Nevi'im

Nevi'im (/nəviˈiːm, nəˈviːɪm/;[1] Hebrew: נְבִיאִים Nəḇî'îm, lit. "spokespersons", ("Prophets") is the second main division of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh), between the Torah (instruction) and Ketuvim (writings). The Nevi'im are divided into two groups. The Former Prophets (Hebrew: נביאים ראשונים Nevi'im Rishonim) consists of the narrative books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings; while the Latter Prophets (Hebrew: נביאים אחרונים Nevi'im Aharonim) include the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and The Twelve minor prophets.

Synopsis

In Judaism, Samuel and Kings are each counted as one book. In addition, twelve relatively short prophetic books are counted as one in a single collection called Trei Asar or "The Twelve Minor Prophets". The Jewish tradition thus counts a total of eight books in Nevi'im out of a total of 24 books in the entire Tanakh. In the Jewish liturgy, selections from the books of Nevi'im known as the Haftarah are read publicly in the synagogue after the reading of the Torah on each Shabbat, as well as on Jewish festivals and fast days. The Book of Daniel is part of the Writings, or Ketuvim, in the Tanakh.[a]

Former Prophets

The Former Prophets are the books Joshua, Judges, 1st & 2nd Samuel, 1st & 2nd Kings. They contain historical narratives that begin immediately after the death of Moses with the divine appointment of Joshua as his successor, who then leads the people of Israel into the Promised Land, and end with the release from imprisonment of the last king of Judah. Treating Samuel and Kings as single books, they cover:

  1. Joshua's conquest of the land of Canaan (in the Book of Joshua),
  2. the struggle of the people to possess the land (in the Book of Judges),
  3. the people's request to God to give them a king so that they can occupy the land in the face of their enemies (in the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel)
  4. the possession of the land under the divinely-appointed kings of the House of David, ending in conquest and foreign exile (1st and 2nd Kings)

Joshua

The Book of Joshua (Yehoshua יהושע) contains a history of the Israelites from the death of Moses to that of Joshua. After Moses' death, Joshua, by virtue of his previous appointment as Moses' successor, receives from God the command to cross the Jordan. In execution of this order Joshua issues the requisite instructions to the stewards of the people for the crossing of the Jordan; and he reminds the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half of Manasseh of their pledge given to Moses to help their brethren.

The book essentially consists of three parts:

  1. The history of the conquest of the land (1–12).
  2. The allotment of the land to the different tribes, with the appointment of cities of refuge, the provision for the Levites (13–22), and the dismissal of the eastern tribes to their homes.
  3. The farewell addresses of Joshua, with an account of his death (23, 24).

Judges

The Book of Judges (Shoftim שופטים) consists of three distinct parts:

  1. The Introduction (1:1–3:10 and 3:12) giving a summary of the book of Joshua.
  2. The Main Text (3:11–16:31), discussing the five Great Judges, Abimelech (Judges), and providing glosses for a few minor Judges.
  3. The Appendices (17:1–21:25), giving two stories set in the time of the Judges, but not discussing the Judges themselves.

Samuel

The Books of Samuel (Shmu'el שמואל) consists of five parts:

  • The period of God's rejection of Eli, Samuel's birth, and subsequent judgment (1 Samuel 1:1–7:17).
  • The period of the life of Saul prior to meeting David (1 Samuel 8:1–15:35).
  • The period of Saul's interaction with David (1 Samuel 16:1 – 2 Samuel 1:27).
  • The period of David's reign and the rebellions he suffers (2 Samuel 2:1–20:22).
  • An appendix of material concerning David in no particular order, and out of sequence with the rest of the text (2 Samuel 22:1–24:25).

A conclusion of sorts appears at 1 Kings 1-2, concerning Solomon enacting a final revenge on those who did what David perceived as wrongdoing, and having a similar narrative style. While the subject matter in the Book(s) of Samuel is also covered by the narrative in Chronicles, it is noticeable that the section (2 Sam. 11:2–12:29) containing an account of the matter of Bathsheba is omitted in the corresponding passage in 1 Chr. 20.

Kings

The Books of Kings (Melakhim מלכים) contains accounts of the kings of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah, and the annals of the Jewish commonwealth from the accession of Solomon until the subjugation of the kingdom by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians.

Latter Prophets

The Latter Prophets are divided into two groups, the Major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel) and the Twelve Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi) collected into a single book.

