Are there predictions or prophecies of Muhammad in the Bible? If you ask a Muslim this question you will get a resounding "yes!" Muslims must believe this because they believe the Qur'an to be the absolute and infallible word of God, and the Qur'an says Muhammad is found in the Bible.
- Sura 7:157 - "Those who follow the Messenger, The unlettered prophet, Whom they find mentioned in their own scriptures-in the law and the Gospel--..."
- Sura 2:129 - "Send among them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them Your verses and instruct them in the book..."
- Sura 3:81 - "And remember when Allah took the covenant of the Prophets, saying: "take whatever I gave you from the Book, and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger confirming what is with you; then believe in him and help him..."
- Sura 61:6 - "And remember, Jesus, son of Mary, said: "O children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah sent to you, confirming the law which came before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be called Ahmad."
Note the last verse, Sura 61:6, in which Jesus (according to the Qur'an) said a messenger to come after him shall be called "Ahmad." The name Ahmad means 'praised one' or 'one worthy of praise.' This word comes from the same root word from which Muhammad gets his name. Muslims believe they have found this word -- Ahmad -- specifically in the Bible, thus fulfilling Sura 61:6.
Let's take a look at a few of the verses Muslims use to show Muhammad in the Bible and examine this claim critically. In this article I will look at the first of these, Song of Solomon 5:16. Just last week I was talking with a young Muslim man and he brought up this very verse to show Muhammad is spoken of in the Bible. Since this is one common verse and the first one generally that many Muslims will use, this is the first one we will look at.
Song of Solomon 5:16
How does this verse read in the Blble?
His mouth is most sweet,
Yes, he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved,
And this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!
The Hebrew word translated as the phrase 'altogether lovely' is the word machmad (makh-mawd) and sounds very close to the Arabic word 'ahmad.' (See Sura 61:6) Since the word sounds very close to Muhammad's name, Muslim apologists say this is Muhammad.
For the sake of argument, I will take the Muslim apologist position and assume that this word machmad is indeed Muhammad's name and apply to the rest of the Bible. What do we then find?
To be consistent, we must make the same substitution wherever else the Hebrew word machmad appears, as it does several times in the OT. Let's perform the same substitution elsewhere. A quick word search on 'machmad' shows this same word appears in 1 Kings 20:6; 2 Chron. 36:19; Isaiah 64:11; Lam. 1:7; Lam. 1:10; Lam. 2:4; Ezek. 24:16; Ezek. 24:21; Ezek. 24:25; Hosea 9:6; Hosea 9:16; Joel 3:5.
What do we find when we substitute the name Muhammad for the Hebrew word machmad in these other verses?
1Kings 20:6 but I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house and the houses of your servants. And it shall be, that whatever is Muhammad in your eyes, they will put it in their hands and take it.
2Chr. 36:19 Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its Muhammad possessions.
Is. 64:11 Our holy and beautiful temple,
Where our fathers praised You,
Is burned up with fire;
And all our Muhammad things are laid waste.
Lam. 1:7 In the days of her affliction and roaming,
Jerusalem remembers all her Muhammad things
That she had in the days of old.
Lam. 1:10 The adversary has spread his hand
Over all her Muhammad things;
For she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary,
Those whom You commanded
Not to enter Your assembly.
Lam. 1:11 All her people sigh,
They seek bread;
They have given their valuables for food to restore life.
"See, O LORD, and consider,
For I am scorned."
Lam. 2:4 Standing like an enemy, He has bent His bow;
With His right hand, like an adversary,
He has slain all who were Muhammad to His eye;
On the tent of the daughter of Zion,
He has poured out His fury like fire.
Ezek. 24:16 "Son of man, behold, I take away from you the Muhammad of your eyes with one stroke; yet you shall neither mourn nor weep, nor shall your tears run down.
Ezek. 24:21 "Speak to the house of Israel, "Thus says the Lord GOD: 'Behold, I will profane My sanctuary, your arrogant boast, the Muhammad of your eyes, the delight of your soul; and your sons and daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword.
Ezek. 24:25 "And you, son of man-will it not be in the day when I take from them their stronghold, their joy and their glory, the Muhammad of their eyes, and that on which they set their minds, their sons and their daughters:
Hos. 9:6 For indeed they are gone because of destruction.
Egypt shall gather them up;
Memphis shall bury them.
Nettles shall possess their Muhammads of silver;
Thorns shall be in their tents.
Hos. 9:16 Ephraim is stricken,
Their root is dried up;
They shall bear no fruit.
Yes, were they to bear children,
I would kill the Muhammads of their womb."
Joel 3:5 Because you have taken My silver and My gold,
And have carried into your temples My Muhammad possessions.
The absurdity of this exercise is self-evident. Muslims attempt to mutilate the scripture to make it fit their pre-conceived ideas without justification. The original word machmad in Song of Solomon 5:16 is an adjective. Muslim apologists attempt to make a wholesale swap of an adjective with the proper noun Muhammad, and it simply does not work. It butchers the grammar as I have demonstrated.
Machmad cannot possibly mean Muhammad, not now, not ever.