So some advocate of christianity gave a website to furnish evidence that Jesus was like Moses in fulfilment of a prophecy or promise of Moses in Deuteronomy 18 as quoted below:
You [Israel] shall be whole-hearted with the LORD your God. For these nations, that you are going to dispossess, listen to soothsayers and to diviners; but you? the LORD your God has not given such to you. The LORD your God will raise up a prophet for you, from your midst, of your brothers, like me; to him you shall listen; according to all that you asked from the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying: Don’t let me continue to hear the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, and I shall not die.’ And the LORD said to me:’They have done well in what they’ve said. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall tell them all that I shall command him. And it shall be that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet that shall speak a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak or that shall speak in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ (Deuteronomy 18:13-20)
Just to say it bluntly, it should be clear from this whole passage and its context that the promise is not about a specific person, but rather that Israel should not be like the nations who have their masters of the occult arts to supposedly tell them hidden things; instead God will give Israel prophets. It’s not a prediction of a certain person, but a promise that God will send people to communicate his will, as opposed to the abominable practices and occult practitioners of the nations.
But this advocate of christianity posited evidence that somehow Jesus was like Moses. Not just that, but that Jesus was like Moses in such a substantial way that Jesus was this specific prophet (that specific prophet that the text is not specific about) that was like Moses, or the best fulfillment of this promise. The evidence was a website that claimed to have 30 ways in which Jesus was like Moses. The web address is http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/Like_Moses/like_moses.html.
Now let me say this. In order for the website’s claim to have substance, these similarities cannot be general where many people can fulfill one of the 30 similarities claimed, but they must be clear, relevant to the point, and not easily fulfilled by Moses’ countrymen. Are the similarities obvious and clear and conclusive? Or do they require ambiguity, falsehoods, generalities that can be fulfilled by many Israelites and Jews, or irrelevancies? And is the majority of the list fulfilled in Jesus and meaningful, or is it a list of failed attempts?
Let’s take a look at this list of claimed similarities. I’ll edit out a few Hebrew terms out of respect for names of God. Keep in mind, we are looking for meaningful and specific similarities that could possibly match the phrase “a prophet like Moses”.
1. Just as there were 400 years of silence before [God] sent Moses to deliver Israel from her bondage to Pharaoh, so there were 400 of years [sic.] of silence before [God] sent His own Son, Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah, to utterly deliver Israel from her ultimate bondage to sin and death.
Firstly, was there 400 years of silence from God before God sent Moses to deliver Israel? What exactly is the evidence of this silence? There is nothing more to go on than a prophecy given to Abraham in Genesis 15 that his offspring will be foreign residents in a land not theirs and be enslaved for 400 years. Now regardless of the fact that, even amongst christians, there is a difference of opinion about when this 400-year period started, there is no sign, no evidence that God stopped speaking until Moses. That’s why, if you go to this christian webpage, most of the other points have bible citations, citations which are suspiciously missing from this point.
In fact, going with the sensible approach to these passages, then the 400 years didn’t start with the enslavement of the children of Israel, but with the sojourning of his seed, i.e., Isaac, then God was more than vocal throughout these 400 years.
And even if there was a 400-year silence from God before Moses and Jesus, is this a meaningful similarity? Is 400 years an exact number or a rounding up or down? It is extremely doubtful that the silence between Malachi, the last Jewish national prophet, and Jesus was exactly 400 years, especially when christians can’t even decide what year Jesus was actually born in, some saying one year and another group saying another. Do we just pick the right one that suits our fancy?
So is this similarity clear and specific, meaningful in being “a prophet like Moses”? Not really.
Let’s try the next one.
2. Both Moses and Yeshua [Jesus] were sent from God (Exod. 3:1-10; John 8:42)
Now remember, Moses is a foundation point, so it is assumed that he was sent from God. It has to be taken for granted in order for this similarity to have any meaning. But the notion that Jesus was sent from God … that can only have any meaning if you’ve already accepted him as being sent from God. Sounds a bit circular. Isn’t that what is being proven?
You see, being sent from God could mean anything. If you look in the Hebrew Bible, you’ll see that God sends good and bad things. In Deuteronomy 13, there is a false prophet described who can do miracles and predict things, yet he is false and trying to lead the people of Israel astray to idolatry and/or forsaking the commandments of God in one way or another. And how can the false prophet have such power? Because God is using that prophet to test the people. So God can send good or bad, a blessing or a curse. There are clear evidences that God sends both good and bad. But the missionary, this christian website, wants you to believe that Jesus was sent from God in the same way Moses was sent. But once again, how do we know this? That is yet to be seen. But you would have to already have the christian beliefs to think that this point held any weight. And if you don’t have those beliefs, then this point means nothing.
