Deut 34:10 - Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face (NASB)

Is the Hebrew in Deuteronomy 34:10 future tense? Meaning Jesus can’t be the prophet like Moses in Israel? Some Hebrew scholars are saying that the use of the Hebrew word Lo makes it future tense as well, can someone explain

  • There is no such thing as future tense in Hebrew. Hebrew verbs do not work that way.
    – Dottard
    Mar 29, 2021 at 20:55

2 Answers 2


Verb "Tenses" in Hebrew

The two verbs in Deut 34:10 are:

  • קָ֨ם (qam) = Qal-perfect verb; "has arisen"
  • יְדָע֣וֹ (yedaow) = Qal-perfect verb; "knew"

There is no such thing as future tense in Hebrew - such must be inferred from some other subtleties in the sentence.

Deut 34:10 & Prophecy

The last chapter of Deuteronomy was obviously written by someone after Moses because it describes Moses' death and his successor, Joshua. Many believe it may have even been written by Joshua or someone even later. In any case, whenever Deut 34:10 was written, it was true at the time it was written.

The declaration in Deut 34:10 simply says that at the time it was written, no prophet like Moses had arisen.

Now, Deut 34:10 is almost certainly a reference to the prophecy earlier in the same book, Deut 18:15 -

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to him.

Thus, this prophecy had not been fulfilled at the time Deut 34:10 was written. However, Deut 18:15 is directly quoted by Peter in Acts 3:19-23 -

19 Repent, then, and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped away, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus, the Christ, who has been appointed for you.

21 Heaven must take Him in until the time comes for the restoration of all things, which God announced long ago through His holy prophets. 22 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. 23 Everyone who does not listen to Him will be completely cut off from among his people.

Thus, according to Peter, Jesus Christ was the fulfilment of the prophecy in Deut 18:15. It is now obvious that Deut 34:10 could not have been fulfilled at the time it was written because Jesus Christ had not appeared as Messiah at that time.


No. The verbs in Hebrew (see this interlinear comparison are in the "Qal-Perfect" tense, not the future tense. See this article for an explanation and examples at the bottom.

Moses was a type of Jesus. Just as "our ancestors ... were baptized into Moses," (1 Cor 10:1-2) so "we were all baptized by one spirit into one body" (1 Cor 12:13) - that is, into Christ Jesus.

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