The Messiah Prophecies:
It has been said that over two-thirds of the Bible is prophecy, with a great portion of those prophecies having yet to come to pass. However, to the ancient Jewish rabbis, the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures (which we know today as the Old Testament) constitutes prophecy. How can this be? It is because the portions which most people consider to be historical in nature, contain prophetic types, hints and suggestions of events that are yet to transpire. King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, told us directly this was the case:
"That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which it may be said,
See, this is new?
It has already been in ancient times before us."
"That which is has already been,
And what is to be has already been;
And God requires an account of what is past."
~ Back to the Future ~
According to Solomon,
the future has already been laid out by God and it is reflected
by those things which have occurred in the past. This is a
difficult concept for us as humans to grasp, for we live in a
linear world. Time, for us, moves from the past, through the
present and on into the future. Since our physical lives are
limited by this linear concept of time, it is not possible for us
to know first hand what has transpired in the distant past. Up
until the 20th century, the most we could do was read or hear
about it from other people. Now, at least, events can be viewed
on film, although one can only see what the camera records.
However, God is not limited by time or space; He lives in the past, the present, and the future all at once. The same is true of the Scriptures. They are the most powerful writings that man possesses, because they have come from the Creator of the Universe Himself. The Scriptures consist of YHVHs very mind; for they express His nature, and speak to us of His will.
Because the Scriptures have come to us from the very mind of God, it must be understood that they, like God, are also time-less; without time as we know it. If fact, as we have seen from the two passages just quoted, time to God is not linear but circular. Actually, a spiral might be a better way to express time from the point of view of Scripture. For what goes around comes around, and what has happened before will happen again, with changes appropriate to the current age. So it is, for example, that the stories of the Patriarchs tell us much about the one who was promised to come (the Anointed One or Messiah), for He is the beginning and the end; the Alpha and the Omega; the Aleph and the Tav.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
According to the Apostle John, the one who made the above statement is none other than the resurrected Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach), the one who called Himself the Son of Man when He walked the earth as a human being.
"Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man,
"And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."
(Rev. 1:12-13, 17-18)
The One called the First and the Last is none other than Yeshua of Nazareth; the same One who, when lie walked the earth, was called by His disciples The Living Torah. At that time He was the human embodiment of the word or instruction of God, the Torah. No wonder John introduces Him to us as the Word:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. ...
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. ...
"No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him."
(John 1:11-3, 14, 18)
We proclaim that Yeshua is this Word. He is the Aleph and the Tav, the Beginning and the End, and He is the promised Messiah whose coming was prophesied throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, and pictured in the ordained Festivals of the LORD.
~ The Festival Spiral ~
The eternal spiral of
time can be better understood through the ordained Festivals of
the LORD. These Festivals are fully laid out for us in Leviticus
chapter 23. They represent, in outline form, the plan of God for
the people of this earth.
These Festivals are called moedim (mow-eh-deem) in Hebrew, meaning appointed times, and they have already been entered into HaShem's appointment book. They need to be entered into ours as well, for these are the special days and seasons which God has appointed for meeting with His children. The Festivals move in a spiral. Each year they are repeated, and each year they move us closer and closer to the time of their ultimate fulfillment.
And so we look back to ancient happenings on these very days to help us understand what will take place when their complete fulfillment occurs. The slaying of the Passover lamb and the freeing of the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt happened to point us to the great redemption that our Passover Lamb, Yeshua HaMashiach performed for us when He was Himself sacrificed in order that we could be redeemed from our slavery to sin.
~ The Messiah in Prophecy ~
The ancient Jewish
sages of Yeshuas day, and even before His time,
knew the Scriptures backward and forward. They knew the Messiah
was coming, and they combed the writings to locate passages that
spoke of that coming. A good number of their understandings are
preserved for us in several different writings. These include
both Scriptural paraphrases and extra-Biblical writings. Some
were written before the time of Yeshua, and others
appeared after His day. For example, there are writings in both
the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmud, written well after the time
of Yeshua, which clearly show the rabbinic understanding
of many Messianic passages of Scripture.
