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Does Deuteronomy 18:18 relate to Jesus or someone else?

Deuteronomy 18:17-19: Then the LORD said to me, “They have spoken well. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. And I will hold accountable anyone who does not listen to My words that that prophet speaks in my name.

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  • No, it speaks of Samuel, Deborah, Isaiah, Nathan, Jermiah, Ezekiel, Zekariah, Micha, etc. Every generation had his prophet, so it does not speak on a specific prophet.
    – Kapandaria
    Oct 1, 2022 at 20:50

4 Answers 4

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According to at least one witnesses account... some of the Jews in the 1st century CE believed Jesus Christ was "the prophet" God spoke to Moses about in Deuteronomy 18.

(Deuteronomy 18:18) I will raise them up a prophet out of the midst of their brethren like thee [Moses]: and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.

(John 7:37) It being now the last the great day of the festival, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. (38) He who believeth in me; as the scripture hath said, Out of his belly will flow streams of living water. (39) Now this he said in reference to the spirit which they who believed in him were to receive; for a holy spirit was not yet received, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (40) Hereupon many of the people, when they heard this saying, said, This is certainly the prophet,(41) Others said, This is the Christ....

[Charles Thomson English translation of Greek New Testament]

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    “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 ‭5:45-47‬ ‭ Jan 16, 2020 at 1:35
  • Its been stated to me that it 'can not' relate to Jesus as they do not have much similar. for example extra-ordinary birth of a virgin mother & no divine law - maybe it is Joshua. Also 'Brethren' (not among you) must me someone else. Also another verse - when the Jews came to John - why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” (John 1:19-27) Jan 16, 2020 at 14:05
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This question is explicitly answered in the NT by the inspired writer, Peter as follows:

Deut 18:15, 18-20 - The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to him. … I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. And I will hold accountable anyone who does not listen to My words that the prophet speaks in My name. But if any prophet dares to speak a message in My name that I have not commanded him to speak, or to speak in the name of other gods, that prophet must be put to death.”

In a speech to the Sanhedrin, Peter quotes this famous passage and applies its fulfillment to Jesus as Messiah.

Acts 3:21-23 - Heaven must take Him in until the time comes for the restoration of all things, which God announced long ago through His holy prophets. For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to Him in everything He tells you. Everyone who does not listen to Him will be completely cut off from among his people.’

Thus, Jesus was/is the promised prophet to come.

From the appendix below, we also learn of some of Jesus' other functions. Thus, Jesus as Messiah was Prophet, Priest and King.

APPENDIX - Other prophecies of Messiah

In the OT we have prophecies of the coming eternal king of Israel

2 Sam 7:12, 13 - And when your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for My Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Isa 9:7 - Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from that time and forevermore.

Ps 2:6 - "I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain."

Ps 45:6, 7 - Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever, and justice is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you above your companions with the oil of joy.

The NT claims that these prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus:

Luke 1:32, 33 – [Jesus] will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!”

Rom 1:3 - regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David,

John 1:49 - “Rabbi,” Nathanael answered, “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” See also Mark 11:7-11.

Matt 27:37 - Above His head they posted the written charge against Him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Heb 1:8, 9 - But about the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever, and justice is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You above Your companions with the oil of joy.”

The OT sanctuary system was a type and teaching device about the High priestly ministry of Jesus (Heb 9:1-6). The book of Hebrews tells us many times that Jesus is our High Priest, Heb 4:14-16, 8:1, etc.

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  • 1
    Very irrelevant unnecessary appendix, keep your answer within the scope of the Q. See hermeneutics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3422/…
    – Michael16
    Jul 6, 2022 at 5:01
  • @Michael16 - that is why it is in an appendix!! What did you not like about the actual main answer?
    – Dottard
    Jul 6, 2022 at 5:12
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    The appendix is unrelated. The guy didn't ask about your sermon on the deity or other qualities of Christ. It reduces the quality of answer.
    – Michael16
    Jul 6, 2022 at 6:33
  • You should focus on reducing the length by editing out the unnecessary material, if you think it's necessary, simply write the verse ref list, not the full quotes.
    – Michael16
    Jul 6, 2022 at 6:40
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    The spammy content can't be ignored. You could simply put a link of your favourite site instead of the whole unnecessary irrelevant content. The whole post is to be judged for its quality, not just the main section . Stick to answering the question alone without adding your preaching.
    – Michael16
    Jul 6, 2022 at 7:38
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The questions is not as straight forward as it appears and I have limited my response as much as I can.

