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Prophets and Prophetesses: The Lord's Messengers
TitleProphets and Prophetesses: The Lord's Messengers
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsParry, Donald W.
Book TitleThe Jesus Christ Focused Old Testament: Making Sense of a Monumental Book
Pagination72-77
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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Joseph Smith taught this important truth: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”[1]

God’s prophets and prophetesses had significant and noteworthy responsibilities in the Old Testament setting. They were teachers of righteousness; denounced sin; warned of impending doom; blessed the lives of individuals, communities, and nations; prophesied, instructed, and preached; and revealed God’s covenants, laws, and ordinances. The prophets displayed literary genius in their presentation of the scriptural books and passages they authored and edited; they employed rhetorical questions, symbolic forms, figures of speech, laments, poetic parallelisms and other forms of poetry, and other literary types.

Prophets set forth various prophecies and often used prophetic speech forms such as “thus saith the Lord.” Prophets taught and prophesied by the power of the Holy Ghost. As Peter wrote, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet. 1:21). Prophecy is not limited to males; instances of females with the gift of prophecy include Deborah, Miriam, and Huldah. Both males and females were empowered to prophesy (Num. 11:29; 1 Cor. 14:1–5, 29, 31, 39).

Notwithstanding all of these significant and noteworthy responsibilities, the prophets’ central message was Jesus Christ (Rev. 19:10) and His atoning sacrifice. They prophesied of Jesus’s ministry, atoning sacrifice and Resurrection, Second Coming, and Millennial reign. In most or all of their prophecies, they used symbols and figures of speech.

Prophets did not speak to the covenant people only, but they also uttered God’s words to the known world. Isaiah, for example, warned and prophesied to Syria, Babylonia, Moab, Egypt, Philistia, Ethiopia, Sidon, Assyria, Elam, Edom, and Arabia. Similarly, Jeremiah warned or prophesied against many nations and peoples, including Egypt, Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, Elam, and Babylon (Jer. 47–51).

The dates in the chart are approximations and are presented only for the purposes of providing a sense of the time frame.



[1] Smith, Teachings, 121.

Prophet

Possible Meaning of Name

Place of Origin

Date of Ministry (circa BC)

Miscellaneous Notes

 

Abraham

Father of a multitude

Ur of the Chaldees

 

Abrahamic Covenant

Adam

Mankind

Eden

 

Blessed his posterity

Ahijah

My brother is Jah

A Shilonite

930

Prophesied to Jeroboam of the rending of the two kingdoms

Amos

Burden

Tekoa

760

Prophesied concerning Israel, Judah, Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab

Balaam

Glutton?

Pethor by the Euphrates

 

Blessed Israel near Moab; prophesied of “the Star” and “Scepter” from Judah

Daniel

God is my Judge

Judah in exile

605–530

Prophesied concerning Judah, Israel, other empires; spoke of the “Ancient of Days”

David

Beloved

Bethlehem

 

Ruled over undivided Israel; psalms prophesy of Jesus Christ

Deborah

(Judg. 4:4)

Bee

Mount Ephraim?

 

Prophetess, judge, prophesied of Israel’s defeat of Sisera

Eliezer

God is help

Mareshah

850

Prophesied against Jehoshaphat’s league with Israel

Elijah

(1 Kgs. 17:1–2 Kgs. 2:18)

My God is Jehovah

Tishbe

870

Israel, Judah

Elisha

1 Kgs. 19:15–21; 2 Kgs. 2–9, 13

God shall save

Abel-meholah

850

Israel, Judah

Enoch

?

 

 

Preached mightily; established the city of Zion

Ezekiel

God will Strengthen

Judah—In Exile

592–570

Prophesied concerning Judah, Israel, Ammonites, Moab, Edom, Philistines, Tyre, Sidon, Egypt

Ezias

?

?

Before 600

Prophesied of the Messiah

Ezra

Helper

Babylon, exiled Judah

458

Returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple

Gad

Fortune

?

