Thu, Dec 12, 2019

The Messiah in the Torah

THE TORAH

At the heart of the Jewish community is a synagogue. At the heart of the synagogue is the ark (Aron Ha-qodesh) and inside it there is a sefer Torah (a Torah scroll). In Judaism nothing is more precious and more treasured than a Torah scroll. Each Sabbath a portion of the Torah is read publicly. Every year the rabbis read through the Torah in the synagogue. Even in the first century the Jews read from the Torah each Sabbath. Paul wrote, “For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath” (Acts 5:21). ...

Series:Articles

THE MESSIAH IN THE TORAH

Gary Gromacki, Th.M., D.Min., Ph.D.
Department Chair and Professor of Bible and Theology
Director of the Ph.D. in Bible and Theology Program
Calvary University, Kansas City, Missouri
Pre-Trib Study Group Conference
December 12, 2019

THE TORAH

At the heart of the Jewish community is a synagogue. At the heart of the synagogue is the ark (Aron Ha-qodesh) and inside it there is a sefer Torah (a Torah scroll). In Judaism nothing is more precious and more treasured than a Torah scroll.[1] Each Sabbath a portion of the Torah is read publicly. Every year the rabbis read through the Torah in the synagogue.[2] Even in the first century the Jews read from the Torah each Sabbath. Paul wrote, “For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath” (Acts 5:21).

The Torah is the Law of God as revealed to Moses and recorded in the first five books of the Hebrew Bible which is called the Tanak. The Tanak stands for the Torah (the Law), the Neviim (the Prophets), and Kethuvim (the Writings). English Bibles refer to the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) as the Pentateuch.

The Hebrew word “Torah” (ָ֣ה ֹור) refers to instruction, teaching or Law (Gen.26:5; Exod.12:49; 13:9; 16:4, 28; 18:16, 20; 24:12; Lev.6:2, 7, 18; 7:1, 7, 11, 37; 11:46; 12:7; 13:59; 14:2, 32, 54, 57; 15:32; 26:46; Num.5:29, 30; 6:13, 21; 15:16, 29; 19:2, 14; 31:21; Deut.1:5; 4:8, 44; 17:11, 18, 19; 27:3, 8, 26; 28:58, 61; 29:20, 28; 30:10; 31:9, 11, 12, 24, 26; 32:46; 33:4, 10).

The written Torah refers to the first five books written by Moses. The oral Torah refers to the interpretation of the Torah handed down from generation to generation and now found in the Talmud.[3]

The Hebrew titles of the books of the Torah come from the first words of each book.

The Hebrew title for Genesis is יתשִׁ֖ ֵרא בּ (Bereshit =In the Beginning) which is the first word of Genesis 1:1. Genesis 1:1 says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The English title Genesis comes from the Greek ΓΕΝΕΣΙΣ which means Creation. The book of Genesis is a book of Beginnings and describes Creation in Genesis 1-2.

The Hebrew title for Exodus is ת מֹושׁ (Shemot =Names). Exodus 1:1 says “Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came to Egypt…” The word Exodus is from the Greek word ΕΞΟΔΟΣ which means “way out.” The book of Exodus is Israel’s exit from Egypt.

The Hebrew title for Leviticus is ִ֖רא ְק יּ ו (Vayicra =And He called). Leviticus 1:1 says “Now the LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting saying.” The word Leviticus is from the Greek word ΛΕΥΙΤΙΚΟΝ and means “Relating to the Levites.” The book of Leviticus gives the duties for the Levites as they helped lead Israel in their worship of YHWH.

The Hebrew title for Numbers is רבַּ֥ ַ ְד מ  בּ (Bamidbar =In the wilderness). Numbers 1:1 says “Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of meeting…” God told Moses to “Take a census” (Numbers 1:2). The word Numbers is taken from the Greek word ΑΡΙΘΜΟΙ and means “Numbers.” Moses numbered all the men of Israel who were 20 years old and older and the total number was 603,550 men (excluding the Levites- cf. Numbers 2:32-33).

The Hebrew title for Deuteronomy is ִ֗רים ב דּ (Devarim =Words). Deuteronomy 1:1 says “These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness in the plain…” The word Deuteronomy is taken from the Greek word ΔΕΥΤΕΡΟΝΟΜΙΟΝ and means “Second Law.” Rather than a second law Moses reiterated the Law given to him on Mt. Sinai for the second generation of Israelites as they were about to enter the Promised Land.

The Torah begins with the account of creation in Genesis 1-2. The Torah ends with this summary: “But since then thee has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel” (Deut. 34:10-12).  The last word of the Torah is the word “Israel” (Deut. 34:12).

The book of Genesis tells how the Creator God made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in which he promised them a land, seed and blessing. The book of Exodus tells how God delivered Israel from Egypt, led the nation to Mount Sinai where God gave them the Law. The book of Leviticus reveals how the priests and Levites were to lead the people to worship a holy God as they offered sacrifices and observed feasts. The book of Numbers explains how the nation of Israel rebelled at Kadesh Barnea and how the Exodus generation was forced to wander in the wilderness where most died. The book of Deuteronomy was the last message of Moses to the next generation of Israel in which he repeated the commands of the Law and challenged them to love and obey YHWH- their covenant keeping God.

JESUS AND THE TORAH

Jesus believed in the authority of the Torah (Matthew 4:1-11)

After his baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan river, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness of Judea to be tempted by the devil. Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights. When he was most vulnerable Satan tempted Jesus to use his power to turn stones into bread (Matt.4:1-3), to jump off the pinnacle of the temple (Matt.4:5-6) and finally to bow down to worship him to receive the kingdoms of this world (Matt.4:8-9). Three times Jesus quoted verses from the book of Deuteronomy (Matt.4:4 – Deut.8:3; Matt.4:7 –Deut.6:16; Matt.4:10 – Deut.6:13). Three times Jesus said, “It is written.” The fact that Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy shows that he had memorized the Torah (or at least the book of Deuteronomy). Jesus knew the Torah and recognized its authority as He obeyed it.

How did Jesus know the written word of God? The Jews in Nazareth were astonished at the teaching of Jesus in the synagogue and said “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?” (Matt. 13:54). The Jews in Jerusalem criticized Jesus and asked “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” (John 7:15). Since the gospels do not tell us it is best not to conjecture, but if I were to guess I would suppose that Joseph and Mary taught Jesus the Torah and took him as a young boy to the synagogue where he learned how to read and write Hebrew from the Torah.

Jesus came to fulfill the Torah (Matthew 5:17-18)

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus explained his relationship to the Old Testament. Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly I say to you, tell heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matt.5:17-18). Jesus believed in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Old Testament (the Tanak). The word “jot” refers to the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet – the yodh. The word “tittle” refers to the smallest stroke of a Hebrew letter. The difference between the Hebrew letters rhesh and a dallet is a tittle. Jesus came to fulfill all the Torah.

