Skip to content


חֹזֶה – seer, (court) diviner

Semantic Fields: Cult   Divination   
Author(s): T. Jonathan Stökl
First published: 2010-08-02
Last update: 2024-06-30
Citation: T. Jonathan Stökl, חֹזֶה – seer, (court) diviner,
               Semantics of Ancient Hebrew Database (, 2010 (update: 2024)


Grammatical Type: n. m.
Occurrences: 17x HB (0/6/11); 1x Sir; 7x Qum.; 0x inscr. (Total: 25).1

  • Nebiim: 2 Sam 24:11; 2 Kgs 17:13; Isa 29:10; 30:10; Amos 7:12; Mic 3:7.
  • Ketubim: 1 Chron 21:9; 25:5; 29:29; 2 Chron 9:29; 12:15; 19:2; 29:25, 30; 33:18, 19; 35:15.
  • Ben Sira: Sir 46:15B;
  • Qumran: 1QM XI:8; 1QHa X:15; XII:10; XII:20; 4QpIsac 16:2; 4Q174(MidrEschata) f5:4; 4Q280 f2:7.

Text Doubtful

A.1 The word חוזה, entirely restored in 4Q266 f2ii:12 [=CD II:12-13] on the basis of T.-S. 10 K 6:12, is probably not to be connected directly with חֹזֶה, as the term functions as a verbal participle (‘those who see’) in this text and not as a professional title (‘seer’).2 The same is true for 4Q270 f2ii:14, where the word is reconstructed on the basis of CD II 12-13.3

A.2 The two fragments from 4QUnclassified papyrus fragments, 4Q517 f15:1 and 4Q518 f2:1, published in DJD VII, only contain one word each: חזי and חזים respectively. It is clear that in this fragmentary state it is impossible to assess whether they function as verbal participles or as professional titles here.

A.3 1QHa 10:15 uses חוזי נכוחות in parallel with (ל)מלצי תעות but the term seems to have lost its force as a technical term for ‘seer’.

A.4 In Isa 28:15 חֹזֶה is used in parallel with בְּרִית. The older dictionaries (i.e. BDB, GB) interpret חֹזֶה as ‘vision’ here.4 The recent dictionaries (HALOT, Ges18, DCH) understand the term as a different noun with the meaning ‘contract’. See also the versions: Vulgate: pactum, Targum: שְׁלָמָא, LXX: συνθήκη. The Peshitta retains ḥzwʾ.5

A.5 The two occurrences of the patronym כֹּל־חֹזֶה in the lists of returnees in Neh 3:15 and 11:5 do not furnish us with further information. The commentators regularly understand this as a family name (‘all seers’).6 The versions transliterate: LXX: Хολοζὲ, Хαλαζα and Vulg: Choloozai, Coloza.

A.6 Similarly, in 2 Chron 33:19 MT has חוֹזָי, which NJPS understands as a name, while NRSV and most of the commentators follow LXX’s ὁρώντων (‘of the seers’) and read חוֹזָיו, suggesting that the ו later dropped out due to haplography. Pesh has ܕܚܢܢ ܢܒܝܐ (dḥnn nbyʾ), ‘of Hanan the prophet’, while Tg and Vg support MT and read the name Hozai: חוזי and Ozai.

b.1 Nitzan, the editor, restores the word in two fragments, 4Q286 f7ii:12 and 4Q287 f6:11, 4QBera and 4QBerb respectively as they are very similar to 4Q 280 2 6-7.7

b.2 The restoration 4QpIsac 15-16:2: הח[זים…] is certain as it is a direct quote from Isa 29:10 (Allegro 1968).

Qere/Ketiv: none

1. Root and Comparative Material8

A.1 The root ḥzy is the standard root for ‘to see’ in Aramaic and is thus widely attested in Aramaic inscriptions.9 It refers to both normal seeing as well as seeing in a dream or having a vision. While the root itself (see under חָזָה) is used frequently, there are only two texts which contain the nominalised participle in its meaning of the professional title: the Zakkur inscription (KAI 202A:12) has ḥzyn, while Deir Alla i:1 has ḥzh ʾlhn. The general consensus is that חֹזֶה is an Aramaic loanword in Hebrew.10

A.2 It is unclear whether Punic ḥzh in KAI 69:11 should be linked to ḥzy.10

A.3 Hamilton has proposed to read seal UC 51354 from Deir Rifa in Egypt as written in proto-Canaanite. If that is the case and if his reading is correct, the seal bears the inscription lqn hz, which he interprets as ‘belonging to Qn, the seer’ (Hamilton 2009).

