Truth From the Torah, Nevi’im, and Kethuvim (the Law, Prophets, and Writings) for Jews who Reverence
the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel
Not long after the events at Sinai, Moses (Moshe) gave Israel the Shema: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart” (Deut 6:4-5). Love for the God of Israel and reverence for His Words are intimately connected. The question consequently arises: “What does God command me to do—what has He revealed in His Word?”
God’s Standard—Sinless and Perfect Holiness
Certainly the Ten Commandments are an important example of God’s standard for humankind:
1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Ex 20:1-17)
As we think about the Ten Commandments, we must recognize that God does not just want outward obedience, but our heart also (1 Sam 12:24). His standard is not just some moral performances, but to be as holy and perfectly pure as He is Himself: “I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy” (Lev 11:44-45). Let us carefully consider these commandments in light of these facts:
1.) Consider the command to have no other gods before God (Ex 20:3). This requires more than just not worshipping false gods. You must put the Lord first in your life always, in every area of life. Whatever you put first in your life is your god; if you put money before God, or pleasure before God, or your personal desires, or your family, or anything else whatever before God, you are breaking the first commandment. Have you always put God first in your life, and done so in every area? If not, you are guilty!
2.) Consider the prohibition on idols (Ex 20:4-6). God forbids idolatry because He demands our exclusive devotion. Certainly if you have bowed down to images you have broken this commandment; but have you ever wished that God’s character were different from what it is, or given him less than what He deserves—exclusive devotion and worship as first in your mind, heart, and soul? If so, you are guilty!
3.) Consider the prohibition on taking His name in vain (Ex 20:7). Have you ever used God’s name in a curse phrase? When others took God’s name in vain, holy people in the Bible hated it so much that they rent their clothes in a sign of extreme sorrow (2 Ki 18:37)! If you do not employ curse phrases yourself, but you are around others who take His name in vain, do you hate it and tell them to stop, or are you not bothered by it? Do you watch video or listen to audio in which people take His name in vain? Furthermore, have you ever prayed to God and not treated His name with reverence, but been distracted, so that you were thinking about something else, with your mind and affections not in your prayers? Have you ever sung a song of worship and not paid attention to the words? These things also are treating God’s name lightly, instead of giving it the weight it deserves—they are taking His name in vain! If you have ever taken His name in vain, or not been deeply troubled when others did it, you are guilty—and God considers this sin such a terrible evil that He declares that breaking it makes one worthy of death (Lev 24:10-16)!
4.) Consider the commandment to keep the Sabbath (Ex 20:8-11). Do you obey the spirit of this command? The Lord says: “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD” (Is 58:13-14). King David wrote: “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD[.] . . . My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God” (Ps 122:1; 84:2). Is worship of the Holy One a burden to you, or a delight? Can you agree with David’s view of worship with all your heart? What is more, if you do not honor God the rest of the week, He considers your worship on His holy day to be “vain . . . abomination . . . iniquity . . . [something His] soul hateth . . . a trouble unto [Him],” and when you “make many prayers, [He] will not hear” (Is 1:13-15). How do you live in your daily life? If you have ever failed to delight in God’s public worship with all your heart, or failed to live in a way that honors Him every day of your life, you are guilty!
5.) Consider the command to honor your parents (Ex 20:12). Do you reverence, respect, and give great weight to the wishes of your parents, desiring always to please them? Do you treat them with love and respect, acting in accordance with their wishes without even being asked? If you have not at all times and in all ways honored your parents, you are guilty!
6.) Consider the prohibition of taking innocent life (Ex 20:13). Have you not only refrained from killing adults and youth, but also defended the life of the preborn (Ex 21:22-25; Ps 51:5; Pro 24:11-12)? Have you ever hated another person, or gotten angry for any other cause than a righteous disgust at sin—hatred and unjust anger being the roots of murder (Gen 27:41, 45)? Have you ever put your life or the lives of others in unnecessary danger through reckless or drunken driving, laxness in safety precautions, or in any other way (Deut 22:8)? Do your speech and actions—including your media and entertainment choices—show that you hate violence and love peace (Ps 11:5; 120:7)? Do you seek to preserve your own life by avoiding being a “drunkard [or] glutton” (Pr 23:21), and reproving those who sin in these ways? All people bear the image of God (Gen 9:6), and failing to treat them as such is to strike out against He whose image they bear. Have you always obeyed the letter and spirit of the sixth commandment? If not, you are guilty!
7.) Consider the prohibition of adultery (Ex 20:14). Have you refrained from all physical relations outside of marriage, and always been chaste and pure in your body, mind, affections, words, and behavior? Lustful thoughts are the root of adultery—have you ever entertained even a single lustful thought (Job 31:1, 9-11)? Do you always dress modestly (Pr 7:10)? Have you ever told a dirty joke, laughed at one someone else told, or watched a video containing uncleanness? If so, you are guilty!
8.) Consider the prohibition of stealing (Ex 20:15). Have you ever taken anything that is not yours—no matter how “little” it is? Have you engaged in “dishonest gain” (Eze 22:12-13) in any way? Have you ever arrived late at work late and gotten paid as if you were there on time? Have you ever failed to tell the clerk at the grocery store when you were undercharged? Have you ever conducted a business deal in any way other than with perfect honesty and uprightness? Do you own stock in companies that make money from evil, either directly or through mutual funds? Have you ever cheated on your taxes? Have you ever borrowed something and failed to return it in a timely manner and in a good condition, or failed to be generous in sharing and giving to those in need (Ps 37:21)? If you have violated God’s Law in any of these ways, you are guilty!
9.) Consider the prohibition on bearing false witness (Ex 20:16). Have you ever told a lie—even a “little” one? Have you ever told only some of the truth, leaving out what makes you look bad? Telling even one lie makes you a liar, but “the LORD [doth] hate . . . a lying tongue . . . [and] a false witness that speaketh lies” (Prov 6:16-19). Do you love truth the way the “God of truth” (Deut 32:4) does? Do you hate gossip and strive to preserve the good name of others (Pr 17:9)? Do you refrain from supporting unjust causes, and speak up for just ones (Pr 17:15)? Have you ever been proud and boastful (Ps 52:1-5)? Have you always fulfilled your promises (Ps 15:4)? If you have failed in any way to manifest a perfect love for truth and hatred for untruth, you are guilty!
10.) Consider the prohibition on covetousness (Ex 20:17). Have you always been fully content with the condition God has put you in, and always had a frame of heart and mind towards others that leads you to do them good out of love? Or have you ever been envious (Pr 27:4), ever complained (Num 11:1), or ever grieved when someone else received something good (Job 31:29)? If you have ever coveted in any way, you are guilty!
These commandments can be summarized as “love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul” (Deut 30:6) and “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Lev 19:18). If you have not always perfectly loved God with all your heart and all your soul, and perfectly loved others as yourself, you are guilty!
