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Don Stewart :: Were All of the Books of the Old Testament Written by Prophets?

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Don Stewart

The Bible gives testimony that most of the books of the Old Testament were written or edited by prophets. Men who were given special wisdom by God - such as Solomon, wrote the other books. The Old Testament evidence is as follows.


Moses, the writer of the first five books of the Old Testament, was called a prophet. He wrote.

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him (Deuteronomy 18:15).

The prophet Hosea later said of Moses.

The LORD used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt by a prophet he cared for him (Hosea 12:13).

There Were Other Prophets In Moses' Lifetime

There were other prophets, both male and female, in Moses' lifetime and more were to follow

Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing (Exodus 15:20).

Moses also wrote.

He [Moses] said, "Listen to my words: When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams" (Numbers 12:6).

We then read.

Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt - to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel (Deuteronomy 34:10-12).

All of this assumes that there would have been prophets after the time of Moses.


While Joshua was not called a prophet, he was a man filled with God's wisdom.

Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses (Deuteronomy 34:9).

The people listened to Joshua in the same way as they did Moses.


Although prophets existed immediately after Moses it seems they did not write down their prophetic words until the time of Samuel. We do know that there were earlier prophets in the days of the Judges.

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time (Judges 4:4).

We also read

The LORD sent a prophet to the Israelites; and he said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt, and brought you out of the house of slavery" (Judges 6:8).

However these prophets did not leave behind any written Scripture.


Samuel, the author of 1,2 Samuel, was called a prophet or a seer.

Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the chronicles of Samuel the seer, in the chronicles of Nathan the prophet and in the chronicles of Gad the seer, with all his reign, his power, and the circumstances which came on him, on Israel, and on all the kingdoms of the lands (1 Chronicles 29:29).

The prophets wrote the history of Israel. Their writings served as a basis for the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Samuel may have also written the Book of Judges and Ruth.

Ezra, Nehemiah

While neither Ezra nor Nehemiah was called a prophet, each were men whom God gifted with special wisdom.


The author of the Book of Esther is unknown.


Although the author of the Book of Job is not stated we do have God's Words summarizing what occurred.

Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?" (Job 38:1,2).

After God called the previous discussion, "words without knowledge" He then added His divine truth.


David, who had a prophetic gift, wrote many of the psalms. He testified.

The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue (2 Samuel 23:2).

Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song Of Solomon

The Song of Solomon, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes are attributed to King Solomon. The Bible speaks of him as a man in whom God gave special wisdom.

So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be" (1 Kings 3:11,12).

While not specifically called a prophet, Solomon was given unique wisdom from the Lord.


Isaiah was recognized as a prophet.

Then he sent Eliakim who was over the household with Shebna the scribe and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz (2 Kings 19:2).


Daniel recognized Jeremiah as a prophet.

In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years (Daniel 9:2).


While no other prophet confirmed Ezekiel's status as a prophet there are claims from the Book of Ezekiel that demonstrates his prophetic call. Ezekiel said that he had visions of God.

Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God (Ezekiel 1:1).

The Lord also told him to write.

When they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the plan of the temple, its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, and its whole form-all its ordinances and its entire plan and all its laws; and write it down in their sight, so that they may observe and follow the entire plan and all its ordinances (Ezekiel 43:11).


Daniel was recognized as a wise man from his fellow-prophet Ezekiel.

"Even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves," declares the Lord God (Ezekiel 14:14).

The Twelve

Each of the twelve Minor Prophets had God's divine calling either explicitly or implicitly attributed to them.

Haggai And Zechariah

Ezra recognized Haggai and Zechariah as prophets.

Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them (Ezra 5:1).


Jonah was called a prophet.

He restored the border of Israel from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet, who was from Gath-hepher (2 Kings 14:25).


The Book of Jeremiah acknowledges that Micah was a prophet.

Some of the elders of the land stepped forward and said to the entire assembly of people, "Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says' " (Jeremiah 26:17,18).

Each of the remaining Minor Prophets claimed to speak the Word of the Lord.


Prophets wrote most of the books of the Old Testament. The others books were written by wise men, such as Joshua or Solomon, who was given God's wisdom, or a king like David who was also given a prophetic gift. Each one had a divine calling to write authoritative Scripture. Only the Book of Esther does not have a clear testimony of an author who was a wise man or prophet.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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