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MESSIANIC PROPHECIES OF THE TANAKH (OLD TESTAMENT)
The scriptures listed below correspond almost exactly with the Old Testament or Jewish Bible, the Tanakh. Most of them point directly or indirectly at Jesus Christ, who fulfilled 371 Tanaach Messianic prophecies. 371 Coincidences? Surely not.....!!!
We read in the TALMUD (Sanhedrin 97b): That the Sanhedrin wept and said, “Woe to us! Where is the Messiah? He had to have come by now.” Even the Holy leaders of Israel realized the fact that, according to the Tanakh, they had missed their Messiah! To cover up their error, they banned Jews forever from reading or interpreting Daniel 9 - because Daniel 9 gives the date, to the day, that the Messiah was supposed to have come. According to Judaism (the midrash Bereshith on page 243 of the Warsaw edition), the Messiah was to exit in 33AD. Please read on....
1. The first thing to note is that the OT/Tanakh teaching about the messiah ‘assigned’ Him a very large number of roles...
He was to be a “second” Moses (prophet)
He was to be a “second” David (Davidic king)
He was to be a “second” Melchizedek (Kingly Priest)
He was to be a faithful priest (as opposed to Eli)
He was to be a Rejected Messiah
He was to be a Betrayed Messiah
He was to be a killed-and-resurrected Davidic king
He was to come in power ‘on clouds’
He was to be a Teacher of the Gentiles
He was to be a “Breaker” (Micah 2.12-13) of both external enemies and of internal power elites within Israel (and a stone of stumbling’)
He was to be a Suffering Servant
He was to be Ruler of All Nations (and destroyer of all wicked, so there could be peace in the world)
He was to be Sacrifice for the sins of Israel
He was to Redeem (Release) Israel from bondage to foreign powers
He was to Save (in the future) all those who believed (in the present)
[Note: all of the above roles and titles are ascribed to one or more messianic figures in the ancient Jewish literature—NONE of these are ‘Christian-only’ roles.]
2. Next, note that some of these seem to contradict one another.
- How is the Messiah going to lead Israel to greatness, while at the same time the Messiah is to be rejected by Israel?
- How is the Messiah going to be the ultimate conqueror, yet also be killed in weakness?
- How is the Messiah going to usher in world peace (by destroying the wicked), when Israel herself is wicked (‘incurably ill, and desperately wicked’—said Jeremiah)?
- How is the Messiah going to come ‘on clouds’ and ‘on a donkey’ at the same time?
- How is Messiah going to come from the line of David (tribe of Judah) and from Levi at the same time?
Notice, though, that the problem is basically about two different sets of messianic prophecies:
1. a Rejected/Brutalized Messiah (Rabbi ben Josef/Ephraim/Levi),
a Victorious/Acclaimed Messiah (Rabbi ben David).
Most of us are aware of the prophecies about the Victorious/Acclaimed Messiah, but some people are less aware of the Rejected/Brutalized Messiah strain in the OT/Tanaach - below are a few of the more well-known passages, and indicate from ancient Jewish literature that those passages were understood by THEM as being messianic as well.
· The ‘stone of stumbling’ in Isaiah 8.14 (and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. 15 Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured.), closely related to Ps 118.22 (The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone) was applied by Jesus to Himself (Mr 21.42) and by the leaders of the early Jewish believers, Peter (Acts 4.11 and 1 Pet 2.7,8) and Paul (Eph 2.20). This passage is understood in the same way in b. Sanh 38a (Soncino):
”Judah and Hezekiah, the sons of R. Hiyya, once sat at table with Rabbi and uttered not a word. Whereupon he said: Give the young men plenty of strong wine, so that they may say something. When the wine took effect, they began by saying: The son of David cannot appear ere the two ruling houses in Israel shall have come to an end, viz., the Exilarchate, in Babylon and the Patriarchate in Palestine, for it is written, And he shall be for a Sanctuary, for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both houses of Israel. Thereupon he [Rabbi] exclaimed: You throw thorns in my eyes, my children! At this, R. Hiyya [his disciple] remarked: Master, be not angered, for the numerical value of the letters of yayin is seventy, and likewise the letters of sod: When yayin [wine] goes in, sod [secrets] comes out.
