"And this [is] the blessing, wherewith moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand [went] a fiery law for them."
This is a chronological succession of prophets which
is narrated through reference to location (see Fig. 8). This prophesy
is reported at the end of Deuteronomy in association with the
story of the death of prophet Moses (pbuh). It was
a blessing and glad tidings bestowed by prophet Moses upon his
followers just prior to his death. It was designed to give his
followers hope upon the occasion of the passing of their prophet
that God is not abandoning them, rather, the best is yet to come,
and He shall continue to bless mankind with His guidance and His
Sinai is a reference to
Moses (pbuh). It is an obvious reference to mount
Sinai where Moses (pbuh) received his revelation (Exodus 19:20).
Seir is a reference to
Jesus (pbuh). It is usually associated with the chain of mountains
West and South of the Dead Sea extending through Jerusalem, and
Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus (pbuh). It
was later extended to include the mountains on the East side as
well (Dictionary of the Bible, John L. McKenzie, S.J., p. 783).
However, Seir is also identified with the Northern border
of the tribal territory of Judah and usually with Saris near Kesla
(Chesalon), barely nine miles West of these two cities (The Eerdmans
Bible Dictionary, by Allen C. Myers, pp. 921-922, and The Interpreter's
Dictionary of the Bible, V4, p. 262) Prophet Moses
(pbuh) never in his lifetime entered Palestine, and thus, this
could not be a reference to him.
As we have already seen in section 6.4, Paran
is a reference to the city of Makkah in the Arabian
Peninsula. The wilderness of Paran is where Abraham's
wife Hagar and his eldest son Ishmael
settled (Genesis 21:21) in the Arabian desert, specifically, Makkah.
Makkah is, of course, the capital of Islam in Arabia and the birthplace
of Mohammed (pbuh). Mount Paran is the chain of mountains in that
same region which the Arabs call the "Sarawat mountains".
Muhammad (pbuh) received his first revelation in the cave of "Hira'a"
located in these mountains (see Fig. 9). Jesus never in his life
traveled to Paran. Mohammed, however, was born there. He became
the prophet of Islam there. And it was the capital of the Islamic
religion in that day and this. No prophet of the Bible ever came
from the Arabian city of Paran (Makkah). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
is the only prophet of God who has ever fulfilled this prophesy.
We also read in verse 33:2 that a fiery law shall
issue forth from the right hand of the prophet from Paran.
Muhammad (pbuh) did indeed come with a new law called the Shari'ah.
The reference to "right" hand is a reference to strength,
justice, and guidance. In Islam, all clean and desirable actions
are performed with the "right" hand (eating, shaking
hands, etc.), while all other actions are done with the left hand
(washing one's private parts, picking up garbage, etc.). In the
Qur'an, the good are described on the Day of Judgment as receiving
their book of deeds in their "right" hands, while the
wicked receive theirs in their "left" hand. This can
be seen for example in Al-Haqah(69):13-37. This general attitude
is also conveyed in the Bible. We read:
"Biblical phrases referring to the right hand reflect a widespread human cultural attitude, namely the recognition that for most people the right hand is both stronger and more adept than the left, and is the hand with which many tasks are instinctively undertaken ... Eccl. 10:2 links 'a wise man's heart' with his right hand, and 'a fool's heart' with his left. When the Son of Man separates the sheep from the goats at the Last Judgment, it is to the damned 'on the left hand' that he says, 'Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire' (Matt. 25:41) ...The right hand is often mentioned as a symbol of strength, both for human beings and anthropomophically for God (e.g. Job 40:14; Isa. 48:13)"
A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition In English Literature,
David Lyle Jeffrey, p. 442.
This fiery law that shall issue from the right hand
of the prophet from Paran will be a new law
for the children of Israel and not the same one they had been
practicing in the time of Moses (pbuh) and later.
This is held out by simple logic; if I already own something,
then I can not say that my neighbor shall bring "for me"
this same "something" which I already own. In such a
case, he would have "brought" nothing and it would have
been more logical to say he would "confirm" the preexistent
law. No prophet of the Bible ever in his lifetime either came
from Paran or preached the replacement of the law of Moses (pbuh).
Even Jesus (pbuh) came to confirm and reinforce the law of Moses
(Matthew 5:17-19), as explained in detail in chapter one. Muhammad
(pbuh) is the only prophet of God who fulfilled both of these
However, if we look closely, we will find that the
prophesy contains one more requirement. It tells us that this
prophet from Paran who will bring a fiery new law
shall come with 10,000 saints. Once again,
two years before the death of prophet Muhammad (pbuh), in the
year 630 AD, he lead 10,000 of his followers to their final and
decisive victory against the pagans of Makkah (see chapter 10).
This was one of the most bloodless victories of all history. The
Muslims took control of Makkah, the capital of paganistic Arabia,
virtually without a single casualty. Upon entering Makkah victorious,
Muhammad did not take it's inhabitants as prisoners. Even though
these people had been torturing himself and his companions, and
killing many of them over many years, still, Muhammad commanded
that they not be tortured, nor should retribution be sought against
them. Rather, he pardoned them all and set them free. Most of
them entered into Islam.
Once again, we find that prophet Moses
(pbuh) was appointed seventy very close and devout followers (Exodus
24:1-9, Numbers 11:16-25). Jesus (pbuh) was appointed eleven very
close and devout followers (if we were to exclude Judas), as seen
in Matthew 10:1-5, Mark 3:14-19, etc. Prophet Muhammad, once again,
was the only one to fulfill this requirement. Mr. Kais Al-Kalbi
asks the question:
"When this verse Deut 33:2 was translated from Hebrew to English, the phrase '10,000 saints10,000 saints' was kept the same. But when this verse was translated from Hebrew to Arabic, the phrase '10,000 saints' was intentionally changed to 'holy valley', why?"
Prophet Muhammad the last messenger in the Bible,
third edition, Kais Al-Kalbi, pp. 231-232.
The wording also bears out this chronological succession
of prophets. Came: daybreak and the arrival of the sun
in the morning. Rose up: like the light of dawn. Shined
forth: Mid-day sun which lights up the Earth from East to
West. Islam has indeed come to shine all over the earth as the
mid-day sun. It is estimated to have 1.2 billion adherents throughout
the globe, and according to Western sources, it is said to be
the fastest growing religion in the world today.
"This day have I (God) perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Maidah(5):3