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They may not ineptly be compared with the families of singers gathered around David, under the direction of their three leaders, Asaph, Heman, and Idithum ( 1 Chronicles 25:1-8 ).Doubtless the benê-nebî'îm of the days of Elias, and Eliseus the "disciples of the Prophets", or "members of the confraternities of the Prophets", forming at least three communities, domiciled respectively at Gilgal, Bethel, and Jericho, must be regarded as their successors. Jerome seems to have understood their character aright, when he saw in them the germ of the monastic life (P. Are we to consider as their degenerate and faithless successors those false Prophets of Yahweh whom we meet at the court of Achab, numbering four hundred, and later very numerous, also fighting against Isaias and Micheas and especially against Jeremias and Ezekiel ?
Thou shalt speak to him all that I command thee; and he shall speak to Pharao, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land" ( Exodus 7:1-2 ).
Did they wander about spreading the oracles of Samuel among the people?
Possibly; at all events, in order to waken the faith of Israel and increase the dignity of Divine worship, they seem to have received charismata similar to those bestowed upon the early Christians in the Apostolic days.
In the time of the Judges, in addition to an unnamed Prophet ( Judges 6:8-10 ), we meet with Debbora (Judges 4-5), "a mother in Israel ", judging the people, and communicating the Divine orders concerning the War of Independence to Barac and the tribes.
The word of God was rare in those days of anarchy and semi-apostasy, when Yahweh partly abandoned Israel to render it conscious of its feebleness and its sins.