For Moses truly said unto the fathers
The Jewish fathers, the Israelites in the times of Moses. The Ethiopic version reads, "our fathers". This phrase, "unto the fathers", is left out in the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions, and in the Alexandrian copy: the passages referred to are in ( Deuteronomy 18:15 Deuteronomy 18:19 ) a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you:
which is not to be understood of a succession of prophets, as some of the Jewish writers F3 think; for the Jews never had a constant succession of prophets, and those they had, were not like to Moses: but of a single prophet, and so the Targums or Onkelos and Jonathan understood it; but not to be applied to Joshua, as some F4, or to Jeremiah F5 as others, or to David F6; but to the Messiah, and which is the Lord Jesus Christ, who answers to all the characters: he was a prophet in every sense, who brought a revelation of the divine will, taught the way, and explained the Scriptures of truth perfectly, and foretold things to come; he was raised up by the Lord God of Israel, and was anointed by his Spirit, and sent by him, and that to the people of the Jews, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; he was the minister of the circumcision: of your brethren;
in the Hebrew text in ( Deuteronomy 18:15 ) it is also said, "out of the midst of thee"; but as these phrases are synonymous, the apostle here only retains one of them, which suggests that this prophet, the Messiah, should be of Jewish extract; as Jesus was, of the seed of David, and a son of Abraham: like unto me;
that is, to Moses, who is, the person speaking, between whom and Christ there is an agreement; the law was given by Moses, and the Gospel came by Christ; Moses was a mediator between God and the people of Israel, and Christ is the Mediator between God and men; Moses, under God, was an instrument of redeeming the people of Israel out of Egypt, and Christ, he is the Redeemer of his people from sin, Satan, and the law, and all their enemies: the Jews F7 have a common saying,
``as was the first Redeemer, so shall be the last Redeemer;''and they moreover observe F8, that,
``as Israel was redeemed in the month Nisan, so they shall be redeemed in the month Nisan;''in the future redemption by the Messiah: let the Jews abide by this; the Messiah Jesus suffered in the month Nisan, and obtained eternal redemption for his people: one of their F9 writers has a notion, that when the Messiah comes, there will be the same disposition of the constellations, as when Moses brought the people out of Egypt, and gave them the law; and that the conjunction will be of Jupiter and Saturn, in the constellation Pisces: there was likewise between Moses and Christ, an agreement in the miracles they wrought, and in other things: him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you:
all his doctrines are to be believed, embraced, and professed; and all his commands are to be obeyed, and all his ordinances submitted to; and this is hearing, or hearkening, to him in all things, delivered or enjoined by him.
F3 Jarchi in Deut. xviii. 15.
F4 Aben Ezra in loc.
F5 R. Abraham Seba in Tzeror Hammor, fol. 127. 4. & 143. 4. Baal Hatturim in Deut. xviii. 15.
F6 Herban. disp. cum Gregeut. p. 13.
F7 Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 202. 2. Midrash Ruth, fol. 33. 2. Midrash Kohelet, fol. 63. 2.
F8 T. Bab. Roshhasbana, fol. 11, 1. 2.
F9 R. Abraham ben R. Chija apud Wolfii Hebr. Bibliothec. p. 51,