'Prophesy' in the Bible
Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
Moreover, David and the commanders of the army selected for the [temple] service some of the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, who were to prophesy with lyres, harps, and cymbals. The list of the musicians who performed their service was as follows:
Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good in regard to me, but [only] evil?”
Who say to the seers, “You must not see visions from God”;And to the prophets, “You must not prophesy to us what is right!Speak to us pleasant things and smooth words,Prophesy [deceitful] illusions [that we will enjoy].
A voice says, “Call out [prophesy].”Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”[The voice answered:] All humanity is [as frail as] grass, and all that makes it attractive [its charm, its loveliness] is [momentary] like the flower of the field.
“The prophets are like the wind [their prophecy will not come to pass],And the word [of God] is not in them.In this manner it will be done to them [as they prophesied, not to us].”
The prophets prophesy falsely,And the priests rule on their own authority;And My people love [to have] it so!But what will you do when the end comes?
Therefore thus says the Lord regarding the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, so that you will not die by our hand.”
Then the Lord said to me, “The [counterfeit] prophets are prophesying lies in My Name. I have neither sent them nor authorized them nor spoken to them. They are prophesying to you made-up visions [pretending to call forth responses from handmade gods], a worthless divination and the deceit of their own mind.
Therefore, thus says the Lord concerning the [false] prophets who are prophesying in My Name, although I did not send them—yet they keep saying, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’: by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end and be consumed.
And the people to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword; and they will have no one to bury them—neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters. For I will pour out their [own] wickedness on them [and not only on the imposters posing as prophets, for the people could not have been deceived without their own consent].
Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the Lord’s house and said to all the people:
Thus says the Lord of hosts,“Do not listen to the words of the [false] prophets who prophesy to you.They are teaching you worthless things and are leading you into futility;They speak a vision of their own mind and imaginationAnd not [truth] from the mouth of the Lord.
“I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My Name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed [visions when on my bed at night].’
How long [shall this state of affairs continue]? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart,
Hear this, I am against those who have prophesied false and made-up dreams,” says the Lord, “and have told them and have made My people err and go astray by their lies and by their reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them nor do they benefit and enhance [the life of] these people in the slightest way,” says the Lord.
“Therefore prophesy all these words against them and say to them:‘The Lord will roar from on highAnd utter His voice from His holy dwelling;He will roar mightily against His fold and pasture.He will jubilantly shout like those who tread the grapes [in the wine press],Against all the inhabitants of the earth.
Then Jeremiah spoke to all the princes and to all the people, saying, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that you have heard.
For they prophesy a lie to you which will cause you to be removed far from your land; and I will drive you out and you will perish.
Do not listen to and believe the words of the [false] prophets who are saying to you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they prophesy a lie to you;
for I have not sent them,” says the Lord, “but they are prophesying falsely in My Name, in order that I may drive you out and that you may perish, you [together] with the [false] prophets who prophesy to you.”
for they prophesy falsely to you in My Name. I have not sent them,’ says the Lord.
For Zedekiah [the last] king of Judah had locked him up, saying, “Why do you prophesy [disaster] and say, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;
and he will lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and he will be there until I visit him [for evaluation and judgment],” says the Lord. “If you fight against the Chaldeans, you will not succeed”’?”
Then you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it.
“Son of man, set your face against the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them,
Therefore, prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man!”
“Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy from their own inspiration, ‘Hear the word of the Lord!
“Now you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who are prophesying out of [the wishful thinking of] their own mind (inspiration). Prophesy against them
“Son of man, set your face toward Teman, and speak out against the south and prophesy against the forest land of the Negev (the South),
“Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and direct your [prophetic] word against the sanctuaries; prophesy against the land of Israel
“Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord.’ Say,‘A sword, a sword [from Babylon] is sharpenedAnd also polished!
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and strike your hands together; and let the sword be doubled the third time [in intensity], the sword for the slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter which surrounds them [so that no one can escape, even by hiding in their inner rooms],
“And you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God concerning the sons of Ammon and concerning their reproach (disgrace),’ and say: ‘A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter; it is sharpened and polished to put an end [to everything], and to flash like lightning,
“Son of man, set your face toward the Ammonites and prophesy against them.
“Son of man, set your face toward Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him and against all Egypt.
“Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God,“Wail, ‘Alas for the day!’
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to them, the [spiritual] shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Woe (judgment is coming) to the [spiritual] shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?
“Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir (Edom), and prophesy against it
“And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, ‘You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord.
therefore prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “For good reason they have made you a desolation, and they crushed you from every side so that you would become a possession of the rest of the nations and you have become the talk and the whispering of the people.”’”
Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and to the hills, to the ravines and to the valleys, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy (love for that which is Mine) and in My wrath because you have endured the [shameful] insults of the nations.’
Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’
Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’”
Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will open your graves and make you come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you [back home] to the land of Israel.
“Son of man, set your face against Gog of the land of Magog, the chief ruler of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On that day when My people Israel live securely, will you not become aware of it [and become active]?
“And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince (ruler) of Meshech and Tubal;
“It shall come about after thisThat I shall pour out My Spirit on all mankind;And your sons and your daughters will prophesy,Your old men will dream dreams,Your young men will see visions.
“But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink [despite their vows]And commanded the prophets, saying, ‘You shall not prophesy!’
The lion has roared! Who will not fear?The Lord God has spoken [to the prophets]! Who can but prophesy?
But do not prophesy any longer at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal residence.”
But the Lord took me as I followed the flock and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.’
Now therefore, listen to the word of the Lord: You say, ‘You shall not prophesy against Israel nor shall you speak against the house of Isaac.’
“If a man walking in a false spirit [spouting deception]Should lie and say,‘I will prophesy to you [O Israel] of wine and liquor (greed, sensual pleasure),’He would be the acceptable spokesman of this people.
You hypocrites (play-actors, pretenders), rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said,
saying, “Prophesy to us, You Christ (Messiah, Anointed); who was it that struck You?”
He replied, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites (play-actors, pretenders), as it is written [in Scripture],‘These people honor Me with their lips,But their heart is far from Me.
And some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy [by telling us who hit you]!” Then the officers took custody of Him and struck him in the face.
They blindfolded Him and asked, “Prophesy, who is it that struck You?”
‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God,‘That I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind;And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,And your young men shall see [divinely prompted] visions,And your old men shall dream [divinely prompted] dreams;
Even on My bond-servants, both men and women,I will in those days pour out My SpiritAnd they shall prophesy.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly: if [someone has the gift of] prophecy, [let him speak a new message from God to His people] in proportion to the faith possessed;
Pursue [this] love [with eagerness, make it your goal], yet earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual gifts [to be used by believers for the benefit of the church], but especially that you may prophesy [to foretell the future, to speak a new message from God to the people].
Now I wish that all of you spoke in unknown tongues, but even more [I wish] that you would prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater [and more useful] than the one who speaks in tongues, unless he translates or explains [what he says], so that the church may be edified [instructed, improved, strengthened].
But if all prophesy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], and an unbeliever or outsider comes in, he is convicted [of his sins] by all, and he is called to account by all [because he can understand what is being said];