Jesus believed that Moses wrote about him in the Torah (John 5:45-47)

The Jewish rulers did not accept Jesus. They persecuted Jesus and tried to kill him because he did many of his miracles on the Sabbath (John 5:16). But Jesus rebuked them and said, “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you- Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:43-47)

The protasis (“if” clause) states “For if you believed Moses.” This is a second class condition in Greek.[4] In reality they did not believe Moses even though they were the teachers of the Law of Moses. The apodasis (“then” clause) is “you would believe me for he (Moses) wrote of me.” Notice the reason why they should have believed in Jesus. Moses wrote about Jesus when Moses gave prophecies about the Messiah in the Torah. Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah that Moses wrote about in the Torah!

The risen Jesus explained to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus how the Old Testament prophecies pointed to himself (Luke 24:25-27)

After Jesus arose from the dead he appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They did not recognize him. Jesus asked them what happened in Jerusalem over the weekend. And they said that Jesus of Nazareth was a Prophet mighty in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and rulers of the people delivered Him to be condemned to death and crucified him. You can hear the disappointment in their words: “But we were hoping that it was he who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). They then explained how some women told them that they had seen a vision of angels who said that Jesus was alive. But they were leaving Jerusalem- why would they do that? Jesus rebuked them and said, “O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken? Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? (Luke 24:25-26)

Luke then writes: “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). The Greek word “expounded” (διερμήνευσεν) means to clarify, explain or interpret so as to make understandable.[5] Jesus explained to these two disciples on the road to Emmaus how the Old Testament prophecies pointed to the Messiah. Jesus started with the books written by Moses (the Torah). Jesus believed in the Mosaic authorship of the Torah.

Later that day the two men stopped and invited Jesus to dinner. When Jesus took bread, he blessed it and then broke the bread. When the two men realized it was Jesus, he vanished from their sight (Luke 24:30-31). The two disciples said, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the road and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).

The risen Jesus told his disciples about the necessity of the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Luke 24:44-45)

Later that night the risen Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples who were in hiding in Jerusalem. Jesus showed them his hands and feet (Luke 24:40). Then Jesus ate some broiled fish and some honeycomb to prove that he was not a ghost (Luke 24:42). Then Jesus said to the disciples, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses (ἐν τῷ νόμῳ Μωϋσέως) and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. And he opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:44-45)

 

MESSIANIC PROPHECIES IN THE TORAH

Genesis 3:15 – Seed of the Woman

“So the LORD God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman; and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen. 3:14-15).

After Adam and Eve sinned against God, God pronounced judgments on the serpent, on the woman and on the man (Gen.3:14-19). God placed a curse on the serpent and not on the man or the woman. The serpent was not given an opportunity to explain its actions like the man and woman. The serpent was immediately judged by God. The serpent’s judgment was to crawl on its belly and to eat dust all the days of its life. The physical form of the serpent was changed in some way as a result of this curse. Possibly before the Fall the serpent had legs of some kind. Now it would slither on the ground. Eating dust is symbolic of humiliation and defeat. Isaiah 65:25 tells us that in the future millennial kingdom the wolf and lamb will eat together and not each other, the lion will eat straw like the ox and the serpent will eat dust. The entire animal kingdom was impacted by the Fall as evidenced by the fact that the serpent was cursed more than all cattle and more than every beast of the field (Gen.3:14; Rom.8:20).[6]

The serpent is more than just a physical snake.[7] The fact that the serpent talked to the woman has led many to conclude that the Bible is a myth. The snake was possessed by Satan. The apostle Paul wrote: “But I fear, lest somehow as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” The apostle John identified the serpent with Satan: “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Rev.12:9)

God predicted a conflict between the serpent and the woman and between the serpent’s seed and the woman’s seed. A review of biblical history shows the conflict between the two seeds. Satan influenced Cain to kill his brother Abel (Gen.4:1-15). Why did Cain his brother Abel? John explained that Cain was of the evil one (1 John 3:12). Satan tried to corrupt the seed of the woman as the sons of God married the daughters of men and had children by them (Gen. 6).[8] Pharaoh took Abraham’s wife Sarai and endangered the promise but God stopped him from having sexual relations with her (Genesis 12). Abimelech took Sarah but God stopped him from having sexual relations with her as well (Genesis 20). Pharaoh ordered that all the Jewish boy babies to be thrown into the Nile river (attempt at genocide) but the Jewish midwives refused to obey his command (Exodus 1). Haman tried to have all the Jews executed by order of the King of Persia. But Esther learned of the plot from Mordecai and Haman was hung on his own gallows (book of Esther).

Jesus is the Seed of the woman. He was born of the virgin Mary in fulfillment of the direct Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 7:14: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Matthew emphasized in his gospel that the Mary was pregnant with a child before she came together with her husband Joseph. He wrote: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit….So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” which is translated “God with us” (Matthew 1:18, 22-23).[9]

Paul emphasized that Jesus was the Son who was “born of a woman” as he wrote: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). Robert Gromacki writes, “The means of the incarnation was through the virgin birth (“made of a woman”). Several evangelicals argue that this statement only demonstrates that Christ had a complete and perfect humanity. Paul, however, later used a different verb to depict natural birth (gennao; 4:23). The verb “made” (genomenon) is used elsewhere of Christ’s incarnation: And the Word was made flesh” (John 1:14). He was the promised seed of the woman who would destroy Satan (Gen.3:15).”[10]

King Herod (who was of the spiritual seed of Satan) tried to have Jesus killed when he was born. He ordered all the boy babies two years of age and younger in the vicinity of Bethlehem to be executed. But God warned Joseph in a dream and he took Mary and the young Jesus to Egypt to escape King Herod (Matt.2:1-19).

Jesus was crucified on the cross and it appeared as if Satan had won the victory with the death of Jesus. But the protoevangelium (the first mention of the gospel) found in Genesis 3:15 predicted that the seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head and the serpent would bruise his heel. The picture is of someone stomping on a snake. The snake bites the heal of the person who crushes its head. Jesus crushed the serpent’s head (defeated the devil) by his death on the cross. The cross was not the defeat of Jesus but the defeat of the devil!

Colossians 2:14-15 emphasizes the victory of Jesus on the cross stating that Jesus has “wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

Hebrews 2:14-15 says “Inasmuch as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

Genesis 22:18 – Seed of Abraham

The Messiah would be of the Seed of Abraham. God promised Abram that “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen.12:3b). God reiterated the promise to give Abram’s descendants the land after Abram obeyed the call of God (Gen.12:4-7). God promised to give Abram and his descendants the land and to multiply his descendants as the dust of the earth (Gen.13:14-16). God showed Abram the stars and promised to multiply Abram’s descendants as the number of the stars (Gen.15:1-5). Abram believed in the LORD and his promise and God counted it to him as righteousness (Gen.15:6). In the Abrahamic covenant God promised the land to Abram’s descendants (Gen.15:18-21). Later God promised Abraham that kings would come from him and that the land would be given as an everlasting possession to his descendants (Gen.17:5-8). God promised Abraham “In your seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 22:18).

Jesus is the Seed of Abraham. Jesus is a Jew – a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Matthew begins his gospel with these words: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1). The Gospel According to Matthew is the Gospel of the King and he shows how Jesus is the Messiah who fulfilled these various Old Testament prophecies.

The Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:6)

The Messiah would come out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:15)

The Messiah would have a forerunner (Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:3; 11:10)

The Messiah would minister in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 4:15-16)

The Messiah would perform miracles of healing (Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 8:17)

The Messiah would be humble (Isaiah 42:1-4; Matthew 12:17-18)

The Messiah would speak in parables (Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:35)

The Messiah would offer himself as King (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:5)

The Messiah would be betrayed (Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 27:9-10)

The Messiah would experience suffering (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:35)

The apostle Paul identified Jesus as the Seed of Abraham in his epistle to the Galatians. Paul wrote: “Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ” (Gal. 3:15-16). The Abrahamic covenant is an unconditional, unilateral covenant. Paul interprets the text in Genesis to teach that the covenant promise concerns not many seeds (plural) but one singular Seed (a reference to Christ). All the nations will be blessed through Christ. This promise will be literally fulfilled in the future millennial kingdom as Christ sits on the throne of David and rules over the world.[11]

Genesis 35:10-12 – Son of Jacob

God repeated the promise to Jacob when God changed his name to Israel (Gen.35:10). God said to Jacob, “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you and kings shall come from your body; The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you and to your descendants after you I give this land” (Gen.35:11-12).

The genealogies of Jesus show that both Joseph (his adoptive father) and Mary (his mother) were Jews – physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. See Matthew 1:1-2 and Luke 3:23, 34.

Genesis 49:10 – Ruler out of tribe of Judah

Moses wrote that Jacob blessed his son Judah (Gen.49:8-12). Jacob compared Judah to a lion and predicted that a ruler would come from his tribe. “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes. And to Him shall be the obedience of the people” (Gen.49:10).

Jacob predicted that the Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah. The Messiah would be a king (a ruler). The word scepter (ט       ֶב    שׁ ) appears for the first time in Scripture here in Genesis 49:10. The word is used of a rod of discipline (Exod. 21:20) and a rod or staff that could separate sheep for the Lord’s tithe (Lev.27:32). The word also appears in the messianic passage from the oracles of Balaam (Num. 24:17).

The first sign of the removal of the scepter from Judah was that no king from the line of Judah sat on the Davidic throne after Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians destroyed the temple and Jerusalem and took the Jews into captivity in 586 B.C. The Romans under Pompey conquered Israel in 63 B.C. Later the Romans appointed Herod (an Idumean) as king of the Jews which was around 40 B.C. It appeared as if the prophecy of Genesis 49:10 could not be fulfilled. Later after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70 by Titus and the Romans the Jews were taken into captivity again and Judah lost its royal or legal power as a nation. Again it appeared as if the prophecy of Genesis 49:10 could not be fulfilled. No wonder King Herod and all Jerusalem were troubled when the wise men came to Jerusalem and asked the question “Where is He who has been born King of Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” (Matt.2:2).

The word “Shiloh” is not a proper name for Messiah but is best translated as a possessive pronoun. The NIV translates ִיֹלה“until he comes to whom it belongs.” Fruchtenbaum writes “A more literal translation of the verse should read: ‘The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes whose right it is and unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.’ Judah’s identity and right to rule cannot be lost until one comes who has full rights to the scepter, full rights to rule.”[12]

King David was from the tribe of Judah and God promised David in the Davidic Covenant that one of his descendants would sit on the throne of David and rule Israel forever (2 Sam. 7:16).

Jesus is the rightful king of Israel as he is a physical descendant of David through Mary. The angel Gabriel told Mary about her son Jesus: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). Later Mary praised God for His fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant through Jesus: “He has helped his servant Israel in remembrance of his mercy. As he spoke to our fathers to Abraham and to his seed forever” (Luke 1:54-55).

We find two genealogies of Jesus in the gospels. Why two genealogies of Jesus if Jesus was born of the virgin Mary? The genealogy of Jesus in the gospel of Matthew (Matt. 1:1-17) focuses on the line of Joseph. This genealogy shows how Jesus has the legal right to rule Israel. The genealogy begins with Abraham and ends with Christ. It traces the line of David through Solomon. The genealogy goes from father to son. It lists 41 names. The genealogy can be divided into three sections of 14 names each: Abraham to David (Matt.1:2-6), David to the exile in Babylon (Matt.1:6-11), and the exile in Babylon to Jesus (Matt.1:12-16). The right to rule Israel was passed from David to his son Solomon. The last king mentioned before the exile in Babylon is Jeconiah.

God placed a curse on Jeconiah because of his wickedness. God said that none of Jeconiah’s sons would reign as king (Jer.22:24, 28, 30). Jeconiah had children but they did not reign as king over Israel or Judah. There has not been a king of Judah sit on the throne of David since 586 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians took the Jews into captivity.[13]

The right to rule Israel as king was passed from father to son. That right was passed from David to Solomon down to Jeconiah. The curse placed on Jeconiah and his line caused a dilemma for the nation of Israel. Who could reign as the legitimate king of Israel if the line of David was cursed? Joseph was a physical descendent of David and Jeconiah. Now we understand why Joseph was a carpenter and not the king of Israel. Joseph did have the legal right to rule as king. But he could not rule since he was the physical descendent of Jeconiah.

So what was the solution to the problem? The virgin birth of Christ is the solution to the curse!! Matthew writes that “Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called the Christ” (Matt. 1:16). The Greek relative pronoun ἧς is feminine in gender and refers back to Mary. Jesus was born “out of her” (ἐξ ἧς) – a reference to Mary (a physical descendent of King David through another son of David- Nathan). Jesus received the physical right to rule Israel through Mary. He is a literal physical descendant of David with royal blood in his veins. The genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3:23-38 is really the genealogy of Jesus through his mother Mary.

Joseph passed the legal right to rule Israel by naming Jesus as his adopted son. Notice that the angel of the Lord told Joseph to take Mary as his wife, that she would bring forth a son, and he (Joseph) was to call his name Jesus. Joseph obeyed. He took Mary into his home and did not know her until she gave birth to Jesus. Then “he called his name Jesus” (Matt.1:25). This is why the two genealogies of Jesus are necessary. Only Jesus can prove that he has the legal and physical right to rule Israel and sit on David’s throne as king.

Fruchtenbaum refers to the Genesis 49:10 prophecy as he writes, “Third, it should be seen that Messiah will have to come before the Tribe of Judah loses its identity. This establishes a clear time period for the prophecy. The records by which tribal identities were maintained were kept in the Jewish temple. All of these records were lost with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. Within a few generations all the tribes of Israel, with the exception of Levi, had lost their identity. Immediately after 70 A.D. the rabbis passed laws which would preserve the identity of the priestly tribe of Levi, but Jews from the other tribes quickly lost their identity. Since the Tribe of Judah lost its pre-eminence and identity in 70 A.D. it can be clearly seen that Messiah must have come some time before 70 A.D. It is not possible for Messiah to come after 70 A.D.” [14]

Numbers 24:17-19 – A Scepter shall arise out of Israel = Messiah will be a King

Balak (the king of Moab) commissioned Balaam to curse Israel (Num.23:7). Balaam gave four oracle recorded in the book of Numbers (23:7-10; 23:18-24; 24:3-9; and 24:15-24). In the first oracle Balaam was not able to curse Israel as he said, “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced?” (Num.23:8). In the second oracle Balaam says “Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed and I cannot reverse it” (Num.23:20).

