And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Isaiah 8:17

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hebrew Terms for "Prophet"

There are several Hebrew terms used for"prophets" in the Old Testament and there were "true" ( or kosher) and "false" (or treyf) prophets in the Bible. The titles used in the text indicate whether someone was acceptable to God or not.

Acceptable or Kosher Prophets:
נָבִיא  nabi'                  prophet   (Genesis 20:7)
רֹאֶה   ro'eh                seer   (I Samuel 9:9)
חֲזֹון    chozen             visionary  (Isaiah 1:1)
אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִֽים   'ish 'elohim man of God (I Samuel 9:10)

Unacceptable or Treyf Prophets (see Deut.18:9-14):

                qacam qacamim               diviner, soothsayer, or magician
                m'nachash          enchanter, whisperer
                m'keshef             to whisper a spell, or enchant for money
                m'onan                 to cover, or cloud over; act covertly
                chober chabar   to join, couple, fascinate with spells or enchant
                sheol "ob             to mumble, or a hollow sound; to call a father from sheol (hell)
                yada'ni            a knowing one; a conjerer or wizard
              doresh 'el-hamotim        to tread or frequent, to seek or ask or enquire after the dead

For the later rabbis, prophecy was only possible for an Israelite speaking Hebrew and living in
Eretz Israel (the Promised Land).              '

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