It is on these early works that we wish to focus our attention in this and subsequent articles in this series. The basis for this information comes from the monumental work of a nineteenth century Jewish Believer, Alfred Edersheim. In his classic book, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Edersheim publishes (in Appendix IX) a List of Old Testament Passages Messianically Applied in Ancient Rabbinic Writings. This list contains 456 scripture passages that the ancient rabbis understood pointed to the Messiah or to Messianic times. Seventy-five are found in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), 243 are found in the Prophets, and 138 are found in the Writings. Edersheim claims to have supported these Messianic Scriptures with references to 558 Rabbinic writings. The works to which Edersheim refers are:
The Targumim - These are Aramaic paraphrases of the Old Testament. Because they are paraphrases, and not literal translations of the Scriptures, they give additional information as to how the authors of that time interpreted the Scriptures. Often the authors have actually inserted the word "Messiah" into a passage so that all will know that it is to be applied with that understanding.
The Talmud - Although both versions of the Talmud were written quite some time after the first century, they do express the understanding of earlier times as well as the times in which they were written. (A Talmud consists of two different writings; the Mishnah, which is the Oral Law committed to writing, and the Gamarah, which is the rabbinic commentary on that Oral Law or Mishnah.)
Ancient Midrashim - These are the stories and legends that teach moral truths about the Scriptures. Today we might call them allegories or parables. Many of Yeshuas parables could be classified as Midrash. Pauls analogy of Hagar and Sarah being representative of Mt. Sinai and the New Jerusalem, is typical Jewish Midrash. (See Gal. 4 :24-27).
Yalkut - This is a collection of fifty older writings, which are no longer available from any other source. It is the only late dated writing that Edersheim included; only because its contents represent a much earlier point of view.
Edersheim did not include any references from the Zohar, the Jewish mystical books that were written during the Middle Ages.
This series of articles
will follow Edersheims list as closely as seems
appropriate. However, with so many of the passages cross
referencing each other, we may cover some of the later passages
in some detail within earlier ones. Edersheims information
is either quoted or paraphrased, and other information has been
added as seems appropriate.
Let us begin!
~ The Book of Genesis ~
"The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering (KJV; moved) over the face of the waters."
Edersheim: "...the expression, Spirit of God, is explained of the Spirit of the King Messiah, with reference to Is. xi. 2 ..." (p. 710)
"There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD."
The rabbis knew this Isaiah passage applied to the King Messiah, so they interpreted the Spirit in both cases to be the Spirit of the Messiah.
"...and the moving on the face of the deep of
repentance, according to Lam. ii. 19." (p. 711).
Ancient Sources: The Midrash Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis; and The Midrash Vayyikra Rabba, on Leviticus.
"Arise, cry out in the night,
At the beginning of the watches;
Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward Him
For the life of your young children,
Who faint from hunger at the head of every street."
The Spirit of God, which the Messiah possesses in full measure, moves upon the hearts of Believers just as it moved upon the waters of creation.
"This is the history (KJV; generations) of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens."
centers around the spelling of the Hebrew word toldah,
in Gen. 2:4 and Ruth 4:18, as opposed to all of its other
occurrences. They have also indicated that Gen. 3:15 must be
taken into account in order to properly understand the concepts
The word in question is (toldah = tohl-dah). It means; "descent, i.e. family; (fig.) history:--birth, generations. "The second letter from the right (Hebrew is read from right to left) is a vowel form of the letter vav( ). Vav, the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is also the numeral six;* which is the number that represents man. In all other occurrences of this word (toldah) the vav ( ) is missing, and the word is spelled: . The Rabbis say that every change in the text is for a purpose, and that it must have some meaning attached to it. Therefore, there must be a reason why the vav ( ) has been removed in the majority of cases; and there must also be a reason why the vav ( ) has been maintained in the two scriptures mentioned.
[* In Hebrew each letter of the alphabet represents a number.]