In fact, if you are not just as pure and holy as God Himself—if you have ever failed in any way to perfectly keep the commandments above, and everything else God has commanded in the 427,028 words in our Hebrew Bible, you are in deep trouble: “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them” (Deut 27:26; 28:15). It is very clear that you have sinned and failed to obey the Law, for “there is no man that sinneth not” (1 Ki 8:46); “there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecc 7:20). What is more, not only do your actions show that you are a terrible sinner, but your nature itself is sinful. You can say, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Ps 51:5). God says that the human “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9). Your corrupt heart, passed down to you from the first man, Adam (Gen 3), makes it so that everything you do, even what you might think are your “righteous” deeds, are actually corrupt and sinful in God’s sight. Even your best actions are no better than some filthy rags: “[W]e are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Is 64:6). In comparison to the perfect purity the Holy One demands, everything you have ever done and are currently doing is nothing but evil continually: “GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5). What is even worse, you do not have the ability to change yourself, make your heart pure, and obey: “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one” (Job 14:4). Let your prayer be thus to God: “[T]hou hast done right, but we have done wickedly: neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them” (Neh 9:33-34). Agree that what the prophet Jeremiah prayed to God is totally true for you: “but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do” (Jer 32:34). You are a miserable and desperately wicked sinner! With shame and humility admit it to God, and let the fact deeply trouble your conscience and break your heart.
God’s Sentence—Everlasting Punishment for Sinners
What is the punishment you deserve for your iniquity? There are only two eternal dwelling places for people: “everlasting life” or “shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:2). Eternal life is an incomparably wonderful blessing, but God’s everlasting curse is upon all those whom He sees as sinners (Deut 27:26; 28:15), since He is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity” (Hab 1:13). Therefore, because of your sinful acts, sinful thoughts, and sinful nature, you do not deserve everlasting life, but deserve everlasting punishment in hell: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps 9:17). You will be “cast into the fire” (Ps 140:10), to “dwell with the devouring fire . . .[and] everlasting burnings” where “their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched” (Is 33:14; 66:24). “[T]he wicked and him that loveth violence . . . the LORD . . . hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup” (Ps 11:5-6). God says to you: “Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them” (Eze 8:18). This very moment, God’s terrible and unbearably fierce anger (Eze 22:14) is upon you, and He is preparing to eternally damn you: “God is angry with the wicked every day . . . he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death” (Ps 7:11-13). Everywhere you go, the awful judgments pronounced by Moses lie upon you: “Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me” (Deut 28:16-20). Ask yourself: “Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger?” (Nah 1:6). Admit that you are a sinner. Admit that your eternal damnation is nothing other than what you strictly deserve for your sins. Admit that if you were to die right now, you would without any doubt eternally perish under the curse of God. To deny these facts is pride, but “every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished” (Pr 16:5). The justice of your damnation is a fact—God cannot lie, and He has plainly said so in His Word. Reject your pride. Be humble and accept the terrible truth. Let your “uncircumcised hear[t] be humbled, and . . . accept of the punishment of [your] iniquity” (Lev 26:41). “[T]o this man will I look . . . saith the LORD . . . even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” (Is 66:2). Only then are you ready to ask and find out the answer to the question: “How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?” (Job 25:4).
God’s Solution—the Servant’s Sacrifice
Many people think that trying to do better, performing religious acts, and attending religious services will solve their sin problem, satisfy the justice of God, and make them acceptable so that they can be saved instead of damned. However, nobody will be saved in this way. God’s Word never says that these actions can take away even a single sin, and even the most moral and religious person on earth continually falls infinitely short of the standard of sinless perfection, of perfect conformity to the Holy One in act, in thought, and in nature (Lev 11:44-45). If God gives you what you deserve, you will certainly be lost in hell forever. What, then, is the way out?
The Lord told Israel through Moses: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev 17:11). The many animals sacrificed at the altar in Moses’ tabernacle and Solomon’s temple enabled Israel, though sinful, to have their sin covered and to come into the presence of their holy God. They were accepted through the death and shed blood of a substitute. However, these sacrifices never finally took sin away. If they had, they would have ceased to be offered, for the sin problem would have been solved once and for all. Besides, ever since the destruction of the Temple in A. D. 70, Israel has had no altar upon which to offer sacrifice, even as the prophets predicted that “the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice” (Hos 3:4). The Levites and the priests that had authority from God to offer sacrifice on the altar are gone, as is the altar itself. “Where, then,” you ask, “is the blood that can make atonement for my soul?” Moses and the prophets predicted the coming of a great Substitute, a Sacrifice that would take care of sin once and for all, so that animal sacrifices would no longer be necessary. In fact, all the earlier sacrifices pointed forward to this one great Sacrifice. The Substitute who makes this final Sacrifice is described in Isaiah 52:13-53:12:
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
The Lord’s Servant was going to suffer horribly (52:14; 53:7), be despised and rejected by men in general and by most of Israel (53:1, 3), and then die a substitutionary death, bearing the wrath of God for our sin (53:4-6). This Servant would himself be sinless, never even speaking a single sinful word (53:9) but being perfectly righteous (53:11), the perfectly holy Sacrifice who was “without blemish” like the animal sacrifices needed to be (Ex 12:5; 29:1; Lev 1:3, 10; 3:1, 6; 4:3). The Servant would truly make atonement for the soul (Lev 17:11), for he would “sprinkle many nations” (52:15) with his blood, the term sprinkle (nazah, hÎzÎn) being the technical term for the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifices in the Mosaic system (Lev 4:6, 17, 5:9). He would die and shed his blood for the sins of God’s people: “he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken” (Is 53:8). He would be the sinless substitutionary sacrifice whose “soul” the Lord would “make . . . an offering for sin” (53:10). The Servant would pour out his soul unto death and save transgressors by bearing their sin (53:12). However, the Servant would not stay dead—he would rise again, so that he would “prolong his days” after his death, and “the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” He would reflect on what he had gone through in dying for the sins of Israel and the nations, and “be satisfied,” looking at the salvation of his spiritual “seed” or people (53:10-11). By his offering for sin, God’s “righteous servant . . . shall justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities” (53:11). Many people will be justified—declared perfectly righteous at the judgment bar of God—not through their own righteousness or goodness, but solely on the basis of their suffering Substitute’s righteousness and holiness. He would suffer the wrath of God for their sins, and they would be reckoned as righteous, sinless, and holy—and therefore receive eternal life—based on the Servant’s perfect righteousness credited to their account (53:11). At some point after his resurrection from the dead, God will exalt the Servant to rule over the world (52:13; 53:12) as a reward for his substitutionary death.
The substitutionary sacrifice of the Servant God has provided is the only way you can be saved. He is the Savior whose blood can make atonement for your soul. The question then arises: “Who is this Servant?” Can we identify him?
God’s Servant-Savior—Who is He?
