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13 Aug 2016 at 09:06hrs | Views
Witness Dingani
"Prophets should be seen as Yahweh's messengers not as poets and authors" Discuss this in relation to prophets in Ancient Israel and in Zimbabwe? (25) (Article number 105)


 - The above question might be new to some of us ,but the question is common .The question demands us to discuss the validity of the claim that the prophets in Israel acted as messengers not poets and authors .Number of so many prophets in Israel specifically the writing prophets ,have been regarded as poets because of their behavior, this is true in the case of the country prophet Amos .J Thompson defined a prophet as a messenger of God whereas U.S.A English dictionary define a poet as a person who writes poems. In order for you totally answer the above question you have to be able to answer the following fundamental questions.

 - Who acted as a prophet and poet in Israel?
 - Who authored books ?
 - Can prophets be regarded as poets ?
 - Which prophet can be regarded as a  poet and author


 - J Thompson define a prophet as a messenger of God whereas B W Anderson define a prophet as someone who communicate the will of God .Prophets in Israel acted as the messengers of God ,this is true in the case of true prophets .This can be supported by the use of the messenger's style of speech. Number of so many prophets in Israel used a messenger style of speech [they are so many prophets who used the messenger style of speech]. The idea originated with Moses who confronted King Pharaoh in Exodus 5:1 "Thus says the Lord" ,thus acting as a messenger style of Yahweh. Reading Due 18:18 ,indicates that Yahweh appointed prophets for a specific mandate. Amos explained to the Israelites that prophets acted as the messengers of prophets ,this is evidenced in Amos 3:7.Jeremiah and Isaiah were assured that throughout the ministry they will be divinely inspired. In Zimbabwean context ,Zimbabwean prophets claim to be messengers of God ,this is evidenced by the use of messenger style of speech ,for instance Makandiwa, Angel, Wimbo, Chiza, Fodrick the Apple prophet ,Freddy the Spectacle prophet. This can be further supported by the words of Zimbabwe prophets before delivering any prophecies[ The Lord said to me /Mwari ataura neni ati /ukhulume lami uNkulunkulu wathi] As such, this indicates that Israel prophets and Zimbabwean prophets can be seen as Yahweh's messengers.


 - As much as Israel prophets can be seen as messengers of Yahweh, it will be loss of memory if one ignore the view that they can be labeled as authors and poets .Moses authored the Pentateuch even though some scholars deny this ,this is evidenced in Exodus 17:14 .The canonical prophets , are believed to have authored their prophetic books [see the article on compiling and preservation of prophetic books ].Isaiah of Jerusalem was instructed to write down ,this is recorded in Isaiah 8:1.He even authored the book ,this is evidenced by Isaiah 30:8.Jeremiah is well known of dictating his prophecies to the secretary Baruch ,this is recorded in Jeremiah 36:4.In Zimbabwean context, writing books cannot be separated from Zimbabwean prophets ,Magaya is well known of his book which condemned the Vapostori "MARINE SPIRIT". Angel wrote so many books this same applies with Makandiwa,Proffessor Guti. The reason why books are being authored in Zimbabwe is unknown, perhaps for preserving information, business and as way of delivering the message. What remains is that Zimbabwean prophets write books .Basing on the above one will be tempted to regard/label Israel prophets and Zimbabwean prophets as authors.

 - Israel prophets have been labeled as poets ,for instance Amos was labeled as a poet by Vauld ,because of his stylistic way of writing .This include use of similes and metaphors, imagery, songs, wordplays and delivering the message in public places .Isaiah of Jerusalem used poetic devices for instance songs e.t.c. In Zimbabwean context, no prophet has claimed to be a poet but one should not that their characteristics will lead one to regard them as poets. Considering how they deliver the message for instance, parables ,stories and songs. [look for the examples].

 - justify the above allegation

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