Acts 7:37

ESV This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’
NIV This is the Moses who told the Israelites, 'God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.'
NASB This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR COUNTRYMEN.’
CSB "This is the Moses who said to the Israelites: God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.
NLT Moses himself told the people of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people.’
KJV This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

What does Acts 7:37 mean?

After Moses rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years. Near the end of that time, as they prepared to enter the land God had promised Abraham, Moses took some time to reiterate the laws God had given them at the beginning of their journey. He also prophesied that God would send them a prophet like him, specifically, one who would stand between them and the terrible holiness of God (Deuteronomy 18:15–18). This is understood to be a messianic prophecy, meaning the Prophet of whom Moses spoke is Messiah.

In Deuteronomy 18:16 Moses refers to something that happened at Horeb. He is speaking of an event that happened shortly after the Israelites reached Mount Sinai. God directed the people to go through extensive measures to purify themselves before He descended on the mountain in fire and smoke (Exodus 19). After He gave the Ten Commandments, the people begged Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die" (Exodus 20:19). Forty years later, Moses revealed that God had approved of the people's caution (Deuteronomy 18:15–17), but as a concession. God intends all His followers to have the faith to be a "royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9) and "draw near to the throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16), needing no other liaison than His Son, the Prophet who followed Moses (Deuteronomy 18:18).

Stephen wants the Jews to understand that Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promise (Acts 7:52). Jesus stands between God and God's people, giving us God's words and protecting us from God's holiness. But just as the Israelites rejected Moses' instruction (Acts 7:39–41) and killed the prophets (Acts 7:52), they also killed the Prophet promised by Moses to take his place. The Sanhedrin is familiar with the line of thinking. Peter has already tied Jesus to Moses' prophecy in his own defense (Acts 3:22–26).
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