Simple answer very unlikely Deuteronomy 18:15-18 relate to Jesus – as he is nothing like Moses

Deuteronomy 18:15-18 (NKGV) 15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ 17 “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 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.

Deu 18 - relates to a prophet, to come, a great prophet of high status (Moses, Abraham etc),from the brethren, who will only speak of what he is told, not of his own accord.

For the prophecy to be fulfilled all the aspects need to be relevant, not only parts.

The first point that needs to be clarified, is Jesus - Son of God / God or a mere prophet (human) albeit of high status chosen by God, but still a human. Even if he came as a human, if he is God or son of God he cannot be human or prophet. [Numbers 23:19, Hosea 11:9, 1 Samuel 15:29] These confirms that God is not human. So if Jesus is God he cannot be human & if he is son of God at best he can only be half human (Mary) & half God.

There is an argument that God could appear as a human or even become a human, certain verses have serious translation issues and figurative speech and would be contradictor to the below;

Job 25:4-6 4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? 5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. 6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

Malachi 3:6 "For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

He cannot be Son of God or God but a prophet, a man at the same time. The argument that Jesus said he is a prophet would imply that he can surely not be son of God / God. You cannot have it both ways.

Brethren

There is an argument that brethren can refer to the Israelites, but as below we can see that it could also refer to the Ishmaelite's. Arabs being the brethren of the Jews.

If it was Isaiah or Jesus - would likely read “from among thee and thy children.”

Brethren has been elaborated in Genesis 16:12 “ And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” – this relates to Ishmael – based on few passages

Genesis 25:9 “And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;” imply that Ishmael and Isaac lived together and were present at the time Abraham passed away.

Genesis 25:18 “And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren” - this verse tells us that Ishmael died in the presence of his brethren.

Matt 21:43 - Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.

Isaiah 42:10 below ‘new song’

The above two seem to imply something different to previous - elaborated further below.

From your midst / from among you Acts 3:22 “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” No mention of from the midst of thee

See different versions below;

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Like unto thee

  1. Deuteronomy 34:10 10 But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.

  2. Isaiah 28:11 - 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, (meaning a different language)

  3. Jesus Completely different to Moses i) Moses got married & had children ii) Moses had natural birth not a miraculous birth iii) Moses a mere man Not son of God
    iv) Moses died a natural death. v) Moses fought wars, spiritual and political leader, vi) Jesus died on the cross vii) Jesus resurrected viii) Moses liberated Israelites from the yoke of Pharaoh ix) Moses by and large accepted by his people – Jesus was not x) Sermon on the mount was not new laws or a new covenant Matt 5:17 to fulfill the laws that came before. xi) Miracles – many in the bible preformed miracles xii) Moses received the Torah / Law – Jesus did not give any laws xiii) Jesus laid no claim to a new Law; his disciples regarded the Law as a curse. 'And the Law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law'. (Galatians 3:12-13)

other verses that assist Deu 18 to show another prophet other then Jesus

John 1:19-27 19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” (note this would be Jesus) 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” (this clearly implies another prophet)

John 7:40 “ Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet

John 15:26 - 26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.

(Jesus is talking about sending someone, clearly not him and not holy spirit (HS is truth, guidance strength etc…) also HS has been there since beginning and continuously in the bible)

John 16:7-8 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:

John 16:13 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

John 14:16 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever (another / new not HS already hear of a person already hear)

John 14:30-31 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. (someone coming not here already)

John 14:26 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Luke 3:16 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire. (will come – Jesus was already here)

Mark 1:7 7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

Acts 3:22 (NKJV) - 22 For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren (brethren being Isaac & Ishmael sons of Abraham). Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.

Genesis 21:13 (NKJV) - 13 Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.” - (regarding Ishmael)

Deuteronomy 33:1-2 (NKJV) - Moses’ Final Blessing on Israel 33 Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. 2 And he said: “The LORD came from Sinai, And dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, And He came with ten thousands of saints; From His right hand Came a fiery law for them.

Isaiah 29:11-12 (NKJV) – 11 The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I am not literate.”

