In a website (http://www.jewfaq.org/prophet.htm) I found the following quotation:

The Talmud teaches that there were hundreds of thousands of prophets: twice as many as the number of people who left Egypt, which was 600,000. But most of the prophets conveyed messages that were intended solely for their own generation and were not reported in scripture.

But it doesn't give the exact source and doesn't explain much. I have many questions. Where they prophesizing only to Israel or to the nations too? Does anybody know the exact source and/or any other related sources about this subject of the total number of prophets? Do we know any extra information like their names, messages, locations, nation they belonged to, timeframe, etc?

Thank you all in advance!

All the best!

  • Hi welcome to Mi Yodeya, Rashi, a commentary on the Torah in Meggilah mentions only 48 Prophets and their names but I am not if they are included within that number of hundreds of thousands of prophets: twice as many as the number of people who left Egypt.
    – Russell
    Jun 28, 2020 at 17:50
  • @Russell 48 male and 7 female
    – rosends
    Jun 28, 2020 at 18:12
  • The talmudic text starts by saying that at Elkanah's particular time, based on a bit of word play, there were 200 seers: "“And there was a certain [eḥad] man from Ramathaim-zophim” (I Samuel 1:1), which is expounded as follows to indicate that Elkanah was a prophet: He was one [eḥad] of two hundred [mata’im] prophets [tzofim] who prophesied on behalf of the Jewish people."
    – rosends
    Jun 28, 2020 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


The source is Megillah 14a:

Many prophets arose for the Jewish people, numbering double the number of Israelites who left Egypt. However, only a portion of the prophecies were recorded, because only prophecy that was needed for future generations was written down in the Bible for posterity, but that which was not needed, as it was not pertinent to later generations, was not written.

A simple reading of the passage would seem to imply that these prophets prophesied to Israel. We know no other details about them, because their prophecies were not pertinent for later generations.

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