Sunday, March 5, 2017

Killing the Prophets

"The Murder of Zechariah" by William Brassey Hole

This is from The Book of the Bee



 MANASSEH the son of Hezekiah slew Isaiah with a wooden saw; he was buried before the outfall of the waters which Hezekiah concealed by the side of Siloah6.

   Hosea the son of Beeri, of the tribe of Issachar, (was) from the town of Be`elmâth. He prophesied mystically about our Lord Jesus Christ who was to come; saying that when He should be born, the oak in Shiloh should be divided into twelve parts; and that He should take twelve disciples of Israel. He died in peace, and was buried in his own land.

   Joel the son of Bethuel (Pethuel), of the tribe of Reuben, died in peace in his own land. Others say that Ahaziah the son of Amaziah smote him with a staff upon his head; and while his life was yet in him, they brought him to his own land7, and after two days he died.

   Amos (was) from the land of Tekoa. The priest of Bethel tortured him and afterwards slew him. Others say that it was he whom Ahaziah the son of Amaziah8 killed with a staff, and he died.

   Obadiah from the country of Shechem was the captain of fifty of Ahab's soldiers. He became a disciple of Elijah, and endured many evil things from Ahab, because he forsook him and went after Elijah. However he died in peace. After he followed Elijah, he was deemed worthy of prophecy1.

   Elijah the fiery, of the family of Aaron, (was) from Tashbî2, a town of the Levites. When this (prophet) was born, his father saw in a dream that one was born, and that they wrapped him in fire instead of swaddling bands, and gave him some of that fire to eat. He came to Jerusalem, and told the priests the vision that he had seen. The learned among the people said to him, 'Fear not, thy son is about to be a fire, and his word shall be like fire, and shall not fall to the ground; he will burn like fire with jealousy of sinners, and his zeal will be accepted before God.' He was taken up in a chariot towards heaven. Some say that his father was called Shôbâkh3.

   Elisha his pupil, from Abêl-Mehôlâh, (was) of the tribe of Reuben. On the day of his birth a great wonder took place in Israel; for the bull4 which they worshipped in Gilgal lowed, and his voice was heard in Jerusalem. The chief priests in Jerusalem said, 'A mighty prophet is born to-day in Israel at this time, and he will break the images and idols to pieces.' He died in peace, and was buried in Samaria.

   Jonah the son of Amittai5 (was) from Gath-hepher6, from Kûryath-Âdâmôs7, which is near to Ascalon and Gaza and the sea coast. After this (prophet) had prophesied to the Ninevites in the time of Sardânâ8 the king, he did not remain in his own land because the Jews were jealous of him; but he took his mother, and went and dwelt in Assyria. He feared the reproach of the Jews, because he had prophesied, and his prophecy did not come to pass. He also rebuked Ahab the king, and called a famine upon the land and the people. He came to the widow of Elijah, and blessed her, because she received him, and he returned to Judaea. His mother died on the way, and he buried her by the side of Deborah's grave. He lived in the land of Serîdâ, and died two years after the people had returned from Babylon, and was buried in the cave of Kainân1. This (prophet) prophesied that when the Messiah should come, the cities of the Jews would be overturned.

   Micah the Morashthite (was) of the tribe of Ephraim, and was slain by Joram the son of Ahab. This (prophet) prophesied concerning the destruction of the temple of the Jews, and the abrogation of the Passover on the death of the Messiah. He died in peace, and was buried in Anikâm.

   Nahum, from the city of Elkôsh, (was) of the tribe of Simeon. After the death of Jonah this (prophet) prophesied concerning the Ninevites, saying, 'Nineveh shall perish by perpetually advancing waters, and ascending fire;' and this actually took place. He prophesied also concerning the Babylonians, that they would come against the Israelitish people; and therefore they sought to kill him. He prophesied that when the Messiah should be slain, the vail of the temple should be rent in twain2, and that the Holy Spirit should depart from it. He died in peace, and was buried in his own country.

   Habakkuk (was) of the tribe of Simeon, and from the land of Sûâr (Zoar)3. This (prophet) prophesied concerning the Messiah, that He should come, and abrogate the laws of the Jews. He brought food to Daniel at Babylon by the divine (or, angelic) agency. The Jews stoned him in Jerusalem.

   Zephaniah (was) of the tribe of Simeon. He prophesied concerning the Messiah, that He should suffer, and that the sun should become dark, and the moon be hidden. He died in peace in his own land.

   Haggai returned from Babylon to Jerusalem when he was young. He prophesied that the people would return, and concerning the Messiah, that He would abrogate the sacrifices of the Jews. He died in peace.

   Zechariah the son of Jehoiada returned from Babylon in his old age, and wrought wonders among the people. He died at a great age, and was buried by the side of the grave of Haggai.

   Malachi was born after the return of the people, and because of his beauty he was surnamed 'Angel.' He died in peace in his own land.

