Was Jesus Born as the Messiah, the Son of God?

 

Was Jesus born as the Son of God, the Messiah?

An entirely new religion was spawned by the teachings and events surrounding Jesus of Nazareth – Christianity. Something profound eventually changed the official views of the Roman empire with Christianity going on to become the largest religion in the world, over 2 billion people today.[1]

Religion archenemies of Christianity commonly agree on the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth. The fact that Jesus was crucified is a fundamental component of the Jewish religion to disavow Jesus as the Messiah.[3]

Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are accounts about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. They point out many Messiah prophecies that were fulfilled and cite many witness accounts to corroborate their accounts. Whether or not they were just a series of extreme coincidences points to the legal Doctrine of Chances.

Messiah prophecies that may have been fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth originate in the Tenakh, the Old Testament. Christianity views prophecies that they believe refer to the Messiah were fulfilled by Jesus, such as the Branch prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah; the Psalms; the crucifixion and the Resurrection.

Judaism does not unanimously recognize some of these prophecies pertain to the Messiah. Renowned Jewish sages, including Rabbi Rashi and Rabbi Maimonides, had differing views on some prophecies deemed to be messianic by Christians.

One Messiah prophecy; however, is virtually undisputed by Jews or Christians alike – the Messiah would be born in the lineage of King David.[11] Gospels Matthew and Luke report that Jesus was a royal heir to David, a fact not a disputed by Judaism.

Birth circumstances described in Matthew and Luke spell out a scenario that uncannily lends credence for the Nativity story being dubbed “the greatest story ever told.” The Nativity story begins in three diverse countries of Rome, Persia and Judea, involves non-Jewish and non-Christian Magi, astronomy and a Roman Caesar. The Nativity story ends by converging in one place – Bethlehem.

Months in the making by the Roman government, the decree by Caesar Augustus forced the location change of the birthplace of Jesus. The decree in Nazareth compelled Joseph and Mary in her late-stage of pregnancy to abruptly make the days-long trek to Bethlehem where she went into labor. Had Jesus been born in Nazareth, it would have completely eliminated the potential fulfillment of Micah’s Bethlehem prophecy.[7]

Magi from the East presumed to be from Persia made preparations to travel around the edges of the vast Arabian Desert on a month’s long journey to Judea to find the newborn King of Israel. They were compelled by what they saw in the sky, not by any prophecies or scriptures.

Multiple rare planet and star conjunctions occurred in an unusually brief period of time shortly before the birth of Jesus, seconds in astronomical time. Typically these close conjunctions occur centuries or millennia apart; however, all occurred over the course of only months. [8] NASA astronomy science and technology confirms it all happened, both in timing and close proximity.[9]

Assessing all the circumstances involving the life of Jesus of Nazareth obviously has a direct impact on believability. The U.S. legal Doctrine of Chances suggests it was not an accident. Aside from prophecies coinciding with the birth, life, death and Resurrection, secular history and astronomy science corroborate the conclusion of the Doctrine.

What are the odds that Jesus was born as the Son of God, the Messiah?

 

Updated November 14, 2023.

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

REFERENCES:

[1] “What is the #1 religion in the world?” Search. Google. 2020. <https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+the+%231+religion+in+the+world&oq=what+is+the+%231+rel&aqs=chrome.0.0i457j0j69i57j0j0i22i30l4.10361j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8>  Son of God. IMDb. image. 2014. <https://www.google.com/search/about-this-image?img=H4sIAAAAAAAA_wEXAOj_ChUI4ID5ruT3k9HoARCU1J76oOf90QTVdtnsFwAAAA%3D%3D&q=https:%2F%2Fwww.imdb.com%2Ftitle%2Ftt3210686%2F&ctx=iv&sa=X&ved=0CAwQg4ILahcKEwi4v6S08sSCAxUAAAAAHQAAAAAQKw>
[2] Hocken, Vigdis. “Common Era (CE) and Before Common Era (BCE).” TimeandDate.com. 2020. <https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/ce-bce-what-do-they-mean.html> Mark, Joshua J. “The Origin and History of the BCE/CE Dating System.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. 2020. <https://www.ancient.eu/article/1041/the-origin-and-history-of-the-bcece-dating-system>
[3]“Jesus of Nazareth.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8616-jesus-of-nazareth>  Messiah. Triton World Mission Center. image. n.d. <https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=AwrFGczYdVhjL.gT5Bg2nIlQ;_ylu=c2VjA3NlYXJjaARzbGsDYnV0dG9u;_ylc=X1MDMTM1MTE5NTcwMgRfcgMyBGZyA3locy1hZGstYWRrX3NibnQEZnIyA3A6cyx2OmksbTpzYi10b3AEZ3ByaWQDMzh6Tm9GQmVSYTJoSU9hTDIzbDFOQQRuX3JzbHQDMARuX3N1Z2cDMARvcmlnaW4DaW1hZ2VzLnNlYXJjaC55YWhvby5jb20EcG9zAzAEcHFzdHIDBHBxc3RybAMwBHFzdHJsAzIzBHF1ZXJ5A01lc3NpYWglMjBwcm9waGVjeSUyMGltYWdlcwR0X3N0bXADMTY2Njc0MjIyNw–?p=Messiah+prophecy+images&fr=yhs-adk-adk_sbnt&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Ai%2Cm%3Asb-top&ei=UTF-8&x=wrt&type=yhs-adk_sbnt_appfocus1_sm_ff&hsimp=yhs-adk_sbnt&hspart=adk&param1=20210118&param2=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&param3=searchmanager_%7EUS%7Eappfocus1%7E&param4=%7Efirefox%7E%7E#id=158&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Ftritonubf.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F04%2FThe-Messiah-in-Judaism-Christianity-and-Islam-04.jpg&action=click
[4] Maimon, Moshe ben (Maimonides). “Melachim uMilchamot.” Chabad.org. Chapter 11, #4. <https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1188356/jewish/Melachim-uMilchamot-Chapter-11.htm>  CR I Chronicles 9:1; Matthew 1:5; Luke 3:32. Josephus, Flavius. Against Apion. Trans. and commentary William Whitson. Book 1, #7. The Complete Works of Josephus.  <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false>  Hall, David Markel.  “The Temple of G-d.”  1997.  Zion Messianic Congregation of Austin, Texas. <http://tzion.org/articles/temple.html>  “Jewish Genealogy & Surnames.” Archives. Archives.com. n.d. <http://www.archives.com/genealogy/family-heritage-jewish.html>  “Jesus.” Encyclopaedia Judaica. pp 246-251. Encyclopaedia Judaica. Eds. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Vol. 11. 2nd edition. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/infomark.do?action=interpret&eisbn=9780028660974&prodId=GVRL&userGroupName=imcpl1111&type=aboutBook&version=1.0&authCount=1&u=imcpl1111>
[5] Quran. Trans. Abdullah Yusuf Ali. n.d. Search “Jesus.” <http://search-the-quran.com>  “The Descriptive Titles of Jesus in the Quran (part 1 of 2): “The Messiah” and “a Miracle.”’ IslamReligion.com. 2020. <http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/230>  The Quran. JM Rodwell Translation With text notes. “Preface.” <http://www.truthnet.org/islam/Quran/Rodwell/Introduction.html>
[6] Matthew 2:1, 22; 27:2; Mark 15:1; Luke 2:1-2; John 19:1.
[7] Micah 5:2 (verse 1 in Jewish Bibles).
[8] Ventrudo, Brian. “Measuring The Sky.”  “Venus and Jupiter’s Upcoming Conjunction.” Universe Today. 2004. <http://www.universetoday.com/10006/venus-and-jupiters-upcoming-conjunction/#ixzz2B6cvKJEt>  Dickinson, David. “Is This Month’s Jupiter-Venus Pair Really a Star of Bethlehem Stand In?” Universe Today. 2015. <https://www.universetoday.com/122738/is-this-months-jupiter-venus-pair-really-a-star-of-bethlehem-stand-in/> Beatty, Kelly. “Venus and Jupiter: Together at Last.” Sky & Telescope. 2015. <http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/venus-and-jupiter-a-dazzling-duo-062520154 >  Cain, Fraser. “Venus and Jupiter’s Upcoming Conjunction.” Universe Today. 2004. http://www.universetoday.com/10006/venus-and-jupiters-upcoming-conjunction/#ixzz2B6cvKJEt> Carroll, Susan S. “The Star of Bethlehem:  An Astronomical and Historical Perspective.” Pulcherrima Productions.  1997. Twin Cities Creation Science Association. n.d. <http://www.tccsa.tc/articles/star_susan_carroll.pdf>
[9] Phillips, Tony. “A Christmas Star for SOHO.” NASA Science | Science New. 2018. <http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast16may_1>  Haley, A. S. “The Star of Bethlehem and the Nativity.” Anglican Curmudgeon. Video. 2009. <http://accurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2009/10/star-of-bethlehem-and-nativity.html>  CR “Birth of Jesus.” Navsoft.com. 2012. http://navsoft.com/html/birth_of_jesus.html>  Clevenger, John. “Astronomy, Astrology, and the Star of Bethlehem.”  Lake County (Illinois) Astronomical   Society. 2012. <http://www.lcas-astronomy.org/articles/display.php?filename=the_christmas_star&category=miscellaneous>
[10] Matthew 2:1-3.
[11] Maimon, Moshe ben (Maimonides). “Melachim uMilchamot.” Chabad.org. Chapter 11, #4.  Numbers 17-19. The Complete Jewish Bible. Rashi Commentary. <https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9952/showrashi/true

