The word shoftim, in Hebrew, means judges.
A Prophet Like Moses
Deuteronomy 18:15-22 is the section of this portion that I would like to comment on.
In Hebraic understanding the phrase “a prophet like Moses” is a Messianic title. The children of Israel understood that the Messiah, a future redeemer, would be like the prophet Moses.
Bible commentators often make comparisons between Joseph and Yeshua but few make comparisons between Yeshua and Moses. While Moses is considered the greatest prophet of all, they believe that the Messiah/Prophet who is to come will be greater than Moses. The book of Hebrews
3:1-6 does a great job of explaining that Yeshua is greater than Moses, because He was the Prophet like Moses. Only the Messiah Prophet could be greater than the great Mosheh.
Below I have listed some of the attributes shared between Moses and Yeshua.
Both were sent from God (Exodus 3:1-10; John 8:42).
Both were born under foreign rule (Moses/Egypt; Yeshua/Rome).
Both had lives threatened by wicked Kings as child and adult (Moses/Pharoah; Yeshua/Herod).
Both Spent early years in Egypt protected from those who sought their lives.
Both rejected the possibility to become rulers in this age (Moses as heir to Egypt/Yeshua during His temptation).
Both were initially rejected by their own people.
Both were accepted by gentiles (Moses/ Medianites; Yeshua/non-Jews).
Both were criticized by their own families (Miriam and Moses; Yeshua and His brothers).
Both knew God face to face.
Both were teachers.
Both were faithful and obedient servants to God.
Both gave the people bread from Heaven (Moses/manna; Yeshua/Himself).
Both were considered saviors/delivers/redeemers of Israel.
Both fasted 40 days in the wilderness.
Both were mediators - Yeshua/ “him you shall hear” (Luke 9:35); Moses/They asked for mediator at Mt. Sinai.
Both offered to die for the sins of the people and Yeshua did die!
Both instituted the Passover – Moses the first time and Yeshua as the Passover Lamb.
Both brought about a resurrection of the children of Israel - Moses as they passed through the Red Sea - Yeshua
became the firstfruits of the resurrection from the dead and one day we will resurrect.
The Torah was given 50 days after the Exodus, Yeshua sent the Holy Spirit fifty days after His resurrection; on Shavuot.
Both of their faces shown from glory- Moses on the mountain and Yeshua at the transfiguration.
Moses lifted up the serpent to heal the people and Yeshua was lifted up to heal us from sins which brought death.
Moses defeated the enemy Amalakites by upraised arms and Yeshua defeated the enemy on the cross by uplifted hands.
Moses sent 12 spies into the land and Yeshua had 12 apostles.
Moses had 70 elders of Israel and Yeshua sent out an additional 70 disciples to teach the nations in Luke 10.
The similarities are too many to ignore. Yeshua is The Prophet spoken of by Moses. Hear you Him!
In addition, I found one other section of scriptures within this portion that was particularly interesting to me. In Deuteronomy 20:1-20 we find the laws concerning warfare. Notice how provision was made for certain men to excuse themselves from going out to war. I won’t list them all here but, consider this: even though all males of certain ages (except those from the tribe of Levi) were “drafted” by the LORD to fight for Israel - exemptions were allowed for various reasons; even those men who were weak or fearful were allowed to return home. I found this notable.
Let me remind every believer who reads this: we are in a battle. There is no room in a battle for the weak and fearful. We must put on the whole armor of our Elohim and train ourselves to face the enemy with courage.
Armor up! Your life depends on it!
“A Prophet like unto Moses” Jews for Jesus.org
“Moses' Prophecy of Messiah” at Hebrew 4 Christians.com