Judges through Poets- 9a Prophetic Institution contd, Elisha

The Prophetic Institution contd
Numbers 23:23
For there is no sorcery against Jacob,
Nor any divination against Israel.
It now must be said of Jacob
And of Israel, ‘Oh, what God has done!’

No need for sorcery as God will reveal His will at His time. People don’t need to search for His voice; God speaks.

Deuteronomy 18:12
12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.
The sin is not separated from the sinner. We are what we do.
When people commit abominations they became abominated.

The superstitions of Canaan have nothing to do with Israel’s prophetic institutions according to Duet 18.

Israel was not permitted to use the methods of the Canaanites. Instead they were to listen to the prophet.
15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,
The prophet had to be an Israelite

16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’
The prophet was to be like Moses.
17 “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good.
18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.

The prophet is God’s spokesmen.

Luke 11:49-51
49 Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’ 50 that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

Duet 18:19
19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.
Luke sees the prophet as the prophetic institution of the OT.

Why is the complete prophetic institution described starting with Abel through to Zachariah? Abel was the first person to be slain. Zachariah is slain in the last book of the Hebrew bible (2 Chronicles).

Two interpretations of the singular word prophet:
1) The prophet comes before the messiah. See John 1:20-21 with the people making a distinction between the messiah and the prophet. See also John 7:40-41 – some say this is the prophet and some say the messiah
2) Some say that the prophet is the messiah. See John 6:14-15.

Duet 18 ties together the prophet and the messiah.
The interpretation of John 6:14-15 is clarified by Acts 3:19-23

Duet 18 is a prophecy with two fulfilments.
Duet 18 is a confirmation of the prophetic office and institution throughout Israel
Duet 18 also confirms that there is a singular prophet coming who is the messiah.

Biblical prophecy owes its origin in God Himself.
God was the first prophet. It did not find its origin in Canaan as some say.
No prophecy is an act of the human will. Prophecy happens when men are moved by the Spirit.

Elijah and Elisha
Purpose of miracles used by the prophets:
1) to display in a dramatic way the power of God (see Exodus 7)
2) to authenticate the prophetic office and message (see 1 Sam 12:12-18)

2 Kings 4:42-44
42 Then a man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat.” 43 But his servant said, “What? Shall I set this before one hundred men?” He said again, “Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the LORD: ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” 44 So he set it before them; and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD.

Context: there is a famine in the land (V38)

Exodus 23:19a = the people bring the first fruits to the priest and the Levites

Why isn’t this man taking his first fruits to the temple but rather giving them to Elisha?

Man was from ‘Baal Shalisha’ in Israel. The city was named after the false god Baal.
The man was denied access to the temple in Jerusalem.
This man was a godly man living in a Pagan culture.

Elisha commands then man to give the food to the people.
The servant questions Elisha but Elisha says:
“Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the LORD: ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’”

The expression ‘thus says the Lord’ is a common near-eastern expression. The expression claims the authority of YHWH.


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