Edersheim: "This to indicate that subsequent to Gen. ii. 4 the Fall took place, in which Adam lost --six-- things: his glorious sheen (Job xiv. 20); life (Gen. iii. 19); his stature (Gen. iii. 8 -- either by 100, by 200, by 300, or even by 900 cubits); the fruit of the ground; the fruits of the trees (Gen. iii. 17); and the heavenly lights. But the reappears in the word in Ruth iv. 18, because these six things are to be restored to man by the son of Pharez -- or the Messiah" (p. 711)
Ancient Sources. Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis. The Midrash Shemoth Rabba on Exodus.
"So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.
"Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi. And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
"Now this is the genealogy () of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David."
This is, of course, the lineage of the Messiah from which Yeshua HaMashiach descended. (See Matt. 1:39 and Luke 3:33).
"And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel."
The Rabbis see Messiah
in this passage and they consider it as being integral to the
understanding of the missing
vav ( ) discussed in the previous section. For it is the Messiah who re-institutes the missing vav ( ), thereby making the generations or history complete once again.
Edersheim: "This well-known passage is paraphrased, with express reference to the Messiah..." (p. 711).
Ancient Sources. Targum Jonathan and the Jerusalem Targum.
This passage is well known in both Jewish and Christian circles as having Messianic implications. In relationship to Yeshua, the snake (HaSatan the adversary) was able to condemn Yeshua to a physical death only because He willingly took upon himself the sins of the world. Those are the same sins which had entered the world through HaSatan's deception and Adams subsequent fall. however, in the end the Messiah is prophesied to triumph over death and the grave, and to subsequently have both the power and the authority to deal with the adversary in a final manner:
"And the devil who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."
"And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, For God has appointed another seed (zehrag) for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed."
"The language of Eve at the birth of Seth: another
seed, is explained as meaning seed which comes from
another place, and referred to Messiah ... The same
explanation occurs twice in the Midrash on Ruth iv. 19 (in the
genealogy of David, ...), the second time in connection with Ps.
xl. 8 (in the volume of the book it is written of me
-- bim'gillath sepher -- Ruth belonging to the class [megillah:
the class of book to which Ruth belongs])." (p. 711).
Ancient Sources: Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis; Midrash on Ruth.
The scripture referred to in the book of Ruth is actually found in verse 12, not verse 19 as given by Edersheim:
"May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring (zehrag) which the LORD will give you from this young woman.'"
(Ruth 4: 12)
"Then I said, Behold I come;
In the scroll of the Book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart."
The Rabbis saw Psalm 40:7-8 as referring to the Messiah, and understood that He was written about in the Megilloth which include the books of: Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther. Hence the connection between Gen. 4:25 and Ruth 4:12 which both have to do with the ancestry of Yeshua HaMashiach; while the connection between Psalm 40 and the book of Ruth has to do with the phrase "scroll of the Book." That phrase in Hebrew, as Edersheim stated, is: "bim'gillath sepher."
"This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God."
"In connection with Gen. v. 1 it is noted ... that King
Messiah will not come till all souls predestined for it have
appeared in human bodies on earth." (p. 711).
Ancient Sources: Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
This may seem like a very controversial topic. We will let each person work out their own conclusions concerning this matter. However, it is well when studying this subject to be aware of the following New Testament scriptures which seem to confirm this viewpoint:
"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."
"But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained (predestined) before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."
(I Cor. 2:7-8)
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. ...
"... in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory."
(Eph. 1:3-6, 11-12)
"Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had abated from the earth."
"... the olive-leaf, brought by the dove, was taken from the
Mount of the Messiah." (p. 711).
Ancient Source: Targum Pseudo-Jonathan.
This is obviously a Jewish tradition. The Mount of the Messiah is a term used to indicate either Mount Moriah, where the Temple was eventually built in Solomons day, or the Mount of Olives.
"May God enlarge Japheth,
And may he dwell in the tents of Shem;
And may Canaan be his servant."
"The promise, that Japhet shall dwell in the tents of Shem,
is paraphrased ... as meaning, that his-descendants should become
proselytes, and dwell in the schools of Shem --which seems to
refer to Messianic times." (p. 711).
Ancient Source: Targum Pseudo-Jonathan.
