Deuteronomy 18:15-20
The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle of you, of your brothers, like to me; to him you shall listen;

The term "Prophet" covers the whole series of Old Testament prophets, culminating in Christ, the Prophet like unto Moses par excellence (see infra).

I. PROPHECY IN GENERAL. The prophet - what? Etymologically, one "boiling or bubbling over" with the Divine inspiration. No mere religious genius, but one truly and supernaturally inspired. A revealer and declarer of the will of God. Future events were foretold:

1. As signs.

2. In warnings and appeals.

3. In denouncing God's judgments.

4. In administering comfort.

5. In unfolding the Messianic hope.

6. In unfolding the Divine purpose underlying providential developments.

Prediction is thus a true and vital element in prophecy, but it is far from being of the essence of it. It is the function of the prophet either to declare new truth - truth gained by direct revelation, and given forth with the authority of Heaven as a "word of the Lord," or, taking up truth already revealed, to revive and enforce it with supernatural power and fervor, applying it to the circumstances, exigencies, and evils of his particular time. "The prophets were men who, when facing the people, stood as it were before God, and thus spoke fore and for him" (Morison).

II. PROPHECY AND MOSAISM. It is noteworthy that Mosaism contemplated the rise of prophecy from the first, and left room for it in the arrangements of the economy. It even required it for the carrying forward of its objects to completion. The dispensation was not a final one. The kingdom of God had a future which it was the task of prophecy gradually to disclose. The Law enclosed innumerable spiritual germs, which it was the function of prophecy to expand and develop. It had, moreover, underlying its ceremonialism, a spiritual basis, which it was the business of the prophets to bring to light, and to recall to people's minds when they appeared in danger of forgetting it. Prophecy was thus a standing witness to the life, freshness, and power which lay in the heart of a religion largely wrapped up in legal forms. Then there was the necessity for new light and guidance under the conditions of advancing national life, and in times of national emergency. The Law left not a little scope for extended applications of its fundamental principles, and it lay with the prophets to furnish the direction required. All this, in addition to their more general function of rebuking, warning, and testifying, in times of declension, which, with the carrying forward the development of revelation in its relation to Christ and his kingdom, may be regarded as the chief part of their work.

III. PROPHECY AND HEATHEN MANTICISM. The connection shows that prophecy is given in lieu of the heathenish practices that are forbidden. If God forbids divination, necromancy, consultation of familiar spirits, etc., he gives something better - some-thing that will lawfully supply the craving which these superstitions unlawfully sought to gratify. The soul:

1. Craves for a knowledge of God's will.

2. Desires guidance in critical times of life.

3. Ponders anxiously its relations to the invisible world and to the future.

4. Feels its personal unfitness for intercourse with God.

These cravings were the strength of heathen sorcery, etc., and they were provided for in prophecy. This, it may be noticed, is throughout a characteristic of revelation - it does not simply remove the bad, but provides for the supply of the cravings to which the bad appeals. - J.O.

Parallel Verses
KJV: The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

WEB: Yahweh your God will raise up to you a prophet from the midst of you, of your brothers, like me. You shall listen to him.

Presages of the True Prophet
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