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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE FAITH – 7 NOT TO LISTEN TO A FALSHE PROPHET…

whether he prophecies (1) falsely in the name of G-d or (2) in the name of an idol.

בס”ד

This blog might be quite brief. Just don’t believe false prophet. But first, let’s define a false prophet in this blog. The prohibition on listening will next be discussed in further detail.

False Prophet

Noahides believe only in G-d, the Creator of Heaven and earth, so if a false prophet comes from an idol, we disregard it. We will never accept or worship an idol as a true divinity. But what if someone claims to come in the Name of G-d? How do we identify him as false prophet?

Anyone who states that a person must/may (temporarily) worship an idol or that a law may be nullify from or added to G-d’s Torah is a false prophet [particularly for Noahides if someone steps up and wants to negate or add to one of the seven Noahides laws]. The Torah is everlasting and unchangeable because G-d is eternal and unchangeable and the Torah is His Wisdom and His Word. G-d and His Wisdom are One[1].

That G-d is eternal is one of the foundations of faith. As we read in the Adon Olam[2]:

Master of the Universe Who reigned

before any creature was created.

At the time when all was made by His will,

then was His Name proclaimed King.

And after all things shall cease to be

the Awesome One will reign alone.

He was, He is,

and He shall be in glory.

It was also the Name by which He revealed Himself to the people through Moses’ words.

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֱלֹקים֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה וַיֹּ֗אמֶר כֹּ֤ה תֹאמַר֙ לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה שְׁלָחַ֥נִי אֲלֵיכֶֽם׃

And G-d said to Moses, “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh,” continuing, “Thus shall you say to the Israelites, ‘Ehyeh sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14)

Chizkuni explains this verse as the following[3]:

אהיה אשר אהיה, the first word אהיה is the name of G-d; the second is an explanation of why G-d is called אהיה. In other words: the reason why My name is אהיה is because I am eternal, immutable. I am therefore a most reliable G-d, in the sense of dependable helper and saviour, as I will always be around. My “lifespan” is not as that word suggests a limited period, but I am not subject to any limitations.

We read in the Tenach that G-d and His Word are unchangeable, for example, see:

לֹ֣א אִ֥ישׁ אֵל֙ וִֽיכַזֵּ֔ב וּבֶן־אָדָ֖ם וְיִתְנֶחָ֑ם הַה֤וּא אָמַר֙ וְלֹ֣א יַעֲשֶׂ֔ה וְדִבֶּ֖ר וְלֹ֥א יְקִימֶֽנָּה׃

G-d is not human to be capricious,
Or mortal to have a change of heart.
Would [G-d] speak and not act,
Promise and not fulfill?[4]

וְגַם֙ נֵ֣צַח יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לֹ֥א יְשַׁקֵּ֖ר וְלֹ֣א יִנָּחֵ֑ם כִּ֣י לֹ֥א אָדָ֛ם ה֖וּא לְהִנָּחֵֽם׃

Moreover, the Glory of Israel does not deceive or change His mind, for He is not human that He should change His mind.”[5]

יָבֵ֥שׁ חָצִ֖יר נָ֣בֵֽל צִ֑יץ וּדְבַר־אֱלֹקינוּ יָק֥וּם לְעוֹלָֽם׃         

Grass withers, flowers fade—
But the word of our G-d is always fulfilled!”[6]

כִּ֛י אֲנִ֥י ד’ לֹ֣א שָׁנִ֑יתִי וְאַתֶּ֥ם בְּנֵֽי־יַעֲקֹ֖ב לֹ֥א כְלִיתֶֽם׃

For I am G-d —I have not changed; and you are the children of Jacob—you have not ceased to be.[7]

לְ֭פָנִים הָאָ֣רֶץ יָסַ֑דְתָּ וּֽמַעֲשֵׂ֖ה יָדֶ֣יךָ שָׁמָֽיִם׃

Of old You established the earth;
the heavens are the work of Your hands.

הֵ֤מָּה ׀ יֹאבֵדוּ֮ וְאַתָּ֢ה תַ֫עֲמֹ֥ד וְ֭כֻלָּם כַּבֶּ֣גֶד יִבְל֑וּ כַּלְּב֖וּשׁ תַּחֲלִיפֵ֣ם וְֽיַחֲלֹֽפוּ׃

They shall perish, but You shall endure;
they shall all wear out like a garment;
You change them like clothing and they pass away.

