Prophecy as a Way of Cancelling Prophecy: The Strategic Uses of Foreknowledge

Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this article is to discuss the use of future telling as a political pre-empting tool. I shall look at narratives in which leaders let prophetic predictions influence their pending plans. In some cases, this results in a situation where the same predictions do not come to pass. In others, predictions may cause their own fulfilment. In yet others, the foretold future does come to pass but the foretelling enables the audience to take precautions in order to maximize their options in the coming situation. I shall show that purpose for these prophecies is not their inevitable fulfilment but to provide people with sufficient foreknowledge to prepare them for what is to come and hence to enable them to make suitable decision concerning their future actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-350
Number of pages21
JournalZeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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