Do not prophesy falsely in the name of G-d

The Literal Commandment

'But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' (Deuteronomy 18:20)

 

The literal commandment is that the prophet who presumptuously says something in G-d's name which He did not command him to speak should die.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

This commandment pictures the Messiah in that He did not speak any word apart from what He was instructed by His Father:

So Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him." (John 8:28-29)

 

This does not mean that Messiah was a puppet that only mimicked the exact words that the Father spoke. Instead it means that Messiah spoke in a manner that is 100% consistent with the Father's nature and character.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not prophesying falsely in the name of G-d.

 

Traditional Observance

This commandment is traditionally observed in two ways:

  1. A person does not speak something false and attribute it to G-d.
  2. A person does not speak something true and falsely attribute it to G-d.

 

Both are equally considered to be violation of this commandment.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and we should not prophesy falsely in the name of G-d.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 44
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 4- Idolatry and Gentile Customs
  • Reference Deuteronomy 18:20
  • Scripture Book Deuteronomy
  • Chapter 18
  • Verse 20
  • English But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.
  • Hebrew כ אַךְ הַנָּבִיא אֲשֶׁר יָזִיד לְדַבֵּר דָּבָר בִּשְׁמִי, אֵת אֲשֶׁר לֹא-צִוִּיתִיו לְדַבֵּר, וַאֲשֶׁר יְדַבֵּר, בְּשֵׁם אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים--וּמֵת, הַנָּבִיא הַהוּא.
  • Greek 20 πλὴν ὁ προφήτης, ὃς ἂν ἀσεβήσῃ λαλῆσαι ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου ῥῆμα, ὃ οὐ προσέταξα λαλῆσαι, καὶ ὃς ἂν λαλήσῃ ἐπ᾿ ὀνόματι θεῶν ἑτέρων, ἀποθανεῖται ὁ προφήτης ἐκεῖνος.
  • Parashah 48- Shoftim
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 517
  • Sef. Hach. Command The prohibition against prophesying falsely
  • Category Idolatry
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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