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    CHAPTER IX. WHAT WAS TAUGHT IN THE SCHOOLS OF THE PROPHETS

    WHAT was taught in the schools of the prophets? To know this is important, not only for its own sake: but because, when we know this, we know what should be taught in the Lord’s schools always. These things are in the Bible. They were written for our learning. And being in the book of Daniel, they are written especially for our instruction and admonition “upon whom the ends of the world are come.” In this chapter we shall have space only to discover and enumerate these studies. What each subject involved will be studied afterward.PBE 83.1

    Daniel and his three companions were “skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science.” This education was acquired in the college, or school of the prophets in Jerusalem. This, therefore, certifies that wisdom, knowledge, and science were taught in those schools.PBE 83.2

    Another thing that was taught there was music, instrumental as well as vocal. This we know from the fact that the first time that we meet any of the students of such a school, they have “a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them;” and they were playing with such spirit, and with such power in the Spirit, that the man who then personally met them was drawn to God and converted. Thus all the circumstances show that this was trained, harmonious music, played by the students of this school. And this is plain evidence that music was taught in the schools of the prophets.PBE 83.3

    Another thing that was taught there was work, or “manual training” as it would be called to-day. This we know from the record of these schools in the time of Elisha: “And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us. Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye. And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.” 2 Kings 6:1-4.PBE 84.1

    This shows that in those schools, work was taught and the love of it; because when the school building became too small for the attendance, the students themselves suggested that they themselves should build the new and larger house that was needed. There was no thought of hiring other people to do the work, nor of letting it by contract. No; they themselves said, “Let us go, ... and let us make us a place.”PBE 84.2

    They were also so in love with work that they would borrow tools with which to work; for when one of the axes flew off the handle and into the river, as one of the students was chopping, he exclaimed to Elisha, “Alas, master! for it was borrowed.”PBE 84.3

    More than this, even the principal of the school— Elisha—went with them to the work, and joined with them in the work; for he was among those who were chopping on the bank of the river when the ax flew into the water.PBE 84.4

    All this shows, as plainly as needs to be shown, that work and the love of it, real industry, was taught in the schools of the prophets—the Lord’s schools of ancient time.PBE 85.1

    Another thing that was taught there was temperance—healthful living. This is shown by the fact that Daniel and his companions refused the king’s dainties and royal food, and the wine which he drank, and asked for a simple fare, a vegetarian diet. Daniel 1:5, 12-16. That they were taught this in the school of the prophets which they attended is plain from the fact that this was a thoroughly grounded principle with them. And that such was the diet in the schools of the prophets is taught by the fact that in that school, in the time of Elisha, even when “there was a dearth in the land,” Elisha, giving directions to prepare food, said, “Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage.” And in following this direction, “one went out into the field to gather herbs.” 2 Kings 4:38, 39. When herbs were gathered in response to the ordinary direction to prepare food, and this when “there was a dearth in the land,” surely this is strong evidence that a vegetarian diet was the regular diet in the school. This is confirmed by the further fact that “there came a man from Baal-shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the first-fruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full cars of corn in the husk thereof. And he [Elisha] said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.” Verse 42. Here was a man bringing a present of provisions to the principal of the school, and he brought only food from the vegetable kingdom.PBE 85.2

    All this is evidence that a vegetarian diet was the diet of the students and teachers in the schools of the prophets; that this temperate way of living was a part of the instruction; and that temperance was so inculcated as to become a living principle in the lives of the students.PBE 86.1

    Another thing taught there was law—statutes, justice, and judgment. This was directly commanded to be taught: “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.... What nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart in all the days of thy life; but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.” Deuteronomy 4:5-9. “Justice, justice, shalt thou follow.” Deuteronomy 16:20, margin.PBE 86.2

    Another thing taught there, and this “specially,“ was morals; for after urging upon them the obligation to teach carefully and diligently the statutes and judgments of the Lord, he commanded them to teach to their sons and their sons’ sons, “specially,” the ten commandments which they heard, said he, “the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather Me the people together, and I will make them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.... And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire; ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.”PBE 86.3

    Another thing taught there was history: “When thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord our God hath commanded you? then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes.” Deuteronomy 6:20-22. This study was not confined to the history of the deliverance from Egypt; it embraced all as it was given in the sacred writings. We know that this history was one of the studies of Daniel; for the form of government, having three presidents, one of whom was chief, which was introduced by Daniel as prime minister in the days of Darius the Mede, was adopted literally from the records of Israel as to the government of David.PBE 87.1

    Yet another thing taught there was poetry. This was an essential accompaniment of the teaching of music, and the songs of worship of which their music was composed. With all this, of course, the fundamentals of knowledge, reading and writing and numbers, were taught.PBE 88.1

    We find, then, that the teaching in the schools of the prophets embraced at least the following studies:—PBE 88.2

    1. Wisdom, 7. Temperance,
    2. Knowledge, 8. Morals,
    3. Science, 9. Law,
    4. Manual labor, 10. History,
    5. Music, 11. Reading,
    6. Poetry, 12. Writing, 13. Numbers.

    But the one greatest thing over all, in all, and through all, in the Lord’s schools was the pervading presence of the divine Teacher, the Holy Spirit. In the schools of the prophets the Spirit of God was the one all-pervading influence, the one great prevailing power. The first time we meet one of these schools is in 1 Samuel 10:5-12, when Saul came “to the hill of God,” and met “a company of prophets coming down” with instruments of music, and prophesying. “And the Spirit of God came upon him,” and “God gave him another heart;” he was turned “into another man,” and “he prophesied among the prophets.”PBE 88.3

    That this should occur in the case of such a man as Saul was so great a wonder that the people of Israel were astonished at it to such an extent that henceforth it became a proverb in Israel, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”PBE 89.1

    Yet this was but the usual degree of the manifestation of the Spirit in the school. For we find after this that Saul, by disobedience to God and jealousy of David, had separated himself from the Spirit, and was constantly seeking to kill David, and David escaped, and fled, and “came to Samuel to Ramah,” and “he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth. And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.” This was where there was a school of the prophets. “And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise.”PBE 89.2

    When Saul saw that his first messengers had yielded, of course he sent the second time such ones as he supposed would not yield. And when he found that they also had yielded, he determined to trust no more messengers—he would go himself. Therefore in his wrathful determination “went he also to Ramah,” and demanded, “Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah. And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied.”PBE 89.3

    All this shows, and it was written to tell to us, that the Holy Spirit was so fully manifested that stern, hard-hearted, and even exceptionally unspiritual men were melted and subdued by His gracious influence whenever they came in contact with the school. It shows also that the Spirit of God in these schools manifested Himself in prophesyings. Thus it was the Spirit of prophecy that pervaded and controlled the school. “The Spirit of prophecy” is “the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 19:10), in counsel and instruction. Thus Jesus Christ Himself, by the Spirit of prophecy, was the real Head of the schools of the prophets.PBE 90.1

    And all this is to teach to us now, for our own time, that in the Lord’s schools, the Spirit of prophecy, the testimony of Jesus, must be the great guide and instructor, and that the Spirit of God is to be courted until He shall become the all-pervading influence and the all-controlling power in every school established in the name of the Lord.PBE 90.2

    These things are written in the Bible for us. They center and are emphasized in the book of Daniel specially for the last days. We are now in the last days. The instruction given, the course of study in the schools of the prophets, is instruction for the Lord’s schools for all time. This is the instruction that belongs to-day in every school that makes any pretensions to being a Christian school.PBE 90.3

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