   The Jews stoned Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah in Egypt, because he rebuked them for worshipping idols; and the Egyptians buried him by the side of Pharaoh's palace. The Egyptians loved him much, because he prayed and the beasts died which used to come up from the river Nile and devour men. These beasts were called 'crocodiles.' When Alexander the son of Philip, the Macedonian, came (to Egypt), he made enquiries about his grave, and took and brought him to Alexandria. This (prophet) during his life said to the Egyptians, 'a child shall be born--that is the Messiah--of a virgin, and He shall be laid in a crib2, and He will shake and cast down the idols.' From that time, and until Christ was born, the Egyptians used to set a virgin and a baby in a crib, and to worship him, because of what Jeremiah said to them, that He should be born in a crib.

   Ezekiel the son of Buzi was of the priestly tribe, and from the land of Serîdâ3. The chief of the Jews who was in the land of the Chaldeans slew him, because he rebuked him for worshipping idols. He was buried in the grave of Arphaxar, the son of Shem, the son of Noah.

   Daniel (was) of the tribe of Judah, and was born in Upper Beth-Horon. He was a man who kept himself from women, and hence the Jews thought that he was an eunuch, for his face was different (from that of other men), and he had no children. He prayed for the Babylonians, and died in Elam, in the city of the Hôzâyê1, and was buried in Shôshan the fortress. He prophesied concerning the return of the people.

   Ahijah (was) from Shilo. A lion slew this prophet, and he was buried by the oak at Shilo in Samaria.

   Ezra the scribe was from the country of Sâbthâ2, and of the tribe of Judah. This (prophet) brought back the people, and died in peace in his own land.

   Zechariah the son of Berachiah, the priest, was from Jerusalem. Joash the king slew this (prophet) between the steps3 and the altar, and sprinkled his blood upon the horns of the altar, and the priests buried him. From that day God forsook the temple, and angels were never again seen in it.

   Simon the son of Sîrâ (Sirach) died in peace in his own town.

   Nathan died in peace.

   Here ends the first part of the book of gleanings called 'the Bee.'

   To God be the glory, and may His mercy and compassion be upon us. Amen.

   Again, by the Divine power, we write the second part of the book of gleanings called 'the Bee,' regarding the Divine dispensation which was wrought in the new (covenant).


Prophets killed in the Old Testament:



This is an excerpt from The Book of the Bee:

Chapter XLI


 When John rebuked Herod, saying that it was not lawful for him to take his brother Philip's wife, he seized John, and cast him into the prison called Machaerûs1. And it came to pass on a certain day, when Herod on his birthday made a feast for his nobles, that Bôzîyâ, the daughter of Herodias, came in and danced before the guests; and she was pleasing in the sight of Herod and his nobles. And he said to her, 'Ask of me whatsoever thou desirest and I will give it to thee;' and he sware to her saying that whatever she asked he would give it to her, unto the half of his kingdom. She then went in to Herodias her mother and said to her, 'What shall I ask of him?' She said to her, 'The head of John the Baptist;' for the wretched woman thought that when John should be slain, she and her daughter would be free from the reprover, and would have an opportunity to indulge their lust: for Herod committed adultery with the mother and with her daughter. Then she went in to the king's presence and said to him, 'Give me now the head of John the Baptist on a charger.' And the king shewed sorrow, as if, forsooth, he was not delighted at the murder of the saint; but by reason of the force and compulsion of the oath he was obliged to cut off John's head. If, O wretched Herod, she had demanded of thee the half of thy kingdom, that she might sit upon the throne beside thee and divide (it) with thee, wouldst thou have acceded to her, and not have falsified thy oath, O crafty one? And the king commanded an executioner, and he cut off the head of the blessed man, and he put it in a charger and brought and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother. Then she went out to dance upon the ice, and it opened under her, and she sank into the water up to her neck; and no one was able to deliver her. And they brought the sword with which John's head had been cut off, and cut off hers and carried it to Herodias her mother. When she saw her daughter's head and that of the holy man, she became blind, and her right hand, with which she had taken up John's head, dried up; and her tongue dried up, because she had reviled him, and Satan entered into her, and she was bound with fetters. Some say that the daughter of Herodias was called Bôzîyâ, but others say that she also was called by her mother's name Herodias. When John was slain, his disciples came and took his body and laid him in a grave; and they came and told Jesus.


Mathew 23: 29-36:  "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,   And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.   Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.   Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.   Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

  "Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:   That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.   Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation."

Josephus on John the Baptist
A Prophet's Eyes
How the Apostles Died
Wearing a Rough Garment
John MacArthur Rebuked by a Prophet
The Spirit of a Prophet

“If ye were not strangers here, the dogs of the world would not bark at you”

--Samuel Rutherford

Death of John the Baptist


  1. Matthew 23: 37: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

    My translation:

    "O lukewarm Christianity, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee . . ."

  2. Jeremiah 20: 7-9: "O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay."

  3. This was an excellent read. They always kill the prophets!