Deuteronomy 18:15, A prophet from your midst, like me, shall YHVH your Elohim raise up for you.
Moses—A Prophetic Type of the Messiah
Obviously, Moses’ Deuteronomy 18 prophecy concerning the Messiah was fulfilled in the person of Yeshua. Who else in the history of the world could have fulfilled this prophecy? Despite this, the non-believing religious Jews, to their discredit, run around in philosophical circles attempting to prove that this verse does not apply to Yeshua. Similarly, the Christian church, in its own way, also disbelieves this prophecy. Let us examine some of the arguments attempting to circumvent the simple truth of this messianic prophecy.
For example, the Orthodox Jewish Torah translation The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash in its commentary states, “Moses told the nation that just as he was one of them, so God would designate future prophets [plural] from among the people to bring them his word” (p. 1033, emphasis added). What is wrong with this statement? Is the verse quoted accurately? Moses said “prophet” singular, not “prophets” plural, as the commentary says. So in this manner, the Jewish commentators switch the focus off of one single prophet who would arise, and make it appear as if all the prophets recorded in the Scriptures helped to fulfill this prophecy. This is dishonest biblical interpretation.
On another note, does the “Jesus” of the mainstream church who, it is taught by many church leaders, broke the Sabbath and came to do away with the Torah-law of Moses fulfill this prophecy? Didn’t Moses say that the prophet would speak only the words that Elohim would give him (and the implication is that those words would not contradict what was given at Mount Sinai)? So did Yeshua come to do away with the Torah-law or not? (Read Matt 5:17–19.) In commissioning his disciples in Matthew 28:20, didn’t Yeshua tell them to do and to pass on to others all that he had commanded them? Didn’t Paul tell us to, “Follow me as I follow the Messiah” (1 Cor 11:1)? So how is it that so many people in the mainstream church believe otherwise about Messiah Yeshua and Paul relative to their teachings on the Torah-law? The point we are trying to make here is that the “Jesus” of the Sunday church who, it is taught, came to annul the Torah, does not fit the criteria of this prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:15–19. Either the Torah is correct and the mainstream church is wrong or it is the other way around. We choose the former to be the truth, not the latter!
A prophet…like unto me. Let’s now study the parallels between Moses (Heb. Moshe) and Yeshua the Messiah (Heb. Machiach)to see how Yeshua perfectly fulfilled this prophecy.
Moses’ early life seems to foreshadow some details of Yeshua’s life and ministry. This really should not surprise us when we consider the words of the book of Hebrews (10:7 from Ps 40:7), which attributed to YHVH-Yeshua, who said, “The volume of the scroll was written of me.” Yeshua himself, when confronting the Pharisees in John 5:46, said “For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me, for he wrote of me.”
This of course begs the question, when did Moses write about Yeshua? Of course there are many places in the Torah that speak of the Messiah in types and shadows. This is a section of scripture that definitely verifies the words of Yeshua. Let’s now explore this passage to see how it pointed to the Master.
- There are similarities between the names Moshe (VAN/mem-shin-hey meaning “drawn from/to draw”) and Messiah (JHAN/mem-shin-yud-chet from JAN/mem-shin-chet meaning “to smear” [i.e. oil]). Etymologically there is no connection between the two, and the former terminates in the Hebrew letter hey v and the latter in a chet j, but the similarities in the two names are striking never the less.
- Moses was the only man in the Scriptures beside Yeshua who was a prophet (Deut 34:10), a priest and a king (Deut 33:5). While there may not be any place that specifically refers to Moses as a priest, he nevertheless was a Levite and held a priestly role as being in a higher office than even the high priest, for he communicated directly with YHVH and acted as an intermediary between YHVH and man, even as Yeshua acts as a high priest between YHVH and man (Heb 4:14). David was a king and a prophet, but not a priest. Samuel acted as a priest and was a prophet, but not a king. Only Yeshua and Moses acted as all three.
- Both Moses and Yeshua were born under the tragic circumstance of the murder of innocent boys. Pharaoh tried to kill all the baby boys including Moses, and Herod tried to do the same when Yeshua was a child.
