What the scriptures say about
one who announces or pours forth the declarations of God; translator
Also see: OT Prophet list, seer, prophecy, fulfilling scriptures | quoting scripture
The Prophet promised through Moses
Timeline of the Prophets * Isaiah * Jeremiah
606 BC: Daniel
in first group taken to Babylon === 597 BC: Ezekiel in group taken to Babylon ===
586 BC: Jerusalem destroyed by Babylon - Jeremiah taken to Egypt === ca 580 BC: Jeremiah died ===
538 BC: Hebrews began returning to Israel from Babylon

PROPHET in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

select Cross Reference Bible links
Deuteronomy 18:15 ff - I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.

Deuteronomy 18:19-22 - How do we recognize a true vs false prophet?

PROPHET [Easton Bible Dictionary]

(Heb. nabi, from a root meaning "to bubble forth, as from a fountain," hence "to utter", Compare Psalms 45:1).

This Hebrew word is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the time of Samuel another word, Ro'eh , "Seer", began to be used (1 Samuel 9:9). It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel. Afterwards another word, Hozeh , "Seer" (2 Samuel 24:11), was employed. In 1 Chronicles 29:29 all these three words are used: "Samuel the seer (ro'eh), Nathan the prophet (nabi'), Gad the seer" (hozeh). In Josh 13:22 Balaam is called (Heb.) a Kosem "diviner," a word used only of a false prophet.

The "prophet" proclaimed the message given to him, as the "seer" beheld the vision of God. (See Numbers 12:6,8.) Thus a prophet was a spokesman for God; he spake in God's name and by his authority (Exodus 7:1). He is the mouth by which God speaks to men (Jeremiah 1:9; Isaiah 51:16), and hence what the prophet says is not of man but of God (2 Peter 1:20,21; Compare Hebrews 3:7; Acts 4:25; 28:25). Prophets were the immediate organs of God for the communication of his mind and will to men (Deuteronomy 18:18,19). The whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as prophetic, inasmuch as it was written by men who received the revelation they communicated from God, no matter what its nature might be. The foretelling of future events was not a necessary but only an incidental part of the prophetic office. The great task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up among the people was "to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim the great moral and religious truths which are connected with the character of God, and which lie at the foundation of his government."

Any one being a spokesman for God to man might thus be called a prophet. Thus Enoch, Abraham, and the patriarchs, as bearers of God's message (Genesis 20:7; Exodus 7:1; Psalms 105:15), as also Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15; 34:10; Hosea 12:13), are ranked among the prophets. The seventy elders of Israel (Numbers 11:16-29), "when the spirit rested upon them, prophesied;" Asaph and Jeduthun "prophesied with a harp" (1 Chronicles 25:3). Miriam and Deborah were prophetesses (Exodus 15:20; Judges 4:4). The title thus has a general application to all who have messages from God to men.

But while the prophetic gift was thus exercised from the beginning, the prophetical order as such began with Samuel. Colleges, "schools of the prophets", were instituted for the training of prophets, who were constituted, a distinct order (1 Samuel 19:18-24; 2Kings 2:3,15; 4:38), which continued to the close of the Old Testament. Such "schools" were established at Ramah, Bethel, Gilgal, Gibeah, and Jericho. The "sons" or "disciples" of the prophets were young men (2 Kings 5:22; 9:1,4) who lived together at these different "schools" (4:38-41). These young men were taught not only the rudiments of secular knowledge, but they were brought up to exercise the office of prophet, "to preach pure morality and the heart-felt worship of Jehovah, and to act along and co-ordinately with the priesthood and monarchy in guiding the state aright and checking all attempts at illegality and tyranny."

In New Testament times the prophetical office was continued. Our Lord is frequently spoken of as a prophet (Luke 13:33; 24:19). He was and is the great Prophet of the Church. There was also in the Church a distinct order of prophets (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 2:20; 3:5), who made new revelations from God. They differed from the "teacher," whose office it was to impart truths already revealed.

Of the Old Testament prophets there are sixteen, whose prophecies form part of the inspired canon. These are divided into four groups:

PROPHET [Smith Bible Dictionary]

The ordinary Hebrew word for prophet is nabi, derived from a verb signifying "to bubble forth" like a fountain; hence the word means one who announces or pours forth the declarations of God. The English word comes from the Greek prophetes (profetes ), which signifies in classical Greek one who speaks for another, especially one who speaks for a god, and so interprets his will to man; hence its essential meaning is "an interpreter." The use of the word in its modern sense as "one who predicts" is post-classical. The larger sense of interpretation has not, however, been lost. In fact the English word ways been used in a closer sense. The different meanings or shades of meanings in which the abstract noun is employed in Scripture have been drawn out by Locke as follows:

"Prophecy comprehends three things:
      singing by the dictate of the Spirit; and
      understanding and explaining the mysterious, hidden sense of Scripture by an immediate illumination and motion of the Spirit."

