The main responsibility of the prophets is commonly understood to be that of proclaiming the word of God (cf. Deut 5:23–27, 18:15–18). Acting as YHWH’s mouthpiece, however, is only one side of the prophet’s role. The prophetic ministry is by its very nature twofold. It includes making known God’s will to the people as well as advocating for the guilty party before the divine judge. (p. 512, emphasis added)<idle musing>
That part of the prophetic role is frequently forgotten or ignored. It sounds neat to reveal God's will to people, to speak out in power, and all that stuff. But the real heart of a prophet is found when they are on their knees before God. When they have the courage to disobey God's command not to intercede. Witness Moses after the golden calf incident: God tells him not to intercede, but he does anyway and saves the nation. Witness Jeremiah: God tells him four times not to intercede; he does it anyway, even though in the end Jerusalem falls.
How many "prophets" on the scene today are willing to do the hard work? How often are they willing to say to God, "Have mercy! Don't judge, but spare them!" The tenor of far too many of them is more like Jonah than like Moses and Jeremiah.
OK, I'll stop now, but watch for excerpts from this book soon. First we finish going through The Prophets of Israel, then we'll go through The "Image of God" in the Garden of Eden, which is coming up soon. Another great book in the Siphrut series. If I didn't work for Eisenbrauns, I'd start a standing order for Siphrut, Linguistic Studies in Ancient West Semitic, JTI Supplements, and probably Languages of the Ancient Near East. Good thing I work for them : )