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We read in Matthew 22, on the Parable of the Wedding Feast, in Verse 6, the king's servants deputed to bring the invited, are killed by the invitees. That is not something which happens in normal course. Jesus was, in fact, referring to the Prophets killed by those to whom they had preached. One wishes to know who those prophets and the circumstances leading to their death were.

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Who were the Old Testament’s martyred Prophets?

The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. - Matthew 22:6

It is not clear that this refers to, the Prophets of Old, but one could see how some could possibly see this interpretation as being brought forth.

Only six of the Old Testament Prophets are considered martyrs.

In any case we do not know how exactly how some of the Martyred prophet were killed. Many legends and writings abound about the Prophets of Old. Many of these are Apocrypha.

For example, the Lives of the Prophets is an ancient apocryphal account of the lives of the Prophets of the Old Testament. It is not regarded as scripture by any Jewish or Christian denomination. The work may have been known by the author of some of the Pauline epistles, as there are similarities in the descriptions of the fates of the prophets, although without naming the individuals concerned.

Lives of the Prophets

It begins with an account of what it is attempting to contain:

The names of the prophets, and where they are from, and where they died and how, and where they lie.

The Lives of the Prophets includes the lives of the 23 prophets. Some lives are extremely short, only the most basic information is given, while for the others there are details and stories. The main facts indicated in the Lives are the following:

  • Isaiah: said to be of Jerusalem, suffered martyrdom by being sawn in two by Manasseh (in agreement with the Martyrdom of Isaiah), buried near a place usually identified by scholars as the Pool of Siloam.

  • Jeremiah: said to be of Anathoth (Jeremiah 1:1), suffered martyrdom by stoning at Tahpanhes in Ancient Egypt where he was also buried. It is said that who prayed with faith over the seer's grave is healed from asps bites. His remains were later moved to Alexandria. Before the First Temple was destroyed, Jeremiah hid miraculously in the rock the Ark of the Covenant.

  • Ezekiel: said to be of Arira and to be of a priesthood family. He suffered martyrdom in the land of the Chaldeans and was buried in the grave of Shem and Arpachshad. A description of the grave is given. Same stories of Ezekiel in the Babylonian captivity are then narrated.

  • Daniel: said to be of the Tribe of Judah and born at Beth Horon. He is described as a man devoted to fast and prayer, and the story, full of miraculous details, of Nebuchadrezzar's conversion is narrated.

  • Hosea: said to be of the Tribe of Issachar and born at Belemot where he was buried.

  • Micah: said to be of the Tribe of Ephraim. He suffered martyrdom by Jehoram and buried in his land near the cemetery of the

  • Amos: said to be born in Tekoa (Amos 1:1), tortured by Amaziah (the priest of Beth-el of Amos 7:10) and martyred by the son of this one. He laid in his birth-land.

  • Joel: said to be of the Tribe of Reuben, born and buried in Bethomoron.

  • Obadiah: said to be born in Beth-acharam in the land of Sichem.

  • Jonah: said to be born in the land of Kariathmos near the Greek town of Azotus. After his predication in Nineveh he went to live with his mother in Sur. He returned in Judea, died, and was buried in the cave of Kenaz (the one referred to in Genesis 36:11).

  • Nahum: said to be of Elkesi (Nahum 1:1), in front of Isbergabin of the Tribe of Simeon. He died in peace and was buried in his land.

  • Habakkuk: said to be from the land of Bethzuchar and of the Tribe of Simeon. After the fall of Jerusalem he went to live in the land of Ishmael and then returned to help the Hebrews who remained. He later went in Babylonia during the Babylonian captivity where he met Daniel. He died two years before the end of the captivity and was buried in his land.

  • Zephaniah: said to be from the land of Sabaratha and of the Tribe of Simeon. He was buried in his land.

  • Haggai: said to come in Jerusalem from Babylonia when he was young, and he saw the reconstruction of the Temple. He was buried near the graves of the priests (probably in the Kidron Valley).

  • Zechariah: said to come in Jerusalem from Babylonia when already old. He blessed both Jozadak (the father of Joshua) and Zerubbabel. He died old and was buried near Haggai.

  • Malachi: said to be born in Sofa. He died young and was buried with his fathers.

  • Nathan: said to be from Gaba. He taught the Torah to David. Beliar caused he couldn't stop David to kill Bathsheba's husband. He died very old and was buried in his land.

  • Ahijah the Shilonite (1 Kings 11:29): said to be from Shiloh. He was buried near the oak of Shiloh.

  • Joad or Ioad (named Jadon in Antiquities of the Jews VIII,8,5 and referred to as the man of God in 1 Kings 13:1): said to be of Samareim and was buried as told in 2 Kings 23:18.

  • Azariah (2 Chronicles 15:1): said to be from the land of Subatha. He was buried in his land.

  • Elijah the Tishbite: said to be from the land of the Arabs, of the tribe of Aaron that was in Gilead. The birth of Elijah was miraculous: when he was to be delivered, his father Sobacha saw white figures of man who greeted him, wrapped him up and fed him with flames.

  • Elisha: said to be of Abelmaul (1 Kings 19:16) in the land of Reuben. When he was born a calf of gold screamed so loudly it was heard in Jerusalem. He was buried in Samaria.

  • Zechariah ben Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 24:20–22): said to be of Jerusalem, he was killed by Jehoash near the altar of the Temple. He was buried near his father Jehoiada. After his death, the priests of the Temple could no more, as before, see the apparitions of the angels of the Lord, nor could make divinations with the Ephod, nor give responses from the Debir.

Since the work is found in Christian manuscripts, some New Testament prophets are typically appended, specifically Zachariah, Symeon, and John the Baptist. Symeon is reported as dying of old age, while Zachariah is said to have been killed by Herod "between the temple and the altar," per Jesus' words in Matthew 23:35 and Luke 11:51.

A major theme is martyrdom of the prophets: six prophets are said to have been martyred.

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