Term paper - A Biblical prophet is a man that must speak...

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A Biblical prophet is a man that must speak the truth, and speak in the name of God. The Book of Amos is an essential Book of the latter prophets. The Book of Jonah, in contrast, proves to be a parody of the typical prophetic book. Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, understood the parody, and showed this in Father Mapple’s sermon. The sermon contrasts with the rest of Moby Dick to become a parable asking the riddle: What is the true nature of God? The Bible is composed of a number of prophetic books. According to Deuteronomy (passage?) 1 , a man who is a prophet must: Speak the truth. Speak in the name of the Lord. Without both of these characteristics, a man cannot be a true prophet. Furthermore, prophets are compelled by God to speak. The Hebrew word for vision is “massa,” which literally means “weight.” When someone is told to deliver a message, he is compelled by the weight, or “massa” of God’s instructions to deliver them. The Book of Amos is an essential book of the latter prophets. Chronologically speaking, Amos was the first prophet of whom scholars have a significant collection of sayings. The Book of Amos set a precedence for all books in the latter prophets. In Amos 5:21-24, Amos declares that sacrifices, worship, and offerings will do no good if a people have not established a community of justice. God tells Amos to say, “Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them” (Amos 5:22). People must “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever flowing stream” (Amos 5:24). This passage establishes a primacy of justice in the Bible by 1 All biblical references taken from: Metzger, Bruce M., Roland E. Murphy. The New Oxford Annotated Bible, with the Apocrypha. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989
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showing that God requires more than just worship, but justice as well. It is not enough to make sacrifices if the people are not just. The Book of Amos is revolutionary in establishing justice as a requirement separate from the Covenant. The Book of Amos shares important characteristics with other prophetic books in the Bible. First, Amos and the other prophets direct their message towards the Israelites. Amos says, “Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt” (Amos 3:1). Likewise, the prophet Isaiah’s vision concerned “Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah” (Isaiah 1:1). God directed His message solely to the Israelite people, and a few of the surrounding communities. Outsiders were rarely, if ever, invoked. Next, the prophets’ messages are lengthy and specific. The Book of Amos is nine chapters long, with each chapter consisting of roughly 15 verses. The Book of Ezekiel is 48 chapters long, while the Book of Jeremiah has 52 chapters. Over the course of the prophesy, Amos denounces Israel for using “military might, grave injustice in social dealings, abhorrent immortality, and shallow, meaningless piety.”
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