וְאַתָּה־ה֑וּא וּ֝שְׁנוֹתֶ֗יךָ לֹ֣א יִתָּֽמּוּ׃

But You are the same, and Your years never end.[8]

לְעוֹלָ֥ם ד’ דְּ֝בָרְךָ֗ נִצָּ֥ב בַּשָּׁמָֽיִם׃

The L-rd exists forever;
Your word stands firm in heaven.[9]

But what if such a prophet is accompanied by amazing miracles, and what he forecasts appears to come true? Isn’t that evidence that he comes from G-d and that we should pay attention to him?

The answer is “no,” as stated in Deuteronomy 13:2-4:

כִּֽי־יָק֤וּם בְּקִרְבְּךָ֙ נָבִ֔יא א֖וֹ חֹלֵ֣ם חֲל֑וֹם וְנָתַ֥ן אֵלֶ֛יךָ א֖וֹת א֥וֹ מוֹפֵֽת׃

If there appears among you a prophet or a dream-diviner, who gives you a sign or a portent,

וּבָ֤א הָאוֹת֙ וְהַמּוֹפֵ֔ת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר אֵלֶ֖יךָ לֵאמֹ֑ר נֵֽלְכָ֞ה אַחֲרֵ֨י אֱלֹהִ֧ים אֲחֵרִ֛ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹֽא־יְדַעְתָּ֖ם וְנׇֽעׇבְדֵֽם׃

saying, “Let us follow and worship another god”—whom you have not experienced —even if the sign or portent named to you comes true,

לֹ֣א תִשְׁמַ֗ע אֶל־דִּבְרֵי֙ הַנָּבִ֣יא הַה֔וּא א֛וֹ אֶל־חוֹלֵ֥ם הַחֲל֖וֹם הַה֑וּא כִּ֣י מְנַסֶּ֞ה ד’ אֱלֹֽקיכֶם֙ אֶתְכֶ֔ם לָדַ֗עַת הֲיִשְׁכֶ֤ם אֹֽהֲבִים֙ אֶת־ ד’ אֱלֹקיכֶ֔ם בְּכׇל־לְבַבְכֶ֖ם וּבְכׇל־נַפְשְׁכֶֽם׃

do not heed the words of that prophet or that dream-diviner. For your G-d Hashem is testing you to see whether you really love your G-d Hashem with all your heart and soul.

Don’t Lissen to a false prophet

This can be interpreted liberally. Books containing the words of a false prophet should not be read. Don’t watch YouTube or TV programs that assure their words are heard and disseminated. Rabbi Moshe Weiner’s Divine Code states:

If a false prophet comes to you, it is forbidden to listen to him or to accept his words. All are obligated to remove and silence hin by any necessary means…it is also forbidden to arrange a discussion or a debete with one who prophesies in the name of idols…if the he [the prophet] makes a sign or a miracle on his own, one must not pay attention to it or think about it.[10]

I’m concerned how far you should go in your discussions with people of various faiths. In my opinion, one should not debate with someone if one knows that doing so would not result in a change in their beliefs/behavior. People who have only recently begun walking the Noahide path should avoid discussions with their old co-religionists, as this can easily lead to doubt. It is more important to deepen your personal faith and educate yourself on the seven Noahide Laws, through listening to rabbis who have specialized in this, as well as reading books regarding the 7 Laws of Noah and their details. Only after establishing a firm foundation could one contemplate engaging in this debate, if one is persuaded that it can bring souls to the truth.


By Angelique Sijbolts

Sources:

[1] Mishneh Torah Foundations of the Torah 2:10-11
[2] Jewish Liturgy
[3] Chizkuni, Exodus 3:14:1
[4] Numbers 23:19
[5] I Samuel 15:29
[6] Isaiah 40:8
[7] Malachi 3:6
[8] Psalm 102:26-28
[9] Psalm 119:89
[10]The Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner 4e edition p. 51 and 53.

See also the shiur : THE 13 PRINCIPLES OF FAITH #6: PROPHECY

And the blog PROPHETS OF G-D?, FUNDAMENTALS OF THE FAITH – 5 DON’T PROPHESY FALSELY IN THE NAME OF G-D

A brief reminder: a positive prophesy always comes true; a negative prophecy can be canceled if people turn to G-d, repent, and change their ways. Consider the narrative of Jonah. He didn’t want to go to Nineveh and offer a bad prophecy because he was afraid of being considered a false prophet if the people repented.


Texts: Sefaria.org

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