Skip to content

Sukkat Shalom B'nei Noach



who speaks in the name of G-d, and to obey a true prophet’s instructions


We saw in the previous blog[1] that we should not listen to a false prophet, whether he talks in the name of G-d or an idol. The words of the real prophets are recorded in the Tanakh.

Punishments or judgments announced by a true prophet do not have to come true. G-d is slow to anger, abundant in kindness, and forgiving of evil, if the person, or the group or the country repent and reform their ways, as we see in the story of Jonah, who went up to Nineveh. His prophecy of the city’s destruction did not come true because the people repented. Or the retribution will be delayed, as in the case of King Hezekiah, who was granted an extension of his life for fifteen years.[2]

So we listen to the Tenach prophets’ words and feel empowered by the promises of repentance, redemption, and the coming of the Messiah. Two instances are provided below.

It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mount of the house of G‑d shall be established atop the mountains, and be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall stream to it. And many nations will go, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of G‑d, to the house of the G‑d of Jacob; and he (Moshiach) will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths.” For from Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of G‑d from Jerusalem. And he (Moshiach) will judge between nations, and decide among the peoples. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword upon nation, neither shall they learn war any more.- Isaiah 2:2-4

There shall come forth a shoot out of the stem of Yishai, a branch shall grow from his roots. The spirit of G‑d shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of G‑d… Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faith the girdle of his reins.The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid… the cow and the bear will graze… the lion will eat straw as the ox… the suckling child will play on the cobra’s hole…For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of G‑d, as the waters cover the sea.- Isaiah 11:1-9

There are no more prophets at the level we know them from the Tanakh; the last was the prophet Malachi. However, extraordinary individuals have always experienced prophecy throughout the years. Examples include Rabban Gamliel and Rabbi Akiva, and some people put Maimonides – the Rambam – among these.

So it is equally crucial to understand how to identify a true prophet today, even if they have a lower kind of prophecy than we know from the Tanakh.

A true prophet will never add to or subtract from the Tanakh’s words/commandments. If he speaks words from G-d and supports them with a miracle or a sign, it must come true.

However, a true prophet might temporarily overturn a Torah prohibit in order to demonstrate that G-d is the One True G-d, as the true prophet Eliah did on Mount Carmel. Where he erected an altar to demonstrate that Baal’s prophets were false prophets, and that G-d was the One True G-d of heaven and earth. This was during a period when offering a sacrifice outside the Temple in Jerusalem was prohibited by the law of cult centralization (Deuteronomy 12:8-14).[3]

Rabbinic sources take 1 Kings 18:36[4] to mean that G-d specifically permitted Elijah to sacrifice on Mount Carmel.[5]

But there are certain caveats that accompany this startling rabbinic principle:

  • The prophet’s instruction to transgress a Torah law must be for the purpose of safeguarding an even greater matter (מיגדר מילתא).( In this case, proving that Baal is an idol in order to save the people from idolatry.)
  • The prophet in question must already be recognized as a true prophet (b. Sanhedrin 89b).
  • Under no circumstances may the prophet instruct the people to worship idols, since according to Deut 13:2–6, no prophet is ever permitted to do this.
  • Elijah met these criteria, and he became the example par excellence of a prophetic הוראת שעה (“overriding of Torah law”).[6]

In short, anyone with prophetic gifts now exclusively uses them to deliver words from G-d that are totally in conformity with His Torah, because there are no more prophets on the level of Eliah, or prophets from Tanakh, who say to do something what the Torah forbids.

The level of prophecy in the time of Messiah will be restored, if not augmented, in comparison to the level of prophecy known from the Tanakh prophets.

As the prophet Joel proclaims, “And it shall come to pass afterwards that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy . . .” [7]

By Angelique Sijbolts


[2] Isaiah ch. 38
[3] In this tekst why do not see that the Temple had to be in Jerusalem. We know that because it was
It was the prophet Gad who told King David to build the Temple in Jerusalem – in the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 2 Samuel 24:18
And after the Temple was built we see this confirmed by the texts:
 “. . . In Jerusalem, the city which I chose for Myself to place My name there,” and “. . . In Jerusalem, the city that the L‑rd had chosen to place His Name there out of all the tribes of Israel . . .” (I Kings 11:36, I Kings 14:21; see also Psalms 132:13.)
[4] I Kings 18:36 – An it was at the time of the afternoon-offering, Eliah the prophet approached and said: “Hashem, G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today it will become known that You are G-d in Israel and I am Your servant, and that it is by You word that I have done all these things.
[5] Yerushalmi Ta’anit 2:8 (paralleled in Yerushalmi Megilla 1:11) and Midrash TanḥumaNaso 28.
[6] Was Elijah Permitted to Make an Offering on Mount Carmel? By Dr. David Glatt-Gilad
[7] Joel 3:1.

Chabad Article: Why Are There No More Prophets? By Yehuda Shurpin
Chabad Article:  Who Was the Prophet Malachi? By Avrohom Bergstein 
Chabad Article: Why Was Jerusalem Chosen? By Yehuda Shurpin

© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.