The wider meaning of prophet

The term prophet had a wide meaning among the Israelites, since it also included people like Abraham, Moses, and Miriam.  That is why some so-called historical books are often called the early prophets.  Jewish traditions hold that there were 48 male prophets, and seven female prophets, Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Huldah, and Esther.  Others have recognized Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah as female prophets also.  Thus, there is a wide range of written prophetic books in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament.  The Hebrew prophetic dominant message was a return to Yahweh and his laws.  They were to protect the poor, the orphans, and the widows.  Justice and righteousness dominate in their messages.  Yahweh would judge them.  Although some Israelites were sinners, they would have a bright future if they turned from their evil ways to Yahweh.

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The town of Byblos

Byblos was the Greek name for an important ancient Phoenician city sometimes called Gebal.  Today the town of Byblos is 25 miles north of Beirut, Lebanon, in the Mount Lebanon area on the Mediterranean seacoast.  There have been inhabitants in this town continuously for over 5,000 years.  Byblos had a major papyrus trade between Greece and Egypt.  Thus, the Greek name of Byblos came to dominate.  In fact, some Byblos written inscriptions that were discovered in the 20th century, date from around 1,700 to 1,400 BCE.

Noah (Sir 44:17-44:18)

“Noah was found perfect.

Noah was righteous.

In the time of wrath,

He kept the human race alive.

Therefore a remnant

Was left on the earth

When the flood came.

Everlasting covenants

Were made with him.

Thus all flesh should never again

Be blotted out by a flood.”

Now Sirach praises Noah, a more popular hero today, with his famous ark as in Genesis, chapters 6-10. In fact, there was a feature movie called Noah released in 2014. Noah was found to be perfect as a righteous man. Obviously then he was considered an ideal famous holy man. He kept humans going with the second creation after the flood. Here there is a mention of a remnant, those few who were loyal to God. Noah formed a series of covenants with God that there would never be another flood to blot out humankind. As part of these rainbow agreements, humans would not eat meat with the blood in it. They also should not kill each other. Humans, as the image of God, would then dominate the earth with all its creatures.