Ancient Israel believed that Isaiah 52:13-53:12 spoke of God’s “servant the Messiah.” In ascribing the passage to the Messiah—God’s King-Redeemer who would rule the world—they were clearly correct, for Isaiah specifies the Servant is the “root” (shoresh, v®rOv, 53:2), but earlier in his book specifies this “root” (shoresh, 11:1, 10) as the King from the house of David who will come to rule the earth (Is 11:1-10)—clearly the Messiah. The description in Is 52:13-53:12 also fits the picture of the Messiah presented elsewhere in God’s Word perfectly. The Messiah, then, is the Savior who can redeem us from our sins. What are some other things God tells us about the Messiah? The following table lists twenty prophecies about the Messiah in God’s Word:
|A descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and King David||“his government . . . upon the throne of David.” (Isaiah 9:7; cf. Genesis 12:3; 17:19; Numbers 24:17; Genesis 49:10)|
|Born in Bethlehem||“But 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 5:2)|
|Virgin birth||“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)|
|Proceeded by a forerunner||“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1)|
|Declared the Son of God||“I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” (Psalm 2:7, 12; Proverbs 30:4; Isaiah 9:6; Daniel 3:25)|
|Ministry in the area of Galilee, in and around the tribal land of Zebulun and Naphtali||“Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her 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.” (Isaiah 9:1-2)|
|A prophet||“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me [Moses]; unto him ye shall hearken.” (Deuteronomy 18:15)|
|Unparalleled healings||“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.” (Isaiah 35:5-6; 42:7; 61:1-2; Jeremiah 31:8)|
|Presentation as the Messianic King by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey||“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zechariah 9:9)|
The Messiah will suffer a substitutionary death, after which Jerusalem and the Temple will be destroyed by the Romans“And . . . Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” (Daniel 9:26)Betrayed by a close friend“Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalm 41:9)Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, which was later used to purchase a potter’s field, after being cast down in the Temple“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised [priced] at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” (Zechariah 11:12-13)Accused by false witnesses“False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.” (Psalm 35:11)Scorned and mocked“All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.” (Psalm 22:7-8)Spat upon and smitten“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” (Isaiah 50:6)Pierced through hands and feet“For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” (Psalm 22:16; cf. Zechariah 12:10)Executioners gambled for His garment“They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” (Psalm 22:18)Forsaken by God“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” (Psalm 22:1)No bones broken“He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.” (Psalm 34:20)Resurrection from the dead and ascension to God’s right hand in heaven“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. . . . But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. . . . Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” (Psalm 16:10-11; 49:15; 68:18, cf. Psalm 110:1; Isaiah 53:10-12)
There is only one Person who fulfilled all these prophecies—Jesus (Yehoshua/Joshua, AoUvwøh◊y/Ao…wvwøh◊y)! It is no coincidence that someone with this name led Israel into the Promised Land when Moses could not (Deut 1:37-38; Joshua 1:1ff.). It is no coincidence that, as the Messiah is both the everlasting King and the eternal Priest (Ps 110:1-4), so the prophets set forth Yehoshua as the one who would unite in Himself the kingly and priestly office: “Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua (Yehoshua) the son of Josedech, the high priest; and speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH [tsemach,jAmRx, a Messianic title, Jer 23:5-6]; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zech 6:11-13). Jesus the Messiah (Greek, “Christ”) fulfilled all twenty of the prophecies above:
|A descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and King David||“his government . . . upon the throne of David” (Isaiah 9:7; cf. Genesis 12:3; 17:19; Numbers 24:17; Genesis 49:10)||“The Lord God will give unto him the throne of his father David.” (Luke 1:32-33; 3:33-4; Matthew 1:1, 2)|
|Born in Bethlehem||“But 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 5:2)||“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:4-7).|
|Virgin birth||“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)||“The angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. . . . And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” (Luke 1:26-31; Matthew 1:18-25)|
|Proceeded by a forerunner (John the Baptist)||“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1)||“And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? . . . This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” (Luke 7:24, 27)|
|Declared the Son of God||“I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” (Psalm 2:7, 12; Proverbs 30:4; Isaiah 9:6; Daniel 3:25)||“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)|
|Ministry in the area of Galilee, in and around the tribal land of Zebulun and Naphtali||“Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her 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.” (Isaiah 9:1-2)||“And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light.” (Matthew 4:13-16)|
|A prophet||“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me [Moses]; unto him ye shall hearken” (Deuteronomy 18:15)||“Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.” (John 6:14; 7:40; Luke 7:16; Acts 3:20-23)|
|Unparalleled healings||“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.” (Isaiah 35:5-6; 42:7; 61:1-2; Jeremiah 31:8)||“And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.” (Matthew 15:30-31; 4:23-24; Luke 4:18-19; 7:19-22)|
|Presentation as the Messianic King by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey||“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zechariah 9:9)|
“And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple.” (Mark 11:7-11)The Messiah will suffer a substitutionary death, after which Jerusalem and the Temple will be destroyed by the Romans“And . . . Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Daniel 9:26)“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44)Betrayed by a close friend“Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalm 41:9)“And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:47-48)Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, which was later used to purchase a potter’s field, after being cast down in the temple“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised [priced] at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” (Zechariah 11:12-13)“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. . . . Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.” (Matthew 26:14-15; 27:3-7)Accused by false witnesses“False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.” (Psalm 35:11)“And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.” (Mark 14:57-58)Scorned and mocked“All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.” (Psalm 22:7-8)“And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads. . . . Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders[.] . . . The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.” (Matthew 27:39-44)Spat upon and smitten“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” (Isaiah 50:6)“And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.” (Mark 14:65)Pierced through hands and feet“For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” (Psalm 22:16; cf. Zechariah 12:10)“Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. . . . Then saith [Jesus] . . . Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” (John 20:25, 27; cf. 19:18)Executioners gambled for His garment“They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” (Psalm 22:18)“And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.” (Mark 15:24)Forsaken by God“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” (Psalm 22:1)“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)No bones broken“He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.” (Psalm 34:20)“The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day . . . besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs[.] . . . For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. (John 19:31-36)Resurrection from the dead and ascension to God’s right hand in heaven“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. . . . But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. . . . Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” (Psalm 16:10-11; 49:15; 68:18, cf. Psalm 110:1; Isaiah 53:10-12)“And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. . . . he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” (Mark 16:6, 19; Ephesians 4:8; Hebrews 12:2)
Jesus also fulfilled the predictions of Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Throughout His ministry on earth, He dealt prudently, and He will be exalted, extolled, and be very high at His second coming (52:13). As He was beaten before His crucifixion, many were astonished, because His face was horribly marred as He was beaten: “[T]hey . . . did . . . spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?” (Mt 26:67-68). His blood has washed away the sins of people from many nations of all ranks, from the lowest up through kings, although most of Israel did not receive Him, as they saw no spiritual beauty in Him to desire Him (52:15-53:3). By means of the suffering that included His “stripes” or whipping (Mt 27:26), He “was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him,” for “all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Is 53:4-6; 1 Pet 2:24). At His trial, “as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Is 53:7), for “when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing . . . he answered . . . never a word” (Mt 27:12, 14). Jesus the Messiah “made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death” (Is 53:9) because He was crucified with two evildoers (Luk 23:32-33), yet was buried in the tomb of a rich man (Mt 27:56-60). After being “cut off out of the land of the living” when His “soul” was “ma[de] . . . an offering for sin,” He rose again from the grave, “prolong[ing] His days” and being “satisfied” with the redemption He accomplished through His death (Is 53:8-11). Even now the Lord Jesus justifies many, as His blood atones for their sins, His righteousness is given to them, and they are saved based on His death and shed blood, and even now He intercedes for His redeemed ones in heaven (Is 53:11-12). He will come again to rule over the earth with the “great” and “strong” (53:12). Jesus fits perfectly Isaiah the prophet’s predictions in Isaiah 52:13-53:12.
Jesus the Messiah not only fits all the predictions above, but He fits many others also. For example, Daniel 9:24-27 predicts that the Messiah would officially come to Israel on March 30, A. D. 33, after which He would die a substitutionary death. The Romans would then destroy Jerusalem and the Temple. The Romans destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem in A. D. 70, so the Messiah had to have come and have offered the final sacrifice, so that sacrifices in the Temple could cease, before that time. Only Jesus presented Himself as the Messiah on March 30, A. D. 33, as the prophet Daniel predicted. The evidence that Jesus is the Messiah is absolutely overwhelming. Jesus Son of David is the Jewish Messiah who came to save Israel and the nations. You will be saved if the payment of His death and shed blood washes away your sins. Through the Person and redemptive work of Jesus, God’s righteous Servant, you will be “justified” (Is 53:11).
