The Prophets- Teachers or Preachers? Part 6

This entry is part 6 of 18 in the series Purpose of the Prophets- Teachers or Preachers?

Our English word ?prophet? is, of course, the Greek word ?prophetes.??? The word needs no discussion and the definition is not questioned.? It does not necessarily denote? one who speaks beforehand, though the prophet was believed to be a foreteller of events; nor one who speaks in behalf of another, though the prophet ordinarily spoke in behalf of Deity; but a person who speaks forth, speaks publicly, speaks out the word that ?burns within him.?? When he predicts, he speaks forth a future truth that would otherwise remain unexplained.? When he speaks for another, he speaks forth the message which God has committed to him which would otherwise have remained unknown.? The thing uttered is often a divinely given prediction, but the word ?prophesy? does not signify have to predict and that solely!

?? ???In the Hebrew, the prophet and his functions are described in various terms.? The regular term, the one that is most distinctive, is the noun nabbi.? In our English this usually translates prophet, prophesy, or prophecy.? The fervency of their message is shown in the stem of this verb and demands this definition, ?to boil forth.?? This would give one the idea of a fervid utterance.? The whole of our study will be really a study of meaning of this word.?

???? In our English versions two different Hebrew words are translated ?seer.? (This may be a little technical but the information will be helpful to the use made of the word).?? Of the two, the one most properly used is hhozek.? It is an active verb used in both Hebrew and Aramaic.? In the Aramaic it is the ordinary word for physical seeing, but in the Hebrew it is little used except to express thoughtful insight in connection with prophetic matters.? David?s friend, Gad, is described as a seer in 2 Samuel 24: 11; 1 Chronicles 21: 9; 29:29.? Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun are severally called seers in 2 Chronicles 29:30; 35:15; and 1 Chronicles 25:5.? The term is applied to Jedo and Iddo, Jehu and Amos, and in some cases where the individual is not mentioned.? This verb is commonly translated ?see.?? It is often used in cases where the object is thought of as something presented to the eye, but it does not have to imply that.? Several different nouns are derived from this word and were used sometimes for ?vision.?? Another word translated ?seer? is the Hebrew word roeh.? This is commonly used to refer to physical seeing.? Prophets spoken of where this word was used were Sameul, Zadok, and Hanani. 1 Samuel 9:9; 2 Samuel 27:2; 2 Chronicles 16:7,10.? ?Mostly, this word is translated ?behold,? ?appear,? leaving the words ?see? and ?vision? for the Hebrew word hhazah.? This verb, in the simple voice, is used of a person beholding something from which a revelation from Deity is given from something common that he beheld.? Ezekiel says; ?the heavens opened themselves, and I beheld divine beholdings.? Ezekiel 1:1 ???In the passive voice, the verb is used of Deity appearing to men for the purpose of revelation.? ?Jehovah appeared to Solomon the second time;? ?the Angel of the Lord appeared? unto Moses at the burning bush.? Genesis 12: 7 ??Interestingly, the way into the mind of the prophet is not declared.? It may denote any form of mental perception, whether through the senses or not.? By way of example: it is like looking in a mirror, a mirror allows us to see or causes one to behold, in the sense of enabling one to see what would otherwise be invisible.? This noun is used only of revelations from Deity.?

???? The phrase ?man of God,? occurs often in the Old Testament as the equivalent of nabbi, and is probably never used except in this sense. ?It is often exchangeable with ?word of the Lord.? Isaiah 2:3; Jonah 1:1; 3:1 or ?saith Jehovah? or ?word of the Spirit.?

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