Does the tanach provides us some guidelines to Identify a future prophet?

  • Why the downvote? There is nothing wrong with this question.
    – Dov F
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 15:56
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    @DovF: It ignores the oral law. It also likely indicates a lack of Googling. That said, I haven't downvoted it, myself.
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 16:03
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    Somewhat similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/22913
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 16:09
  • Ali, do you mean to ask whether Jewish tradition provides guidelines to identify a future prophet, or are you only concerned with tanach?
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 16:20
  • Ali, the reason Judaism places so much emphasis on the Oral Law, (well, other than the fact that we believe it was given in conjunction with the Written Law) is because the Torah often gives commandments without clear application or detail for the specifics. In this case, (and many other cases) much more has been written in the Oral Law than the Written Law. And the rest of TaNa"Ch does not really give us laws.
    – Seth J
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


As it is currently written, your question asks specifically about guidelines mentioned in Tanakh. The only one I can think of is Deuteronomy 34:10, which says:

And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom
the LORD knew face to face.

So if any prophet claims to be greater than Moshe Rabbeinu, he must be a false prophet.

Edit Thanks to msh210 for pointing out Deuteronomy 18:22

When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor 
come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken; the prophet
hath spoken it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him. 

This is another way of identifying someone who is not a true prophet: his prophecies do not come true.

Ali, you have mentioned 18:18. That verse doesn't really help to answer your question because it does not provide any guideline for determining whether someone is a prophet. It is simply a promise that a prophet (or really prophets) would come to help lead the Jews after the impending death of Moses.

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    God Almighty speaks to Moses in Book of Deuteronomy chapter 18 verse 18: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."
    – knowit
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 16:33
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    "There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face. " This explains that up till the time when this verse was written there was no prophet like Moses, it does not predict the signs of future prophet
    – knowit
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 16:35
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    @Daniel, consider 18:22.
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 16:56
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    @Ali In Tanach, there are multiple instances of phrasing like "and nothing the likes of such-and-such ever happened again." Since the Torah is the word of G-d, and G-d knows the future, these statements include all future history. The fact that the Torah was written very shortly after some of these events (such as Moshe's death) makes it obvious that the Torah was not saying something like "and in the past few days, no prophet like Moses has ever risen again!!!"
    – Fred
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 17:56
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    @Ali, Judaism does not consider the Quran or the Hadith to be truth. Therefore, we cannot say for sure that these prophecies actually occurred. Even if they definitely did occur, the verse quoted above only tells us how to disqualify a prophet, not how to positively identify one. Non-prophets may still make accurate predictions. Anyway, Judaism does not consider Mohammad to be a prophet, and any additional discussion trying to say otherwise is off-topic for this website.
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 14:39

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