Listen to the prophet speaking in G-d's Name

The Literal Commandment

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. (Deuteronomy 18:15)

 

The literal commandment is that we should listen to the prophet like Moses that G-d will raise up from among Israel.

 

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

Moses speaks of a prophet that G-d will raise up for the nation of Israel and instructs them to listen (hear and obey) him.  The prophet of which Moses spoke was the Messiah.

The Hebrew word translated as "listen" is shema and literally means "hear and obey".

The Septuagint is the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.  When the Hebrew word shema was translated into the Septuagint the Greek word akouo was used.  This word akouo is also found in the book of Matthew:

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen [akouoto Him!" (Matthew 17:5)

 

Moses commanded the Israelites to obey [shema/akouo] the prophet.

G-d commanded the Israelites to obey [shema/akouo] His Son.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah did not obey and fulfill this commandment.  He was the prophet of Whom the commandment spoke.

 

Traditional Observance

This commandment is traditionally interpreted to mean "obey every prophet in every generation... provided he does not change any of the commandments of the Law."

We were commanded to obey every one of the prophets, in all that he may order us.  Even if he should order us to do the opposite of one of the precepts, or even many precepts, temporarily - except for idol-worship- he is to be obeyed.  For verily, since he is a true prophet, all his intentions are for the good, and whatever he may do, he does to strengthen the religion and instill faith in the Eternal Lord, blessed is He.1

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and we should listen to the prophet like Moses that G-d raised up from among Israel. 

 

Moses speaks to the people of Israel and commands them to listen to [Hebrew: shema- hear and obey] a future prophet whom G-d will raise up for them.

The Hebrew wording of Deuteronomy 18:15 indicates a singular prophet... not many prophets.  It has been revealed that Messiah is the prophet "like unto Moses" and that G-d Himself spoke to the disciples and commanded them to akouo [listen and obey] His Son.  This is the Son whom the "winds the the sea" (Matthew 8:27) and "unclean spirits" obey (Mark 1:27). 

We are able to fulfill this commandment and be blessed as Messiah Himself declared:

But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." (Luke 11:28)

 

May we heed all the words of the Messiah and observe them... to the glory of His Name.

 

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Footnotes

1. Charles Wengrove, trans., Sefer HaChinuch (Jerusalem:Feldheim Publishers, 1984), vol 5, p103 [back]

Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 9
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 1- The Foundations of Torah
  • Reference Deuteronomy 18:15
  • Scripture Book Deuteronomy
  • Chapter 18
  • Verse 15
  • English The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.
  • Hebrew טו נָבִיא מִקִּרְבְּךָ מֵאַחֶיךָ כָּמֹנִי, יָקִים לְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ: אֵלָיו, תִּשְׁמָעוּן.
  • Greek 15 προφήτην ἐκ τῶν ἀδελφῶν σου ὡς ἐμὲ ἀναστήσει σοι κύριος ὁ θεός σου, αὐτοῦ ἀκούσεσθε
  • Parashah 48- Shoftim
  • Positive/Negative Positive
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 516
  • Sef. Hach. Command The precept to heed every prophet, in every generation, provided he changes nothing in the precepts of the Torah
  • Category Prophecy
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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