3. Both Moses and Yeshua [Jesus] were Jews (Exod. 2:1-2; Matt. 1:1-16; Luke 1-2; Heb. 7:14).
Now seeing that the original promise was given to the Israelites, then the fact that this prophet would be an Israelite may seem special to outsiders, like muslims and other gentiles, like christians. But to actual Jews, actual Israelites, it’s like walking down the road and meeting almost anyone whilst living in Israel.
For those who are custodians of the scripture, the Jews, although being a Jew may be part of the promise, it is not specific enough to make you think “this is a prophet like Moses”. Think about it! A Jew walks down the road and sees another Jew, any other Jew. Is that enough to claim that this man is “a prophet like Moses”?
So is this specific, clear and meaningful? Nope.
4. Both had faithful Jewish parents (Exod. 2:2; Heb. 11:23; Matt. 2:13-14).
Stop for a second. Does having faithful parents make a person “a prophet like Moses”? Think of the context of Deuteronomy 18. The nations have the occult abominations to supposedly tell them hidden things, so God will give Israel prophets (or “a prophet”). What does this have to do with “having faithful Jewish parents”? Is this a meaningful similarity for us to think “a prophet like Moses”?
Sometimes, at least so far, the compiler of this list seems not to be looking for “a prophet like Moses” but “any similarity to Moses”. Once you get this general about the similarities, you can start including dogs and cats as possible candidates. I mean Moses walked on legs, and cats and dogs walk on legs. Similarity, right? The criteria used by this compiler of this list seems too loose to have any significance.
5. Both were born under foreign rule (Exod. 1:8-14; Luke 2:1).
Do you know how many millions of Jews throughout history have been born under foreign rule? Do you know how many exiles the Jews have had, or how many remained in foreign lands? Again, just what sort of criteria is this compiler using?
Again, think about biblical prophets, take Jeremiah as an example. Does the fact that he was a prophet but living in Israel under Jewish rule make him “a prophet unlike Moses”? What does foreign rule have to do with being a prophet like Moses? Nothing!
6. Both were threatened by wicked kings (Exod. 1:15-16; Matt. 2:16).
Once again, think about relevance to “a prophet like Moses”. Does a person have to be threatened by a king, sorry, a wicked king to be seen as “a prophet like Moses”? Would it make a person an even greater prophet if they get threatened by a good king? How many men and prophets have been threatened by kings?
Once again, it is like the compiler of this list isn’t looking for “a prophet like Moses”. They’re just looking for “like Moses”, dropping off the “a prophet” bit and then attaching it to Jesus. Having gone through all 300+ so-called messianic prophecies and having seen the tactics that such christians use, I feel like history is repeating: the piecing together of irrelevant claims and pinning them to Jesus.
7. Both Moses and Yeshua [Jesus] spent their early years in Egypt, miraculously protected from those who sought their lives (Exod. 2:10; Matt. 2:14-15).
I’ll quickly move past the fact that this supposed similarity has nothing to do with someone being “a prophet like Moses” (since when has where you lived as a young boy had anything to do with prophecy???). Let’s consider if this is really as similar as the compiler paints it.
Ok, why was Moses in Egypt? He was born and raised there. He was there for a significant portion of his early life and only left there when he was old enough and grown enough to kill a grown man.
Ok, according to the stories in the new testament, did Jesus go to Egypt and for how long? The book of Luke knows nothing of Egypt and generally contradicts the story in Matthew of Jesus being taken to Egypt by his mother and father. And they were only there for a short number of years before they returned back to Judea. So Jesus was born outside Egypt, went there for possibly a few years and went back to Judea.
And how exactly were they miraculously protected? The King of Egypt wanted all Israelite male babies killed. Moses was put in a basket by his mother and was found by an Egyptian princess who loved him and raised him. God is not overtly mentioned in the way Moses was saved, but his assistance is assumed. Jesus? Well, at least according to one story, Herod wanted to kill him personally, and, knowing him to be in Bethlehem but not knowing exactly where, slaughtered all the boys in his search for Jesus in particular. Jesus’ father was warned in a dream to take him to Egypt to be safe.
So although this similarity was worded the way it was, when you actually look at the details of each events (if you ignore Luke), then there isn’t much similarity at all.
So what was the similarity again? Ah yes, spending early years in Egypt being miraculously protected. So this is firstly irrelevant to being a prophet like Moses, and secondly, very dissimilar and different in detail.
Bad choice of “similarity”.
8. Both rejected the possibility to become rulers in this age. Moses was raised as a son in the royal family and could have enjoyed a lavish lifestyle as a powerful ruler, but he chose differently (Heb. 11:24); Satan offered Yeshua the rule over the kingdoms of this world (Matt. 4:8-9), but rejected that offer and chose to suffer and die for the sake of the people of Israel.
