Definition and Name of the Biblical Prophets.
place of the people of divine revelation. Abraham first exercised this prophetic office (Gen. XX, 7, compare XVIII, 19). The prophetic blessings of Isaac and Jacob show that like him they possessed the prophetic gift and calling. Hence the patriarchal family which makes its pilgrimages from place to place is called a race of kings and prophets (Ps. CV, 15).
Remark. Whoever has received the knowledge of God's decree and will, and makes it known to another, stands to that other in the relation of a prophet. Such was the relation of Abraham to his family, and of Aaron to Israel and Pharaoh (Ex. VII, I—2; IV, 15—16) according to which Moses as Elohim is related to Aaron as prophet, or God's organ, for the prophet according to Jer. XV, 19, is God's mouth. The case however is different with the priest ((Hebrew characters)). The patriarchs maintained the family worship, and brought the family offerings, but no one was called priest (Hebrew missing}}), like Melchizedek, for (Hebrew characters) is the name of a class, while (Hebrew characters) from the outset indicates only a calling and endowment.
Special Calling of the Prophet.
In a wider sense indeed a prophet is one, who receives and records divine relations, like David and Daniel (Acts II, 30; Matt. XXIV, 15) and like John in the New Testament Apocalypse, but in the proper sense neither a seer ((Hebrew characters) I Sam. IX, 9), nor a beholder ((Hebrew characters)) as such is called a prophet, but only one, who, through proclamation of that which he has seen, works upon the life of the people, and the congregation. The calling of a prophet is that of a preacher or pastor, with reference to the congregation as a whole and its individual members, but is distinct from our modern ideas with reference to the calling as thus explained, in his drawing directly from divine revelation.
Remark. The signification of (Hebrew characters) as indicating a class, which the word received at a later period, is indicated in the confession of Amos (VII, 14). He is a prophet, for he has been called by God to the public office of preaching, and yet he is not a prophet, in the sense of having received an education at one of the Ephraimitic schools, where young men were prepared for the prophetic office as a profession.