In the third oracle Balaam predicts blessing for Israel and predicts “His king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. God brings him out of Egypt; He has strength like a wild ox; He shall consume the nations, his enemies; He shall break their bones and pierce them with his arrows. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him? Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you” (Num.24:7b-9). Here Balaam predicts that Israel would have a future King who wound defeat the Gentile nations (break their bones and pierce them with his arrows). The future King (Messiah) is compared to a lion (the king of beasts).

In the fourth prophecy Balaam said, “I see Him, but not now. I behold Him, but not near. A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult. And Edom shall be a possession; Seir also, his enemies, shall be a possession, while Israel does valiantly. Out of Jacob One shall have dominion, and destroy the remains of the city.” The reference to the scepter connects this prophecy with Genesis 49:10. The Messiah will be a Jewish king. The reference to the star is significant because Balaam was from the region of Babylon (see Numbers 22:5 “near the River = Euphrates river?). Later the magi (wise men from Babylon) would see the star when Jesus was born and travel from the East to Jerusalem to worship the one who was born King of the Jews (Matt.2:1-3). Did the magi look for the star because they knew of this oracle given by Balaam who was from their region?

Deuteronomy 18:15-19 – A Prophet Like Moses

Moses wrote “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear… I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put my words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear my words which He speaks in my name, I will require it of him” (Deut.18:15, 18-19).

How was Christ as the Prophet like Moses? Both Moses and Christ were delivered from a violent death in infancy. Both Moses and Christ were deliverers for Israel. Both Moses and Christ acted as mediators between YHWH and Israel. Both Moses and Christ were prophets and spoke to Israel for God. Both Moses and Christ performed miracles (called signs). Both Moses and Christ made intercession on behalf of sinful people. Both Moses and Christ spoke to God face to face.

Jewish scholar Maimonides wrote “The Messiah will be a very great Prophet, greater than all the Prophets with the exception of Moses our teacher…His status will be higher than that of the Prophets and more honorable, Moses alone excepted.”[15] Maimonides was right in saying that the Messiah would be a very great Prophet but he was wrong in saying that Messiah would not be as great as Moses. Jesus is a greater prophet than Moses.

The writer to the Hebrews emphasizes that Christ is better than Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6). Both Christ and Moses were faithful to God in their house (Hebrews 3:2). The writer to the Hebrews said that Jesus is the One who has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses in that He built the house (meaning??? Of Hebrews 3:4). The writer to the Hebrews says that God is the one who built all things. Comparing Moses and Christ, the author of Hebrews wrote “Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” (Hebrews 3:5-6). Moses was a servant in his house (for Israel) but Christ is the Son over his house (the Church = those who hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end).

Jesus demonstrated that he was a true prophet by making prophecies that were fulfilled in history. After driving out the moneychangers in the temple early in his ministry, Jesus made this bold prediction: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). The Jews stated that it took 46 years to build the temple and wondered how Jesus could do it in three days. They were thinking of the second temple building that took 46 years from 20 B.C. to A.D. 26. John notes: “But he was speaking of the temple of his body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them, and they believed the Scripture (Psalm 16:10?) and the word which Jesus had said” (John 2:21-22). It is interesting that the chief priests and Pharisees remembered the prediction that Jesus made about his resurrection and they asked Pilate for a Roman guard to prevent the disciples of Jesus from taking his body and claiming that he was risen from the dead (Matt. 27:62-63).

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus predicted that he would suffer at the hands of the elders, chief priests and scribes, that he would die in the city of Jerusalem by means of a crucifixion and that it would be during the Passover (Matt. 16:21; 26:2; Luke 22:63-65; Mark 15:40-41; 15:26-27; John 19:14-16). He also predicted his resurrection (Matthew 16:21).

In the Olivet Discourse Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple. Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in his Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:1-2). Titus led the Roman army to surround and destroy Jerusalem and the second temple. Jesus predicted that the Jews would be led away captive into all nations and that Jerusalem would be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24). This prophecy is still being fulfilled today. Jesus predicted that the Jews would be persecuted (Luke 23:28-30). Jews have been persecuted in many ways over the years since A.D. 70 with the greatest persecution being the Holocaust in Europe in the 1930s-1940s.

In the Olivet Discourse Jesus made predictions about the future which are yet to be fulfilled. He predicted the future abomination of desolation (Matt.24:15), the judgments of the tribulation period (Matt.24:9-28), and his literal second coming to earth (Matt.24:29-31), the judgment of the surviving Gentiles and the establishment of his kingdom on earth (Matt.25:31-46).

In the Upper Room on the night before he was crucified, Jesus made several predictions. Jesus predicted that one of the disciples would betray him (Matt. 26:21-22) and Judas betrayed Jesus that night in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:21-22; Luke 22:47-48). Jesus predicted that all the disciples would leave him and this prediction was fulfilled when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:31-32; 26:56) Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times and that night Peter denied knowing Jesus as he warmed himself by the fire during the trial of Jesus (Matt. 26:33-34; 26:74-75). In the Upper Room Discourse, Jesus predicted the coming of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) which was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

The Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask John the Baptist who he was and why he was baptizing Jews in the Jordan river. They asked him “Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” (John 1:21). When Jesus revealed the past marriages of the Samaritan woman she said, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet” (John 4:19).

After Jesus raised the son of the widow of Nain, the people “glorified God, saying ‘A great prophet has arisen up among us” and ‘God has visited His people.” (Luke 7:16). John records the division among the Jews when Jesus was in Jerusalem.

Some believed that Jesus was the Prophet (John 7:40). The Pharisees said that he could not be the Prophet because “no prophet has arisen out of Galilee” (John 7:52). When Jesus entered Jerusalem in the Triumphal Entry, the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee” (Matthew 21:11).

PROPHETIC TYPES OF CHRIST IN THE TORAH

The Torah contains many prophetic types of Christ.[16] A type is a historical reality (an Old Testament person, thing, event) that finds its antitype in the New Testament. At the national 2019 ETS conference in San Diego, CA main speaker Greg Beale defined typology as “the study of analogical correspondences between person, events, institutions and others things within the historical framework of God’s special revelation, which from a retrospective view, are of a prophetic nature.”

The essential characteristics of a type according to Beale are: analogical correspondence, historicity, forward pointing, escalation and retrospection. The type and the antitype have a natural correspondence or resemblance. The OT type has a historical reality. The OT type is a prefiguring or foreshadowing of the NT antitype. It is predictive. It looks ahead and points to the NT antitype. The OT type is fulfilled or completed or heightened by the NT antitype. The NT antitype is greater than and superior to the OT type. The OT type is divinely designed and planned by God. Retrospection: Christians are able to see the connection of OT types with Christ as a result of reading the New Testament.

