"The Way of G-d"
Part 3: "The Soul, Inspiration, Prophecy, and the Supernatural"
Ch. 4: "The Prophetic Experience"
All this goes a long way to explain certain "slip-ups" in prophecy that
are cited in the Torah.
Let's go back into Jewish history to explore this. At a certain point, the
Jewish State was split into two political entities: Israel and Judah. King
Ahab -- who was far from righteous, and even lapsed into idol worship --
ruled over Israel for 22 years (see 1 Kings 16:29-31) the same time that
King Jehosephat ruled over Judah. Ahab was to have died in battle at a
certain point as a consequence of his sins, but he had to be persuaded to
fight to the end.
He went to his own (false) prophets for advice and they told him that he'd
surely be victorious in battle, but somehow he wasn't convinced. So a
certain impure spirit was sent from Heaven who was to play a part in the
king's change of mind.
Now, Ahab's prophets were drawing upon this impure spirit's power in hopes
of soliciting a revelation, but Ahab was lead to believe that his prophets
were Divinely inspired. They advised Ahab to fight after all, since he'd
be successful. But he wasn't.
And a near-prophet, Tzidikia ben Kena'ana, misread a message transmitted
to him in ways we indicated before, *at the same time*. It was only his
being unprepared for full-prophecy that had him err; he did nothing to
draw upon the power of the impure spirit. But in the end, misinformation
was transmitted by both Tzidikia ben Kena'ana and Ahab's prophets, though
for different reasons.
But understand that like everything else, this *too* was all ultimately a
consequence of G-d's decree, as we'd discussed before. So it wasn't
a "slip up" so much as a purposeful veering off-road.
We turn now to the greatest and most sublime of all prophets, Moses. And
we'll explain just what differentiated him from all other prophets.
Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org