Deuteronomy 18:18

“I (God) will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee (Moses), and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”

Many Christians believe this prophecy foretold by Moses to be in regards to Jesus. 

Indeed Jesus was foretold in the Old Testament, but as will be clear, this prophecy does not befit him, but rather is more deserving of Muhammad (peace be upon him). 

Moses foretold the following:

1- The Prophet Will Be Like Moses

Areas of ComparisonMosesJesusMuhammad
  Birth  normal birthmiraculous, virgin birth  normal birth
  Mission  prophet onlysaid to be Son of God  prophet only
  Parents  father & mother  mother only  father & mother
  Family Lifemarried with children  never marriedmarried with children
Acceptance by own people  Jews accepted him  Jews rejected himArabs accepted him
  Political AuthorityMoses had it (Num 15:36)  Jesus refused itMuhammad had it
Victory Over Opponents  Pharaoh drowned  said to be crucifiedMakkans defeated
  Death  natural deathclaimed to be crucified  natural death
  Burial  buried in grave  empty tomb  buried in grave
  Divinity  not divine  divine to Christians  not divine
Began Mission at age  40  30  40
Resurrection on Earth  not resurrected resurrection claimed  not resurrected

2- The Awaited Prophet will be from the Brethren of the Jews

The verse in discussion is explicit in saying that the prophet will come amongst the Brethren of the Jews.

Abraham had two sons: Ishmael and Isaac. The Jews are the descendants of Isaac’s son, Jacob. 

The Arabs are the children of Ishmael. Thus, the Arabs are the brethren of the Jewish nation.

The Bible affirms:

“And he (Ishmael) shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” (Genesis 16:12)

“And he (Ishmael) died in the presence of all his brethren.” (Genesis 25:18)

The children of Isaac are the brethren of the Ishmaelites. Likewise, Muhammad is from among the brethren of the Israelites, because he was a descendant of Ishmael the son of Abraham.

3- God Will Put His Words in the Mouth of the Awaited Prophet

The Quran says of Muhammad:

{Neither does he speak out of his own desire: that [which he conveys to you] is but [a divine] inspiration with which he is being inspired.} (Quran 53:3-4)

This is quite similar to the verse in Deuteronomy 18:18:

“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him” (Deuteronomy 18:18)

Prophet Muhammad came with a message to the whole world, and from them, the Jews. All, including the Jews, must accept his prophethood, and this is supported by the following words:

“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” (Deuteronomy 18:15)

4- A Warning to Rejecters

The prophecy continues:

Deuteronomy 18:19

“And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him.” (in some translations: “I will be the Revenger”).

Interestingly, Muslims begin every chapter of the Quran in the name of God by saying:

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem

“‘In the Name of God, the Most-Merciful, the Dispenser of Grace.”

The following is the account of some scholars who believed this prophecy to fit Muhammad.

The First Witness

Abdul-Ahad Dawud, the former Rev. David Benjamin Keldani, BD, a Roman Catholic priest of the Uniate-Chaldean sect. After accepting Islam, he wrote the book, ‘Muhammad in the Bible.’  He writes about this prophecy:

“If these words do not apply to Muhammad, they still remain unfulfilled. Jesus himself never claimed to be the prophet alluded to.  Even his disciples were of the same opinion: they looked to the second coming of Jesus for the fulfillment of the prophecy (Acts 3: 17-24).

So far it is undisputed that the first coming of Jesus was not the advent of the Prophet like unto thee and his second advent can hardly fulfill the words. Jesus, as is believed by his Church, will appear as a Judge and not as a law-giver; but the promised one has to come with a “fiery law” in his right hand.”

The Second Witness

Muhammad Asad was born Leopold Weiss in July 1900 in the city of Lvov (German Lemberg), now in Poland, then part of the Austrian Empire. 

He was the descendant of a long line of rabbis, a line broken by his father, who became a barrister. Asad himself received a thorough religious education that would qualify him to keep alive the family’s rabbinical tradition.  He had become proficient in Hebrew at an early age and was also familiar with Aramaic.

He had studied the Old Testament in the original as well as the text and commentaries of the Talmud, the Mishna and Gemara, and he had delved into the intricacies of Biblical exegesis, the Targum.

Commenting on the verse of the Quran:

{and do not overlay the truth with falsehood, and do not knowingly suppress the truth} (Quran 2:42)

Muhammad Asad writes:

“By ‘overlaying the truth with falsehood’ is meant the corrupting of the biblical text, of which the Quran frequently accuses the Jews (and which has since been established by objective textual criticism), while the ‘suppression of the truth’ refers to their disregard or deliberately false interpretation of the words of Moses in the biblical passage:

‘The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.’ (Deuteronomy 18:15)

And the words attributed to God himself, ‘I will raise them up a prophet from among thy brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth’ (Deuteronomy 18:18).

The ‘brethren’ of the children of Israel are obviously the Arabs, and particularly the musta’ribah (‘Arabianized’) group among them, which traces its descent to Ishmael and Abraham: and since it is this group that the Arabian Prophet’s own tribe, the Quraish, belonged, the above biblical passages must be taken as referring to his advent.”

To be continued…

By Kamil Mufti


‘Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources’ by Martin Lings, p. 1-7. 

‘Berlin to Makkah: Muhammad Asad’s Journey into Islam’ by Ismail Ibrahim Nawwab in the January/February 2002 issue of Saudi Aramco Magazine. 

Muhammad Asad, ‘The Message of The Quran’ (Gibraltar: Dar al-Andalus, 1984), p. 10-11

Source: The Religion of Islam web site –