The Prophecy - There Will Be A Prophet Greater Than Moses
Old Testament Prophecy
New Testament Fulfillment
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.
If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my
I myself will call him to account.
"Now, brothers, I know that you acted
in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he
had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that
your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has
been appointed for you-- even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time
comes for God to restore everything, as he promised 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 own people; you must listen
to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will
be completely cut off from among his people.'
Someday God will send a Jewish prophet that is greater than Moses. This Prophet will speak the word of God, inspire by the Holy Spirit. He will be similar to Moses in many ways. There is also a warning that comes with this prophecy. "If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account."
Our Messiah Jesus was given many titles. Not just our Savior and our High Priest, not just the Anointed One and the Redeemer. Included in His many titles was the title of Prophet. Until this time Moses was the greatest prophet that had ever lived. God allowed Moses the vision to foretell Israel about a coming prophet that would be even greater than Moses himself. Knowing that Jesus is of divine origin, who could be in touch will the will of God more than God Himself.
Jesus Himself said this concerning himself being a prophet: "nevertheless I must work today, and tomorrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem." (Luke 13:33)
Concerning Israel's disbelief in His ability to be a prophet Jesus said Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household." (Mark 6:4)
Moses was Israel's first and greatest prophet.
This passage in Deuteronomy 18:18 was viewed as a messianic passage. Consider what the Midrash Rabbath said while commenting on this verse.
As was the former redeemer so shall the latter redeemer be. While of the former it is said (Ex. 4:20) "And Moses took his wife and his sons and set them upon an ass," so the later: for it says ( Zech. 9:9) He is lowly and riding on an ass." And while the former redeemer brought down manna (Ex. 16:4) " Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you," so the latter redeemer shall bring down manna.(1)
For more on this Messianic prophecy found in Zech.9:9 please read The Triumphal Entry.
There is a reason both verses 18 and 19 are quoted in this prophecy fulfillment. This is a fair warning that rejection of the prophet like Moses will lead to the rejector being held accountable by God Himself. God is letting us know first through Moses then reconfirming through the author of the book of Acts that rejection of Jesus as Messiah will have eternal consequences.
From Jewish Literature:
Talmud: Messiah will have all the spiritual and mental qualities that are a prerequisite to be endowed with the gift of prophecy.(2)
"He will be with the last deliverer, (Messiah), as with the first (Moses); as the first deliverer revealed himself first to the Israelites and then withdrew, so also will the last deliverer reveal himself to the Israelites and then withdraw for a while." (Midrash Ruth Rabbath 5:6)
Israel was told to look to the future when God will send a new "Moses" who again will deliver His people and speak to God face to face.
He will act as a mediator between the people and the Lord. (Jesus became the mediator of the new covenant Heb. 9:15 ; 12:24).
As is true with Moses, judgment from the Lord will be upon all who do not listen to Him.(3)
For an interesting article on the similarities between Moses and Jesus please read The Prophet Like Moses.
1). John MacArthur commentary from Book of Acts p.122.
2). Mashiach, The Principle of Mashiach and the Messianic Era in Jewish Law and Tradition by Jacob Immanuel Schochet p.39 (Igeret Teyman ch.4).
3). Messianic Perspectives, Christian Jew Foundation, Jan/Feb 2007.
Gates of Eden (Derek Prince) March/April 2002.