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More prophecies of Christ
March 24, 2020
In an earlier Bible study I promised more prophecies of Christ's coming. These are some of the most well-known, but that is because they are some of the clearest prophecies.
As Chuck Pike likes to say, "If I could prove to you that Jesus's biography was written before he was born, would you believe in him?" Prophecy is one of the best arguments that Jesus is really the Son of God. (You may enjoy Chuck Pike's series on prophecy on YouTube. It begins at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWccraISUsI&t=66s.)
Let's begin with Micah 5:2.
Micah 5:2 says, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, being small among the clans of Judah, out of you one will come out to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings out are from of old, from ancient times."
This prophecy simply states that the Messiah, the destined King of the Jews, would be born in Bethlehem. The last part of the prophecy indicates that he existed before being born on earth. The Bible teaches that he existed before the creation and participated in it (John 1:1-18; Colossians 1:12-20).
Then there is Genesis 49:10.
In Genesis 49, Jacob is blessing his twelve sons. Jacob was the grandson of Abraham, and God changed his name to Israel. The nation of Israel is named from him because the entire nation descended from him.
The fourth of Jacob's sons was Judah. Israel's greatest lineage of kings, such as Solomon and David, descended from him. Jacob's blessing of Judah runs from verses 8 to 12 in Genesis chapter 49. Today we will just look at verses 10 and 11:
"The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs. The obedience of the peoples will be to him.Binding his foal to the vine, his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes."
As a side note, there are several ways to translate verse 10. Many Bible versions do not even translate it, but leave the Hebrew word Shiloh in the verse. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers explains why "until he comes to whom it belongs" is the best translation (https://biblehub.com/commentaries/genesis/49-10.htm)
The tribe of Judah (the descendants of Jacob's son Judah) had a lineage of kings in Israel until they were destroyed and brought to Babylon almost a thousand years after after Jacob uttered those words. Jacob prophesied that Judah's lineage of kings would not end until the one to whom the kingdom belongs arrived.
Jesus was both born in Bethlehem, as Micah 5:2 predicted, and he was a descendant of the tribe of Judah. He did not come until the end of Israel's existence, shortly before Rome destroyed them. (The fact that Israel is in existence again is very significant.) But there is more.
Jesus, of course, is famous for having ridden a donkey's foal into Jerusalem while the people cried out, "Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord" (Matthew 21:1-9). It is not only Jacob's blessing that prophesied this, but the prophet Zechariah, more directly, wrote:
"Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!Behold, your King comes to you! He is righteous, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey." (Zech. 9:9)
Jacob's prophecy adds one more thing, that this ruler to come would wash his robes in the blood of the grape. When Jacob said this to his son Jacob, what he meant was that under this coming king's reign, grapes (wine) would be as common as the water that people wash their clothes in. What Jacob probably did not realize is that Jesus, the coming King, would literally wash his garments in his own blood, giving his life for the salvation of the world.
As a quick explanation of that last comment, God often worked through the prophets in a dual manner. A prophecy might apply to something that would happen in the prophet's time, but also have a meaning that would apply to Jesus's life.
Next time, I should probably explain why the King of the Jews had to die and be raised from the dead, and why he is waiting so long to come back. I will also give you reasons that we should believe that Jesus really is the King, not only of the Jews, but of the whole world, and why we should believe he will really come back.
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