Old Testament prophets

Old Testament prophets

Were any Old Testament prophets killed? If so, why?
Answer by David Gregson on 12/10/2008:

Of Old Testament prophets whose names are known, Zechariah was stoned in the porch of the Temple by order of King Joash, because the Prophet had denounced the people for their unfaithfulness (2 Chrn 24:20-22)

Although not recorded in the Bible, according to the apocryphal book, "Ascension of Isaiah," Isaiah the prophet was killed by being sawn in two. Hebrews 11:37 ("sawn asunder") is commonly thought to refer to him. The reason given is that he prophesied the fall of Jerusalem, for the wickedness of the people, calling it "Sodom and Gomorrah."

Unnumbered unnamed prophets of the Lord were put to death by Jezebel, in the time of Elijah (1 Kgs 18:4, 13; 19:14). She wanted to wipe out the worship of the Lord, and replace it with the worship of Baal.

And John the Baptist, beheaded by Herod for publicly accusing him of adultery, is often considered to be the last of the Old Testament prophets (Mtt 14:1-12).


  1. Obviously Jews would not consider John an OT prophet (nor would they accept the Isaiah line of argument), but I think it's uncontroversial to add Balaam to this list (per Numbers 31:8). Saul might also be a candidate for this, though he wasn't a prophet strictly speaking (nor was he killed, though his suicide was an effort to avoid being killed and tortured).

    Let's also not forget Numbers 11:26-29, where Joshua demands that prophets Eldad and Medad be put to death (which they likely would have if not for Moses' intervention).

  2. Wow, John the Baptist isn't even in the Hebrew Bible, which you call the "old testament"

    Get your facts together.