[Jesus was not illiterate & never had a book, the bible came much later]

Isaiah 42:1-11 talks about another elected by God – clearly not Jesus

2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. 4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”

10 Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise from the ends of the earth, You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, You coastlands and you inhabitants of them!

11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, The villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, Let them shout from the top of the mountains.

***[clearly the above does not relate to Jesus] [Kedar was the son of Ishmael]

Habakuk Chapter 3 verse 2-4 …2O LORD, I have heard the report of You; I stand in awe, O LORD, of Your deeds. Revive them in these years; make them known in these years. In Your wrath, remember mercy! 3God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens, and His praise filled the earth. 4His radiance was like the sunlight; rays flashed from His hand, where His power is hidden.…

Note: few final points

  1. Malachi – arguably Elijah
  2. the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” (John 1:19-25) – clearly 3 people (someone else other than Jesus & Elijah & not him JtB)
  3. Elijah not a Brethren but from amongst as was Jesus
  4. Matthew 17:12 ‘…Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him,….’ –
  5. John the Baptist (JtB) says - Mark 1:7 7 And this was his message: After me comes - (Elijah already come as above talking about someone else to come)
  6. Luke 3:16 – ‘…will come…’ again after JtB – Jesus hear and Elijah already come
  7. John 16:7-8 – ‘...Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you;…’ (Jesus talking about someone else to come after him as do the various other verses of John will come / will send)

conclusion - very unlikely that this relates to Jesus too many inconsistences and Jesus cannot fulfil all the aspects of the prophecy. even if you accept he like Moses a prophet, a man and could do miracles, there are more dissimilarity

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  • technically he is not a human What do you mean? And Jesus is the 'firstborn of many brethren'
    – Steve
    Jul 6, 2022 at 12:52
  • @steveowen - I've amended to add [Numbers 23:19, Hosea 11:9, 1 Samuel 15:29] - God is not human - therefore if Jesus is God then he is not Human and even if he is son of God, not sure how he can be human. or are you saying half human (Mary), half God? Jul 6, 2022 at 13:19
  • @steveowen - Firstborn - "Israel is my son, even my firstborn" Exodus 4:22. - "for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn." Jeremiah 31:9 - "Adam, which was the son of God." Luke 3:38 (first human) etc... really going to a different Q Jul 6, 2022 at 13:23
  • HE said, ‘I am a man who told you the truth that I heard from God’ John 8:40 he is only a man. Still is, 1Tim 2:5!
    – Steve
    Jul 6, 2022 at 21:21
  • Nehemiah 3:1 "Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren וְאֶחָיו the priests..." How do you explain the term in this context? Jul 6, 2022 at 22:07
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Summary
There is a significant addition to this answer. When understood through the lens of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there are two additional considerations:

  • The original text points to the resurrection
  • The "missing" body after burial

The Prophecy

15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16 just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17 And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18 ESV)

15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers; you shall hear him. 16 According to all that you requested of the Lord your God at Choreb on the day of the assembly, saying “We shall not any more hear the voice of the Lord our God and again see this great fire – and we shall not die.’ 17 And the Lord said to me: “They are right in all that they have said. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet just like you from among their brothers, and I will give my word in his mouth, and he shall speak to them whatever I command him. 19 And the person who does not hear his words, whatever the may speak in my name, I will exact vengeance from him. 20 But the prophet who acts impiously by speaking a word in my name that I have not ordered to speak and who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die." 21 But if you say in your heart, “How will we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?”— 22 whatever the prophet might speak in the name of the Lord but the thing does not happen, this is a word that the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken it in impiety; you shall not spare him.
(Deuteronomy 18 LXX)

Raise Up - Part One
“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers (v.15). The word rendered as "brothers" is אָח. It can mean brother of the same mother and father or a half-brother (having the same father); it may also be used to describe a relative in general. The LXX understands the nuance present in in the passage and translates מֵאַחֶ֙יךָ֙ (v. 15) as αδελφων σου, your brothers and אֲחֵיהֶ֖ם (v. 18) as αδελφων αυτων, their brothers. The NJPS understands the passage as from among your own people and from among their own people.

