Identifying the Prophets – Excerpt from Council of My Nation

Just as God entrusted Israel with the task of identifying the arbitrators of the Law, so did He charge Israel with the duty of recognizing His prophets. The process of authenticating the verity of a prophet is legislated by the Law (Deuteronomy 13:2-6, 18:18-22). The nation, under the guidance of her arbitrators of the Law would be required to determine the legitimacy of any claim to prophecy. This process was far from smooth. More often than not, God appointed the prophet to deliver stinging words of rebuke. The harshest criticisms were frequently directed at the most powerful people in the society. There was a tremendous motivation to silence the prophet or to dispute his validity. In most cases the rulers of Israel absorbed the censure of the prophets without moving to silence them (1Samuel 3:18, 13:13,14, 15:24,28, 2Samuel 12:7-10, 1Kings 20:42, 21:27, 2Kings 20:17, Jeremiah 26:18,19, Haggai 1:12, 2Chronicles 12:5,6 19:2, 20:37). In some cases the rulers persecuted the prophets (1Kings 12:4, 18:4, Jeremiah 20:2, 26:21,22, 29:25, 36:26, 2Chronicles 16:10, 24:21). The general society of the nation was also upbraided by the prophets on a regular basis. In many cases the populace recognized the prophet’s authority to administer the reproach (Judges. 2:1-5, 10:11-16, 1Samuel 12:19, Jeremiah 26:17, 38:11, 2 Chronicles 28:9-5) while in other situations they actively opposed the prophet (Jeremiah 11:19, 18:18, 26:11, 38:4). The hostility towards the prophets was generally instigated by corrupt arbitrators of the Law, and by men who had falsely laid claim to prophecy (Jeremiah 6:14, 8:8-11,14:13, 23:13,14, 26:8, 27:14, 28:1-4, 29:8,9,21, Ezekiel 13:1-16, Amos 7:10-13). In the confusion generated by the heat of the immediate situation many elements in society fought the prophets tooth and nail. But as the dust settled and time went on, the voice of those loyal to God was eventually heard and embraced. The people were able to sort out the genuine prophets from the frauds and to distinguish between the corrupt leaders and those who truly represented God’s Law. That is how we have scripture today.

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Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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7 Responses to Identifying the Prophets – Excerpt from Council of My Nation

  1. junzey says:

    How very sad to think that our leaders missed The Prophet!!! Only The Spirit of G-d can see and know in a man. Joshua and Caleb walking in ‘another’ spirit they obeyed G-d and did Not believe what they saw or others thought. My hope and prayer for you, dear Rabbi Yisroel, is that you would be such a one. A True Israelite – and follow The Hebrew of Hebrews – the Messiah – our LORD and King 🙂 Have a blessed day. (Psalm 95)

  2. Lola Hoi says:

    Why does man complicate things of the spiritual?
    Don’t plunder the mystery with a lot of words.

    • Annelise says:

      Sometimes a lot of false words plunder the mystery, and a lot of true words have to come and restore things to light. Sometimes the only way out is the path you came in by. And sometimes words can paint a picture that opens new windows of wordless light in the heart of someone else.

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