Is Deuteronomy 18:18 about Jesus or Mohammed?                                       By Jack Kettler


“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)


Many readers of this blog may be shocked that a question like this about a Bible verse allegedly refers to the founder of the Muslim religion. With over 1 billion Muslims in the world, sooner or later, the student of Scripture may encounter this Twenty-first-Century popular Muslim belief.   


Does the above passage support the Muslim claim that Jesus is not the predicted prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18, but instead, this passage is a prophecy about Mohammed?


Matthew Henry's Commentary provides a time-honored interpretation of Deuteronomy 18:18:  


“18:15-22 It is here promised concerning Christ, that there should come a Prophet, great above all the prophets; by whom God would make known himself and his will to the children of men, more fully and clearly than he had ever done before. He is the Light of the world, Joh 8:12. He is the World by whom God speaks to us, Joh 1:1; Heb 1:2. In his birth he should be one of their nation. In his resurrection he should be raised up at Jerusalem, and from thence his doctrine should go forth to all the world. Thus God, having raised up his Son Christ Jesus, sent him to bless us. He should be like unto Moses, only above him. This prophet is come, even JESUS; and is He that should come, and we are to look for no other. The view of God which he gives, will not terrify or overwhelm, but encourages us. He speaks with fatherly affection and Divine authority united. Whoever refuses to listen to Jesus Christ, shall find it is at his peril; the same that is the Prophet is to be his Judge, Joh 12:48. Woe then to those who refuse to hearken to His voice, to accept His salvation, or yield obedience to His sway! But happy they who trust in Him, and obey Him. He will lead them in the paths of safety and peace, until He brings them to the land of perfect light, purity, and happiness. Here is a caution against false prophets. It highly concerns us to have a right touchstone wherewith to try the word we hear, that we may know what that word is which the Lord has not spoken. Whatever is against the plain sense of the written word, or which gives countenance or encouragement to sin, we may be sure is not that which the Lord has spoken.” (1)


Furthermore, Deuteronomy 18:18 could not refer to Mohammed since the prophet to come was like Moses, who did “all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent” (See Deuteronomy 34:11). The Christian response to a Muslim would be to ask when did and how did Mohammed perform these signs and wonders?


Christian apologist James White is well-read in Islamic theology; therefore, his interaction with the passages from Deuteronomy that are appealed to by today’s Muslims will be of great value:  


“The text most often put forward by Islamic polemicists in support of the above Qur’anic texts is Deuteronomy 18: 15–19: The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. This is according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying,” “Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.” The LORD said to me, “They have spoken well. I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.” (2)


White goes on with more relevant material:


“Though the citation of this text goes back to some of the earliest streams of Islamic thought, its prevalence among Muslims today is due primarily to one man: Ahmed Deedat. Millions of Muslims have seen this South African’s extended presentation of the text, and while he was not a scholar of any serious training, he was a master speaker and showman. Now millions around the world are convinced that these words from the Law of Moses could not possibly find fulfillment in Jesus but instead must refer to Muhammad….”


“The New Testament likewise sees this text’s fulfillment in the person of Jesus, not Muhammad. In the very earliest days of the Christian faith, years before the conversion of the apostle Paul, Peter said, Moses said, “THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.” And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. (Acts 3:22– 24) Peter not only applied Deuteronomy 18 directly to the Messiah, Jesus, he also insisted that all the prophets had announced the days that brought fulfillment in Jesus. This is the most primitive Christian affirmation, and it long precedes the advent of Muhammad. Note that the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18 finds perfect fulfillment in Jesus, not when we try to find parallels between Jesus and Moses in every aspect of their lives, but in the specific aspect the prophecy indicates: “I [The LORD] will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.” This is exactly what Jesus did, though in a far greater and more intensive way than Moses ever did.” (3)


James R. White's bio.


James R White is an evangelist, apologist, author, and Christian church member. He is the founding director of Alpha and Omega Ministries in Phoenix, Arizona, an international Christian apologetics organization, and the host of the weekly Podcast, 'The Dividing Line'.


White is a prominent figure in the Evangelical and Reformed circles of Protestantism. He holds a Bachelor’s in Theology and a Master’s of Divinity from Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary. He received a Th.D. in Historical Theology from Northwestern University.


His ministry focus is on defending the historic Christian beliefs against cults and other non-Christian religions. He has debated leading Christian apologists in the United States and the United Kingdom and has written several books defending traditional Christian beliefs.


White has authored or co-authored more than twenty books and written many articles in defense of a Biblical worldview and against errors within the Christian church. He has taught in numerous colleges and seminaries on topics including apologetics, textual criticism, biblical languages, the theology of Roman Catholicism and Calvinism, Christian ethics, and Greek philosophy.


In closing:


Deuteronomy 18:18 and 34:11 passages cannot be talking about Mohammed for the following reasons: 


1.      Deuteronomy 18:18 states, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.” This passage could not be referring to Mohammed because it predates the birth of Mohammed by more than 1700 years. Furthermore, Mohammed had no connection to the Israelites described in this passage, and he did not speak the words of God as Jesus did.


2.      Deuteronomy 34:11 states, “Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” Verse 34 does not refer to Mohammed. The Bible is sacred to Christians and does not reference Mohammed, meaning that Deuteronomy 34:11 cannot be referring to him, especially in light of John 5:39, which says, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”


3.      Muslims that read Mohammed into these texts are committing a historical anachronism. An anachronism is a literary fallacy that places someone or something associated with a particular historical time in the wrong time period. 


For more research:


Does the Bible Predict the Coming of Muhammad? Learn more at


“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)




1.      Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., Fourth printing 1985) p. 259.

2.      White, James R. What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur'an (pp. 181-182). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

3.      White, James R. What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur'an (p. 184). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.


Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife, Marea, attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of 15 books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at Amazon.