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Prophets

[prof-its] /ˈprɒf ɪts/
noun, (used with a singular verb)
1.
the canonical group of books that forms the second of the three Jewish divisions of the Old Testament, comprising Joshua, Judges, I and II Samuel, I and II Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

prophet

[prof-it] /ˈprɒf ɪt/
noun
1.
a person who speaks for God or a deity, or by divine inspiration.
2.
  1. a person chosen to speak for God and to guide the people of Israel:
    Moses was the greatest of Old Testament prophets.
  2. (often initial capital letter) one of the Major or Minor Prophets.
  3. one of a band of ecstatic visionaries claiming divine inspiration and, according to popular belief, possessing magical powers.
  4. a person who practices divination.
3.
one of a class of persons in the early church, next in order after the apostles, recognized as inspired to utter special revelations and predictions. 1 Cor. 12:28.
4.
the Prophet, Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
5.
a person regarded as, or claiming to be, an inspired teacher or leader.
6.
a person who foretells or predicts what is to come:
a weather prophet; prophets of doom.
7.
a spokesperson of some doctrine, cause, or movement.
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English prophete < Late Latin prophēta < Greek prophḗtēs, equivalent to pro- pro-2 + -phētēs speaker, derivative of phánai to speak
Related forms
prophethood, noun
prophetless, adjective
prophetlike, adjective
Can be confused
profit, prophet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Prophets

Prophets

/ˈprɒfɪts/
plural noun
1.
the books constituting the second main part of the Hebrew Bible, which in Jewish tradition is subdivided into the Former Prophets, Joshua, Judges, I-II Samuel, and I-II Kings, and the Latter Prophets, comprising those books which in Christian tradition are alone called the Prophets and which are divided into Major Prophets and Minor Prophets Compare Law of Moses, Hagiographa

prophet

/ˈprɒfɪt/
noun
1.
a person who supposedly speaks by divine inspiration, esp one through whom a divinity expresses his will related adjective vatic
2.
a person who predicts the future: a prophet of doom
3.
a spokesman for a movement, doctrine, etc
4.
(Christian Science)
  1. a seer in spiritual matters
  2. the vanishing of material sense to give way to the conscious facts of spiritual truth
Derived Forms
prophetess, noun:feminine
prophet-like, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French prophète, from Latin prophēta, from Greek prophētēs one who declares the divine will, from pro-² + phanai to speak

Prophet

/ˈprɒfɪt/
noun the Prophet
1.
the principal designation of Mohammed as the founder of Islam
2.
a name for Joseph Smith as founder of the Mormon Church
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Prophets

prophet

n.

late 12c., "person who speaks for God; one who foretells, inspired preacher," from Old French prophete, profete "prophet, soothsayer" (11c., Modern French prophète) and directly from Latin propheta, from Greek prophetes (Doric prophatas) "an interpreter, spokesman," especially of the gods, "inspired preacher or teacher," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + root of phanai "to speak," from PIE *bha- (2) "speak" (see fame (n.)).

The Greek word was used in Septuagint for Hebrew nabj "soothsayer." Early Latin writers translated Greek prophetes with Latin vates, but the Latinized form propheta predominated in post-Classical times, chiefly due to Christian writers, probably because of pagan associations of vates. In English, meaning "prophetic writer of the Old Testament" is from late 14c. Non-religious sense is from 1848; used of Muhammad from 1610s (translating Arabic al-nabiy, and sometimes also al-rasul, properly "the messenger"). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by witga.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Prophets in Culture

prophet definition


Someone who brings a message from God to people. The best-known prophets are those of the Old Testament. Their most frequent themes were true worship of God, upright living, and the coming of the Messiah. They often met with bitter resistance when they spoke against the idol worship and immorality of their people. Among the prophets of the Old Testament were Daniel, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, and Moses.