A.4 The root is also operational in later forms of Arabic as ḥazā, ‘to see’, and ḥāzī, ‘seer, soothsayer’ (Lane, 562-63). This is normally attributed to Hebrew influence, but Aramaic influence or a mixture of the two could also have caused this development.

A.5 The root is attested in Ugaritic. Initially, opinions differed considerably whether Ugaritic ḥdy could be linked to Hebrew ḥzh because, according to Ginsberg, Phoenician (here: Ugaritic) and Hebrew share the sound-change of Proto-Semitic d to z.11 Conversely, Dahood insists on the etymological relation between Hebrew ḥzh and Ugaritic ḥdy.12 Aistleitner’s and Ginsberg’s view is in part a critical reaction to Dahood’s additional theory that Hebrew also knows a root II חדה, ‘to see’, which is linked to Ugaritic ḥdy.13

A.6 On the basis of Ugaritic ḥdy, Wagner (1966:53-54) suggests that it is possible that the word is not an Aramaic loan but a genuinely Hebrew word. He goes on to state that it is impossible to verify this. Allowing for a Hebrew origin of the verb and its derivatives, he reasons that Aramaic influence is at least partly responsible for the increased number of post-exilic attestations. However, Fuhs argues that it is impossible that Hebrew had two entirely synonymous verbs (ראה and חזה).

A.7 A further problem for the etymology of the Hebrew root I חזה,‘to see’, is that there is at least a second root חזה in Hebrew from which the word חָזֶה, ‘chest’, is derived, and which in other Semitic languages has a meaning ‘to sit/be across’.14 The term חֹזֶה in Isa 28:15 should be connected to that root, which is attested in the form ḥdyt in Old South Arabic with the meaning ‘agreement’.15

A.8 There is no etymological equivalent to חזה in Akkadian. Functionally, amāru, barû and naṭālu are equivalents, expressing ‘seeing’ in the physical sense as well as in the divinatory sense (particularly in dreams and liver omens). The noun bārû (‘seer’) denotes a classical haruspex, a technical diviner.

2. Formal Characteristics

A.1 qōtēl of a ל״ה, nominalised qal masculine active participle.

3. Syntagmatics

A.1 חֹזֶה is the subject of the following verbs:

  • אכל, ‘eat’ in Amos 7:12;
  • ברח, ‘flee’ in Amos 7:12;
  • יסף hiph., ‘continue/do again’ in Amos 7:13;
  • הלך, ‘go’ in Amos 7:12;
  • נבא niph., ‘prophesy’ in Amos 7:12;
  • עוד, ‘warn’ in 2 Kgs 17:13.

A.2 Additionally, the following verbs are used with individuals who in the same pericope are identified as a חֹזֶה:

  • אמר, ‘say’ in 2 Chron 19:2;
  • בושׁ, ‘be ashamed’ in Mic 3:7;
  • דבר pi., ‘speak’ in Isa 30:10; 2 Chron 33:18;
  • הלך, ‘walk’ in Amos 7:13;
  • חזה, ‘see’ in Isa 30:10;
  • יסף, ‘continue/add’ in Am 7:12-13;
  • יצא, ‘go out’ in 2 Chron 19:2;
  • נטה hiph., ‘turn aside’ in Isa 30:10-11;
  • עטה, ‘cover oneself’ in Mic 3:7;
  • סור, ‘turn aside’ in Isa 30:10-11;
  • שׁבת hiph., ‘remove’ in Isa 30:10-11;
  • כסה pi., ‘cover’, through apposition, in Isa 29:10.

A.3 חֹזֶה is the nomen regens for:

  • דָּוִד, ‘David’: 2 Sam 24:11; 1 Chron 21:9; 2 Chron 35:15;
  • מֶלֶךְ, ‘king’: 1 Chron 25:5; 2 Chron 29:25; 35:15;
  • נכוחות, ‘uprightness’: 1QHa 10:17;
  • רמיה, ‘deceit, negligence’: 1QHa 12:10;
  • תעות, ‘error’: 1QHa 12:20;
  • תעודה, ‘ordained time, assembly, testimony’: 1QM 11:8.16

A.4 חֹזֶה is the nomen rectum of:

  • דִּבְרֵי, ‘words’: 1 Chron 29:29; 2 Chron 33:18;
  • כל, ‘all’: 2 Kgs 17:13; 4Q174 f5:4.

A.5 חֹזֶה is used as a prepositional augment for the verb עוּד hiph. ‘warn’ in 2 Kgs 17:13.

