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Functions Of The Prophets

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents the material from seventh-century Assyria pertaining to the question of the role, function and social location of the prophets. It focuses on Assyrian prophecy, and other examples of ancient Near Eastern prophecy, in particular from Old Babylonian Mari. The purpose is to gain insight into Assyrian prophecy as a socio-religious phenomenon, by studying it from the following angles: terms and concepts, prophets within the cultic order, prophets within the political and social order, prophetic claims and criticism, and prophets among the diviners. The chapter analysis various biblical images of the prophets, and describes the main aspects of the prophetic practice in Judah and Israel, followed by a survey on the prophetic function of Isaiah. The material pertaining to prophets and prophecy from the ancient Near East has been preserved by chance and cannot be expected to give a more than partial picture of the prophetic practice.

Keywords: Assyrian prophecy; Isaiah; Israel; Judah; Old Babylonian Mari; prophets; seventh century Assyria



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