Home > Content Index > Topical > Topical: Definitions > Seer

What was a seer in the Bible?

seer Bibleaudio
Question: "What was a seer in the Bible?"

A seer is a person who “sees.” In the Bible, a seer is another name for a prophet (see 1 Samuel 9:9). But, more specifically, a seer was a prophet who saw visions—pictures or scenes seen in the mind’s eye, in dreams, or even with one’s natural eye. God spoke to His people through prophets in different ways, and one way was through visions. Accompanying the ability to see visions, a seer was given insight into what God was saying by these visions.

There are a few different Hebrew words translated “seer.” Roeh (1 Samuel 9:11) and chozeh (2 Samuel 24:11) are the two most common. Second Chronicles 9:29 might differentiate between prophet and seer: “Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, from first to last, are they not written in the records of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat?” The distinction is probably that Nathan was God’s spokesman in the world (whether or not he had visions), while Iddo was specifically associated with “visions.” Another prophet, Jeremiah, also operated as a seer (see Jeremiah 1:11–13). Notice that God doesn’t ask Jeremiah what he “feels” or “thinks,” but rather what he “sees.” After Jeremiah sees the vision, God gives him insight into what the vision meant (Jeremiah 1:14–18).

The term seer isn’t used in the New Testament, but there were still prophets who had visions. Paul had a vision of heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2), as did Stephen (Acts 7:55–56) and John (Revelation 1:12–16).

Seers in the Bible possessed a unique gift as God vividly communicated with and through them. Their faithfulness in writing down what they saw helped to complete the Word of God as we have it today.

Recommended Resource: Are Miraculous Gifts for Today - Four Views edited by Wayne Grudem

More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!

Related Topics:

What is a prophet in the Bible?

What was a prophet in the Old Testament?

Who was Gad the seer?

How many prophets are in the Bible?

Is the personal prophecy concept biblical?

Return to:

Miscellaneous Bible Questions

What was a seer in the Bible?

Share this page on:

Find Out How to...

Statement of Faith
The Gospel
Crucial Questions
Content Index
Top 20 Questions

Question of the Week

Preferred Bible Version:


Subscribe to our Question of the Week

Get our Questions of the Week delivered right to your inbox!