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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
sē´ẽr , sēr : The word in English Versions of the Bible represents two Hebrew words, ראה , rō'eh ( 1 Samuel 9:9 , 1 Samuel 9:11 , 1 Samuel 9:18 , 1 Samuel 9:19; 2 Samuel 15:27; 1 Chronicles 9:22 , etc.), And חזה , ḥōzeh (2 Samuel 24:11; 2 Kings 17:13; 1 Chronicles 21:9; 1 Chronicles 25:5; 1 Chronicles 29:29 , etc.). The former designation is from the ordinary verb "to see"; the latter is connected with the verb used of prophetic vision. It appears from 1 Samuel 9:9 that "seer" ( rō'eh ) was the older name for those who, after the rise of the more regular orders, were called "prophets." It is not just, however, to speak of the "seers" or "prophets" of Samuel's time as on the level of mere fortune-tellers. What insight or vision they possessed is traced to God's Spirit. Samuel was the rō'eh by pr-eeminence, and the name is little used after his time. Individuals who bear the title "seer" (ḥōzeh ) are mentioned in connection with the kings and as historiographers (2 Samuel 24:11; 1 Chronicles 21:9; 1 Chronicles 25:5; 1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29; 2 Chronicles 12:15; 2 Chronicles 19:2 , etc.), and distinction is sometimes made between "prophets" and "seers" (2 Kings 17:13; 1 Chronicles 29:29 , etc.). Havernick thinks that "seer" denotes one who does not belong to the regular prophetic order (Introductions to Old Testament , 50 ff, English translation), but it is not easy to fix a precise distinction. See PROPHET , PROPHECY .
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Seer'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/s/seer.html. 1915.