Take careful note of this “similarity”. The proof for Moses’ rejection of rulership is taken from the new testament itself because the book of Exodus is totally silent about Moses being some prince or ruler in Egypt. The problem with this is that Exodus, not the new testament, is the source material. The new testament book of Hebrews is, at best, an anonymous interpretation (the authorship of Hebrews is disputed). To use the new testament to prove the claims of the new testament is a weak proof.
So what really is the basis of this similarity? It definitely isn’t Exodus where the basis for the comparison should have been taken.
We won’t take up too much time with Satan’s supposed offering of the kingdoms of the world to Jesus as it is based on the idolatrous notion that the world belongs to some great evil spirit.
But once again, think about the details. If we even believed Moses’ supposed chance of rulership to be based on the text of the Jewish Bible, then Moses was raised in the house of Pharaoh. That’s what he had all his life in a real way. Jesus basically just went to the wilderness for 40 days to be tempted and that was the last temptation, which didn’t span the whole 40 days. So once again, the details of this similarity are very different.
So is this a valid similarity? Nope! The evidence isn’t taken from Exodus but from a new testament book, and once again the details of the similarity are too different. Shall I add to this the fact that this has nothing to do with being “a prophet like Moses”?
9. Both Moses and Yeshua were “sent from a mountain of God” to free Israel. Moses was sent from (physical) Mount Sinai in Midian, Arabia; Yeshua was sent from a spiritual “Mount Zion” in Heaven (Heb. 12:22).
Just think about this. Moses is sent from a real mountain, and Jesus is sent from an invisible non-literal one. In essence, in reality, Jesus wasn’t sent from any mountain. And this is similar??? In fact, the verse in Hebrew 12:22 says absolutely nothing, NADA, about Jesus coming from a mountain!!! So what was the similarity again? Oh, Moses was sent from a real mountain, and Jesus wasn’t! Not so similar.
Again, I’ll rush over the part of this analysis that notices that, thinking of the context of Deuteronomy 18, coming from a mountain has nothing to do with being “a prophet like Moses”.
10. Both were initially rejected by the Jews (Exod. 32:1; Isa. 53: 3; Matt. 27:21-2;
Stop again, just for a moment. So what evidence does this list give us to say that Moses was initially rejected by the Jews? Exodus 32:1! Do you know what Exodus 32:1 is about? After Moses met the Israelites, after they went through the 10 plagues, after they came through the Reed Sea, after they had been travelling in the wilderness for some time, after the Decalogue had been given, after all this, then the people, thinking Moses to be dead, made a golden calf to guide them. Would you call this “the Jews initially rejecting Moses”? Isn’t it a bit late for “initially”?
And was Jesus rejected by the Jews? The same Jesus who “grew in wisdom and favour with men” (Luke 2:52)? The same Jesus who spoke to the multitude numerous times, like in Matthew 5? The same Jesus who has such a throng of people around him, he couldn’t tell which woman touched his garment to get healed? The same Jesus that had a group of mourners at his death? The same Jesus who was followed by so many that he had to produce a miracle with bread and fish to multiply them to feed the thousands of them? This Jesus was “initially rejected”?
Is this a similarity? In no meaningful sense of the word is there any similarity between Jesus and Moses with this claim.
So I’ve got through a third of these “similarities” and I’m yet to find a meaningful one. Let’s go through some more and see if the christian compiler of this list changes his ways or remains confined to this odd use of scripture.
11. Both were accepted by Gentiles (Moses by the Midianites (Exod. 2:14-22); Yeshua by the world (Acts 10:45; 1 Tim. 3:16))
Now is this really a similarity?
In what way was Moses “accepted by the Midianites”? Well, he had just ran away from Egypt after murdering someone and needed a place to stay. The Midianites let him stay.
In what way was Jesus accepted by the world? Well, if we’re dreadfully honest, Jesus has never been accepted by the world, only a number of people of different nations. Had Jesus been on the run like Moses was? Nope! Was it due to Jesus escaping being captured for being a murderer that “the world” gave him a place to stay? Nope!
So what was that similarity again? Oh yeah, there isn’t one!
12. Both were criticized by their families (Num. 12:1; Mark 3:20-21).
Firstly, being criticized by one’s family has little to do with whether one is “a prophet like Moses”.
Secondly, look at the details. Moses was criticized by his brother and sister for marrying a Cushite woman. Jesus was … wait there! When you actually look at the text of Mark 3:21, it is claimed that Jesus’ family criticized him, saying that he is mad. I can only say that it claimed, as the Greek version of that passage doesn’t outrightly say “family” but rather “those beside him”, which is why the argument that his family criticized him disappears if you look at certain versions of the new testament which translates this as his friends criticizing him (see the King James version). Once again, pick your translation/interpretation of the Greek passage to suit your fancy. But it would seem odd, wouldn’t it, that in one instance, Jesus’ family supposedly criticizes him in Mark 3, and then in another instance, his mother shows such faith in him in John 2. This is not to say this is a contradiction, as it is not. But the question is whether this is a substantial and meaningful similarity between Jesus and Moses in relation to the phrase “a prophet like Moses”. It is not.
