Copyright 2017 Theresa Harvard Johnson
There are many believers who believe that "poetic prophecy" is a special anointing for prophetic writers. This is a huge misconception.
Writing prophecy poetically IS NOT a special gift and it is also NOT unique. The style might be unique to the poet, but the uniqueness ends there.
Writing prophetically through poetic form was COMMON and THE NORM for scribes of the Bible. It is what nearly ALL the prophets of the Bible did as chosen vessels of the Lord. This isn't "Theresa Harvard Johnson" talking out of her head! Rather, this is known and accepted fact in Hebrew culture. The biblical writers understood that they were writing poetry when they prophesied just as scholars and historians have unanimously verified it today. Any one who takes the time to study the Hebrew Bible in antiquity either independently or through a seminary course will get this clarity and understanding within the first season of their studies. They will come to understand that ancient Bible literature in seminary included nearly 75-percent poetry - the Torah, the wisdom books, the poetry books and the prophets.
The prophetic nature of prophecy has always been poetic.
There are, however, logical reasons around this. Poetry is easy to remember, recall. When we think poetry, we need to think song, storytelling and the power of memorization. Memorization was a critical factor in Biblical times, and a very present part of culture, philosophy and entertainment as the centuries moved forward. These forms of writing, as I have studied it, gave way to memory recall. DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR ANY OF THIS! STUDY YOUR CRAFT FROM A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE. It will expand The Scribal Anointing in your life... and deepen your connection with your "prophetic" scribal roots.
In addition, all prophetic poetry does NOT come from a direct prophetic flow as we have been taught. This is another fallacy and myth surrounding the prophetic in general. Prophecy should be CLEAR and SPECIFIC, but it DOES NOT have to follow a certain flow. Men wrap those kinds of rules around it; but scripture - both from the old and new covenants demonstrate otherwise.
When you LIVE in the prophetic realm and embrace a revelatory lifestyle, you write out of that "prophetic stream" subconsciously. For the prophetic WRITER, there are numerous "ways" in which the prophetic is demonstrated in the gift. For example, mature and proven prophets of the Bible did not simply have a "prophetic flow." Rather, God allowed them to receive the Word and determine how they would interpret what they received. Why? Because that prophet had an understanding of THE MIND/WAYS OF GOD. For example, He told Habakkuk "to make it plain." The correct understanding here was to put the words HE RECEIVED from God into a context the people assigned to that message could understand. Mature prophetic preachers and teachers do this ALL THE TIME without realizing it. BUT PROPHETIC WRITERS are tasked with writing these things down for comprehension, memorization and recall.
Prophetic writing is indeed the anointing of the prophetic scribe! But the genre of poetry is well... a typical part of prophecy. Because we do not know what Hebrew poetry might have looked like, we weigh everything by what we understand in our English culture - unless we are taught. Poetry is a beautiful form for writing the word of the Lord, but it is far from special in the sense of "peculiar or unusual." The more we know the more proundly we can grow!
- Last Updated: 07 April 2017
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