A.6 Only Gad is described as a חֹזֵה דָּוִד (2 Sam 24:11//נָבִיא, 1 Chron 21:9), while Gad (2 Chron 29:25//נָתָן הַנָּבִיא), Heman (1 Chron 25:5) and Jeduthun (2 Chron 35:15)17 are described as חֹזֵה הַמֶּלֶךְ.

A.7 The following individuals are described as הַחֹזֶה: Asaf (2 Chron 29:30), Gad (1 Chron 29:29), Iddo (2 Chron 9:29; 12:15),18 Jehu (2 Chron 19:2).19 Amos is once referred to as חֹזֶה by Amaziah (Amos 7:12).

4. Ancient Versions

‘No equivalent’ means that the versional text does not translate נביא, while ‘not extant’ means that the particular verse is not attested in that version at all.

a. Septuagint (LXX):

  • ἀνακρουομένος, ‘striking up’ (medium part. present tense of ἀνακρούω, ‘to strike up’ in music): 1 Chron 25:5;
  • βλέπων, ‘seer’ (act.part. present tense of βλέπω, ‘to see’): 1 Chron 29:29;
  • ὁρῶν, ‘seer’ (act.part. present tense of ὁράω, ‘to see’): 2 Sam 24:11; 2 Kgs 17:13; Isa 29:10; 30:10; 1 Chron 21:9; 2 Chron 9:29; 12:15; 29:25; 33:18, 19; Amos 7:12; Mic 3:7;
  • προφήτης, ‘prophet’: 2 Chron 19:2; 29:30; 35:15; Sir 46:15.

b. Peshitta (Pesh):

  • ܚܙܘܝܐ (ḥzwyʾ ), ‘seer’: 2 Kgs 17:13; Isa 29:10; Amos 7:12; Mic 3:7; 2 Chron 19:2; 35:15;
  • ܢܒܝܐ (nbyʾ ), ‘prophet’: Isa 30:10; 1 Chron 21:9; 29:29; 2 Chron 29:25, 30; 33:18, 19;
  • no equivalent 2 Sam 24:11;
  • not extant: 1 Chron 25:5; 2 Chron 9:29; Sir 46:15;
  • differing text: 2 Chron 12:15.

c. Targum (Tg):

  • חזוי, ‘seer’: 2 Sam 24:11;
  • מַלֵיף, ‘teacher’ (pael part. אלף, ‘to teach’): 2 Kgs 17:13; Isa 29:10; 30:10;
  • נבי, ‘prophet’: 1 Chron 21:9; 25:5; 2 Chron 9:29; 12:15; 29:25; 33:18; 35:15; Amos 7:12;
  • נבי שׁקר, ‘false prophet’: Mic 3:7;
  • סכוי, ‘watchman, seer’: 1 Chron 29:29; 2 Chron 19:2; 29:30;
  • חוזי, ‘Hozai’ (PN): 2 Chron 33:19;
  • not extant: Sir 46:15.

d. Vulgate (Vg):

  • aspiciens, ‘beholder’: Isa 30:10;
  • Ozai, ‘Hozai’ (PN): 2 Chron 33:19;
  • propheta, ‘prophet’: 2 Chron 35:15;
  • videns, ‘seer’ (act.part. present tense of videre, ‘to see’): 2 Sam 24:1; 2 Kgs 17:13; 1 Chron 21:9; 25:5; 29:29; 2 Chron 9:29; 12:15; 19:2; 29:25, 30; 33:18;
  • videre, ‘to see’: Isa 29:10; Amos 7:12; Mic 3:7; Sir 46:15;
  • videre visiones, ‘to see visions’: Isa 29:10.

A.1 There is a clear distinction between the versions: LXX and Vg render חֹזֶה with an active participle of a verb ‘to see’ (LXX: ὁρῶν and βλέπων; Vg: videns) in almost all cases.

A.2 In most instances, the versions attempt to find a word in the semantic range of ‘seeing’ in their respective target languages. An exception is Pesh, which prefers נבי to חזוי, presumably to distinguish between normal ‘seeing’ and the seeing of visions. Alternatively, it may have picked up on the later use of the term נביא in Hebrew which seems to denote a range of diviners.

A.3 LXX and Vg understand וְלַחֹזִים in Isa 30:10 as a verbal participle and therefore translate as τοῖς τὰ ὁράματα ὁρῶσιν, ‘those who are seeing visions’, and aspicientibus, ‘to those who are seeing’.

