Page:Messianic Prophecies - Delitzsch - 1880.djvu/30

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CHAPTER III.

The Divine and Human Side of Prophecy.

§ 13.

The Prophet as a Holy Man.

The prophet is called in an official sense a man of God ((Symbol missingHebrew characters) I Sam. IX, 6—9, compare Deut. XXXIII, I), and a servant of Jehovah ((Symbol missingHebrew characters) 2 Kings IX, 7, compare Deut. XXXIV, 5), but this official character rests upon the general character of personal union with God, and upon piety. According to the Wisdom of Solomon VII, 27 the heavenly wisdom, in the course of human history, raises up friends of God and prophets by her entrance into holy souls ((Symbol missingGreek characters)). This ethical condition is of great importance for the proper appreciation of the spiritual and miraculous, and yet unmagical character of all true prophecy.

Rem. I. An excellent dissertation, bearing upon this subject, which rightly divides the divine and the human in prophecy is Düsterdieck's De Rei Propheticae in Vetere Testamento cum Universae, tum Messianae Natura Ethica, Göttingen 1852, in which he carries out the idea, that the intercourse of the prophets with God, which the religious and moral nature of man and especially the covenant relation of God to Israel brings with it, is the ethical ground from which the prophecy worked by God goes forth. He says: Nullus in vocato ac misso honmine animi motus sine Deo est, neque vero ullus, qui contra propriam hominis naturam efficiatur a Deo, "When a man is called and sent there is no movement of the mind without God, nor indeed is any, which is contrary to the true nature of man, effected by God."

Rem. 2. The New Testament names those whom God deems worthy to be receivers and mediums of his revelation, holy men (2 Peter I, 21), and calls those who have been thus honored the holy prophets (2 Peter III. 2, compare Rev. XXII, 6 according to the reading: (Symbol missingGreek characters)).

§ 14.

Character of the Prophets' Intercourse with God.

The prophets according to this hold intercourse with God by means of prayer. They question God, as the book of Habakkuk shows, and he answers; but they do not receive the divine disclosures until they have first occupied an attitude of waiting (Hab.