Christians often point to Isaiah chapter 9 to answer this accusation: 2 By the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
The Gospel writers make reference to this prophecy when referring to the crucifixion of Jesus, as can be seen in the following account from the book of John:
“So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with Jesus; but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water… For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘Not a bone of him shall be broken.’ And again another scripture says, ‘They shall look on him whom they have pierced’” (John 19: 32-37).
According to Christians, the references to “most holy”, "anointed" and "prince" speak of Jesus, while the phrase “anointed shall be cut off” points to his crucifixion, and the “people of the prince who is to come” are the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70.
Verse 27. “And he shall make a strong covenant with many” – i.e., “…this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26: 28). The messiah will “cause sacrifice and offering to cease;” – i.e., by his sacrifice upon the cross, Jesus abolished all the sacrifices of the Torah.
Finally, verse 27 mentions the “horrible abomination” or “abomination of desolation,” to which Jesus refers at Matthew 24: 15. “So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel…” This abomination was the Roman army, which surrounded and destroyed Jerusalem.
Christian authors point to the Gospel of Matthew's application of this text from Hosea to the return from Egypt of Jesus and his family as a messianic prophecy. “An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child to destroy him.’ And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt have I called my son’” (Matthew 2: 13-15).
“But there will be no gloom for her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.”
The apostle Matthew refers to this, since Jesus began his public mission in Galilee.
“Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulon and Naphtali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: ‘The land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles – the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned’” (Matthew 4: 15-16).
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Immanuel.”
The fulfilment of this prophecy is spoken of when the angel Gabriel declared to the Virgin Mary, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus… For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1: 31, 37).
More explicitly, the birth of Jesus is connected directly with Isaiah’s prophecy, in the Gospel according to Matthew. “‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit…’ All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Matthew 1: 20, 22-23).
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass.”
The messiah will come in lowliness. See the apostle John’s account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. “And they cried out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’ And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it; as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass’s colt!’” (John 12: 13-15)
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.”
Bethlehem Ephrathah is the town and clan from which king David was born,, and this passage refers to the future birth of a new Davidic heir. Although the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke give different accounts of the birth of Jesus, both place the birth in Bethlehem. The Gospel of Matthew account describes Herod the Great asking the chief priests and scribes of Jerusalem where the Messiah was to be born; they respond by quoting the passage from Micah: "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: 'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel'" ()
The idea that Bethlehem was to be the birthplace of the Messiah appears to be a specifically Christian idea; no Jewish source before the 4th century AD mentions this. Jewish tradition appears to have emphasised the idea that the birthplace of the Messiah was not known.
Many modern scholars consider the birth stories as inventions by the Gospel writers, created to glorify Jesus and present his birth as the fulfilment of prophecy. However since the birth in Bethlehem is one of the few common elements in the Gospel accounts, some scholars believe that both writers were drawing on an existing Christian tradition.
Psalm 2 was composed under the Hasmonean dynasty (140-37BC), although there is no indication of a more precise date. The authors of Acts and the Epistle to the Hebrews interpreted it as relating to Christ.
Verse 2. “Anointed” – in Hebrew mashiah, “anointed”; in Greek christos, whence English Messiah and Christ.
Verse 7. The LORD is the messiah’s father.
Acts 13: 33 interprets Jesus’ rising from the dead as confirmation of verse 7 (“You are my son, today I have begotten you”).
Hebrews 1: 5 employs verse 7 in order to argue that Jesus is superior to the angels, i.e., Jesus is superior as a mediator between God and man. “For to what angel did God ever say, Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee?”
Texts vary in the exact wording of the phrase beginning Psalm 2:12, with "kiss his foot", and "kiss the Son" being most common in various languages for centuries. Strong's shows the widely known word "bar," of apparent Chaldean origin but still in common use in Hebrew today as "son," as meaning "heir" or "son." Thus, with this word and the context there is an obvious reverence for royalty which is being portrayed in various manners. The New Testament era translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, gives another variation, literally "accept correction." All of these variations express the same concept- to show reverence and submission to the LORD and his anointed.
“A psalm of David.
1. The Lord says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.’
2. The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty sceptre: ‘Rule in the midst of your foes!
3. With you is sovereignty in the splendor of holiness on the day of your birth: before the morning star, like the dew, I have begotten you.’
4. The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’
5. The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will crush heads over the wide earth.
7. He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.”
Verse 1. God speaks to David. The first instance of "The LORD (Hebrew: YHWH)" in this verse is a translation of the Hebrew name of God, Yahweh. The second instance of "my lord (Hebrew: ADONI)" is David, from the viewpoint of the Psalmist. It should be noted that the opening phrase of Psalm 110 is literally translated as "Regarding David, a psalm," indicating that the psalm is "of" or "about" King David, not written by him. This is one of the few existing examples of Jesus of Nazareth mistranslating the Hebrew-to-Aramaic translation of the Old Testament, as show when written in the New Testament: “while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, ‘What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?’ They said to him, ‘The son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How is it then that David in the Spirit calls him Lord, saying, The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet? If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?’ And no one was able to answer him a word” (Matthew 22: 41-46). The remaining portion of this verse speaks of how David shall be seated at God's right hand, with his enemies thoroughly defeated.