This supposed similarity is basically totally irrelevant to prophecy. And it is a similarity that has to be argued into existence with the varying interpretations/translations of Mark 3:21 due to the ambiguous nature of the Greek text.
13. Both knew God panim l’panim (face to face). God spoke directly to both Moses and Yeshua [Jesus] (Exod. 3:1-10; Deut. 34:10; Luke 9:34-36). All other prophets received their revelation by visions or dreams (Deut. 34:10; John 1:18). Both were authoritative spokesmen for God (Matt. 17:5; John 3:34).
Let’s question this a bit. OK. Now it is overtly stated in the Jewish Bible that Moses spoke to God face to face. That is never stated in the new testament about Jesus. It is only assumed by the compiler of this list. So this isn’t really a similarity but a belief that the compiler has.
He also states that both Moses and Jesus were authoritative spokesmen for God. Really? Let’s think about this. Moses literally led the whole of Israel. When there were any insurrections or rebellion, with God’s overt and obvious intervention, they were put down. Moses laid down God’s law for the whole nation for their 40-year trek through the desert and was mourned by the whole nation when he died. And Jesus??? He didn’t lay down the law for the whole nation. Whereas Moses help institute the priesthood and courts who went to him for final approval, Jesus was ignored by both institutions. It is difficult to see how there is any substance to this claim of similarity when Jesus and Moses are polar opposites. Moses was a judge and lawgiver for all of Israel, and Jesus’ opinions were ignored for the most, being leader of a group of maybe thousands (judging by how many people he had to feed at times) rather than leader of the nation as Moses was. Moses’ miracles and miraculous confirmations of his leadership were witnessed by the nation, regardless of their faith. Jesus couldn’t pull off his “miracles” in certain places because they didn’t believe in him.
So there is nothing authoritative about Jesus when compared to Moses. Jesus, at best, was leader of a sectarian group, not an authoritative leader of the whole nation as Moses was.
14. Both were teachers (Deut. 4:1-5; Matt. 22:16; John 3:2).
Being a teacher isn’t a significant part about being a prophet. Remember, we are looking for “a prophet like Moses”. There are many teachers around. I had many while I was in school. But being a teacher is not being a prophet. Some may say “but a prophet can teach”. Sure he can, but that’s not what makes a prophet.
So no, once again, this compiler is not looking for “a prophet like Moses” but “anything we can find that is similar to Moses”.
15. Both revealed God’s Name (Exod. 3:13-14; John 17:6, 11-12)
Really? What does Exodus 3 says? Moses is worried by questions that the people may ask when he goes to them on a mission from God. One such question is “what is God’s name?” God tells Moses the name he should use. I won’t go into detail.
Now the fourth gospel, called the book of John, has Jesus claiming to have manifested and kept God’s name in a prayer. The question is when did he do this? Because at no point in the whole of the gospels is Jesus given any sort of answer or commission from God as Moses did in Exodus 3.
So there is no obvious similarity here between the clear and obvious words in Exodus for what God told Moses, and what Jesus claims to have done. And if we are looking for “a prophet like Moses”, where, in the biblical criteria for what a prophet is, does it stipulate that a prophet must “reveal God’s name”? I’d love to see that Prophet’s Handbook that is missing from the entire Jewish Bible.
16. Both were faithful to God (Num. 12:5-7; Heb. 3:1-2)
Now it is obvious and clear that generally Moses was faithful to God. But Jesus being faithful to God in the same way is questionable. It’s a claim of the new testament book of Hebrews that Jesus was faithful. But those who are ignorant and/or already devoted to Jesus are bound to claim that. But when those who are knowledgeable in God’s Law compare Jesus’ life and words to that, there are a significant number of places where Jesus came up short when it came to faithfulness to God’s Law, whether it comes to lying, disrespecting his parents or adding to God’s law, amongst other things. Again, a devotee to Jesus may disagree with this, but this is not by far a clear similarity between Jesus and Moses.
Plus, it should be added, that being faithful to God is something incumbent on all humans, not just prophets. So this is a general criteria that many fulfilled, not something specific to being “a prophet like Moses”.
17. Both gave the people bread from Heaven (Exod. 16:14-15; Matt. 14:19-20) and performed various miracles (Exod. 4:21-8; Deut. 34:10-12; John 5:36; 12:37-8).
So both are supposedly supposed to have given bread from Heaven. Let’s just compare the proof text given here. Exodus 16 has God overtly telling Moses in verse 4 that he will rain down bread from heaven which people should gather daily (apart from on Sabbath) and that is what happened in the form of manna which fed an entire nation over the course of decades. Take careful note, this bread literally rained from heaven or the sky.