Isaiah

The 66 chapters of Isaiah (Yeshayahu [ישעיהו]) consist primarily of prophecies of the judgments awaiting nations that are persecuting Judah. These nations include Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Syria, Israel (the northern kingdom), Ethiopia, Egypt, Arabia, and Phoenicia. The prophecies concerning them can be summarized as saying that God is the God of the whole earth, and that nations which think of themselves as secure in their own power might well be conquered by other nations, at God's command.

Chapter 6 describes Isaiah's call to be a prophet of God. Chapters 36–39 provide historical material about King Hezekiah and his triumph of faith in God. Chapters 24–35, while too complex to characterize easily, are primarily concerned with prophecies of a Messiah, a person anointed or given power by God, and of the Messiah's kingdom, where justice and righteousness will reign. This section is seen by Jews as describing an actual king, a descendant of their great king, David, who will make Judah a great kingdom and Jerusalem a truly holy city.

The prophecy continues with what some scholars[4][5] have called "The Book of Comfort" which begins in chapter 40 and completes the writing. In the first eight chapters of this book of comfort, Isaiah prophesies the deliverance of the Jews from the hands of the Babylonians and restoration of Israel as a unified nation in the land promised to them by God. Isaiah reaffirms that the Jews are indeed the chosen people of God in chapter 44 and that Hashem is the only God for the Jews (and only the God of the Jews) as he will show his power over the gods of Babylon in due time in chapter 46. In chapter 45:1 the Persian ruler Cyrus is named as the messiah who will overthrow the Babylonians and allow the return of Israel to their original land. The remaining chapters of the book contain prophecies of the future glory of Zion under the rule of a righteous servant (52 & 54). Chapter 53 contains a very poetic prophecy about this servant which is generally considered by Christians to refer to the crucifixion of Jesus, though Jews generally interpret it as a reference to God's people. Although there is still the mention of judgment of false worshippers and idolaters (65 & 66), the book ends with a message of hope of a righteous ruler who extends salvation to his righteous subjects living in the Lord's kingdom on earth.

Jeremiah

The Book of Jeremiah (Yirmiyahu [ירמיהו]) can be divided into twenty-three chapters, which are organized into five sub-sections or books.

  1. The introduction, ch. 1.
  2. Scorn for the sins of Israel, consisting of seven sections, (1.) ch. 2; (2.) ch. 3–6; (3.) ch. 7–10; (4.) ch. 11–13; (5.) ch. 14–17:18; (6.) ch. 17:19–ch. 20; (7.) ch. 21–24.
  3. A general review of all nations, foreseeing their destruction, in two sections, (1.) ch. 46–49; (2.) ch. 25; with an historical appendix of three sections, (1.) ch. 26; (2.) ch. 27; (3.) ch. 28, 29.
  4. Two sections picturing the hopes of better times, (1.) ch. 30, 31; (2.) ch. 32,33; to which is added an historical appendix in three sections, (1.) ch. 34:1–7; (2.) ch. 34:8-22; (3.) ch. 35.
  5. The conclusion, in two sections, (1.) ch. 36; (2.) ch. 45.

In Egypt, after an interval, Jeremiah is supposed to have added three sections, viz., ch. 37–39; 40–43; and 44. The main Messianic prophecies are found in 23:1–8; 31:31–40; and 33:14–26.

Jeremiah's prophecies are noted for the frequent repetitions found in them of the same words, phrases, and imagery. They cover the period of about 30 years. They are not in chronological order. Modern scholars do not believe they have reliable theories as to when, where, and how the text was edited into its present form.

Ezekiel

The Book of Ezekiel (Yehezq'el [יחזקאל]) contains three distinct sections.

  1. Judgment on Israel – Ezekiel makes a series of denunciations against his fellow Judeans (3:22–24), warning them of the certain destruction of Jerusalem, in opposition to the words of the false prophets (4:1–3). The symbolic acts, by which the extremities to which Jerusalem would be reduced are described in Chapters 4 and 5, show his intimate acquaintance with the Levitical legislation. (See, for example, Exodus 22:30; Deuteronomy 14:21; Leviticus 5:2; 7:18,24; 17:15; 19:7; 22:8)
  2. Prophecies against various neighboring nations: against the Ammonites ( Ezek. 25:1–7), the Moabites ( 25:8–11), the Edomites (25:12–14), the Philistines (25:15–17), Tyre and Sidon (26–28), and against Egypt (29-32).
  3. Prophecies delivered after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II: the triumphs of Israel and of the kingdom of God on earth (Ezek. 33–39); Messianic times, and the establishment and prosperity of the kingdom of God (40–48).

