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Question 12.11:
Who were the prophets? How many?

Answer:

(Note: "navi" (pl: neviim) = "prophet")

The Talmud (Megillah 14a) says that there had been twice as many prophets as the number of people who left Egypt (2*600,000), but only those whose messages were for future generations were recorded. This count was 48 male and 7 female Prophets.

The Talmud lists the 7 females as:

  1. Sarah

  2. Miriam

  3. Devorah

  4. Hannah (mother of Shmuel)

  5. Avigail (who became a wife of David Hamelech)

  6. Huldah (from the time of Yirmiyahu)

  7. Esther

One compilation of the male prophets (based on Seder Olam) lists the following:

  1. Avraham (Abraham)

  2. Yitzchak (Isaac)

  3. Yaakov (Jacob)

  4. Moshe (Moses)

  5. Aharon (Aaron)

  6. Yehoshuah (Joshua)

  7. Pinchas

  8. Elkanah (father of Shmuel)

  9. Eli

  10. Shmuel (Samuel)

  11. Gad

  12. Nosson

  13. David Hamelech (King David)

  14. Shlomo Hamelech (King Soloman)

  15. Aidoin the Golah

  16. Micha Ben Yamla in the time of Achav

  17. Ovadiah

  18. Achiah Hashiloni

  19. Yehu Ben Hanani in the time of Asah

  20. Azaryah Ben Oded in the time of Yehoshaphat from Divrei Hayamim

  21. Haziel from Bnei Masni

  22. Eliezer his cousin

  23. Morishah

  24. Hoshea

  25. Amos in the time of Yeravam Ben Yoash

  26. Micha in the time of Yosam

  27. Eliyahu (Elijah)

  28. Elisha

  29. Yonah Ben Amitai

  30. Yeshayah in the time of Menashe in the time of Yoshea

  31. Yoel (Joel)

  32. Nachum

  33. Habakuk

  34. Zephaniah

  35. Uriah from Kiryat Yearim

  36. Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah)

  37. Yehezkel

  38. Daniel (second year of Darius)

  39. Baruch

  40. Neriah

  41. Sharyah

  42. Machsiyah

  43. Hagai

  44. Zecharyah

  45. Malachi

  46. Mordechai

Rashi (Megillah 3a) suggests that Daniel wasn't a Navi and is to be replaced in the list by Shemaia, who told Rehavam not to go to war with Yeravam and the northern kingdom.

Rashi closes with "two I don't know" (47 & 48).

A commentator on the side says one is Oded & one is Hanani Haroeh. When a Navi is called by his name and his fathers name it is a sign that the father is also a Navi. Azriah Ben Oded, Yehu Ben Hanani, Zechariah Ben Yehoyada are given as examples.

Rabbein Hananel and the Vilna Gaon start from Moshe and add in the sons of Korach.


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