A.4 The case of Isaiah is interesting in Pesh. In the MT Isa 29:10 and 2 Kgs 17:13 have נָבִיא and חֹזֶה in parallel and Pesh translates them with nby and ḥzy respectively. In Isa 30:10, however, which in MT has רֹאֶה and חֹזֶה in parallel, רֹאֶה is translated with ḥzy and חֹזֶה with nby, indicating that the meaning of these three terms is not clearly distinguished in the Peshitta of Isaiah.

A.5 In Isa 29:10 LXX and Vg understand the syntax of MT differently, taking וְאֶת־רָאשֵׁיכֶם, ‘your heads’ parallel to אֶת־הַנְּבִיאִים and regard הַחֹזִים as a participle expressing an entire relative clause; this requires them to understand כִּסָּה as a puʿal (כֻּסָּה). It is possible that they also had a text which supplied the normally required nota accusativi and the article: אֶת הַכֻּסָּה. LXX has: καὶ τῶν ἀρχότων αὐτῶν οἱ ὁρῶντες τὰ κρυπτά, ‘and their princes who see that which is hidden’; Vg has principes vestros qui vident visiones operiet, ‘your princes who see visions he covers’.

A.6 In Amos 7:12, Vg understands חֹזֶה as a participle expressing a relative clause qui vides (‘who sees’). The same also occurs in Mic 3:7: qui vident visiones, ‘who see visions’.

A.7 Tg Amos 7:12 uses the root נבי to translate the noun (חֹזֶה) and the verb (נבא, niph.) which Amaziah uses to describe Amos. This indicates that the difference between the two roots in Hebrew found no reflex in the translation

A.8 Pesh understands 2 Chron 12:15 completely differently and therefore does not translate the term חֹזֶה.

A.9 The following verses are not attested in the Peshitta 1 Chron 25:5; 2 Chron 9:29; Sir 46:15.20

5. Lexical/Semantic Field(s)

A.1 Can stand parallel with מליץ (1QHa 10:15) and with משׁיח (CD 2:12, 1QM 11:8).

A.2 Occurs in parallel with other divinatory titles such as רֹאֶה (Isa 30:10; 1 Chron 29:29); נָבִיא (2 Sam 24:11; 2 Kgs 17:13; 1 Chron 29:29; 2 Chron 9:29; 12:15; Isa 29:10) and קֹסֵם (Mic 3:7).

A.3 Used almost as a term for historian when describing Gad (1 Chron 29:29 // שְׁמוּאֵל הַרֹאֶה // נָתָן הַנָּבִיא; 2 Chron 9:29 // נָתָן הַנָּבִיא; 2 Chron 12:15 // שְׁמַעְיָה הַנָּבִיא).

A.4 Once, חֹזֶה is used in apposition to ֹרֹאש (Isa 29:10).

A.5 According to Wilson (1980:139-40) the חֹזֶה represents a Northern (‘Ephraimite’) seer who disappeared shortly after the introduction of the monarchy.

A.6 According to the comprehensive study of the root חזה in biblical Hebrew by Fuhs, חֹזֶה is used almost literally as someone who sees a revelation in Amos 7:12; Isa 30:10 and 1 Sam 9:9-19 (5x), while it refers to the receiver of a revelation, without suggesting ‘seeing’ and in parallel to other divinatory titles, in Mic 3:7; 2 Kgs 17:13; Isa 29:10 and 2 Chron 33:18-19. In 1 Chron 29:29, 2 Sam 24:11 and elsewhere it is used as a professional title in parallel to other such titles. Finally, in 2 Chron 29:30 it refers to a temple singer.

6. Exegesis

A.1 The dictionaries keep with the obvious (and correct) sense and translate חֹזֶה as ‘seer’. Zorell, 230 translates ‘videns sc. Divina, a Deo sibi revelata, vates, propheta’. HAL and Ges18 translate ‘Seher’. BDB and DCH have ‘seer’. The only confusion is with Isa 28:15 which is not always distinguished, and often translated as ‘vision’ (BDB), while HAL and DCH list this word as חֹזֶה II, ‘agreement’.