It is interesting to note that according to tradition, Shem, the son of Noah, is said to have resided on Mount Moriah (then known as Salem) and that Isaac went to him for instruction in the ways of God after being offered as a living sacrifice by his father Abraham.
And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations, that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).
Edersheim: ...we are reminded that when we see the nations warring together, we may expect the coming of the Messiah. (p. 711).
Ancient Sources: Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates
The promise ... is expected to be finally fulfilled in the
time of Messiah. (p. 711).
Ancient Source. Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant. And they said, Do as you have said.
...the words of Abraham to his Angelic guests were to be
returned in blessing to Abrahams descendants, in the
wilderness, in the land of Canaan, and in the latter (Messianic)
days. Referring only to this last point, the words, let a
little water be fetched, is paralleled with the
living waters in Zech. xiv. 8; wash your
feet, with Is. iv. 4 (the washing away of the filth of the
daughters of Zion); rest under the tree, with Is. iv.
6: there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime
from the heat; I will fetch a morsel of bread,
with the provision, Ps. lxxii. 16: there shall be a handful
of corn in the earth, etc. So also the words: Abraham
ran unto the herd, are paralleled with Is. vii. 21 (which
is most significantly here applied to Messianic times); and
lastly, the words, he stood by them, with Mic. ii.
13: the breaker is come up before them. ...
Ancient Sources: Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis; the Midrash Bamidbar Rabba, on Numbers.
Rather than explore all of the scriptures given by Edersheim, one other comment seems to be in order concerning this passage, and its relationship to the Messiah. In verse one it states clearly that YHVH ...appeared to him... Was one of these three men actually YHVH Himself? That fact seems to be confirmed in the conversation that Abraham had with this person; for He is identified as YHVH several more times in the course of the conversation. Verse 22 states:
Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD (YHVH).
The men departed but the LORD stayed, and only two angels (men) showed up in Sodom.
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, ...
Is it possible that Abraham actually stood before YHVH, served Him a meal, and talked with Him? Consider this statement made by the Apostle John:
No one has seen God (the Father) at any time. The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
Now the words of Yeshua:
And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.
All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
It is our belief that the One with whom Abraham ate and talked was the One whom we know as Yeshua HaMashiach, a member of the God Family.
Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.
is the case where the daughters of Lot, thinking that all the
rest of the human race had been destroyed, connived to bear
children by their father.
Edersheim: The last clause of Gen. xix. 32 is interpreted as referring, like the words of Eve about Seth, to the Messiah -- the sin of the daughters of Lot being explained on the ground of their believing that all mankind had been destroyed in the judgment that overthrew Sodom. (p. 712).
Ancient Source: Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
Apparently the Rabbis believed that the daughters of Lot knew that a Messiah had to come, so they set about to provide a means for that to happen.
In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.
The promise ... is also explained Messianically ... in
connection with Num. ii. 32, where it is somewhat curiously shown
in what sense Israel is to be like the sand of the sea. (p.
Ancient Source: Bamidbar Rabba, on Numbers.
These are the ones who were numbered of the children of Israel by their fathers houses. All who were numbered according to their armies of the forces were six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty.
It is curious that the Rabbis would select verse 18 of Genesis chapter 22 to apply in a Messianic sense rather than the entire story of the sacrifice of Isaac which is a great type of the sacrifice of the Suffering Servant Messiah of Isaiah 52 and 53. Certainly, the concept of a substitutionary sacrifice (the ram in place of Isaac) pointed to later sacrifice in Tabernacle and Temple worship, and ultimately to the sacrifice of Yeshua as a substitute for all peoples of the world (who are willing to accept it).
Now Jacob lifted his eyes and looked, and there, Esau was coming, and with him were four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants.
Edersheim: The Midrash conjoins this with Is. lxvi. 7, and notes that, before the first oppressor was born, the last Redeemer was already born. (p. 712).
Ancient Source. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan.
Before she travailed, she gave birth;
Before her pain came,
She delivered a male child.
