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    Prophets & prophecies – Shof’tim

    The concept of prophecy is a fundamental part of Jewish theology.

    It is found in the Torah in this week’s reading where we are told that any purported prophet who does not speak the word of God does not deserve the title of prophet (Deut. 18:19-22).

    Rashi says that a true prophet says only what God commands him; if he does not have a sense of responsibility towards God he is a fake.

    The word navi – a prophet – comes from a root that indicates “utterance”. But the utterance must come from God, not from an idol. Even if the prophetic message from an idol appears to be valid and true, the “prophet” must be put to death – the death penalty in this case being strangulation (Sanh. 89a).

    An alternative word, ro’eh (seer) denotes someone who sees miracles and whose spiritual sense shows him to be a Divine messenger.

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