Prophets in Judaism

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According to the Talmud, there were 48 prophets and 7 prophetesses of Judaism (Hebrew: נְבִיאִים Nəvīʾīm, Tiberian: Năḇīʾīm, "Prophets", literally "spokespersons")[1][2][3] The last Jewish prophet is believed to have been Malachi. In Jewish tradition it is believed that the period of prophecy, called Nevuah, ended with Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi (mid-5th century BCE) at which time the "Shechinah departed from Israel".[4][5]

Frontispiece to the Book of Prophets, 17th-century Luther Bible, depicting the Jewish prophets.
The Old Testament prophets painted by Matteo Giovanetti, 1353.

Rabbinic tradition[edit]

According to the Talmud, there were 48 prophets and 7 prophetesses who prophesied to Israel.[2][3]

The 46 prophets to Israel (46 according to Rashi, commentary on Tractate Megillah 14a)[edit]

  1. Abraham – Hebrew patriarch according to the Hebrew Bible
  2. Isaac – Biblical patriarch, son of Abraham and Sarah
  3. Jacob – Regarded Patriarch of the Israelites
  4. Moses – Abrahamic prophet
  5. Aaron – Prophet in the Abrahamic faiths
  6. Joshua – Central figure in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua
  7. Phinehas – Biblical priest and prophet who opposed the heresy of Peor
  8. Eli – High priest of Shiloh in ancient Israel
  9. Elkanah – Husband of Hannah and father of Samuel in the Books of Samuel
  10. Samuel – Biblical prophet and seer
  11. Gad – Seer or prophet mentioned in the Hebrew Bible
  12. Natan – Person in the Hebrew Bible
  13. David – Biblical figure and Israelite monarch
  14. Ahijah the Shilonite – Biblical prophet
  15. Solomon – Biblical monarch of ancient Israel
  16. Iddo – Minor biblical prophet
  17. Obadiah – Biblical prophet to whom authorship of the Book of Obadiah is attributed
  18. Jehu – Biblical prophet and son of Hanani
  19. Azariah – Biblical prophet credited with persuading King Asa of Judah to carry out reforms
  20. Jahaziel – Prophet in the Hebrew Bible
  21. Eliezer – Name shared by multiple Biblical figures
  22. Elijah – Biblical prophet
  23. Elisha – Prophet and wonder-worker in the Hebrew Bible
  24. Micaiah – Biblical prophet, disciple of Elijah
  25. Jonah – Biblical and Quranic prophet
  26. Amos – Hebrew prophet
  27. Hosea – Biblical character
  28. Amoz – Father of Isaiah
  29. Isaiah – Israelite prophet
  30. Micah – Prophet in Judaism
  31. Joel – Abrahamic prophet, author of the Book of Joel
  32. Zephaniah – Biblical figure
  33. Nahum – Minor prophet in the Bible
  34. Habakkuk – Prophet of the Hebrew Bible
  35. Urijah – Biblical prophet, son of Shemaiah
  36. Jeremiah – Biblical prophet
  37. Ezekiel – Prophet in the Abrahamic religions
  38. Daniel – Protagonist of the Book of Daniel of the Hebrew Bible -- One of the seven prophets who prophecied in the 2nd year of Darius (Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 15a)
  39. Mehseiah – Minor figure in the Hebrew Bible
  40. Neriah – Biblical figure, father of Baruch and Seraiah
  41. Baruch ben Neriah – Biblical character, friend of prophet Jeremiah
  42. Seraiah – High Priest of Israel
  43. Haggai – Hebrew prophet
  44. Zechariah – Biblical prophet
  45. Mordechai Bilshan – Biblical figure
  46. Malachi – Traditional writer of the Book of Malachi

The 7 prophetesses to Israel[edit]

  1. Sarah – Biblical character
  2. Miriam – Sister of Moses and Aaron
  3. Deborah – Prophetess in the Bible
  4. Hannah – Biblical prophetess, traditional author of the Song of Hannah, mother of Samuel
  5. Abigail – Wife of King David in the Bible
  6. Huldah – Biblical character
  7. Esther – Biblical Jewish queen of Persia and Medes

Additional prophets[edit]

Although the Talmud states that only “48 prophets and 7 prophetesses prophesied to Israel”,[6] it does not mean that there were only 55 prophets. The Talmud challenges this with other examples, and concludes by citing a Baraita tradition that the number of prophets in the era of prophecy was double the number of Israelites who left Egypt (600,000 males). The 55 prophets are recorded, because they made prophecies that have eternal relevance for future generations and not just for their own generation, or own ecstatic encounter with God.[7][8] Hebrew scripture makes references to groups of such ecstatic prophets, for example concerning King Saul:

10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a band of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came mightily upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied with the prophets, then the people said one to another: ‘What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?’ 12 And one of the same place answered and said: ‘And who is their father?’ Therefore it became a proverb: ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’ 13 And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.[9]

Prophets to other nations[edit]

The Talmud lists 7 prophets to the nations of the world (gentiles):[10]

  1. Balaam – Prophet in the Book of Numbers
  2. Beor – Biblical figure, father of Balaam
  3. Job – Biblical figure
  4. Eliphaz – Biblical figure, an associate of Job
  5. Bildad – Biblical figure, an associate of Job
  6. Zophar – Biblical figure, an associate of Job
  7. Elihu – Biblical figure, an associate of Job

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Khan, Geoffrey (2020). The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, Volume 1. Open Book Publishers. ISBN 978-1783746767.
  2. ^ a b "Megillah 14a, the William Davidson Talmud (Koren - Steinsaltz)". Sefaria. 2023. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  3. ^ a b Scherman, Nosson. The Stone Edition Tanach. Mesorah Publications, Limited. p. 2038.
  4. ^ A Dictionary of the Jewish-Christian Dialogue, Paulist Press (1995), p167.
  5. ^ Light of Prophecy Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America/National Conference of Synagogue Youth (1990), p6.
  6. ^ Talmud, Tractate Megillah 14a
  7. ^ Why Isn't the Book of Daniel Part of the Prophets? from, footnote 2
  8. ^ Talmud Megilla 14a
  9. ^ 1 Samuel 10-13
  10. ^ Bava Batra 15b