The Lord Jesus is able to be the perfect Substitute for your sin because He is truly Man (Dan 7:13-14), and so can perfectly represent you. He is also able to pay the infinite penalty of the sins of the whole world, reveal God to you, and represent you to God, because He is also God. He is the perfect Mediator or go-between between man and God because He is both true God and true Man in one Person. The Hebrew Scriptures are very clear that the Messiah is both God and Man. Isaiah predicted:
For 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. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Is 9:6-7).
The Messiah would be a truly human “child” who would be “born,” but at the same time be “the mighty God.” As God and Man, He could become the Prince of Peace for His people because “the chastisement of our peace was upon him” on the cross (Is 53:5). It is not surprising that shortly before predicting the beating, suffering, and substitutionary death of Messiah (52:13-53:12), Isaiah indicated that God Himself would be the One who would so suffer:
1 Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. 2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. 3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering. 4 The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. 5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. 6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (Is 50:1-6)
The true God, the Lord the Creator (v. 3), is the speaker (v. 1) throughout this passage, yet He can say that “the Lord God” has given Him a variety of things (v. 4-5). God can also say: “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (v. 6), referring to the beating Messiah endured before His crucifixion. God has an “ear,” a “back,” “cheeks,” a “face,” and a beard that was plucked out (v. 5-6) because He became a Man to die in our place for our sins. Similarly, the prophet Zechariah records that “the LORD . . . saith . . . I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zech 12:1-10). When did the inhabitants of Jerusalem look upon God, whom they pierced, a recognition of which will lead them to mourn, as one mourns for an only son? They pierced God when He was crucified for their sins, and recognition of this fact causes any Jew who comes to recognize the identity of the Messiah to mourn, and then recognize in His blood “a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” (Zech 13:1). The Messiah, who was to be born as a truly human baby in Bethlehem, has also existed from of old, from everlasting, for He is God in the flesh: “But 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” (Mic 5:2 [Heb. 5:1]).
One who reads the Law and the Prophets and Writings will notice that while there is obviously one and only one God (Deut 4:35; 6:4), yet there is also a plurality within the one God. God can refer to Himself as “we/us” (Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Is 6:8). Moses identifies Someone called the Messenger/Angel of the LORD (Malak Adonai, hDOwh◊y JKAaVlAm) who is both distinct from God and yet is also God. In Genesis 16:7-10, Hagar sees this Messenger or Angel of the LORD, and concludes that she has seen God because she has seen this Messenger (16:13). The LORD was in the burning bush when He spoke to Moses, but it was the Messenger of the LORD who was in the bush (Exodus 3:2-15). Jacob, after wrestling with the Messenger appearing like a man, said, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved” (Genesis 32:30). In Genesis 18-19, three “men” came to Abraham, but they were two created angels and then the Lord Himself, who Abraham talks with face to face. While the LORD is in heaven, He also was talking with Abraham in a separate personal distinction (Genesis 19:24). In Joshua 5:13-6:2, Joshua sees a “man,” who identifies Himself as both the Captain of the LORD heavenly armies and as the LORD Himself in Joshua 5:15 (cf. Exodus 3:5); when this Man speaks it is the LORD Himself speaking (Joshua 6:2ff.). Who is this Messenger of the LORD? Jacob identified Him as “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel [Messenger] which redeemed me from all evil,” who would “bless” his descendants (Gen 48:15-16). The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was the Messenger of the LORD, the Redeemer who delivered the patriarchs from all of their sins because of His death on the cross to pay for them. The Messiah appeared to the fathers of Israel in a human form, but identified Himself as God and as the Messenger of the Lord, because He was the true God who would one day actually be sent by God to become Man to pay for their sins. Jeremiah predicted: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer 23:5-6). The Messiah is both David’s son and “THE LORD” [the one true God] who gives His own righteousness to His redeemed ones (Jer 33:16) by justifying them based on His substitutionary death and shed blood. That is why the Messiah is both the truly human Son of David and “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Yehovah Tzidkenu,…wnéq√dIx hDOwh◊y) at the same time.
Indeed, when Jesus the Messiah identified Himself as both the Son of Man and the Son of God, as one Person with two natures, a true human nature and a true Divine nature (Mt 18:11; Jn 9:35-38), and also taught that the one true God existed eternally as three distinct Persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mt 14:33; 28:19; 1 Jn 5:7), the Lord Jesus taught nothing that was not already contained in the Hebrew Scriptures. The Messenger or Angel of the LORD (Dan 3:28), the Messiah, is identified as “the Son of God” (Dan 3:25). King Solomon asks, “Who 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?” (Prov 30:4). King David identifies the Lord’s Anointed (Mashiach, AjyIvDm, Messiah, Ps 2:3) as God’s “Son” (Ps 2:7), and warns all the nations of the world: “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Ps 2:12). People who trust in mere men are cursed—people must trust only in God (Jer 17:5-7), but all are blessed who kiss the Son of God and trust in Him because He is Himself God. The Hebrew Scriptures teach that God has a Son, the Messiah, who is Himself truly Divine.
Furthermore, the Hebrew Scriptures identify the Holy Spirit as both a personal Being and as God. The Spirit speaks (2 Sam 23:2), testifies (Neh 9:30), is vexed with sin (Is 63:10-11; cf. Ps 51:11), and gives people wisdom, understanding, and knowledge—so He must have these attributes Himself (Ex 31:3; Is 11:2). He is a personal Being. King David identifies “the Spirit of the LORD” as “the God of Israel” (2 Sam 23:2-3), and Scripture specifies that He is the Creator, the eternal God (Gen 1:2; Job 33:4). Since the Hebrew Scriptures specify that there is but one God (Is 44:8; 45:21), while also identifying God as Father (Is 64:8), Son (Ps 2:12), and Holy Spirit (2 Sam 23:2-3), passages where three personal distinctions exist within the one God are also to be expected—and they are, indeed, found in the Bible. For example, in Isaiah 48, “The LORD of hosts,” who is “the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel” (v. 2. 17) is speaking, and He says: “Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me” (Isa 48:16). God the Redeemer can say that “the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me” because the Son of God, the Redeemer, was the speaker, and He is the one God along with His Father and the Holy Spirit.
God’s Salvation—Received by Faith Alone
You may ask, “How, then, can I personally receive the salvation purchased for me through the atonement of Jesus the Messiah?” The Word is very clear—repent and believe in Him.
1.) Repent. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Is 55:7). “Turn ye from your evil ways” (2 Ki 17:13). “[T]urn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel” (2 Chr 30:6). “[T]urn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul” (Deut 30:10). “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Eze 33:11). Admit that you are a wicked sinner with a sinful heart. Admit that you deserve eternal damnation, and that you are justly headed to hell for your sins. Turn from your sins, such as your violations of the Ten Commandments. Turn from all self-righteousness, pride, and trust in your religious heritage or circumcision for salvation. Turn from all supposed goodness in yourself. Admit that you are hopeless, helpless, and totally unable to save or help save yourself. Surrender yourself to and turn to the true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and His Messiah, the Lord Jesus.