The Twelve

The Twelve are:

  1. Hosea or Hoshea [הושע]
  2. Joel or Yo'el [יואל]
  3. Amos [עמוס]
  4. Obadiah or Ovadyah [עובדיה]
  5. Jonah or Yonah [יונה]
  6. Micah or Mikhah [מיכה]
  7. Nahum or Nachum [נחום]
  8. Habakkuk or Habaquq [חבקוק]
  9. Zephaniah or Tsefania [צפניה]
  10. Haggai or Haggai [חגי]
  11. Zechariah Zekharia [זכריה]
  12. Malachi or Malakhi [מלאכי]

Liturgical use

The Haftarah is a text selected from the books of Nevi'im that is read publicly in the synagogue after the reading of the Torah on each Shabbat, as well as on Jewish festivals and fast days.

Cantillation

There is a special cantillation melody for the haftarah, distinct from that of the Torah portion. In some earlier authorities there are references to a tune for the "prophets" generally, distinct from that for the haftarah: this may have been a simplified melody for learning purposes.[b]

Certain cantillation marks and combinations appear in Nevi'im but not within any of the Haftarah selections, and most communities therefore do not have a musical tradition for those marks. J.L. Neeman suggested that "those who recite Nevi'im privately with the cantillation melody may read the words accented by those rare notes by using a "metaphor" based on the melody of those notes in the five books of the Torah, while adhering to the musical scale of the melody for Nevi'im." Neeman includes a reconstruction of the musical scale for the lost melodies of the rare cantillation notes.[6] In the Ashkenazi tradition, the resemblance between the Torah and Haftarah melodies is obvious and it is easy to transpose motifs between the two as suggested by Neeman. In the Sephardi traditions the haftarah melody is considerably more florid than the Torah melody, and usually in a different musical mode, and there are only isolated points of contact between the two.

Extraliturgical public reading

In some Near and Middle Eastern Jewish traditions, the whole of Nevi'im (as well as the rest of the Tanakh and the Mishnah) is read each year on a weekly rota, usually on Shabbat afternoons. These reading sessions often take place in the synagogue courtyard but are not considered to be synagogue services.

Aramaic translation

A targum is an Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Scriptures that was compiled or written in the Land of Israel or in Babylonia from the Second Temple period until the early Middle Ages (late first millennium). According to the Talmud, the targum on Nevi'im was composed by Jonathan ben Uzziel. Like Targum Onkelos on the Torah, Targum Jonathan is an eastern (Babylonian) targum with early origins in the west (Land of Israel).

Like the targum to the Torah, Targum Jonathan to Nevi'im served a formal liturgical purpose: it was read alternately, verse by verse, or in blocks of up to three verses, in the public reading of the Haftarah and in the study of Nevi'im. Yemenite Jews continue the above tradition to this day, and have thus preserved a living tradition of the Babylonian vocalization for the Targum to Nevi'im.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In the various Christian Bibles for Protestants, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, there are deviations and exceptions: The prophets are placed in the final section (following the writings) of the Hebrew Bible text. The major prophets (Book of Isaiah, Book of Jeremiah and Book of Ezekiel) are followed by Book of Daniel due to its prophetic nature according to common Christian theology. Roman Catholic Bibles also place additions to Daniel here, and the Eastern Orthodox Church includes additions to Daniel, plus 4 Maccabees following Malachi in its Bible canon. The ordering of the twelve minor prophets, however, which is roughly chronological, is the same for all three Christian traditions.[2][3]
  2. ^ The article on "Cantillation" in the Jewish Encyclopedia shows tunes for "Prophets (other readings)" for both the Western Sephardi and the Baghdadi traditions.

References

  1. ^ "Neviim". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. ^ Coogan, Michael D (2009), A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament, Oxford University Press, pp. 8–9.
  3. ^ Silberman, Lou H (1991) [1971], "The Making of the Old Testament Canon", The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary on the Bible, Nashville: Abingdon Press, p. 1209.
  4. ^ Biblica.com - Introduction to Isaiah - Scholar Notes from the Zondervan NIV Study Bible.
  5. ^ "1. Introduction to The Study of the Book of Isaiah". Bible.org.
  6. ^ Neeman, JL (1955), The Tunes of the Bible – Musical Principles of the Biblical Accentuation (in Hebrew), 1, Tel Aviv, pp. 136, 188–89.
Bible

The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, "the books") is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafarians.

