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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 2 (Negative) -- Prohibition: 28 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 2 - The 365 Prohibitions of the Tora

28 - LISTENING TO THE PROPHECY OF ONE WHO PROPHESIES IN THE NAME OF AN IDOL


Deuteronomy 13:5 -- “But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.”

This commandment will be better understood in the light of the following passage from the “Mishneh Torah”: “When a prophet is sent, a sign or miracle is given to him, so that the people may know that God has in truth sent him. Now not every one producing a sign or miracle is on that account alone to be accepted as a prophet. Only if a man, by reason of his wisdom or conduct, wherein he stands pre-eminent among his contemporaries, is already recognized as worthy of the prophetic gift, and his life, in its sanctity and renunciation, is favorable to the prophetic calling – then, when he produces a sign or miracle and asserts that God has sent him, it is our duty to listen to his message… A prophet who arises and declares that God has sent him does not need to show a sign like any of the miracles performed by Moses, Elijah or Elisha, all of which involved changes in the ordinary course of nature. It would be a sufficient sign for him if he foretold events that would happen and his predictions came true… If they fail of realization in the smallest particular, he is manifestly a false prophet. But if everything he says comes true, then he must be accepted as trustworthy. If all his words are found worthy of credence, he is a true prophet.”*

* Mishneh Torah, Mada, Hilchoth Yesode Ha-Torah, VII, 7; X, 1-2

The object of this commandment is thus to prohibit us from engaging in controversy with a person who prophesies in the name of an idol, asking him a miracle or a proof. “And should he, on his own initiative, perform such a miracle, we are to pay no heed to it nor reflect upon it. He who gives consideration to such miracles, thinking that possibly they are true,” violates the prohibition under consideration.*

* Mishneh Torah, Mada, Hilchoth Abodath Kochabim V, 7

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