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Divin­ity Digest “PROPHETS IN AN­CIENT IS­RAEL AND ZIM­BABWE PROPHETS BE­LONG TO A CLASS OF THEIR OWN.” DISCUSSS. (25)

IN­TRO­DUC­TION AN­CIENT Is­rael prophets and Zim­babwe prophets be­long to a class of their own. For in­stance there are more sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Is­rael and Zim­babwe prophets. Sim­i­lar­i­ties in the sense that they all got call­ings, cham­pi­oned holy wars, fought for jus­tice to men­tion a few. How­ever, it can be ar­gued that they be­long to dif­fer­ent classes due to mi­nor dif­fer­ences for in­stance anoint­ing of kings. The on­go­ing es­say seeks to dis­cuss the va­lid­ity of the claim that prophets in An­cient Is­rael and Zim­babwe be­long to a class of their own. SUG­GESTED AN­SWERS Dur­ing the ex­o­dus event, Moses as a prophet who was di­vinely in­spired, played a num­ber of prophetic du­ties. This in­cludes per­form­ing mir­a­cles. He also went on to the ex­tent of fight­ing holy wars with Amalekites. This is ev­i­denced in Ex­o­dus 17: 9 “And Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose for us men, and go out, fight with Amalek; to­mor­row . . .’” It has been sub­mit­ted that while Is­rael was fight­ing Moses was stand­ing on top of the moun­tain with Aaron with a rod, hence, he was pray­ing for a vic­tory.

As a re­sult Is­rael de­feated the Amalekites (Amalek grand­son of Esau). Scholar Thomas Con­sta­ble in his Ex­o­dus notes, page 104, para­graph 4, cit­ing Jose­phus the early church fa­ther who sub­mit­ted that No He­brew died in this war but in­nu­mer­able Amalekites per­ished. Sa­muel the prophet cham­pi­oned holy wars. This is ev­i­denced when he prayed and of­fered sac­ri­fices in Miz­pah, so that Yah­weh will give strength Is­rael in or­der to fight against the Philistines. This is recorded in 1 Sa­muel 7: 5-10. As a re­sult the Is­raelites won the bat­tle. Sa­muel had schools of prophets. The in­ter­nal ev­i­dence re­veal that Sa­muel was al­ways stand­ing as the head, this is in­di­cated in 1 Sa­muel 19: 20. Scholar B W Anderson sub­mit­ted that the other role of sons of prophets with their head was to cham­pion holy wars; giv­ing sol­diers a pa­tri­otic feel­ing. This is also the rea­son why the guild was al­ways sta­tioned in gar­risons. In Zim­bab­wean con­text num­ber of so many prophets have cham­pi­oned the holy wars, cit­ing the “white church gar­ment” who fought against the po­lice in Budiriro 1, this was recorded by Newsday and ZBC on 14 May 2014. (The mem­bers of the sect could be heard shout­ing or­der­ing oth­ers to kill claim­ing they were fight­ing a “holy war”). This story was recorded on Her­ald (<http://www. her­ald.co.zw/latest-va­pos­tori-beat-up-po­lice/>).

Hence, this in­di­cates that prophets in An­cient Is­rael and Zim­babwe be­long to the class of their own as there are sim­i­lar­i­ties.