What is regarded as canonical text differs depending on traditions and groups; a number of Bible canons have evolved, with overlapping and diverging contents. The Hebrew Bible overlaps with the Greek Septuagint and the Christian Old Testament. The Christian New Testament is a collection of writings by early Christians, believed to be mostly Jewish disciples of Christ, written in first-century Koine Greek. Among Christian denominations there is some disagreement about what should be included in the canon, primarily about the Apocrypha, a list of works that are regarded with varying levels of respect.

Attitudes towards the Bible also differ among Christian groups. Roman Catholics, high church Anglicans, Methodists and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of the Bible and sacred tradition, while many Protestant churches, including Evangelical Anglicans, focus on the idea of sola scriptura, or scripture alone. This concept arose during the Reformation, and many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only infallible source of Christian teaching. Others though, advance the concept of prima scriptura in contrast.The Bible has been a massive influence on literature and history, especially in the Western World, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type. According to the March 2007 edition of Time, the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history, entertainment, and culture than any book ever written. Its influence on world history is unparalleled, and shows no signs of abating." With estimated total sales of over 5 billion copies, it is widely considered to be the most influential and best-selling book of all time. As of the 2000s, it sells approximately 100 million copies annually.

Book of Ezekiel

The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Tanakh and one of the major prophetic books in the Old Testament, following Isaiah and Jeremiah. According to the book itself, it records six visions of the prophet Ezekiel, exiled in Babylon, during the 22 years 593–571 BC, although it is the product of a long and complex history and does not necessarily preserve the very words of the prophet.The visions, and the book, are structured around three themes: (1) Judgment on Israel (chapters 1–24); (2) Judgment on the nations (chapters 25–32); and (3) Future blessings for Israel (chapters 33–48). Its themes include the concepts of the presence of God, purity, Israel as a divine community, and individual responsibility to God. Its later influence has included the development of mystical and apocalyptic traditions in Second Temple and rabbinic Judaism and Christianity.

Book of Isaiah

The Book of Isaiah (Hebrew: ספר ישעיהו, IPA: [sɛ.fɛr jə.ʃaʕ.ˈjɑː.hu]) is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible and the first of the Major Prophets in the Christian Old Testament. It is identified by a superscription as the words of the 8th-century BCE prophet Isaiah ben Amoz, but there is extensive evidence that much of it was composed during the Babylonian captivity and later. Bernhard Duhm originated the view, held as a consensus through most of the 20th century, that the book comprises three separate collections of oracles: Proto-Isaiah (chapters 1–39), containing the words of Isaiah; Deutero-Isaiah (chapters 40–55), the work of an anonymous 6th-century BCE author writing during the Exile; and Trito-Isaiah (chapters 56–66), composed after the return from Exile. While virtually no scholars today attribute the entire book, or even most of it, to one person, the book's essential unity has become a focus in more recent research. Isaiah 1–33 promises judgment and restoration for Judah, Jerusalem and the nations, and chapters 34–66 presume that judgment has been pronounced and restoration follows soon. It can thus be read as an extended meditation on the destiny of Jerusalem into and after the Exile.The Deutero-Isaian part of the book describes how God will make Jerusalem the centre of his worldwide rule through a royal saviour (a messiah) who will destroy her oppressor (Babylon); this messiah is the Persian king Cyrus the Great, who is merely the agent who brings about Yahweh's kingship. Isaiah speaks out against corrupt leaders and for the disadvantaged, and roots righteousness in God's holiness rather than in Israel's covenant. Isaiah 44:6 contains the first clear statement of monotheism: "I am the first and I am the last; beside me there is no God". This model of monotheism became the defining characteristic of post-Exilic Judaism, and the basis for Christianity and Islam.Isaiah was one of the most popular works among Jews in the Second Temple period (c. 515 BCE – 70 CE). In Christian circles, it was held in such high regard as to be called "the Fifth Gospel", and its influence extends beyond Christianity to English literature and to Western culture in general, from the libretto of Handel's Messiah to a host of such everyday phrases as "swords into ploughshares" and "voice in the wilderness".

