Eleven Messianic Prophecies that Confirm the Messiahship of Jesus
Eleven Key Messianic Prophecies that Confirm the Messiahship of Jesus by Historic Fulfillment That Were Also Viewed as Messianic by the Ancient and Medieval Jewish Rabbis.
The purpose for this teaching is to show both unbelieving secular and religious Jews that these Messianic prophecies were not given a Messianic interpretation from the outset by the Church in a theological vacuum, but were also held to be Messianic by traditional Judaism as well. The official and accepted rabbinic writings of Judaism in the Talmud, Targums, Midrashim, and other Jewish literature, as we will see, wonderfully confirm this.
The only difference, obviously, is that the New Testament church believes Yeshua fulfilled them in the unique role of being the Messiah, while the rabbis of Judaism still believe Messiah must still come to fulfill them. Our job as Bible believing witnesses for Yeshua to Israel is to humbly help them exclusively see a Messianic connection to Jesus of Nazareth in His life, death, and resurrection, and, hence, Messiah has already come to Israel to give salvation to all who believe in Him. Below, in outline form, is a list of those 10 key Messianic prophecies that are found in the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings that make up the Old Testament (what Jews call the Tenach), and their corresponding fulfillment by Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament. Subordinate to that are the citations from the main body of Rabbinic literature that viewed these same prophecies to be Messianic in meaning.
From the Torah.
- Messianic Prophecy #1: Messiah Born as the Seed of the Woman (Genesis 3:15). (Known by Christian theologians as the Proto-evangelium).
- Fulfilled in the New Testament by the birth of Jesus “born of the Virgin Mary under the Mosaic Law” (Matthew 1:18; Galatians 4:4-5). The crushing of Satan in mortal defeat was done by Jesus on the cross and will be shortly executed at His second coming (Romans 16:20).
- Targum of Jonathan (composed during the late 1st century or early 2nd century).
- Midrash Rabbah 23 (400-600 A.D.) from Rabbi Tanchuma.
- Midrash Pesikita Rabbah 3:6 (400-600 A.D.)
- Messianic Prophecy #2: The Messiah King will come from the Tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10).
- Fulfilled in the New Testament by Jesus Who was descended from the Tribe of Judah. (Matthew 1:2; Luke 3:33; Hebrews 1:8-9; 7:14; Revelation 5:5).
- Targum of Onkelos (35-120 A.D.).
- Targum of Jerusalem (late first century).
- Babylonian Talmud (200-500 A.D), Sanhedrin Tractate 98b3 –“What was the name of the Messiah…His name is Shiloh.”
- Midrash Rabah 97-99.
- Messianic Prophecy #3: A Star Will Arise in the Sky to Announce the Coming of Messiah (Numbers 24:17).
- Fulfilled in the New Testament With the Birth of Jesus. Wise men from the east and the people of Judea saw the advent of a new star concurrent with the birth and infancy of Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 2:2, 9).
- Targum of Jerusalem.
- Targum Onkelos.
- Midrash Pesikta Sortarta—“The week in which the Messiah will be born, there will be a bright star in the east, which is the Star of the Messiah.”
- Midrash Devarim (Deuteronomy) Rabbah.
From the Prophets.
- Messianic Prophecy #4: Messiah shall Come From the Stem of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1-2).
- Fulfilled in the New Testament. Jesus was descended from the line of Jesse, King David’s father, (Matthew 1:6; Luke 3:32; Acts 13:22-23; Romans 15:1-2).
- Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin Tractate 93b1—Six descendants who would be a great blessing, David, is one of them, from the line of Jesse through whom Messiah would come—the greatest blessing of all.
- Targum Jonathan: “And there shall go forth a King from the sons of Jesse, and the Messiah shall be anointed from his children’s children.”
- Citation from The Jewish Encyclopedia, Volume 8: page 506, c. 1
- Messianic Prophecy #5: Messiah will be a descendant (son) of King David (Jeremiah 23:5-6)
- Fulfilled in the New Testament. Jesus was born from the lineage of David, and hence called by the Messianic title, Son of David (Matthew 1:6; 21:9; Luke 3:31; Acts 13:23; Romans 1:3).