Is­rael prophets re­ceived call­ings, for in­stance, Moses as a prophet re­ceived his call­ing when he ex­pe­ri­enced a vi­sion of burn­ing bush, this is recorded in Ex­o­dus 3: 1. Sa­muel also re­ceived his call­ing when he heard a voice, Isa­iah of Jerusalem also ex­pe­ri­enced a vi­sion of seraphims. In Zim­bab­wean con­text, a num­ber of so many prophets claim to have ex­pe­ri­enced call­ings, these in­clude Ue­bert An­gel who claims to have been vis­ited by 50 An­gels. Zim­bab­wean schol­ars like Kudzai Biri and Ibid wrote that Makandiwa claimed he re­ceived a call­ing when he ex­pe­ri­enced a vi­sion of a burn­ing bush in Muzara­bani Vil­lage at a ten­der age. Is­abel Mukony­ora in her work en­ti­tled “The Drama­ti­sa­tion of Jo­hane Ma­sowe” sub­mit­ted that Ma­sowe ex­pe­ri­enced a vi­sion of a burn­ing bush in Mt Marimba, this has been fur­ther sup­ported by Dil­lon in his work en­ti­tled “Korstekn Bas­ket­mak­ers”. There­fore, this will lead one to sug­gest that Is­rael and Zim­bab­wean prophets be­long to one class.

Is­rael prophets had an abil­ity to per­form mir­a­cles, for in­stance Moses per­formed mir­a­cles through­out the ex­o­dus event, this in­cludes the mir­a­cle of manna from Heaven which is recorded in Ex­o­dus 16: 1. Prophet Eli­jah also per­formed mir­a­cles, for in­stance rais­ing the widow’s son and mul­ti­ply­ing the food, all this is recorded in 1st Kings 17: 14-21. In Zim­bab­wean con­text, per­form­ing mir­a­cles can­not be sep­a­rated from Zim­bab­wean prophets, Bu­l­awayo24. com and Newsday on 17 March 2016 recorded a story of Paul Sanyan­gore who claimed to have walked on wa­ter in Harare “swim­ming pool”. Ebert An­gel claimed to have raised more than 24 dead peo­ple. Wal­ter Ma­gaya per­forms heal­ing mir­a­cles on a daily ba­sis, his mir­a­cles have been broad­cast on Yadah TV. Spec­ta­cle prophet “Freddy” is well-known for per­form­ing mir­a­cles us­ing spec­ta­cles, same ap­plies to the Ap­ple “For­drick” prophet who has been recorded by lo­cal me­dia per­form­ing sev­eral mir­a­cles us­ing an ap­ple. There­fore, this in­di­cates that Zim­bab­wean and Is­rael prophets be­long on the same class as it is ev­i­denced by sim­i­lar­i­ties.

Is­rael prophets fought for so­cial jus­tice, for in­stance Moses fought for jus­tice when he con­fronted King Pharaoh so as to free the Is­raelites who were be­ing op­pressed by Pharaoh. This is ev­i­denced in Ex­o­dus 5: 1. Eli­jah fought for jus­tice when he con­fronted King Ahab over Naboth’s vine­yard, this is recorded in 1 Kings 21:17. Amos con­demned the women of Sa­maria who were op­press­ing the poor, this is recorded in Amos 4: 1.Amos ad­vo­cated for fair­ness as well in Amos 5: 24. In Zim­bab­wean con­text, it is recorded that Zim­bab­wean prophets have fought for so­cial jus­tice. Sa­muel Mu­tendi is be­lieved to have crit­i­cised the op­pres­sion of blacks by the whites dur­ing the coloni­sa­tion of South­ern Rhode­sia. Bas­ing on the above text it is clear that there are sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Is­rael and Zim­babwe prophets where fight­ing for so­cial jus­tice is con­cerned, hence it can be said that Zim­babwe and Is­rael prophets be­long on the same class.

