The One Undisputed Messiah Requirement

One undisputed Messiah requirement serves as common ground to Judaism and Christianity where both are in agreement. Prophecies laid the foundational requirements for the Messiah beginning in Genesis with Jacob and then in Exodus by Moses, .

First, a prophecy came in the form of a blessing when Jacob, aka Israel, gave a blessing to each of his 12 sons. One son, Judah, received the blessing that his family-tribe would become the lineage of the “scepter”:

Gen 49:8-10 “Judah, [as for] you, your brothers will acknowledge you. Your hand will be at the nape of your enemies, [and] your father’s sons will prostrate themselves to you.  A cub [and] a grown lion is Judah.  From the prey, my son, you withdrew. He crouched, rested like a lion, and like a lion, who will rouse him?  The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the student of the law from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him will be a gathering of peoples.”(Complete Jewish Bible)[1]

Rabbi Rashi, one of Judaism’s most revered sages, identified Shiloh as the “King Messiah, to whom the kingdom belongs.” The“scepter” refers to the royal lineage of “David and thereafter” – the kingdom of David.[2]

Moses at Mt. Sinai received the Law from God that appears in the books of the Law, the Torah – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers. Much more than just the 10 Commandments, the Laws of God also included promises and prophecies. One was the promise of a future kingdom in a place where God would choose.[3]

Leaving Mt. Sinai on their quest to reach the promised land of Abraham, the tribes of Israel were defeating one enemy after another creating dread by those kings and nations lying in their path. One enemy king, Balak, thought he could cleverly use God to prevent his Moab nation’s defeat.

Persistently asking the prophet Balaam to place a curse from God on the Hebrews, Balaam refused. In response, he instead issued a momentous Messiah prophesy saying:

Nm 24:17 “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.”(New American Standard Bible)

“Scepter” or “staff” is translated from the same Hebrew word shebet in Jacob’s blessing of Judah.[4] Rashi again says shebet represents “a king who rules dominantly” pointing to King David in the next phrase. A star, the Rabbi describes, “shoots out like an arrow” and uproots the sons of Sheth or Seth, the son of Adam; in other words, symbolically all of mankind.[5]

Rabbi Maimonides in his “13 Principles of Faith” that serves to define the fundamental basis of the Jewish faith,  interprets Balaam’s prophecy as referring to the future King David and the Messiah who will be a king who comes from the “House of David.” [6] Building on Balaam’s prophecy, Israel’s famed King David was indeed promised by God through the prophet Nathan:

2 Sam 7:16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before me forever; you throne shoe be established forever.”(New American Standard Version)

Multiple prophecies after the reign of King David, most notably by prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, forewarned of judgements for disregarding God, yet they included good news of forgiveness and redemption. Jeremiah issued two commonly recognized Messiah prophecies:[7]

Jer 23:5 “”Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth…””

Jer  33:15 “‘In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David A Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth…’”(New King James Version)

Isaiah, regarded by Judaism and Christianity to be the greatest of all the prophets, issued multiple Messiah prophecies – which ones are Messiah prophecies is where Jews and Christians part company.[8]

For Christians, one of Isaiah’s earliest Messiah prophecies often appears during Christmas season, Isaiah 9:6-7. Rabbi Rashi, on the other hand, viewed the prophecy as referring to King Hezekiah a few decades later, not the Messiah – regardless that two of the names for the figure in the prophecy are “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father”:[9]

Is 9:6-7 “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.”(Jewish Publication Society)[10]

Rabbi Jose the Galilean, in the Babylonian Talmud tractate on “Peace,” identifies one of the names of the Messiah as the “Prince of Peace” who would be “upon the throne of David” citing Isaiah twice in 9:5 and 52:7, then Moses in Deuteronomy 20:10:[11]

“R. Jose the Galilean said: The name of the Messiah is also “peace” (Shalom), as it is written [Is. ix. 5]: “The prince of peace.” … When the Messiah shall come to Israel, he will begin with peace, as it is written [Is. lii. 7]: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, that publisheth peace, that announceth tidings of happiness, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth.” He also said: Great is peace, because even wars are waged for the sake of peace, as it is written [Deut. xx. 10]…”(Babylonian Talmud)

