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​Jewish prophets

The prophets and prophecy of the ancient Jews are known to us from all three sections of the Bible: the Pentateuch, the section of the Prophets of the book and the Scriptures. The second section is divided into two collections of books: the so-called Early Prophets and the Later Prophets. This chronological division is also essential. The ancient or early prophets did not write books (although, according to Jewish religious tradition, the Pentateuch was written by Moses), and their stories, initially oral, were then incorporated into broader texts. The works of the Later Prophets are written; they were written down either by the prophets themselves or by their disciples and scribes (e.g. Jer. 36:4,18), and although these books sometimes also contain third-person biographical accounts (e.g. Is. 36–39; Jer. 26 et seq. ; Amos 7:10–17), such stories play a subordinate role. Only the book of Jonah is exceptional in its genre. The institution of prophecy is based on the fundamental premise that, from generation to generation, God reveals His will through those whom He chooses for that purpose. A prophet is a charismatic person endowed with the gift of perceiving the Divine message and the ability to communicate this message to people. Being, as it were, the mouth of God, he does not choose his mission, but is chosen by God, often against his own wishes, in order to convey His will to his people, who are not always ready to heed it (Ex. 3:11). Therefore, prophecy is not a craft that can be mastered. On the other hand, in Jewish prophecy there is no desire for a mystical merger with God, there is no idea of the spirit of God entering the prophet’s body, leading to trance, possession, etc.; cases of trance, however, are mentioned, but the content of the prophecies is not given (I Sam. 19:20–24). The prophet is chosen by God and feels obligated to convey His message to the people and force them to do His will, even if he himself does not agree with His decision. The Prophet is separated from his compatriots, and the heavy burden of his chosenness rests on him. He is before the face of the Lord and consecrated to His thoughts (Isa. 6; Jer. 23:18; Amos 3:7). He speaks when God commands him to speak (Amos 3:8), and must set forth Divine revelation in human language. The “Word of God,” not His “spirit,” is the fundamental source of prophecy. The “Spirit” can prepare the prophet to receive revelation, can create in him the necessary state of mind, but the revelation itself consists of the “word.” What makes him a prophet (as opposed to the elders, judges, Nazarenes and kings) is not the spirit, but the word that he hears and communicates to others. Although the prophet feels filled with the Divine word, he is able to react to this word, respond to it, and even enter into dialogue with God. The Prophet thus retains his personal freedom and individuality and imparts his own personal color to the Divine message flowing through his lips. Therefore, the style of the prophets is individual - their prophecies are always unique literary creations that reveal an individual artistic beginning. The life of a prophet is a struggle: he contemplates the world through the eyes of God, his role is to carry out God's will in life. He is not a philosopher or a theologian with knowledge of God, but a mediator communicating the word of God to the covenant people to shape their future history by changing their present situation. The Hebrew term navi ('prophet') is related to the Akkadian verb nabu - 'to speak', 'to call', 'to summon', and perhaps its literal meaning is 'called'. In the Bible, this term is first applied to Abraham, who is so called because he is an intercessor with God: “Now [Abimelech] return your wife [Sarah] to her husband [Abraham]: for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live ..." (Gen. 20:7). The origin of the prophecy, according to the book of Deuteronomy, is related to the events of the exodus. Since the Israelites were afraid of God’s direct address to them, they asked Moses: “Come and listen to everything that the Lord our God says to you, and tell us everything that the Lord our God says to you, and we will listen and do "(Deut. 5:27). Moses says: “I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to tell you the word of the Lord, for you were afraid of the fire and did not go up to the mountain” (Deut. 5:5). So Moses became a mediator between the Lord and His people, that is, a true prophet: God addresses him directly, “mouth to mouth, and openly, and not in fortune-telling” (Num. 12:6-8). It should be emphasized that the Bible categorically prohibits fortune telling in any form, since fortune telling, being based on the human art of penetrating into Divine secrets, is an unlawful means of discovering the will of God and is characteristic of idolaters and false prophets (Micah 3:6-7; Jer. 27:9; 29:8; Ech. 13:9, 23). However, the Bible allows for a number of ways in which God reveals His will other than prophecy: dreams (I Sam. 28:6), predictions through the Urim and Thummim (Ex. 28:30; Lev. 8:8, etc. ) and ephod (I Sam. 23:9). However, since the time of David, these methods are no longer mentioned, and the only recognized form of revelation has become Divine revelation appears through His chosen prophets: “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). In the book of the Early Prophets, prophets are called jose (II Sam. 24:11, etc.) or roe - “seer”, “seer” (for example, I Sam. 9:9, 11, 18–19; corresponds to the Akkadian bar), ish ha-Elohim - “man of God” (I Ts. 13:1, 17:18, 24; II Ts. 1:10; 4:7, 9, 21; 8:4, 8, 11; 13:19, etc. .) and, finally, Navi - a term that is also regularly used in the book of the Later Prophets. The Bible reports: “... the one who is now called Navi was formerly called Rohe” (I Sam. 9:9). The next chapter also mentions “a host of prophets... and before them is a harp and a tympanum, and a pipe, and a harp, and they prophesy” (I Sam. 10:5, 10). The ecstatic state of the prophets of these groups is perhaps explained in Num. 11:16–25, where it is narrated that the spirit of the Lord descended on 70 elders in the camp of the Israelites in Sinai, and “they began to prophesy, but then they stopped.” Another example of group prophecy is I Ts. 22:6. The individual ecstatic state of the prophesizing Elijah is described in I Ts. 18:42–46. An ecstatic state can be induced by external means, such as music (II C. 3:15, about Elisha; cf. I Sam. 10:5 and II Chron. 35:15), but ecstasy is always considered as a direct act of God laying His hand (poison) or sending down His spirit (ruach). It should be noted that “spirit” is not revelation itself, but only a psychological state that determines the receipt of revelation. Along with such prominent prophets as Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, and Elisha, the Bible names hundreds of other prophets. They often formed groups of “disciples [literally “sons”] of the prophets” (bnei ha-neviim). Some of them were married and had families and homes (II Ts. 4:1–7; I Ts. 13:15), although II Ts. 4:38 speaks of the prophets eating together. One such group was in Beth-El, another (50 people) in Jericho (II Ts. 2:3, 5, 7, 15). Elisha performed miracles for his group of 100 prophets at Gilgal (II C. 4:38–44); King Ahab asked 400 prophets (I Ts. 22:6), etc. Prophets played an important role in social and political life, giving advice and foretelling the future in God's name (I C. 14:5; 22:8; II C. 3:4; 8:8; 22:13). For this they received payment in money, sometimes very insignificant (I Sam. 9:8), or in provisions (I Ts. 14:3). The prophets predicted even when they were not asked (I Ts. 11:29; 12:22). The Bible contains many examples of the influence of prophets on social and political life. So, Samuel chose Saul (I Sam. 9), and then David (I Sam. 16) as kings of Israel, Nathan branded David for his behavior towards Batsheba and her husband Uriah (II Sam. 12:7–12) and prompted the king to recognize Solomon as heir to the throne (I Ts. 1:8-40). Ahijah prophesied both about the election of Jehoraham I as king of Israel and about the destruction of his house (I Ts. 11:29–39; 14:1–8; 15:29); another “man of God” announced to this king the future birth of Joshua, who would destroy the altar at Beth-El (I C. 13:1–2). Shema'ya warned the Jewish king Reha'am against going against the kingdom of Israel (I Ts. 12:22-24), etc. The prophets played such an important role that some kings had court prophets. So, David was served by Nathan (II Sam. 7; I Ts. 1:8) and Gad (I Sam. 22:5; II Sam. 24:11; I Chron. 21:9; 29:29; II Chron. 29 :25), as well as the sons of Asaph, Heyman and Jeduthun, who “pronounced on harps, harps and cymbals” (I Chron. 25:1; II Chron. 29:30; 35:15). Nathan and Ahijah compiled the chronicles of the “acts of Solomon” (II Chron. 9:29), and Iddo and Shma’iyah compiled the “acts of Reha’am” (II Chron. 12:15). The early prophets were both seers and predictors of the future. For example, Ahijah predicted the fall of the house of Jehor'am I and the death of his son (I Ts. 14:6), Elijah - a drought (I Ts. 17:1) and the death of King Ahaziah (II Ts. 1:4), Elisha - a seven-year-old famine (II Ts. 8:1), etc. The groups of prophets at Beth-el and Jericho knew the day on which God intended to take Elijah into heaven (II Ts. 2:3); Elisha knew the whereabouts of the enemy (II Ts. 6:9) and even heard conversations in his camp (II Ts. 6:12). Some prophets also had visions (I Ts. 22:19; II Ts. 6:17). The prophets not only predicted the future, but also performed certain symbolic actions that were supposed to dramatize and concretize their words. So, Ahijah tore his robe into 12 pieces and ordered Johor to take 10 pieces, for “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: Behold, I am tearing the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and I am giving you ten tribes...” (I C. 31 ; see Tribes of Israel). The prophets were also miracle workers, especially Elijah and Elisha (I Ts. 17:8, 17–24; 18; II Ts. 2:11, 13–14; 4:1–8, etc.). In the vast majority of cases where prophets intervened in public affairs, made predictions, revealed things hidden from the eyes of others, performed symbolic actions and performed miracles, they claimed to be acting in the name of God and according to His will. The activity of the prophets was not associated with an appeal to any supernatural forces and, as they believed, did not stem from their innate abilities - only God's in