A.2 Adducing Lee and Jastrow, Paul and Zevit suggest that חֹזֶה should be understood as a technical term for a court diviner, while נָבִיא refers to any kind of prophet.21 Jastrow does not merely identify the חֹזֶה as a court diviner, but argues that because the term is also used to describe (Levitical) singers Heman, Asaf and Ethan, it follows that it ‘belongs to an early period in the religious history of the Hebrews, when divination formed a part of the priestly office and before the period of the differentiation of the diviner from the true prophet of Jahweh and the concomitant differentiation between ‘prophet’ and ‘priest’’ (Jastrow 1909:50-51). This connection to music means, according to Jastrow, that they were of a lower status similar to those of the ‘singing dervishes whom Saul encounters’, i.e. נְבִיאִים (Jastrow 1909:51). The difference between the רֹאֶה and the חֹזֶה lies in that the רֹאֶה is available to everybody while the חֹזֶה is the official diviner. Jastrow further distinguishes between the two titles and describes the רֹאֶה as a technical diviner who works on materials which are to some extent controllable (i.e. hepatoscopy, where the diviner has access to the liver through slaughtering an animal), whereas the חֹזֶה is a technical diviner who reads more haphazard signs such as bird-flight or clouds.

A.3 Many scholars take the term חֹזֶה to be the Judean term for ‘seer’ and thus as the Southern equivalent of the Northern נביא.22

A.4 While Fuhs (1978:245-48) interprets חֹזֶה as an old technical term he argues against Zevit’s thesis (1975) and that it is a loan from an Aramaic technical term on account of the few attestations in Aramaic inscriptions and because most of the biblical attestations for a court diviner are in the Chrononistic History and therefore late. Further, according to Fuhs, Amos 7:12 also militates against such a reading as in that verse Amaziah acknowledges Amos’ office as ‘seer’.23 Fuhs’ argument here relies both on the antiquity of Amos 7:12, that it relays the wording correctly, and that Amaziah uses the term correctly.

A.5 In 1 Chron 25:5; 2 Chron 29:30; 35:15, חֹזֶה is applied to various individuals who are (according to 2 Chron 29:30, levitical) singers whose actions are described with נבא, niph. While it is true that this seems to suggest that these singers are acting prophetically, it is equally likely that חֹזֶה and נבא niph., have changed their meaning sufficiently so that they can be used for the performance of cultic music and possibly dance (Fuhs 1978:248-49). If, following Mowinckel, there was an institution of cultic prophecy in pre-exilic (Israel and) Judah, the transfer of the two verbs to the musical cult performers appears plausible.

A.6 While most attestations of חֹזֶה occur in 1-2 Chronicles, a late text, it appears that Chronicles uses the word mostly in conjunction with court ‘employees’, more specifically specialists who are connected to David. This suggests that in Chronicles the term signifies some form of a court diviner. As the related verb has the meaning ‘to see’ it appears reasonable to assume a meaning ‘seer’ for חֹזֶה. It must remain unclear whether or not this ‘seeing’ was necessarily transcendent (‘seeing of visions’) or could include the ‘seeing’ and subsequent interpretation of ominous signs.

7. Conclusions

The classical theory, as expressed by Lindblom, is that no distinction can be made in meaning between חֹזֶה and רֹאֶה, and that people described by either term are indistinguishable from the נָבִיא.24 Contrary to this, Hölscher (1914:125-26) distinguishes between the ecstatic נָבִיא and the non-ecstatic חֹזֶה and רֹאֶה. Chronicles appears to use חֹזֶה, רֹאֶה and נָבִיא almost interchangeably. Focussing on חֹזֶה and רֹאֶה, the distribution of the two titles within Chronicles indicates that the רֹאֶה seems to have been a diviner available to the general public while the חֹזֶה was employed at the court and, in the case of the Levitical singers, at the temple.25 The connection with the verb חָזָה plausibly suggests that at least initially the translation ‘seer’ for חֹזֶה is correct, but it must remain unclear which form this ‘seeing’ took.26 It is likely that visionary experiences are implied, as they are with many of the other derivatives of the root חזה such as חִזָּיוֹן and חָזוּת. This holds true particularly in later texts, as by the time of their composition other forms of divination had acquired a negative status. Most of the attestations are late, suggesting the possibility that the term itself is either an Aramaic loanword or at least that the root became more productive as contact between Hebrew and Aramaic grew stronger (Wagner 1966:53-54).


For the abbreviations see the List of Abbreviations.

