The four Major Prophets are the subjects of the west nave narthex. Here Isaiah is shown with a seraph sealing his lips with a burning coal from the alter of sacrifice. When Isaiah was called to prophesy, he felt unworthy until he experienced this vision which encouraged him. Upon receiving the assurance of cleansing and forgiveness, Isaiah readily answered the divine call: “Whom shall I send and who will go for Me?” Isaiah answered by declairing: “Here am I. Send Me!”
Thus qualified and sent, Isaiah became the “Evangelist of the Old Testament”. He worked to prepare the nation of God’s people for the coming of the Lamb of God.
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Jeremiah is the second of the Major Prohets in the Old Testament sequence. Summoned to the prophetic office as a relatively young man, his first reaction to the Divine Call was one of hesitancy and reluctance because of his awareness of his youth. Thankfully, the touch of the Lord and His assurance to provide the message satisfied the young man.
The words Jeremiah was to speak were not easy. Here he holds a scroll of prophecy and his attribute, a cistern. This refers to Jeremiah 2:12-13: “For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
Jeremiah was also imprisoned in a miry dungeon which was sometimes thought to be a well (38:6). Above him in the clouds is seen a hand writing a heart. This illustrates the verse “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron… upon the table of their heart.” (Jeremiah 17:1)
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The prophet Ezekiel came to his office just after Jeremiah. Ezekiel was a member of the Jerusalem aristocracy and a descendent of Aaron. When he was perhaps 30 years old, he was carried off to Babylon where he was the spokesman of God for more than two decades before he died. Hes special taks was to act as a watchman to the house of Israel. Ezekiel would give warning to the wicked, expose apostasy, and offer the people of God the possibility of a return to their homeland if they returned to the Lord. Ezekial also depicted in a vision a re-erected temple which showed the glories of the future under God.
Ezekiel is shown holding the turreted gateway. This tells of rebuilding the Temple. The closed gate symbolized a promise that once God entered the Temple, through its being reconstructed, he would not leave it again. (Ezekiel 44:2)
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Daniel, the fourth of the Major Prophets, belongs to the period of the Captivity. He was carried away while just a boy and lived and prophesied twhen Babylon was the most powerful empire of its day.
The best known experience of Daniel’s life is his refusal to discontinue his practice of daily prayers. A decree by the King threatened anyone who did not cease from such activity would be subject to a horrible death in a den of lions.
Daniel is shown here with a sleepy lion behind him. When the King came the next morning, half in hope and half in fear, he found that the lions had not harmed Daniel. Those who plotted against him were in thrown thrown into the den and before they reached the bottom, the lions destroyed them.