Chemayia and 'Iddo part 2

'The Midrash BEN ISH HAI Message and Discussion Area': Other Jewish Religious Topics: Chemayia and 'Iddo part 2
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Abraham Mitsarfat (Abraham)

Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 08:03 am Click here to edit this post
It is more or less so 1 Kings 14: 25-26 relates the events, Chemayia isn’t mentioned, so he intervenes in the same relation in 2 Chronicles 12: 1-12. There, he reveals Sheshonk’s attack is a Divine punishment, caused by Roboam’s and the people’s giving in of the Thora, and which condemns them to perish in Egyptian’s hands. Since the King and his subjects repent with sincerity, Hashem decides to save them, and it’s again by means of Chemayia He announces it to them. Only, Roboam isn’t spared of the tribute Pharaoh demands from him, neither the state of suzerainty to which is reduced the country.

As for ‘Iddo, his name is quoted along with Chemayia’s in 2 Chronicles 12: 15, as the co-author of a corpus titled “records of Chemaiah the Prophet and of ‘Iddo the Seer”, and in 13: 22 as the author of a “Midrash” narrating the events of Roboam’s and Abbyiam’s reign (913-911. Maybe it is the same character which name takes the form “Yedo”, and who’s supposed to be the author of “the visions of Yedo the seer”, at the time of Salomon’s end of reign and Jeroboam’s advent (2 Chronicles 9: 29).

In all those texts, Chemayia is generally qualified of “Prophet” (Nabi) and ‘Iddo of “Seer” (Hozeh). At a few exceptions, the “seer’ (Hozeh) ‘Iddo is called “Prophet” (Nabi), in 2 Chronicles 13: 22 and Chemayia is called “Man of G.od” (Ish ha Elokim) in 1 Kings 12: 22. Confusedly and imprecisely, the TaNaKh sometimes seems to make a distinction between “Prophet” (Nabi) and “Seer” (Hozeh). On other occasions, both terms have seemingly the same meaning, and are used equally about the same character.

In English versions, “Seer” is the translation of another word: “Roeh”, which comes from the verb “to see” in Hebrew (“Hozeh” comes from Aramaic “Haza” that also means “to see”). We meet “Roeh” applied to Samuel in 1 Samuel 9: 9: “Formerly in Israel, if a man went to inquire of God, he would say,’Come, let us go to the seer (Roeh)’; because the prophet (Nabi) of today used to be called a seer (Roeh)”. However, it is the term “Hozeh” which is the most often used. In 2 Samuel 24: 11 for instance, the Prophet (Nabi) Gad is said to be the “Seer” (Hozeh) of David.

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