Prophets as Representatives of the Divine Council

LDS scholar, Michael T. Griffith shares with us how Prophets are representatives of the Divine Council as he quotes non-LDS scholars:
An important doctrine of the ancient Hebrew was that prophets spoke to mankind on behalf of the divine council. E. Theodore Mullen explains:
"As G.E. Wright has asserted, when the prophet proclaimed Yahweh’s indictment of Israel, as in Isaiah 1:2 or Micah 6:2, the background must be seen as that of the divine council. In like manner, F.M. Cross has noted that the address of the divine assembly is marked by plural imperative, as well as by the usage of the first person plural form of address (cf. Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Judges 5:3, 23; Isaiah 35:3-4; 40:1-8, 48:20-21; 51:7-10; 57:14; 62:10-12; Zechariah 3:4)….
That the divine council formed the background for prophecy was first shown beyond dispute by H.W. Robinson. This position was even further established by F.M. Cross in his analysis of Isaiah 40:1-8….
This is the true prophet’s claim to authority. From the pronouncement of the council he receives the decree that he is to deliver. Those prophets who have not participated in the council are unable to proclaim the divine decree." (215-219)
Joseph Fielding McConkie, a professor ancient scripture at Brigham Young university, has said the following about prophets and the divine council in light of Jeremiah 23:18-22 and Amos 3:7:
"The root from which councel or secret comes [Jeremiah 23:18, 21-22] is the Hebrew sod (also rendered sodh, or sode), which should have been translated “council,” which is the way it reads, for instance, in the New English and Jerusalem Bibles. Hebrew dictionaries indicate to us that what we are dealing with is a circle of people assembled in a sacred or secret council. After pursuing the etymology of sod, Raymond Brown concludes that its basic meaning is “council or assembly.” He further concludes that in our Jeremiah text we are dealing with a heavenly assembly.
What Jeremiah is telling us, then, is that all true prophets will profess to have stood in a heavenly council or assembly, where they received their message and the commission to declare it. Any not so professing are, according to Jeremiah’s standard, to be rejected as false prophets…..
A natural companion to the above-quoted Jeremiah passage is one of our most often quoted [LDS] missionary scriptures, Amos 3:7: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” The word secret in this text is the same as that found in the marginal reading in Jeremiah. As in Jeremiah, its root is sod, and again the context is that of heavenly councils. What Amos is telling us is that the Lord doesn’t act independently of the heavenly council where all prophets are instructed and ordained." (1986: 185-186)
Thomas Overholt, a professor of religious studies at the University of Wisconsin, agrees that the subject of Jeremiah 23:18-22 is the condemnation of false prophets for not having stood in the divine council, i.e., for not having received their guidance from the heavenly assembly:
"…this text proposes a norm for the reception of authentic messages, which seems to presuppose some type of visionary experience, namely, standing “in the council of Yahweh” (vv. 18,22)….Since the prophets were not commissioned by Yahweh (v. 21), we may infer that they had not stood in his council and were guilty of uttering a message that contradicted what was spoken there." (629-630)
(Michael T. Griffith; One Lord, One Faith: Writings of the Early Christian Fathers As Evidences of the Restoration; pgs 103-104)
Joseph Smith, as a true prophet of God, taught about the Divine Council of God at a time when no one else understood this Bible theme. He professed to be a prophet of God and carried out his commission to restore the Lord's gospel in this dispensation of time. He passed the test that Jeremiah set forth to be a prophet and a true representative of God.

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