The ancient Holy Scriptures, sometimes called the “Old Testament,” from which the following prophecies are taken, were written 400 to 1,400 years before Jesus Christ was born. These same prophecies were then later translated from Hebrew into Greek by 70 Jewish priests and scholars who were brought together sometime around 270 B.C.
So, these following prophecies of the Messiah (Christ) from the ancient Hebrew Scriptures were being copied, read, and distributed hundreds of years before Jesus was even born!
This Hebrew to Greek translation is called the “Septuagint,” and is well documented in both Jewish and secular history.
What prophetic details did God carefully weave into the ancient Holy Scriptures concerning the coming Messiah?
He would be born of a virgin
the virgin shall conceive
and bear a Son,
and shall call His name Immanuel”
(Immanuel literally means “God with us”)
He would be the Son of God
“For unto us a Child is born,
unto us a Son is given,
and His Name will be called Mighty God,
Prince of Peace.”
God first ‘publicly’ introduced His Son to Mankind
around 1000 BC (in a Psalm from King David) ...
"I (God) have set MY King
on My Holy Hill of Zion. (Jerusalem)
I (God) will declare the Decree:
The LORD (GOD)
has said to Me (Messiah),
You are MY SON
I (God) have begotten You.
Ask of Me,
and I will give You
the nations (Gentiles)
for Your inheritance,
and the ends of the Earth
for Your possession ..."
"KISS the Son (of God)
lest He be angry,
and you perish in the way,
when His wrath is kindled but a little.
BLESSED are all those
who trust in Him."
And from the wisdom of Proverbs ...
"Who has established
all the ends of the Earth?
What is HIS Name,
and what is His SON'S NAME,
if you know?
(Jesus Christ ... Yeshua Ha'Mashiach in Hebrew)
He would be born in Bethlehem . . .
AFTER leaving His place in Eternity
"But you, O 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,
from EVERLASTING." ( God)
He would ride triumphantly into Jerusalem,
yet meek and lowly ... riding on a donkey
O daughter of Zion (Israel)!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
yet He is lowly
and riding on a donkey."
He would be betrayed by a friend
"Even my own familiar friend
in whom I trusted,
who ate My bread,
has lifted up his heel against Me."
They would set a price on Him
of 30 pieces of silver ...
which would then be thrown
into the potter's field
"So they weighed out for my wages
thirty pieces of silver.
And the LORD said to me,
‘Throw it to the potter' -
that princely price they set on Me."
He would be meek and humble
"He had no beauty or majesty
to attract us to Him,
nothing in His appearance
that we should desire Him."
(Isaiah 53:2 NIV)
We would despise Him and reject Him ...
He would feel the pain of rejection
"He is despised
and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows
and acquainted with grief."
We would turn our backs on Him ...
and look the other way as He went by
"And we hid, as it were,
our faces from Him;
He was despised,
and we did not esteem Him."
He would be rejected by Israel
"The Redeemer of Israel,
their Holy One,
To Him whom man despises,
To Him whom the nation abhors."
He would suffer ... and be brutally beaten
"So His appearance
was marred more than any man"
He would be beaten and bloodied ...
and He would die for our sins
"But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement (punishment)
for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes (whip lashes)
we are healed.
And the LORD has laid on Him
the iniquity (sin) of us all."
He would remain silent during His ordeal
"He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep
before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth."
He would be Crucified ...
A torturous and agonizing death
"All My bones are out of joint ...
My tongue clings to My jaws;
They pierced My hands and My feet,
They look and stare at Me."
(Psalm 22:14, 15, 16, 17)
He would have stakes (nails) driven through His hands
"And someone will say to Him,
‘What are these wounds in your hands?'
Then He will answer,
‘Those with which I was wounded
in the house of my friends.'"
He would be mocked
during His time of suffering and death
"A reproach of men and
despised of the people,
They shoot out the lip,
they shake the head, saying
‘He trusted in the Lord,
let Him rescue Him;'"
They would cast lots for His clothes
"They divide my garments among them,
and for My garments they cast lots."
He would suffer terribly on the Cross
"My God, My God,
why have You forsaken me?"
(Psalm 22:1 ... Matthew 27:46)
With these words from the Cross, Jesus was pointing the Jewish leaders to Psalm 22 ...