Book of Jeremiah

The Book of Jeremiah (Hebrew: ספר יִרְמְיָהוּ‎; abbreviated Jer. or Jerm. in citations) is the second of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, and the second of the Prophets in the Christian Old Testament. The superscription at chapter Jeremiah 1:1–3 identifies the book as "the words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah". Of all the prophets, Jeremiah comes through most clearly as a person, ruminating to his scribe Baruch about his role as a servant of God with little good news for his audience. His book is intended as a message to the Jews in exile in Babylon, explaining the disaster of exile as God's response to Israel's pagan worship: the people, says Jeremiah, are like an unfaithful wife and rebellious children, their infidelity and rebelliousness made judgement inevitable, although restoration and a new covenant are foreshadowed. Authentic oracles of Jeremiah are probably to be found in the poetic sections of chapters 1–25, but the book as a whole has been heavily edited and added to by the prophet's followers (including perhaps his companion, the scribe Baruch) and later generations of Deuteronomists. It has come down in two distinct though related versions, one in Hebrew, the other known from a Greek translation. The date of the two (Greek and Hebrew) can be suggested by the fact that the Greek shows concerns typical of the early Persian period, while the Masoretic (i.e., Hebrew) shows perspectives which, although known in the Persian period, did not reach their realisation until the 2nd century BCE.

Book of Judges

The Book of Judges (ספר שופטים, Sefer Shoftim) is the seventh book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. In the narrative of the Hebrew Bible, it covers the time between the conquest described in the Book of Joshua and the establishment of a kingdom in the Books of Samuel, during which Biblical judges served as temporary leaders. The stories follow a consistent pattern: the people are unfaithful to Yahweh and he therefore delivers them into the hands of their enemies; the people repent and entreat Yahweh for mercy, which he sends in the form of a leader or champion (a "judge"; see shophet); the judge delivers the Israelites from oppression and they prosper, but soon they fall again into unfaithfulness and the cycle is repeated. Scholars consider many of the stories in Judges to be the oldest in the Deuteronomistic history, with their major redaction dated to the 8th century BCE and with materials such as the Song of Deborah dating from much earlier.

Books of Kings

The two Books of Kings, originally a single book, are the eleventh and twelfth books of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. They conclude the Deuteronomistic history, a history of Israel also comprising the books of Joshua and Judges and the two Books of Samuel, which biblical commentators believe was written to provide a theological explanation for the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah by Babylon in c. 586 BCE and a foundation for a return from exile. The two books of Kings present a history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of King David to the release of Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years (c. 960 – c. 560 BCE). Scholars tend to treat the books as made up of a first edition from the late 7th century BCE and a second and final edition from the mid 6th century BCE.

Books of Samuel

The Books of Samuel, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, form part of the narrative history of Israel in the Nevi'im or "prophets" section of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, called the Deuteronomistic history, a series of books (Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) that constitute a theological history of the Israelites and aim to explain God's law for Israel under the guidance of the prophets. According to Jewish tradition, the book was written by Samuel, with additions by the prophets Gad and Nathan. Modern scholarly thinking is that the entire Deuteronomistic history was composed in the period c. 630–540 BC by combining a number of independent texts of various ages.Samuel begins with the prophet Samuel's birth and God's call to him as a boy. The story of the Ark of the Covenant that follows tells of Israel's oppression by the Philistines, which brought about Samuel's anointing of Saul as Israel's first king. But Saul proved unworthy and God's choice turned to David, who defeated Israel's enemies, purchased the threshing floor (2 Samuel 24:24), where his son, Solomon built the Temple and brought the Ark to Jerusalem. God then promised David and his successors an everlasting dynasty.

Books of the Bible

Different religious groups include different books in their biblical canons, in varying orders, and sometimes divide or combine books. The Jewish Tanakh (sometimes called the Hebrew Bible) contains 24 books divided into three parts: the five books of the Torah ("teaching"); the eight books of the Nevi'im ("prophets"); and the eleven books of Ketuvim ("writings"). It is composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, and its Septuagint is the main textual source for the Christian Greek Old Testament.Christian Bibles range from the 73 books of the Catholic Church canon, the 66 books of the canon of some denominations or the 80 books of the canon of other denominations of the Protestant Church, to the 81 books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church canon. The first part of Christian Bibles is the Greek Old Testament, which contains, at minimum, the above 24 books of the Tanakh but divided into 39 books and ordered differently. The second part is the Greek New Testament, containing 27 books; the four Canonical gospels, Acts of the Apostles, 21 Epistles or letters and the Book of Revelation.