- Targum of Jonathan
- Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Babba Bathra 75b— One of the three names for the Holy One (the God of Israel) is Messiah the righteous, as it is written, “And this is His name whereby He shall be called, “The Lord our righteousness” (quoting Jeremiah 23:6).
- Midrash on Lamentations 1:6
- Messianic Prophecy #6: Messiah will suffer and be despised and rejected of men (Isaiah 52:13-53:12).
- Fulfilled in the New Testament when Jesus was despised and rejected by Israel (Mark 8:31; Luke 17:24-25; Matthew 26-27; John 18-19).
- Targum of Jonathan.
- Rabbi Mosheh El-Sheikhof (16th century rabbi of Safed, Israel) who wrote commentaries on the Earlier Prophets. Regarding Yesha'yahu 53 in the Tanakh, this rabbi wrote: “I may remark then, that our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the King Messiah, and we ourselves shall adhere to the same view.”
- Up until the 19th century the majority of the rabbis, for the last 1,900 years, believed and taught Isaiah 52:13-53:12 was speaking of the suffering Messiah.
- Rashi the famous rabbi of the 11th century (1040-1105) claimed the passage in question was speaking about Israel only. His peers and the rabbis who came after him soundly rejected this erroneous interpretation on grammatical and exegetical grounds.
- Messianic Prophecy #7: Messiah to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
- Fulfilled in the New Testament with the birth of Jesus the Messiah in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-5; Luke 2:4-11; John 7:42).
- Targum of Jonathan.
- Rabbi David Kimchi (1160-1235).
- Jerusalem Talmud (400-500 A.D, Tractate Berakoth 5a—“The King Messiah... from where does he come forth? From the royal city of Bethlehem in Judah."
- Messianic Prophecy #8: Messiah will come as the King riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).
- Fulfilled in the New Testament on Palm Sunday as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (Matthew 21:1-9; John 12:12-17).
- Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 98—“Rabbi Joseph the son of Levi objects that it is written in one place, “Behold one like the son of man comes with the clouds of heaven,” but in another place it is written, “lowly and riding upon a donkey.” The solution is, if they (Israel) be righteous He shall come with the clouds of heaven, but if they are not righteous He shall come lowly riding upon a donkey.”
- Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 99—Messiah will come riding on a donkey when the second temple is standing!
- Midrash Kohelet, Rabbah 1:9—“Like the first redeemer so is the last redeemer. Just as it is said of the first redeemer, And Moses took his wife and sons and put them on a donkey (Exodus 4:20), so it is said of the last redeemer, “Gentle and riding on a donkey.”
From the Writings.
- Messianic Prophecy #9: Messiah will be the Son of God (Psalm 2:7-12).
- Fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament (Matthew 1:21-22; Mark 14:61-62; John 1:34; Acts 9:20; 13:32-33; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5).
- Targum of Jonathan—“The Kings of the earth stand up, and the Rulers are united together to rebel before the Lord, and to contend against His Messiah.”
- Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sukkah.
- Rashi—“Our rabbis expound it (Psalm 2) as relating to King Messiah.”
- Messianic Prophecy #10: Messiah Will Be exalted at the right hand of God.
- Fulfilled in the New Testament when Jesus ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 1:9; 2:34-36; 7:55-56; Ephesian 1:20).
- Midrash Tehillim in Psalm 2.
- Midrash on Psalm 18:35.
- Messianic Prophecy #11: Messiah will appear before the destruction of the Second Temple (Daniel 9:24-26; Malachi 3:1). Fulfilled by Jesus with His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Luke 19:41-46).
- Tractate Megillah (Part of the Mishnah)
- Rabbi Moses Abraham Levi (12th century Talmudist)
- Maimonides (Famous 12th century rabbi and author of the 13 articles of faith for Judaism).
Glossary of Terms:
Targum—Aramaic translations and paraphrases of the Tenach by Jewish rabbis, compiled roughly between the Second Temple period to the early Middle Ages.
Talmud—Name of two works that constitute the oral law of Judaism. There is the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud. The Talmud consists of the Gemara and the Mishnah comprising both the civil law and religious law. Both works were compiled from 200 to 500 A.D.
Midrash—Rabbinic commentaries and homilies on the Tenach and Halakha (legal teaching on the Jewish law), roughly compiled from 200-1500 A.D.