The Jewish leaders who were gathered around the Cross knew the Scriptures well. Psalm 22 is a detailed prophecy foretelling the death of Jesus, the Messiah, on the Cross, written a thousand years before the Cross and written centuries before this form of execution was even invented - written when the Jewish form of execution was stoning.
His side would be pierced
"Then they will look upon Me
whom they have pierced;
they will mourn for Him
as one mourns for his only son,
and grieve for Him
as one grieves for a firstborn."
(Zechariah 12:10 - a prophecy of His Return)
The Sun would go down at noon
and darken the Earth in broad daylight
"And on that Day,” declares the Lord God,
make the Sun go down at noon
He would be buried in a rich man's grave
"He was buried like a criminal
in a rich man's grave;"
He was innocent ... without sin
"But He had done no wrong,
and He had never spoken an evil word."
He would be Resurrected ...
Raised from the dead
"For You will not leave
my soul in Sheol (Hell),
NOR will You allow
Your Holy One (Messiah)
to see corruption (decompose)."
He would be a Savior to ALL Mankind ...
thus fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant
"I will also give You
as a light to the Gentiles, (non-Jews)
That You should be My Salvation
to the ends of the Earth."
He would be The Sacrifice
for all of our sins
"And He bore the sin of many ..."
The Cross was part of God's Plan ...
so we might be “saved” from our sins
"Yet it was the Lord's good plan
to bruise Him; put Him to grief,
make His soul an offering for sin ..."
(Isaiah 53:10, KJV paraphrased)
He would then return to His place in Heaven, until ...
"I (the LORD) will return again to My place
until they (Israel)
acknowledge their offense.
Then they will seek My face;
in their affliction (the Tribulation)
they will diligently seek Me"...
For the LORD to return to His place means that He had to have left His place. One requirement that must be met before He can return to Earth is for the people of Israel to "acknowledge their offense." (Notice that the word offense is singular, not plural, and it is specific.) This means that Israel must acknowledge their rejection of the Messiah and pray, as a nation, for His return. We are told this will be fulfilled at the very end of the Tribulation. God will fulfill all of His covenants with the nation Israel.
When the Word and prophecies became flesh ...
"Now when they had fulfilled
all that was written concerning Him,
they took Him down from the tree
and laid Him in a tomb.
But God raised Him from the dead.
He was seen for many days
by those who came up with Him
from Galilee to Jerusalem,
who are His witnesses to the people."
Then He (Jesus) said to them,
"These are the words which I spoke to you
while I was still with you,
that all things must be fulfilled
which were written in the Law of Moses
and the Prophets and the Psalms
And He opened their understanding,
that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
Then He said to them,
"Thus it is written,
and thus it was necessary
for the Christ (Messiah) to suffer
and to rise from the dead the third day,
and that repentance and remission of sins
should be preached in His Name
to all nations,
beginning at Jerusalem."
The FIRST prophecy in the Bible was spoken by God to
Adam, Eve, and Satan in the Garden of Eden ...
"I will put enmity (hatred)
between you (Satan) and the woman (Eve),
And between your seed (the Antichrist)
and her Seed (the Christ);
He shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise His heel."
This first prophecy is a prophecy of the Messiah. It also sets the stage for Satan's hatred against Mankind. In the book of Job, we find Satan attacks us and our families, bringing sickness, death, and distress into our lives to try to separate us from God ... to "curse God and die." Also, there are other prophecies found in the Bible concerning this "head wound" the coming Antichrist will appear to be resurrected from.
In this prophecy we are told the seed of the woman, the Messiah (the Christ), would have His heel bruised. If you study the physical trauma associated with the Crucifixion, you soon find it was designed to cause extreme pain and torment before death.
The word "excruciating" comes from the root word "crucify." Crucifixion was a cruel, slow, agonizing, and tortuous form of execution designed to kill through slow suffocation. The shoulders of the person being crucified would dislocate and separate. The only way the person nailed to the Cross could breathe (or speak) would be to gather as much strength as they could and try to stand up on the nail or the spike that had been driven through their feet.
The feet were severely pressed in order to nail them to the Cross. When the feet were nailed securely to the Cross, the heel would be pressed tightly against the wood of the Cross.
So, in order to breathe or to speak, the person nailed to the Cross had to put all of their weight on the heel and the large spike that had been driven through the feet in order to stand up far enough to gasp for breath. This incredibly tortuous process would painfully bruise that heel.
