his courtiers and his whole country, 12 and for all the great might and awesome power that Moses displayed before all Israel.

Moshe has a special relationship with Yehovah and was the only prophet to speak to Yehovah without a dream or a vision.

Shofetim/Judges 6:8 (7-10)

 

7 When the Israelites cried to Yehovah on account of Midian, 8 Yehovah sent a prophet (naviy ) to the Israelites who said to them, Thus said Yehovah, the Elohey of Israel: I brought you up out of Egypt and freed you from the house of bondage. 9 I rescued you from the Egyptians and from all your oppressors; I drove them out before you, and gave you their land. 10 And I said to you, I Yehovah Eloheykhem. You must not worship the elohims of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But you did not obey Me.

 

The prophet reminds them who is the one who can save them and what they need to do which is stop worshipping another elohim.

 

Shemuel Aleph/I Samuel 3:20

 

20 All Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, knew that Samuel was trustworthy as a prophet (naviy ) of Yehovah. 21 And Yehovah continued to appear at Shiloh: Yehovah revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh with the word of Yehovah;

 

Shemuel was a prophet of Yehovah.

 

Shemuel Aleph/I Samuel 9:9

 

9 Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of Elohim, he would say, Come, let us go to the seer (haroeh ), for the prophet (Naviy ) of today was formerly called a seer (haroeh ).

 

Here we see that sometimes the Naviy (Prophet) was also called a Raah (Seer)

 

Shemuel Aleph/I Samuel) 10:5 (5-6)

 

5 After that, you are to go on to the Hill of Elohim, where the Philistine prefects reside. There, as you enter the town, you will encounter a band of prophets (neviiym ) coming down from the shrine, preceded by lyres, timbrels, flutes, and harps, and they will be speaking in ecstasy [prophesying mitnabiym ]. 6 The spirit of Yehovah will grip you, and you will speak in ecstasy [and you prophesy vhitnabiyat ] along with them; you will become another man.

 

We see that sometimes the prophets would speak to music.

 

Shemuel Aleph/I Samuel 22:5

 

5 But the prophet (hanaviy ) Gad said to David, Do not stay in the stronghold; go at once to the territory of Judah. So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.

 

Gad was one of the prophets to David.

 

Shemuel Bet/II Samuel 7:2 (1-2)

 

1 When the king was settled in his palace and Yehovah had granted him safety from all the enemies around him, 2 the king said to the prophet (hanaviy ) Nathan: Here I am dwelling in a house of cedar, while the Ark of Yehovah abides in a tent!

 

Here the Prophet Nathan speaks to Melekh David.

 

Shemuel Bet/II Samuel 24:11 (11-13)

 

11 When David rose in the morning, the word of Yehovah had come to the prophet (hanaviy ) Gad, Davids seer (chozeh ): 12 Go and tell David, Thus said Yehovah: I hold three things over you; choose one of them, and I will bring it upon you. 13 Gad came to David and told him; he asked, Shall a seven-year famine come upon you in the land, or shall you be in flight from your adversaries for three months while they pursue you, or shall there be three days of pestilence in your land? Now consider carefully what reply I shall take back to Him who sent me.

 

Chozeh is another word used for Seer. It is reference number 2374.

 

Melekhim Aleph/I Kings 11:29

 

29 During that time Yeroboam went out of Yerusalem and the prophet (hanaviy ) Ahiyah of Shiloh met him on the way. He had put on a new robe; and when the two were alone in the open country

 

Ahiyah was the prophet to Yarabaam. He told him he would rule over 10 tribes of Yisrael.

 

Melekhim Aleph (I Kings) 16:7

 

7 But the word of Yehovah had come through the prophet (hanaviy ) Yehu son of Hanani against Baasha and against his house, that it would fare like the House of Yeroboam, which he himself had struck down, because of all the evil he did which was displeasing to Yehovah, vexing him with his deeds.

 

Yehu was the prophet against the Northern Kingdom of Yisrael.

 

Melekhim Aleph/I Kings 18:19-22

 

19 Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, together with the four hundred and fifty prophets (Neviyey ) of Baal and the four hundred prophets (Neviyey ) of Asherah, who eat at Yezebels table. 20 Ahab sent orders to all the Israelites and gathered the prophets (haneviyiym ) at Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah approached all the people and said, How long will you keep hopping between two opinions? If Yehovah is Elohim, follow Him; and if Baal, follow him! But the people answered him not a word. 22 Then Eliyahu said to the people, I am the only prophet (naviy ) of Yehovah left, while the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty men.