Order and office. --

The sacerdotal order was originally the instrument by which the members of the Jewish theocracy were taught and governed in things spiritual. Teaching by act and teaching by word were alike their task. But during the time of the judges, the priesthood sank into a state of degeneracy, and the people were no longer affected by the acted lessons of the ceremonial service. They required less enigmatic warnings and exhortations, under these circumstances a new moral power was evoked the Prophetic Order. Samuel himself Levite of the family of Kohath, (1 Chronicles 6:28) and almost certainly a priest, was the instrument used at once for effecting a reform in the sacerdotal order (1 Chronicles 9:22) and for giving to the prophets a position of importance which they had never before held. Nevertheless it is not to be supposed that Samuel created the prophetic order as a new thing before unknown. The germs both of the prophetic and of the regal order are found in the law as given to the Israelites by Moses, ( 13:1; 18:20; 17:18) but they were not yet developed, because there was not yet the demand for them. Samuel took measures to make his work of restoration permanent as well as effective for the moment. For this purpose he instituted companies or colleges of prophets. One we find in his lifetime at Ramah, (1 Samuel 19:19,20) others afterward at Bethel, (2 Kings 2:3) Jericho, (2 Kings 2:2,5) Gilgal; (2 Kings 4:38) and elsewhere. (2 Kings 6:1) Their constitution and object similar to those of theological colleges. Into them were gathered promising students, and here they were trained for the office which they were afterward destined to fulfill. So successful were these institutions that from the time of Samuel to the closing of the canon of the Old Testament there seems never to have been wanting due supply of men to keep up the line of official prophets. Their chief subject of study was, no doubt, the law and its interpretation; oral, as distinct from symbolical, teaching being thenceforward tacitly transferred from the priestly to the prophetic order. Subsidiary subjects of instruction were music and sacred poetry, both of which had been connected with prophecy from the time of Moses (Exodus 15:20) and the judges. (Judges 4:4; 5:1) But to belong to the prophetic order and to possess the prophetic gift are not convertible terms. Generally, the inspired prophet came from the college of prophets, and belonged to prophetic order; but this was not always the case. Thus Amos though called to the prophetic office did not belong to the prophetic order. (Amos 7:14) The sixteen prophets whose books are in the canon have that place of honor because they were endowed with the prophetic gift us well as ordinarily (so far as we know) belonging to the prophetic order.


What then are the characteristics of the sixteen prophets thus called and commissioned and intrusted with the messages of God to his people?

      1. They were the national poets of Judea.

      2. They were annalists and historians. A great portion of Isaiah, of Jeremiah, of Daniel of Jonah, of Haggai, is direct or in direct history.

      3. They were preachers of patriotism, --their patriotism being founded on the religious motive.

      4. They were preachers of morals and of spiritual religion. The system of morals put forward by the prophets, if not higher or sterner or purer than that of the law, is more plainly declared, and with greater, because now more needed, vehemence of diction.

      5. They were extraordinary but yet authorized exponents of the law.

      6. They held a pastoral or quasi-pastoral office.

      7. They were a political power in the state.

      8. But the prophets were something more than national poets and annalists, preachers of patriotism moral teachers, exponents of the law, pastors and politicians. Their most essential characteristic is that they were instruments of revealing God’s will to man, as in other ways, so specially by predicting future events, and in particular foretelling the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the redemption effected by him. We have a series of prophecies which are so applicable to the person and earthly life of Jesus Christ as to be thereby shown to have been designed to apply to him. And if they were designed to apply to him, prophetical prediction is proved. Objections have, been urged. We notice only one, vis., vagueness. It has been said that the prophecies are too darkly and vaguely worded to be proved predictive by the events which they are alleged to foretell. But to this might be answered,

      9. That God never forces men to believe, but that there is such a union of definiteness and vagueness in the prophecies as to enable those who are willing to discover the truth, while the willfully blind are not forcibly constrained to see it.

    10. That, had the prophecies been couched in the form of direct declarations, their fulfillment would have thereby been rendered impossible or at least capable of frustration.

    11. That the effect of prophecy would have been far less beneficial to believers, as being less adapted to keep them in a state of constant expectation.