Also, we are told that Jesus was scourged by the Romans before He was crucified. These "stripes" He took on His back were another form of cruel punishment derived by the powers of the day.
The Roman "whip" used for scourging was small with pieces of metal and bone attached. The prisoner's back was stretched tight as He, in this case, Jesus, was tied to a post. The Roman whip was designed to dig into the skin of the back and then tear the skin away from the bone.
By the time Jesus was crucified the skin of His back that had been torn from the "stripes" would have been hanging loosely off of the bone like a tattered cloth.
Now, take a moment to consider the amount of pain shooting through the body of Christ as He struggled with dry, parched lips and gasping for breath to stand up by pressing down on that heel which was nailed to the Cross, causing His tattered back with its exposed bone to rub against the roughly hewn wood of His Cross in order to clearly speak those words: "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Note to Christians: It is wrong and a blasphemy against God and Jesus to ever blame the Jews for Jesus' death. As one pastor put it, "If you are going to blame anybody blame me, for it was because of my sins that the Messiah stepped forth from Eternity and took on the form of Man, as the Son of Man ... the Son of God, to suffer and die.
Christians are taught to help Israel and her people
"Cursed be everyone who curses you (Israel),
and blessed be those who bless you!"
(Genesis 27:29 ... and Genesis 12:3)
God has a covenant with Israel that will never be broken. He has revealed a destiny for Israel which will soon be completed.
God has declared a new Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31 - Matthew 26:28-32) and destiny for a people to be drawn from the whole world, through His Messiah, including the children of Israel who recognize their Messiah from Scripture. This new covenant is a promise for all who love, trust, and obey Him.
The Serpent on the Pole.
We find another prophetic foreshadowing of the Cross
in the book of Numbers, one of the five books of Moses ...
"So the LORD
sent fiery serpents among the people,
and they bit the people;
and many of the people of Israel died.
Therefore the people came to Moses,
and said, ‘We have sinned,
for we have spoken against the LORD
and against you (Moses);
pray to the LORD that
He take away the serpents from us.'
So Moses prayed for the people.
Then the LORD said to Moses,
‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole;
and it shall be that everyone who is bitten,
when he looks at it, shall live.'
So Moses made a bronze serpent,
and put it on a pole;
and so it was,
if a serpent had bitten anyone,
when he LOOKED
at the bronze serpent,
In the Bible, the serpent is used as a symbol for "sin," and bronze a symbol of "judgment," because bronze could withstand the fire. We find in this verse that once the people acknowledged their sin, they only needed to look upon the serpent on the pole to be healed and saved. We are told Jesus "became" sin, like that "fiery serpent" on the pole, for us ...
"For He made Him
who knew no sin (Jesus Christ)
to be sin for us,
that we might become
the righteousness of God in Him."
(2 Corinthians 5:21)
Jesus points to this prophetic model
of the serpent on the pole ...
"And as Moses
lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
that whoever believes in Him
should not perish (in Hell)
but have eternal life (in Heaven).
For God so loved the world
that He gave
His only begotten Son, (See Psalm 2)
that whoever believes in Him
should not perish (in Hell),
but have everlasting life (in Heaven).
For God did not send His Son
into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him
might be saved."
(From our sins and from Hell)
It is interesting that after hearing the story of the serpent in the wilderness, the ancient Greeks adopted this sign of the serpent on the pole as their symbol for healing. The symbol is still used by our medical profession. You might note there is only one serpent on this ancient symbol, not two.
So, as those who looked upon the fiery serpent in the wilderness were saved from their sins, so will all who trust and believe in Jesus on the Cross be saved from their sins and Hell ... and welcomed into His Kingdom of Heaven, forever.
The Promise of the Cross is available to everybody. The offer is extended to all. The early church included all - Jew, Roman, Ethiopian, Greek, rich and poor, men and women, centurion and rabbi, together, as one. They saw ... they heard ... they believed.
God promised the good news of this new Covenant of God's grace would be offered to all people around the world. Christ lovingly suffered and died for the sins of all Mankind!
Jesus Christ stepped forth from Heaven
for one reason ... to save sinners!
