HERITAGE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
THE END OF PROPHECY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
SUBMITTED TO DR. ED GALLAGHER
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF
OT 512 – INTERPRETING THE OLD TESTAMENT
The Prophets comprise a considerable portion of the Hebrew canon. In this
literature, as well as in parts of the Law and Writings, there are indications that prophecy
as an expression, goes through various transitions and eventually comes to an end in
Israel. Prophecy is first introduced in the Pentateuch; and is represented as a fundamental
foundation among the Hebrew nation. It is presented there as the primary means by
which Yahweh communicates with his people and provides them with the direction
needed during the Exodus as well as their time during the wilderness wanderings.
Thereafter, the Old Testament highlights the active role that prophecy plays within the
nation of Israel. And together with the priesthood, prophecy helps to develop the
theological and religious views of the nation.
Since the point in time at which the Old Testament books were collected, deemed
authoritative by the community, and then finally considered to be canonical, a number of
questions certainly may have arose for this community of faith. Some of these questions
can be asked today. Has prophecy come to an end with the closing of the Hebrew canon?
Assuming this to be the case, what precipitated the ending of the prophecy? Following
the same assumption, when did the cessation actually occur?
The assumption that prophecy has ceased continues to be a matter of great debate
in some circles of the scholarly community. The purpose of this essay will not be to enter
into that discussion. Substantial material has already been offered, considered and
reconsidered. There is little this author could add to that discussion. Accordingly, it ought
to be noted that this essay is in fact written under the following two assumptions. First,
each of the books contained in the Hebrew canon are inspired of God and is recognized
as fully authoritati