 

Here Eliyahu challenges not only the false prophets of the no Elohim but also the people of Yisrael to make a choice to serve one or the other but not both.

 

Melekhim Aleph/I Kings 22:7-8

 

7 Then Jehoshaphat asked, Isnt there another prophet (naviy ) of Yehovah here through whom we can inquire? 8 And the king of Israel answered Yehoshaphat, There is one more man through whom we can inquire of Yehovah; but I hate him, because he never prophesies (yitnabe ) anything good for me, but only misfortuneMicaiah son of Imlah. But King Yehoshaphat said, Dont say that, Your Majesty.

 

Here we see an example of the statement that a prophet generally speaking of disaster, war, or misfortune.

 

Melekhim Bet/II Kings 17:13

 

13 Yehovah warned Yisrael and Yehudah by every prophet (neviey ) [and] every seer (chozeh ), saying: Turn back from your wicked ways, and observe My commandments and My laws, according to all the Teaching that I commanded your fathers and that I transmitted to you through My servants the prophets.

 

This sums up what the prophets main purpose was. In order to show us where our ways were wrong and for them to turn back to Yehovah.

 

Melekhim Bet/II Kings 19:2

 

2 He also sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet (hanaviy ) Isaiah son of Amoz.

 

Here we see Yeshayahu was a prophet to Melekh Hizqiyahu.

 

Yirmeyahu /Jeremiah 1:1-5

1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The word of Yehovah came to him in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign, 3 and throughout the days of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of King Zedekiah son of Josiah of Judah, when Jerusalem went into exile in the fifth month.

4 The word of Yehovah came to me: 5 Before I created you in the womb, I selected you; Before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet (naviy ) concerning the nations.

Here Yirmeyahu was a boy but Yehovah sent him as a Prophet.

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 28:1-17

1 That year, early in the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet (hanaviy ) Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, spoke to me in the House of Yehovah, in the presence of the priests and all the people. He said: 2 Thus said Yehovah of Hosts, the Elohim of Israel: I hereby break the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3 In two years, I will restore to this place all the vessels of the House of Yehovah which King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took from this place and brought to Babylon. 4 And I will bring back to this place King Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim of Judah, and all the Judean exiles who went to Babylondeclares Yehovah. Yes, I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.

5 Then the prophet Jeremiah answered the prophet (hanaviy ) Hananiah in the presence of the priests and of all the people who were standing in the House of Yehovah. 6 The prophet (hanaviy ) Jeremiah said: Amen! May Yehovah do so! May Yehovah fulfill what you have prophesied and bring back from Babylon to this place the vessels of the House of Yehovah and all the exiles! 7 But just listen to this word which I address to you and to all the people: 8 The prophets (haneviyiym ) who lived before you and me from ancient times prophesied war, disaster, and pestilence against many lands and great kingdoms. 9 So if a prophet (hanaviy ) prophesies good fortune, then only when the word of the prophet (hanaviy ) comes true can it be known that Yehovah really sent him.

10 But the prophet (hanaviy) Hananiah removed the bar from the neck of the prophet (hanaviy ) Jeremiah, and broke it; 11 and Hananiah said in the presence of all the people, Thus said Yehovah: So will I break the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon from off the necks of all the nations, in two years. And the prophet (hanaviy ) Jeremiah went on his way.

12 After the prophet (hanaviy ) Hananiah had broken the bar from off the neck of the prophet (hanaviy ) Jeremiah, the word of Yehovah came to Jeremiah: 13 Go say to Hananiah: Thus said Yehovah: You broke bars of wood, but you shall make bars of iron instead. 14 For thus said Yehovah of Hosts, the Elohim of Israel: I have put an iron yoke upon the necks of all those nations, that they may serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonand serve him they shall! I have even given the wild beasts to him. 15 And the prophet (hanaviy ) Jeremiah said to the prophet (hanaviy ) Hananiah, Listen, Hananiah! Yehovah did not send you, and you have given this people lying assurances. 16 Assuredly, thus said Yehovah: I am going to banish you from off the earth. This year you shall die, for you have urged disloyalty to Yehovah.

17 And the prophet Hananiah died that year, in the seventh month.

If we compare this account to the earlier account in chapter 23:9-40 we see that there were at that time lying prophets, which were misleading the people. Above we see an account of such a prophet.

