Messiah in the Tanakh

2022-07-01 13:16:00
By Terry Brooks, President MJANZ

Let us consider the topic of religion and in particular the Judeo-Christian view of the Messiah. No doubt many within the Judeo-Christian worlds believe the Messiah is mentioned in the Brit Hadashah (New Testament) only. On the other hand, there are those who know the Messiah is also referenced in the Tanakh (Old Testament).

Regardless of what we all think in terms of who the Messiah is, there exists an absolute that should not be ignored or changed at a whim by human beings. The Bible, consisting of the Tanakh and Brit Hadasha, has been inspired by the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Spirit of the Holy One) through men whose minds were influenced from on high. A healthy mind influenced by wisdom and knowledge can arrest and filter out thoughts that are contrary to the truth. However, we need to be prepared to allow this to happen.

There is always the temptation to listen to what people say in regards to the things of God. and then weigh up their beliefs and opinions without also checking out what the Bible has to say. Even with the best of intentions, peoples’ opinions on the things of God may not necessarily always contain the truth. This is why it is wise to refer to the Bible and discuss selected relevant passages with people who earnestly desire truth, and exhibit a sincere love for God.

A particular topic that often provokes tension is one centered around the Messiah, and who He is.

The entire Bible, both Tanakh and Brit Hadashah, contain an accurate record of history, and prophetic content, some of which has been prophetically fulfilled and some is yet to be fulfilled.

Only God knows everything from the beginning of time as we understand it, and the future. Mankind can look back over history but cannot accurately forecast what lies ahead.

To understand the written Word He has given to mankind, we need the help of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) to speak to our hearts. This has the ability to cut to the core of our being and overrule preconceived ideas, provided we take heed.

Ideology, among other things, can direct us into conservative or liberal thinking. We need to watch out for ideologies that stem from non-biblical positions often inevitably resulting in being led away from truth contained in scripture. There are dangers of either ignoring truth, or making passages of scripture mean what we want them to mean to suit our own ideologies. Scripture can rightly be viewed as an instruction manual on how to live. If we deviate from the manual, our lives will be less than originally intended. Mishlei (Proverbs) chapter 4 verses 20 – 22 tell us to pay careful attention to what is written in the Word resulting in life and health.

Keeping in mind the need to lay aside our own thoughts on preconceived ideas, it is beneficial to allow the Scriptures to speak into our hearts.

In addition to numerous references to the Messiah in the Brit Hadashah, He is also mentioned in the Tanakh.

Micah chapter 5 verse 2 speaks of a future ruler of Israel who will come out of Beit-Lechem (meaning house of bread), also known as Bethlehem located in Yehudah (Judah). This is confirmed in the Brit Hadashah in Mattityahu (Matthew) chapter 2 verses 1 -7. This passage states Yeshua was born in Beit-Lechem in the land of Yehudah. Interesting to note in that passage we see King Herod was agitated and consulted with the Torah teachers and cohanim (priests) who advised Herod the Messiah would be born in Beit-Lechem in Yehudah, and they went on to confirm what was prophesied by the prophet in Micah chapter 5. In Yochanan (John) 6 verse 35 Yeshua said He is the bread that gives life. Yeshua is saying He is the bread of life in a spiritual sense. It is His written Word that provides food for our soul/spirit. This fact may remain purely academic until we determine to seek Him and apply the reality of His existence into our lives.

Dani’el chapter 7 verses 9 – 14 mention someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven and being led into the presence of the Ancient One. This son of man was given rulership, glory, and a kingdom. His rulership is eternal. This son of man is more than mere human. Yeshua was sent to this earth as a child. He existed before that event. His relationship with, and to, God the Father is beyond the capability of the human mind to comprehend. It is recorded in Yochanan (John) chapter 10 verse 30 that Yeshua stated He and the Father are One (echad in Hebrew).

There is an interesting passage in 1 Sh’mu’el (Samuel) chapter 2. It says in the second part of verse 10 Adonai will judge to the ends of the earth. It also references His king and some versions say He will exalt the horn of His anointed. During the time of Samuel, Israel had no king. In verse 10 Hannah, mother of Sh’mu’el, was looking ahead to the Messiah and the English word ‘anointed’ contained in that verse means Messiah or Mashiach in Hebrew.

Yochanan (John) the Immerser is mentioned in the Tanakh in the book of Mal’akhi (Malachi) chapter 3 verse 1. He was on earth at the same time as Yeshua and the one who was sent as a messenger to prepare the way of Messiah Yeshua. Yochanan’s father, Z’kharyah (Zacharia) was a cohen (priest) in the Temple. In the Brit Hadashah, in Luke chapter 1 verses 67 – 79 it is written Z’kharyah prophesied that a mighty deliverer would come who was to be a descendant of David. Some translations include mention that Adonai is to raise up a horn of salvation for Israel. This corresponds to what is written in 1 Sh’mu’el chapter 2 verse 10 in regards to a horn. There are many passages in the Scriptures that speak of the horn of salvation. Two such references are found in Psalm 18 verse 2 and 2 Sh’mu’el chapter 22 verse 3. Some meanings of the horn are salvation, strength, high tower. The Messiah Yeshua’s name means salvation. He is a safe and secure refuge for those who will turn to Him.