Deuteronomy 18:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?"

New Living Translation
"But you may wonder, 'How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the LORD?'

English Standard Version
And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’—

New American Standard Bible
"You may say in your heart, 'How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?'

King James Bible
And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You may say to yourself, 'How can we recognize a message the LORD has not spoken?'

International Standard Version
Now you may ask yourselves, 'How will we be able to discern that the LORD has not spoken?'

NET Bible
Now if you say to yourselves, 'How can we tell that a message is not from the LORD?'--

New Heart English Bible
If you say in your heart, "How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You may be wondering, "How can we recognize that the LORD didn't speak this message?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
And if thou say in thy heart: 'How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?'

New American Standard 1977
“And you may say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’

Jubilee Bible 2000
And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?

King James 2000 Bible
And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?

American King James Version
And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?

American Standard Version
And if thou say in thy heart, How shall we know the word which Jehovah hath not spoken?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And if in silent thought thou answer: How shall I know the word that the Lord hath not spoken?

Darby Bible Translation
And if thou say in thy heart, How shall we know the word that Jehovah hath not spoken?

English Revised Version
And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

Webster's Bible Translation
And if thou shalt say in thy heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

World English Bible
If you say in your heart, "How shall we know the word which Yahweh has not spoken?"

Young's Literal Translation
'And when thou sayest in thy heart, How do we know the word which Jehovah hath not spoken? --
Study Bible
A New Prophet
20'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.' 21"You may say in your heart, 'How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?' 22"When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 18:20
'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 18:22
"When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
Treasury of Scripture

And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?

1 Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it.

1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they …

Revelation 2:2 I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you …

Verses 21, 22. - The test by which it was to be discovered which was the true prophet and which the false, was the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of his prediction. The reference here is to the prediction of proximate events - events that were to happen within a limited period, but which were not such as one not divinely instructed could foresee. When such came to pass, the pretensions of the prophet were thereby substantiated, and his authority established (cf. 1 Samuel 3:19; John 2:18, etc.). This was a more certain test than such as was offered by signs and wonders (Deuteronomy 13:2, etc.).



And if thou say in thine heart, &c. Such a thought arises in the mind, and it appears to be a difficulty, and a query is made upon it:

how shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? What marks, signs, and criterions are those by which it may be known that it is not a word that comes from the Lord? 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.
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