Deuteronomy 18:15-20

15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet.
16 This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: "If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die."
17 Then the Lord replied to me: "They are right in what they have said.
18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command.
19 Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable.
20 But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak—that prophet shall die."

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 18

This chapter gives an account of the provision made for the priests and Levites, with the reason of it, De 18:1-5, of allowance of a country Levite to minister at Jerusalem, and take his portion with the rest, De 18:6-8, and of several persons of bad practices not to be suffered among the people of Israel, De 18:9-14, and of an extraordinary prophet that should be raised up among them, to whom they should hearken, or it would be the worse for them, De 18:15-19, but a false prophet was to be put to death, of whom a sign is given by which he might be known, De 18:20-22.

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 In-Context

13 You must remain completely loyal to the Lord your God.
14 Although these nations that you are about to dispossess do give heed to soothsayers and diviners, as for you, the Lord your God does not permit you to do so.
15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet.
16 This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: "If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die."
17 Then the Lord replied to me: "They are right in what they have said.
18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command.
19 Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable.
20 But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak—that prophet shall die."
21 You may say to yourself, "How can we recognize a word that the Lord has not spoken?"
22 If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord but the thing does not take place or prove true, it is a word that the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not be frightened by it.

Footnotes 5

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.