Chemayia and 'Iddo part 3

'The Midrash BEN ISH HAI Message and Discussion Area': Other Jewish Religious Topics: Chemayia and 'Iddo part 3
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Abraham Mitsarfat (Abraham)

Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 08:04 am Click here to edit this post
Other texts like 2 Kings 17: 13 seemingly make a distinction between “Nabi” and “Hozeh”, which one exactly? The TaNaKh doesn’t precise. Anyway, in 2 Chronicles 12, 5 and 15, it is a “Prophet” (Nabi) we meet: Chemayia, and a “Seer” (Hozeh): ‘Iddo. And though the latter is qualified of “Prophet” (Nabi) in 2 Chronicles 13: 22, if there was no actual distinction between both terms, the text would read “the Prophets” or “the Seers Chemayia and ‘Iddo”. There must have been a shade which is beyond us today.

On the other hand, if there’s no neat distinction between “Seer” (Hozeh) and “Prophet” (Nabi), there is one between “Nabi” and “Ish Elokim” (Man of G.od), like these of 1 Kings 13: 1 which condemns the altar of Bethel Jeroboam raised. The old Prophet who harbored him, and gave him so bad advices, was well a “Nabi”, and the story makes a neat distinction between the two of them. A “Ish Elokim” was a visionary of G.od which statute was superior to a Prophet’s or a Seer’s. it’s quite possible a “Nabi” could be a “Ish Elokim” at the same time, since Chemayia is called “Ish Elokim” in 1 Kings 12: 22.

As to the statute of “Nabi” or “Hozeh, they were superior to of “sons of Prophets” (Bnei Haneviim) who lived in community of handouts. Thye didn’t reach ecstasy without some alcohol and music (Cf 2 Kings 3: 15), that gave them a rather bad reputation. However, it seems Elijah and Elisha stemmed from this kind of communities, Elisha was even at the head of one of them (2 Kings 4: 38).

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