2.) Believe. God’s Word is clear: “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith” (Hab 2:4). You need to be accounted “just” before God, to be “justif[ied]” by the sacrifice of the “righteous servant” of the Lord, Jesus the Messiah (Is 53:11). You will be accounted just in this way simply by faith, by trusting in God and His Messiah—salvation is not based on your personal righteous acts, your religious heritage, your circumcision, or anything you have ever done, are doing now, or will do in the future. On the contrary, because “it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev 17:11), “salvation is of the LORD” (Jon 2:9), and of Him alone. The blood of Jesus the Messiah will cleanse you from all your sin, past, present, and future, the moment you simply trust in Him. He endured the curse of the law on the tree of the cross (cf. Deut 21:23) in your place so that you would not be subject to its curse. His sin offering on the cross will pay in full the penalty for your sin, and you will be accounted righteous, not because of your own righteousness, but because of His righteousness; not because of your obedience to the Law, but because of His perfect obedience to it and death to satisfy it. God calls you to receive salvation as a free, unmerited gift: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Is 55:1). Rather than trusting in the “filthy rags” of your own “righteousnesses” (Is 64:6), you will be able to rejoice with the prophet Isaiah in the gift of salvation based on the Messiah’s righteousness alone: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Is 61:10). Let the Lord Messiah Himself be your righteousness, in accord with the prophecy of Jeremiah: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer 23:5-6). Be saved the way Abraham was saved, as recorded by Moses: “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Gen 15:6). Was Abraham righteous in the sight of God because he was circumcised? No—he had not yet been circumcised when he believed and was accounted righteous (Gen 17). Did God account Abraham righteous gradually as he did more and more good deeds? No—he was accounted righteous instantly, at the very moment he trusted or believed in the Lord and His promise of the coming Messiah, and the righteousness Abraham received was not the imperfect “righteousness” of his own efforts, but the perfect and Divine righteousness Messiah purchased through His atonement. Hear the command of King David: “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Ps 2:12). Kiss the Son of God in a repentant surrender to His rule, and trust in Him, and you will be blessed with immediate forgiveness of all your sin and a certainty of everlasting salvation in the future. “[A]ll they that put their trust in Him” are blessed, because salvation and everlasting blessedness is not by good deeds, but by faith alone in the Son, apart from works. Receive salvation the way Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, and all the godly in Israel mentioned in the Bible received it—not by works, but by faith alone in the Messiah. Now, this very moment, is the time for you to turn from your sins and place your confidence in Jesus the Messiah alone for your everlasting salvation. Trust in Him today—you may never have another chance! “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Pr 27:1).
If you will repent and believe in Jesus the Messiah, you will be certain of everlasting life—for once one is saved, he is always saved. Godly men in the Hebrew Scriptures knew that they were saved (cf. Job 19:25-27), and you can know it also. When your sins are washed away in the blood of Messiah Jesus, you can never lose salvation; your eternal future in heaven is secured not only by the eternal and unchanging love of God but by His justice, which has been perfectly and everlastingly satisfied on your behalf by the sacrifice of your Redeemer, the Lord Jesus. Furthermore, you will not only be eternally saved from the penalty of your sin, damnation, but the power of sin over your life will be permanently shattered. God will not only forgive your sins, but He will enable you to truly know Him, will give you a new heart, and will put his Holy Spirit within you to enable you to walk in holiness: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer 31:31-34). “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Eze 36:26-27). You can have your sins forgiven, be certain of heaven instead of hell, be freed from the bondage of sin and enabled to walk in holiness, receive a new heart, and have true fellowship with the living God, the God of Israel, today! “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Is 1:18).
After turning from your sin to trust in Jesus the Messiah, there are a number of things God will want you to do as one who has entered into the New Covenant (Jer 31:31-34):
1.) Read the Bible—both the Hebrew Scriptures (Torah, Nevi’im, and Kethuvim—the Law, Prophets, and Writings), and the New Covenant Scriptures (Matthew-Revelation) daily. Follow the pattern of the godly who “read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them” (Deut 17:19). Read the Bible carefully and determine to immediately obey everything that it teaches.
2.) Pray and have fellowship with God through Messiah Jesus daily. When you believe, God will give you the Holy Spirit to live in you because of the purchase of the Messiah; and only by the strength of the Holy Spirit will you have the power to live for and obey God. If holy Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God” (Dan 6:10), you also should devote time daily to fellowship with Him, even while you keep in mind the command: “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually” (1 Chr 16:11). Your time of prayer should include thanksgiving and praise (2 Sam 22:50), petition (Ps 81:10), and confession of sin (Ps 106:6).
3.) Worship with, join yourself to, and publicly identify with a Bible-believing and practicing assembly of those who love and worship God through Jesus the Messiah. King David predicted that after the crucifixion of the Messiah (Ps 22:1-21), He was going to have congregations that belonged to Him where the true worship of God would take place (Ps 22:22). Having risen from the dead (Is 53:10-12) and ascended to heaven (Ps 68:18) to sit at the right hand of God (Ps 110:1), even now the Messiah is ruling over His congregations in the midst of His enemies (Ps 110:2), and He will continue to rule over them until He comes a second time to rule over the entire world (Ps 110:5-6). Uniting yourself to one of His congregations publicly identifies you with the God of Israel and His Messiah, instead of with the world of the enemies of God. Worshipping with and identifying with God and the Messiah in this way does not bring salvation—salvation is by God’s undeserved mercy and favor and is received by faith alone—but the Lord expects all those who have truly come to know Him to publicly identify themselves with Him in this manner.
You can learn more about the true God, His congregations, and what His will is for your life by contacting those who gave you this booklet:
Mukwonago Baptist Church
1610 Honeywell Road
Mukwonago, WI 53149
Sunday school begins at 9:30 am, Sunday AM worship at 10:30 am,
Sunday PM worship at 6:30 pm, and Wednesday prayer/Bible study at 7:00 pm.
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Appendix: The Prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 and the Time of the Messiah’s Coming
While reading the prophecy of Jeremiah, the prophet Daniel “understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem” (Dan 9:2; cf. Jer 25:1, 11, 29:10, 2 Ch 36:21, Lev 26:34-35). Daniel anticipated the upcoming end of this period of judgment upon his people, and sought the Lord in fasting and prayer. God sent the angel Gabriel to him, who both informed him of a coming “commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” (Dan 9:25), which necessarily involved the conclusion of the time of judgment described by Jeremiah, and outlined the course of future history for the holy city and the world under the rubric of a greater and then future “seventy.” Daniel learned:
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:24-27)
Verse twenty-four details the entire course of the seventy weeks. The following verse separates them into an initial division of seven and a second grouping of sixty-two weeks, while the final week is left without further mention until verse twenty-seven, where its events are given in some detail. Verse twenty-six unfolds the events after the sixty-ninth week but before the seventieth week. The first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel have been historically fulfilled, as we shall shortly see, and we are currently in the time period between the sixty-ninth week and the seventieth week of Daniel. The seventieth week of Daniel 9:27 will cover the future period described in Daniel 11:36-12:3 and other passages; however, we will at this point focus on the historical fulfillment of the first sixty-nine weeks.