The next word we will be examining is the word Neviy (Nun-Bet-Yod-Aleph), which is a masculine noun, found on page 1101 of the BDB and on page 786 of the NEHC. It is reference number 5029.

Ezra 5:1,2, 6:14

1 Then the prophets (hitnabbiy ), Haggai the prophet (neviyah ) and Zechariah son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem, inspired by the Elohim of Israel. 2 Thereupon Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak began rebuilding the House of Elohim in Jerusalem, with the full support of the prophets of Elohim.

 

14 So the elders of the Jews progressed in the building, urged on by the prophesying of Haggai the prophet (neviyah ) and Zechariah son of Iddo, and they brought the building to completion under the aegis of the Elohim of Israel and by the order of Cyrus and Darius and King Artaxerxes of Persia.

 

The next word we will be examining is the word Neviyah (Nun-Bet-Yod-Aleph-Hey), which is a feminine noun, found on page 612 of the BDB and on page 786 of the NEHC. It is reference number 5031.

 

Shemot/Exodus 15:20

 

20 Then Miriam the prophetess (haneviyah ), Aarons sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her in dance with timbrels.

 

Shofetim/Judges 4:4-5

 

4 Deborah, wife of Lappidoth, was a prophetess (neviyah ); she led Israel at that time. 5 She used to sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would come to her for decisions.

 

Both a Shofet and a Neviyah.

 

Melekhim Bet (II Kings) 22:14

 

14 So the priest Hilkiah, and Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the prophetess prophetess (neviyah) Huldahthe wife of Shallum son of Tikvah son of Harhas, the keeper of the wardrobewho was living in Jerusalem in the Mishneh, and they spoke to her.

 

They went to enquire of her about the book of Torah, which was found in the temple.

 

Nehemyah (Nehemiah) 6:14

 

14 O my Elohim, remember against Tobiah and Sanballat these deeds of theirs, and against Noadiah the prophetess (neviyah ), and against the other prophets (hanaviyiym ) that they wished to intimidate me!

 

Tobiah and Sanballat had cause some prophets to try and trick Nehemyah and say things which were untrue about him.

 

We see so far that a Naviy, Neviy, or Naviyah can be a man or a woman. They are servants of Yehovah. They are the messengers of Yehovah. There we also True and False Neviyim (prophets). The prophet for the most part brought news about sins the nation or tribe was committing. Also, to announce Yehovahs plans for future kings and rulers.

 

We also saw earlier that Naviy were also referred to as Seers (Raah) (Resh-Aleph-Hey) which is a verb found in the NEHC on page 1133 and in the BDB on page 906. It has the meaning as to see. Specifically the use of this word for Naviy is the Kal. Participle. Poel. The reference number is 7200.

 

Shemuel Aleph (I Samuel) 9:9-19

 

9 Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of Elohim, he would say, Come, let us go to the seer (haroeh ), for the prophet (Naviy ) of today was formerly called a seer (haroeh ).10 Saul said to his servant, A good idea; let us go. And they went to the town where the man of Elohim lived. 11 As they were climbing the ascent to the town, they met some girls coming out to draw water, and they asked them, Is the seer (haroeh ) in town? 12 Yes, they replied. He is up there ahead of you. Hurry, for he has just come to the town because the people have a sacrifice at the shrine today. 13 As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the shrine to eat; the people will not eat until he comes; for he must first bless the sacrifice and only then will the guests eat. Go up at once, for you will find him right away. 14 So they went up to the town; and as they were entering the town, Samuel came out toward them, on his way up to the shrine.

 

15 Now the day before Saul came, Yehovah had revealed the following to Samuel: 16 At this time tomorrow, I will send a man to you from the territory of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him ruler of My people Israel. He will deliver My people from the hands of the Philistines; for I have taken note of My people, their outcry has come to Me.

17 As soon as Samuel saw Saul, Yehovah declared to him, This is the man that I told you would govern My people. 18 Saul approached Samuel inside the gate and said to him, Tell me, please, where is the house of the seer (haroeh )? 19 And Samuel answered Saul, I am the seer (haroeh ). Go up ahead of me to the shrine, for you shall eat with me today; and in the morning I will let you go, after telling you whatever may be on your mind.

 

Shaul was seeking the Seer Shemuel.