Now let’s look at Matthew 14:19-20. What happened? Jesus took loaves of bread and multiplied it. Stop! So Jesus took loaves of bread that were already existent on the earth and multiplied it to give to a group of several thousand for a part of one day. And this is called “giving bread from heaven”??? Where’s the similarity with what happened with Moses? The answer is fairly simple: there is no similarity.
Again, what does providing bread from heaven have to do with being a prophet like Moses? So take for instance Jeremiah or Isaiah or Elisha. They were known to be prophets but it had nothing to do with whether they brought down bread from heaven. Apparently being a prophet is something different than what miracles you perform. Thinking again about the whole of Deuteronomy chapter 18, is the main focus of having this prophet like Moses that he should perform certain miracles? Nope! It was something different. I challenge you to read the whole of Deuteronomy 18 yourself just to see what this prophet was supposed to do.
Again, is it just the performing of miracles that makes a prophet like Moses? Let’s remind ourselves of the nature of the miracles performed. With Moses, many of his miracles had a national impact, and occurred regardless of whether people believed or not. With Jesus, if those around him didn’t believe, he couldn’t perform a miracle, and his claimed miracles were only local to the people around him. So there was a lot more substance to Moses’ miracles than Jesus’. The nature of these miracles were totally different.
Once again, we hit upon the issue of relevance and whether the similarities hold true when you add some scrutiny to it. This similarity fails.
18. Both were appointed as saviors of Israel (Moses as Israel’s deliverer from the bondage to Pharaoh; Yeshua as Israel’s deliverer from the bondage to Satan).
Once again, if you look at Deuteronomy 18, you have to question the relevance of this “similarity”. Just ask yourself, according to the text of Deuteronomy 18, why was this prophet needed? What couldn’t the people of Israel do that this prophet could according to that text? It wasn’t “being a saviour”.
But once again, let’s look at the nature of this supposed similarity. So Moses’ act of saving the people was literal, national, and obvious. You didn’t have to ask the question afterwards “do you believe that Israel was rescued from Egypt?” The fact that they were no longer in Egypt and on their way to the land of Canaan which was promised to their forefathers made it blatantly obvious that they were rescued from slavery in Egypt.
Now let’s take a look at Jesus’ “salvation”. Oh wait there! We can’t! Why? Because it is invisible. You can’t see it. At no point in history was there a literal being called Satan and people saw the bodily Jesus wrestling him to the ground and beating him and thereby setting Israel free from his tyranny. In fact, if you accept this belief in Satan being responsible for sin and ruling the world, then it should be plain and obvious to you that this rule has not been lifted. Even christians speak of being attacked by Satan. Paul, after Jesus’ death, still spoke of “the god of this world” who is not the one true God. You still see sin and death all over this planet, temptation and strife, and even christian talk about the devil causing havok across the world. So there is no obvious sign of this victory. It’s all invisible. You have to believe it as it is not something you can see.
So Moses’ salvation was obvious, evident, and national. Jesus’ salvation is invisible and debateable (not to mention illegal according to Torah, as human sacrifice is not part of Torah).
So what was this similarity again? I see none. Was this similarity even relevant? No!
19. Both were shepherds of Israel (Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness (Exod. 3:1; Numbers), Yeshua [Jesus] led His followers as the Good Shepherd (John 10:10-11; Matt. 9:36)).
Now for this “similarity”, we don’t even have to look at the bible to see the problem with this claim. What does it say? The claim is that both were “shepherds of Israel”. But then note what is claimed for each: Moses led the Israelites – the nation of Israel – through the wilderness; Jesus led his followers. Now I hope you can see the difference and the irrelevancy here. Moses, having led the whole nation of Israel was metaphorically a shepherd to them. Jesus, having led his followers, a small segment of Isral, was not a shepherd to Israel, only supposedly to his followers. So Jesus, according to the wording of this point, was not a shepherd to Israel, and definitely not like Moses was. So this is no similarity.
20. Both were humble servants of the LORD (Num. 12:3; Luke 2:46-47; Phil. 2:8-9).
Again, let’s see if this is really a similarity that we can see. So Moses is overtly called a humble man by the text. What is the similarity? What proof text does this website bring up? Luke 2:46-47, Jesus, without his parent’s consent, stays behind in Jerusalem while his parents go home to a different town and when he is found again, he is in the temple talking with Jewish teachers and answer questions. The text says nothing about him being humble. Philippians 2 claims that Jesus was in some elevated form and then humbled himself to become a man, to become a servant. Take special note, this is only a claim by Paul, a man who never knew Jesus and claims to have gotten his revelations from the spirit-Jesus. Not the best sort of evidence at all for Jesus’ humility.
So we have an clear word of scripture to state that Moses was humble, and we have a thoughtless boy who caused his parents grief by not following them as he should and had some back-and-forth with the Jewish teachers, and the claims of a man who only claims to have gotten his revelations from some spirit he identified as Jesus. Although this may seem strong evidence for a devotee to Jesus, for those looking for solid evidence, it’s all a bit too weak.
