What is a Prophet?
The word prophet [or prophets] shows up 454 times in the Authorized Version of the English Bible—exactly 12 times in the final prophetic book of Revelation alone. One hundred fifty-seven times, the word appears as a major subject in the New Testament while it shows up 297 times in the Old Testament. It is a major subject in the Bible.
The most common Hebrew term transliterated into the English word prophet is “NABIY,” pronounced “na-ve.” The first time, it is used by Abraham when God Himself speaks to Abimelech in Genesis 20:7. God speaks to the king of Philistia and commands the lord of the land to give Sarah back to Abraham because he is a prophet. This is one of the very few times in the Bible in which God Himself bestows the title upon a man.
A NABIY is literally the spokesman for the Divine mind. He is a preacher of God’s WORD. The most common term for prophet in the Old Testament is used 227 times, and its closest description is preacher of God’s Word.
As we study some of the greatest preachers in all of human history: Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah. They are in different settings but preaching the same WORD from the same mind. While Isaiah is from the seventh century BC, Ezekiel and Jeremiah are from the fifth century. However, Ezekiel is in Babylon as a slave exile, while Jeremiah is enslaved by his own people in Jerusalem. The name Isaiah means Yahovah has saved; Ezekiel is a name that means God strengthens, and Jeremiah means whom Yahovah has appointed. Put these three names together, and it reads: Yahovah has saved who God strengthens (and) whom Yahovah has appointed.
To be a prophet of God means we are saved, strengthened and appointed by God to preach His WORD.
Let us learn to listen and hear the prophets of the Bible!
Rod Hembree Th.D. D.E.