The Prophet Like Moses

There is a famous prophecy in the Old Testament which predicts the coming of a Prophet like Moses. The verses are:

Deuteronomy 18:15:
“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. ”

Deuteronomy 18:18-19:
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.”

Here, the Hebrew word used for “brother” in verse 15 and 18 is: “ach,” which has the following possible meanings:
1) brother
a) brother of same parents
b) half-brother (same father)
c) relative, kinship, same tribe
d) each to the other (reciprocal relationship)
e) (fig.) of resemblance
(Source & The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Page 26)

another, brotherly; kindred, like, other

A primitive word; a brother (used in the widest sense of literal relationship and metaphorical affinity or resemblance (like ‘ab)) — another, brother(-ly); kindred, like, other. Compare also the proper names beginning with “Ah-” or “Ahi-“.
(Source).

It also means “personification of a group of tribes who were regarded as near kinsmen of the Israelites.” (Hebrew Dictionary of the Bible).

So as we can see, this word does not necessarily mean that the Prophet has to be come from the Israelites. It can refer to a member of the Israelites. We know that the Arabs are related to Jews.[1] The Arabs are called “Ishmaelites,” because they descend from Abraham through Ishmael. The Jews are called: “Israelites,” because they descend from Abraham through Isaac, so they are both distant relatives. Prophet Muhammad had a direct blood relationship with Ishmael, and Ishmael was the son of Abraham, which even a Christian admits (Merrill F. Unger – Commentary on the Old Testament – Chicago: Moody Press, 1981, Page 63). The following verses imply that the Ishmaelites are the brethren of Israelites:
Genesis 25:17-18:
“Altogether, Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people. His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt, as you go toward Asshur. And they lived in hostility toward all their brothers.”

Genesis 16:11-12:
“The angel of the LORD also said to her: “You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”

So these verses affirm that Ishmael would live in hostility towards all his brothers, which includes both Ishmaelite and Israelites. The Hebrew word “ach” is the same Hebrew word as in Genesis 25:18 and Genesis 16:12 (*,*). Generally speaking, tribal systems especially in those days had to work together in unity, for their success and survival. So, it would make no sense for the Bible to say that Ishmaelites were in opposition and lived hostility against the their own people (which are Ishmaelites).

Notice the verse in Deuteronomy 18:15-19 refers to the prophet as “like you.” Therefore, the prophet predicted should be similar to Moses. Here are the following similarities of Moses and Muhammad which Muslims and Christians would agree with:

● Both Moses & Muhammad become prophets of God at 40 [2], whereas Jesus did not.
● Both Moses & Muhammad were political and spiritual leaders.
● Both Moses & Muhammad were given new specific code of laws yet Jesus was not (Matthew 5:17-20).
● Both Moses & Muhammad were married and had children, which Jesus did not do.
● Both Moses & Muhammad died natural deaths yet Jesus did not (according to the Bible he died a violent death & according to Quran he didn’t die yet).

There are more similarities, but Christians will ignore these and claim that the similarities between Moses and Jesus (which are not similar to Muhammad) prove Deuteronomy 18:15-19 refers to Jesus. A Christian named John Gilchrist said:

1. Moses and Jesus were Israelites – Muhammad was an Ishmaelite. (This is, as we have seen, a crucial factor in really determining the identity of the prophet who was to follow Moses).

2. Moses and Jesus both left Egypt to perform God’s work – Muhammad was never in Egypt. Of Moses we read: “By faith he forsook Egypt” (Hebrews 11.27). Of Jesus we read: “Out of Egypt have I called my Son” (Matthew 2.15).

3. Moses and Jesus forsook great wealth to share the poverty of their people which Muhammad did not. Of Moses we read: “He considered abuse suffered for the Christ greater wealth than all the treasures of Egypt” and that he chose “to share ill-treatment with the people of God” (Hebrews 11.25-26). Of Jesus we read: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8.9). (Source).

1. As discussed above: the Hebrew word “ach” does NOT specifically refer to only the Israelites because it can refer to Ishmaelites.

2. Matthew 2:14-15:
“So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

The verse in Matthew 2:15 is quoted from Hosea 11:1 as an supposed fulfillment. However, Hosea 11:1 is not a prophecy of Jesus at all. This is clear when we read:

Hosea 11:1-2:
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.”