Two thirds of the way through, and we still haven’t found a strong contender for a similarity that is in line with the contextual understanding of “a prophet like Moses”. I’m getting hints of deja vu.
21. Both fasted for forty days in the wilderness (Exod. 34:28; Matt. 4:2)
Is fasting in the desert a necessary criteria for being a prophet? No, it’s not. So what does this have to do with being “a prophet like Moses”? Nothing!
In fact, let’s think about the opposite nature of this similarity. Moses went up the mountain, didn’t take in food or drink, and had an intense and apparently constant communication with God. Jesus went into the desert and was met by the devil. Take about a qualitative difference!!!!
This “similarity” is neither relevant, nor is it qualitatively the same.
22. Both were Mediators of a covenant of blood: Moses of the older covenant (Exod. 24:7-8) and Yeshua [Jesus] of the new covenant (Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; Heb. 9:11-15; 1 Cor. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:6).
Now, once again, it is plain that Moses played a key role in God creating a covenant with Israel in the wilderness. But it was a covenant focused not on blood but rather a relationship and pact that was made knowingly between God and Israel. Israel had said that they would do what God said and listen to his law. Moses then used animal blood from ritual sacrifice as part of the ceremony of concretizing the pact between the two consenting parties.
The law and stipulations of this pact, this covenant of Moses, can be used to measure whether Jesus could have been the mediator of any new covenant. Were there two consenting parties for Jesus to act as a go-between? No. Neither mankind nor the nation of Israel consented to what Jesus did at that time, unlike Moses who had God and a consenting nation of Israel to act as a wanted mediator. The Torah stipulates what God would accept as an acceptable sacrifice. Did that Torah include the death or blood of a man? No! Was there any ritual sacrifice involved in Jesus’ supposed mediation of a new covenant? No! There was just the crude torture and execution of a man totally bereft of sanctity and ritual. Moses’ covenant had a book of law and a nation to make that law its way of life which it has done even until today. And Jesus’ covenant? Christianity is known for the strife and divisions within it since Jesus left nothing concrete for his followers. And with nothing concrete, it was easy for many to come in claiming to have the holy spirit and causing the amount of division that has left numerous sects and denominations within christianity, each accusing the other of being false in some fundamental way.
If there are no two consenting parties, then there is no covenant, no pact. Jesus had nothing. His Jewish followers dispersed and disappeared in time. And the gentile church that took their place was the fruits of Paul, a man whose central claim to fame was speaking to a spirit-Jesus, never having known the real man himself.
So there is no covenant.
And once again, the question has to be asked, if you look at the context of Deuteronomy 18, is anything said about the prophet having to bring forth a new covenant? I think the prophetic role spoken of in Deuteronomy 18 was a lot simpler. So yet again, we have an irrelevancy. Oh, it may be grand to have people claim that you brought for a brand new covenant. But we are not looking for “grand”. We are looking for relevant. And creating covenants has nothing to do with “a prophet like Moses”.
So there is no substantial similarity between Moses and Jesus in this claim. And once again, it is totally irrelevant.
23. Both offered to die on behalf of the people’s sins (Exod. 32:30-33; John 17).
I’m going to irritate you by repeating myself, but there is a reason for it.
Looking at the whole of Deuteronomy 18, what does offering to die in the place of the nation have to do with being a prophet like Moses? Remember, the promise was not that God would give “a man like Moses”! It wasn’t that he would give “a teacher like Moses”. He never even promised that he would give “a man with character traits like Moses”. No. He said he would give “a prophet like Moses”. In the description of the role of a prophet in Deuteronomy 18, is there anything said about self-sacrifice? Nope! So is this relevant? Nope!
But let’s notice something else that is relevant to this whole claim-game. What did God tell Moses when he selflessly asked that he die rather than the people of Israel for the sin that they had committed? “The person who sins against me, I will blot that one out of my book of life” (Exodus 32:33). This message is reflected in other places in the Jewish Bible, like in Ezekiel 18, where God says, “The soul that sins, that one shall die!” Essentially it says that one person cannot die for another; we are all responsible for out own choices and actions!”
Why is this significant? Because Jesus and his followers learnt nothing. What exactly do we have with Jesus? The exact opposite. Whereas God through Moses taught that everyone is responsible for their own sin, no one can die for another, Jesus and his followers taught that not only can one person die for another if they are righteous enough, but that it was imperative and necessary for such a thing to happen. Jesus’ claim flat-out contradicts the teachings of the Jewish Bible about personal responsibility. Jesus didn’t fulfil the law; he contradicted it. Jesus wasn’t similar to Moses; the teachings spawned from his act is totally contrary to that of the life of Moses.
So this claim of similarity is irrelevant to “a prophet like Moses” and its content attempts to repudiate the teachings of God through Moses.