Allegro 1968
John Marco Allegro, Qumran Cave 4: I (4Q158-4Q186) (DJD V), Oxford: Clarendon.
Baumgarten et al. 1996
Joseph M. Baumgarten, Jósef T. Milik, Stephen J. Pfann and Ada Yardeni, Qumran Cave 4: XIII: The Damascus Document (4Q266-273) (DJD XVIII), Oxford: Clarendon.
Becker 1990
Joachim Becker, Esra, Nehemia (NEchtB.AT, 25), Würzburg: Echter.
Blau 1970
Joshua Blau, ‘Some Observations on Biblical Terms’, in: I. Ben-Shem, H. Gevaryahu and B.-T. Lurya (eds.), Festschrift Joseph Braslavsky (Braslavi): Studies on the Bible, on the Language and Study of Israel Presented to him on his Birthday (Writings of the Society for Bible Studies in Israel 21), Jerusalem: Kiryat-Sefer, 439-44 (in Hebrew).
Blenkinsopp 1988
Joseph Blenkinsopp, Ezra-Nehemiah: A Commentary (OTL), London: SCM.
Blenkinsopp 1995
Joseph Blenkinsopp, Sage, Priest, Prophet: Religious and Intellectual Leadership in Ancient Israel (LAI), Louisville: Westminster John Knox.
Bonnard 1960
Pierre E. Bonnard, Le Psautier selon Jérémie: influence littéraire et spirituelle de Jérémie sur trente-trois psaumes (Lectio divina, 26), Paris: Cerf.
Clines 1984
David J. A. Clines, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (NCBC), Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; London: Marshall, Morgan, & Scott.
Dahood 1964
Mitchell Dahood, ‘Hebrew-Ugaritic Lexicography II’, Bib 45:393-412.
Davidson 1903
A. B. Davidson, Old Testament Prophecy, Edinburgh: T&T Clark.
Driver 1937
Godfrey Rolles Driver, ‘Linguistic and Textual Problems: Isaiah 1-39’, JTS 38:36-50.
Eshel et al. 1998
Esther Eshel et al., Qumran Cave 4: VI: Poetical and Liturgical Texts, Part I (DJD XI), Oxford: Clarendon.
Ewald 1863
Heinrich Ewald, Ausführliches Lehrbuch der hebräischen Sprache des Alten Bundes, Göttingen: Dieterich.
Fensham 1983
F. Charles Fensham, The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah (NICOT), Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
Fuhs 1978
Hans Ferdinand Fuhs, Sehen und Schauen: Die Wurzel ḥzh im Alten Orient und im Alten Testament: Ein Beitrag zum prophetischen Offenbarungsempfang (FB, 32), Würzburg: Echter.
Ginsberg 1938
Harold Louis Ginsberg, ‘A Ugaritic Parallel to 2 Sam 1:21’, JBL 57:209-13.
Ginsberg 1967
Harold Louis Ginsberg, ‘Lexicographical Notes’, in: Benedikt Hartmann et al. (eds.), Hebräische Wortforschung: Festschrift zum 80. Geburtstag von Walter Baumgartner (SVT, 16), Leiden: Brill, 71-82.
Gordon 1998
Robert P. Gordon, Chronicles (The Old Testament in Syriac according to the Peshiṭta version, 4/2), Leiden: Brill.
Gunneweg et al. 1987
Antonius H. J. Gunneweg, Alfred Jepsen, and Manfred Oeming, Nehemia (KAT, 19.2), Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus Mohn.
Haeussermann 1932
Friedrich Haeussermann, Wortempfang und Symbol in der alttestamentlichen Prophetie: Eine Untersuchung zur Psychologie des prophetischen Erlebnisses (BZAW, 58), Giessen: Töpelmann.
Hamilton 2009
Gordon J. Hamilton, ‘A Proposal to Read the Legend of a Seal-Amulet from Deir Rifa, Egypt as an Early West Semitic Alphabetic Inscription’, JSS 54:51-79.
Hentschke 1957
Richard Hentschke, Die Stellung der vorexilischen Schriftpropheten zum Kultus (BZAW, 75), Berlin: Töpelmann.
Hoffmann 1883
Georg Hoffmann, ‘Versuche zu Amos’, ZAW 3:87-126.
Hölscher 1914
Gustav D. H. Hölscher, Die Profeten: Untersuchungen zur Religionsgeschichte Israels, Leipzig: Hinrichs.
Jastrow 1909
Morris Jastrow, ‘Rôʾēh and Ḫôzēh in the Old Testament’, JBL 28:42-56.
Jeffers 1996
Ann Jeffers, Magic and Divination in Ancient Palestine and Syria (SHANE, 8), Leiden: Brill.
Jepsen 1934
Alfred Jepsen, Nabi: Soziologische Studien zur alttestamentlichen Literatur und Religionsgeschichte, München: Beck.
Jepsen 1976
Alfred Jepsen, Art. ‘חָזָה ḥāzāh’, ThWAT 2:822-35.
