Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 22 (Deuteronomy 18:22)

If the thing follow not - It is worthy of remark that the prophets in general predicted those things which were shortly to come to pass, that the people might have the fullest proof of their Divine mission, and of the existence of God's providence in the administration of the affairs of men.

The promise contained in the Deuteronomy 18:15 ; and Deuteronomy 18:18 ; verses of this chapter has long been considered of the first importance in the controversies between the Christians and Jews. "Christ," says Ainsworth, "was to be a man, and of the stock of the Jews, by promise, because the people could not endure to hear the voice of God, Deuteronomy 18:16 . And as in respect of his prophecy, so of the priesthood: for every high priest is taken from among men, Hebrews 5:1 ; and also of his kingdom, as in Deuteronomy 17:15 ; : From among thy brethren shalt thou set a king over thee like unto me.

  1. Christ alone was like unto Moses as a Prophet; for it is written, There arose not a prophet in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do, Deuteronomy 34:10 , Deuteronomy 34:11 , Deuteronomy 34:12 . This therefore cannot be understood of the ordinary prophets which were raised up in Israel, but of Christ only, as the apostles expound it Acts 2:22-26 .
  • Christ was like unto Moses in respect to his office of mediation between God and his people, Deuteronomy 5:5 ; 1 Timothy 2:5 ; but greater than Moses as being the mediator of a better covenant, (or testament), which was established upon better promises, Hebrews 8:6 .
  • Christ was like unto Moses in excellency; for as Moses excelled all the prophets in speaking to God mouth to mouth, Numbers 12:6 , Numbers 12:7 , Numbers 12:8 , so Christ excelled him and all men in that being in the bosom of the Father, he hath come down from heaven and declared God unto us, John 1:18 ; John 3:13 .
  • Christ was like to Moses in faithfulness, but therein also excelling; for Moses was faithful in God's house as a servant, but Christ as the son over his own house, Hebrews 3:2 , Hebrews 3:5 , Hebrews 3:6 .
  • Christ was like to Moses in signs and wonders, wherein he also excelled Moses, as the history of the Gospel shows; for he was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, Luke 24:19 . A man approved of God among them, by miracles, signs, and wonders, which God did by him in the midst of them, Acts 2:22 . For he did among them the works which no other man did, John 15:24 . Unto him, that is, not unto the diviners, wizards, or any such like, but unto him, and him only; as Him thou shalt serve, Deuteronomy 6:13 , is expounded, Him only, Matthew 4:10 . And though this is principally meant of Christ in person, of whom God said, Hear him, Matthew 17:5 ; yet it implies also his ministers, as himself said, He that heareth you heareth me, Luke 10:16 ." To these may be added,
  • As Moses was king among his people, in this respect Christ is like to him, but infinitely greater; for he is King of kings and Lord of lords, Revelation 19:16 ; 1 Timothy 6:15 .
  • He was like to Moses as a legislator. Moses gave laws to Israel by the authority and commandment of God, which the Jews have ever acknowledged as coming from the immediate inspiration of the Almighty: these are contained in the Pentateuch. Christ gave a new law, the Gospel contained in the four Evangelists and Acts of the Apostles, on which the Christian Church is founded, and by which all genuine Christians are governed both in heart and life. To all which may be added,
  • That God never commissioned any human beings to give laws to mankind but Moses and Christ; and therefore, as a lawgiver, Christ alone resembles Moses; for to the present hour none but themselves have given laws in the name of God, which he has ratified and confirmed by the most indubitable and infallible signs, proofs, and miracles.
  • Dr. Jortin, in his Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, has drawn a parallel between Moses and Christ in a great number of particulars, which he concludes thus: "Let us search all the records of universal history, and see if we can find a man who was so like to Moses as Christ was, and so like to Christ as Moses was. If we cannot find such a one, then have we found Him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write to be Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God." On this subject see Ainsworth, Calmet, and Dodd, who have all marked this striking correspondence between Moses and Christ.

    - Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible