The word in English Versions of the Bible represents two Hebrew words, ro'eh (1 Samuel 9:9,11,18,19; 2 Samuel 15:27; 1 Chronicles 9:22, etc.), And chozeh (2 Samuel 24:11; 2 Kings 17:13; 1 Chronicles 21:9; 25:5; 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" (ro'-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 ro'-eh by pr-eeminence, and the name is little used after his time. Individuals who bear the title "seer" (chozeh) are mentioned in connection with the kings and as historiographers (2 Samuel 24:11; 1 Chronicles 21:9; 25:5; 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29; 12:15; 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, English translation), but it is not easy to fix a precise distinction.
See PROPHET; PROPHECY.
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