So long as the great problems of religion could be envisaged as problems of the relation of Yahweh to Israel as a nation the prophets continued to speak and to bring forth new truths; but the ultimate result was that it became apparent that the idea of moral government involved the destruction of Israel, and then the function of prophecy was gone because it was essentiall y national in its objects.
At this time three prophets arrived from Zwickau, eager to hasten the movement of emancipation.
In literary criticism its fundamental thesis, stated independently of Vatke and in the same year by George in Die dlteren jiidischen Feste, and in a measure anticipated by Reuss, who in 1832 was maintaining in his academical lectures that the prophets were older than the Law and the Psalms more recent than both, is that the chronological order of the three main sources of the Hexateuch is (1) the prophetic narratives (JE), (2) Deuteronomy, (3) the Priestly Code (P), the last being post-exilic. This entirely reversed the prevailing view that P with its exact details and developed ceremonial and sacerdotal system was at once the earliest portion of the Pentateuch and the Grundschrift or foundation of the whole - a view that was maintained by Ewald and, though with very important modifications, to the last by A.
The old sacrificial hymns were probably obscene and certainly nonsensical, and the substitution for them of the psalms, and of lections of the prophets and New Testament, was an enormous gain.
This problem of religion was solved by Amos and by the prophets who succeeded him through a more exalted conception of Yahweh and His sphere of working, which tended to detach Him from His limited realm as a national deity.
But, besides the graves of her native saints, Egypt boasts of those of several members of the Prophets family, the tomb of the sayyida Zeyneb, daughter of Ali, that of the sayyida Sekeina, daughter of Hosain, and that of the sayyida Nefisa, great-granddaughter of Hasan, all of which are held in high veneration.
A number of narratives, evidently written by prophets, and in many of which also (as those relating to Elijah, Elisha and Isaiah) prophets play a prominent part, and a series of short statistical notices, relating to political events, and derived probably from the official annals of the two kingdoms (which are usually cited at the end of a king's reign), have been arranged together, and sometimes expanded at the same time, in a framework supplied by the compiler.
From the mass of material comprised in the Koran - and the account we have given is far from exhaustive - we should select the histories of the ancient prophets and saints Narratives.
The prophets and patriarchs, having been often deceived by the Demiurge, suspected a trick and would not avail themselves of the promised salvation, remaining content with the bliss of being in Abraham's bosom.
The steps which prepared the way for the post-exile hierarchy, the destruction of the northern sanctuaries and priesthoods by the Assyrians, the polemic of the spiritual prophets against the corruptions of popular worship, which issued in the reformation of Josiah, the suppression of the provincial shrines of Judah and the transference of their ministers to Jerusalem, the successful resistance of the sons See I Sam.