Question #34 – Muslims claim that the Prophet promised by Yahweh in Deuteronomy 18:15-18 is Muhammad. In like manner, Christians claim that the fulfillment is with Jesus Christ. Which has the better and true claim?
Answer: The following is our presentation of the Christian claim. Analyze the text of Deuteronomy 18:15-18
“Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; x x x x I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”(Deuteronomy 18:15-18, ASV)
Please note the following facts:
- Moses was addressing Israel as a nation who descended from Isaac not Ishmael.
- From the midst of the brethren that descended from Isaac and Jacob, the 12 tribes of Israel will Jehovah anoint this promised Prophet.
- That Prophet shall be like Moises who personally received words from Jehovah.
- That Prophet shall deliver to the people of Israel Jehovah’s commandments.
The question is: Is Jesus Christ, a Jew, the fulfillment or is it Muhammad the Arab?
- The text says that the Prophet will come from the midst of Israel, a brother of the Hebrews. not from the Arabians. Muhammad did not come from the midst of Israel. Israel was a nation that descended from Isaac and Jacob, while the Ishmaelites settled in Havilah (Gen. 25:17-18) descended from the Ishmael. Ishmaelite merchants bought Joseph from his brothers and sold him to Potiphar (Gen. 39:1); became known as Arabians (2Chron. 2:17:11). From this genealogy, it is clear that this Prophet should be an Israelite or a Jew. Ishmaelites or Arabians are very distant blood brothers of the Israelites. But note that Deut. 18-15-8 says that the Prophet comes from the midst of the Israelite brethren.
- The pronoun “thee” refers to the nation of Israel who was then encamped at the eastern side of the Jordan River. So the recipient of the promise is the nation of Israel. Not the Arabians.
- “Among their brethren” refers to the family of Israel. Not Ishmaelites or Arabians.
- “a Prophet like me” (v. 15), “said to me” (v. 17), “like you”, is Moses talking to a Hebrew audience in v. 18? Yes. The coming Prophet will be like Moses, a full brother of the Israelites, a mediator of a covenant as Moses was the mediator between Yahweh and the nation of Israel. Muhammad is not an Israelite who mediated Israel as one party and Yahweh as second party. Muhammad’s God is named Allah not Yahweh.
- The speaker in v. 18 is Yahweh. Yahweh is the one who puts His words in the mouth of that Prophet who was coming. The one who put the recitation in the mouth of Muhammad was the Angel Gabriel and/or Allah. The one who gave the doctrines or instructions to Jesus Christ was the Father, the Yahweh we read in the Bible. Christ repeatedly mentioned in the Gospel of John that what he heard from the Father was the thing he taught the disciples. Christ declared that his teachings are not His own but were given by the Father.
- Jesus Christ Himself frankly declared that He is that Prophet and the Messiah expected to come by the Samaritans. The Samarians accepted the Torah as their scripture. “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ) ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:26)
- Muslims accept much the Gospel According to John. And Apostle John tells us that Moses wrote about Jesus Christ. Analyze the following passages:
- John 1:45-46, “And Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. . .” Read till the end of the chapter.
- Luke 5:46-47, “Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father, there is one who accuses you – Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
- John 3:13-14, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Read verses 15- 20 and the text tells of judgment which is the punishment Deut. 18:15-18 talks about.
- John 1:29-51 has the testimony of John the Baptist who is honored by Muslim friends. John testifies that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the expected Messiah, the Prophet of God.
Conclusion: It is very clear that Deuteronomy 18:15-18 refers to Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Not referring to Muhammad. I suggest that you remember this presentation when you share your faith with Muslim friends about Jesus Christ the Messiah. # – ET