24. Just as Moses instituted the LORD’s Passover on Nisan 14 as the means by which the Angel of death would pass over those Israelites who trusted in God’s promise regarding the blood of the lamb (Exod. 12:11-12), so Yeshua [Jesus] offered Himself as the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
Now notice that this point has now shift what it is trying to prove. The whole section was trying to find ways in which Jesus resembled Moses to go with the phrase “a prophet like Moses”. But this point has nothing to do with Jesus being similar to Moses. Look at this point that the writer makes. His claim is not that Jesus instituted God’s Passover like Moses did. It is that Jesus offered himself as the sacrificial lamb, which is totally not like Moses. Moses did not offer himself as the Paschal lamb. So this has nothing to do with Jesus being similar to Moses.
Note also that what Jesus was supposed to be does not even resemble what the Passover lamb was for. Just go and read Exodus 12. The Passover lamb had nothing to do with “taking the sins of the world”. The animal was killed, had its blood drained, and then later on that night, it was eaten quickly. Its blood was painted on the doorposts and lintel as a sign, a symbol. No part of this practice had to do with the removal of sin, as this compiler suggests. Jesus wasn’t killed, drained of blood, and eaten. His blood was supposed to remove sin, not protect against the angel of death and catastrophe. I know that christians may try to spiritualize what the Passover lamb signified but there is a reason why they must spiritualize it: because on the face of it, reading the text of Exodus 12 for what it says, it has no resemblance to what literally happened to Jesus, who was whipped, and nailed to a cross to die from the inability to breathe, not from bloodloss. Again, Jesus’ death was an crude, painful and messy execution (which was not a legal form of execution according to Torah law), not a careful ritual process as was performed on the Passover lamb.
So this is no resemblence between Moses and Jesus, and it is totally irrelevant to the phrase “a prophet like Moses” as the context of Deuteronomy 18 says absolutely nothing to link the role of a prophet to the Passover lamb.
25. Just as Moses brought about the “resurrection” of the children of Israel as they passed through the Red Sea; so Yeshua became the Firstfruits of resurrection as He rose from the dead.
What is a resurrection? It is a bringing the dead back to life. In no part of the Jewish Bible is Moses’ taking the children of Israel described as a resurrection. This is just a creation of the compiler. There was no resurrection at the Reed Sea. The children of Israel was alive before they went through the Reed Sea, and they were just as alive afterwards.
There is no similarity here. There is also no relevancy with regards to finding “a prophet like Moses”.
26. Just as the Torah was given to Israel fifty days after the Exodus from Egypt (on Pentecost or Shavuot), so Yeshua sent the Holy Spirit to form the Church fifty days after His resurrection.
If I said that there were 50 days between me buying a car and me driving it, would I be “a prophet like Moses”? Nope! The number 50, even 50 days, has nothing to do with the contextual understanding of the phrase “a prophet like Moses” in Deuteronomy 18. The only “similarity” in this claim is just the number, 50 days, nothing else. The rest is just christian spiritualizing.
Also take careful note, there is not one mention of Moses in this similarity. That is because the similarity has nothing to do with Moses himself, only to do with 50 days, which has nothing to do with finding “a prophet like Moses”.
So once again, there is no substantial similarity between Moses and Jesus in the sense of the contextual understanding of Deuteronomy 18 phrase “a prophet like Moses”, and this claimed similarity is totally irrelevant.
27. Both of their faces shone with the glory of heaven – Moses on Mount Sinai (Exod. 34:34-35) and Yeshua on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:2).
OK, so we have Moses’ face shining and Jesus’ face shining. Does this similarity have anything to do with the contextual understanding of the term “a prophet like Moses” according to Deuteronomy 18? No! A shiny face does not a prophet make! (A shiny face doesn’t make anyone a prophet like Moses!) So it’s irrelevant again.
But once again, let’s look at the nature of this shiny face. Why did Moses’ face shine? Proximity to a more direct form of God’s glory whilst he talked to him. Did it just happen once? Nope! Because Moses spoke often to God, his face shone all of the time to such an extent that he had to wear a veil over his face in mundane life, he only took it off to speak to God and then to relay what God said to the people, after which, because his face still shone, he put the veil back on (see the end of Exodus 34).
Now Jesus’ shiny face. It was a one off. It had nothing to do with proximity to God or relating to the people of Israel what God had said. Once the shining had come and gone on that part of one day, it was not said to occur again.
So the similarity is irrelevant, and it isn’t really similar at all.
28. As Moses lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness to heal his people (Num. 21:8-9); so Yeshua was lifted up on the cross to heal all believers from their sin (John 12:32).
Let’s do a copy-paste, ok?
Does this similarity have anything to do with the contextual understanding of the term “a prophet Moses” according to Deuteronomy 18? No! Lifting up a metal snake has nothing to do with what makes a person a prophet and thus has nothing to do with finding “a prophet like Moses”.