Before detailed examination of this prophecy in Daniel nine can begin, the nature of the “weeks” must be determined. A variety of factors evidence that the “weeks” of this text are weeks of years, rather than seventy literal weeks, a period of one year and a few months. First, Daniel had just inquired of God about a period of seventy years (9:2), which suggests year-weeks. Second, the events of 9:27 cover the final “week” of the prophecy, but this “week” is really a seven year period, for half of it is said to be 42 months, or 1,260 days, namely, three and a half years long (cf. Dan 7:25). Since the seventieth “week” is seven years, it is reasonable to conclude that the other sixty-nine “weeks” represent periods of seven years as well. Third, the Hebrew word translated “week” (shavua, Ao…wbDv) can also be translated as “seven,” as it is in Ezekiel 45:21. One could translate Dan 9:25 as “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven ‘sevens’ and threescore and two ‘sevens.’” Fourth, Daniel 10:2-3, the only other reference to a “week” in Daniel, immediately after the prophecy we are examining in 9:24-27, specifies in Hebrew a “week of days” (shavuim yamim, My`ImÎy My™IoUbDv, KJV, “full weeks,” v. 2, “whole weeks,” v. 3), distinguishing the literal week of Daniel 10:2-3 the year-weeks of 9:24-27. The natural and reasonable interpretation of Daniel 9:24-27 is that the passage deals with a period of seventy “sevens” of years, that is, 70 x 7 = 490 years, so that the first sixty-nine “sevens” or “weeks” refers to a period of 483 years.
Daniel 9:25 informs us, then, that “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince” 483 years, the first sixty-nine “weeks,” shall pass. The decree to restore and build Jerusalem, including “the street . . . and the wall” (v. 25), issued by king Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 444 B. C., is referred to in the book of Nehemiah. This decree specifically refers to the restoration of the city (Neh 2:3, 5) and its gates and walls (Neh 2:3, 8). A letter was written to Asaph which provided for material to be used specifically for the walls (Neh 2:8). The book of Nehemiah discusses extensively the names and sections of the wall that various men rebuilt (cf. Neh 3). Nehemial also records the various attempts by the idolatrous enemies of Israel to prevent the wall from being built, from contemptible mocking, to threatening to assassinate Nehemiah, to threatening to attack the city and kill everyone building the wall. Nehemiah records that “the half [built the wall] . . . and the other half of them held both shields, and spears, and the bows, and the habergeons . . . they which builded the wall . . . every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon . . . for the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side . . . half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared” (Neh 4:16-21), clearly fulfilling Daniel 9:25’s statement “the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”The 444 B. C. decree fits the specifications of Daniel 9 exactly. Furthermore, no later decrees were issued by Persian kings pertaining to the rebuilding of Jerusalem. We see, then, that Daniel predicted that “the Messiah the Prince” (v. 25) would present Himself 483 years after the decree of king Artaxerxes “to restore and to build Jerusalem” in 444 B. C.
The 483 years of Daniel’s prophecy are prophetic or Biblical 360-day years, not modern solar years of 365 days. Several factors demonstrate this. First, a 360-day year is used elsewhere in the Bible. Genesis 7:11 states that the flood of Noah began on the 17th day of the second month. Genesis 8:4 declares that the flood ended on the 17th day of the seventh month, that is, exactly five months later. Genesis 7:24 and 8:3 indicate that the duration of the flood was 150 days. Therefore five months equals 150 days, so each month is 30 days, and a year is 360 days. In addition, ancient India, Persia (in whose dominion the decree of Neh 2 was issued), Babylonia and Assyria, Egypt, Central and South America, and China all had 360-day years. Most had twelve 30-day months, and a few had eighteen twenty-day months. They then had a variety of ways to play “catch up” to make these years work out to solar years. It was common, then, in ancient times to think of a 360-day year. The prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27, then, predicted the Messiah the Prince 483 years of 360 days each after the decree of Artaxerxes to restore and build Jerusalem in 444 B. C.
To figure out what year Daniel predicted “the Messiah the Prince,” all that remains is simple calculation:
1.) Convert 483 prophetic (360 day) years to days: 483×360=173,880 days.
2.) Convert to solar years: 173,880 days ÷ c. 365.25 days per solar year = 173,880/365.25=476 solar years.
3.) Move forward 476 years from 444 B.C.: 444–476=-32 (A. D. 32).
4.) Add one year since there was no year zero: 32+1= A.D. 33.
5.) The Old Testament predicted that the Messiah would be “cut off, but not for Himself” in A. D. 33.
We see that Daniel predicted that the Messiah would be “cut off, but not for himself” (9:26) in A. D. 33. “Cut off” is a Biblical term for death (e. g., Genesis 9:11, Exodus 31:14) with the implication of the receipt of God’s curse. It was the perfect term to use to predict Jesus the Messiah’s bearing the curse of God for the sins of the world on the cross (cf. Isaiah 52:13-53:12). The Messiah would die under God’s curse, but “not for himself” (Daniel 9:26); He would die for the sake of others. The prophet Daniel predicted, over 500 years in advance, that the Messiah would die in A. D. 33, the exact year of the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus.
To predict the exact year of the death of Jesus the Messiah in this manner constitutes a truly astonishing prophecy. However, Daniel’s prediction is even more specific. Artaxerxes’s decree would have been issued on March 5, 444 B. C. We proceed to crunch the numbers with precision:
1.) Convert 483 prophetic (360 day) years to days: 483×360=173,880 days.
2.) Convert to solar years: 173,880 days ÷ exactly 365.24219878 days per solar year = 476.06766299 years.
3.) Moving forward 476 years from 444 B. C. brings us to A. D. 33, since there is no year zero, as mentioned before. This leaves us with 0.06766299 of a year, which is 24.713379244 days, since 0.06766299 x 365.24219878 = 24.713379244.
4.) Rounding off, we have 25 days. Exactly 476 years after March 5, 444 B. C, when the decree was issued, brings us to March 5, A. D. 33. Adding 25 days, one comes to March 30 of A. D. 33 for the exact day the sixty-nine weeks concluded.
The sixty-nine weeks of the prophecy of Daniel 9 ended on March 30 of A. D. 33. This is the exact day of the Lord Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when He officially presented Himself as the Messiah to Israel. Zechariah 9:9 reads, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” The Lord Jesus, proclaiming Himself the King predicted in Zechariah, entered the city on that day sitting upon a donkey while great crowds, knowing that He had recently raised a man from the dead who had already been decomposing for several days (Jn 11; 12:12), shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David [a Messianic title, Isaiah 11:1ff, 1 Chronicles 17:7-14, etc.]: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21:9). Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem in conscious fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 asserted that He was the Messiah in the clearest way, and the crowds that came to meet Him recognized and shouted agreement with His claim. When the Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem that day when Daniel 9:25 was fulfilled, He “beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:41-44). The Lord Jesus, because He is omniscient, knew that the sixty-nine weeks predicted by His servant Daniel had ended on that day; He wept that Israel did not recognize it. He said to Jerusalem that it was “this thy day” and “the time of thy visitation” because that was the exact day that the sixty-ninth “week” or “seven” of Daniel 9:25-26 came to a conclusion. Daniel chapter nine predicted the exact year and day of the presentation of the Lord Jesus to Israel as the Messiah.
