Prophecies In Scripture With Accompanying Actions
WHY DOES GOD SPEAK THROUGH A PROPHET WITH MOVEMENT OR MIMED ACTIONS?
God is very clear in at least one instance, regarding why He used mime. Israel had stopped listening to the prophet of God. So God said: "I will make your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth." (so that you shall be dumb; and shall not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house." (Ezekiel 3:26) Approximately a third of Ezekiel's prophetic words were given in prophetic pictures of this sort.
GOD'S MIMING PROPHETS:
Although we do not see the characteristic "white-faced" mime, as we have come to know it among the Jewish prophets, among the prophetic words spoken by God's prophets of both the Old Testament and the New Testaments, many of these very vivid or dramatically given prophecies were given with accompanying movement or mimed. The scriptures actually contain about 40 of these.
Hosea speaking by the word of the Lord says: "I have also spoken to you by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions for you and have appealed to you through parables acted out by the prophets. (Hosea 12:10)
The Hebrew phrase "acted out" comes from DANAH, meaning "a silent mime, an enactment, or judgment."
God spoke through the prophets in the following three ways:
1) Mimed actions with no verbal communication or words of any kind.
2) Words with accompanying movement either preceeding or following the spoken word.
3) Prophecies with simultaneous actions.
PROPHECIES OF JUDGMENT:
In the bible, a prophetic action accompanies the prophecy of the dividing of the kingdom, which is found in I Kings 11:30-40. We're told that Jereboam was a mighty man of valor, and Solomon seeing that the young man was industrious, made him leader over all the charge of the house of Joseph. One day Jereboam was out walking in a field, wearing new clothing, and the prophet of God met him in the way.
Ahijah the Prophet caught hold of the new garment of Jereboam, and tore it in 12 pieces. Then he said to him, by the word of the Lord: "You take 10 pieces, for thus says the Lord: I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and I will give 10 tribes to you. But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. "
THE OPPORTUNITY TO DECLARE TOTAL VICTORY THROUGH A PROPHETIC ACTION:
In 2 Kings 13:14, Elisha the prophet was sick with an illness. But not too sick to prophesy to the king of Israel. He said: Open the window to the east, and he opened it. Then the prophet said: "Now, shoot!" And he shot. And Elisha said: "The arrow of the Lord's deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for you shall smite the Syrians in Aphek, till you have consummed them.
And he said: Now take the arrows, and he took them. And he said to the king od Israel, smite on the ground. And he struck the ground with the arrows three times, and the propheti was angry with him, and said: You should have smitten 5-6 times, for then you would have smitten Syria until you had consummed it. But now you will smite them but three times.
What was needed here on the part of this king? Discernment! He should have been sensitive enough to know the mind of the Lord. But he was not. Thus at a time when the nation needed a total victory from their oppressors, they received but a partial victory.
THE FALSE PROPHETS ALSO PROPHESIED WITH ACTIONS OR GESTURES:
We see in the scriptures the need to judge prophecy. The same principles hold true for judging prophetic manifestations such as these, as for judging prophecy. Does it line up with the word of God? What is the character of the prophet? Does the tone of the prophecy sound condemning and out of character with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance? He shed His as the propitiation for sin, to reconcile fallen man back to God.
An interesting illustration of a false but very convincing prophecy being given with "prophetic gesture is found in 1 Kings 22:11, in which a false prophet named Chenannah made for himself "horns of iron." With these, he prophesied: "Thus says the Lord: With these you will push the Syrians until you have consummed them."
The problem was that Micaiah, the true prophet of God had predicted otherwise, saying: "I saw Israel scattered, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said: These have no master. Let them return every man to his own house in peace." (1 Kings 22:17)
For this, God's prophet was struck in the face and cast into prison, while the false prophet walked about freely deceiving the masses. Micaiah, the prophet of the Lord, prophesied something else: He said of the king: "If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me." Thus the king went out and tried to disguise himself, as he rode into battle, and a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and it struck the king and he died.
PROPHETIC GESTURES IN ISRAEL'S DANCE AND WORSHIP:
One of the examples in scripture in which we see mime of this sort accompanying prophetic song is in Exodus 15:20, in which Miriam sings antiphonally the"song of the Lord" with her brother Moses after the tremendous victory of the Red Sea crossing. Many commentators feel that this dance mimed the victory itself, with movements which described the chariots and their riders being drowned in the sea.
NEW TESTAMENT PROPHET'S UTILIZATION OF MIME OR GESTURE:
In the book of Acts, we see the actual description of a mime accompanying a prophetic word in a prophecy given by Agabus the Prophet. Agabus came from Judea in 43 A.D. while Paul and Barnabus were there, and predicted a coming famine, that actually occurred the following year after he gave this word of prophecy.
Relief for the Christian community were raised by the brethren and conveyed to Jerusalem by the hands of Paul and Barnabus. Several years later, this same prophet named Barnabus, met Paul at Caesarea and warned him of coming sufferings, by binding his hands and feet with his girdle and saying: "So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owns this girdle, and will deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles." (Acts 21:11-12) But Paul responded: "What you you mean, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. (21:13)
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