B - MOSES AND THE PROPHET
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18)
Whenever Muslims seek to establish that Muhammad is foretold in the Torah, the Old Testament, they invariably refer to this verse as the one obvious prophecy in support of their claim. They argue that the prophet who was promised by God to Moses was Muhammad because:
- The Qur'an is allegedly the Word of God and therefore, as Muhammad recited each passage that was delivered to him, he had the words of God put into his mouth in accordance with the words of this prophecy;
- The prophet to come would be from among the brethren of the Israelites, hence the Ishmaelites, because Israel (Jacob) and Ishmael were both descended from Abraham, and the tribes who descended from the twelve sons of Ishmael are therefore “brethren” of the tribes who descended from the twelve sons of Israel. As Muhammad was the only Ishmaelite to claim prophethood in the line of the Old Testament prophets, they aver that the prophecy can only refer to him;
- Muhammad was like Moses in so many ways that the prophecy can only refer to him.
We shall consider these claims briefly and will do so in the light of the context of the prophecy, for this is the only way that a correct interpretation of the text can be obtained. Every intelligent expositor of scripture knows that no passage can be fairly interpreted if it is isolated from its context. Therefore it is essential to quote from the whole passage in which the prophecy is found and the following two extracts are of great importance:
We shall proceed to briefly consider the three points that supposedly prove that Muhammad is the prophet referred to in the text and thereafter will, in the light of the context of the passage, discover precisely which prophet is referred to in the prophecy contained in Deuteronomy 18:18.