Zuck writes: “While scholars differ in their approach to this subject, the study of types and their antitypes does have definite benefits. For one thing it enables us to see God’s design of history as He chose certain persons, events, and things in Israel to depict and predict aspects of Christ and His relationship to believers today. Seeing these type-antitype relationships helps us see God’s hand in history.”[17]

There are many prophetic types of Christ in the Torah. I will select just a few for us to look at this morning. First we will look at some OT people who are types of Christ. Then we will look at some OT objects that are types of Christ. Finally we will examine how the OT sacrifices and feasts of Israel are types of Christ.

Adam as a Type of Christ (Genesis 1-2; Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45-47)

Paul referred to Adam as a type of Christ in his epistle to the Romans. “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come” (Rom.5:14).

The first Adam sinned in the garden of Eden. The last Adam obeyed when he was tempted in the wilderness of Judea. The first Adam died as a result of his sin. The last Adam conquered death by his resurrection. The first man (the historical Adam) became a living being. The Last Adam became a life giving spirit (1 Cor.15:45). The first man (Adam) was of the earth as he was made of dust. The second Man is the Lord from heaven (1 Cor.15:47). Jesus is the Last Adam who came to reverse the curse that came as a result of the sin of the first man Adam.

Melchizedek as a Type of Christ (Genesis 14:18-24; Hebrews 7:3, 15-17)

Melchizedek appears suddenly on the scene as he went out to meet Abram after he rescued Lot from the kings from Mesopotamia. Moses wrote: “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he (Abram) gave him (Melchizedek) a tithe of all” (Gen. 14:18-20).

Melchizedek was a king of Salem (Jerusalem) and a priest of God Most High. The writer to the Hebrews states that Jesus Christ was “called by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb. 5:10; cf. 6:20). The writer to the Hebrews emphasizes the greatness of Melchizedek in Hebrews 7:1-10. Abraham (the father of the Jewish people) gave a tithe to Melchizedek. Then using an argument from genetics, the author of Hebrews argues for the superiority of the priesthood of Melchizedek over the Levitical priesthood as he wrote: “Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him” (Heb. 7:9-10). Then the author of Hebrews concludes his argument “Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?” (Heb. 7:11). Two times the author of Hebrews references God the Father’s statement that the Messiah would be “a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” quoting Psalm 110:4 (Heb. 7:17, 21). Jesus is a King-Priest according to the order of Melchizedek and in the future will reign as the King-Priest in Jerusalem during the millennial kingdom.[18]

Isaac as a type of Christ (Genesis 22:1-19; Hebrews 11:17-19)

Isaac was beloved by Abraham because he was the son of his old age. Jesus is the beloved eternal Son of his eternal Father. Isaac was offered as a sacrifice by his father Abraham on Mount Moriah. But before Abraham took the life of Isaac Jehovah Jireh provided the lamb for Abraham to sacrifice in place of his son Isaac. God then reiterated the promise to Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen.22:18).

The author of Hebrews states that Abraham had faith in God to believe that God would raise Isaac from the dead: “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense” (Heb. 11:17-19)

God the Father gave his only begotten Son to the world (John 3:16). Jesus is the Lamb of God who was sacrificed in our place. He died a substitutionary death for us on the cross and was raised to life.

The Passover Lamb as a Type of Christ (Exodus 12:43-51; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7)

God told Moses to tell the Israelites to observe the Passover on the night before the Exodus. The Jews were to take a male lamb which was without blemish and kill it on the twilight and apply its blood to the two doorposts and the lintel of their houses. They were to roast the lamb in fire and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (Exod. 12:43-51). The lambs that were sacrificed at Passover were types of the Lamb of God – Jesus. John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Paul wrote “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Cor.5:7).

In the book of Revelation the apostle John saw “a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth” come and take the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne (God the Father) (Rev. 5:6-7). John heard the voices of angels, the four living creatures and the elders saying in heaven “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12). The response of every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth and in the sea is “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever” (Rev. 5:13).

Manna as a Type of Christ (Exodus 16:4; John 6)

The Israelites complained to Moses about dying of hunger when they were in the wilderness (Exod. 16:1-3). The Lord provided manna (bread from heaven) for the Israelites each morning. When they asked “What is it?” Moses told them it was “the bread which the LORD has given you to eat” (Exod. 16:15). Jesus reminded the Jews that it was His Father and not Moses who gave the Israelites bread (manna) from heaven (John 6:31). Jesus then referred to himself as “the true bread” (the antitype) which His Father gave them from heaven (John 6:32). Jesus said, “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33). When they asked him for this bread Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:34-35). The Jews complained about his statement that he is the bread which came down from heaven because they thought Jesus was the son of Joseph (John 6:41-42). Jesus claimed to have seen the Father and to be from God (John 6:46). Jesus then claimed “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:48-51).

The Smitten Rock that provided Water as a Type of Christ (Exodus 17:5-7; 1 Corinthians 10:4)

The Israelites went through the Wilderness of Sin and came to Rephidim were there was no water. They complained to Moses and said “Give us water that we may drink” They complained to Moses and asked “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to God and The Lord told him to take his rod and go to the rock in Horeb and strike the rock. So Moses struck the rock and water came out (Exodus 17:5-7).[19]

The apostle Paul identified the Rock as a type of Christ in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4: “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” The rock that was struck by the rod of Moses is a type of Christ who died on the cross to provide living water for those who believe in Him.

The Tabernacle as a type of Christ who became incarnate (Exodus 36-40; John 1:14; Hebrews 8:5; 9:23-24)

Moses recorded the instructions and the building of the tent of meeting (the tabernacle) in Exodus 35-40. After it was finished “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Exod.40:35). The book of Exodus indicates that “The cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day and fire was over it by night in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys” (Exod.40:38).

In his prologue to his gospel John wrote “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The word “dwelt” is the word ἐσκήνωσεν which can be translated “tabernacle.” Jesus is God incarnate. Just as the Shekinah glory cloud was over the tabernacle which was made of skin so Jesus is God who put on skin. John beheld his glory especially at the Mount of Transfiguration (Mt.17:1-8).

The Veil of the Tabernacle as a type of Christ’s Human Body that Died on the Cross (Exodus 40:21; John 1:14; Hebrews 10:20)

The veil of the tabernacle was a curtain that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies (Exod. 26:31-35; 27:21; 30:6; 35:12; 36:35). It was made from wool dyed blue and purple and scarlet (Exod. 26:31) and it was embroidered with cherubim. When the tabernacle was moved, the veil was used to cover the ark of the covenant (Num. 4:5). The writer to the Hebrews references that behind the “second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All” (Heb. 9:3).

According to Leviticus 16, only the high priest could go beyond the veil into the most holy place on the day of Atonement to sprinkle blood on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. According to 2 Chronicles 3:14 a similar curtain divided the holy place from the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s temple. When Jesus died on the cross the veil was torn in two from top to bottom (Matt.27:51). God made it clear to the chief priests (Annas and Caiaphas) that the old way of coming to God with the blood of bulls and goats was over. Jesus provided a new and living way to approach a holy God by shedding his blood on the cross for us. The author of the Hebrews writes, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb. 6:19-20). The author of Hebrews writes, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh” (Heb. 10:20).