Esau is viewed as a type of the False Messiah (Anti-Christ in Christian terms), while Jacob is seen as a type of the Messiah. This interpretation of the Rabbis indicates that both the Messiah and the False Messiah have pre-existed, with the true Messiah predating that of His false counterpart.
Then Israel journeyed and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
The Targum ... paraphrases the tower of Eder
(at Bethlehem) as the place whence the Messiah would be
revealed. (p. 712).
Ancient Source: Targum Pseudo-Jonathan.
This is quite an amazing admission by the ancient writers of the Targum. The phrase tower of Eder in Hebrew is Migdol Eder (Mig-dohl Eh-dehr) and its full translation is Tower of the Flock. Migdol Eder was a specific building on the north side of Bethlehem and is near the very place where Yeshua was born.
... So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion
From now on, even forever.
And you, O tower of the flock, (Migdol Eder)
The stronghold of the daughter of Zion,
To you shall it come,
Even the former dominion shall come,
The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.
we see that the former dominion will come to Migdol
Eder. This is a direct prophecy to the fact that the
Messiah, Yeshua, who was the embodiment of the Kingdom
of God, would come first to this location.
The Tower of the Flock was located in a section of Bethlehem called Ephrathah.
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth have been from of old,
term everlasting literally means, the days of
eternity. Once again we see the prophecies of the Messiah
hinted at in the book of Genesis and clarified in the Prophets
and the Writings.
So it was to Bethlehem that the Magi were directed when they came looking for the Messiah, whos star they had seen in the east.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.
So they said to him, in Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ...
(Matt. 2:1-2, 5)
Another striking fact about the location of Yeshuas birth at Migdol Eder in the Ephrathah region of Bethlehem, is that is where the lambs were raised for Passover sacrifice. All of the sacrificial lambs had to be born and raised within a certain distance from the Temple. Bethlehem Ephrathah falls within that distance, while the major part of Bethlehem (which lies to the south) does not. Thus we see the intricate planning of God in relationship to the birth of His Son, Yeshua HaMashiach, and how it was all prophesied ahead of time.
It came to pass at that time that Judah departed from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua, and he married her and went in to her.
...there are very remarkable Messianic comments in Ber. R.
85. (p. 712).
Ancient Sources: Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
Unfortunately, Edersheim fails to tell us what those remarkable comments might be, and we do not currently possess the reference materials needed to discover them.
And Jacob called his sons and said, Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:
. ..the end for which the Messiah would come was not
revealed to Jacob. A similar statement is found in the Midrash on
the passage where it is said of Jacob and Daniel that they saw
the end, and yet it was afterwards hid from them. The passage
quoted in the case of Daniel is Dan. xii. 4. (P.712).
Ancient Sources: Targum Pseudo-Jonathan; Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
Judah, is a lions whelp;
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
And as a lion, who shall rouse him?
The expression lions whelp, is explained
of the Messiah in Yalkut no less than five times; while the term
he couched, (bows down) is referred to the
Messiah. (p. 712).
Ancient Sources: Yalkut 160; Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
(See the commentary on the following verse.)
The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes;
And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
Binding his donkey to the vine,
And his donkeys colt to the choice vine,
He washed his garments in wine,
And his clothes in the blood of grapes.
This well-known prediction is ... applied to the Messiah,
with a quotation of Ps. ii. 9. The expression Shiloh
is also applied to the Messiah, with the curious addition, that
in the latter days all nations would bring gifts to Him. ...
... the Midrash on the passage, and that on Prov. xix. 21, and on lam. i. 1 6. where it is rendered shelo, whose it is, refer the expression Shiloh, and, indeed, the whole passage, to the Messiah; ... with special reference to Is. xi. 10, while the promise with reference to the asss colt is brought into connection with Zech. ix. 9, the fulfillment of this prophecy being expected along with that in Ezek. xxxvi. 25 (I will sprinkle clean water). (p. 712).
Ancient Sources: Yalkut; Targum Onkelos; Targum Pseudo-Jonathan; Jerusalem Targum; Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b; Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
remarkable statement applies the verse to the coming of Him of
Whom it is written, Zech. ix. 9. Then He would wash his garment
in wine, which is explained as meaning the teaching of the Law to
Israel, and His clothes in the blood of grapes, which is
explained as meaning that He would bring them back from their
errors (p. 712-713).