- Moses grew up to become the “savior” of Israel in that he led the people out of Egypt. Yeshua, of course, is the greater and spiritual Savior of Israel in that he has delivered his people from sin and the spiritual Egypt of the world, the flesh and devil.
- Both Moses and Yeshua spent all or part of their childhood in Egypt (Matt 2:13–19) and both left Egypt for the Promised Land.
- Moses, after growing up into manhood, was rejected by his brethren. Yeshua, of course, was also rejected by his brethren, though more due to the fear of the religious leaders of the day.
- Moses began his ministry after 40 years in the wilderness; the Messiah spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness.
- Then Moses has the burning bush experience. There is much symbolism in this section of the story. The word “bush” in the Hebrew is the word ceneh, which is from an unused root meaning “to prick.” This indicates that the bush was most likely a thorn bush. Since the earth was cursed at the fall of man and now brings forth thorns, and since fire is a biblical metaphor for judgment, a burning thorn bush that isn’t burnt speaks of YHVH’s mercy. It also speaks of our Messiah, who became sin, and was judged, yet by his resurrection wasn’t consumed! That Yeshua wore a crown of thorns points us to the burning bush. Of course, the voice that spoke out of the burning bush was YHVH, or Yeshua in his preincarnate state.
- At the burning bush, Moses learns the name of YHVH. He will later use this name and make it known among the people. Yeshua did this also in his prayer to the Father in John 17:6, “I have manifested your name to the men whom you have given me.”
- Moses, being a man, felt insecure about his charge to lead the Hebrew people out of bondage. He tried to get out of it by saying that he was no speaker. YHVH answered saying, “Who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind?” Isn’t it interesting, and a testimony to the deity of Yeshua, that Yeshua was able to make a man who was blind from birth to be able to see? (John 9:1, see also Luke 7:22) Similarly, Yeshua at Gethsemane asked the Father to release him from his mission when he asked that the cup of his suffering might pass from him (Matt 26:39).
- Notice that before Moses goes back to his brethren, they must experience the “great tribulation” of the bondage of severe slavery. In the same way, we can infer that the end-time great tribulation period will precede the return of the Messiah (Matt 24:21 and 29–30).
- In our comparison between Moses and Yeshua, let’s consider the story of the circumcision of Moses’ sons. Surprisingly, the sons of Moses, the “strangers in a foreign land,” had been living all these years and NOT keeping the Torah–instruction of Elohim. Then, just as Moses was preparing to “return,” there is recognition that they had been out of covenant with YHVH and had been disobedient to his Torah, including the command to circumcise all male children. Zipporah, possibly depicting the “church,” was offended by this fact. Yet, in this story, Moses is the one who was threatened with death because Gershom, his first born son, wasn’t circumcised. Similary, Yeshua had to die because for our the sins, which had separated us from Elohim as we were living in a strange land spiritually (the world).
- Twice, Zipporah calls Moses a “bloody husband” (Exod 4:25–26). Is YHVH being redundant here, or is he drawing our attention to this event? Then blood is literally cast upon Moses’ feet (the Hebrew implies this). Surely our Savior had his own blood upon his feet, which he shed for our transgressions. Gershom (literally, “foreigner” or “sojourner”), one of Moses’ two sons, could be viewed allegorically as being representative of a redeemed believer in his pre-converted, unsaved and uncircumcised (of heart) state. It was the blood of Yeshua shed on the cross, in our place, that saved us from the wrath of Elohim and paid the death penalty price for our sins. Likewise, Moses’ sons were “guilty” before YHVH until blood was shed. In an abstract allegorical way, Moses’ action toward his sons may point to Yeshua work’s on the cross.
