A Question I Was Asked:

What is a "Seer" Prophet?

What is a "seer" prophet? Can you give me any guidance on this?

UK Apologetics Reply:

A "seer" is simply a person who 'sees.' In the Bible (Old Testament), a 'seer' is another name for a prophet, although a 'seer' may or may not be one of the major prophets (like Isaiah and Jeremiah).

8. The servant answered him again. "Look," he said, "I have a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take." 9. (Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, "Come, let us go to the seer," because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)10. "Good," Saul said to his servant. "Come, let’s go." So they set out for the town where the man of God was.11. As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water, and they asked them, "Is the seer here?" (1 Samuel 9:8-11).

In Old Testament Israel, God sometimes spoke to His people through prophets, who would sometimes experience visions, or other signs. Accompanying the ability to see visions, a 'seer' or prophet was given insight into what God was saying through these visions.

Several Hebrew words are translated as 'seer.' There is 'roeh' (in 1 Samuel 9:11) and 'chozeh' (2 Samuel 24:11), these are the two most common. Interestingly, 2 Chronicles 9:29 appears to differentiate between a prophet and a seer but - as 1 Samuel 9:9 tells us - 'seer' is the older term:

As for the other events of Solomon's reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat? (2 Chronicles 9:29).

Another prophet, Jeremiah, also sometimes operated as a 'seer':

11. The word of the Lord came to me: "What do you see, Jeremiah?" "I see the branch of an almond tree," I replied. 12. The Lord said to me, "You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled." 13. The word of the Lord came to me again: "What do you see?" "I see a pot that is boiling," I answered. "It is tilting toward us from the north." 14. The Lord said to me, "From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15. I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms," declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 1:11–15).

Here God caused Jeremiah to 'see' certain things, or to experience certain visions but only for the purposes of Old Testament Bible prophecy. The term 'seer' never occurs in the New Testament, and the office of 'prophet' also changes. The major prophets of Israel and Judah were for a different age:

1. In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2. but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. (Hebrews 1:1-2).

So Hebrews 1 clearly tells us that we should no longer expect the office of prophet (in the Old Testament model) in our day. However, right at the beginning of the days of the Church, God also allowed the office of 'church prophet' - at least for a while. Their purpose was to occasionally give specific guidance and warnings to the leaders of the fledgling Church - but not to speak out on major national or international issues - that was part of the Old Testament office. For examples of New Testament congregational prophets see Acts 13:1-3; 15:32-34; 16:6-7, for instance. It might also be helpful to consult:
Are There REALLY Prophets In Today's Church?

Robin A. Brace. September 1st, 2016.