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Role of prophets

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As agents of God, prophets acted in various capacities, as was required of them, in order to carry out his will and fulfil his purpose.

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Prophets as God’s spokesmen

They heralded impending judgment

Jonah 3:4 ESV
Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
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They advocated repentance

2 Kings 17:13 ESV
Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”
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They conveyed messages from God to the nations

Ezekiel 25:8–11 ESV
“Thus says the Lord God: Because Moab and Seir said, ‘Behold, the house of Judah is like all the other nations,’ therefore I will lay open the flank of Moab from the cities, from its cities on its frontier, the glory of the country, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. I will give it along with the Ammonites to the people of the East as a possession, that the Ammonites may be remembered no more among the nations, and I will execute judgments upon Moab. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
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The supernatural activities of prophets

They revealed future events

Ezekiel 17:16–21 ESV
“As I live, declares the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant with him he broke, in Babylon he shall die. Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not help him in war, when mounds are cast up and siege walls built to cut off many lives. He despised the oath in breaking the covenant, and behold, he gave his hand and did all these things; he shall not escape. Therefore thus says the Lord God: As I live, surely it is my oath that he despised, and my covenant that he broke. I will return it upon his head. I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there for the treachery he has committed against me. And all the pick of his troops shall fall by the sword, and the survivors shall be scattered to every wind, and you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken.”
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Herod’s slaughter of the infants in Bethlehem:

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They received dreams and visions

Numbers 12:6 ESV
And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream.
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They worked miracles

2 Kings 5:3 ESV
She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
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Prophets as intermediaries

Between God and the people

Deuteronomy 18:16–18 ESV
just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.
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Between the people and God

1 Samuel 7:9 ESV
So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. And Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him.
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Their responsibility as watchmen

The intermediary role of the prophet is highlighted by the image of a watchman who receives messages from God and conveys them to the people.
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Prophets as leaders in the community

They gave advice

Zechariah 7:2–3 ESV
Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the Lord, saying to the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts and the prophets, “Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”
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They gave encouragement

Acts 15:32 ESV
And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words.
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They led the people

Hosea 12:13 ESV
By a prophet the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt, and by a prophet he was guarded.
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They appointed kings and leaders

1 Samuel 10:1 ESV
Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you to be prince over his heritage.
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Prophets as writers

1 Chronicles 29:29 ESV
Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the Chronicles of Samuel the seer, and in the Chronicles of Nathan the prophet, and in the Chronicles of Gad the seer,
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