Jepsen 1980
Alfred Jepsen, Art. ‘חָזָה’, TDOT 4:280-90.
Johnson 1962
Aubrey Rodway Johnson, The Cultic Prophet in Ancient Israel, Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
Kedar-Kopfstein 1988
Benjamin Kedar-Kopfstein, ‘Synästhesien im biblischen Althebräisch in Übersetzung und Auslegung’, ZAH 1:47-60; 147-58.
De Lagarde 1861
Paul de Lagarde, Libri Veteris Testamenti apocryphi Syriace, Leipzig: Brockhaus.
Lee 1860
William Lee, The Inspiration of Holy Scripture: It’s Nature and Proof. 8 Discourses, Preached Before the University of Dublin, New York: Robert Carter & Brothers.
Lindblom 1962
Johannes Lindblom, Prophecy in Ancient Israel, Oxford: Blackwell.
Myers 1965
Jacob M. Myers, Ezra, Nehemiah: Translated with an Introduction and Notes (AB, 14), Garden City: Doubleday.
Orlinsky 1965
Harry M. Orlinsky, ‘The Seer in Ancient Israel’, Oriens Antiquus 4:153-74.
Van den Oudenrijn 1925
Marcus A. van den Oudenrijn, ‘De vocabulis quibusdam, termino נָבִיא synonymis’, Bib 6:294-311; 406-17.
Paul 1971
Shalom M. Paul, ‘Prophets and Prophecy’, Encyclopaedia Judaica, Jerusalem: Encyclopaedia Judaica, 13:1151-81.
Petersen 1981
David L. Petersen, The Roles of Israel’s Prophets (JSOTSup, 17), Sheffield: JSOT Press.
Van Peursen 2007
Wido Th. Van Peursen, Language and Interpretation in the Syriac Text of Ben Sira: A Comparative Linguistic and Literary Study (Monographs of the Peshiṭta Institute, Leiden: Studies in the Syriac Versions of the Bible and Their Cultural Contexts, 16), Leiden: Brill.
Qimron 1992
Elisha Qimron, ‘The Text of CDC’, in: M. Broshi (ed.), The Damascus Document Reconsidered, Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society; Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum, 9-49.
Rudolph 1949
Wilhelm Rudolph, Esra und Nehemia samt 3. Esra (HAT, 20), Tübingen: Mohr.
Schechter 1910
Salomon Schechter, Documents of Jewish Sectaries Volume I: Fragments of a Zadokite Work. Edited from Hebrew Manuscripts in the Cairo Genizah Collection now in the Possession of the University Library, Cambridge, Cambridge: University Press.
Schunck 1998
Klaus-Dietrich Schunck, Nehemia (BKAT XXII/2), Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener.
Smend 1963
Rudolf Smend, ‘Das Nein des Amos’, EvTh 23:404-23.
Vermeylen 1977
Jacques Vermeylen, Du prophète Isaïe à l’apocalyptique: Isaïe, 1-35, miroir d’un demi-millénaire d’expérience religieuse en Israël (Ebib), Paris: Gabalda.
Vetter 1971
Dieter Vetter, Art. ‘חזה, ḥzh – schauen’, THAT 1:533-37.
Wacholder 2007
Ben Zion Wacholder, The New Damascus Document: The Midrash on the Eschatological Torah of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Reconstruction, Translation and Commentary (STDJ, 56), Leiden: Brill.
Wagner 1966
Max Wagner, Die lexikalischen und grammatikalischen Aramaismen im alttestamentlichen Hebräisch (BZAW, 96), Berlin: Töpelmann.
Wernberg-Møller 1959
Preben Wernberg-Møller, ‘Observations on the Hebrew Participle’, ZAW 71:54-67.
Wildberger 1982
Hans Wildberger, Jesaja 28-39: Das Buch, der Prophet und seine Botschaft (BKAT X/3), Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener.
Williamson 1985
Hugh G. M. Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah (WBC, 16), Waco, TX: Word.
Wilson 1980
Robert R. Wilson, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel, Philadelphia: Fortress.
Yadin 1955
Yigael Yadin, The Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness (in Hebrew), Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik.
Yadin 1962
Yigael Yadin, The Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Zevit 1975
Ziony Zevit, ‘A Misunderstanding at Bethel: Amos vii 12-17’, VT 25:783-90.
Zobel 1985
Hans-Jürgen Zobel, ‘Prophet in Israel und Juda’, ZTK 82:281-99.


