YHVH gave His people prophesies in order for them (and us) to know that He is in control since the very beginning. He is not surprised by what happens in the world or in our lives. Prophecies are also for our re-assurance when we fear and doubt; it strengthens us when our faith is weak. YHVH had a plan from the beginning and Y’shua was part of His plan.
How do we know if Yâ€™shua is the prophesied Messiah?
Y’shua fulfilled all the prophecies that were written about Him in the Tanakh. He even told His disciples before the time what would take place. Here is what Y’shua told them:
31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, â€œBehold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32 â€œFor He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, 33 and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.â€ 34 But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.
However, they did not understand. They had a different perspective of what the Messiah came to do. You can read more about this expectation in the next article about Nicodemus. Later, after Y’shua’s resurrection, He spoke to them again but, this time He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
44 Now He said to them, â€œThese are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.â€ 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
The Scriptures spoken of here are the prophecies about Him in the Torah, Prophets and the Writings. These words confirm that all these books contain prophecies about Y’shua. Keep that in mind as we continue the study. May YHVH open our minds also to understand the Scriptures, written about Y’shua, hundreds of years before any of these things took place and may He give us a revelation of our Messiah Y’shua, so clear, that we would never doubt that He is indeed the prophesied Messiah. He is our Rock, our Foundation. Without Him, we are cut off and have nothing. We have written quite a few articles already to show you from the Tanakh that Y’shua is the prophesied Messiah. I was reading a book a while ago and came across a reference to the seven circles of certainty. This is a technique that is used to prove from the Tankh that Y’shua is the prophesied Messiah. It made quite an impression on me, specifically because of it’s simplicity. We tend to make things so complicated when it really is not necessary. For this reason, we would like to share this with you. This originated from Stuart Dauermann, a Messianic Rabbi, and although we do not agree with all his doctrinal statements, this is brilliant. According to this theory, you can use seven progressively detailed â€œcircles of certainty.â€ You start off using broad prophecies and then narrow the field to include increasingly specific and detailed prophecies. You might use circles to, graphically, illustrate your points as you share these prophecies. We have used these “seven circles of certainty” as a framework and built upon it. We have added more detail and explanation according to what we have learned in the previous studies. Here are the Seven Circles with Scriptural references as well as the references that confirm the fulfillment hereof.
|The Seven Circles||Tanakh||Apostolic Scriptures|
|1. Messiahâ€™s humanity||Gen3:15||Gal 4:4|
|2. Messiahâ€™s Jewishness||Gen 12:3;Gen 28:14||Matt 1:1|
|3. Messiahâ€™s tribe||Gen 49:10||Matt 1:2|
|4. Messiahâ€™s family||2 Sam 7:16Jer 23:5||Matt 1:1|
|5. Messiahâ€™s birthplace||Mic 5:2||Matt 2:4â€“5|
|6. Messiahâ€™s life, reception, death and ressurection||Isa 53:1-4Isa 53:5-9Ps 16:10||John 7:5Matt 26:67Matt 27:26 John 19:1-3 Matt 27:12 Matt 27:57â€“60 Matt 27:38 Matt 28:6|
|7. Chronology||Isa 40:3Mal 3:1||Matt 3:1-3John 1:6-7|
We shall now go into a bit more detail on each of these.
1. Messiahâ€™s humanity
The first circle is a very wide one, but important nonetheless. It is about Y’shua being human; born of a woman. We have mentioned the necessity of the Messiah being human in the previous article about Y’shua being the Branch, and we have given a detailed account of it in the article about the Kinsman Redeemer. When we go back to the book of Genesis, we learn that it was prophesied from the beginning that the Messiah would be born of a woman. This plan was in place before the foundation of the earth. YHVH knew man would sin and would need redemption. He created us with free will, and that enables us to make wrong choices. This is exactly what happened; wrong choices were made, and these had consequences one of which was judgment. When YHVH pronounced judgment on the serpent, this is what YHVH said.
Genesis 3:15 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.â€
The Hebrew word “zera” was translated as seed denoting offspring, which included the Messiah, Who was born of a woman. We know from the Gospels, that Messiah Y’shua was from the lineage of Jesse, thus proving that He was human. The Apostle Paul wrote about this too…
4 But when the fullness of the time came, Elohim sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
There are other prophecies that show that the Messiah would be human. The article about the Messiah being the Branch, proves that too. It is prophesied that the Branch (Messaih Y’shua) would be from the lineage of David, thus human. That brings us to the second circle. The Messiah had to be Jewish or in other words, a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
2. Messiahâ€™s Jewishness
It is prophesied that in Abraham, all the families of the earth would be blessed. YHVH chose Abraham and made a covenant with him and his descendants after him.