 

Seer and friend of David

Habakkuk

Embrace

Judah

625

Judah, Chaldeans

Haggai

Festive

Judah—Post Exilic

520

Judah

Hanani

(2 Chron. 16:7)

My grace/

Jehovah has been gracious

Judah

930?

Prophesied against Asa, king of Judah

Hosea

Salvation

Israel

760–736

Israel, Judah, Egypt, Assyria

Huldah

(2 Kgs. 22; 2 Chr. 34)

?

Jerusalem

640

Hilkiah and Josiah

Iddo

Beloved/ Witness?

?

953–932

Judah, Israel

Isaac

He will laugh

Hebron/Beer-sheva

 

Canaan

Isaiah

Jehovah is Salvation

Judah

(Jerusalem)

740–701

Judah, Israel, Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Damascus, Ethiopia, Egypt, Edom, Arabia, Tyre, Sidon

Isaiah’s Wife

(unnamed)

Judah?

740–701?

Called a “prophetess”

Jacob/Israel

Supplanter/May God show His strength

Beer-sheva

 

Beer-sheva, Haran, Shechem, Beth-el, Egypt

Jahaziel

God sees

Judah

853

Prophesied the victory over the Ammonites

Jehu

He is Jehovah

Israel

925

Prophesied against Baasha

Jeremiah

Jehovah will Raise Up

Anathoth

 

626–586

Judah, Israel, Egypt, Philistines, Moab, Ammonites, Edom, Damascus, Kadar, Hazor, Elam, Babylon, Tyre, Sidon, Arabia, Medes

Jethro

Abundance

Midian

 

Midian, Israel, counseled Moses

Job

He whom they treat as an enemy/He who turns to God

Uz

?

Prophesied of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection

Joel

Jehovah is God

Judah–post Exilic

520–518?

835–796?

Judah, Tyre, Sidon, Egypt, Edom

Jonah

(book of Jonah)

Dove

Gath-hepher

(Land of Zebulun)

770

784–722?

Nineveh

Joseph

He will do again; he will repeat

Haran

 

Shechem, Egypt

Joshua

Jehovah is salvation

Egypt?

 

The conquest of Canaan

Malachi

My Messenger

Judah–post Exilic

430

Judah, Israel

Melchizedek

My King is Righteous-ness

Salem

 

King of Salem; blessed Abraham

Micah

Micah 1:1

 

Who is like [Jehovah]

Moresheth Gath (Plains of Judah)

737–690

Judah, Israel, Assyria

Micaiah

1 Kings 22:6–28; 2 Chr.

18:1–34

Who is like Jehovah?

Samaria

856

 

Miriam

 

Bitterness

Egypt

 

“The prophetess” (Ex. 15:20); song of Miriam (Ex. 15:21)

Moses

Son/To draw out

Egypt

 

Led Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness

Nahum

Consoler

Elkosh

610

Nineveh, Judah

Nathan

He has given

?

 

Contemporary with David; revealed the instructions to build the temple

Nehemiah

Jehovah comforts

Persia

530

Rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem

Neum

?

?

Before 600

Prophesied of the Crucifixion

Noadiah

Prophetess

Neh. 6:14

 

 

 

 

Noah

Rest

?

?

Warned of the Flood

Obadiah

My servant is Jehovah

Judah

586

Edom, Israel

Oded?

2 Chron. 15:8; 28:9–11

 

Samaria

733

 

Samuel

His name is God

Ramathaim-zophim, Shiloh

 

Judged Israel; counseled Saul and David

Shemaiah

Jehovah has heard

Judah

950?

Counseled Rehoboam

Urijah

Jer. 26:20–23

Jehovah is light

 

 

 

Zechariah

Jehovah remembers

Judah, Post exilic

520–518

Judah, Israel

Zephaniah

Jehovah Hides

Judah

626

Judah, Israel, Philistines, Moab, Ammon, Ethiopians, Assyria

 

Chart by Donald W. Parry. Prophets and Prophetesses: The Lord's Messengers.

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