Hebrew Prophets I
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Gerald Wilson
September 17, 2002
"Rise of Classical Prohpecy"

I.   Premonarchical Prophecy
A.   Sporadic appearance
B.   Some ecstasy experienced
C.   Recognized "bands" of prophets (1Sam 10)
D.   Varied social location of prophets
E.   Could be consulted for a fee
F.   Occasional uninvited prophecy
II.   Mixed view of kingship (Judges8, 1Sam 8)
A.   Understood by some to be a "necessary evil"
1.   Period of Judges
a.   Very Violent people
b.   Conflict over territory
c.   Lack of strong, unified government
d.   Cynical character of period
e.   Vulnerability to foreign oppression
f.   Growing anarchy and moral decline
i.   Judges 17:6
ii.   Judges 18:1
iii.   Judges 19:1 - Pulls correlation to Sodom and Gomorrah - basically saying these days were as evil as Sodom and Gomorrah
2.   Samuel
a.   Transitional character (last judge, first prophet)
b.   Multi-faced role
c.   Corrupt priesthood (Eli's sons)
B.   Popular demand for a king
1.   Gideon (Judges 8:22)
a.   Desire for continuity
b.   Military concerns primary
2.   Samuel (1 Samuel 8:1ff)
a.   Israel wants to be like the other nations
b.   Parity, military leadership against their enemies
c.   Governance (provide internal order, control)
d.   Continuity of leadership
C.   Potential rejection of Yhwh's rule
1.   Gideon's response:
a.   Neither he, nor his sons would rule
b.   A human king is a rejection of God's rule - God is king
2.   Samuel's response
a.   Samuel was ticked off so he goes to talk to God
b.   God says that basically is not a rejection of Samuel's advice but rejection of God Himself
c.   Abusive nature of kingship (1Sam 8:9-18)
d.   Preface to public selection process (1Sam 10:17-19)
3.   People still wanted a king - indicating they were desperate for a king
4.   God eventually says, "fine give them a king, I'll show you which one I want to rule over them."
5.   Abimelek (Judges 9)
a.   abi=my father, melek=king
i.   Suppose to indicate "my [heavenly] Father is King"
ii.   Actually comes off to the people as, "my father [Gideon] should be king, but I am in his place."
b.   One of the sons of Gideon
c.   Deplorable tactics described & ridiculed (fable)
i.   He wasn't meant to be king
ii.   Ignominious death indicates Divine judgment that he couldn't be king
iii.   Massive put down because a woman killed him
d.   The point was that their first king was self-centered, self-serving, etc &
D.   Limited form of kingship permitted
1.   1Sam 12:12-15
a.   You're allowed to have a God
b.   But the people still have to fear God
c.   But the king has to lead the people in the ways of Yhwh
2.   1Sam 12:19-25
a.   First part of the passage is focused on evil - understand it to mean that asking for a king is not a good thing
b.   Request not due to inadequacy of Samuel
c.   Request due to fear and lack of trust in Yhwh
d.   Kingship permitted with conditions
i.   Fear Yhwh, serve, obey, do not rebel
ii.   Both people & king follow Yhwh
iii.   Disobedience means divine punishment
iv.   Both people & king will be "swept away"
3.   Interesting note: these books were written while Israel was in exile which indicates that the reason they were in exile was because they didn't maintain the conditions the kingship was permitted
4.   Deuteronomy 17:14-20
a.   One whom God chooses (Saul, David, etc &)
b.   Native Israelite
c.   Three negative implications
i.   He cannot multiply horses (military/chariots) or go back to Egypt to get horses - Cannot have military parity (equalness) with the other nations of the world
ii.   He cannot have multiply wives
1)   Wives usually were given in alliance with other kings
2)   Would be method for continuing the kingship in their family
3)   Could be used as distraction or corruption of kings ability to rule
iii.   Cannot acquire silver and gold
1)   Money cannot be brought into the picture
2)   Money brought power
5.   1Sam 9-10
a.   Private secret anointing of Saul by Yhwh
i.   Avoids public pressures that occur in other places
ii.   Anointed nagid (na-geed)
1)   "one placed before"
2)   Notice it doesn't place him as king
3)   Word for king = melek
iii.   Associated with spiritual leadership
iv.   At this time there wasn't a "priest" setup as spiritual leaders
b.   Public acclamation of Saul by Paul
i.   Proclaimed melek ("king)
ii.   Associated with political military leadership
6.   There was definitely a tension
a.   Popular expectation (from the people) to be a military, diplomatic, etc & (melek)
b.   God's expectation to be a leader that brings people to serve, obey & fear Yhwh (nagid)
c.   Kings would then feel pulled between their melekship and their nagidship
III.   Emergence of classical prophecy
A.   In response to the development of kingship
1.   Innate tension required guidance
2.   Failure of commitment require confrontation
a.   Samuel confronts Saul
b.   Nathan confronts David
c.   Both were anointed in private as nagid (by the prophet) but then proclaimed in public (by th people) as melek
d.   Elijah confronts Ahab
B.   Shifting function of prophets
1.   Confrontation of king and people
a.   Anoint and depose kings
b.   Confront covenant breaches (the riv)
2.   Proclaim divine word to contemporary context
a.   Confront evil (disloyalty to Yhwh; social evil)
b.   Encourage repentance
c.   Offer hope of restoration/reconciliation