Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Are There to be Jewish Prophets In End Times?

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                         

One thing that has come out of Israel and Judea  in plenty have been prophets.  Moses (1391-1271 BCE) , lawgiver, prophet, and founder of the Jewish religion was from the tribe of Levi.  He told us what would happen if we didn't follow the laws he gave us through G-d.  Following in his footsteps were Joshua, the Judges, Deborah, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.  They were said to be men designated by G-d to convey His message to men and to give guidance for the future.  It was an ancient ability starting in primitive times.  The Hebrews believe that they had been chosen by G-d who had sent them prophets to point out the right path to follow.  The prophet was mainly the protagonist of monotheism and morality.

"The Talmud (Megillah  says that there had been twice as many prophets as the number of people who left Egypt (2,600,000), but only those whose messages were for future generations were recorded. This count was 48 male and 7 female Prophets."

Moses and his prophecies were a continuous flow of information and not from sudden inspiration.  The others following him were religious leaders guiding the nation in times of difficulty like Deborah and Samuel.  Then our land of Israel was guided by kings and the prophet became a fighter for social morality that kept them busy when necessary to rebuke the King for his moral lapses such as Nathan, Ahijah the Shilonite.  They would have sons who became their disciples and they zealously opposed any manifestation of paganism, like Elijah and Elisha did.  From the times of Amos, the prophet wrote their  own words down, generally in a lofty language that made up the culmination of biblical poetry.  As before, they concentrated on attacking religious corruption that would come about in lapses and drove against social corruption.

Deborah, who lived around 1150 BCE, was the nurse of Rebekah, wife of Lapidoth,  and a prophetess who roused the Israelite tribes  to revolt under Barak, son of Abinoam (Barak Ben Abinoam) , against the Canaanite king Jabin of Hazor and Sisera, his ally and commander.  Barak led the forces of the tribes of Naphtalli and Zebulum, 2 of the 12 tribes of Israel, which defeated the army of Sisera.

 Samuel in the 11th century BCE (1000s to 1100s)  was also a prophet and last Israelite judge, also of the tribe of Levi.  He foretold the destruction of the House (dynasty) of Eli.  Apparently, groups of prophets were formed to guide the people .  In his old age and under pressure from the people, he relented to popular demand and chose Saul as the first king for Israel.  Later, he anointed David (1010-970 BCE)  as Saul's successor.
Ezekiel by Michelangelo
Ezekiel was a prophet in the 6th century BCE (500-600 BCE)  who was exiled to Babylonia and most likely had been in the Temple before it was destroyed in 586 BCE.  After Jerusalem was destroyed, he consoled his people and encouraged them with his vision of the future.  He uttered prophecies of catastrophes to the gentiles.

The prophet foresees national disaster to be followed by consolation.  They expect Israel to set an example for all the nations and Israel bears the punishment of failure.  They stick to the belief, shared by other religions today, that all evil men will be destroyed at the "end of days."  What we do must be accompanied by good deeds.  The Prophet could foresee the future, and later generations felt that prophecy contained vision down to "the last generation.  

The prophet would speak and/or write down what he is saying.  How did he receive these prophecies?  During waking and sleeping hours, and the prophet would later recapitulate the message before the people.  

The spirit of prophecy stopped with the last of the Minor Prophets of Zechariah, etc, according to Jewish religious leadership.  So, the role of the prophet was assumed by the "men of the Great synagogue" and the sages who succeeded them.  They had the faculty of interpreting the Bible prophecies.  The saying was that, "A sage is higher than a Prophet."

In the messianic age, however, the faculty of prophecy would be renewed.  Many people feel we are in that stage right now and we see Benjamin Netanyahu risking his reputation and position as Prime Minister of Israel coming to speak to the mightiest state and greatest friend, the USA Congress,  to warn them of what he sees happening  between Iran, USA and Israel. By doing this he has fractured his already strained  relationship with Barack Hussein Obama, President of the USA. 

 The fact that he came and spoke 2 days before Purim, when Haman, chief advisor to the Persian king,  also wanted to kill off all Jews in the Persian Empire, which was huge, is telling us that what happened in the past can be replayed in the future.  History repeats itself.  "If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience."  So it is that through our Jewish historical experience, Netanyahu came to warn us of impending disaster.  

 Netanyahu is also trying to put an end to the capabilities of Haman's descendants who also want to do this to the Jewish people and to Israel according to all the verbage they have thrown at the Jews. 

 Beautiful Queen Esther was the cause of the deliverance of the Jews of Persia in the time of King Ahasuerus.  Netanyahu is not Esther, but his act is more like the prophets of old.  He's warning the USA and the world that the present deal on the table is a bad deal and needs to be altered.  By the time of Elijah and Elisha, prophets were found in both the northern and southern kingdoms and were often in conflict with the kings. They had clearly taken on their well‑known role as critics of the Israelite society of the day, but had not yet developed into literary figures.

People did not always like what the prophets had to say, either.  It was a divided population, similar to the House Chamber of Senators where Obama spoke to Democrats and Republicans alike.  Netanyahu is either highly respected and admired greatly along with  his monumental and straight to the point speech or greatly hated for his accepting Boehner's invitation to enlighten the senators in a speech.  

Netanyahu is gifted with something so many of us have been endowed with and that is Chutzpa;  nerve.  He had the nerve and the need to come and  share his fears.  He could not bottle them up.  Perhaps we will certainly be in the end of days if Netanyahu is not heeded, for then Iran will have atomic capabilities to manufacture 

IBM missiles, the A bomb and anything else they so desire.  

Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia


  1. yes. i absolutely believe that. things that have been foreshadowed in the old testament have a waiting fulfillment that will be heralded unmistakably and it is not that far out now........

  2. Thanks, Andre. I think so, too. It's astonishing in that we're living in these times, not reading about what had happened in 2015. I don't think prophets of olden days were recognized as prophets right off. They were just people who had an uncanny record of being right. Samuel had a good start by being one of the important judges, so was already respected for his knowledge, and later said he had a divine call.