    12. That the Messiah of revelation could not be so clearly portrayed in his varied character as God and man, as prophet, priest and king, if he had been the mere teacher."

    13. That the state of the prophets, at the time of receiving the divine revelation, was such as necessarily to make their predictions fragmentary figurative, and abstracted from the relations of time.

    14. That some portions of the prophecies were intended to be of double application, and some portions to be understood only on their fulfillment, Comp. (John 14:29; Ezekiel 36:33)

PROPHETESS [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]     Also see Prophecy - Prophets

prof'-et-es (nebhi'ah; prophetis):
Women were not excluded from the prophetic office in the Old Testament, and were honored with the right of prophetic utterance in the New Testament. It should be noted, however, that women like Miriam (Exodus 15:20), Deborah (Judges 4:4) and Huldah (2 Kings 22:14) were not credited with the seer's insight into the future, but were called "prophetesses" because of the poetical inspiration of their speech. Among others mentioned as having the prophetic gift we find Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1), Anna (Luke 2:36) and the four daughters of Philip (Acts 21:8-9).

See PROPHET, THE OLD [1 Kings 13:11-32].

C. E. Schenk

PROPHET [Thompson Chain Reference]

The PROPHET (like Moses)

The requirements for The Prophet are:
1) God promised to raise up to the people of Israel a prophet like Moses (Deu 18:15,18; 34:10)
2) This prophet would come from among the people of Israel (18:15,18)
3) This prophet would be an Israelite, a Jew, as was Moses (18:15,18)
4) The people of Israel are to listen to him. (18:15)
5) This prophet is the answer to Israel's prayer from Horeb when they asked not to hear God's voice or see His fire any more. (18:16)
6) God would put His words into the mouth of this prophet (18:18)
7) All that God commands, this prophet would speak (18:18)
8) God requires Israel to listen to the words in God's name that this prophet speaks (18:19)
9) Don't be afraid of self-proclaimed prophets speaking in the name of Yahweh but the thing they say doesn't happen (18:20-22)
10) At the time the book of Deuteronomy was written, after Moses' death, this prophet had not risen [was not Joshua son of Nun] (Deu34:10)
11) This prophet, like Moses, would know God face to face (a close relationship with God) (34:10)
12) As with Moses, God would assign him signs to do in a specific land (34:11)
13) As with Moses, God would assign him wonders to do in a specific land (34:11)
14) As with Moses, this prophet would be assigned to work in a certain land (Israel aka Judea) to the local rulers, servants, and the whold land (34:11)
15) As with Moses, this prophet would have access to use God's mighty power to do them (34:10)
16) As with Moses, this prophet would openly terrorize any who followed evil (34:12)

Deuteronomy 18:15-22 (God's promise to Moses)
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’

17 “And the Lord said to me:

‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’
21 And if you say in your heart,
‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’—
22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

Deuteronomy 34:9-12 (The Prophet promise wasn't fulfilled before the book of Deuteronomy was written)
9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses. 10 But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, 12 and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel."
Acts 3:12-26 (Jesus is the promised prophet) (with promise of his return)
12 So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people:
“Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this?
Or why look so intently at us,
as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers,
glorified His Servant Jesus,
whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate,
when he was determined to let Him go.
14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just,
and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
15 and killed the Prince of life,
whom God raised from the dead,
of which we are witnesses.
16 And His name, through faith in His name,
has made this man [formerly a lame man] strong,
whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him
has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
17 “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance,
as did also your rulers.
18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets,
that the Christ would suffer,
He has thus fulfilled.
19 Repent therefore and be converted,
that your sins may be blotted out,
so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
20 and that He may send Jesus Christ,
who was preached to you before,
21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things
which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets
since the world began.
22 For Moses truly said to the fathers,
‘The Lord your God will raise up for you
a Prophet like me from your brethren.
Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.
23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet
shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’

24 Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow,
as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days.
25 You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant
which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham,
‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’
26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus,
sent Him to bless you,
in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”
Acts 7:35-37 Long term promise of God for the Prophet was fulfilled in Jesus
35 “This Moses whom they rejected, saying,
‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’
is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

37 “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel,

‘The Lord your God will raise up for you
a Prophet like me from your brethren.
Him you shall hear.’

Also see: Isaiah 42

FB group discussion
The prophet like Moses was waited and watched for among the people to whom God made the promise. The Arabs weren't waiting for this promised prophet. They didn't know about the promise made to Moses.

Home | Keyword Index