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Biblical Prophecy

Biblical prophecy describes those books or smaller passages that were intended for Israel. Biblical prophecy could have been directed at the messenger's generation, or they could be describing events that would take place in the future. Furthermore, some prophecies were guaranteed, such as the coming of the Messiah, while others were conditional based on Israel's repentance.

Prophecies within the Bible were delivered by individuals designated as "prophets." These prophets received their insights either by dream or by vision. However, the message was always considered directly from God. Later, prophets were classified as either major or minor, depending on the length of their message, with major prophets having longer proclamations. Finally, as stated before, one may find prophets as stories within larger books of the Old Testament, especially if the prophet exists within a larger narrative. Alternatively, a prophet may be given a separate book altogether.

Key Concepts

  • Biblical prophecy is Scripture that recounts visions or promises that may take place in the future.
  • Some prophecies were guaranteed, while others were based on the condition of how one proceeded. An example of conditional prophecy would be Moses warning the Israelites not to rebel against God in the Promise Land or Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
  • Some prophecies were intended for the original audience, compared to others that are intended for people in the future. Still, some prophecies were intended for both.


Not all prophets have their own books of the Bible. Some prophecies are interwoven in the Old Testament and New Testament narratives. Additionally, some prophecies, such as the Messianic Psalms, can be found in poetry.

Narrative Prophecy
Old Testament Examples
  • Moses
  • Balaam
  • Elijah
  • Elisha
New Testament Examples
  • John the Baptist
  • John the Apostle

Other prophecies are easily identifiable as their proclaimers have been given their own book. These books that are solely dedicated to prophecies are split into the major and minor prophets based on their length.

Prophetic Books
  Major Prophets
  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Ezekiel
  • Daniel
  Minor Prophets
  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
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