Prophets, Schools of The

Prophets, Schools Of The.

These were places where young men were educated under the care of a master, who was commonly, if not always, an inspired prophet. Godwin observes that for the propagation of learning colleges and schools were in divers places erected for the prophets. The first intimation we have in Scripture of these schools is in 1Sa 10:5, where we read of "a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp before them; and they shall prophesy." They are supposed to be the students in a college of prophets at Gibeah of God, or. as we render it, "the hill of God," which is another name for Gibeah of Benjamin (1Sa 13:15; 1Sa 11:4). This place seems to have been reckoned among the ancient sanctuaries of Palestine. We afterwards read of such another company of the prophets at Naioth in Ramah "prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them" (1Sa 19:19-20). The students in these colleges were called "sons of the prophets." We read of the "sons of the prophets that were at Bethel;" and of another school at Jericho; and of the sons of the prophets at Gilgal (2Ki 2:3-5; 2Ki 4:38). It appears that these sons of the prophets were very numerous; for of this sort were probably the prophets of the Lord whom Jezebel cut off; "but Obadiah took a hundred of them, and hid them by fifty in a cave" (1Ki 18:4). In these schools young men were educated under a proper master in the knowledge of religion and sacred music (1Sa 10:5; 1Sa 19:20), and were thereby qualified to be public preachers, which seems to have been part of the business of the prophets on the Sabbath-days and festivals (2Ki 4:23). It would seem that God generally chose the prophets whom he inspired out of these schools. Amos, therefore, speaks of it as an extraordinary case that though he was not one of the sons of the prophets, but a herdsman, "yet the Lord took him as he followed the flock, and said unto him, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel" (Am 7:14-15). That it was usual for some of these schools, or at least for their tutors, to be endued with a prophetic spirit, appears from the relation of the prophecies concerning the ascent of Elijah, delivered to Elisha by the sons of the prophets, both at Jericho and at Bethel (2Ki 2:3,5). See Bible Educator, 3, 64. SEE PEDIAGOGICS; SEE SCHOOL.

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