The Catholic Church and Eastern Christian churches hold that certain deuterocanonical books and passages are part of the Old Testament canon. The Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Christian churches may have minor differences in their lists of accepted books. The list given here for these churches is the most inclusive: if at least one Eastern church accepts the book it is included here. The King James Bible—which has been called "the most influential version of the most influential book in the world, in what is now its most influential language" and which in the United States is the most used translation, being still considered a standard among Protestant churches and being used liturgically in the Orthodox Church in America—contains 80 books: 39 in its Old Testament, 14 in its Apocrypha, and 27 in its New Testament.

Codex Cairensis

The Codex Cairensis (also: Codex Prophetarum Cairensis, Cairo Codex of the Prophets) is a Hebrew manuscript containing the complete text of the Hebrew Bible Nevi'im (prophets). It has been described as "the oldest dated Hebrew Codex of the Bible which has come down to us". It contains the books of the Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings) and Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the book of the Twelve Minor Prophets). It comprises 575 pages including 13 carpet pages.

Hebrew Bible

The Hebrew Bible, also called the Tanakh (; תַּנַ״ךְ, pronounced [taˈnaχ] or [təˈnax]; also Tenakh, Tenak, Tanach) or Mikra, is the canonical collection of Hebrew scripture, which is also the textual source for the Christian Old Testament. These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew, except for some Biblical Aramaic passages in the books of Daniel and Ezra. The form of this text that is authoritative for Rabbinic Judaism is known as the Masoretic Text (MT) and it consists of 24 books, while the translations divide essentially the same material into 39 books for the Protestant Bible, and into 46 books for the Catholic Bible.

Modern scholars seeking to understand the history of the Hebrew Bible use a range of sources, in addition to the Masoretic Text. These sources include early Greek (Septuagint) and Syriac (Peshitta) translations, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Dead Sea Scrolls and quotations from rabbinic manuscripts. Many of these sources may be older than the Masoretic Text and often differ from it. These differences have given rise to the theory that yet another text, an Urtext of the Hebrew Bible, once existed and is the source of the versions extant today. However, such an Urtext has never been found, and which of the three commonly known versions (Septuagint, Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch) is closest to the Urtext is not fully determined.

Ketuvim

Ketuvim (; Biblical Hebrew: כְּתוּבִים‎ Kəṯûḇîm, "writings") is the third and final section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), after Torah (instruction) and Nevi'im (prophets). In English translations of the Hebrew Bible, this section is usually titled "Writings". Another name used for this section is Hagiographa.

The Ketuvim are believed to have been written under divine inspiration, but with one level less authority than that of prophecy.Found among the Writings within the Hebrew scriptures, I and II Chronicles form one book, along with Ezra and Nehemiah which form a single unit entitled "Ezra–Nehemiah". (In citations by chapter and verse numbers, however, the Hebrew equivalents of "Nehemiah", "I Chronicles" and "II Chronicles" are used, as the system of chapter division was imported from Christian usage.) Collectively, eleven books are included in the Ketuvim.

Major prophet

The Major Prophets is a grouping of books in the Christian Old Testament, but not occurring in the Hebrew Bible. These books are centred on a prophet, traditionally regarded as the author of the respective book. The term "major" refers only to their length, in distinction to the Twelve Minor Prophets, whose books are much shorter and grouped together as a single book in the Hebrew Bible.

The books, in order of their occurrence in the Christian Old Testament, are:

Book of Isaiah

Book of Jeremiah

Book of Lamentations (in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh, ascribed to Jeremiah)

Book of Baruch (not in Protestant Bibles, ascribed to Baruch ben Neriah, scribe of Jeremiah)

Letter of Jeremiah (Chapter 6 of Baruch in most Catholic Bibles, its own book in Eastern Orthodox Bibles)

Book of Ezekiel

Book of Daniel (in the Ketuvim of the Hebrew Bible).In the Hebrew Bible the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel are included among the Nevi'im (Prophets) but Lamentations and Daniel are placed among the Ketuvim (Writings). Baruch (including the Letter of Jeremiah) is not part of the Hebrew Bible.

