Deuteronomy 18:18

One of the most common texts in the Bible Muslims use to prove that Muhammad is to be found there is Deuteronomy 18:18. Therefore, let us do an in-depth study of this verse.

I will raise up for them a prophet like you (Moses) from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.

God promised Moses to raise up a prophet like him. To begin with, the text doesn’t say that this person should be Gods last prophet. It only says that he should be like Moses. Nothing more! In reality, God could raise up thousands of prophets after He had fulfilled this promise. So when Muslims claim that this text talks about Muhammad as Gods last prophet, they read more into the text than what it actually says. But what are the criteria for being a prophet like Moses? Who is more like Moses, Jesus or Muhammad? Let’s look at some common arguments Muslims have for why Muhammad is the best option:

– Both Moses and Muhammad had an earthy father and mother. Jesus had not (he had only a mother).

– Both Moses and Muhammad were born in a natural way. Jesus was not.

– Both Moses and Muhammad got married and had children. Jesus did not.

– Both Moses and Muhammad died natural deaths. Jesus did not.

But are these arguments really valid? How many men from the time of Moses (c. 1400 B.C.E.) until the time of Muhammad (c. 600 C.E.) had a father and a mother? How many were born in a natural way during that time period? How many got married and had children? How many died a natural death? MILLIONS!!! In other words, millions of men during that 2 000 year time period fulfilled these criteria, and could therefore potentially be a prophet like Moses. In fact, even a hindu or a buddhist could claim to be the promised one according to these criteria. So these could not be the signs of a prophet like Moses. It’s impossible! So then what are the signs? We find the answer in the last chapter of Deuteronomy:

There has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the lord knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel. (34:10-12)

Here are the two criteria for being a prophet like Moses:

– To know the Lord God face to face.

– To do signs and wonders as Moses did.

Jesus fulfilled both of these criteria. Muhammad did not. He did not know the Lord God face to face, but always received words through an angel. And he didn’t do signs and wonders. To make war, as he often did, was not to do signs and wonders. Muslims also argue that the expression ”among their brothers” is referring to Ishmael and not Isaac. But it’s actually the opposite. It is used only for the descendants of Isaac. This is seen in the beginning of the same chapter.

The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the LORD’s food offerings as their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them. (18:1-2) 

The tribe of Levi was ”among their brothers”. Therefore, to be descendants of Isaac and at the same time be ”among their brothers” is not a contradiction. It’s the opposite. In the book of Acts the disciple Peter told the people in Jerusalem that Jesus was the promised prophet:

Moses said, ”The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet (Jesus) like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.” (3:22)

If Peter claimed that Jesus was the promised prophet like Moses, how could Muhammad come about 600 years later and claim that he instead was the one? Was the disciple Peter wrong, he who had been taught by Jesus for three and a half years? No, he knew Jesus was the long awaited prophet. And there is no evidence that this verse has been changed/corrupted during history. Therefore, if Peter was right, which I fully believe, then Muhammad was wrong. He was not the promised prophet. Jesus was!

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