Is­rael prophets fought for wor­ship­ping of one God. Moses for wor­ship­ping of one God when he de­stroyed the golden calf which was made by the Is­raelites, this is recorded in Ex­o­dus. 32: 20. Eli­jah butchered the Baal prophets dur­ing the Mt Carmel con­test. This is recorded in 1 Kings 18: 36-42. In Zim­bab­wean con­text, it is doc­u­mented by num­ber of au­thors that Zim­bab­wean prophets fight for wor­ship­ping of one God. Is­abel Mukony­ora cit­ing Dil­lon, says Ma­sowe dur­ing his days had a ten­dency of de­stroy­ing “mis­honga” and burn­ing of fetishes. Makandiwa recorded by Christ TV un­dated, dis­cour­aged his church to par­take in evil prac­tices. Ma­gaya recorded by Newsday news­pa­per and Bu­l­awayo24. com on 14 February 2015, con­demned the use of wa­ter as a way of ex­or­cism by the white church gar­ment which is led by Jo­hannes Ndanga as evil and en­cour­aged them to change, this is fur­ther sup­ported by his book en­ti­tled “The marine spirit”. (The point in this case is that Ma­gaya fights for wor­ship­ping of one God). Sim­i­lar­i­ties can be no­ticed, hence, one would be wrong to to­tally ig­nore the view that Is­rael and Zim­bab­wean prophets be­long to the class of their own.

Is­rael prophets pre­dicted fu­ture events. Sa­muel pre­dicted the dan­gers of hav­ing a king, this is recorded in 1 Sa­muel 8: 6-17. Eli­jah pre­dicted the death of King Ahab “the dogs will lick your blood”. This is recorded in 1 Kings 21: 17-22. Ahi­jah of Shiloh pre­dicted the death of the son of Jer­oboam, this is recorded in 1Kings 14: 12. In Zim­bab­wean con­text, it is doc­u­mented that Zim­bab­wean prophets pre­dicted the fu­ture events. For in­stance, Bu­l­awayo well-known prophet Chiza pre­dicted about the sta­tus of Zim­babwe in his 2016 prophe­cies (prophecy num­ber 2 of Chiza says Zim­bab­wean dol­lar will be re-in­tro­duced ). Makandiwa in his ar­ti­cle Vol­ume 11 un­dated proph­e­sied about the next com­ing big prophet, he says (“. . . I see an­other man of God com­ing in Zim­babwe . . . but the time he comes I will be an old man . . .” He went on to say “I see an­other city com­ing”). Daily News news­pa­per on 28 of April 2016 pub­lished that Makandiwa pre­dicted the Zam­bia xeno­pho­bia at­tacks. All this in­di­cates that Zim­bab­wean prophets pre­dict the fu­ture just like Is­rael prophets, hence,sim­i­lar­i­ties can be no­ticed. HOW­EVER PART As much as it can be said that Is­rael and Zim­bab­wean prophets be­long to a class of their own one would be short­sighted if they ig­nore the other side of the coin which proves to us that they do not nec­es­sar­ily be­long to the same class be­cause of dif­fer­ences. For in­stance, Is­rael prophets anointed kings, Sa­muel anointed Saul and David. This is recorded in 1 Sa­muel 10: 1 & 1 Sa­muel 16: 13-23. Eli­jah was sup­posed to anoint Jehu and Hazel. This is recorded in 1 Kings 19:15-16.In Zim­bab­wean con­text, it is not doc­u­mented that Zim­bab­wean prophets anoint kings, the rea­son be­ing that Zim­babwe is a Repub­li­can Govern­ment, not a monar­chy. As such this in­di­cates that the Zim­babwe and Is­rael prophets be­long on dif­fer­ent classes. CON­CLU­SION Bas­ing on the above dis­cus­sion it is clear that Zim­babwe and Is­rael prophets be­long on the class of their own, as it can be ev­i­denced by more sim­i­lar­i­ties. Sim­i­lar­i­ties in the sense they all per­form mir­a­cles, fight for monothe­ism, pre­dict the fu­ture and fight­ing for jus­tice. How­ever, there are mi­nor dif­fer­ences as the writer fully high­lighted above.

Wit­ness Din­gani is a Zim­babwe-based au­thor, mo­ti­va­tional speaker, colum­nist, youth coach, pub­lisher, ra­dio host and crick­eter. A-level Divin­ity ques­tions by schools can be sub­mit­ted through his mo­bile num­ber +263777896159 or Email ad­dress: wit­ness­din­gani@gmail. com.

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