What Are Some Facts About Biblical Prophets in the Old Testament?


Quick Answer

The Old Testament presents many of its prophets as messengers of God whose tasks included healing the sick, raising the dead, challenging pagan gods and warning people of oncoming disasters. Religious leaders, historians and scientists have different opinions as to whether some or any of these prophets truly existed.

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Full Answer

One example of a major Old Testament prophet is Elijah. The Bible tells of several episodes of the life of Elijah, such as his prophecy of a great drought, his raising of a poor widow's son from the dead, his contest with the priests of Baal over whose deity was truly God and his subsequent victory and banishment.

The Old Testament also recounts the story of the prophet Isaiah and provides a number of his prophecies. Later Christians saw some of these as foretelling the birth, ministry and death of Jesus.

There are also prophetesses who played a role in the unfolding of the Old Testament, such as the judge Deborah. The Book of Judges, chapter four, in the Old Testament states that Deborah was a judge, prophet and wife of a certain Lappidoth. According to this chapter, she would sit under the Palm Tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in a region known as Ephraim. Members of the Israelite People would come to her for advice.

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