Two chapters later in Isaiah appear two more controversial prophecies referencing the “root of Jesse,” the father of King David, yet there is disagreement over its prophetic Messiah meaning. The first appears in the first two verses of Isaiah 11. While Christians view them as Messiah prophecies, Rashi teaches they again refer to King Hezekiah:

Is 11:1-2 “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”(Jewish Publication Society)[12]

Rabbi Tanhun in the Talmud interprets one of the six blessings of Ruth 3:17 as referring to the Messiah where he cites Isaiah 11:2. Quoting the Rabbi from the Rodkinson translation, “Messiah — as it reads [Is. xi. 2]: “And there shall rest upon him the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”[13] The Rabbi clarifies the “rod out of the stem of Jesse,” who is his son King David, is from whom “a Branch shall grow out of his roots” – the Messiah.

Jewish Rabbi sages interpret the prophecies of the scepter, the Prince of Peace, and the Branch as referring to the Messiah establishing the one single Messiah requirement recognized by both Judaism and Christianity…

The Messiah must born in the family lineage of King David of the tribe of Judah. What then are the odds that Jesus of Nazareth is the fulfillment of this Messiah requirement?

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

REFERENCES:

[1] The Compete Jewish Bible – with Rashi Commentary. 2019. <https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/63255/jewish/The-Bible-with-Rashi.htm>
[2] Rashi. The Compete Jewish Bible – with Rashi Commentary.  Commentary on Genesis 49:10.
[3] Dueteronomy17:14-15.
[4] Net.bible.org. Numbers 24:17. Hebrew text shebet <07626>. 2019. <http://classic.net.bible.org/strong.php?id=07626>
[5] Rashi. The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary. Numbers 24:17 commentary.
[6] Maimonides.  “The Law Concerning Moshiach.” Ed. Yechezkal Shimon Gutfreund, Chapters 11 & 12. <http://www.kesser.org/moshiach/rambam.html#SIE>
[7] Rich, Tracey R. “Mashiach: The Messiah.” Judaism101. 2011. <http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm>
[8] “Isaiah.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8235-isaiah> “Isaiah.” Biblica | The International Bible Society. 2019. <https://www.biblica.com/resources/scholar-notes/niv-study-bible/intro-to-isaiah>
[9] Rashi. The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary. Isaiah 9:6 commentary.
[10] “The Book of Yeshayahu (Isaiah): Chapter 9.” Jewish Virtual Library. 2019. <https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/yeshayahu-isaiah-chapter-9>
[11] The Babylonian Talmud. Trans. Michael L. Rodkinson. 1918. Book 5: Tractate Derech Eretz-Zuta, “The Chapter on Peace.” p 32. <http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/t05/ere18.htm>  “Minor Tractate Zuta Rabbah: Chapter on Peace.” Jewish Virtual Library. 2019. <https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/minor-tractate-zuta-rabbah-chapter-on-peace> “Jewish Concepts: Peace.” Virtual Library. 2019. <https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/peace> “Jose the Galilean.” Jewish Encyclopedia. <http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8788-jose-the-galilean>
[12] “The Book of Yeshayahu (Isaiah): Chapter 11. Jewish Virtual Library. 2019. <https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/yeshayahu-isaiah-chapter-11>
[13] “Tractate Sanhedrin: Chapter 11.” Virtual Library. 2019. <https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/tractate-sanhedrin-chapter-11>  CR Soncino Babylonian Talmud. Ed. Isidore Epstein. “Sanhedrin 93.” 1935-1948.  <https://israelect.com/Come-and-Hear/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_93.html#93b_12>

 

The Veiled Royal Genealogy Fact

Anyone who reads the Matthew and Luke Gospel genealogies of Jesus of Nazareth can see they are listed differently – one works backward, the other forward and they are not identical. Thus the controversy that begins with King David and the interim generations down to the birth of Jesus leading detractors to say the lineage inconsistency proves the inaccuracy of the Gospels.[1]

Luke traces the lineage of Jesus back to David through his son Nathan, not Solomon, although like Matthew, he ascribes the lineage to Joseph.[2] Many experts believe Luke’s lineage to be that of Mary assumed by Joseph under Judaic Law covering her inheritance rights as a Jewish female only-child.[3]

Matthew and Luke genealogies have three points in common – they both trace to David; they have a common ancestor in Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel; and they meet again with Joseph’s betrothal to Mary.[4] In the end, both Gospels display genealogies in the House of David.[5]

Perhaps the biggest piece of evidence that demonstrates the royal lineage of Jesus is one veiled fact, one revealed through a rational approach. The archenemies of the Gospel’s message that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah were in the best and unique position to disprove his royal lineage in the House of David … but they didn’t.