Distinct Messiah Prophecies of Zechariah

 

Zechariah’s book of writings and prophecies are classified as a “Minor Prophet” in some Old Testament and Tenakh Bibles, yet the book bearing his name holds some of the most specific details of any prophetic book in the Scriptures.[1] Adding credibility to the Gospels, Zechariah’s book gives validity to a number of Messiah prophecies.

Genealogies of Matthew and Luke list the lineage of Jesus as a descendant of King David, both including Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of King Jeconiah, who was the last sitting king of Israel. Zechariah further predicted that Zerubbabel would lay the foundation for the rebuilding of the Temple.[2]

On the timeline of history, the Book of Zechariah was written during the Persian Empire under the reign of King Darius reckoned to 522–486 BC.[3] At that time, the Jews were receiving back freedoms taken away during their captivity under the rule of Babylon.[4]

Biblical Books of Ezra and Haggai provide extensive details of Zerubbabel’s efforts under three rulers to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar’s army.[5] From Abraham to Moses to David and the many prophets thereafter, Messiah prophecies built upon each other over time revealing more specifics.[8]

Prophecies in the form of visions and oracles came to Zechariah with some being very straightforward and specific while others were more challenging to interpret. In one of the most specific, straightforward of any Messiah prophecy, Zechariah foretold how the Messiah would come to Jerusalem riding on a colt foal donkey , an unridden male under a year old:[9]

Zech 9:9 “”Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.”” (NKJV) [10]

Branch prophecies were issued by three prophets during the span of some 200 years. Before Jerusalem was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar, Isaiah issued a Branch prophecy and during the Babylonian Captivity, Jeremiah delivered two more Branch prophecies.

After the Babylonian captivity during rule of the Persian Empire, twice Zechariah issued Branch prophecies. One prophecy confirmed the identity of “My Servant” in Isaiah’s parashah prophecy is the Branch:

Zech 3:8 “…For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.”(NKJV)

Zech 6:12-13 “…Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: ‘Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD; Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.’” (NKJV)

Christianity views Branch prophecies to be foretelling the Messiah agreeing with Jewish sage Rabbi Maimonides.[11] Sage Rabbi Rashi discerned the Branch or Shoot prophecies of Zechariah to be about Zerubbabel.[12]

Later in the Book of Zechariah appears another prophecy about a death in the House of David. Differing views on how the Messiah would be killed centers squarely on the meaning of one Hebrew word, daqar, translated in essentially two ways:  “pierced” or “thrust through.”[13]

Zech 12:10 “…and they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through; 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 first-born.” (Jewish Publication Society)

Jewish Bibles translate daqar as “thrust him through” while traditional Christian Bibles translate daqar as “pierced” although it is not unanimous. Contemporary, simplified Bible translations are more closely aligned with the Jewish Bibles’ interpretation of daqar as stabbed or thrust through with a spear.[14]

“… then they will look on Me whom they pierced.”(New King James Version)

“They will look at me, whom they have stabbed.” (God’s Word Translation)

“They’ll then be able to recognize me as the One they so grievously wounded–that piercing spear-thrust!” (Message)

Rabbi Rashi agreed with other Jewish Sages that Zechariah 12:10 is a Messiah prophecy referring to Sukkah 52a.[15] A spit among Jewish sages had occurred when Rabbi Dosa questioned the meaning of the prophecy considered, up to that point, to be about the death of the “evil inclination.”

