Although only 48 prophets and seven prophetesses are mentioned in the Bible, throughout our history our nation has been blessed with tens of thousands of individuals who transmitted the word of G‑d, each of them excelling in his or her unique area.
Nevertheless, the Bible tells us that “there was no other prophet who arose in Israel like Moses, whom the L‑rd knew face to face.”
Maimonides lists a number of ways in which Moses’ manner of communicating with G‑d was superior to that of any other prophet. He bases these differences upon G‑d’s statement: “If there be prophets among you, I, the L‑rd, will make Myself known to him in a vision; I will speak to him in a dream. Not so is My servant Moses; he is the most trusted of all My household. With him I speak mouth to mouth; in a vision and not in riddles, and he beholds the image of G‑d . . .”
- All others received their prophecy while asleep or in a trancelike state. Moses, on the other hand, was fully aware and conscious when he stood before G‑d.
- Moses “saw” what G‑d was telling him with the clarity of literal vision. All others only received their communiqués by way of riddles and parables.
- While most prophets became fearful and agitated while receiving divine communication, Moses remained calm and collected. He spoke with G‑d “as a man would speak to a friend.”
- Moses was able to converse with G‑d whenever he so wished. Other prophets had to wait for revelations from G‑d; they needed to enter a spiritually aware state in order to receive G‑d’s presence. Moses was constantly on such an elevated plane.
Rabbi Menachem Posner