Ancient Sources: Yalkut; Targum Onkelos; Targum Pseudo-Jonathan; .Jerusalem Targum; Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
Obviously these verses are overflowing with Messianic implications.
His eyes are darker than wine,
And his teeth whiter than milk.
I have waited for your salvation, O LORD!
(Gen. 49:12, 18)
Edersheim: Gen. xlix. 17 is also
applied to the Messiah. ... So also is verse 18, although not in
Ancient Sources: Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Jerusalem Targum.
Dan shall be a serpent by the way,
A viper by the path,
That bites the horses heels
So that its rider shall fall backward.
...last clause, in its connection with ver. 18, the Midrash
sees a reference to the disappointment of Jacob in mistaking
Samson for the Messiah. (p. 713).
Ancient Source: Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
Another tradition sees this passage as predicting the False Messiah is to come from the tribe of Dan.
Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him,
But he shall triumph at
there is an allusion to Messianic days, as Elijah was to be
of the tribe of Gad. ... (p.713).
Ancient Source: Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
Then they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and they mourned there with a great and very solemn lamentation. He observed seven days of mourning for his father.
as they had mourned, so in Messianic days God would turn
their mourning into joy, quoting Jer. xxxi. 13 and Is. li.
3. (p. 712).
Ancient Source: Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.
Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance,
And the young men and the old, together;
For [will turn their mourning to joy,
Will comfort them,
And make them rejoice rather than sorrow.
For the LORD will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the LORD;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
The end result of the Messianic Kingdom will be a time of comfort and joy.
~ Summary ~
evident that the ancient Rabbis looked at prophecy in quite a
different light than do most modern day Christians. They searched
the subtleties of the Scriptures, making connections with other
verses in ways that are not readily apparent in the surface
reading of the text.
It is our suggestion that if you had trouble following some of the reasoning that Edersheim has found in the ancient Jewish writings that you study the material again, with a very open mind. The connections are there, even if they do not jump out at the first reading.
To begin to comprehend the ancient Jewish mind, is to begin to know the mind of Yeshua, for lie lived in that very time, and fully appreciated their thought processes and taught in a manner they could understand. Therefore, if we are to fully understand the teachings of our Savior, we must be able to understand how the people of His day thought. A study such as this helps us to accomplish that end.
Next time we will discuss the Messianic prophecies that are found in the remainder of the Torah (Leviticus through Deuteronomy).
~ Sources ~
Edersheim, Alfred, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah,
Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1990.
Green, Jay P., Sr., The Interlinear Bible, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, 1985.
The Open Bible, The New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1985.
Strong, James, S.T.D., L.L.D., Strongs New Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, World Bible Publishers, Inc., Iowa Falls, 1986.
Wigram, George V., The Englishmans Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1980.
To be continued....
There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence.
The first day the boy had driven thirty-seven nails into the fence. Then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the boy didnt lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.
The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It wont matter how many times you say Im sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one."
Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.
Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND.
Directory of HF's,
ICOG's and IF's
A directory has been prepared by the Seattle Area Home Fellowship (HF), for Believers who desire to worship with independent or home fellowship groups. It is intended for those members of the Body of Messiah who meet in home-based fellowship (HF) and/or with non-hierarchical independent Church of God (ICOG) groups and/or with other independent fellowship (IF) groups.
The Directory states: "The common foundation of the groups in the HF, ICOG, & IF Directory is: belief in Jesus Christ / Yshua HaMashiach as our Divine Savior, Lord, and Master; and in fellowship with Believers who keep both weekly and annual Sabbaths; and who believe in keeping the Commandments of God as magnified by Jesus Christ."
The current Directory (published October 1998) is the sixth edition. Over the years it has proved to be very useful to Brethren who are searching for fellowship, either in their own area or when traveling.
For information on how to obtain a Directory or have your fellowship listed in it contact:
Robert Bodkin, Co-Secretary,