Deuteronomy 18:20
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
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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.Compare the marginal references. 19. whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him—The direful consequences of unbelief in Christ, and disregard of His mission, the Jewish people have been experiencing during eighteen hundred years. No text from Poole on this verse. But the prophet which shall presume to speak in my name,.... Pretending a mission and commission from God, and yet was never sent by him, like the prophets in Jeremiah 23:21,

which I have not commanded him to speak; which though true was not to be spoken in a public manner, by assuming a public office, without a divine authority or a commission from God, and much less what was false, and never commanded to be spoken at all by any:

or, that shall speak in the name of other gods; the idols of the people, as the Targum; as if any should affirm they were sent by Jove, or inspired by Apollo, as some are said to prophesy by Baal, as if they had received their orders and instructions from him, and were inspired by him, Jeremiah 2:8.

even that prophet shall die; the Targum of Jonathan is, be killed by the sword, but the Jews (q) generally interpret it of strangling.

(q) Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 10. sect. 1. Bartenora in ib sect. 5. and Jarchi in loc.

But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
20. the prophet, etc.] These special cases prove that throughout this passage no single prophet but a succession of prophets is meant.

which shall speak presumptuously, etc.] Heb. who shall be presumptuous (Deuteronomy 17:12, see on Deuteronomy 1:43) to speak a word, etc. It is notorious how many such ‘prophets’ appeared in Israel both before and during the seventh century (see Jeremiah passim). On the rest of the v. see on Deuteronomy 13:1-5.Verse 20. - If, however, a prophet should presume to speak in the Name of the Lord what the Lord had not commanded him to speak, or if he should speak in the name of other gods, not only was no regard to be paid to his words, but he was himself to be treated as a blasphemer, and to be put to death. Israel, on the other hand, was to be blameless with Jehovah (עם, in its intercourse with the Lord). Though the heathen whom they exterminated before them hearkened to conjurers and soothsayers, Jehovah their God had not allowed anything of the kind to them. ואתּה is placed first as a nominative absolute, for the sake of emphasis: "but thou, so far as thou art concerned, not so." כּן, thus, just so, such things (cf. Exodus 10:14). נתן, to grant, to allow (as in Genesis 20:6, etc.).
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