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1 Samuel 9:9: Movement from Seer to Prophet

Posted by Ez1 Realty on September 9, 2012

1 Samuel 9:9 (In those days if people wanted a message from God, they would say, “Let’s go and ask the seer,” for prophets used to be called seers.)


What is 1 Samuel 9:9 telling us? What does the term, “In those days mean?” prophets used to be called seers. Why did God move from Seers to Prophets? What was the change? What was a Seer and what is a Prophet? We first have to find what a Seer was. Using a simple rule of Bible study, letting the Bible explain itself, we find the answer in previous verses.


1 Samuel 9:3-6 One day Kish’s donkeys strayed away, and he told Saul, “Take a servant with you, and go look for the donkeys.” (4) So Saul took one of the servants and traveled through the hill country of Ephraim, the land of Shalishah, the Shaalim area, and the entire land of Benjamin, but they couldn’t find the donkeys anywhere. (5) Finally, they entered the region of Zuph, and Saul said to his servant, “Let’s go home. By now my father will be more worried about us than about the donkeys!” (6) But the servant said, “I’ve just thought of something! There is a man of God who lives here in this town. He is held in high honor by all the people because everything he says comes true. Let’s go find him. Perhaps he can tell us which way to go.”


Saul’s servant suggested they visit Samuel the Seer to get an answer to a specific question. What did they learn from this meeting? What were they looking for? The answer to a question on their mind at the time. How much did this accomplish? Why did God use donkeys in this story?


Saul and his servant had very little ambition to learn from the Seer. All they wanted was an answer and that was about it. As we have seen, Samuel had moved from the position of a seer to a prophet. To find out what Saul received we have to look forward in the chapter.


1 Samuel 9:19-20 “I am the seer!” Samuel replied. “Go up to the place of worship ahead of me. We will eat there together, and in the morning I’ll tell you what you want to know and send you on your way. (20) And don’t worry about those donkeys that were lost three days ago, for they have been found. And I am here to tell you that you and your family are the focus of all Israel’s hopes.”


Samuel answered Saul’s question in his roll of seer. In his role of prophet, Samuel provided so much more.


1 Samuel 9:23 Samuel then instructed the cook to bring Saul the finest cut of meat, the piece that had been set aside for the guest of honor.


Samuel first physically fed Saul. Next Samuel spiritually fed Saul.


1 Samuel 9:27 When they reached the edge of town, Samuel told Saul to send his servant on ahead. After the servant was gone, Samuel said, “Stay here, for I have received a special message for you from God.”

1 Samuel 10:1 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul’s head. He kissed Saul and said, “I am doing this because the LORD has appointed you to be the ruler over Israel, his special possession.

1 Samuel 10:6 At that time the Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person.


In his role as prophet, Samuel told Saul, God has a message for him. Samuel anointed Saul ruler over Israel, and told Saul he would become a prophet. In his role as prophet, Samuel was told by God Saul would also become a prophet. The role of a seer had been extended. What else is the new role of a prophet? As we look at all the prophets we see a common link. This role is explained in all the books of the prophets and easily seen in introduction to Zechariah.


Zechariah 1:2-6 The LORD has been greatly displeased with your fathers. (3) Therefore say you unto them, Thus says the LORD of hosts; Turn you unto me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, says the LORD of hosts. (4) Be you not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus says the LORD of hosts; Turn you now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, says the LORD. (5) Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live forever? (6) But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our deeds, so has he dealt with us.


The role of a seer was to provide an answer to a question. God moved from the time of the seers to the age of prophets. By changing the role God ended the era of answering simple questions through a seer. The world now entered into the service of prophet. Six times Zechariah tells us the message is from the LORD. Four times Zechariah makes it clear his message is to turn the people to the LORD.


It is easy to see, God changed from the role of a seer to that of a prophet for one simple reason. God wants to communicate with His followers directly. In the past a seer provided a simple answer. The Prophet turns people to God to seek the answer.


What is the role of teachers today? Are they seers or prophets? Do they try to provide a simple answer, or do they turn you to God to search for an answer? Are teachers today trying to operate in the role of seer which God replaced, or are they working with God in the role He has given to prepare the world?


2 Responses to “1 Samuel 9:9: Movement from Seer to Prophet”

  1. […] Share this:TwitterFacebookDiggRedditStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Prophets in the Old Testament and tagged The Difference Between a Seer and a Prophet. […]


  2. Timeo said

    u clearly explained the gradual change from seership to a prophet that’s excellent


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