Prophets also appear in the New Testament. Jesus called John the Baptist a prophet; Christians consider him a bridge between the prophets of the Old Testament and those of the New Testament. Jesus mentions “true prophets” and “false prophets” — those who present the true message of God and those who present a counterfeit (see By their fruits ye shall know them and wolves in sheep's clothing). He himself was considered a prophet in his lifetime (see A prophet is not without honor save in his own country) and is still widely revered by non-Christians as a prophet, though not as the Messiah. The New Testament also mentions that some of the early Christians were prophets who spoke inspired messages to their communities.

Note: In general usage, a “prophet” is someone who can foretell the future. The prophets of the Bible often made predictions, which confirmed their authority when the predictions came true, but changing the lives of their people was a more central part of their mission.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Prophets in the Bible

(Heb. nabi, from a root meaning "to bubble forth, as from a fountain," hence "to utter", comp. Ps. 45:1). This Hebrew word is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the time of Samuel another word, _ro'eh_, "seer", began to be used (1 Sam. 9:9). It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel. Afterwards another word, _hozeh_, "seer" (2 Sam. 24:11), was employed. In 1 Ch. 29:29 all these three words are used: "Samuel the seer (ro'eh), Nathan the prophet (nabi'), Gad the seer" (hozeh). In Josh. 13:22 Balaam is called (Heb.) a _kosem_ "diviner," a word used only of a false prophet. The "prophet" proclaimed the message given to him, as the "seer" beheld the vision of God. (See Num. 12:6, 8.) Thus a prophet was a spokesman for God; he spake in God's name and by his authority (Ex. 7:1). He is the mouth by which God speaks to men (Jer. 1:9; Isa. 51:16), and hence what the prophet says is not of man but of God (2 Pet. 1:20, 21; comp. Heb. 3:7; Acts 4:25; 28:25). Prophets were the immediate organs of God for the communication of his mind and will to men (Deut. 18:18, 19). The whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as prophetic, inasmuch as it was written by men who received the revelation they communicated from God, no matter what its nature might be. The foretelling of future events was not a necessary but only an incidental part of the prophetic office. The great task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up among the people was "to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim the great moral and religious truths which are connected with the character of God, and which lie at the foundation of his government." Any one being a spokesman for God to man might thus be called a prophet. Thus Enoch, Abraham, and the patriarchs, as bearers of God's message (Gen. 20:7; Ex. 7:1; Ps. 105:15), as also Moses (Deut. 18:15; 34:10; Hos. 12:13), are ranked among the prophets. The seventy elders of Israel (Num. 11:16-29), "when the spirit rested upon them, prophesied;" Asaph and Jeduthun "prophesied with a harp" (1 Chr. 25:3). Miriam and Deborah were prophetesses (Ex. 15:20; Judg. 4:4). The title thus has a general application to all who have messages from God to men. But while the prophetic gift was thus exercised from the beginning, the prophetical order as such began with Samuel. Colleges, "schools of the prophets", were instituted for the training of prophets, who were constituted, a distinct order (1 Sam. 19:18-24; 2 Kings 2:3, 15; 4:38), which continued to the close of the Old Testament. Such "schools" were established at Ramah, Bethel, Gilgal, Gibeah, and Jericho. The "sons" or "disciples" of the prophets were young men (2 Kings 5:22; 9:1, 4) who lived together at these different "schools" (4:38-41). These young men were taught not only the rudiments of secular knowledge, but they were brought up to exercise the office of prophet, "to preach pure morality and the heart-felt worship of Jehovah, and to act along and co-ordinately with the priesthood and monarchy in guiding the state aright and checking all attempts at illegality and tyranny." In New Testament times the prophetical office was continued. Our Lord is frequently spoken of as a prophet (Luke 13:33; 24:19). He was and is the great Prophet of the Church. There was also in the Church a distinct order of prophets (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 2:20; 3:5), who made new revelations from God. They differed from the "teacher," whose office it was to impart truths already revealed. Of the Old Testament prophets there are sixteen, whose prophecies form part of the inspired canon. These are divided into four groups: (1.) The prophets of the northern kingdom (Israel), viz., Hosea, Amos, Joel, Jonah. (2.) The prophets of Judah, viz., Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah. (3.) The prophets of Captivity, viz., Ezekiel and Daniel. (4.) The prophets of the Restoration, viz., Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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