- Moses may have had some kind of physical inability to speak well (Exod 4:10). In our comparison between Moses and Yeshua, what are the deeper implications of this? In their Torah commentaries, the Jewish sages hold that Moses was tongue-tied. For the reason of being better able to communicate with Israel, after YHVH had become angry with Moses, Aaron was given to Moses to be his spokesman. In the same way, until he returns to reign in the age to come, Yeshua is physically unable to explain his Word to us in person. In the flesh, he is not present with us. For that reason, he has sent us a Helper or a Comforter or the Spirit of Elohim who shines spiritual light upon the Word of Elohim/Yeshua the Messiah (John 15 and 16), the Word of Elohim in flesh form (John 1:1–14).
More Parallels Between Moses and Yeshua
Scripture infers that Moses was a figure who prophetically foreshadowed Yeshua the Messiah. Perhaps the most notable scripture in this regard is the Deuteronomy 18 passage where Moses, speaking to the Israelites, prophesies that, “YHVH your Elohim will raise up unto you a prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren, like unto me, unto him you shall listen” (verse 15). Below we have compiled a list of similarities between Moses and Yeshua, which are too numerous to be merely coincidental (the majority of these insights are from the book Gleanings In Exodus by A. W. Pink).
- Both were Israelites.
- Both were born while their nations were under the dominion of a hostile power.
- As infants the lives of both were imperiled by the reigning king.
- Both were adopted (Joseph was the non-biological, adoptive father of Yeshua, whose “biological” Father was YHVH Elohim).
- Both spent their childhood in Egypt.
- Both were filled with deep compassion and sympathy for the plight of Israel.
- Both renounced their kingly glory and took on the form of a servant.
- Both were rejected by their brethren.
- Both were shepherds (Exod 3:1 and John 10:11, 16).
- Before entering into their ministry calling both spent time in seclusion in the wilderness: Moses for 40 years and Yeshua for 40 days.
- Both were commissioned by YHVH to set the captives free.
- The commission of both was confirmed by signs and miracles.
- Moses’ first two miracles involved his demonstrating his power over the serpent and leprosy (Exod 4:6–8. After commencing his public ministry Yeshua’s first miracles were power over the serpent (Matt 4:10–11) and over leprosy (Matt 8:3).
- Both delivered Israel from captivity. Moses delivered the Israelites from Pharaoh and Egypt (biblical symbols for Satan and the world, the flesh and the devil) and Yeshua delivers his people from the real things.
- The children of Israel were baptized into Moses (1 Cor 10:1–2) and redeemed believers into Yeshua (Rom 6:3).
- Both had their authority challenged.
- The lives of both were threatened.
- Both experienced deep sorrow over the ingratitude of their people.
- The love of both for their people was unquenchable.
- Both were prayerful.
- Both were faithful (Heb 3:5; Rev 3:14).
- Both provided Israel with water (Num 20:11; John 4:14).
- Both were kings (Deut 33:4–5; Luke 1:32–33).
- Both were prophets (Deut 18:18; John 7:16; 8:28).
- Both were priests (Ps 99:6; Lev 8:15–16; Heb 9:14).
- Both were mediators between man and the Creator (Deut 5:5; 1 Tim 2:5).
- Both were mediators of a covenant (Exod 34:27; Heb 8:6).
- Both sent out 12 men.
- Both had seventy elders or witnesses (Exod 24:9, Luke 10:1)
- Both had intimate communion with their Elohim.
- Both fasted for 40 days.
- Both were glorified on a mountain.
- Both washed their brethren with water (Lev 8:6; John 13:5).
- Both walked in obedience to Elohim and his laws (Exod 40:16; John 9:4; 14:10).
- Both erected a tabernacle or temple: Moses a physical one, and Yeshua a spiritual one.
- Both gave their people an inheritance (Josh 1:10–11; Eph 1:11).
- Both had to die prior to entering the Promised Land.
- Moses had a second appearance (Matt 17:3) and Yeshua is coming again.
Can there be any doubt that Yeshua was the Prophet to whom Moses makes reference in Deuteronomy 18:15 that YHVH Elohim would raise up who would be like Moses himself? Those who would deny the Person and work of Yeshua the Messiah have to explain away the many prophetic types and shadows that exist in the Tanach that were only fulfilled by Yeshua the Messiah. May your faith in and love for Yeshua, the Sent One from Elohim, be strengthened!