The nation in the verses is portrayed as rebellious, which are attributes gospel writers would never apply to Jesus. The verses in Hosea refer to Israel as a nation. If the Christian insists on referring this to Jesus in Matthew 2:15, that would mean from the context, Hosea predicted that Jesus went away from God and sacrificed to false deities! Clearly, this has nothing to do with Jesus. The anonymous author of Matthew 2 tried to hide this fact by quoting only the last part of the verse. Further evidence to support the claim that this doesn’t refer to Jesus is that this contradicts the following verse:

Luke 2:39:
“When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.”

After Jesus’ birth, where did Jesus, Mary, and Joseph go? Matthew says Egypt whereas Luke says Nazareth. [3] Since the verse in Hosea doesn’t refer to Jesus, this cannot be used as a similarity with Moses.
3. This Christian stands corrected because: Muhammad DID forsake great wealth to share the poverty of his people. Some of the clearest examples are:

Riyad-us-Saliheen, Number 502 – Commentary:
“Commentary: First, this Hadith indicates the miracle of the Prophet (PBUH) as well as his love and compassion for Ahlus-Suffah, i.e., those poor people who used to stay at As-Suffah. Second, the Prophet (PBUH) would not accept charity, but only gifts. Third, he would also let others share a gift given to him by somebody. Fourth, as seen in this incident, the leftovers of a Muslim, whether food or drink, is permissible to others to consume. Fifth, to persuade a guest to eat or drink more is commendable. Sixth, to eat or drink to one’s fill, without extravagance, is also permissible.”
And:

Ibn Hisham, Volume 1, Numbers 265-266:
“O my uncle, by Allah, if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left in return for my giving up this cause, I would NOT give it up until Allah makes Truth victorious, or I die in His service.”
When an Arab pagan named ‘Udba” asked Muhammad to stop spreading Islam for all the wealth in Arabia, he REFUSED such an offer. This lead to Muhammad facing MUCH more difficulty than perhaps Moses or Jesus ever did. (For evidence proving Muhammad was not a materialistic person, go here and here). So, the Christian’s ignorance or deliberate deception stands corrected, and since Muhammad and Moses share this SAME similarity, Christians cannot then use this as a similarity only referring to Jesus and Moses.

Some Christians will claim Deuteronomy 18:15-19 cannot refer to an Ishmaelite because:

Deuteronomy 17:15:
“Be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.”

The above translation is of the NIV. In the Hebrew text, the word which means “Israelite” does NOT exist. The Hebrew word for Israelite is “Yisre’eliy” which is NOT in the Hebrew text of Deuteronomy 17:15 (Source). The NIV is a deliberate or unintentional addition to the text of this verse.

Now, just for the sake of argument, lets assume that Deuteronomy 18:15-19 does refer to Jesus. Reading further on in this chapter, we see:

Deuteronomy 18:20-22
“But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.” You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”

Notice that if something which this predicted prophet says doesn’t come true, it would mean God did not speak through him. Now, since Christians believe Bible is the word of God, this also means that whatever Jesus said must have come true. However, we find unfulfilled prophecies made by the Biblical Jesus:

I) Matthew 12:38-40:
“Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

The “Son of Man” here refers to Jesus according to the Christians. Jonah was in the whale alive all that time, and thrown out (Jonah 2:10-Jonah 3:1-10) and evidently was still alive (not yet dead). However, Christians claim Jesus was dead in the tomb (which corresponds to the heart of the Earth). The prophecy is therefore unfulfilled. Some Christians have suggested that: “Jesus was spiritually alive in the tomb and Jonah was alive.” If we use this same standards for Jonah, that would mean that Jonah was physically dead in the whale but spiritually alive. This is false from reading the book of Jonah, which shows the unfulfilled prophecy of the Biblical Jesus stands.

Jonah was in the whale for 3 days and 3 nights according to Matthew 12:40 & Jonah 1:17. However, Jesus was buried on Friday (Mark 15:42) and on Sunday morning, the tomb was empty (John 20:1). Hence, he was in the “heart of the Earth” for only 2 nights and 1 day which again affirms that this unfulfilled prophecy stands. It’s also worth noting that some Christians will claim that Bible uses only Jewish times, when referring to the3 days and 3 nights.

The Jewish time is different than the Roman time. The Jewish time tells us that the day begins when the Sun sets, and the day ends 24 hours later when it sets. According to the Jewish calendar, the 1st day of the week is on: “Sunday,” and the last day is “Saturday” which is normally called: “Sabbath.” Hence, few Christians will make this claim that Jesus died & was buried on the 5th Jewish day and rose after the Sabbath was over (when the sun rose). The Sabbath day in day 7. If we use the Jewish time, this would mean he was in the heart of the Earth” for a period of:

5th Jewish Night : 6am-6pm

6th Jewish Day: 6pm-6am
6th Jewish Night: 6am-6pm

7th Jewish Day: 6pm-6am
7th Jewish Night: 6am-6pm

1st Jewish Day: 6pm-6am

By using the Jewish time, you have reconciled the time factor but this creates more problems:
● The 5th Jewish day occurs on Thursday. Christians who believe Jesus died then contradict:

Mark 15:42-47:
“It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.”

