Jewish Messiah Prophecy Explained
Jewish prophecies of the Messiah reveal answers about many important questions, including:
- What is the Jewish Messiah prophecy regarding his birth?
- What does prophecy reveal about the First Mission of the Messiah?
- When does Jewish Messiah prophecy say that the Messiah will come?
- What does prophecy reveal about the Messiah and the Temple?
- How does Jewish prophecy connect the Messiah with the Scepter of Judah?
- Does prophecy tie the Messiah with the End Times?
- What does prophecy explain about the Second Mission of the Messiah?
After learning the answers to these vital questions, you will be able to identify the Jewish Messiah and take action on what you have learned.
Please follow the sections in order. Skipping around will cause confusion and incorrect conclusions. Please understand each section before going on to the next one by clicking on the link at the end of each section.
The prophecies of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (Torah, the Prophets and the Writings) reveal God speaking to us through his prophets. God says not to rely on man’s wisdom such as commentaries, traditions, or other non-Biblical sources. One must only seek answers from God’s Word and not approach this study with pre-conceived ideas or prejudices. You must believe what the Hebrew Bible says. God gives the concept in these passages:
Jeremiah 17:5, 7 5Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 7Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
Proverbs 14:12 12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Note: The♦symbol compares the Hebrew Bible to other Jewish sources and beliefs. We must start by solving a mystery of God that is foundational to our study.
A Mystery of God Revealed in the Bible (A Prerequisite)
Before we proceed with the quest for the Jewish Messiah, we need an understanding of the one, true God who created the heavens and the earth. This is absolutely critical to our study of the Messiah as you shall see later.
♦Most Jewish people will agree that there is only one God and will often quote this passage from the Torah as proof:
Deuteronomy 6:4 4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
In Hebrew it reads “Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad.” The last word is echad which means “one” in English. This word, however, is a compound-unity-noun. It is like the English collective noun which refers to a unit of something, but the unit is made up of more than one element. The word “family” is an example. A family unit is made up of two or more members.
The Hebrew Bible has many examples as well. Echad is used to describe the cluster of grapes that the twelve Hebrew spies brought back from the land of Canaan in Number 12:23. The one cluster is made up of many grapes. In Ezra 2:64 the word echad is translated “whole congregation” which had 42,360 members.
God chose the compound-unity noun echad to describe Himself instead of the purely singular noun yachid. Another name for God is Elohim. It is also plural. The Hebrew Bible clearly teaches that there is ONE GOD consisting of two or more separate persons. Look at the following passages where God uses the “us” word as He talks to the other members of the Godhead, clearly showing that God consists of more than one being:
Genesis 1:26 26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Genesis 3:22 22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Genesis 11:6-7 6And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
The above Torah texts show the first person of the Godhead speaking. The Hebrew Bible calls Him Father; in other words, He is God the Father.
Isaiah 63:16 16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.
Now we meet the second person of the Godhead. He is the Son of God.
Proverbs 30:4 4Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?
The Son also called Himself “I AM” in the Torah:
Exodus 3:14 14And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
The Hebrew Bible also speaks of the third member of the Godhead – God the Holy Spirit:
Isaiah 63:10-11 10But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. 11Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?
Nehemiah 9:20 20Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.
Nehemiah 9:30 30Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.
Let’s look at an earthly example. A hard-boiled egg has three parts – the shell, the white or albumin, and the yolk. Each provides a different function but there is still only one egg. There are three separate Persons in the Godhead but they function in perfect unison as ONE GOD although each Person is equal in every way to the other two.
Why is The Tri-unity of God in the Hebrew Bible so important? The answer to that question is in the next section.
How is the Jewish Messiah Related to God?
These two Jewish Messiah prophecies say that the human son (Messiah) is also eternal God (not just a human, superhuman or a prophet):
Isaiah 9:6 6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Micah 5:2 2But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Micah prophesied that the Jewish Messiah will be ruler in Israel besides being eternal (“from everlasting”). The Hebrew Bible says that one of the three Persons of the Godhead is the Jewish Messiah! In other words, the Messiah is not a mere man but God taking on human form – God incarnate. Messiah is BOTH God and man. He has to be God in order to accomplish His first mission on earth. More about that later.
♦Some people claim that the Jewish Messiah is merely a prophet and then build rules around this supposition to determine who is eligible to be the Messiah. They use prophecy in Isaiah 11:2. But when you look at the whole chapter, especially verse four, you see that it does not refer to a prophet but to the Branch who is God the Messiah. Verse four says that He will smite the earth with the rod of his mouth and slay the wicked with the breath of his lips. No human can do that to the entire earth! The rest of the verses describe what it will be like when the Messiah-God reigns on earth.
Isaiah 11:1-4 1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 And 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;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
♦Look at verses 11 and 12 of the same chapter. During His reign, He will recover the remnant of His people a second time. This contradicts those who say that the Messiah cannot come until all the Jewish people are FIRST gathered back into Israel.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
There is no biblical evidence to support the idea that the Jewish Messiah is a mere prophet. God’s Word says that the Messiah is both God and man. You read it above in Isaiah and Micah. You cannot add or subtract from the Hebrew Bible!
♦Being both God and man, you would expect the Jewish Messiah to perform miracles to prove to the masses who He is. This is another point of contention. Some say that Jewish people reject anyone who performs miracles. Are they implying that only the Satan can perform miracles?
Their rejection stems from the belief that the Messiah is a mere human with ordinary parents. They get their information from “other Jewish sources” and NOT from the Hebrew Bible. The Isaiah prophecy shows that He is performing miracles and further prove the Messiah is God-incarnate.
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