Prophecy FINAL

  1. Rise of Prophecy
    • Arose in Israel as a check on the King
    • It rose and fell with the monarchy and the divided kingdom
  2. Navi
    • God's messenger or spokesman
    • "Nevi'im" is the plural for "prophets"
  3. Prophets are Forth-Tellers
    Great old testament prophets are primarily forth-tellers (proclaiming God's truth to the crisis at hand) rather than fore-tellers (predicting the future)
  4. Divination
    Various method to see (seer) or divine a word from God, usually an answer to a yes or no question
  5. Urim and the Thummim
    Within Israel, seers used divine lots
  6. Necromancy
    • Consulting the dead
    • Astrology and animal entrails reading were used beyond Israel
    • By contrast, for Israel's prophets, knowing the future is not soothsaying. It is anticipating the unfolding of a present spiritual condition
  7. Ecstatic Prophets
    • Possessed by a spirit in an ecstatic frenzy
    • Elsewhere in the ancient world, sometimes artificially induced with wine or opium
    • At the shrine to Apollo in Delphi, Greece, archaeologists have discovered evidence of fumes that may account for the trance-like state
  8. Pre-Classical (non literary) Prophets
    The great 9th century BCE prophets who confronted Israel's decadent kings
  9. Elijah and Elisha
    • Prophets who confronted Israel's Decadent kings (pre-classical prophets)
    • Received much insight through dream and visions
    • "When there are prophets among you, I the Lord make myself known to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams"
    • Every time an angel appears to Joseph in the Gospels, it is in a dream
  10. Elijah
    • The greatest of the 9th Century BCE, Pre-Classical (non literary) prophets
    • He offers both a prophetic challenge and orchestrates a political collapse of the wicked King Ahab
    • The Elijah story clearly places the prophet about the king in the spiritual hierarchy of Israel
  11. The Cult of Baal
    • Baal was the Canaanite storm god whose consort was Baalath or Asherah
    • Baal's love-making with his female consort revived the fertility of the womb and field
    • This could be encouraged by the sympathetic magic of sacred prostitution
    • Offered a way to control the gods and the elements rather than obey the mysterious Yahweh
    • The Hebrews were drawn to Baalism especially in times of famine
  12. The Elijah Cycle
    • King Ahab marries a Phonecian princess named Jezebel who is an ardent promoter of Baalism
    • Elijah, a fearsome prophet, arises to confront this challenge
  13. The "Still Small Voice"
    • Elijah ascends to heaven in a chariot of fire, the only prophet so honored
    • He is also presented as a new Moses, signaling a new Era in Hebrew history: the Prophets
    • Elijah's successor, Elisha, arranges a bloody coup that brings Ahab's rein to an end
  14. Modes of Prophetic Knowing
    Dreams, Visions, Urim and Thummim, Ecstatic Vision, stillness of Conscious, and Instight
  15. Classical Prophets
    • Elisha's death marks the end of the 9th century BCE pre-classical prophets
    • They are remembered mostly for their deeds rather than their words
    • The 8th century BCE and beyond Classical prophets left a literary legacy: Amos, Hosea, Isaiah
    • They are remembered for their spoken oracles and written words
  16. The Prophet's Placement in the Canon
    Two sections in the Hebrew Bible
  17. Former Prophets
    • Historical Narratives: Joshua-Kings (The Deuteronomistic History)
    • History understood in light of the prophetic Torah
    • 1 & 2 Kings: "King _____ did what was evil in the sight of the Lord."
  18. Latter Prophets: "Major" (single scroll) and "Minor"
    Major and Minor refer to the fact if they consume one scroll or if there are several to one scroll
  19. Major Prophets
    • Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel
    • Require 1 Scroll Each
  20. Minor Prophets
    • The book of the 12
    • All on 1 Scroll
  21. Thematic
    Law, History, Writing, Prophets
  22. Chronology
    Torah, Nevi'im, Kethuvium (Law, Prophets, Writings)
  23. Prophets to the Northern Kingdom of Israel
    Amos and Hosea
  24. Amos and Hosea
    • First of the classical or literary prophets (8th century BC)
    • Prophesied during period of peace and prosperity
    • The Assyrian empire was on the rise
    • Assyria will be God's instrument of God's judgment due to social injustice (Amos) and apostasy (Hosea)
  25. Amos
    • Inaugurated period of classical prophecy during the reign of king Jeroboam
    • Scholars consider him the first of the classical prophets
    • Lavish wealth of the rich created gross injustices for the poor and powerless
    • Amos, shepherd and dirt farmer from the south, went to bitterly denounce the decadent north
  26. Themes of Amos
    • Social Injustice: Called for justice for the poor
    • Religious Hypocrisy: Appalled by piety lacking morality
    • Judgment is Coming: "The Day of the Lord" A day of judgment, not triumph
  27. Judgment
    • Against the nations, including Israel
    • Yahweh is no patron deity nor Israel's "mascot"
    • Yahweh is a cosmic, not national deity
    • Israel has been judged by God's plumb line and been found wanting
  28. Hosea
    • A contemporary of Amos, for whom the root problem is apostasy, which he conceives of as infidelity to God
    • Hosea's marriage to the promiscuous Gomer is a parable of Yahweh's relationship to Israel
    • Despite Israel's unfaithfulness, God shows hesed (covenant love)
    • Yahweh also likened to a loving father
    • Hosea is more compassionate that Amos, perhaps due to his personal story
  29. Conclusions after Hosea and Amos
    • Neither Hosea's compassion nor Amos' stinging critique turn Israel from evil
    • Israel falls to the Assyrians
    • For the Deuteronomic historian, this is an inevitable result of Israel apostasy
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Prophecy FINAL