Monday, October 8, 2007

Rediscovering the Messiah

I've decided to do an interesting study. I'm finding all the so-called Messianic Prophecies in the Tanakh, and re-evaluating them, to see which ones are real and which ones are later readings and which ones just plain don't make any contextual sense. Some of the scriptures I will be examining are only considered Messianic by Christians, because they were referenced as such in the Christian Greek Scriptures.

Genesis 49:10
Verdict: A Prophecy, but certainly not Messianic.
This just predicts the strong leadership of the Tribe of Judah, which has been fulfilled in the past and continues to be fulfilled, in comparison to the other tribes. This may have inspired hope for a Messiah-like figure among the early Israelites. If it did, that's impressive, but it doesn't say anything specifically about one.

Psalm 2 ***
Verdict: Genuine Messianic Text - Not necessarily a Prophecy.
This definitely speaks of Yah's "Messiah."
But anointed could refer to any type of king, so this might have been written primarily about David.

Psalm 118
Verdict: Not a prophecy.
This is a Psalm of praise and thanks for David's kingship. The stone which the builders rejected refers to David himself. In the Christian Greek Scriptures, in Matthew chapter 21, when Jesus references this, he is comparing himself to King David, not suggesting that this was a Prophecy.

Daniel 7 & 9 ***
Verdict: Genuine Messianic Prophecy.
This is certainly about the coming Messiah and very prophetic. It will have to be the subject of a future study because it is very in-depth and widely analyzed by many.

Isaiah 10:12 - 12:6 **
Verict: Genuine Prophecy, perhaps it is Messianic.
The part in chapter 10 is listed here for context. I wonder about 10:27. But, the prophetic figure is clearly introduced in 11:1-2. Chapter 12 is merely a prophecy of the praise Yah will receive for causing the preceding prophecy to come to pass.

Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12 **
Verdict: Genuine Prophecy, perhaps it is Messianic.
This prophecy is clearly about a servant of Yah who will suffer. It is important to note that Isaiah does not say that he will suffer for the sins of the people, but because of them.

Malachi 3:1-5 **
Verdict: Genuine Prophecy, perhaps it is Messianic.
This speaks of Yah sending a Messenger, called the Angel of the Covenant, to purify the sons of Levi so that they may offer sacrifice in righteousness again. It is possible that this could be about the Messiah.

Micah 5:1-3 **
Verdict: Genuine Prophecy, perhaps it is Messianic.
This prophecy may refer to a descendant of Beth-lehem Ephratah being a great ruler, or a great ruler coming out of the place known as Ephratah, which is Beth-lehem. I have posted separately on this subject. Regardless of the way that Christians have interpreted this, it is clearly a prophecy that some great ruler will would spring up. It also indicates that this ruler will help in protecting against the Assyrians.

I have not yet been able to reach a conclusion about the following:
Isaiah 63:9
- Saved by the angel of Yah's presence.
Isaiah 41:25 - 42:4 - Servant of Yah to give judgment to the nations. (Referenced by Matthew 12:17)
Zechariah 9:9 - The King comes humbly, riding on an ass. (Ref. by Matt 21:4)
Psalm 22 - Verse 8 is referenced by Matt 27:35. Also, Jesus quoted the opening words of this Psalm, but when he did so he was merely comparing his situation to that of the author of this Psalm, not claiming it to be a prophecy of himself.

The following verses were deemed by the writer of the Gospel of Matthew to be prophecies fulfilled in the life of Jesus:
Verdict: Too simplistic, unrelated, or taken out of context. These are not Messianic prophecies.

Hosea 11:1
- Just a simple comparison. (Referenced by Matthew 2:15)
Jeremiah 31:15 - Too vague to be specific. (Ref. by Matt 2:17)
Judges 13:5 - This is just part of the story of Samson, not a prophecy. (Ref by Matt 2:23)
Isaiah 40:3 - This is an immediate instruction, not written as a prophecy. (Ref by Matt 3:3)
Isaiah 9:1-2 - This isn't written as a prophecy, but could be -- it should be considered in conjunction with verse 6 and 7 of the same chapter. (Ref by Matt 4:14)
Psalm 78:2 - Just a simple comparison (Ref by Matt 13:35) but the understanding of what a Parable is could be very different in these two contexts, because the Psalm seems direct, not allegorical.
Zechariah 11:12-13 - If this is a prophecy, it isn't about what Matthew cites it for. In fact, he cites the wrong prophet (Jeremy, ref by Matt 27:9).

I will add more to this study later.

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