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Is There a Jewish Philosophy?Rethinking Fundamentals$
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Leon Roth

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774556

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774556.001.0001

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The Significance of Biblical Prophecy for Our Time

The Significance of Biblical Prophecy for Our Time

Chapter:
(p.74) The Significance of Biblical Prophecy for Our Time
Source:
Is There a Jewish Philosophy?
Author(s):

Leon Roth

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774556.003.0004

This chapter asserts that the importance of the prophets, both for their generation and ours, is not that they speak ‘comfortable words’ (though they do that too at times), but that they dared to say things which are very uncomfortable indeed but which happen to be true. Their interest was not in morale (so-called) but in something very different: morals. The common conception of a biblical prophet is that of a dancing dervish with a loud voice and an execrable temper; or, alternatively, of a smug preacher ready to call down fire from heaven on anybody who disagrees with him. In sum: a vengeful and self-righteous megalomaniac with an intolerable gift of the gab. The chapter submits that this picture is false. The typical biblical prophet is the lawgiver, Moses himself, who shows his people the ‘paths of life’; and the one quality specifically attributed to Moses by Scripture is the quality of humility. He is the ‘man of God’, that is, he recognizes God as man's ‘dwelling-place’. Pre-eminently he is the teacher, but what he teaches he has himself been taught from on high.

Keywords:   biblical prophets, biblical prophecy, morals, lawgiver, Moses, man of God

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