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The Elusive Prophet
Johannes C. De Moor
Publication Date
December 2005


The Israelite prophets are often viewed alternatively as historical persons, as literary characters, or as anonymous artists. Whereas modern methods of literary analysis have brought the artistic qualities of the books of the Prophets increasingly into focus during the past century, various modes of deconstruction have made the historical prophets themselves an ever more elusive phenomenon. Passages in the Old Testament describing their work and experiences are not read as biography any longer but as literary fiction intended to picture the prophets as heroes of faith. The real “prophets” were the anonymous artists who were responsible for the final editing of the legacy of the historical prophets and who often used the authority of their predecessors to promulgate their own theological views. This volume brings together studies about this theme by members of the British and Dutch societies for Old Testament study. Attempts to recover some of the biographical data and authentic experiences of the prophets alternate with penetrating analyses of the theological depth and stylistic virtuosity of the prophetic books. The volume will be particularly useful to all those interested in the interpretation of the prophetic books of the Old Testament.

Johannes C. de Moor, Ph.D. (1971), Free University, Amsterdam, is Professor Emeritus of Semitic languages at Kampen, The Netherlands. He is editor of several international series, among them Oudtestamentische Studiën.


When the Agenda of an Artistic Composition Is Hidden: Jonah and Intertextual Dialogue with Isaiah 6, The ‘Confession of Jeremiah’ and Other Texts
—A. A. Abela

From King to Prophet in Samuel and Kings
—A. G. Auld

Prophets in the Book of Chronicles
—P. C. Beentjes

Personifications and Prophetic Voices of Zion in Isaiah and Beyond
—U. Berges

A Prophet in Desperation? The Confessions of Jeremiah
—C. Bultmann

Threading as a Stylistic Feature of Amos
—T. A. Collins

‘I Am Neither a Prophet Nor a Prophet’s Pupil’: Amos 7:9–17 as the Presentation of a Prophet Like Moses
—M. Dijkstra

Israelite Prophecy: Characteristics of the First Protest Movement
—T. L. Fenton

Jonah from the Whale: Exodus Motifs in Jonah 2
—A. G. Hunter

The Portrayal of Moses as Deuteronomic Archetypal Prophet in Exodus and Its Revisal
—W. Johnstone

Blowing the Same Shofar: An Intertextual Comparison of Representations of the Prophetic Role in Jeremiah and Ezekiel
—H. Leene

Ezekiel as a Priest in Exile
—A. Mein

Person Shift in Prophetic Texts: Its Function and Its Rendering in Ancient and Modern Translations
—L. J. de Regt

Deborah, a Prophetess: The Meaning and Background of Judges 4:4–5
—K. Spronk