 

Divrei Ha Yamim Aleph/I Chronicles 29:29

 

29 The acts of King David, early and late, are recorded in the history of Samuel the seer (haroeh ), the history of Nathan the prophet (hanaviy ), and the history of Gad the seer (hachozeh ),

 

All three were prophets and seers.

 

We also saw earlier that Naviy were also referred to as Seers (Chozeh) (Chet-Zayin-Hey) which is a masculine noun found in the NEHC on page 410 and in the BDB on page 302. It has the meaning as one who sees. The reference number is 2374 and the verb form is chazan from reference number 2372.

.

Melekhim Bet/II Kings 17:13

 

13 Yehovah warned Israel and Judah by every prophet [and] every seer (chozeh ), saying: Turn back from your wicked ways, and observe My commandments and My laws, according to all the Teaching that I commanded your fathers and that I transmitted to you through My servants the prophets.

 

We see that the word Seer is also chozeh, which is from the verb chazah or to see

 

Shemual Bet/II Samuel 24:11

 

11 When David rose in the morning, the word of Yehovah had come to the prophet Gad, Davids seer (chozeh ):

 

Divrei Ha Yamim Aleph/I Chronicles 25:5

 

5 all these were sons of Heman, the seer (chozeh ) of the king, [who uttered] prophecies (in the words badavrey) of Elohim for His greater glory. Elohim gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters;

 

Divrei Ha Yamim Aleph (I Chronicles) 29:29

 

29 The acts of King David, early and late, are recorded in the history of Samuel the seer (haroeh ), the history of Nathan the prophet (hanaviy ), and the history of Gad the seer (hachozeh ),

 

Here also have who wrote down the word of David and why Shemuel is in the prophets.

 

Divrei Ha Yamim Bet/II Chronicles 9:29

 

29 The other events of Solomons reign, early and late, are recorded in the chronicle of the prophet (hanaviy ) Nathan and in the prophecies (nevuat 5016) of Ahiyah the Shilonite and in the visions (bachozot 2378 ) of Yedo the seer (hachozeh ) concerning Yeroboam son of Nebat.

 

Divrei Ha Yamim Bet/II Chronicles 19:2

 

2 Yehu son of Hanani the seer (hachozeh ) went out to meet King Yehoshaphat and said to him, Should one give aid to the wicked and befriend those who hate Yehovah? For this, wrath is upon you from Yehovah.

 

Divrei Ha Yamim Bet/II Chronicles 29:30

 

30 King Hezekiah and the officers ordered the Levites to praise Yehovah in the words of David and Asaph the seer (hachozeh ); so they praised rapturously, and they bowed and prostrated themselves.

 

Here we have recorded the King ordering the use of what was the psalms (tehillim) of David and Asaph. Therefore they had to be written down by the time of Melekh Yechizqiyahu.

 

Divrei Ha Yamim Bet/II Chronicles 33:18-19

 

18 The other events of Manassehs reign, and his prayer to his Elohim, and the words of the seers (hachoziym ) who spoke to him in the name of Yehovah Elohim of Israel are found in the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer and how it was granted to him, the whole account of his sin and trespass, and the places in which he built shrines and installed sacred posts and images before he humbled himself are recorded in the words of Hozai.

 

We see that Naviy, Chozeh, and Raah are related to one another and reference those who where the prophets.

 

The next word we will be examining is the word Nava (Nun-Bet -Aleph), which is a verb from which Naviy draws its meaning from, found on page 612 of the BDB and on page 782 of the NEHC. It is reference number 5012. Nava is most translated as to prophesize.

 

Bamidbar/Numbers 11:25-29

 

25 Then Yehovah came down in a cloud and spoke to him; He drew upon the spirit that was on him and put it upon the seventy elders. And when the spirit rested upon them, they spoke in ecstasy (vayitnavu), but did not continue. 26 Two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, had remained in camp; yet the spirit rested upon themthey were among those recorded, but they had not gone out to the Tent and they spoke in ecstasy (vayitnavu) in the camp. 27 A youth ran out and told Moses, saying, Eldad and Medad are acting the prophet (are prophesying - mitnaviym) in the camp! 28 And Joshua son of Nun, Moses attendant from his youth, spoke up and said, My lord Moses, restrain them! 29 But Moses said to him, Are you wrought up on my account? Would that all Yehovahs people were prophets (neviyiym), that Yehovah put His spirit upon them!

 

I thinking about this was what it was that Moshe wanted them to be prophets then the words they would speak would be of Yehovah.