The Brass Serpent on a Pole as a Type of Christ on the Cross (Numbers 21:4- 9; John 3:14)

“Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses: ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water and our soul loathes this worthless bread.’ So the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD that he take away the serpents from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people. Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.’ So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived” (Num. 21:4-9).

Jesus referenced this event when he talked to Nicodemus one night. Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:14). Jesus compared himself to the bronze serpent that Moses lifted up on a pole. Jesus was lifted up on a cross that whoever believes in Him will not perish (in hell) but have eternal life.

The Levitical Feasts as Types of Christ (Leviticus 23)

The Levitical Feasts in Israel’s calendar are types of Christ as well.[20]

Pesach -The Feast of Passover celebrated the Jewish exodus from Egypt as each Jewish family sacrificed a lamb, placed the blood of the lamb on the posts and lintel of their homes, roasted and at the lamb with bitter herbs as they remembered together their bitter bondage in Egypt and God’s deliverance of Israel by sending the Death Angel to pass over their homes but kill the firstborn of the Egyptians (Exod. 12:43-51; Lev. 23:5; 1 Cor. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:15-19). Pesach was fulfilled by the death of the Messiah. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29; 1 Cor.5:7).

Hag Hamatzot – The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasted seven days. The Jews removed the leaven from their homes and only ate unleavened bread (Lev.23:6-8). The Feast of Unleavened Bread is fulfilled by the sinlessness of Christ and his offering of himself for our sins. Leaven is a type of sin in the Bible. Jesus lived a sinless life (2 Cor.5:21; 1 Pet.2:22; 1 John 3:5). Jesus did not die on the cross for his own sins. Jesus died on the cross taking the punishment for our sins (Isa. 53:6; Rom.5:8; Gal.3:13; 1 Pet.3:18; 1 John 2:2).

Hag Habikkurim -The Feast of Firstfruits was held on the Sunday after Pesach. It was a festival to celebrate the firstfruits of the barley harvest (Lev.23:9-11) and it is a type of Christ’s resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20-23). The Feast of Firstfruits is fulfilled by the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Christ is the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep (those who have died in Christ) (1 Cor.15:20).

Shavuot – The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) celebrated the wheat harvest. This festival competed the first cycle of feasts for Israel. Pentecost was fulfilled by the birth of the Church on the day of Pentecost(Acts 2). The Spirit came upon the Jewish apostles on the day of Pentecost (50 days after the resurrection of Jesus and 10 days after his bodily ascension to heaven).

The four month interval between the spring feasts and the fall feasts is currently being fulfilled by the church age. The second cycle of holy seasons will be fulfilled by the program of Messiah’s second coming and it will be fulfilled in the order in which it appears in Leviticus 23.

Yom T-ruah – The Feast of Trumpets (Lev.23:23-25) is the fifth of the seven feasts of Israel. It is the first of the fall festivals. In biblical days the Feast of Trumpets was celebrated by the blowing of trumpets (specifically the shofar). The shofar was to be blown to call the people to repentance. The second reason was to remind Israel of their covenant relationship with God. The rabbis saw the blowing of the trumpet as a symbol of the final regathering of Israel when Messiah comes.[21] Jesus told his disciples that at his second coming He “will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt.24:31).

Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement was a day of fasting for the nation of Israel as the high priest only once a year made atonement for the sins of the nation by sprinkling the blood of a sacrificed animal on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant (Lev.16; 23:26-32). Yom Kippur is a type of Christ’s sacrificial death (Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:7-8, 23-28; 13:11-13). The scapegoat is a type of Christ who takes away sin on Yom Kippur (Lev. 16:21-22; Heb. 10:1-4). The nation of Israel will believe that Jesus is their Messiah at his second coming to earth (Zech.12) and all Israel will be saved (Rom.11:26). Jesus will be the Deliverer who comes out of Zion and He will make a new covenant with Israel and take away their sins (Isa. 59:20; Rom.11:26-27).

Sukkot – The Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) is the seventh and final feast of Israel. It marks the firstfruits of the fall harvest. The feast was to last seven days as the Israelites lived in booths to remind themselves of their forty years of wilderness wanderings (Lev.23:33-44). The Feast of Sukkot will be fulfilled as regenerated Israel will worship King Jesus in Jerusalem and go up each year to worship Him during the Feast of Booths (Feast of Tabernacles). Zechariah 14:16-19 records the fulfillment of Sukkot: “And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles…”

CONCLUSION

John 1:35-41 records the first meeting of Jesus with his disciples. John the Baptist looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:35). The two disciples (Andrew and John) began to follow Jesus. Andrew found his brother Simon Peter and said, “We have found the Messiah (which is translated the Christ)” and he brought him to Jesus. Jesus found Philip and said to him “Follow me” (John 1:42). Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45). When Jesus revealed to Nathaniel that he saw him under the fig tree, Nathaniel said to Jesus, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.”  At this Christmas season we can rejoice that Jesus left heaven to be born of the virgin Mary and fulfill all the Old Testament prophecies. Let us rejoice because we have found the Messiah and his name is Jesus!

 

APPENDICES

HOW IS A TORAH MADE?

Each Torah is made by a sofer who is a trained scribe. A Torah is made from the skin of a kosher animal. The Torah is usually written on calf or deer skins. Each skin is specially treated and stretched to make it thin enough to be used for writing. Each panel of parchment is lined for writing with a sargel. The sofer prepares each parchment. Each Torah is made up of between 62 and 84 sheets of parchments that are sewn together. Each panel of parchment usually contains 3 columns of writing and 42 lines in each column. Some letters may be stretched within a column to justify the left margin. The scribe sews the backs of the parchments together so that the stitches are not visible from the front. Each end of the scroll is sewn onto the two wooden shafts called atzei chaim = trees of life.[22] Each Torah weighs around 25 pounds.

Each Torah is written by hand using a quill with organic black ink. Organic black ink is prepared from a special recipe. The sofer makes the special ink from organic materials (tar, oil, gall nut juice, honey, sap).The quill is usually made from a goose feather.

Before writing the Torah the sofer makes sure all his tools are fit for the task. He tests the quill and ink by writing the word Amalek on a piece of parchment. He then crosses it out with a number of strokes in order to fulfill the commandment of blotting out the name of Amalek- a biblical enemy of the Jewish people (Deuteronomy 25:17-19).

According to the Talmud (Kiddushin), a sofer counts each letter of the Torah. There are 304,805 letters in the Torah. The middle word of the Torah is שׁ רדּ and it is found in Leviticus 10:16. The middle letter of the Torah is the WAW in the word חֹ֜וןin Leviticus 11:42. A four line break signals the end of one book and the beginning of the next book. Elongated Hebrew letters are used to justify the left margins of the columns.

The Torah is an unpointed text. There are no vowel points in the Torah. There are no punctuation marks. There are no chapter and verse divisions in the Torah. There are only slight spaces between the words. None of the Hebrew letters are permitted to touch. The Hebrew letters are written under the scored lines so the letters appear to hang from them. English letters are written above the lines. Certain letters are embellished with crowns called tagin.

The Torah is written in the Hebrew language which is written from right to left.