According to these verses, Jesus was buried the day before the Sabbath (Friday). Some may argue back by saying sabbath here only means day of rest (day of rest before the 6th Jewish day), not day before Saturday. However, this claim implies Jesus’ eating of the Passover meal & death occurred on the 14th of Nisan, which implies the preparation of Passover occurred on the 13th of Nisan (Wednesday). The reason why is because the Preparation for Passover is taught to occur on the twilight of the 14th of Nisan, and eating it occurs on the 15th. We read:
Exodus 12:6:
“Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.”

Exodus 12:18:
“In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day.”

The evening of the 14th day is actually the beginning of the 15th day.

“The feast of unleavened bread at sundown on Nisan 14 (which was) the beginning of the fifteenth day by Jewish reckoning, and lasted for a period of seven days (Leviticus 23:5,6). The Passover coincided only with its first day. The Paschal lambs were slaughtered on the afternoon of Nisan 14, and the solemn meal itself was eaten during the evening that constituted the beginning of the fifteenth day.” (S. MacLean Gilmour – The Interpreter’s Bible – New York: Abingdon Press, 1952 – Vol. VIII, Luke, Pg. 373).

So, it’s before the 15th day occurs is when the preparation of Passover occurs. An example of lambs being slaughtered on the day of Preparation of the Passover is:

2 Chronicles 35:1:
“Josiah celebrated the Passover to the LORD in Jerusalem, and the Passover lamb was slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the first month.”

Hence it’s clear on the 14th of Nisan is the preparation of Passover. The alleged death of Jesus is said to have occurred in the year 30 CE (this the most common dating), which means the 14th of Nisan is on a Thursday (5th Jewish day). (Roger Rusk. “The Day He Died” – Christianity Today, Vol. 18, No. 19).If Mark 15:42 doesn’t refer to the day before Saturday but before the 6th Jewish day (which is the 5th Jewish day – Thursday), then the preparation for Passover occurred on the 13th (the preparation could be read in Mark 14:12, Luke 22:7, Matthew 26:17), which would mean Jesus & his disciples went against the Jewish law. To reconcile this, Christians would have to agree that Jesus & his disciples prepared for Passover on the twilight of 14th of Nisan (Thursday), and was crucified on Friday, hence buried before Saturday.
Christians who use the Jewish time to try and reconcile the “3 days and 3 nights” period indirectly believe that Jesus was buried on the 5th Jewish day (Thursday). As proven above, he was buried on Friday (6th Jewish day). With this contradiction, no Christian can use the Jewish time to try and reconcile the “3 days and 3 nights” period, because it would mean Jesus was buried on the 5th Jewish day (Thursday), when the Bible says he was buried the day before the Sabbath (Friday).

● Using the Jewish time, it implies Jesus died & got buried on the 5th Jewish day (Thursday). However, Mark 15:42 implies Jesus died on Friday, which contradicts the attempt to reconcile the “3 days and 3 nights” period based on the Jewish time because he couldn’t have died on both days.

So, Christians have got 2 options now:

1) Either stick with the Roman time and have the time period of “3 days and 3 nights” unfulfilled.
2) Or agree with the Jewish time and have the time period of “3 days and 3 nights” fulfilled, with 2 contradictions.

Moreover, this explanation doesn’t explain the unfulfilled prophecy of Jonah being alive in the whale but Jesus being dead.

II) Some verses specifically say that Jesus’ 2nd coming will be within his listeners’ lifetime, i.e. before that generation (of Jesus) passes away.

Matthew 16:28:
“I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Revelation 3:11:
“I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”

Even Paul believed that Jesus would come during his time:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-19:
“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

Notice even Paul claims when he is still alive that Jesus would come and zap all believers into heaven, which refutes any misinterpretation of the verse in Matthew. It’s been about 2,000 years and the things (which Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24) have not occurred and Jesus has not come “soon” as he supposedly said, which shows more unfulfilled prophecies. These unfulfilled prophecies by the Biblical Jesus contradicts the criteria given in Deuteronomy 18:20-22, which proves Deuteronomy 18:18 cannot refer to Jesus, like Christians claim.

