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Teach vs. Prophesy

Strong's Concordance, Webster's Dictionary, and Roget's Thesaurs all define "teach" and "prophesy" as two separate distinct actions, one being to impart knowledge, and the other being to predict future events.

There are 108 references in the Holy Bible to "teach".  The only three references to women regarding teaching are an admonition that women are not to teach nor to usurp authority over the man, that old women should teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, and to love their children, and a rebuke of Jezebel for claiming to be a prophetess, to teach, and for her seduction and corruption of believers:

bullet1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
bulletTit 2:3-4 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
bulletRev 2:20 Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit lewdness, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

The distinction made between "prophetess" and "to teach" shows that these are similar but distinct actions, both of which Jezebel was condemned for.  There are seven other references to "prophetess" in the Holy Bible:

5031 nbiy'ah neb-ee-yaw' feminine of 5030; a prophetess or (generally) inspired woman; by implication, a poetess; by association a prophet's wife:--prophetess.

Deborah, the wife of the prophet Lapidoth (Judges 4:4), Huldah, the wife of the prophet Shallum (2 Kings 22:14 and 2 Chronicles 34:22), the false prophetess Noadiah.

The Holy Bible never, ever suggests that women should teach sons or men, but instead calls upon men to teach their sons:

bulletAnd He has put in his heart to teach, he and Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, He has filled them with wisdom of heart, to do every work of a smith, and an artisan, and an embroiderer in blue, and in purple, and in crimson, and in bleached linen, and a weaver; doers of every work and devisers of designs, Exodus 35:34-35
bulletand to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which Jehovah has spoken to them by the hand of Moses, Leviticus 10:11
bulletand he said to teach the sons of Judah The Song of the Bow. Behold, it is written in the Book of Jashar, 2Sa 1:18
bulletThe day that you stood before Jehovah your God in Horeb, when Jehovah said to me, Gather the people to Me, and I will make them hear My Words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live on the earth; and that they may teach their sons, Deuteronomy 4:10
bulletIf your sons will keep My covenant and My testimonies which I will teach them, their sons shall also sit on the throne for You forever, Psalms 132:12
bulletAnd He began to teach them that it is necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things and to be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and after three days to rise again, Mark 8:31
bulletTherefore, a bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach, 1 Timothy 3:2



In the Old Testament, "teach" is translated from the following Hebrew words:

  1. "zahar", Strong's # 2094 a primitive root; to gleam; figuratively, to enlighten (by caution):--admonish, shine, teach, (give) warn(-ing).
  2. "yada", Strong's #3045 mark, perceive, privy to, X prognosticator, regard, have respect, skilful, shew, can (man of) skill, be sure, of a surety, teach, (can) tell, understand, have (understanding), X will be, wist, wit, wot.
  3. "yarah", Strong's #3384 figuratively, to point out (as if by aiming the finger), to teach:--(+) archer, cast, direct, inform, instruct, lay, shew, shoot, teach(-er,-ing), through.
  4. "lamad", Strong's # 3925 (un-) accustomed, X diligently, expert, instruct, learn, skilful, teach(-er, - ing).
  5. "shanan", Strong's #8150  --prick, sharp(-en), teach diligently, whet.

In the New Testament, "teach" is translated from the Greek words:

  1. "didaktikos", Strong's #1317  --apt to teach.
  2. "didasko", Strong's #1321  a prolonged (causative) form of a primary verb dao (to learn); to teach (in the same broad application):--teach.
  3. "heterodidaskaleo", Strong's #2085  rom 2087 and 1320; to instruct differently:--teach other doctrine(-wise).
  4. "kattagello", Strong's #2605  from 2596 and the base of 32; to proclaim, promulgate:--declare, preach, shew, speak of, teach.
  5. "katecheo", Strong's #2727  from 2596 and 2279; to sound down into the ears, i.e. (by implication) to indoctrinate ("catechize") or (genitive case) to apprise of:--inform, instruct, teach.
  6. "matheteuo", Strong's #3100  from 3101; intransitively, to become a pupil; transitively, to disciple, i.e. enrol as scholar:--be disciple, instruct, teach.

