According to the Bible, God said to Moses (peace be upon him):
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18)
The prophet described in the above verse must have the following three characteristics:
1. He will be like Moses.
2. He will come from the brothers of the Israelites, i.e. the Ishmaelites.
3. God will put His words in the mouth of that prophet and he will declare what God commanded him.
Let us see which prophet God was speaking of.
1. The Prophet like Moses
Some people feel that this prophecy refers to the prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). But, although Jesus was truly a prophet of God, he is not the prophet spoken of here. He was born miraculously, and, finally, God raised him up miraculously. On the other hand, Muhammad (peace be upon him) is more like Moses; both were born in a natural way and both died natural deaths.
2. From among the Ishmaelites
Abraham (peace be upon him) had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac (Genesis 21). Ishmael became the grandfather of the Arab nation, and Isaac became the grandfather of the Jewish nation. The prophet spoken of was to come not from among the Jews themselves, but from among their brothers, the Ishmaelites. Muhammad, a descendant of Ishmael, is indeed that prophet.
3. God will put His words in his mouth
“Neither the content of the revelation, nor its form, were of Mohammed’s devising. Both were given by the angel, and Mohammed’s task was only to repeat what he heard.” (World Religions from Ancient History to the Present, by Geoffrey Parrinder, p. 472)
God sent the angel Gabriel to teach Muhammad the exact words that he should repeat to the people. The words are therefore not his own; they did not come from his own thoughts, but were put into his mouth by the angel. These are written down in the Quran, word for word exactly as they came from God.
Now that we know that prophet we must listen to him, for, according to the Bible, God says: “I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.” (Deuteronomy 18:19)