Jewish sages unanimously agree the prophecies define the undisputed requirement for the Messiah is that he must be born in the lineage of King David. If the High Priest Caiaphas and the Jewish Council had simply demonstrated that Jesus of Nazareth did not have royal legal rights to the House of David, it would have ended any speculation that Jesus is the Messiah – end of story. Both Gospel lineages would have been disproven.

Could the High Priest and the Jewish Council have easily proved, were it true, that Jesus was not the Messiah based on his lineage? They were at ground zero, center stage with full control of the Temple and its complete Jewish genealogical records dating back millennia.

All Jewish genealogies including those of Joseph and Mary were readily available in the Temple until it was destroyed by Rome in 70 AD, seven decades after the birth of Jesus.[6] Luke records that Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus were clearly known by the Temple when, in compliance with the Law for a first born male, they paid a redemption price for Jesus to a Temple priest and as well as Mary’s own Temple purification sacrifice ritual.[7] Neither event would have been allowed if the family had not been vetted by Temple officials.

The archenemies of the Gospel’s message that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah were in the best and unique position to disprove his royal lineage in the House of David … but they didn’t.

Utmost religious importance was placed on Jewish genealogy for the specific purpose of ensuring the purity of the lineage of the priesthood.[8] Jewish historian Josephus challenged anyone who questioned his own heritage to check the public records.[9] As a former Priest and Pharisee insider, he referred to the Jewish genealogical records tracing his family ancestry back 2000 years – the era of Jesus back to the time of Abraham.[10]

To become the wife of a Priest, according to Josephus, a Jewish woman such as Mary was subjected to the scrutiny of her “genealogy from the ancient tables.”[11] Proof was required she was a Hebrew and Josephus points to the gravity of this requirement.[12] After the release of the Jews from Babylonian captivity, 565 priests were disqualified from the priesthood “having married wives whose genealogies they could not produce.” [13]

Hebrew genealogical records were not just limited to the land of Israel. Josephus stated they were tracked for all Jews living “at Egypt and at Babylon, or in any other place of the rest of the habitable earth,” recorded by the priests and prophets who lived there “with the utmost accuracy.”[14]

There can be no doubt that the lineage of Jesus in the House of David was known or could have been easily accessed by the Jewish Council in the Temple genealogical archives. A truism in the world of investigations is that when information is being intentionally withheld, it strongly suggests the information is not wished to be revealed.[17]

What is the likelihood the archenemies of Jesus, the keepers of all Jewish genealogical records and experts in Messiah prophecies, would have taken full advantage of the opportunity to disqualify Jesus as being the Messiah if they could have only exposed that the lineage of Jesus of Nazareth was not of the royal House of David?

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

REFERENCES:

[1] Lippard, Jim. The Secular Web. 2004. “The Fabulous Prophecies of the Messiah.”  https://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_lippard/fabulous-prophecies.html> “Contradictions Part 6: Jesus’s Genealogy.” Finding Truth. 2011. <https://findingtruth.info/2011/03/11/contradictions-part-6-jesuss-genealogy>
[2] “Historical Commentary:  The Birth of Jesus.” Producer John Heyman.  Film, Event 3. HistoricJesus.com. <http://www.historicjesus.com/3/history.htmlNet.bible.org. Luke 3:23-38 footnotes 69 – 82.  Life Application Bible – New International Version (NIV).  “The Birth of Jesus” (Luke 2:1-20) History and Commentary.” Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton Illinois, and Zondervan Publishing House. 1991, 1790.  Ryrie Study Bible.  Ed. Ryrie Charles C.  Trans. New American Standard. 1978. Matthew 1:1 Luke 3:23 Footnotes.
[3] Edersheim, Alfred. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. 1883. Book II, Chapter 4. <http://philologos.org/__eb-lat/default.htm>  Maas, Anthony. “Genealogy of Christ.” Catholic Encyclopedia. 2009. Volume 61909.  <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06410a.htmClarke’s Commentary on the Bible. Luke 3:23.  BibleHub.com.  n.d.  <http://biblehub.com/commentaries/clarke/luke/3.htm>  Gloag, Paton J.  Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels. Edinburgh:  T & T Clark.  1895. “Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels.” Online Books Page. Pages ix, 39. <http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008728595>
[4] Matthew 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38.  Dolphin, Lambert.  “The Genealogy from Adam to Jesus Christ” Idolphin.org. 2011. <http://ldolphin.org/2adams.html>
[5] Edersheim.  The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Book II, Chapter 4.
[6] I Chronicles 1:24 – 2:10; II Chronicles 2:1-10; Ruth 4:18-21; Matthew 1:5; Luke 3:32. “Genealogy.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6577-genealogy>  “Siege of Jerusalem.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2018. <https://www.britannica.com/event/Siege-of-Jerusalem-70>
[7] Luke 2. “First-born, Redemption of.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6138-first-born-redemption-of>  Edersheim. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Book II, Chapter 7.
[8] Josephus, Flavius. Antiquities of the Jews. Book III, Chapter XII.2.  The Complete Works of Josephus. 1850. <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false>  Josephus, Flavius. Against Apion. Book 1, #6-7. The Complete Works of Josephus. 1850. <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false>  “Genealogy.” Jewish Encyclopedia.
[9] Josephus. The Life of Flavius Josephus. #1 and footnote t.
[10] Nehemiah 12:23.
[11] Josephus. Against Apion. Book 1, #7.
[12] Josephus. Against Apion. Book 1, #7.
[13] Ezra 2:61-62; Neh 7:63-64. Josephus.  Antiquity of the Jews.  Book XI, Chapter III.10.
[14] Josephus. Against Apion. Book 1, #6-7.
[15] Furst Rachel. “The Mishneh Torah – Maimonides’ halakhic magnum opus.” 2018. MyJewishLearning.com.  <https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-mishneh-torah>
[16] Maimonides, Moses.  aka Rambam.  Mishneh Torah.  Ed. Yechezkal Shimon Gutfreund,  “The Law Concerning Moshiach.” Footnote #5. Sichos In English. n.d. <http://www.kesser.org/moshiach/rambam.html#SIE>   Rich, Tracey R. “Mashiach: The Messiah.” Judaism101. 2011. <http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm>
[17] “Deception in Research Guidance.” University of Wisconsin-Madison|KnowledgeBase. 2016. <https://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=68286>  Sapir, Avinoam. LSI Laboratory for Scientific Interrogation, Inc. n.d. <http://www.lsiscan.com/index.htm>  “SCAN – Scientific Content Analysis (Statement Analysis).” Advanced Polygraph. 2011. <http://www.advancedpolygraph.com.au/scan.htm> Lesce, Tony. “SCAN:  Deception Detection by Scientific Content Analysis.” LSI Laboratory for Scientific Interrogations, Inc. 1990. <http://www.lsiscan.com/id37.htm>  Gordon, Nathan J.; Fleisher, William L. Effective Interviewing and Interrogation Techniques. p12.  2011. <https://books.google.com/books?id=JuMzKpFu93IC&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&dq=interrogation+if+they+didn%27t+answer+the+question,+they+just+did&source=bl&ots=V4cf3Z1kjl&sig=NeRLKyFKMRr66SWtUQxbLrByKrY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi_2Z3phb_aAhVBgK0KHWMQDOA4FBDoAQgtMAE#v=onepage&q=concealing%20information&f=false>  Napier, Michael R. Behavior, Truth and Deception. 2017. “Nonresponsive Subject.” p56. <https://books.google.com/books?id=eEUrDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT95&lpg=PT95&dq=Sapir+if+they+didn%27t+answer+the+question&source=bl&ots=95gjQFQYg9&sig=gUOEC7Aiq-yFgqUEA4VClHyzNhA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjspeHFkr_aAhVwjK0KHab-DF0Q6AEIRjAC#v=onepage&q=nonresponsive&f=false>