Not only do both Hebrew and Greek make some finer distinctions about the meanings of the word "teach" than English does, they both view "teaching" and "prophesying" as two distinct and separate acts.


In the Old Testament, "prophesy" is translated from the Hebrew words:

  1. "chazah", Strong's #2372 a primitive root; to gaze at; mentally, to perceive, contemplate (with pleasure); specifically, to have a vision of:--behold, look, prophesy, provide, see.
  3. "chozeh", Strong's #2374  active participle of 2372; a beholder in vision; also a compact (as looked upon with approval):--agreement, prophet, see that, seer, (star-)gazer
  4. "naba", Strong's # 5012  a primitive root; to prophesy, i.e. speak (or sing) by inspiration (in prediction or simple discourse):--prophesy(-ing), make self a prophet.
  5. "nabiy'", Strong's # 5030 from 5012; a prophet or (generally) inspired man:--prophecy, that prophesy, prophet.

In the New Testament, "prophesy" is translated from the Greek words:

  1. "propheteia", Strong's #4394 from 4396 ("prophecy"); prediction (scriptural or other):--prophecy, prophesying.
  2. "propheteuo", Strong's #4395 from 4396; to foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office:--prophesy.
  3. "prophetes", Strong's #4396 from a compound of 4253 and 5346; a foreteller ("prophet"); by analogy, an inspired speaker; by extension, a poet:--prophet.


Webster's Collegiate Dictionary agrees with this distinction between "teach" and "prophesy":


Main Entry: teach <>
Pronunciation: 'tEch
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): taught <> /'tot/; teach�ing
Etymology: Middle English techen to show, instruct, from Old English t[AE]can; akin to Old English tAcn sign -- more at TOKEN
Date: before 12th century
transitive senses
1 a : to cause to know something <taught them a trade> b : to cause to know how <is teaching me to drive> c : to accustom to some action or attitude <teach students to think for themselves> d : to cause to know the disagreeable consequences of some action <I'll teach you to come home late>
2 : to guide the studies of
3 : to impart the knowledge of <teach algebra>
4 a : to instruct by precept, example, or experience b : to make known and accepted <experience teaches us our limitations>
5 : to conduct instruction regularly in <teach school>
intransitive senses : to provide instruction : act as a teacher
usage see LEARN
synonyms TEACH, INSTRUCT, EDUCATE, TRAIN, DISCIPLINE, SCHOOL mean to cause to acquire knowledge or skill. TEACH applies to any manner of imparting information or skill so that others may learn <taught us a lot about our planet>. INSTRUCT suggests methodical or formal teaching <instructs raw recruits in military drill>. EDUCATE implies development of the mind <more things than formal schooling serve to educate a person>. TRAIN stresses instruction and drill with a specific end in view <trained foreign pilots to operate the new aircraft>. DISCIPLINE implies training in habits of order and precision <a disciplined mind>. SCHOOL implies training or disciplining especially in what is hard to master <schooled the horse in five gaits>.


Main Entry: proph�e�cy <>
Variant(s): also proph�e�sy <> /'pr�-f&-sE/
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural proph�e�cies also proph�e�sies
Etymology: Middle English prophecie, from Old French, from Late Latin prophetia, from Greek prophEteia, from prophEtEs prophet
Date: 13th century
1 : an inspired utterance of a prophet
2 : the function or vocation of a prophet; specifically : the inspired declaration of divine will and purpose
3 : a prediction of something to come


Main Entry: proph�et <>
Pronunciation: 'pr�-f&t
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English prophete, from Old French, from Latin propheta, from Greek prophEtEs, from pro for + phanai to speak -- more at FOR, BAN
Date: 12th century
1 : one who utters divinely inspired revelations; specifically often capitalized : the writer of one of the prophetic books of the Old Testament
2 : one gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight; especially : an inspired poet
3 : one who foretells future events : PREDICTOR
4 : an effective or leading spokesman for a cause, doctrine, or group
5 Christian Science a : a spiritual seer b : disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth
- proph�et�hood <> /-"hud/ noun



Educate, instruct, inform, tutor, train, direct, enlighten, school, guide.


Foretell, forecast, augur, divine, predict, prognosticate.







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Modified Saturday, March 11, 2017

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