Daniel predicted that “after” the sixty-nine weeks were over the Messiah would be “cut off, but not for himself” (v. 26), referring to His substitutionary death. Daniel then states, “The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” The “prince that shall come,” whose “people” shall destroy Jerusalem and its sanctuary, is the Antichrist spoken of in Daniel 9:27; 11:36-45. Daniel two and seven predicted that this future world ruler would arise from the fourth world empire Daniel foresaw, Rome. Consequently, the “people of the prince that shall come” are the Romans. Daniel predicted that the Romans would, after the Messiah was cut off, “destroy the city and the sanctuary” (9:26). In A. D. 70 the Romans, responding to a Jewish revolt, invaded and destroyed Jerusalem and leveled the temple. In Luke 19:41-44, immediately after the Lord Messiah weeps over Jerusalem for not realizing that her “day,” the end of the sixty-ninth week or “seven” of Daniel, had arrived, He told the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground,” as judgment upon the city for rejecting Him, and in fulfillment of Daniel 9:26. He predicted that the temple would not have left “one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Mt 24:2, Mr 13:2, Lu 21:6), and warned His disciples to flee out of Judea when Jerusalem would be “compassed with armies . . . [for then] the desolation thereof is nigh . . . and they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles . . . that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Lu 21:20-24). Daniel’s prediction about Jerusalem’s destruction, confirmed by Jesus the Messiah as He fulfilled the preceding section of the prophecy, took place exactly as stated.
Daniel chapter nine, over five hundred years beforehand, predicted that the Messiah would come in A. D. 33, specifically on March 30. On March 30, A. D. 33, the Lord Jesus officially presented Himself as the Messiah to the nation of Israel. Daniel then predicted that the Messiah would die a substitutionary death, which Jesus did four days later. Daniel then predicted that the Romans would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple. This prophecy was fulfilled in A. D. 70. Thus, Daniel predicted:
1.) The Messiah would present Himself to Israel in A. D. 33.
2.) The Messiah would present Himself to Israel on March 30, A. D. 33.
3.) The Messiah would die a substitutionary death after His presentation to Israel on March 30, A. D. 33.
4.) The Romans would destroy the city of Jerusalem and the Temple after the substitutionary death of the Messiah. This took place in A. D. 70. The Messiah must, therefore, have come before A. D. 70.
There is only one Person who officially presented Himself to Israel as the Messiah on March 30, A. D. 33, and died a substitutionary death soon afterwards—the Lord Jesus. Anyone who recognizes the authority of the Hebrew Scriptures must believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Furthermore, these predictions could not possibly have happened by chance. Nor can one say that the book of Daniel was composed after the events of Daniel 9 took place; the book is written in the Hebrew and Aramaic current in Daniel’s lifetime and was translated into Greek far before the fulfillment of Daniel 9. We also have Hebrew manuscripts of Daniel in the Dead Sea Scrolls that predate the time these predictions were fulfilled. The prophecies of Daniel 9 prove beyond any doubt both that Jesus is the Messiah and that the Bible is indeed the Word of the one true God, the God of Israel.
 You are encouraged to look up the passages of Scripture referenced in this composition and study them in their context. The worshippers of the God of Israel who gave you this composition will also be delighted to answer any questions you have about the Hebrew Bible or the content of this work. A free copy of the Hebrew Scriptures can be downloaded at: http://faithsaves.net/Bibliology/. A free copy of the English Bible is available at: http://faithsaves.net/free-Bible-media/. The Bible is sufficient to teach us about God without any other authority: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Prov 30:5-6); “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deut 4:2). Certainly these verses make it clear that nothing is equal to the written Word of God, whether an allegedly infallible oral tradition or anything else. On the contrary, while knowledgeable human teachers are wonderful, the Scripture by itself is sufficient, so that students of God’s Word can say: “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation” (Ps 119:99).
 Targum Jonathan on Isaiah 52:13.
 Note the appendix to this study for further information on the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27.
 For an extremely detailed study of the entire doctrine of the Messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures, see Christology of the Old Testament, E. W. Hengstenberg, 4 vol., available for free download at http://faithsaves.net/theology-proper-christology-and-pneumatology/.
 See the appendix for an explanation of Daniel 9:24-27.
 Note that the word one (echad, dDjRa), employed for the true God in the Shema, Deut 6:4, does not exclude the possibility of a kind of plurality within the one God. For example, the word echad is used for Adam and Eve being “one” flesh (Gen 2:24); many persons in a unified group are called “one” (Gen 11:6); the Shechemite nation wished to become “one people” with the sons of Israel (Gen 34:16, 22); all the people in Judah had “one heart” in a unified purpose (2 Chr 30:12); and in the New Covenant the saved will have “one heart” and “one way” (Jer 32:39). The oneness of the true God is not violated by affirming that He eternally exists in three personal distinctions, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
 The word messenger is sometimes translated angel, as the word angel/messenger (malak, JKDaVlAm) simply means messenger, and is used for human messengers (Gen 32:3, 6; Num 20:14; 21:21, Jud 6:35; 7:24; 9:31; 11:12, etc.) as well as for the category of created heavenly beings we often think of as angels (Gen 28:12; Ps 104:4, etc.). Heavenly angels are simply God’s heavenly messengers. Thus, referring to the Messiah as the Angel/Messenger of the LORD simply means that He was sent by the LORD as His Messenger, and does not mean that the Messiah is a created heavenly angel any more than references to the normal human beings Jacob sent as messengers to his brother Esau somehow prove that Jacob’s human servants were really heavenly angels (Gen 32:3, 6).
 For more information, see “The Captain of the Host of the LORD: An Analysis of Joshua 5:13-15” at http://faithsaves.net/captain-host-lord-analysis-joshua-513-15/.
 Aramaic Ny`IhDlTa_rAb. For a defense of the translation “the Son of God” in Daniel 3:25, see http://faithsaves.net/Daniel-325-Son-God-son-gods/.
 A detailed study of the Hebrew text of Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4, and other passages in the Hebrew Scriptures (and the Writings of the New Covenant, Jer 31:31-34) that demonstrate that salvation is not by works, but by faith alone, is available at http://faithsaves.net/the-just-shall-live-by-faith/.
 The verb “kiss” (nashaq, qAvÎn), is translated “be ruled” in Gen 41:40.
 A directory of Bible-believing and practicing assemblies of believers in the Messiah can be found at http://faithsaves.net/website-links/. Faithsaves.net also has many resources to help you grow in your knowledge of God.
 Much of the analysis below is reproduced from “The Book of Daniel: Proof that the Bible is the Word of God,” available at http://faithsaves.net/Daniel-proof-Bible/.
 A “score” is twenty; “threescore and two” means “sixty-two.”
 The translation above from the Authorized Version, with some related exegetical matters, are defended at: http://faithsaves.net/translation-of-Daniel-924-27-in-the-kjv/
 1,260 days = 42 months of 30 days each = 3.5 years. Compare Rev 11:2, 3, 12:6, 14, 13:5.