Also of note is what Paul says of Jesus, namely, that “he must reign, until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Corinthians 15: 25).
Verse 3. Before the morning star, like the dew, I have begotten you. The relationship between the Lord God and the messiah: God has begotten the messiah before the morning star, i.e., before the world began. Hence Jesus says, “Father, glorify me with the glory that I had with you before the world was made” (John 17: 5).
Verse 4. The New Testament letter to the Hebrews connects Jesus to the priest Melchizedek. “Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, ‘Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee’; as he says also in another place, ‘Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.’ For Jesus, in the days of his flesh, offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5: 5-10).
The argument in Hebrews, chapter 7 should be read. One point to highlight is that the priesthood of Melchizedek foreshadowed the priesthood of Jesus. The sacred scriptures do not mention Melchizedek’s father, mother, genealogy, birth, or death. So Melchizedek prefigured Jesus, the eternal priest. Since Jesus always lives, he has no successor. He is a priest forever.
It is also interesting that Jesus used bread and wine at the Last Supper; while bread and wine are mentioned in connection with Melchizedek in Genesis 14: 18.
Verse 7. The Messiah refreshes himself with a drink from a wayside torrent. That is, the divine help will always aid the Messiah.
According to the preaching of Peter, this prophecy is about the messiah’s triumph over death, i.e., the resurrection of Jesus.
“God raised Jesus up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken… For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let thy Holy One see corruption… Thou wilt make me full of gladness with thy presence.’ Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and we are all witnesses of it” (Acts 2: 24-32).
Also of note is what Paul said in the synagogue at Antioch. “And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he spoke in this way, ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ Therefore he also says in another psalm, ‘Thou wilt not let thy Holy One see corruption.’ For David, after he had served the counsel of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and saw corruption; but he whom God raised up saw no corruption” (Acts 13: 34-37).
Psalm 34:20 reads: “Many are the afflictions of the just man; but the Lord delivers him from all of them. He guards all his bones: not even one of them shall be broken.” ()
In its account of the crucifixion of Jesus, the Gospel quotes this, interpreting it as a prophecy. Linking the psalm's account of the suffering of David (traditionally considered the author) with the suffering of Jesus, it presents some of the details as fulfilment:
“So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with Jesus; but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water… For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘Not a bone of him shall be broken.’ And again another scripture says, ‘They shall look on him whom they have pierced’” ()
Psalm 22 is considered by Christian authors to be a key prophecy of the passion of Jesus. Two of the Gospels accounts (Matthew and Mark ) quote Jesus as speaking words from this on the cross:
"From the cross, Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
The other two Gospel accounts quote different accounts of the words of Jesus on the cross. Some scholars see this as evidence that the words of Jesus were not part of the pre-Gospel Passion narrative, but were added by the Gospel writers.
While this passage is not considered Scriptural by Protestants or Jews, most other Christians consider it Scripture. This is from what is likely to be the last book of the Old Testament to be written and is dated to around 100BC. In many ways it is more explicit than the other prophecies (with the arguable exception of Isaiah 53) and it's use in Matthew 27:39-43 is clear. This book was excluded from the Jewish canon possibly in part because of the use of this passage by Christians, but primarily as it is thought to have originally been written in Greek and not Hebrew (though parts of Ezra and Daniel were originally written in Aramaic).
There is some difference of opinion on this point. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have built over 120 Temples which they strongly believe are Houses of the God. They believe that this prophecy has been fulfilled
And David my servant shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. they shall also follow My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Yaakov my servant, in which your fathers have dwelt and they shall dwell there, they and their children, and their children's children forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, which I will give them; and I will multiply them and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. And my tabernacle shall be with them: and I will be their God and they will be my people. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary will be in the midst of them forevermore.
* The Hebrew says a "seven", not a "week". A "seven" could be a period of seven days or seven weeks, months, or here, seven years.
(Note: This says that the Lord is speaking and that he says the Lord Almighty sent him. The second Lord reference is most likely a reference to God.)
The Gospel of Matthew identifies numerous passages of the Hebrew Bible as Messianic prophecies and then asserts that they were fulfilled by Jesus.
According to Brown (DVD, 2003) and Juster (2005), among others, the rabbinic response, e.g., Rashi and Maimonides, is that although the suffering servant passage clearly is prophetic and even if Psalm 22 is prophetic, the Messiah has not come yet, therefore, the passages could not possibly be talking about Jesus.
Brown points out that the rabbinic interpretation of the suffering servant passage is that the servant is Israel, not either Jesus or the future Messiah. Messianic scholar Russell Resnick (2004) presented the interesting view that the passage refers to both Jesus and Israel and that, therefore, neither interpretation is completely right and neither interpretation is completely wrong.
