Do Jewish scriptures mention any non-Jewish prophet? If yes, what kind of message did these prophets preach (was it identical with Judaism for example?), and what were their purpose in general?

  • 3
    Yes. Bilaam. See numbers 22-24.
    – user6591
    Jul 24, 2016 at 22:48
  • judaism.stackexchange.com/q/34756
    – msh210
    Jul 24, 2016 at 23:40
  • @msh210 I see your link. is it duple. if it is I think that in my answer some elements are new regarding the answer in the link. Do I migrate the answer?
    – kouty
    Jul 24, 2016 at 23:44
  • @kouty it's not a duplicate IMO
    – msh210
    Jul 25, 2016 at 3:50
  • 1
    @ray Also Paroh and Lavan.
    – Double AA
    Jul 29, 2016 at 21:14

2 Answers 2


Bil'am was a non-Jew prophet, his prophecy is about Israel mainly and is integral part of Pentateuch, Chazal, magnify his prophecy and see an allusion in the last verse of Pentateuch that in Jewish people there was no prophet comparable to Moses, but in world peoples yes, there was Bil'am. But there was others, a part of them are integrated in Torah Shebichtav, an other part are known but not their prophecies.

See BB 14b:

משה כתב ספרו ופרשת בלעם Moses wrote his book and parashat Bil'am.

BB 15b:

שבעה נביאים נתנבאו לאומות העולם ואלו הן בלעם ואביו ואיוב אליפז התימני ובלדד השוחי וצופר הנעמתי ואליהוא בן ברכאל הבוזי

Seven prophets prophesied to the nations of the world, namely, Balaam and his father, Job, Eliphaz the meridional, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, and Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite {for the last, there is a Machloket in Gemara later, if he was Jew or not. See Tosfot who cited a Gemara in AZ 3a which skipped it from a list containing some others, see Rashi AZ 3a about 2 Girsaot in AZ.}.

The father of Bil'am was prophet following the rules that states that every of which the name of his father is mentioned is prophet son of prophet (Tosfot).

From the Gemara it appears also that the distinction between non-Jew and Jew prophet begin to be relevant only from the time of Moses. Concerning Elihu, 2 opinions: A Jew that prophetized for non-Jew people (as Jonas) or a prophet from the time of Jakob, before the relevant distinction time.

  • 1
    Ah thanks! Could you also elaborate a bit about their role?
    – SpiderRico
    Jul 24, 2016 at 23:21

I'll add that some of the "Jewish" prophets weren't actually Jewish.

From a historical perspective, the kingdoms of Israel and Judea never had a common origin, and their respective traditions merged to become the initial version of Judaism only after the destruction of the kingdom of Israel, when Israelite refugees flooded Judea in the 7th century B.C.

Thus, the Israelite prophets such as Amos and Hosea, who's books are based on tradition preceding the destruction of the Israelite kingdom, can be said to have Judaism existed, having prophesied before the books of the Pentateuch were written and before Josiah's monotheistic revolution.

  • Sources? (Char)
    – mevaqesh
    Dec 28, 2016 at 0:01
  • @mevaqesh - "The Bible Unearthed" by Silberman & Finkelstein Dec 29, 2016 at 9:32

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