  1. These numbers correct those given in DCH iii:44 for this lemma (listing 16 attestations in Biblical Hebrew, 1 in Ben Sira and 3 in Qumran); and those in DCHR iii:191 (listing 16 attestations in Biblical Hebrew, 1 in Ben Sira and 5 in Qumran). 

  2. Baumgarten et al. (1996:150). For the manuscripts of CD preserved in the Taylor-Schechter Genizah see Schechter (1910) and Qimron (1992). 

  3. There is no real equivalent to the content of 4Q270 f2ii in CD, see Wacholder (2007). 

  4. Thus also Ewald (1863:§156e). Hoffmann (1883:95) disagrees and translates ‘wir haben in der Hölle einen Propheten angestellt’. 

  5. Driver (1937:44) suggests deriving חֹזֶה from Arabic ḥadā and Sabean ḥdyt here. Wildberger (1982:1065) urges caution when deriving Hebrew words from Arabic/Sabean but maintains the translation found in the LXX which is in line with Driver’s suggestion. With reference to Isa 28:15 and elsewhere, Wernberg-Møller (1959) suggests that what looks like an active participle can at times ‘denote the action as such, or the abstract idea of a certain action or condition, with no reference to the agent.’ While this may be the case generally, it does not appear plausible for our verse, as it would lead to a translation ‘We have made a covenant with Death, concluded a seeing with Sheol.’ 

  6. Vermeylen (1977:214-15), Rudolph (1949:118), Myers (1965:108-11), Fuhs (1978:67), Fensham (1983:170), Clines (1984:154), Williamson (1985:197 n.15b), Gunneweg et al. (1987), Blenkinsopp (1988:228), Becker (1990:71) and Schunck (1998-:81). 

  7. Nitzan in Eshel et al. (1998:27-31, 57-58). 

  8. A fuller version of the etymological discussion will be presented in the entry on חָזָה. Contrary, to Jeffers (1996:36) the etymology of חזה is not quite as straight forward as it appears. 

  9. For details see DNWSI, 357-61. 

  10. See Vetter (1971) and Jepsen (1976; 1980). 

  11. E.g., Ginsberg (1938; 1967) and WUS, 905. 

  12. Dahood (1964:407-08). UT, 839, is more cautiously. 

  13. Dahood (1964:407); HAL, 280; HALOT, 292, followed this decision. See also Blau (1970). Against such a view see e.g. Bonnard (1960:226). 

  14. For literature see Fuhs (1978:58-66). 

  15. See also Driver (1937:44). 

  16. See Yadin (1955:322-24; 1962:310-11). 

  17. The LXX and Vulgate use a plural here and therefore understand Asaph, Aeman (Heman) and Idothom (Jeduthun) as prophets (προφήται/prophetae) collectively. 

  18. In the LXX the name of this seer is Joel, not Iddo. 

  19. Syntactically, Hanani could be the seer here: יֵהוּא בֶן־חֲנָנִי הַחֹזֶה

  20. 1-2 Chronicles according to Gordon (1998). For Ben Sira De Lagarde (1861) is correct, as has been affirmed by Willem van Peursen in a personal communication (May 7th 2010) for which I would like to thank him. The Peshiṭta of Ben Sira represents a modified form of the book, see, e.g., Van Peursen (2007). 

  21. Jastrow (1909:50); Paul (1971); Zevit (1975); Wilson (1980:254-56). This thesis is sometimes attributed to Lee (1860:458-59). Lee, however, says something slightly different. He distinguishes between the royal office of ‘seer of the king’ (who may or may not have a prophetic gift) and the prophetic ‘office’ which does not need to be connected to the court. 

  22. Jastrow (1909); Van den Oudenrijn (1925); Haeussermann (1932:7-8); Orlinsky (1965); Zevit (1975); Wilson (1980:254-256); Petersen (1981:56-58) and Zobel (1985). Blenkinsopp (1995:125) acknowledges the predominance of the title in Jerusalemite circles but attributes it to the disrepute into which the title נביא had fallen and surmises that it had been replaced by חֹזֶה

  23. Fuhs (1978:187-92). Smend (1963:416-18) also argues that Amos identifies with the title חֹזֶה and denies being a נָבִיא, but he does not elaborate on what a חֹזֶה-seer is. 

  24. Lindblom (1962:90). See also Davidson (1903:81); Van den Oudenrijn (1925); Jepsen (1934:43-44); Hentschke (1957:150). See, e.g., also Blau (1970:439-440) and Johnson (1962:12), who understands the two verbs חָזָה and רָאָה as being slightly distinct in that רָאָה is used more for normal seeing while חָזָה refers more to the seeing of visions. 

  25. See the table in Fuhs (1978:245-49). 

  26. Both verbs included synaesthetic perception, that is, they are used in contexts in which we may expect to find a verb ‘to hear’, see Kedar-Kopfstein (1988). 

Semantics of Ancient Hebrew Database