Does Deuteronomy 33:2 predict the coming of Muhammad?

"The LORD came from Sinai, And dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, And He came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones; At His right hand there was flashing lightning for them (Deut. 33:2)."

Muslim Argument

Muslims sometimes argue that this passage predicts three separate visitations of God: the first to Moses (“Sinai”), the second to Jesus (“Seir”), and the third to Muhammad (“Mount Paran” or Arabia) when he came to Mecca with an army of “ten thousand.”

Christian Response

There are a number of problems with this interpretation.1 First, the geography does not allow it. Paran and Seir are near Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula (cf. Gen. 14:6; Num. 10:12; 12:16 – 13:3; Deut. 1:1), not in Palestine where Jesus ministered. Also, Paran is not near Mecca. It is hundreds of miles away in southern Palestine in the northeastern Sinai.

Second, this verse is clearly referring to the “Lord” coming, not Muhammad.  "Ten thousand holy ones" is sometimes translated as "ten thousand saints" (KJV), but this definitely does not refer to "ten thousand soldiers!"

Third, the context of this prophecy is said to be one “with which Moses the man of God blessed the sons of Israel before his death,” (Deuteronomy 33:1).  If it were a prediction of Islam which has been a threat to Israel, it would definitely not be a blessing.  Therefore, this is not a prophecy of Muhammad.

  • 1. Norman Geisler and Abdul Saleeb, Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross, Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002, p. 154.