A Torah typically takes around one year to copy. When the scribe writes the name of YHWH (ָ֥ה ְהו י), the scribe focuses on the task by declaring out loud his intention to honor God by writing the holy name.

Each Torah is accurately copied. The middle word of the Torah is ר and it is found in Leviticus 10:16. The middle letter of the Torah is the WAW in the word חֹ֜וןin Leviticus 11:42. A four line break signals the end of one book and the beginning of the next book. Elongated Hebrew letters are used to justify the left margins of the columns.

Once all the writing has been completed the pieces of parchment are sewn together with sinew. The finished Torah scroll is attached to wooden rollers. No instrument containing iron or steel may be used in the creation of a Torah scroll, because these metals are used to create instruments of war.

THE TORAH SCROLL AT CALVARY UNIVERSITY IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

This Torah is an Ashkenazi Torah. It is from Eastern Europe. Ashkenaz was the son of Gomer, the grandson of Japheth and the great grandson of Noah. His name is mentioned in the Table of Nations in Genesis 10:3. The Ashkenazi Jews settled in Germany and Eastern Europe.

This Torah survived the Holocaust in Germany. This makes the Torah scroll invaluable. On November 9, 1938, over 1400 synagogues were destroyed by the Nazis. The night was called Krstallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass). Hundreds of Torahs were destroyed by the Nazis.

In Vienna, Austria, Jews were marched and chased in the streets with torn Torah scrolls tied to their backs. In Frankfurt, Germany Jews were forced to tear the Torah themselves and then to burn it. In Berlin, Germans carried the scrolls from a synagogue to Wittenberg Square and burned them there. Burning the Torah was an assault on Judaism as a whole.The Nazis knew it was the holiest and most sacred object in the synagogue.

This Torah was brought to Israel by Jews after World War II. Auschwitz. Treblinka. Buchenwald. These are some names of concentration camps where Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Over 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust. Jews were deported in trains to concentration camps. They were sent to the gas chambers and their bodies burned. Many Jews survived the horrors of the Holocaust and came to Israel to start a new life. In 1948 the United Nations declared that Israel was a nation.

This Torah came to Kiryat Shmona. Kiryat Shmona was established in 1949 in northern Israel after the war. The name Kiryata Shmona means “Town of the Eight.” The town was named for eight Jewish militia men commanded by Joseph Trumpeldor. Kiryat Shmona is located near the border of Lebanon. In the 2006 Lebanon War the city was the target of Hezbollah rocket attacks. Most of the city’s residents left the area during the war. Those who remained lived in bomb shelters, turning the city into a ghost town.

This Torah came to the geniza of ben David in Jerusalem where it was purchased by Dr. Scott Carroll on behalf of Ken and Barb Larson from God’s Ancient Library.

Dr. Scott Carroll organized one of the largest private biblical collections in North America in the 1990s. He then helped establish the core collection, initial exhibitions, and vision for the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. His training has focused on the ancient manuscripts and the history of the Bible. Dr. Carroll’s most recent project is the Inspired Exhibit- an international traveling exhibition that features ancient manuscripts, scrolls and Bibles, rarely seen outside museums.

This Torah is a gift from Ken and Barb Larson of God’s Ancient Library. Ken and Barb Larson founded God’s Ancient Library (a collection of rare Torah scrolls from around the world). They have given over 50 Torahs to seminaries, museums, and other organizations for teaching, research and public engagement. Ken Larson

is the founder of Slumberland Future- a leading furnishings retailer with 130 stores in 12 states. Ken is passionate about Christian ministry and giving back to his community. He has served as chairman of the board of the Evangelical Free Church of America. Barb (his wife) has led Bible studies for four decades. She has traveled seven times to Haiti. This Torah was presented to Dr. Teddy Bitner and myself (Dr. Gromacki) in Minneapolis, Minnesota as a gift for Calvary University.

This Torah is a pasul Torah. It is not to be used in synagogue worship.

 

SOME SPECIAL STYLISTIC FEATURES TO NOTICE IN THE TORAH

The Song of the Sea in Exodus 15

The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20

The Aaronic Blessing in Numbers 6

The Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4

The Curses from Mt. Ebal in Deuteronomy 27

The Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32

 

TORAH READING SCHEDULE

Genesis 

   

2019-2020

5780

2020-2021

5781

Bereshit Gen 1:1-6:8 Oct 26, ’19 Oct 17, ’20
Noah Gen 6:9 – 11:32 Nov 2, ’19 Oct 24, ’20
Lekh-Lekha Gen 12:1 – 17:27

Nov 9, ’19

Oct 31, ’20

Vayera

Gen 18:1 – 22:24

Nov 16, ’19

Nov 7, ’20

Chayei Sarah

Gen 23:1 – 25:18

Nov 23, ’19

Nov 14, ’20

Toldot

Gen 25:19 – 28:9

Nov 30, ’19

Nov 21, ’20

Vayetze

Gen 28:10 – 32:3

Dec 7, ’19

Nov 28, ’20

Vayishlach

Gen 32:4 – 36:43

Dec 14, ’19

Dec 5, ’20

Vayeshev

Gen 37:1 – 40:23

Dec 21, ’19

Dec 12, ’20

Miketz

Gen 41:1 – 44:17

Dec 28, ’19

Dec 19, ’20

Vayigash

Gen 44:18 – 47:27

Jan 4, ’20

Dec 26, ’20

Vayechi

Gen 47:28 – 50:26

Jan 11, ’20

Jan 2, ’21

 

Exodus

   

2019-2020

5780

2020-2021

5781

Shemot

Ex 1:1 – 6:1

Jan 18, ’20

Jan 9, ’21

Va-eyra

Ex 6:2 – 9:35

Jan 25, ’20

Jan 16, ’21

Bo

Ex 10:1 – 13:16

Feb 1, ’20

Jan 23, ’21

Beshallach

Ex 13:17 – 17:16

Feb 8, ’20

Jan 30, ’21

Yitro

Ex 18:1 – 20:23

Feb 15, ’20

Feb 6, ’21

Mishpatim

Ex 21:1 – 24:18

Feb 22, ’20

Feb 13, ’21

Terumah

Ex 25:1 – 27:19

Feb 29, ’20

Feb 20, ’21

Tetzaveh

Ex 27:20 – 30:10

Mar 7, ’20

Feb 27, ’21

Ki Tisa

Ex 30:11 – 34:35

Mar 14, ’20

Mar 6, ’21

Vayakhel

Ex 35:1 – 38:20

Mar 21, ’20*

Mar 13, ’21*

Pekuday

Ex 38:21 – 40:38

Mar 21, ’20*

Mar 13, ’21*

 

Leviticus

   

2019-2020

5780

2020-2021

5781

Vayikra

Lev 1:1 – 5:26

Mar 28, ’20

Mar 20, ’21

Tzav

Lev 6:1 – 8:36

Apr 4, ’20

Mar 27, ’21

Shemini

Lev 9:1 – 11:47

Apr 18, ’20

Apr 10, ’21

Tazria

Lev 12:1 – 13:59

Apr 25, ’20*

Apr 17, ’21*

Metzora

Lev 14:1 – 15:33

Apr 25, ’20*

Apr 17, ’21*

Acharey Mot

Lev 16:1 – 18:30

May 2, ’20*

Apr 24, ’21*

Kedoshim

Lev 19:1 – 20:27

May 2, ’20*

Apr 24, ’21*

Emor

Lev 21:1 – 24:23

May 9, ’20

May 1, ’21

Behar

Lev 25:1 – 26:2

May 16, ’20*

May 8, ’21*

Bechukotai

Lev 26:3 – 27:34

May 16, ’20*

May 8, ’21*

 

