[b-hebrew] nevi

Ben Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Wed Aug 17 13:56:30 EDT 2005

On Wed 17 Aug 2005 (17:03:01 +0100), k0434995 at kingston.ac.uk wrote:
> Reading through Genesis I noticed that the first occurence of the word
> we translate as prophet is  found in reference to Abraham. This
> reminded me of my Hebrew lecturer at St. Andrews who argued  (years
> ago) that the orignal meaning of prophet meant something similar to
> 'forth teller' rather  than 'fore teller' and that his primary
> characteristic was that of speaking out rather than that  of predicting
> the future.

 Dear James,

 It seems from 1 Samuel 9:9 that one who "is now called a Prophet was in
 times past called a Seer".

 The Seer root R'H would be "clairvoyant", that is, predicting the future;
 whereas a Prophet root NB' was one who announced the will of God, that is,
 a forthteller.

 The distinction between these nuances had obviously become blurred already
 by the time of Samuel. 1 Chronicles 29:29 calls Samuel a Seer, Nathan a
 Prophet, and Gad a Seer. 2 Chronicles 9:29 calls Nathan a Prophet, but
 Iddo a Seer. 2 Chronicles 12:15 calls Shemaiah a Prophet, and Iddo a Seer
 (again). In 2 Chronicles 29:25 Gad is the king's Seer, whereas Nathan is
 the Prophet.

 The BHS is divided into three sections: the Torah (Law), Nebi'im (Prophets)
 and K:thubiym, (Writings). In the GNT these three are subsumed under the
 phrase "the Law and the Prophets", referring to all the Hebrew Scriptures
 (Matthew 7:12 and numerous examples).

 You are right in saying that the role of a Prophet in Scripture is both
 foretelling and forthtelling, according to the Word of the LORD. Abraham
 was given future predictions concerning the Land and his Seed. This involved
 foretelling as well as forthtelling.

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF                                       ZFC Hf
 <ben.crick at NOSPAM.argonet.co.uk>
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