5. The Spirit of Prophecy

Daniel saw a vision of the Ancient of Days and a “river of fire that proceeded from before Him” (Daniel 7:10). This describes the Spirit of God in the prophets and the saints.

In Revelation 19, the apostle John called the Spirit of God, “the Spirit of Prophecy.”

The expression “spirit of prophecy” is from the Aramaic Targumim. In Jesus’ day, the Jews spoke Aramaic and read Aramaic translations of the Old Testament. These Targumim not only translated the Hebrew text but also explained it. The most famous Targum is the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel, written 30 years before Christ.

Jonathan ben Uzziel was believed to have been filled with the holy spirit. His Targum is the only Targum recognized as divinely inspired.1

He described “the spirit of prophecy from before the Lord” as the Spirit of Yĭhvah that spoke through David, the power of God in Micah, the hand of the Lord on Ezekiel, and the Spirit of God on Christ in Isaiah 11:2 and 61:1.

God is the author of all prophecy. The Spirit of Christ only brings us His message.

Isaiah 40:13 asked, “Who has directed the Spirit of Yĭhvah or as His counselor has taught Him?”

Jonathan ben Uzziel explained this passage as “Who has directed the holy spirit in the mouth of all the prophets? Is it not the Lord?”

The Spirit of Christ is God’s Messenger—the holy spirit in the mouth of the prophets.

In Revelation 22, John said, “God sent His messenger to show His bondservants the things that must soon take place.”

How was John able to receive this revelation? In Revelation 1:10, 4:2, 17:3, and 21:10, John said that he was “in spirit”—the Spirit of God, which he called “the Spirit of Prophecy.”

  1. Other Targumists use similar expressions, like “Prophetic Spirit” with different meanings. Perhaps, only Jonathan ben Uzziel, differentiated the Spirit of God Himself with the phrase, “Spirit of Prophecy from before Yihvah.”