· Psalm 16 has the famous ‘resurrection of David’ passage (because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. V.10) which is applied to Jesus’ death-and-resurrection by Peter in Acts 2.27 and Paul in Acts 13.35. The Midrash treats a couple of phrases in this Psalm as being messianic; here is one comment on verse 5 (from Midrash Rabbah, Gen. 88,5):
… Corresponding to these the Holy One, blessed be He, will give Israel to drink four cups of salvation in the Messianic future, as it says, O Lord, the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup, Thou maintainest my lot (Ps. XVI, 5);.
- The Servant passages in Isaiah (esp. 52-53) depict a suffering, dying, rejected, and scorned (by Israel) Messiah. Messianic interpretations of this passage persisted in Judaism for centuries and centuries. Compare this passage from Midrash Konen (no earlier than the 11th century AD, cited in MTJL:114f):
“The fifth house [in the heavenly Paradise] is built of onyx and jasper stones, and inlaid stones, and silver and gold, and good pure gold. And around it are rivers of balsam, and before its door flows the River Gihon. And [it has] a canopy of all trees of incense and good scent. And [in it are] beds of gold and silver, and embroidered garments. And there sit Messiah ben David and Elijah and Messiah ben Ephraim. And there is a canopy of incense trees as in the Sanctuary which Moses made in the desert. And all its vessels and pillars are of silver, its covering is gold, its seat is purple. And in it is Messiah ben David who loves Jerusalem. Elijah of blessed memory takes hold of his head, places it in his lap and holds it, and says to him: "Endure the sufferings and the sentence of your Master who makes you suffer because of the sin of Israel." And thus it is written: He was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities (Isa. 53:5)-until the time when the end comes….And every Monday and Thursday, and every Sabbath and holiday, the Fathers of the World [i.e. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob] and Moses and Aaron, David and Solomon, and the prophets, and the pious come and visit him, and weep with him. And he weeps with them. And they give him thanks and say to him: "Endure the sentence of your Master, for the end is near to come, and the chains which are on your neck will be broken, and you will go out into freedom."…And even Korah and all his company entreat him every Wednesday and say to him: "How long until the miraculous end? When will you bring us back to life and bring us up again from the depths of the earth (Ps. 71:20)?" And he says to them: "Go and ask the Fathers of the World." And they are ashamed and return to their place. [Notice here, by the way, that (a) the suffering messiah is the Son of David figure(!); and (b) even with two messiahs, they STILL have a ‘wait time’—the Messiah suffers for a long time before his ultimate, miraculous victory…remind you of Someone? (smile)]
· Zech 11.4-14 refers to the Rejected Good Shepherd, which was understood to refer to the betrayal/conspiracy against Jesus by the religious elite and Judas. Verse 12—the famous ’30 pieces of silver’ passage is explicitly ascribed to the messiah (but with a very odd meaning for the passage!) by late Judaism in Midrash Rabbah, Gen. 98,9f:
“R. Hanin said: Israel will not require the teaching of the royal Messiah in the future, for it says, Unto him shall the nations seek (Isa. XI, 10), but not Israel. If so, for what purpose will the royal Messiah come, and what will he do? He will Come to assemble the exiles of Israel and to give them [the Gentiles] thirty precepts, as it says, And I said unto them: ye think good, give me my hire; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my hire thirty pieces of silver’ (Zech. XI, 12)” [note: Israel doesn’t even need the Messiah to teach them…(smile)]
· The Pierced Messiah of Zech 12.10ff is specifically discussed in the Talmud in at least two places:
“It is well according to him who explains that the cause is the slaying of Messiah the son of Joseph, since that well agrees with the Scriptural verse, And they shall look upon me because they have thrust him through, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son; …[b. Sukkah 52a]
“They found a Scriptural verse and expounded it: [52a] And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart … What is the cause of the mourning [mentioned in the last cited verse]?—R. Dosa and the Rabbis differ on the point. One explained, The cause is the slaying of Messiah the son of Joseph, … [b. Sukkah 51b-52a]
So, we can see that there is a very definite (and traditional) set of passages that speak of a messianic figure that suffers, dies, is rejected, is reviled, is scorned, is ‘sacrificed’. So, whatever understanding of the messiah we come up with, it quite clearly points to two different sets of Messianic descriptions.
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
Simple. There is ONE Messiah, with 2 comings. He comes first as Rabbi Yeshua ben Yosef me Natsaaret - the Messiah who fulfils all the prophecies of the "rejected and brutalized" Messiah. And He will come the second time as Rabbi Yeshua ben David to conquer and be victorious, thus fulfilling the "victorious" Messianic prophecies.