Let’s now see if there really is any similarity in this story? According to both stories, what was lifted up? In one, it was the metal snake, and in other, it is Jesus. So there is no similarity here between Moses and Jesus, or else it would have been Moses on the end of that pole, and that sounds too painful to contemplate. Let’s think of another part of that story according to the text. So if men who were poisoned by venomous snakes at the time of the bronze serpent would stare at that bronze serpent, they would be healed. Did anyone get healed physically by looking at the cross with Jesus on it? Not one mention of it! So really, this is another case of christian allegorizing and spiritualizing, a tool that could be used to make anything be similar to anything else. Take for instance, I think I’m a prophet like Moses. How? When I was buttering some toasted bread, I lifted up the knife which had some of the butter on it, and my mouth came alive with saliva at the thought of chomping down on that lovely bit of toast. I am therefore a prophet like Moses, right? Or at least I’m similar to Moses, right? Lifting up that knife, just as a christian is filled with the spirit, my mouth was filled with saliva. Oh what life there was in my mouth!
As soon as you start to use that allegorizing tool, the world is your oyster. You can make God into the Devil and back again.
But once you actually stop and set foot back on the grounding of the actual words of the Jewish Bible, you’ll notice that there is no relevant or substantial similarity in this claim.
29. As Moses conquered the great enemy of Israel, the Amalekites with his upraised arms (Exod. 17:11), so Yeshua conquered our ultimate enemy of sin and death by His upraised arms on the cross (John 19:18).
Moses didn’t conquer the Amalekites with his raised arms. It’s not as if the Amalekites came, took one sniff of Moses’ armpits as his arms were raised and then they were smitten and destroyed. No, first there was an army, the army of Israel. They fought the battle. As Moses arms were raised, then the army started winning, and if the arms dropped, the army started losing.
Now cue the christian spiritualizing and allegorizing again! Whereas at least Moses’ feat was obvious and evident, Jesus’ supposed victory is against the invisible by means of an unlawful death/sacrifice. There is no similarity here whatsoever. There was no army involved with Jesus. According to christian doctrine, only he could conquer sin, not an army of whatever, be they disciples or angels or whatever.
Once again, the contextual understanding of what a prophet is for in Deuteronomy 18 has nothing to do with miracles or raising hands. So there is no relevant and substantial similarity here.
30. As Moses sent twelve spies to explore Canaan (Num. 13), so Yeshua sent twelve apostles to reach the world (Matt. 10:1); and as Moses appointed seventy rulers over Israel (Num. 11:16-7), so Yeshua anointed seventy disciples to teach the nations (Luke 10:1).
Does the sending of 12 spies or the setting up of seventy “rulers” have anything to do with being “a prophet like Moses” based on the contextual understanding of what a prophet is supposed to do according to Deuteronomy 18? Hell no. So once again this is totally irrelevant.
Again, think about it. Moses’ spies were sent out to get information about the land and then go back to Israel and Moses with the information they had. They were not sent to “reach out to the Canaanites”. So this has no qualitative similarity with what Jesus’ disciples are meant to do. The only similarity is the number 12. Guess what! There are 12 hours on clocks around the world. So we can include clocks as contenders for “prophets like Moses”, right? That’s where christian allegory leads you: to nonsense.
The seventy men from the elders of Israel, the first Sanhedrin (court of judges), were appointed because Moses couldn’t carry the burden of the people alone, so this is the help he received. Was Jesus weary for some reason that he needed the 70 disciples? And nowhere is it stated that the 70 men of the elders were simply teachers. What real similarity do they have with the 70 disciples? None really.
So this 30 claim article ends with another irrelevant, baseless supposed similarity.
So out of 30 claims, how many actually were relevant and substantial? None! Even if I were wrong in one or two, that is not enough to make a significant claim for Jesus to be similar to Moses in a way conducive with the contextual understanding of the term “a prophet like Moses” in Deuteronomy 18. The fact is that Jesus was not a prophet like Moses. In many ways, Jesus wouldn’t be worthy to tie Moses’ shoelace or be his butler or toilet-cleaner. In all the important ways, the compiler of this list just left Deuteronomy 18 and forsook it as he just looked for anything somewhat similar to Moses he could get, smoothing any bumps with good “old-faithful”: spiritualizing and allegory. And because he neglected Deuteronomy 18, he missed the main criteria for what a prophet is. Maybe this was done so that he would miss the obvious meaning of the text, and not have to look in the eyes of Joshua, Samuel, Micaiah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and many others who were actually prophets like Moses, men of Israel who spoke God’s message, whatever God commanded them to say.
So this shows that, just like in so other ways that I’ve experienced, not only is Jesus a failure, but the text of the Jewish Bible still is the weakness of and the main voice against any missionary claim to uphold Jesus as being somebody special. How very disappointing!