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Zayin - Moses is the Father of the Prophets

The Seventh Principle -

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Moses is the Father of the Prophets

The seventh principle of Jewish faith is the belief that Moses is the “father of the prophets,” by which it is meant that Moses is the greatest of the prophets of all time.

Ani ma’amim be’emunah sh’leimah, shenevu’at Moshe rabbeinu,
‘alav ha-shalom, ha-yetah amittit, veshehu hayah
av la-nevi’im la-kodemim lefanav ve-laba’im acharav.

“I believe with complete faith that the prophecy of Moses our teacher, peace upon him, was true and that he was the father of the prophets, both to those who preceded him and to those who came after him.”

Maimonides explains “Moses was superior to all prophets, whether they preceded him or arose afterwards. Moses attained the highest possible human level. He perceived God to a degree surpassing every human that ever existed.... God spoke to all other prophets through an intermediary, but Moses alone did not need this; this is what the Torah means when God says "Mouth to mouth, I will speak to him."

This principle discloses the bias of rabbinical Judaism that the superlative agent of divine revelation was Moses, but neglects Moses’ own words that a Prophet would arise in the acharit ha-yamim (last days) “like unto him” that would reveal the Word of the LORD to Israel:

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers, it is to him you shall listen (Deut 18:15; cp. 18:18-19).

In addition, there is an epistemic problem with the idea that Moses is the greatest of the prophets of all time. Since direct revelation from the LORD is on par epistemologically, then the Prophet whom Moses foretells should be heeded as one with the same authority as Moses. As Moses himself wrote on behalf of YHVH:

    I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.”  (Deuteronomy 18:18-19).

If a prophet receives direct revelation from the LORD God and communicates this revelation clearly, then the same warrant for belief and justification for obedience must be accorded as is given to Moses. In addition, the idea that revelation could not be surpassed by anyone after Moses implies that Rabbinic Judasim is essentially static and closed to the possibility of further intervention from the LORD, ironically, including prophetic messages regarding the coming of the Mashiach Himself!

In the Brit Chadashah:

The Brit Chadashah, while granting the divine origin of the Torah of Moses, appeals to Yeshua Natzeret as the “goal” or “end” of the Torah - the One to whom the Torah and the Prophets speak as the fulfillment of all that the Torah and the prophets demanded.

The Torah was given by God at Mount Sinai, but Yeshua was far greater than a latter born Moses. He is the Word who was in the Beginning (John 1:1) through whom the world was created (Col 1:16). Since Yeshua is Himself Adonai, the commandments of the Torah are indeed Yeshua's commandments as mediated by Moses. Moses was a great prophet and servant of the LORD, but Yeshua is the LORD God Himself.

Jesus is Greater than Moses

    Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Yeshua, the Emissary and Kohen HaGadol of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God's house. For Yeshua has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses - as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Mashiach is faithful over God's house as a Son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. (Hebrews 3:1-6)

The administration of the Sinaitic covenant, with the Levitical priesthood and its ordinances, is called a “shadow” of things to come:

    They (i.e., the Cermonial Law and its ordinances) serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, "See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain." (Hebrews 8:5)

    But as it is, Mashiach has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. (Hebrews 8:6-7)

    For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you." Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. (Hebrews 9:19-24)

    For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. (Hebrews 10:1) For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14)

    For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; and that is how we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:19)

Indeed, Yeshua is our “Better Hope” and the Savior from all that the Torah of Moses was incapable of doing for us:

    Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man (Yeshua) forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:38-9)

For the law (Torah) was given through Moses;
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17)

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