Prophetic books

The prophetic books are a division in the Christian Old Testament, corresponding to the Latter Prophets of the Hebrew Nevi'im, with the addition of Lamentions and Daniel in the Major Prophets, which in the Tanakh are found in the Five Megillot and ungrouped books of Ketuvim.The Major Prophets in Christianity are:

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

DanielThe Minor Prophets are as in Judaism:

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

Street of the Prophets

Street of the Prophets (Hebrew: רחוב הנביאים, Rehov HaNevi'im) is an east–west axis road in Jerusalem beginning outside Damascus Gate and ending at Davidka Square. Located to the north of Jaffa Road, it bisects the neighborhood of Musrara.

During its heyday in the late 19th century and early 20th century, Street of the Prophets was a favorite address for hospitals, churches, monasteries, hospices, government offices, foreign consulates, and wealthy Christian, Jewish and Arab residents.

Today the street still boasts the same heterogeneous mix of residents and workers, as well as schools, hospitals, churches and government offices. The elegant 19th-century architecture gives Street of the Prophets the appellation of "most beautiful street outside the Old City", while its historic buildings make it the most popular site for guided tours outside the Old City.

Targum

The targumim (singular targum, Hebrew: תרגום) were originally spoken translations of the Jewish scriptures (also called the Tanakh) that a meturgeman (professional interpreter) would give in the common language of the listeners when that was not Hebrew. This had become necessary near the end of the 1st century BCE, as the common language was Aramaic and Hebrew was used for little more than schooling and worship. The meturgeman frequently expanded his translation with paraphrases, explanations and examples so that it became a kind of sermon.

Writing down the targum was initially prohibited; nevertheless, some targumatic writings appeared as early as the middle of the first century CE. They were then not recognized as authoritative by the religious leaders. Some subsequent Jewish traditions (beginning with the Babylonian Jews) accepted the written targumim as authoritative translation of the Hebrew scriptures into Aramaic. Today, the common meaning of targum is a written Aramaic translation of the Bible. Only Yemenite Jews continue to use the targumim liturgically.

As translations, the targumim largely reflect midrashic interpretation of the Tanakh from the time they were written and are notable for eschewing anthropomorphisms in favor of allegorical readings. (Maimonides, for one, notes this often in The Guide for the Perplexed.) That is true both for those targumim that are fairly literal as well as for those that contain many midrashic expansions. In 1541, Elia Levita wrote and published Sefer Meturgeman, explaining all the Aramaic words found in the Targum.Targumim are used today as sources in text-critical editions of the Bible (BHS refers to them with the abbreviation 𝔗).

Targum Jonathan

Targum Jonathan (Hebrew: תרגום יונתן בן עוזיאל), otherwise referred to as Targum Yonasan/Yonatan, is the official eastern (Babylonian) targum (Aramaic translation) to the Nevi'im.

Twelve Minor Prophets

The Minor Prophets or Twelve Prophets (Aramaic: תרי עשר‎, Trei Asar, "Twelve"), occasionally Book of the Twelve, is the last book of the Nevi'im, the second main division of the Jewish Tanakh. The collection is broken up to form twelve individual books in the Christian Old Testament, one for each of the prophets. The terms "minor prophets" and "twelve prophets" can also refer to the twelve traditional authors of these works.

The term "Minor" relates to the length of each book (ranging from a single chapter to fourteen); even the longest is short compared to the three major prophets, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah. It is not known when these short works were collected and transferred to a single scroll, but the first extra-biblical evidence we have for the Twelve as a collection is c. 190 BCE in the writings of Jesus ben Sirach, and evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls suggests that the modern order was established by 150 BCE. It is believed that initially the first six were collected, and later the second six were added; the two groups seem to complement each other, with Hosea through Micah raising the question of iniquity, and Nahum through Malachi proposing resolutions.

Visionary

Defined broadly, a visionary is one who can envision the future. For some groups this can involve the supernatural.

The visionary state is achieved via meditation, drugs, lucid dreams, daydreams, or art. One example is Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th-century artist and Catholic saint. Other visionaries in religion are St Bernadette and Joseph Smith, said to have had visions of and communed with the Blessed Virgin and the Angel Moroni, respectively. There is also the case of Targum Jonathan, which was produced in the antiquity and served as the targum to the Nevi'im. It described the significance of the turban or a diadem to indicate a capability on the part of Jewish priests to become agents of visionary experience.

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