Jewish interpretive techniques often look for a "hint" at a deeper meaning; per Resnick (2004), Juster (2005) and Waldman (2005), this "hint" is known as remez in Hebrew. Because the New Testament writers were fluent in biblical Hebrew, sometimes they are using a play on Hebrew words in the original Tanach that is not obvious to Greek scholars and translators or to English-speaking readers. Messianic rabbi and Christian seminary graduate Juster (2005) gives the example of Matthew saying at "and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: 'He will be called a Nazarene.'" The words "Nazareth" and "Nazarene" do not occur in the Old Testament. Juster opines that Matthew is hinting at two Hebrew words: the root n-z-r, meaning "branch", and "Nazarite".
Another possible explanation offered is that such a prophecy once existed in the Tanach but was lost. The Dead Sea Scrolls include a version of 1 Samuel 1:22 with a line that is not in the Masoretic Text or the modern Septuagint (therefore not in most English Bibles): "He will be a Nazir forever" or "I will (dedicate) him as a Nazirite forever." Professor Eugene Ulrich of Notre Dame has suggested that this may be the passage the author of Matthew had in mind. This would mean he confused the term Nazirite to mean Nazarene.
|Claimed Prophecy||Summary||Claimed Fulfillment|
|Genesis 3:15||Would be the "Seed of a Woman"||Galatians 4:4|
|Genesis 18:18||Promised Seed of Abraham||Acts 3:25; Matthew 1:1, Luke 3:34|
|Genesis 17:19||Promised Seed of Isaac||Matthew 1:2|
|Numbers 24:17||Promised Seed of Jacob||Luke 3:34; Matthew 1:2|
|Genesis 49:10||Will Descend from the Tribe of Judah||Luke 3:33|
|Isaiah 9:7||The Heir to the Throne of David||Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:6|
|Micah 5:2||Place of Birth to be Bethlehem||Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7|
|Daniel 9:25||Time of Birth||Luke 2:1,2,3-7|
|Isaiah 7:14||Born of a Virgin||Matthew 1:18|
|Jeremiah 31:15||Massacre of Infants||Matthew 2:16-18|
|Hosea 11:1||Flight into Egypt||Matthew 2:14-15|
|Malachi 3:1||Preceded by Forerunner||Matthew 11:10|
|Isaiah 9:1-2||Ministry in Galilee||Matthew 4:12-16|
|Deuteronomy 18:15||As a Prophet||John 6:14, John 1:45; Acts 3:19-26|
|Psa 110:4||As a Priest, like Melchizedek||Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 5:5-6; 7:15-17|
|Psalm 78:2; Isa 6:9-10||Speaking in Parables Hard to Understand||Matthew 13:13-14|
|Isaiah 53:3||His Rejection By Jews||John 1:11|
|Isaiah 11:2-4||Characterized by Wisdom||Luke 2:52|
|Zechariah 9:9||His Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem||John 12:13-14|
|Psalm 41:9||Betrayed by a friend||Mark 14:10|
|Zechariah 11:12||Sold for thirty pieces of Silver||Matthews 26:15|
|Zechariah 11:13||Money to be Returned for a Potter's Field||Matthew 27:6-7|
|Psalm 109:7-8||Judas's Office to be Taken by Another||Acts 1:16-20|
|Psalm 27:12||False Witnesses Accuse Him||Matthew 26:60,61|
|Isaiah 53:7||Silent When Accused||Matthew 26:62-63|
|Isaiah 50:6||Smitten and Spat Upon||Mark 14:65|
|Psalm 69:4||Was Hated Without A Cause||John 15:23-25|
|Isaiah 53:4-5||Suffered Vicariously||Matthew 8:16-17; Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3|
|Isaiah 53:12||Crucified with Sinners||Matthew 27:38|
|Psalm 22:16||Hands and Feet Pierced||John 20:25-27|
|Psalm 22:6-8||Mocked and Insulted||Matthew 27:39-44|
|Psalm 69:21||Given Gall and Vinegar||John 19:29|
|Psalm 22:8||Hears Prophetic Words Repeated in Mockery||Matthew 27:43|
|Psalm 109:4||Prays for His Enemies||Luke 23:34|
|Malachi 3:1||Sins Purged||Hebrews 1:3|
|Zechariah 12:10||His Side to be Pierced||John 19:34|
|Psalm 22:18||Soldiers Cast Lots for His Coat||Mark 15:24|
|Psalm 34:20||Not a Bone to be Broken||John 19:33|
|Isa 53:9||To be Buried with the Rich||Matthew 27:57-60|
|Psalm 16:10||His Resurrection||Matthew 28:9; Luke 24:36-48|
|Psalm 68:18||His Ascension||Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9|
Wipf & Stock Publishers 2005 ISBN 1-59752-292-9
Skeptical and Critical analysis