In contrast, the prophecies of Muhammad have either come to pass or haven’t yet. (See here and here). There is not a single prophecy of Muhammad which has been contradicted through the passage of time, which shows that Deuteronomy 18:15-22 refers to Prophet Muhammad. Also, we read:

Deuteronomy 18:20:
“But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”

Quran even confirms this:

Surah Haqqa 69:44-47:
“And if the apostle were to invent any sayings in Our name, We should certainly seize him by his right hand, And We should certainly then cut off the artery of his heart: Nor could any of you withhold him (from Our wrath).”

In addition, the Jews at Jesus’ time were waiting for 3 individual men to appear. According to:

John 1:25:
“Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

So, who are these 3 individuals? According to:

Matthew 11:14:
“And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.”

Matthew 17:12-13:
“But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands. Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.”

Mark 9:13:
“But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”

Here, we are told that John the Baptist is the return of Elijah. So, the 1st individual had come back then. As for the 2nd individual (the Christ), Jesus confessed that he was that person:

John 4:25-26:
“The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

Soon after John 1:25, we find that people acknowledged they found the Christ:

John 1:41-42:
“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.”
Some people thought Jesus was the “Prophet” which John 1:25 refers to. However, this doubt is immediately removed , since Jesus claimed to be the Christ.

Matthew 16:14-17:
“They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am? Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”

So Jesus’ reaction here proves that Jesus himself agreed that he was the Christ and John 4:25-26 unambiguously shows Jesus’ affirmation of being the Christ. Jesus didn’t claim to be “the Prophet,” who was to come like Jesus, but rather the Christ. Moreover, we find that people are debating whether John the Baptist is the following:

Mark 6:15:
“Others said, “He is Elijah.” And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.”

What does it mean when it says: “like one of the prophets of long ago?” This refers to the Prophet “like Moses,” which people thought that even John was. But, the “Prophet” here which his like Moses, does not refer to Jesus, because “the Christ” and “the Prophet” are both 2 different people. Since:

a) Jesus claimed to be the Christ
b) John the Baptist claimed to be Elijah

Who is “the Prophet” being referred too in John 1:25? The 3 people referred to in this verse are 3 DISTINCT people. So Christians cannot claim Jesus was “the Christ” and “the prophet” mentioned in John 1:25. We agree Jesus was “a prophet,” but he wasn’t “THE Prophet” mentioned in John 1:25. We have now shown that out of the 3 people from John 1:25, 2 of them already came: John the Baptist is the return of Elijah & Jesus is the Christ, (the 2nd person). But now, who is the 3rd person called “the prophet?” No-one, apart from Prophet Muhammad. An ex-Christian even recognized this:

“Abdul-Ahad Dawud4 said: ‘but I have tried to base my arguments on portions of the Bible which hardly allow of any linguistic dispute. I would not go to Latin, Greek, or Aramaic, for that would be useless: I just give the following quotation in the very words of the Revised Version as published by the British and Foreign Bible Society. We read the following words in the Book of Deuteronomy chapter xviii. verse 18: “I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put my words in his mouth.” If these words do not apply to Prophet Muhammad, they still remain unfulfilled. Prophet Jesus himself never claimed to be the Prophet alluded to. Even his disciples were of the same opinion: they looked to the second coming of Jesus for the fulfillment of the prophecy. So far it is undisputed that the first coming of Jesus was not the advent of the “prophet like unto thee,” and his second advent can hardly fulfill the words. Jesus, as is believed by his Church, will appear as a Judge and not as a law-giver; but the promised one has to come with a “fiery law” in “his right hand.” (A former Catholic priest – cited in: Muhammad The Messenger – Abdurrahman al-Sheha – 3rd Edition – Page 71 – Source).

References:

[1] The Adam Clarke Commentary – Genesis 16:12
[1] The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible – Genesis 16:12
[1] David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible – Genesis 16:12
[1] Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, and David Brown ) – Genesis 16:12
[1] The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (R.A. Torrey) – Genesis 16:12

[2] Acts 7:23 in relation to Exodus 2:11 (*).
[2] Sahih Bukhari, Book 56, Number 747 says Muhammad was 40 years old when he became a Prophet.

[3] Bible scholar: Bart Ehrman affirmed this contradiction in his book: Misquoting Jesus, Page10.

[4] He was Rev. David Benjamin Keldani, B.D. A Roman Catholic priest of the Uniate-Chaldean sect. He was born in 1867 at Urmia in Persia.

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