 

Shemuel Aleph/I Samuel 10:5-6, 10-13

 

5 After that, you are to go on to the Hill of Elohim, where the Philistine prefects reside. There, as you enter the town, you will encounter a band of prophets coming down from the shrine, preceded by lyres, timbrels, flutes, and harps, and they will be speaking in ecstasy [they prophesizing mitnaviym]. 6 The spirit of Yehovah will grip you, and you will speak in ecstasy [you prophesizing vahitnavyat] along with them; you will become another man.

 

Could they have been singing? So could prophesying be also sung as in singing Yehovahs words.?

 

10 And when they came there, to the Hill, he saw a band of prophets coming toward him. Thereupon the spirit of Elohim gripped him, and he spoke in ecstasy[prophesizing vahitnave] among them. 11 When all who knew him previously saw him speaking in ecstasy[he prophesized niva] together with the prophets, the people said to one another, Whats happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul too among the prophets? 12 But another person there spoke up and said, And who are their fathers? Thus the proverb arose: Is Saul too among the prophets? 13 And when he stopped speaking in ecstasy [from prophesying mehitnavot], he entered the shrine.

 

Because Shaul was prophesying the people thought he might be a prophet too. He was not a prophet in that he did what was right in his own eyes and not what Yehovah commanded him to do.

 

Shemuel Aleph/I Samuel 18:10

 

10 The next day an evil spirit of Elohim gripped Saul and he began to rave [and he prophesied vayitnave] in the house, while David was playing [the lyre], as he did daily. Saul had a spear in his hand,

 

So can speaking in a load or emotional manner be prophesying?

 

Shemuel Aleph/I Samuel 19:20-24

 

20 and Saul sent messengers to seize David. They saw a band of prophets speaking in ecstasy[prophesizing niviym], with Samuel standing by as their leader; and the spirit of Elohim came upon Sauls messengers and they too began to speak in ecstasy[prophesizing vayitnavu]. 21 When Saul was told about this, he sent other messengers; but they too began to speak in ecstasy[prophesizing vayitnavu]. Saul sent a third group of messengers; and they too began to speak in ecstasy[prophesizing vayitnavu]. 22 So he himself went to Ramah. When he came to the great cistern at Secu, he asked, Where are Samuel and David? and was told that they were at Naioth in Ramah. 23 He was on his way there, to Naioth in Ramah, when the spirit of Elohim came upon him too; and he walked on, speaking in ecstasy [prophesizing vayitnave], until he reached Naioth in Ramah. 24 Then he too stripped off his clothes and he too spoke in ecstasy[prophesizing vayitnave] before Samuel; and he lay naked all that day and all night. That is why people say, Is Saul too among the prophets?

 

When the spirit of Yehovah is upon them they speak prophecy.

 

Divrei Ha Yamim Aleph/I Chronicles 25:2-5

 

1 David and the officers of the army set apart for service the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who prophesied (hanaviyiym) to the accompaniment of lyres, harps, and cymbals. The list of men who performed this work, according to their service, was:

2 Sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelahsons of Asaph under the charge of Asaph, who prophesied (haniva) by order of the king. 3 Jeduthunthe sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, Mattithiah6, under the charge of their father Jeduthun, who, accompanied on the harp, prophesied (haniva), praising and extolling Yehovah. 4 Hemanthe sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth; 5 all these were sons of Heman, the seer (chozeh) of the king, [who uttered] prophecies of Elohim for His greater glory. Elohim gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters;

 

Clearly the words of Yehovah were spoke and sung.

 

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 26:1-9

 

At the beginning of the reign of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, this word came from Yehovah:

2 Thus said Yehovah: Stand in the court of the House of Yehovah, and speak to [the men of] all the towns of Judah, who are coming to worship in the House of Yehovah, all the words which I command you to speak to them. Do not omit anything. 3 Perhaps they will listen and turn back, each from his evil way, that I may renounce the punishment I am planning to bring upon them for their wicked acts.

4 Say to them: Thus said Yehovah: If you do not obey Me, abiding by the Teaching that I have set before you, 5 heeding the words of My servants the prophets (haneviiym) whom I have been sending to you persistentlybut you have not heeded6 then I will make this House like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of earth. 7 The priests and prophets (vahaneviiym) and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the House of Yehovah. 8 And when Jeremiah finished speaking all that Yehovah had commanded him to speak to all the people, the priests and prophets (vahaneviyiym) and all the people seized him, shouting, You shall die! 9 How dare you prophesy (neveyta) in the name of Yehovah that this House shall become like Shiloh and this city be made desolate, without inhabitants? And all the people crowded about Jeremiah in the House of Yehovah.