A Jew, Jacob Prasch, discusses this concept in great detail in his brilliant dissertation One Messiah, Two Comings.
THE FINAL THREAT FACING NON-MESSIANIC JEWS
The great danger to not accepting Christ as the Messiah, is blatantly obvious to Bible believing Christians. Those who have studied the Bible's teachings on Eschatology (including the New Testament), will come to a scary conclusion about non-Messianic Jews and their impending predicament.
In many places in the Bible, the AntiChrist is prophesied. He will be given great power, and authority to deceive even the elect. He will be able to perform miracles like Jesus did, he will bring about a false world peace under one government and unite all false religion, including Judaism. Finally, he will stand in the rebuilt 3rd Temple and commit the abomination of desolations by declaring himself to be God.
What then will Jews think? - They will accept him as their long-awaited Messiah, and condemn themselves to hell in the process.
FACING THE FACTS
If you are Jewish and still seeking your Messiah, I implore you to face the facts of your own Jewish literature. Do NOT be deceived by your "holy" leaders! According to Judaism (the midrash Bereshith on page 243 of the Warsaw edition), the Messiah was to exit in 33AD. We read confirmation in the Talmudic literature also, confirming that the Messiah should have come and died before the Second Temple was destroyed. WE READ IN THE TALMUD, THAT THE SANHEDRIN WEPT AND SAID, “Woe to us! Where is the Messiah? He had to have come by now.”
Rabbi Leopold Cohen
Rabbi Leopold Cohen, a very senior, ultra-orthodox rabbi, sought to understand the meaning of Daniel chapter 9. He found two things in the Rabbinic literature of the ancient sages. One is that the Messiah was supposed to have come already. The other is that there is a curse on anybody who reads Daniel chapter 9. So Rabbi Leopold Cohen did the only honourable thing he could. He became a Baptist minister.
Blood sacrifice was the ONLY way, through Rabbinic law, that Jews could atone for their sins. This HAD TO BE DONE on the altar of the Holy of Holies. When the temple was destroyed in AD70, this became no longer possible. An offshoot of Rabbinic Judaism was therefore formed by deceivers, thereby creating a false religion. There is only one way for ANYONE to atone for their sins and that is through Messianic Judaism - through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Further evidence of this fact is that a scarlet thread used to hang in the Holy of Holies - when God had forgiven the Israelites sins, the thread turned white. Upon the resurrection of Christ, the thread in the Holy of Holies remained scarlet - it NEVER turned white again. This was a plain message from God to the Israelites that they had indeed missed their Messiah.
For simplicity's sake, these scriptures are taken from the New International Version [NIV])
(The Lord God, speaking to Satan)
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, "Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die." The LORD said to me: "What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 9:6 (=9:5 in JPS version)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
13 See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him-- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness--
15 so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.
1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, " declares the LORD. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
Micah 5:2 (=5:1 in JPS version)
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, Righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
1 [For the director of music. A psalm of David.]
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.
4 In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.
5 They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8 "He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."
9 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast.
10 From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no-one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
19 But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22 I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honour him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfil my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him--may your hearts live for ever!
27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him--those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn--for he has done it.
"Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."
YET FURTHER PROOF THAT CHRIST IS THE MESSIAH
70 sevens represents 490 years.
there will be seven 'sevens,' [49 years] and sixty-two 'sevens.'[434 years]. 49 + 434 = 483 years.
Jesus Christ came riding into Jerusalem on a donkey EXACTLY 483 years after the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem. It is not feasible to have "planned" His birth so perfectly and according to scripture. It even predicts His death EXACTLY.
SOME OF THE MESSIANIC SCRIPTURES OF THE TANAKH
Prophecy in the Jewish Bible
Fulfillment in the New Testament
Recognized as Messianic by the Rabbis
So who says the rabbis are right about everything?
1 Corinthians 1:24, Romans 9:5, John 8:58, Ephesians 2:14
Targum Jonathan, Pereq Shalom, Midrash Mishle
John 12:37-38, Acts 8:30-35, 1 Peter 2:21-25
Too many to list here--
Matthew 26:27-28, Luke 22:20, Hebrews 8:7-13
Rabbi Jesus (see "Fulfillment in the New Testament")
Matthew 21:1-5, John 12:14-15
Sanhedrin 98a, Berachot 56b
Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34, John 19:24, Hebrews 2:11-12
Warning in Sanhedrin 97b against calculating the time of the Messiah