DS9 "Prophet Motive" (Prophets speaking to Quark):

ROM: (quarters) Did the Sisko send you?

QUARK: What? Sisko? What does he have to do with anything?

SISKO: (office) The Sisko taught us about corporeal lifeforms.

KIRA: (Promenade) About linguistic communication.

BASHIR: (Infirmary) And linear time.

QUARK: I know all about it. He's quite a guy. But I'm not here to talk about Sisko.

DS9 "Destiny":

KIRA: All right, how about this? The Prophets, the aliens who live in the wormhole as you call them, exist outside of linear time. They know the past, present, and the future.

SISKO: Agreed.

KIRA: It seems perfectly reasonable that they could've communicated knowledge of the future to a Bajoran named Trakor. He wrote down that knowledge in the form of a prophecy and now, three thousand years later, we are seeing those events unfold. To me, that reasoning sounds concrete, solid, I'd even call it Starfleet.

I know the above dialogue is only speculation on Kira's part but by the end of the episode it's clear, at least by the characters, that the prophecy was correct and 3000 years old.

DS9 "Destiny":

SISKO: It's almost like the wormhole was wedged open just a crack. Just enough to let subspace signals through.

KIRA: The prophecy came true. All of it. We just misinterpreted Trakor's words. The three vipers. He wasn't talking about the Cardassians. He meant the three comet fragments.

SISKO: The communications relay. In a sense we've been trying to peer through the temple gates.

KIRA: The silithium ignited the wormhole, burning the temple gates.

SISKO: So that they never close again.

KIRA: And it's all because the Emissary used the Sword of Stars.

SISKO: And Trakor saw it all three thousand years ago.

And then afterwards Sisko wants to know about the next prophecy. DS9 "Destiny":

YARKA: Perhaps so. There are signs that Trakor's fourth prophecy will soon come to pass as well.

SISKO: Don't tell me that has something to do with me?

YARKA: You, Commander? Well, it is a prophecy about the Emissary.

SISKO: Tell me about it.

YARKA: The fourth prophecy says that the Emissary will face a fiery trial and he'll be forced to choose

From this we could deduce that Trakor had communicated with the prophets at some point 3000 years ago.

We also learn that the "prophets" were originally Bajorans that discovered the orbs many years before and transformed, at least I think that's correct. So they were originally linear corporeal beings.

I'm confused at how Sisko could be the first corporeal being they've encountered when they themselves were linear/corporal before their transformation. And I'm confused at how there could be so many prophecies from the prophets if they haven't encountered anyone before Sisko and don't understand the concept of linear time. I'm also confused at how you write a prophecy without understanding linguistic communication? Was Sisko really the first linear/corporeal being that they encountered?

  • 1
    one of them certainly met Joseph Sisko before Ben was..ahem...conceived...
    – NKCampbell
    Feb 26, 2020 at 21:42
  • 1
    The wormhole alien prophets are not the same as the ancient bajorans that got visions from orbs sent by the aliens. The wormhole aliens were never corporeal as far as I can tell. But in my opinion the sisko mom thing was a huge unnecessary mistake by the writers and was a last season retcon. Apr 18, 2020 at 5:41

2 Answers 2


Your question shows signs of linear thinking. Note that in a later episode (DS9: Accession) it becomes apparent that a man from an earlier era entered the wormhole before Sisko. The wormhole aliens, however don't perceive time in that way. As far as they're concerned, Sisko was the first and that's the end of it.

By the same token, It's certainly possible that they didn't communicate with Trakor until after Sisko spoke with them (albeit, from our perspective that would be thousands of years into the past, subjectively). Alas, these are the vagaries of time travel. This also explains how there are prophecies about events in the future and about Sisko specifically.

As to whether/what the Wormhole Aliens were before they became unfixed from time, it's never explained in any great detail. It's said that they were "of Bajor" but beyond that we don't know if they were corporeal or not.

  • 5
    "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff."
    – HorusKol
    Jun 10, 2015 at 2:03
  • 1
    @HorusKol Sally Sparrow, duck!
    – Chahk
    Jun 10, 2015 at 15:00
  • Heck, for all we know, their version of time runs opposite to ours, meaning they essentially perceive time backwards. Except they don't perceive it as time. I dunno, it's a stab.
    – Omegacron
    Jun 10, 2015 at 17:58
  • 2
    @Omegacron In Accession, they make a point at the end of the episode that they retrieved Akorem Laan for Sisko. Plus he was sent back to his own time afterwards
    – Izkata
    Jun 12, 2015 at 20:19
  • 3
    Actually, even this answer shows signs of linear thinking. The Prophets never said that Sisko was the "first", because they have no concept of such things. All they said was that he was the one who taught them those things. In a non-linear context, effectively, everyone the Prophets have encountered/will encounter are all interacting with them essentially at the same time, and they simply would need to choose who they would learn which things from during those interactions (the same way we might choose who to ask a particular question when at a party full of people).
    – Foogod
    Feb 26, 2020 at 23:23

The question of who was "first" to encounter the Prophets was raised as an argument initially by Sisko and later by Akorem Laan to support Akorem's claim to the title of Emissary. Neither the prophets or the prophecies assign a time or order to the "finding" of the the "Celestial Temple" by the Emissary. This in addition to Valorum's excellent answer should address your questions regarding the prophecies.

Having said that, I think your first reference under "Prophet Motive" is a lot more interesting. In linear thinking Sisko was certainly not the 'first' to encounter the Prophets. We know about Akorem and we also know that Joseph Sisko fathered Benjamin with a Prophet. That prophet took on a human form, interacted with humans in a corporeal environment, understood linguistic communication and linear human procreation.

From a corporeal perspective this suggests that Sisko's finding of the Temple preceded the Prophets interaction with his Father. It further suggests that his parents meeting, his life and the "game" are the result of his encounter with the Prophets. This is, to me, the most mind blowing temporal causal loop in Star Trek.

I believe that although not linear, Sisko's calling to the Temple is the 'cardinal' event. This is supported by Kai Opaka's revelation to Sisko that part of his destiny is to warn the Prophets by finding the temple. Although they are very powerful and 'timeless' the worm hole aliens do not appear to be invincible and are not omniscient. It is because of Sisko that the Prophets are aware of and understand corporeal beings, linear time and the dangers facing Bajor. This cardinal event 'leads' to the Prophets seminal involvement in corporeal affairs.

At least that's my take.

  • If you have a question of your own, you can ask it. If you agree or like this question, you should upvote it. You should only post answers that answer the question; please read How to Answer.
    – DavidW
    Feb 26, 2020 at 20:25

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