"This is a faithful saying
and worthy of all acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world
to save sinners"
(1 Timothy 1:5) (We are told everyone has sinned)
We are told if we repent (confess we've sinned and turn back to God), and believe Jesus lovingly suffered and died on the Cross for our sins, and that He was buried, and then raised from the dead, we will then die "in Christ" and will be 'saved' into Heaven. If not, we die "in our sin" and will go to Hell.
A MATHEMATICAL PROPHECY!!!
A REMARKABLE prophecy of Jesus Christ (Messiah) ...
will be revealed
7 weeks + 62 weeks
(= 69 weeks of years)
after the commandment
to rebuild Jerusalem
and its walls,
then He (Messiah)
will be cut-off.”
This is a MATHEMATICAL prophecy
- Week of years (shabua or shabu’im) = 7 years
- ‘Cut-off’... Hebrew karath = “executed!”
- The 70th Week is a future 7 years (Apocalypse!)
This prophecy of the coming Messiah is both remarkable and extremely precise. God gave the Jews the most sophisticated calendar on Earth. It is both a Lunar and a Solar calendar. The Jewish calendar uses a 360 day lunar (and prophetic) year and then adds a 'Leap Month' on specific years to accurately coincide with the Solar cycle we use on our 'Julian' calendar ...
The Bible uses 360 day years for prophecies and expects us to add the appropriate 'leap months' on schedule. So, the easiest way to unravel this prophecy is to first convert this prophecy into days:
- Add 7 + 62 weeks = 69 weeks of years
- Multiply 69 (weeks) x 7 (years) = 483 years
- Multiply 483 years x 360 days = 173,880 days
So, the prophet Daniel, who lived 500 years before Jesus (Yeshua) wrote that from the day of the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls, until the coming Messiah would be 173,880 days! Remember ... this mathematical prophecy was also translated from Hebrew into Greek in the Septuagint around 300 years before Jesus made His prophetic entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey!
To convert the 173,880 days found in this prophecy into our 365.25 day solar years (the .25 adjusts for leap years) ...
173,880 days ÷ 365.25 (days per year) = 476 yrs
So, the prophet Daniel told us it would be 476 years from the "commandment to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls" to the time the Messiah of Israel would first be revealed to Israel (and to the world.)
The Commandment ...
This prophecy of the coming Messiah is both remarkable and extremely precise. There were other orders to rebuild the Temple, but, there was only one commandment to restore Jerusalem and its wall. On March 14th, 445 BC, as confirmed by modern archaeology, King Artexerxes I of Persia issued the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem and specifically included its wall (Nehemiah 2:2-9 records and details all the events surrounding the rebuilding of this wall.)
(As a note, in 2007 archeologists in Israel found, uncovered, and excavated this ancient wall, sometimes translated "moat," which Nehemiah rebuilt around Jerusalem.)
Prophecy fulfilled ...
Now take the 476 years in this prophecy and simply start counting from March 14, 445 B.C. (when the command to rebuild the city Jerusalem and its wall was given) and you end on the exact year (even the very day) Jesus (Yeshua) rode 'triumphantly' into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), being praised as King and Messiah by thousands upon thousands of the Jewish people who had gathered from all over for the Passover Holidays. Honored, yet lowly, riding on a donkey - exactly as another prophet, the prophet Zechariah, said He would ...
O daughter of Zion (Israel)!
Behold, your King (Messiah)
is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
yet He is lowly and riding on a donkey."
(Zechariah 9:9 ... written around 500 B.C.)
Thus, on the 10th day of Nisan ("Palm Sunday") 32 AD ... 476 years after the command was given to rebuild the city and its wall ... Jesus (Yeshua) made His famous "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. It was the only day that He ever allowed Himself to be honored as Messiah or King (Mark 11:1-12) as the people of Israel cried out and sang "Hosanna to the Son of David (this is a Psalm of the Messiah), blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!" from Psalm 118 ... (and all this took place just a few days before He was "executed" exactly as Daniel's prophecy said He would!)
A remarkable prophecy ...
Simply count the years!
March 14, 445 BC (Artexerxes command)
to April 6, 32 AD (Palm Sunday - Messiah!!)
= 477 years
- 1 year (Subtract one for no "0" A.D. or B.C.)
= 476 years (Exactly!!!)
Who else around 32 A.D. fulfilled all these many prophecies?
