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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They refused to listen (Zech 7:11-7:12)

“But they refused

To listen.

They turned

A stubborn shoulder.

They stopped their ears,

In order not to hear.

They made their hearts adamant

In order not to hear the law,

In order not to hear the words

That Yahweh of hosts

Had sent

By his Spirit

Through the former prophets.”

Unfortunately, the Israelites failed to listen to Yahweh.  They turned a stubborn shoulder to him.  They stopped up their ears, so that they could not hear Yahweh.  They hardened their hearts, so that they were not able to hear the law of Yahweh or his words.  Yahweh of hosts had sent his Holy Spirit via the early prophets, but to no avail.  They never listened.