Nearly unanimous consensus among Jewish and Christian authorities alike recognize Zechariah 12:10 as a Messiah prophecy about the Messiah who would be killed. How the Messiah was to be killed is the only debate.

Zechariah’s prophecies may be fewer in number, but some are very specific and have major implications to prophesies of the Messiah. Were his prophecies fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth?

 

Updated February 1, 2024.

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

REFERENCES:

[1] Jewish Publication Society (JPS) translation. 1917. Benyamin Pilant. 1997. <http://www.breslov.com/bibleNET Bible (NET) translation.  <https://net.bible.org>
[2] I Chronicles 3:17-19; Zechariah 4:6-10; Matthew 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38.  CR Ezra 3:2, 8, 4:2-3, 5:2; Haggai 1:1, 14, 2:20-23. Dolphin, Lambert.  “The Genealogy from Adam to Jesus Christ” Idolphin.org. 2011. <http://ldolphin.org/2adams.html>
[3] Zechariah 1:1. NetBible.org. Footnote #2. <http://classic.net.bible.org/bible.php?book=Zec&chapter=1#n2> “Darius I.” EncyclopediaBrittanica. 2022. <https://www.britannica.com/biography/Darius-I>
[4] Zechariah 1:1.
[5] Ezra 1-7; Haggai 1-2.
[6] Edersheim, Alfred. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Book II, Chapter 4. 1883. Philogos.org. <https://philologos.org/__eb-lat>
[7] Josephus, Flavius. Antiquities of the Jews. Trans. and commentary.  William Whitson.  The Complete Works of Josephus. 1850. Book XI, Chapter III.8 and IV.1-2, 7. <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false>
[8] Genesis 41:1-14; Numbers 24:15-17; 2 Samuel 12:1-13; 1 Kings 20:35-42; Psalms 78:1-3; Daniel 2:27-28, 4:4-10, chapters 8 & 10; Isaiah chapter 5; Hosea 12:10.
[9] Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi commentary. Zechariah 9:9. Rash commentary. https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16213/showrashi/true>  “Understanding Donkey Behavior.” The Donkey Sanctuary. 2018. <https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/sites/sanctuary/files/document/142-1404405754-donkey_health_and_welfare_19.pdf>
[10] Matthew 21:1-8; Luke 19:29-36; John 12:12-16. “Zechariah Texts Quoted in the New Testament Regarding Jesus’ Ministry.” ESV.org. 2020. <https://www.esv.org/resources/esv-global-study-bible/chart-38-01>
[11] Maimonides, “Letter to the South (Yemen)”. p 374.  The Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters.  <https://books.google.com/books?id=YxdbAAAAQAAJ&pg=PP1&hl=en#v=onepage&q=advent&f=false>   
[12] The Complete Jewish Bible – with Rashi Commentary. Zechariah 6:12 Rashi commentary. <http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/63255/jewish/The-Bible-with-Rashi.htm>  Plaut, Gunther. “Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi: Back in the Land.” MyJewishLearning.com. n.d. <http://www.myjewishlearning.com/texts/Bible/Prophets/Latter_Prophets/The_12_Minor_Prophets/Haggai_Zechariah_Malachi.shtml>
[13] “daqar.” Net.bible.org. Hebrew text. <http://classic.net.bible.org/search.php?search=hebrew_strict_index:01856> 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> “Introduction to Text Analysis: About Text Analysis.”  Duke University | Libraries. 2017. <https://guides.library.duke.edu/text_analysis>  “What Is the Definition of Textual Analysis?” Reference.com. 2018. <https://www.reference.com/education/definition-textual-analysis-a95087916fcb24cb> Pfarrer, Mike “What is content analysis?” University of Georgia | Terry College of Business. 2012. <http://www.terry.uga.edu/management/contentanalysis>
[14] Contemporary English Verson; Good News Translation; God’s Word translation; Zechariah 12:10. BibleHub.com. 2020. <https://biblehub.com/zechariah/12-10.htm>  The Message; Bible in Basic English. Zechariah 12:10. NetBible.org. 2020. <http://classic.net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Zec&chapter=12&verse=10&gt
[15] Complete English Talmud. Halakhah.com. Tzee Zahavy trans. 2009. <https://www.halakhah.com/rst/moed/16b%20-%20Succah%20-%2029b-56b.pdf>  Sukkah 52a. Sefaria.org. n.d. <https://www.sefaria.org/Sukkah.52a.1?lang=bi>