Numbers

   

2019-2020

5780

2020-2021

5781

Bamidbar

Num 1:1 – 4:20

May 23, ’20

May 15, ’21

Naso

Num 4:21 – 7:89

June 6, ’20

May 22, ’21

Beha’alotekha

Num 8:1 – 12:16

June 13, ’20

May 29, ’21

Shelach Lekha

Num 13:1 – 15:41

June 20, ’20

June 5, ’21

Korach

Num 16:1 – 18:32

June 27, ’20

June 12, ’21

Chukat

Num 19:1 – 22:1

July 4, ’20*

June 19, ’21

Balak

Num 22:2 – 25:9

July 4, ’20*

June 26, ’21

Pinchas

Num 25:10 – 30:1

July 11, ’20

July 3, ’21

Mattot

Num 30:2 – 32:42

July 18, ’20*

July 10, ’21*

Massei

Num 33:1 – 36:13

July 18, ’20*

July 10, ’21*

 

Deuteronomy

   

2019-2020

5780

2020-2021

5781

D’varim

Deu 1:1 – 3:22

July 25, ’20

July 17, ’21

V’Etchanan

Deu 3:23 – 7:11

Aug 1, ’20

July 24, ’21

Ekev

Deu 7:12 – 11:25

Aug 8, ’20

July 31, ’21

Re’eh

Deu 11:26 – 16:17

Aug 15, ’20

Aug 7, ’21

Shoftim

Deu 16:18 – 21:9

Aug 22, ’20

Aug 14, ’21

Ki Tetze

Deu 21:10 – 25:19

Aug 29, ’20

Aug 21, ’21

Ki Tavo

Deu 26:1 – 29:8

Sept 5, ’20

Aug 28, ’21

Nitzavim

Deu 29:9 – 30:20

Sept 12, ’20*

Sept 4, ’21

Vayelekh

Deu 31:1 – 31:30

Sept 12, ’20*

Sept 11, ’21

Ha’azinu

Deu 32:1 – 32:52

Sept 26, ’20

Sept 18, ’21

Vezot HaBrakha

Deu 33:1 – 34:12

(Simchat Torah)

Oct 11, ’20

Sept 29, ’21

 


[1] For detailed information about the Torah see Alfred Kolatch, The Jewish Book of Why The Torah (Middle Village, New York: Jonathan David Publishers, Inc., 2004).

[2] Each week synagogues across the world read a section from the Torah (the five books of Moses). In Hebrew this passage is called Parashat HaShavua which means “portion of the week.” Sometimes it is called parsha or sidra. The Jewish community follows a schedule of readings based on the Hebrew calendar. Over the course of a year the entire Torah is read publicly during the synagogue services. Each reading has a name based on one of the important Hebrew words in the first sentence of the passage. See the Torah Reading Schedule at the end of this research paper done by Rabbi Shefa Gold (rabbishefagold.com/library/torah/parashot/).

[3] The Talmud has two components: the Mishnah (Rabbinic Judaism’s Oral Torah) and the Gemara (a commentary on the Mishnah). The Talmud contains Jewish civil and ceremonial laws including interpretations of the law by various rabbis. There are two versions of the Talmud: the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud.

[4] Wallace writes: “The second class condition indicates the assumption of an untruth (for the sake of argument). For this reason it is appropriately called the ‘contrary to fact’ condition (or the unreal condition). It might be better to call it presumed contrary to fact, however, since sometimes it presents a condition that is true, even though the speaker assumes it to be untrue.” (Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996], 694).

[5] Frederick William Danker, A Greek –English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd edition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000) 244.

[6] Matthews writes, “Curses are uttered against the serpent and the ground, but not against the man and the woman, implying that the blessing has not been utterly lost. It is not until human murder, a transgression against the imago Dei, that a person (Cain) receives the divine curse” (Matthews, Genesis 1-11:26, 243).

[7] Michael Rydelnik gives a detailed explanation of Genesis 3:15 as a Messianic prophecy in his book The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic? (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010). See especially chapter 9 “An Example from the Law: Interpreting Genesis 3:15 as a Messianic Prophecy” (p.129-145).

[8] See Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Ariel’s Bible Commentary: The Book of Genesis (Ariel Ministries, 2009), 143-152 for the view that the sons of God were demons who intermarried women who gave birth to the Nephilim. This was Satan’s attempt to prevent the Messiah from coming through the seed of the woman.

[9] For a detailed study of the virgin birth of Jesus see Robert Gromacki, The Virgin Birth, Revised and Updated (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2002).

[10] Robert Gromacki, Stand Fast in Liberty (The Woodlands, Texas: Kress Christian Publications, 2002), 123.

[11] Gary Gromacki, “A Critique of the Use of Galatians 3 in the Theological Systems of A. Pieters, D. Fuller, and A. Hoekema” Th.M thesis (Dallas Theological Seminary, 1984).

[12] Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Messianic Christology (Ariel Ministries, 1998), 21.

[13] Gary Gromacki, “The Times of the Gentiles” The Journal of Ministry and Theology (Spring 2017), 5-49.

[14] Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Messianic Christology, 22.

[15] A. Cohen, The Teachings of Maimonides (London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1927), 221.

[16] See Seth Postell, “Typology in the Old Testament” in The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy, edited by Michael Rydelnik and Edwin Blum (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2019), 161-176.

[17] Roy Zuck, Basic Bible Interpretation (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991), 182.

[18] In Matthew 19:28 Jesus said, “Assuredly I say to you that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of his glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Jesus predicted that he would sit on “the throne of his glory” which I believe is a reference to the Davidic throne on earth. Jesus also predicted that the apostles would sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. This is an important prediction as it shows the existence of the twelve tribes of Israel in the future kingdom. The Church has not replaced Israel as many who hold to covenant theology assert.

[19] God told Moses that he could not lead Israel into the Promised Land because when God told him to speak to the rock at Kadesh to bring water out of it, Moses used his rod to strike the rock twice (Num.20:1-13). Moses “broke the type” of the once for all death of the Messiah to provide living water and as a result suffered the consequences of his disobedience.

[20] For a detailed study of the prophetic significance of the feasts of Israel see Arnold Fruchtenbaum, The Feasts and Fasts of Israel: Their Historic and Prophetic Significance (Ariel Ministries, 2019).

[21] Ibid., 149.

[22] Talmud, Bava Batra 14a; see also Masechet Sofrim 2:5. Rabbi Eliezer said that this is how the scribes in Jerusalem made their scrolls (with poles at each end) so that it could be rolled to the middle. (https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3689416/jewish/Why-Two-Rollers-for-a-Torah-and-One-for-a-Megillah.htm).