The potential ambiguity in raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers (v. 15) may be understood differently:

  • Lack of a "purely" Jewish ancestry.
  • If speaking to the calling to the office of the prophet, the meaning of among your brothers is not limited to ancestry, but includes location. In this case there are two possibilities. 1) Where Moses was called outside the land of Israel, the prophet to come will "arise" from within Israel. 2) Where Moses functioned in his office outside the land of Israel, the prophet to come will function from within Israel.
  • If speaking to the work of the prophet, the meaning of among your brothers speaks to how the prophet will function. That is, unlike Moses who functioned among the entire nation gathered in one place, the prophet to come will function among your people. That is, they will travel around.

The prophet who will be like Moses must of necessity differ from Moses in some ways.

Raise Up - Part Two
There is an interesting nuance in the passage. What is first stated as among your brothers is repeated as among their brothers. If taken literally, two different actions are described. This could be alluding to events in the life of Moses who first "appointed" himself as judge of his "brothers" מֵאֶחָֽיו (cf. Exodus 2:11-15) and was later called by YHVH to that office (cf. Exodus 3) and so must leave Midian and return to his brothers אַחַי (cf. Exodus 4:16).

The LXX uses the same verb, ἀνίστημι for both. The first is in future tense, αναστησει. The second is aorist, αναστησω. Therefore, Jesus fulfilled this by first "rising from among His brothers" and speaking to the people. He did so by traveling throughout the land. Then at His resurrection He rose from the dead and fulfilled the second by being raised up "from their brothers."

The Missing Body

5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD, 7 and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day.

The burial place of Moses was unknown; the people have only the Word of the LORD as "proof" of his death. This foreshadows Jesus who was buried in the sight of many and yet whose body, like Moses burial place, is "unknown." Unknown because He was "raised up from among their people."

Conclusion
If for no other reason then history, it would be impossible for the future prophet to be like Moses in every way. Moses was born and raised in Egypt; fled his "brothers" before returning to lead them out of Egypt and to become their divinely appointed mediator.

The most significant way in which the future prophet will differ is based on the historical events found in Exodus 32. When the people were concerned about the delayed return of their mediator, they sinned by worshipping a golden calf. After which YHVH wanted to make Moses into a great nation (Exodus 32:10), but Moses implored YHVH not to do this and later told the people he would try to make atonement for their sin:

The next day Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” (Exodus 32:30)

That which Moses tried to do, make atonement for sin, Jesus did. That which YHVH wanted to do through Moses, make of him a great nation, Jesus did:

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1)

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  • @ Revelation Lad - brothers yes - but you don't really answer the rest - not identical - but has to have high number of similarities - Jesus did not bring law, books etc ... this all came after Jesus - Jesus was ejected by his people - Lost sheep of Israel - Moses was only a prophet - are you saying Jesus was a Prophet only? Jul 18, 2022 at 10:16
  • @anothertheory 1) I believe you overlook the significance of repetition of "arise up" and how it is described in different terms. Thus Jesus was twice raised up: once as prophet and once as the crucified Lord. 2) Your insistence on factors such as marriage and children is trivial. Rather there must be significant differences in when, where, and how called. 3) Different language? No problem Jesus taught in Greek. 4. The record is clear: Moses was repeatedly rejected by the people. 5. "A new command I give you..." Who has authority to give command to the Jewish people? --- Jul 18, 2022 at 17:18
  • 6. You say He cannot be both and and prophet. Is that true of Moses? Wasn't Moses first a man and then a prophet? Wasn't Moses raised up as a prophet after His people rejected him and after he left them? 7. Jesus was not married, but Moses' marriage, like his murder, was in violation of the law. He married a Midianite! Do you expect a prophet like Moses to engage in such apostasy and illegal actions? Or should we expect someone with a greater reverence for legal behavior? Jul 18, 2022 at 17:22
  • @ Revelation Lad - I read things very different. 'Like You' has to mean similar, which you don't show. If J is God/literal son of God - how can he be 'like', he is different to the ordinary 'human prophet', as before, all taught same message and died. You position is Jesus much greater, again not 'like'. new command, don't need to follow the law, died for our sins, God status, so on, much more - completely different. Jul 19, 2022 at 8:56
  • As to Moses a A Great Prophet he is honoured to have been chosen by God, I'm not worthy to kiss his feet or any of the other prophets. Jul 19, 2022 at 8:57

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