The Messiah in the Old Testament

Greetings, this is my first post.  We’ll jump right in with some passages from the Tanakh (OT) that speak of the coming of the Messiah.  Of course, we know God promised the Israelites a king from the line the United monarchy.  For example, in 1 Kings 11, God speaks to Solomon of the impending division among the tribes of Israel into a northern and southern kingdom: “Nor will I take away your whole kingdom.  I will leave your son one tribe for the sake of my servant David and of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”   Yea, the prophet Amos in 9:11 on the restoration of Israel, “On that day I will raise up the fallen hut of David.”

Beginning in Jeremiah 23: 1 God warns us “Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock…” .  He follows up with a promise in verse 5, “Behold the days are coming when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David…. .”    Behold the days are coming is classic biblical language for the coming of the kingdom.  Consider Amos 15:13, “Yes the days are coming when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the vintager, him who sows the seed… I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel; they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities, Plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits.”  In this sense, Amos means that in the day of reckoning, the typical cycle of planting, growth and harvesting will be upended by truly astonishing events – a time of plenty associated with the return of the messiah.

Consider what Solomon, King of Israel, says in Wisdom 7:1 – “I too am a mortal man, the same as all the rest, a descendant of the first man formed of earth.”  Then in verse 4, anticipating the Nativity account of Luke 2:12: “In swaddling clothes and with constant care I was nurtured, for no king has any different origin or birth.”   Isaiah argues, in 53: 4-7, that this deliverer will be a suffering servant: “Yet it was our infirmities that he bore” and in verse 5, “he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes were we healed.”

Lesser passages include, in Ezekiel, God’s promise that he will not “hide his face” from his people when Jerusalem is restored (Ex 39:29).  In other words, we will be able to see the face of God in the person of Jesus.  In Ezekiel again, “they shall put far form me their harlotry and the corpses of their kings, and I will dwell in their midst forever.”  The prophet Micah tells us that “from Bethlehem,” … “shall come forth one who is to be ruler in Israel” (Mi 5:1).

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