By WD Kemner



A study of the prophet Samuel will lead to insight on the growth of “schools” of prophets.  Men that chose to dedicate themselves to being voices for God. By the time of Elijah and Elisha we see the phrase “sons of prophets”. 


These terms are first seen in stories relative to Saul who was anointed the first king of Israel.


1 Samuel 19:20 – “And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.”


We have a gathering of “prophets” confronting the messengers from Saul who are attempting to get David.  In verses 21-24, these messengers themselves begin to prophesy! Three times Saul sent messengers and each time they began to prophesy (joined the opposition). Eventually Saul came himself and he too began to prophesy!


Strongs #3862 for company = “lahaqah” – to gather, an assembly


Strongs #5012 for Prophesying = “naba” – speak or sing by inspiration in prediction or simple discourse – make self a prophet.



Why a gathering of prophets?



Samuel was training men to hear the voice of God and to learn the ways of God. It is from this “gathering” that comes the idea of a “school of Prophets”. They gathered to learn and obviously received an anointing as we see in the situation with Saul earlier.


We are accustomed to thinking that there was only one man that was a “prophet” at any one time.  This is not true.  There are many examples that show otherwise.


1 Samuel 10:5-12 - At Saul’s anointing as king, a “company of prophets” with musical instruments prophesied


In the Book of Kings we are given the appearance that Elijah and then Elisha were now the “top prophet” among many.


1 Kings 18:4,13; 19:1,14; – The prophets of the Lord were being killed by king Ahab, 100 were hidden in a cave


1 Kings 20:35-41; One of the “sons of the prophets” rebuking Ahab


During the story of the Translation of Elijah in 2 Kings 2:3-7; three different towns had “sons of the Prophets” located there and they ALL knew that Elijah was being translated that day!


This event was either the “worst kept secret” or there were several dozen “prophets” who were in “tune” with God that knew what would transpire.



Elisha’s miracles


2 Kings 4:1-7 Miracle of Oil – Elisha’s miracle that provided oil for the woman to pay off her creditors upon her husband’s death. Her husband was a member of “sons of the prophets”.


2 Kings 4:38-41 Pot of Stew – Elisha’s miracle fixing toxic pot of food in front of the “sons of the prophets”.


2 Kings 6:1-7 Lost ax head.


There are a lot of men in the Bible that are referred to as prophets. This study will focus on those books in the Bible that have been written by prophets:


Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi



Page 3 – Prophets in the History of the Bible