Last night, in Maariv of Yom Kippur, I noticed in Selichot a passage that I had never really noticed prior:

"אַל תַּעַזְבֵנוּ אָבִינוּ וְאַל תִּטְּשֵׁנוּ בּוֹרְאֵנוּ וְאַל תַּזְנִיחֵנוּ יוֹצְרֵנוּ וְאַל תַּעַשׂ עִמָּנוּ כָּלָה כְּחַטֹּאתֵינוּ. וְקַיֶּם לָנוּ ה' אֱלֹקינוּ אֶת הַדָּבָר שֶׁהִבְטַחְתָּנוּ בְּקַבָּלָה עַל יְדֵי יִרְמְיָהוּ חוֹזֶךָ. כָּאָמוּר בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וּבָעֵת הַהִיא נְאֻם ה' יְבֻקַּשׁ אֶת עֲוֹן יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֵינֶנּוּ וְאֶת חַטֹּאת יְהוּדָה וְלֹא תִמָּצֶאינָה כִּי אֶסְלַח לַאֲשֶׁר אַשְׁאִיר..." (source)

This struck me, because I have never seen Yirmiyahu referred to as a "chozeh", a seer. He's always called a "navi", a prophet. From an initial search online, I found that the term appears in the Alshech's commentary on Daniel, as well as multiple old Machzorim from the last 500 years or so (I have yet to search older ones):

"וזהו אומרו ה' הקשיבה כי תבחר ותקרב אותנו על ידי הסליחה וגם כי כאשר תסלח ותעביר אשמותינו גם כי לא נעתיר אליך תשיב שבותנו כי אותו יעדת על ידי ירמיה חוזך אשר אוחילה לפניך הוא על המהירות שלא תתמהמה..." (source)

So I was wondering if anyone knows the origin of the term. Why is Yirmiyahu referred to here as a "seer" (note that most prophets are called "navi" and only precious few received other titles (Yechezkel - "tzofeh", Shmuel - "ro'eh" and a handful of "chozim" - Gad, Amos, Ido, Chanani (or Yehu or both), Asaf, Yedutun)? And is it known who first used the phrase?

  • Maybe a clue is in the reference to בְּקַבָּלָה ? (I.e. the term chozeh is rauy if we refer to the kisvei ha'neviim and not to the neviim themselves.)
    – pcoz
    Sep 16, 2021 at 23:20
  • @pcoz I hear what you're saying, and that might be the explanation, but then again, if we refer to the writings of the prophets, "seer" is not such a common term.
    – Harel13
    Sep 17, 2021 at 3:52
  • What I mean is that it seems unnecessary to use the term chozeh instead of Navi (even more so considering that this is not a very poetical section, so no need for fancy uncommon terms).
    – Harel13
    Sep 17, 2021 at 5:12
  • I do not know the explanation, just ruminating over a haschalas devarim. E.g. chazal call a mo'ed a yom tov, this is lashon chazal from their perspective.
    – pcoz
    Sep 17, 2021 at 5:20
  • 2
    sefaria.org.il/… קַיֶּם־לָֽנוּ יְהֺוָה אֶלֹהֵֽינוּ מַה־שֶּׁכָּתוּב, אֶת הַדָבָר שֶׁהִבְטַחְתָּֽנוּ עַל יְדֵי צְפַנְיָה חוֹזָךְ
    – Joel K
    Sep 17, 2021 at 7:30

1 Answer 1


Commenting on II Kings 17:13 (which employs both the term “navi” and the term “chozeh”) Ralbag explains that a chozeh has a greater form of prophecy than a navi:

וידמה שהחוזה הוא יותר שלם מהנביא כי הנביא יקרא נביא אפילו בא אליו דבר ה’ בחלום כאמרו אם יהיה נביאכם ה’ במראה אליו אתודע בחלום אדבר בו ואולם החוזה יקרא אשר יבא אליו דבר ה’ במראה והוא למעלה מהחלום

According to this, Yirmiyahu being called a chozeh may be indicative of his stature as a superior prophet (as he is indeed classified by Rambam as I mentioned here).

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