 The decree mentioned in Daniel 9:25 cannot be the earlier pronouncement of king Cyrus in 539 B. C. (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-5). Cyrus’s decree related specifically to the rebuilding of the temple and said nothing about the streets or walls of Jerusalem. It is very clear that later, just before Artaxerxes’s decree, which actually set the clock ticking on the Daniel 9 prophecy, “the wall of Jerusalem [was still] . . . broken down, and the gates thereof . . . burned with fire” (Neh 1:3. cf. 2:13-14). Nor can Daniel 9:25 refer to the decree of Darius of 519/518 B. C., because Darius just confirmed Cyrus’s original decree and again specifically refers to the temple alone (Ezra 5:3-6:12). Nor is the decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra in 457 B. C. in view, for this decree related to the return of more exiles with Ezra, the further enhancement of the temple and its accompanying worship, and the appointment of civil leaders (Ezra 7:11-26), not to the restoration and rebuilding of the streets and walls of Jerusalem, as Daniel 9 specifies. The decree of Daniel 9 simply must be the 444 B. C. pronouncement of Artaxerxes.
 We can determine the date of this decree from the Biblical record. First, we note that Nehemiah 1:1 states that Nehemiah heard of Jerusalem’s desolate conditions in the month Chislev (November/December) in Artaxerxes’s 20th year. Later in Artaxerxes 20th year, in the month Nisan (March/April), Nehemiah was granted permission to restore the city and build its walls. To have Nisan after Chislev in the same year may seem strange unless one realizes that Nehemiah was using a Tishri to Tishri (September/October) dating method rather than the Persian Nisan to Nisan method. In this matter Nehemiah was following the example of the kings of Judah earlier in their history (see pgs. 28-30, 161, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, Edwin R. Thiele, rev. ed.; Grand Rapids, 1965). Secondly, we can establish the time of the commencement of Artaxerxes’s rule. His father Xerxes died shortly after December 17, 465 B. C., and his son immediately succeeded him. Since the accession-year system (in which the first year of a king’s reign was reckoned from the first day of the following New Year, so that Artaxerxes’s 1st year was considered to begin the first Nisan after December 17, 465 B. C.) was used, the first year of Artaxerxes’s reign according to the Persian Nisan to Nisan reckoning would be Nisan 464 to Nisan 463, and according to Jewish Tishri to Tishri reckoning it would be Tishri 464 to Tishri 463. This would mean that the report to Nehemiah (1:1) occurred in Chislev (Nov-Dec) of 445 B. C., and the decree of Artaxerxes (2:1), which set the clock ticking in the Daniel 9 prophecy, occurred in Nisan (March/April) of 444 B. C.
 Our calendars include leap years because solar years are actually approximately 365.25 days long, specifically 365.24219878 days long, that is, 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 49.75 seconds long.
 It is noteworthy that Hebrew also employs the same word for “new moon” and “month” (cf. 1 Sam 20:5, Gen 7:11, etc.); a non-solar calendar in Biblical prophecy is not unexpected. The New Testament also demonstrates that the years of Daniel 9 are 360 days long, as a comparison of Revelation 12:6, 7, 14; 11:2, 3; 13:5 shows; these verses indicate that 1,260 days equals 42 months, which equal three and a half years. Furthermore, since these verses in Revelation specifically refer to the seventieth week of Daniel (Daniel 9:27), indicating that the seventieth week is reckoned with 360-day years, the other sixty-nine “weeks” are also naturally reckoned with 360-day years.
 The Hebrew word “Messiah” (Mashiach, AjyIvDm) has the same meaning as the Greek word “Christ,” both signifying “Anointed One” and referring to the great King and Redeemer predicted throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.
 The translation of the Hebrew wøl as “for himself” in Daniel 9:26 is justified by a comparison with the wøl of Deut 33:21; Jud 6:31; 1 Sam 8:11; 2 Sam 18:18; 2 Ch 16:14; Ps 4:3 (4:4, Heb.); Pr 16:26; Is 2:20; 22:16; 44:14.
 For evidence that Christ was crucified in A. D. 33, see pgs. 95-114 of Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ, Harold W. Hoehner (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1977). The analysis on pgs. 115-140 of Hoehner’s volume constituted an important source for much of the material presented above.
 See pgs. 137-138, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ, Hoehner.
 See https://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/calendar/ & Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ, Hoehner.
 Messiah Jesus was crucified on Friday, Nisan 14 (April 3) of A. D. 33. The Lord Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, presenting Himself as Israel’s Messiah, took place the previous Monday (Mt 21:1-11; Mr 11:1-11; Lu 19:28-44; Jn 12:12-16). Four days later, as Daniel 9 states, “after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself,” He was sacrificed as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world, and, in fulfillment of the type of the firstfruits (Lev 23:9-14, 1 Cor 15:23) which were offered the day after the Sabbath, He rose again from the grave on Sunday (Mt 18:1-15, Mr 19:1-20, Lu 24:1-35). For more detail on the day of Christ’s crucifixion and His final week, see Hoehner, Chronology, pgs. 65-93.
 The ruler mentioned in Daniel 9:26c-27 is not Jesus the Messiah, but Antichrist, because his people destroy Jerusalem and its sanctuary, because the Lord Jesus never “confirmed” an already-existing covenant, and because He never broke such a covenant. Also, this person causes sacrifices to cease in the midst of Daniel’s 70th week; while Christ made such offerings unneeded, He did not make temple sacrifices cease immediately, since they continued to be offered until the destruction of the temple in A. D. 70. The “prince” of Daniel 9:27 is the wicked person of Daniel 7:25 who there “changes times and laws” for “a time and times and the dividing of time,” that is, for a year, two years, and half a year, or 3 1/2 years, exactly the same length of time as the prince in Daniel 9:27 changes times and laws by causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease.
 For more information on the empire prophecies found elsewhere in the book of Daniel, see “The Book of Daniel: Proof that the Bible is the Word of God,” available at http://faithsaves.net/Daniel-proof-Bible/.
 It is noteworthy that the Gospel of Luke was written c. A. D. 56-60, and, since Jerusalem was destroyed in A. D. 70, Jesus’ own words, spoken in A. D. 33 and placed in Luke’s Gospel before the prophecy was fulfilled, are an unmistakable instance of predictive prophecy. In 1 Timothy 5:18, the epistle of 1 Timothy, written by the apostle Paul c. A. D. 62-66, quotes Luke 10:7 as a book of “scripture.” It is very difficult to quote from and call a book Scripture that has not yet been written. Note that the quotation also happens a number of years before the Lord Jesus’ prediction recorded in Luke was fulfilled. Furthermore, the gospels of Matthew and Mark also record Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, and both of these were also written far before A. D. 70. For more information on the dating of the various New Testament books, see, among others, Introduction to the New Testament, Henry Thiessen, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1950.
 In the words of K. A. Kitchen, who was Personal and Brunner Professor Emeritus of Egyptology and Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Archaeology, Classics, and Oriental Studies, University of Liverpool, England:
The form or stage of language of Aramaic used in . . . Daniel is precisely that used in the Neo-Babylonian and Persian period (sixth to fourth centuries) . . . There is no good reason to deny the authenticity of the biblical Aramaic . . . that we find in the biblical books relating to this period. . . . Biblical Aramaic usage and cultural traits . . . correspond closely with external usage and data. We are in a clearly defined historical and cultural period with good mutual correlations. . . . Several features of the Aramaic of . . . Daniel virtually preclude it having originated any later than the third century B. C. at the extreme [which, one notes, still involves very clear and definite predictive prophecy in Daniel 9 & 11]; the fifth century fits better. The Hebrew is [also] consistent with this. . . . There is much authentic Neo-Babylonian and Old Persian cultural content in the book of Daniel that links it with those periods. (pgs. 78-79, 520, On The Reliability of the Old Testament, K. A. Kitchen. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003)