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  • Writer's picture Peter Kupisz

Is Muhammad the Prophet God Foretold in Deuteronomy 18?

Does the Bible predict the coming of the Muslim prophet Muhammad? Many Muslims argue that a passage in Deuteronomy 18:17&18 speaks of their prophet. The passage says:

And the Lord said to [Moses]: ‘What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. (NKJV)

The text says that this special prophet would be like Moses and that he would be from among the Israelites’ “brethren.” Muslims argue that Muhammad was an Arab and since Arabs are related to the Israelites through their forefather Abraham, therefore Muhammad fulfills the prophecy made here. The problem with this claim is that the definition of “brethren” is made clear in the previous chapter. Deuteronomy 17:15 says:

…you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. (NKJV)

Other verses in Deuteronomy make it clear that “foreigner” (also described as “alien” or “stranger”) refers to those who were not of the twelve tribes of Israel (e.g. Deut. 10:19, 28:43). Since Arabs (including Muhammad) were not of the twelve tribes of Israel, the Muslim prophet Muhammad could not fulfill this prophecy. On the other hand, Jesus was of the twelve tribes and therefore could (and did – Acts 3:22) fulfill this prophecy.

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