There is a plantation in Mississippi named Elizabeth, but the slaves call it Empty. Samuel and Isaiah are slaves and lovers. They are handsome, kind and hard working. Samuel is quiet and and sullen and Isaiah is friendly and open. Amos is an older slave who decides to preach Christianity to the slaves every Sunday in order to get in good with the owner of the plantation, Paul. Amos reports Sam and Isaiah’s behavior to Paul despite the warnings of the slave community. Along with these three characters, Jones introduces his readers to a number of other interesting characters, many bearing Biblical names.
Robert Jones Jr. has said that Toni Morrison had a profound influence on the way he writes. It is evident in The Prophets. The prose is richly poetic, however, at times it inhibited the momentum of the plot.