3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.â€
Later, when this promise is repeated,Abraham is promised that in his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed.
18 â€œIn your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.â€
Paul explains this verse as follows:
16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, â€œAnd to seeds,â€ as referring to many, but rather to one, â€œAnd to your seed,â€ that is, Messiah.
This promised blessing is referring to the Messiah that would be born from Abraham’s lineage. When we read the genealogy of Y’shua in Matt 1:1-17, we see that the Messiah Y’shua was a direct descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
1 The record of the genealogy of Y’shua the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
That was now the second cirle and it narrowed it down quite a bit. The next circle is the tribe of Y’shua.
3. Messiahâ€™s tribe
From which tribe will the Messiah come?
10 â€œThe scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the rulerâ€™s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
Jacob is here on His deathbed, blessing his sons. This here is the blessing he gave Judah. Shilo is Yâ€™shua. He would come from the tribe of Judah. For a better understanding of this, you can read â€œDefining the keys of the kingdom of heavenâ€ Another reference that confirms the tribe of the Messiah is Isaiah 11:1. We have discussed this at length in the article about Y’shua being the Branch. The reference is to a shoot from the stem of Jesse. Jesse was from the tribe of Judah. How was this fulfilled? Matt 1:2-3 shows that the Messiah Y’shua was from the tribe of Judah.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram.
4. Messiahâ€™s family
To make the circle narrower, we need to determine who the prophesied family of the Messiah would be. In 2 Samuel, YHVH speaks to King David through the prophet Nathan. He is told that his house and kingdom shall endure forever.
2 Samuel 7:16
16 â€œYour house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.â€ â€™ â€
This is confirmed by Jeremiah, specifically referring to the Messiah.
5 â€œBehold, the days are coming,â€ declares YHVH, â€œWhen I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.
This Branch spoken of in this prophecy refers to the Messiah and He will be a descendant of David. So, we have narrowed the circle quite a bit already. The Messiah is prophecied to be human, Jewish, from the tribe of Judah and a descendant of David. We find this to be true when we read Matt 1:1. Other references that confirm this are Matt 9:27; Luke 1:32, 69; John 7:42; Acts 13:23; Rom 1:3; Rev 22:16. The next circle is the birthplace of the Messiah.
5. Messiahâ€™s birthplace
The fifth circle is the birthplace of the Messiah. This was prophecied by the prophet Micah in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah (Mic 1:1.)
2 â€œBut as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.â€
The historical interpretation was that this was written about the Messiah. I just love the way it was translated in the Targum Jonathan.
Bethlehem was a small, insignificant town. It is important to note here that it was in the area assigned to Judah. We know that King David was also from Bethlehem. Some of the modern Jewish commentaries say this is a prophecy about King David. Is a propecy still a prophecy if it was prophecied after the fact? This prophecy was given in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah (Micah 1:1.) Micah was not a historian, but a prophet so this could not be about King David. So, what makes this a Messianic prophecy? The second part of the verse answers the question “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” Could this pertain to a man? Who could claim to have originated from the days of eternity? So, how was this prophecy fulfilled? The chief priests and scribes in the time of Y’shua interpreted this verse also to be about the Messiah.
4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, â€œIn Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 â€˜And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; For out of you shall come forth a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.â€™ â€
42 â€œHas not the Scripture said that the Messiah comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?â€
Circle number six is next. This is about the live of the Messiah. How He was received by the people, how He died and His resurrection.
6. Messiahâ€™s life, reception, death and resurrection
We have learned, in a previous article in this series, that Y’shua is the Servant spoken of in Isaiah 53. In this passage we are given a detailed prophecy of how the Messiah would be received and about His death.
1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of YHVH been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of Elohim, and afflicted.
Who believed the message?
5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men
67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But YHVH has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? 9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
By His scourching we are healed…
1 Pilate then took Y’shua and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; 3 and they began to come up to Him and say, â€œHail, King of the Jews!â€ and to give Him slaps in the face.
He was pierced trough for our transgressions…
26 Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Y’shua scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.
He did not open His mouth…
12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer.
His grave was assigned with wicked men…
38 At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left.
He was with a rich man in His death…
57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Y’shua. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Y’shua. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.