What lies Beyond.jpg

​Jewish doctors who revolutionized medicine

Jewish scientists and doctors made a significant contribution to the creation of its scientific foundations and the development of modern therapeutic and preventive care. This process was initially closely connected with the religious views of the Jews and was based on them. It is no coincidence that the first restrictions and medical recommendations prescribed to Jews were integral elements of their lifestyle, regulated by the laws of the Jewish religion.
Being closely connected with the medicine of Ancient Egypt and other countries of the Ancient World and having borrowed from them many useful practical recommendations, Jewish medicine and the formation of the medical class initially had significant differences.
In the countries of the Ancient World, the carriers of medical knowledge who applied them in practice, as a rule, were priests (the period of the so-called priestly medicine). And although it used some rational techniques for diagnosing and treating diseases, borrowed from folk medicine, the carriers of temple medicine very often used pagan magical rites and mystical techniques as the leading method of treatment

Литературная Проза


The history of Jewish literature covers a period of time of 3 thousand years. In addition to many theological works, it contains a huge number of books on mathematics, geography, medicine, natural sciences, grammar, rhetoric, as well as many poetic and fictional works of every kind and form. It would, therefore, be unfounded to call E. literature biblical or rabbinical. The latter name would give rise to the erroneous assumption that the rabbis alone are the representatives of Jewish writing, when in fact Jewish scholars for the last 1000 years only bear the title of rabbi in order to show that they, in contrast to the Karaites, recognize, next to The Bible, and also the Talmud.