No one!!! Only Jesus (Yeshua) of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem, in the line of King David ...
The promised Messiah!
This prophecy in the Book of Daniel (written over 500 years before Jesus was born) ALSO warned Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple ("Sanctuary") would be destroyed after Messiah (Jesus Christ) would be executed ...
"And the people (a prophecy of Rome)
of the prince who shall come (Antichrist)
shall destroy the CITY (Jerusalem)
and the TEMPLE ("Sanctuary")
Don't miss this ... the Bible warned the Jewish Temple would be destroyed AFTER Messiah was revealed and executed!
Jesus then reveals a NEW prophecy that Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed ... (this prophecy was fulfilled by the Romans in 70 AD) ...
Right after the "Triumphal Entry," Jesus (Yeshua) wept over Jerusalem, knowing the children of Israel would ignore this prophecy (and all the other prophecies of Messiah) which were so specific that God held them accountable! This is why the Temple was destroyed and the Jewish people were dispersed and scattered around the world ...
Here, Jesus then issued a new prophecy and warned Israel WHY it would happen ...
"Now as He (Jesus) drew near,
He saw the city (Jerusalem)
and wept over it, saying,
‘If you had known,
even you (the children of Israel),
especially in this your day,
(the day Messiah was revealed)
the things that make for your peace!
But now they are hidden from your eyes.
For days will come upon you
when your enemies will build
an embankment around you,
surround you and close you in
on every side, and level you,
and your children within you,
to the ground; and they will
not leave in you (the Temple)
one stone upon another,
BECAUSE you did not know
the time of your visitation.’"
Please note that God held them accountable for not knowing these prophecies! Thus, within that generation, in 70 A.D., 38 years AFTER Jesus spoke this prophecy and was Crucified ("cut-off"), Jerusalem was besieged and brutally destroyed when Titus Vespasian, with the Fifth, Tenth, Twelfth, and Fifteenth Roman Legions did build a Roman siege wall ("embankment") around the city, starving and slaughtering over a million Jews, and then tore down the Temple, stone by stone, to retrieve the gold that had melted when Roman soldiers (against orders) set the Temple on fire, thus leaving not one stone upon the other ... exactly as Jesus Christ prophesied!
The Scriptures tell us there are TWO roles Messiah must fulfill:
- First: As the Sacrificial “Lamb of God” who suffered and bore the punishment for all our sins on the Cross, and whose Resurrection opened the way to everlasting life in Heaven.
- Second: As the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” who will return to save Israel from the armies of the world (Armageddon). He will then restore the Earth and rule over all nations ... in peace.
The Scriptures also tell us the Messiah
will return ... TWICE:
- First: "As a thief in the night" FOR all believers
- Second: "Every eye shall see" WITH all believers
We, as followers of Christ, are to be a separate people - a people of honor, strength, and courage. To obey Him, we must take the heart of a servant and be meek, humble, patient, kind, willing to forgive, willing to help and serve others, even our enemies. This requires much strength. This is strength. We must pray for His strength. Hold fast and endure in faith. God watches us, hears us, and knows our hearts. He is the God who lovingly offers a second (and third and fourth) chance. He waits patiently for us to return to Him, and will forgive us when we ask.
If there was any other way into Heaven ...
Jesus knew what was about to happen when He prayed, “If there is any other way” three times in the garden the night before He was crucified. If there was, or is, any other way to gain entrance into Heaven other than believing in the One who paid our debt, then Jesus suffered and died needlessly and in vain, on the Cross. He lovingly laid down His life for you and for me.
“The Lord is my shepherd ...”
And Jesus graciously tells us,
“I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd gives his life
for the sheep.”
It is interesting to note the only prophecies found in other religions are either based on prophecies already found in the Scriptures, or point to a powerful world leader who will someday rise. God warns to beware of this coming false messiah who will soon rise and will deceive many.
God also makes it very clear there would be only one real Messiah. If you are approached, or belong to any religion which denies Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of Man ... the Son of God, humbly ask them to show you the prophecies preparing the way and accurately describing their prophet ...
“In the Beginning was the Word
and the Word was WITH God,
and the Word WAS God.
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.
He was in the world,
the world was made through Him,
and the world did not know Him.
He came to His own,
and His own did not receive Him”
(Excerpted from John 1:1-14)
Grace and Shalom