From the above, we learn that Y’shua fulfilled this prophecy in literal detail. There could be no uncertainty. Which other man, a Jew from the tribe of Judah and descendant of David, Who was born in Bethlehem was received and treated in this way? There is more, He was also resurrected…
When Y’shua was asked for a sign, He told the Pharisees that no sign will be given them except the sign of Jonah (Matt 12:39; Matt 16:4.) We have studied this in a previous article. One of the things we learned from this study was that Y’shua would be in the grave three days and three nights. After that, He would be resurrected. We have also learned how this part of life was a prophetic picture of the life, death and resurrection of the Messiah. You can read the article “Y’shua in Prophecy – Part 2 – the sign of Jonah” for more detail on this. Y’shua was in the heart of the earth a literal three days and three nights. To reconcile this with Scripture is a study of its own which we may write up later. We will not go into more detail here. However, we know from Scripture that Y’shua was resurrected. The sign of Jonah was a prophecy, which He fulfilled.
6 â€œHe is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.
Another prophecy that attests to the resurrection of the Messiah is Psalm 16:10.
10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
Here is Peter’s explanation of this verse.
24 â€œBut Elohim raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25 â€œFor David says of Him, â€˜I saw YHVH always in my presence; For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. 26 â€˜Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will live in hope; 27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 28 â€˜You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.â€™ 29 â€œBrethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 â€œAnd so, because he was a prophet and knew that Elohim had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 â€œThis Y’shua Elohim raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.
The last circle is the prophecied timing of all this. Stuart Dauerman uses Daniel 9:24-25 to prove the chronology of Y’shua. This can be done, depending on your understanding of this passage. However, because there are so many interpretations for “the Seventy weeks of Daniel,” we decided to steer away from this and rather use other texts to prove the chronology of Y’shua.
When was Y’shua here on earth?
We know from Scripture that Y’shua was here on earth after John the Baptist, but before the destruction of the second Temple. Was this prophesied? Indeed it was! In the book of Isaiah, it is prophesied that a messenger would come before the Messiah.
3 A voice is calling, â€œClear the way for the Master in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our Elohim.
It is also confirmed in the book of Malachi.
1 â€œBehold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Master, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,â€ says YHVH of hosts.
In Malachi it is written that the messenger will come and it is added that the Master will come to His temple. How do we know that this messenger was John the Baptist? We find our answer in Matthew.
1 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 â€œRepent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.â€ 3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, â€œThe voice of one crying in the wilderness, â€˜Make ready the way of the Master, Make His paths straight!â€™ â€
Also in John 1, it is written about John the Baptist coming before the Messiah to testify about Him.
6 There came a man sent from Elohim, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.
Why is John the Baptist, specifically, important for the chronology? We have seen that Malachi confirmed this prophecy, and it is also here that we find our answer. It is written that the Master will come to His Temple. The Temple must therefor still be in existance. We also know from Scripture that Y’shua prophesied about the destruction of Jerusalem and with it the Temple.
41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, â€œIf you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43 â€œFor the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.â€
The last point we need to prove is when did John the baptist live? From Josephus Antiquities of the Jews, we firstly get historical prove of the existance of John the Baptist, but we also learn that he lived in the time of King Herod Antipas.
Just for interest sake, did you know that Josephus also wrote about Y’shua?
Anyway, to get back to the point at hand. We know from Scripture that Y’shua lived in the time of Herodus Antipas. From Matthew 2:19-22 we learn that Herod the Great had died and Archelaus was reigning. When Herod the Great died, his three sons ruled over different parts of Herod’s kingdom, allocated them by Caesar Augustus. They were Phillip, Archelaus and Herod Antipas. Archelaus reigned from 4CE-6CE.
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of YHVH appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, 20 â€œGet up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Childâ€™s life are dead.â€ 21 So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by Elohim in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee,
From all this we can prove that both Y’shua and John the Baptist lived before the destruction of the Second Temple. This is confirmed by the Gospels, for Y’shua often went to the Temple and it also confirms what was prophesied in Malachi.
We have now proven from the Tanakh that the Messiah could only be Y’shua. We started off using broad prophecies and then narrowed the field to include increasingly specific and detailed prophecies. Y’shua was a man, a Jew from the tribe of Judah. He was a descendant of David and was born in Bethlehem. He was not believed, despised by men, pierced through, died and was resurrected. He came after John the Baptist, but before the destruction of the second Temple. All these things were prophesied about the Messaih and all were fulfilled by Y’shua. Could there still be any doubt? Our heavenly Father knows the end from the beginning and He has revealed it to us, His children, through His prophets.
7 Surely YHVH Elohim does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.
Please share this post as many are falling away from the faith in Y’shua due to the false teaching of anti-missionaries. Maybe this could also bring a Jewish brother or sister to faith in Y’shua…
- All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD and Yâ€™shua for Jesus.
- Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
- Huckel, T. (1998). The Rabbinic Messiah (Mic 5:2). Philadelphia, PA: Hananeel House.
- Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged. Peabody: Hendrickson.
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