Branch Prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah & Zechariah

 

Three Hebrew prophets over the span of 200 years – Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah – had one particular prophecy in common.[1] All foretold of the coming the “Branch” or the “Shoot.”

Generations after King David’s reign, some 700 years before Jesus of Nazareth was born, the remnants of Israel were in a downward death spiral. Despite many warnings from numerous prophets, for centuries the Hebrews and their kings failed to abide by their contractual Covenant made with God at Mt. Sinai.[2]

Renowned as a foremost prophet of God by both Judaism and Christianity, Isaiah warned Kings Ahaz and Hezekiah of the consequences their nation faced for disregarding God. Isaiah prophesied the “King of Babylon” would one day take away their descendants to serve as eunuchs in his palace.[3]

Warnings also came with good tidings when Isaiah prophesied about the coming future Messiah.[4] Isaiah foretold of a “Branch” or “Shoot” that would grow or “sprout” from the root of Jesse:[5]

Is 11:1-2 “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.  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.”(NKJV)

Is 11:10 “And it shall come to pass on that day, that the root of Jesse, which stands as a banner for peoples, to him shall the nations inquire, and his peace shall be [with] honor.”(Complete Jewish Bible)

Prophet Jeremiah added more bad news prophesying the secession of sitting kings in the House of David would end with Jeconiah aka Jehoiachin.[6] Amidst the doom and gloom forecast, Jeremiah also predicted good news about the coming Messiah twice prophesying that God would raise up a King in the lineage of David who will be a righteous judge:

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…””(NKJV)

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…’” (NKJV)

Continued defiance by the Hebrews led to the fulfillment of Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s judgement prophecies at the hands of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of the city and captivity of some of Israel’s finest are documented in the Book of Daniel.[7]

Cyrus, ruler of the Persian Empire, bloodlessly conquered Babylon and took control of the Hebrew captives eventually ending the Babylonian captivity. One of Isaiah’s prophecies was then fulfilled after two centuries having prophesied that a future ruler named “Cyrus” would arise and allow Jerusalem and the Temple to be rebuilt.[8] Soon after capturing Babylon, Cyrus issued a decree:[9]

Ezra 1:2 ‘The Lord God of the heavens has given to me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build for him a temple in Jerusalem in Judah. May the Lord your God energize you who belong to his people, so you may be able to go back there!”(NET)

Darius honored Cyrus’ decree to allow the Hebrews to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. Supporting decrees by the ruler and another by King Artaxerxes were required due to enemies of the Hebrews thwarting efforts to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple.[10]

Prophet Zachariah, during the reign of Darius, wrote of a vision in which the prophet was present. Joshua the Priest stood before the angel of the LORD along with Satan who was there to accuse the priest.[11]

Satan was rebuked by God and Joshua was given fine new clothes.[12] In the vision prophecy, the angel of the Lord delivered God’s message speaking directly to the high Priest:[13]

Zech 3:8 “‘Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you—indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch.’” (NASB)

Jewish sage Rabbi Maimonides identified “My Servant” as the Messiah whom Zachariah had identified as the Branch.[15] Issued two hundred years earlier, Isaiah’s parashah prophecy of Isaiah 52-53 is about “My Servant” who is subjected to unusual cruelties consistent with a Roman crucifixion described by the Gospels.

