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Morrish Bible Dictionary

Prophecy, Prophet

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The scriptural use of the term 'prophecy' is in no way confined to foretelling events, nor is that its primary significance. It included any communication which God saw fit to make either to His own people or to any of the nations. God said to Abimelech concerning Abraham, "He is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee." Genesis 20:7 . Aaron was called the prophet of Moses. Exodus 7:1 . God's power came at times upon individuals who were not recognised as prophets, and they prophesied, as for instance Saul in 1 Samuel 10:10,11 . Prophecy became in Israel the means, through mercy, of God's communication to the people when the priesthood with Urim and Thummim had utterly broken down. It came in by Samuel. Elijah and Elisha prophesied in the midst of apostate Israel. Nathan, John the Baptist, etc., were also prophets. Of some of the prophets no prophecies are recorded, while others are only known to us by what they wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

In the N.T. we read that Philip had four virgin daughters who 'prophesied;' and Agabus foretold that Paul would be bound at Jerusalem and be delivered to the Gentiles. Acts 21:9-11 . Prophesying is, however, in the N.T. also used in a different sense. The word is from πρόφημι, 'to speak forth,' and a prophet may therefore be described as a spokesman of God. Prophecy of this kind is a gift in the church for the edifying of the saints, bringing God's word with power upon their consciences and hearts. It is the gift of most importance in the church. 1 Corinthians 14:1-5,24,31,39 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:20 .

In Romans 16:26 the writings of the New Testament are spoken of as 'prophetic scriptures,' and the assembly is built on the foundation laid by the apostles and N.T. prophets ( Ephesians 2:20 ), that is, the truth taught by them.

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Prophecy, Prophet '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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