[Editor’s note:  This is a two-part question.  The first question needed clarification, which was given, allowing me to give a more nuanced answer to the original]


According to Duet. 13:1-3, if a prophet appears among the Israelites and announces a sign and if that sign takes place, and then that prophet orders them to worship other gods, then the Israelites must not listen to that prophet. This criterion is flawed because the antagonists of Jeremiah (14:14; 28) and Ezekiel (22:28) did not prophesy in the name of other gods. According to Duet. 18:22, if something a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not come true, that is the Lord has not spoken. This criterion is also flawed because there was a chance that a so-called false prophet might predict truth as implied in Duet. 13:1-3, for e.g., an old prophet predicted truth (1 Ki. 13:20-22). Also, Micah (3:5, 11) labeled those false prophets who received payment/gift for their services. This criterion is flawed too, because the Bible records that Samuel (1 Sam. 9:7-8) and Ahijah (1 Ki. 14:2-3) did the same. Even Amaziah told Amos to go back to Judah and earn his bread there (Am. 7:12). What do you say?


It is hard for me to respond to this question because, to be perfectly honest, your question does not make sense to me.  Perhaps you can explain yourself better.  Perhaps it is a fault on my part that I do not understand your question.
For example, how can Jeremiah 14:14 show a “flaw” in Deut 13:1-3?  God is declaring the supposed “prophets” of Judah to be false prophets simply because what they were saying were not the words of God.  This is pretty much the definition of a false prophet.  Deut 13 is clearly not the only criterion for a false prophet!  What is your point?  I do not see it.
Also, how does 1 Kings 13:20-22 prove that Deut. 18:22 is flawed?  You do not explain yourself.   Perhaps you can explain yourself.  Again, there is more than one criterion for a supposed prophet being a false one, including their prophecy not coming true, their preaching about another god but Jehovah, or simply because what they said is not the actual words of God.

The question explained:

I mean that Deut. 13:1-3; 18:22; Jer. 28:9 are weak criteria, because if they apply these criteria to the antagonists of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, they do not prove to be false prophets. Rather, if we apply the Jer. 28:9 criteria to canonical prophets, they will be proven false because, at the time of Jeremiah, the prophecies of Isa. 9:7; 32:18; 54:13, were not fulfilled.

A second response:

Thanks.  That really does help me to understand what your concern was about.  I will basically stick to what I already said, which is that there are a number of criteria for a prophet to be a legitimate spokesperson for God.  All of these criteria are strong ones in my opinion.  Deuteronomy 13:1-3 is a very strong criterion.  Any person who claims to be a prophet, but who encourages the Jews to worship another “god” is ruled out as a prophet of Jehovah. Deuteronomy 18:22 is similarly a strong criterion for prophethood, as any prediction made by a prophet which clearly does not happen means that the claimant is a false prophet. There is nothing “weak” about this criterion.
Let me give an example.  For example, in order to be elected to be the president of the United States, the candidate must be a US citizen, must have been born in the US, and must be 35 years old.  All three of these criteria are very strong. Let us suppose that we have a person who is a US citizen and was born in the US, but who is only 29 years old.  Such a person is ruled out from running for president based on the third criterion.  Does this mean that the criteria requiring US citizenship is a “weak” one?  It does not disqualify this person…  The answer: not at all!  All three criteria are strong, and anyone found violating any of the provisions is completely ruled out.  The fact that one criterion does not rule out a particular candidate who is ruled out by another criterion, does not in any way whatsoever mean that that one criterion is “weak.”  This is my response to your example.
Besides, the fact that, at the time Jeremiah wrote, the prophecies in Isaiah 9:7, 32:18 and 54:13 were not yet fulfilled definitely does not rule out Isaiah as a legitimate prophet.  It is quite obvious that a prophecy of the distant future does not need to be fulfilled in the near future for the prophecy to be valid.   The prophets made near-term prophecies which were fulfilled in the near-term.  It is these prophecies which were used as a test of the prophet.  For example, Ezekiel prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, saying that it would happen withing months, not years of his giving the prediction (See Ezekiel 4 & 5).  Indeed, this destruction happened, confirming Ezekiel as a prophet.  The fact that Ezekiel 36:26 was not fulfilled for more than 500 years after Ezekiel wrote does not invalidate Ezekiel!!!  His fulfilled near-term prophecies were fulfilled in the near term, and this showed Ezekiel to be a true prophet.  This is rather obvious.
In conclusion, one criterion of a true prophet was that his or her prophecies of things in the near future must indeed be fulfilled as predicted.  The prophets whose writings are found in the Bible, presumably, all met that criterion, and this would include Isaiah! (see Isaiah 37-39 for examples).  This was a strong criterion.  But, in addition, there were other strong criteria for a prophet to be legitimate, which would have included that they not tell Israel to worship other gods, or that they not state their own opinions, which God had not spoken, as if they were from God.  This should settle the questions you brought up.
John Oakes

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