Narrating his eighth vision, Zechariah received instructions from God to choose people from among the exiles to make a crown of gold and silver, then set the symbolic crown upon the head of Joshua, the high Priest. Zechariah was then directed to deliver this message to the Priest:[14]

Zech 6:12-13 “…‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD; Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”’” (NKJV)

In the oracle prophecy, God said the Branch would sit upon the throne as both King and priest who would build the Temple. Jewish sage Rabbi Rashi commented he believed the prophecy was in reference to Zerubbabel although the Rabbi did acknowledge others viewed the prophecy as referring to the Messiah.[16]

Prophecies from Isaiah before the Babylonian captivity, Jeremiah during the Babylonian captivity and Zechariah after the Babylonian captivity point to a future figure called the Branch. The foretold Branch would have the characteristics of being wise and understanding; come from the lineage of David; and righteously judge the earth with a counsel of peace as a Servant of God.

What are the odds that Jesus of Nazareth is the fulfillment of the Branch prophecies?

 

Updated December 15, 2023.

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

REFERENCES:

[1] “Isaiah.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2019. <https://www.britannica.com/biography/Isaiah> “Isaiah.” New World Encyclopedia. 2018. <https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Isaiah>  “Jeremiah.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2019. <https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jeremiah-Hebrew-prophet>  “Jeremiah.” New World Encyclopedia. 2018. <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Jeremiah>  “Zechariah.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2019. <https://www.britannica.com/topic/biblical-literature/The-last-six-minor-prophets#ref597798>  “Zechariah, Book of.” New World Encyclopedia. 2013. <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Zechariah,_Book_of>
[2] Exodus 24:3-8.  CR Deuteronomy 29.
[3] Isaiah 39:7. “ben.” Netbible.org. <http://classic.net.bible.org/strong.php?id=01121> Messiah’s Branch. Prophetic Information Ministries. image. n.d. <http://www.propheticinformationministries.com/Messichs%20Branch.gif>
[4] I Chronicles 2:11-13; 2 Ruth 4:17.
[5] The Complete Jewish Bible – with Rashi Commentary. Rashi commentary on Isaiah 11:1.   <https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16210/showrashi/true> CR Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:10.  CR 1 Chronicles 2:12-15, 3:16-18; Ruth 4:21-22; Matthew 1:5-16; Luke 2:4; 23-31.  Ryrie. “Introduction to the Book of Isaiah.”
[6] 2 Kings 24:6, 8, 12, 15; 25:27, 29; 1 Chronicles 3:16, 17; 24:15; 2 Chronicles 36:9, 22; Esther 2:6; Ezra 2:1; Jeremiah 22:24-30, 24:1, 10-16, 52:27-33; 27:20; 28:4; 29:2, 52:31, 33; Esther 2:6; 2 Kings 24:6, 8, 12, 14-15; 25:27, 29. CR Ezekiel 1:1-3.
[7] Daniel 1:1-4.
[8] Isaiah 44:28; 45:1, 13.
[9] CR 2 Chronicles 36:23; Isaiah 44:28, 45:1, 13.  CR Ezra 2:1-2; Nehemiah 7:6; Isaiah 41:2-3, 25, 27; 43:9, 21; 48:14-15.  Josephus, Flavius. Antiquities of the Jews. Book XI, Chapters I.1-2. Trans. and commentary.  William Whitson.  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>
[10] Ezra 6:14; 7:12-20; Ezekiel 1:2-3, 6:7,12. “Darius I.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2019. <https://www.britannica.com/biography/Darius-I> Josephus. Antiquities. Book XI, Chapters III.8, IV.1-2.
[11] Zechariah 1:1. NET, NIV. “Darius I.” Encyclopædia Britannica.
[12] Zechariah 3.
[13] Plaut, Gunther. “Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi: Back in the Land.”  MyJewishLearning.com. n.d. <http://www.myjewishlearning.com/texts/Bible/Prophets/Latter_Prophets/The_12_Minor_Prophets/Haggai_Zechariah_Malachi.shtml>
[14] I Chronicles 3:17-19; Haggai 1:1, 12, 14; 2:2, 23; Ezra 3:8.
[15] Maimonides, “Letter to the South (Yemen)”. p374.  Neubauer and Driver.  The Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters. <https://books.google.com/books?id=YxdbAAAAQAAJ&pg=PP1&hl=en#v=onepage&q=advent&f=false>
[16] The Complete Jewish Bible – with Rashi Commentary. Rashi commentary on Zechariah 6:12.   <https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16210/showrashi/true>