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Prophet definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

PROPH'ET, n. [L. propheta.]
1. One that foretells future events; a predicter; a foreteller.
2. In Scripture, a person illuminated, inspired or instructed by God to announce future events; as Moses, Elijah, David, Isaiah, etc.
3. An interpreter; one that explains or communicates sentiments. Exodus 7.
4. One who pretends to foretell; an imposter; as a false prophet. Acts 13.
of the prophets, among the Israelites, a school or college in which young men were educated and qualified for public teachers. These students were called sons of the prophets.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: an authoritative person who divines the future [syn: prophet, prophesier, oracle, seer, vaticinator]
2: someone who speaks by divine inspiration; someone who is an interpreter of the will of God

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English prophete, from Anglo-French, from Latin propheta, from Greek proph?t?s, from pro for + phanai to speak more at for, ban Date: 12th century 1. one who utters divinely inspired revelations: as a. often capitalized the writer of one of the prophetic books of the Bible b. capitalized one regarded by a group of followers as the final authoritative revealer of God's will <Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah> 2. one gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight; especially an inspired poet 3. one who foretells future events ; predictor 4. an effective or leading spokesman for a cause, doctrine, or group 5. Christian Science a. a spiritual seer b. disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth prophethood noun

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. (fem. prophetess) 1 a teacher or interpreter of the supposed will of God, esp. any of the Old Testament or Hebrew prophets. 2 a a person who foretells events. b a person who advocates and speaks innovatively for a cause (a prophet of the new order). 3 (the Prophet) a Muhammad. b Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons, or one of his successors. c (in pl.) the prophetic writings of the Old Testament. 4 colloq. a tipster. Derivatives: prophethood n. prophetism n. prophetship n. Etymology: ME f. OF prophete f. L propheta, prophetes f. Gk prophetes spokesman (as PRO-(2), phetes speaker f. phemi speak)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Prophet Proph"et, n. [F. proph[`e]te, L. propheta, fr. Gr. ?, literally, one who speaks for another, especially, one who speaks for a god an interprets his will to man, fr. ? to say beforehand; ? for, before + ? to say or speak. See Fame. ] 1. One who prophesies, or foretells events; a predicter; a foreteller. 2. One inspired or instructed by God to speak in his name, or announce future events, as, Moses, Elijah, etc. 3. An interpreter; a spokesman. [R.] --Ex. vii. 1. 4. (Zo["o]l.) A mantis. School of the prophets (Anc. Jewish Hist.), a school or college in which young men were educated and trained for public teachers or members of the prophetic order. These students were called sons of the prophets.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(prophets) 1. A prophet is a person who is believed to be chosen by God to say the things that God wants to tell people. ...the sacred name of the Holy Prophet of Islam. N-COUNT 2. A prophet is someone who predicts that something will happen in the future. (LITERARY) I promised myself I'd defy all the prophets of doom and battle back to fitness. N-COUNT: with supp, usu N of n

Easton's Bible Dictionary

(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.

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. Predicter, foreteller, seer, soothsayer.

1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

The prophet; the Cock at Temple Bar: so called, in 1788, by the bucks of the town of the inferior order.

Moby Thesaurus

Cassandra, Don Quixote, Druid, Quixote, astrologer, augur, calamity howler, clairvoyant, crystal gazer, daydreamer, divinator, diviner, divineress, dreamer, dreamer of dreams, enthusiast, escapist, forecaster, foreknower, foreseer, foreshower, foreteller, fortune-teller, fortuneteller, geomancer, haruspex, idealist, lotus-eater, oracle, palmist, predictor, prefigurer, presager, prognosticator, prophesier, prophet of doom, prophetess, psychic, pythoness, religious prophets, rhapsodist, romancer, romantic, romanticist, seer, seeress, sibyl, soothsayer, utopian, utopianist, utopianizer, vates, visionary, warlock, weather prophet, wishful thinker, witch

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