Question: “Does the Bible prophesy the coming of Muhammad?”
Answer: There are three primary passages in the Bible that Muslims often point to as prophecies of the coming of Muhammad: Deuteronomy 18:15-22, Song of Solomon 5:16, and John 16:5-11.
First, in regards to Deuteronomy 18:15-22, the immediate context of this passage refers back to verses 9-14. There Moses warns the people of the danger of false prophets. God’s people are to avoid any and all who presume to speak authoritatively about spiritual truth apart from God’s truth. What is God’s truth? Verse 15 says a particular prophet will arise from the Jews (i.e., “your own brothers”) who will be like Moses. Notice that it’s not just any prophet, as there have been many, but a special prophet. People who studied and believed the Old Testament writings were looking for this particular, special prophet. In fact, some Jewish leaders thought the fiery preacher John the Baptist might be the fulfillment of Moses’ prophecy (see John 1:19-30). John the Baptist, however, said that he was the forerunner of the prophet of whom Moses spoke, not the prophet Himself.
Who then is this prophet spoken of in the Bible? He is clearly none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. John 1:43-45 records that the early followers of Jesus understood He was the prophet of whom Moses wrote. Jesus Himself declared this about Himself (Luke 24:27). The most complete statement pointing to Jesus as the promised prophet is found in Acts 3:12-26. The deacon, Stephen, reiterated this in Acts 7:37. Such notable men as John the Baptist, Philip, Peter, and Stephen all testified that Jesus Christ, not Muhammad, is the prophet predicted in Deuteronomy 18:15-22.
Second, in Song of Solomon 5:16, the maiden says of her lover, “His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem.” The word translated as “lovely” is the Hebrew word machamadim. It is the plural of machamad, which means “lovely, cute, or desirable.” Although it is the root word of Muhammad, it does not follow that the verse refers to Muhammad, especially since the word used is a plural adjective, not the name of a person.
Finally, in John 16:5-11, Jesus prophesies that after He leaves, the Counselor will come, and this Counselor will “convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). Who is this Counselor? Jesus Himself gives the answer a few verses later in John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth…” Jesus explicitly identifies the Counselor as the Holy Spirit. Jesus previously had used very similar terminology to predict the coming of the Holy Spirit: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name…” (John 14:26). It is abundantly clear in the Bible that the Counselor Jesus prophesied was the Holy Spirit, not Muhammad.
In conclusion, the Bible nowhere specifically predicts the coming of Muhammad. Muhammad was not the prophet Moses predicted, and Muhammad was not the Counselor Jesus predicted. Since the message of Muhammad contradicts the message of Jesus and the Bible on many points, the only biblical prophecy that would apply to the coming of Muhammad would be Matthew 24:11, “And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people…”