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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.