 

Clearly the people wanted him dead but after some other leaders discussed it they were concerned for the taking of his life.

 

Yehezkel/Ezekiel 12:22-28

 

22 O mortal, what is this proverb that you have in the land of Israel, that you say, The days grow many and every vision comes to naught? 23 Assuredly, say to them, Thus said Yehovah Elohim: I will put an end to this proverb; it shall not be used in Israel any more. Speak rather to them: The days draw near, and the fulfillment of every vision. 24 For there shall no longer be any false vision or soothing divination in the House of Israel. 25 But whenever I Yehovah speak what I speak, that word shall be fulfilled without any delay; in your days, O rebellious breed, I will fulfill every word I speakdeclares Yehovah Elohim.

26 The word of Yehovah came to me: 27 See, O mortal, the House of Israel says, The vision that he sees (chozeh) is far ahead, and he prophesies (niva) for the distant future. 28 Assuredly, say to them: Thus said Yehovah Elohim: There shall be no more delay; whenever I speak a word, that word shall be fulfilleddeclares Yehovah Elohim.

 

Yehezkel/Ezekiel 37:7-12

 

7 I prophesied (viniveiy) as I had been commanded. And while I was prophesying (bahinavy), suddenly there was a sound of rattling, and the bones came together, bone to matching bone. 8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had grown, and skin had formed over them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then He said to me, Prophesy (hinave) to the breath, prophesy (hinave), O mortal! Say to the breath: Thus said Yehovah Elohim: Come, O breath, from the four winds, and breathe into these slain, that they may live again. 10 I prophesied (vehinavetiy) as He commanded me. The breath entered them, and they came to life and stood up on their feet, a vast multitude.

11 And He said to me, O mortal, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They say, Our bones are dried up, our hope is gone; we are doomed. 12 Prophesy (hinave), therefore, and say to them: Thus said Yehovah Elohim: I am going to open your graves and lift you out of the graves, O My people, and bring you to the land of Israel.

 

Here we see the example of prophecy which is speaking the words of Yehovah as he commands us to speak them.

 

Amos 7:10-17

 

10 Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent this message to King Jeroboam of Israel: Amos is conspiring against you within the House of Israel. The country cannot endure the things he is saying. 11 For Amos has said, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall be exiled from its soil.

12 Amaziah also said to Amos, Seer (chozeh), off with you to the land of Judah! Earn your living there, and do your prophesying (tinave) there. 13 But dont ever prophesy (hinave) again at Bethel; for it is a kings sanctuary and a royal palace. 14 Amos answered Amaziah: I am not a prophet (naviy), and I am not a prophets disciple [not a son of prophet velo ben naviy]. I am a cattle breeder and a tender of sycamore figs. 15 But Yehovah took me away from following the flock, and Yehovah said to me, Go, prophesy (hinave) to My people Israel. 16 And so, hear the word of Yehovah. You say I must not prophesy (tinave) about the House of Israel or preach about the House of Isaac; 17 but this, I swear, is what Yehovah said: Your wife shall play the harlot in the town, your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall be divided up with a measuring line. And you yourself shall die on unclean soil; for Israel shall be exiled from its soil.

 

Here we see that sometimes the prophet is not born one but chosen for a specific purpose to prophecy to people.

 

We have seen that the Prophet, Seer is a messenger of Yehovah. They speak his words as he commands them. They must be careful to speak only his words. If a prophet speaks his own words then that is a grave thing and one that meant their life. Sometimes the prophets were killed for simply saying what the leaders or people did not want to here.

 

We also see that the prophecies spoken were to be given in most cases to the people of their time. There are prophescies, which were given for the future time, but in those cases the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. A prophet is judged on whether what he speaks comes to pass. If a person claims something that does not come to pass then they are a false prophet.

 

Also, a false prophet may also be a test from Yehovah to see whether we follow his ways or not. When we read the Neviyiym (prophets) consider them first for their own time unless what was spoken for a future time. Remember Yehovah sent them to warn the people to turn from their ways and embrace the teaching he gave to all of Yisrael through his Prophet Moshe.