Prophets and Sages

“The prophets spoke the word of God. The sages interpreted the word of God. We might think that the former was greater. But the sages saw things differently. The very process of interpretation meant, in effect, that God had vested authority in the sages. He trusted them. He empowered them. In so doing, He granted them the highest religious dignity. They had dignity because they were human; because they used the human mind and human intelligence to interpret and apply the word of God. The Torah is from heaven but not in heaven. It was given by God and handed over to the care of Israel, the community of those who study, debate, and decipher His word.”

Covenant and Conversation: Deuteronomy, p. 274