Given the traditional understanding that God spoke the Ten Commandments directly to the entirety of the people of Israel at Mount Sinai (Deut 5.19), two questions arise:

  • is the Exodus generation that witnessed the theophany at Sinai ever referred to as "prophets" anywhere in the Tanakh?
  • are there rabbinic sources that speculate on the implications of their "prophetic status"?

1 Answer 1


The Alshich Hakodesh on Shir Hashirim 1:2 explains that at Har Sinai, Benei Yisrael attained temporary prophetic status. The level of prophecy was one rung down under that of Moshe, where Hashem's word creates a holy force, similar to (but higher than) and angel, which cleaves to their Neshama, and communicates the message down to the Guf. Sources mentioned are Devarim 5:4 and Mechilta D'Rebbi Ishmael 19:20. See also Alshich on Shemot 33:11.

There is also the famous Mechilta that describes the temporary prophecy attained by all of Israel, even handmaidens and fetus' in the womb during the miracle of the splitting of the sea, which is also found in Megillah 10b.

If you mean they became prophets in general, then the answer I believe is no, but hard to prove a negative.

  • Thank you. Very informative
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 8 at 11:14

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