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Prophetic Midrash
Enduring Stories from the Lives of Prophets

Saturday, April 15

Meet the Prophets of the Return

Detail from 'Zechariah,' Sistine fresco by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, c. 1509Following the Babylonian captivity, Cyrus decreed that the enslaved Jews would be permitted to return to their homelands, rebuild the temple and reinstitute their religious practices.

The five prophets who oversaw that return, and who authored the final portions of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) are:


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Tuesday, April 11

Meet the Prophetesses

Detail from 'Ruth Declares her Loyalty to Naomi,' by Pieter Lastman c. 1614The Imahot -- the Jewish matriarchs -- and other prominent holy women make up the Prophetesses of the Hebrew Bible.

Wives and mothers, most of them, the joy and sorrow of their lives call out to modern readers. We'll meet each of them individually in future postings.

The twelve Prophetesses of the Old Testament are:
  • Eve, the matriarch of all living (aka Ava, Chava, Chavva, Chavvah, Eve of Elda, Havva, Hawah, Nin-Khawa, חַוָּה)
  • Sarai, daughter of Haran (aka Sarah, Sara, שָׂרָה ,שָׂרָי)
  • Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel (aka Rebecca, Rivka, Rivkah, Rivqah, רִבְקָה)
  • Leah, daughter of Laban (aka Lea, Le'ah, לֵאָה)
  • Rachel, her sister (aka Rahel, רָחֵל)
  • Miriam, sister of Moses and daughter of Amram (aka Miryam, מִרְיָם)
  • Deborah, judge and wife of Lapidoth (aka Devorah, דְבוֹרָה)
  • Hannah, judge and wife of Elkanah (aka Chana, Channah, חַנָּה)
  • Ruth the Moabite, possibly a daughter of King Eglon (aka Rut, רוּת)
  • Abigail, wife of Nabal and David (aka Avigail, Avigayil, אֲבִיגָיִל)
  • Huldah, daughter of Shallum (aka Chuldah, חוּלְדָה)
  • Esther, daughter of Abihail (aka Amestris, Ester, Hadassah, אֶסְתֵר)


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Monday, April 10

Warning: Strong Language

Caution: Strong LanguageBecause words related to religion can be loaded with unintended meaning, here's fair warning: We use a handful of sometimes-loaded words throughout this site. Some examples:

Scriptures -- We use the following words interchangeably: Tanakh, Hebrew Bible, Old Testament, Jewish Bible, Ancient Scriptures, Canonized Scriptures, Holy Books. We hope this practice will honor the faith of every believer, without disparaging any.

Prophets -- In the spirit of Moses' teachings in Numbers 11:29, the term prophet can be somewhat amorphous. We use it liberally to mean:

• The main holy character of a canonized book of scripture.
• The putative author of a book of scripture.
• Any of the 55 prophets acknowledged by Rashi.
• The inspired leader or head of the assembly of God's people.


In future postings we will list each of the Prophets according to their time period.

Biblical names -- The King James Version of the Bible is endemic in Western culture, so we generally use spellings found in that edition. Where appropriate, we also include romanized versions of Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Arabic and Egyptian spellings.

Covenant People -- By which we mean: The Jews. Whether you believe the Jewish people are the only, the first, the former, or the least covenant people, the foundational scriptures of every monotheistic faith agree that Judaism is the source of the idea of Godly covenants.

Deity -- While we may disagree about interpretation, this site respects the right of every individual to hold any honest belief about G-d. So go ahead. Give G-d any name, or any pronoun, you like. View G-d as an idea, a single being, a unified being, a social grouping, or an entire pantheon. View G-d as male, female or genderless. In the end, we'll all find out which of us is right, yes? In the meantime, following convention, we'll refer to G-d on this site by the conventional terms He, the Father, Elohim or Yahweh.


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Saturday, April 1

Best-Loved Quotations

Giant Quotation Marks"And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD’s people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!"
-- Num. 11:29

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
-- 1 Cor. 13:11-12

"Rise above the shrill clamor over rights and prerogatives, and walk in the quiet dignity of a daughter of God."
-- GB Hinckley, 1984

"The Master said, "I will not be afflicted at men's not knowing me; I will be afflicted that I do not know men."
-- Confucian Analects


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List of Prophets, Prophets in the Bible, Biblical Prophets, List of Biblical Prophets, Old Testament Prophets
New Testament Prophets, Judeo-Christian, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Kabbalah, Gnostics, Manicheans, Deists, Memes, Zoroastrians,
Theophanies, Ecumenical, Prophecy Prophecy in the Bible • Biblical Prophecy • Christian Prophets
Prophets in Christianity • Jewish Prophets • Hebrew Prophets • Islamic Prophets • Prophets in Islam • Quranic Prophets
Prophets in the Quran, Prophets in the Koran • Baha'i Prophets • Prophetesses • Prophets in the Baha'i Faith
Prophets in Christianity Christianity and the Old Testament • List of Prophets • Prophecy •