Messianic Prophecies

Messianic Prophecies: Zechariah 14: 1-5

 

Finishing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102, 2013 and 2014, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here,   here, here here, here, and here we come to Zechariah 14: 1-5:

[1] Behold the days of the Lord shall come, and thy spoils shall be divided in the midst of thee. [2] And I will gather all nations to Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken, and the houses shall be rifled, and the women shall be defiled: and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the rest of the people shall not be taken away out of the city. [3] Then the Lord shall go forth, and shall fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. [4] And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is over against Jerusalem toward the east: and the mount of Olives shall be divided in the midst thereof to the east, and to the west with a very great opening, and half of the mountain shall be separated to the north, and half thereof to the south. [5] And you shall flee to the valley of those mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall be joined even to the next, and you shall flee as you fled from the face of the earthquake in the days of Ozias king of Juda: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with him.

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem saw in this passage a prophecy of the entry of Christ into Jerusalem: Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: 1 Chronicles 16: 8-33

 

 

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102, 2013 and 2014, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here,   here, here here, and here, we come to 1 Chronicles 16:  8-33:

 

 

[8] Praise ye the Lord, and call upon his name: make known his doings among the nations. [9] Sing to him, yea, sing praises to him: and relate all his wondrous works. [10] Praise ye his holy name: let the heart I of them rejoice, that seek the Lord.

[11] Seek ye the Lord, and his power: seek ye his face evermore. [12] Remember his wonderful works, which he hath done: his signs, and the judgments of his mouth. [13] O ye seed of Israel his servants, ye children of Jacob his chosen. [14] He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth. [15] Remember for ever his covenant: the word, which he commanded to a thousand generations.

[16] The covenant which he made with Abraham: and his oath to Isaac. [17] And he appointed the same to Jacob for a precept: and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: [18] Saying: To thee will I give the land of Chanaan: the lot of your inheritance. [19] When they were but a small number: very few and sojourners in it. [20] And they passed from nation to nation: and from a kingdom to another people.

[21] He suffered no man to do them wrong: and reproved kings for their sake. [22] Touch not my anointed: and do no evil to my prophets. [23] Sing ye to the Lord, all the earth: shew forth from day to day his salvation. [24] Declare his glory among the Gentiles: his wonders among all people. [25] For the Lord is great and exceedingly to be praised: and he is to be feared above all gods.

[26] For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. [27] Praise and magnificence are before him: strength and joy in his place. [28] Bring ye to the Lord, O ye families of the nations: bring ye to the Lord glory and empire. [29] Give to the Lord glory to his name, bring up sacrifice, and come ye in his sight: and adore the Lord in holy becomingness. [30] Let all the earth be moved at his presence: for he hath founded the world immoveable.

[31] Let the heavens rejoice, and the earth be glad: and let them say among the nations: The Lord hath reigned. [32] Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all things that are in them. [33] Then shall the trees of the wood give praise before the Lord: because he is come to judge the earth.

Saint Justin Martyr says of this passage: Continue reading

Messianic Prophesies: 1 Samuel 2: 1-10

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102, 2013 and 2014, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here,   here, here, and here, we come to 1 Samuel 2: 1-10:

[1] My heart hath rejoiced in the Lord, and my horn is exalted in my God: my mouth is enlarged over my enemies: because I have joyed in thy salvation. [2] There is none holy as the Lord is: for there is no other beside thee, and there is none strong like our God. [3] Do not multiply to speak lofty things, boasting: let old matters depart from your mouth: for the Lord is a God of all knowledge, and to him are thoughts prepared. [4] The bow of the mighty is overcome, and the weak are girt with strength. [5] They that were full before have hired out themselves for bread: and the hungry are filled, so that the barren hath borne many: and she that had many children is weakened.

[6] The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to hell and bringeth back again. [7] The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich, he humbleth and he exalteth. [8] He raiseth up the needy from the dust, and lifteth up the poor from the dunghill: that he may sit with princes, and hold the throne of glory. For the poles of the earth are the Lord’ s, and upon them he hath set the world. [9] He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness, because no man shall prevail by his own strength. [10] The adversaries of the Lord shall fear him: and upon them shall he thunder in the heavens. The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth, and he shall give empire to his king, and shall exalt the horn of his Christ.

Saint Augustine was emphatic that this prayer of Hannah, rejoicing in the birth of her son Samuel, carried Messianic significance: Continue reading

Christ the Greatest Black Swan: The Unexpected Expected Messiah

Delphic-sibyl

 

 

The second part of our Advent look at Jesus as the greatest Black Swan event in human history.  Go here to read part one.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his 2007 book The Black Swan, took a look at the impact of events in history for which our prior experiences give us no inkling.  Taleb states three requirements for a Black Swan Event:

First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme ‘impact’. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.

In regard to the first test of a Black Swan event, was the coming of Jesus unexpected?  The Old Testament is studded with texts that predict the coming of the Messiah.  Go here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here,   here, and here to read a handful of them.  These messianic interpretations were not merely Christians reading back into Scripture references to Christ.  For centuries before Christ Jews had debated and argued about whether a Messiah sent by God was coming and what he would be like if he came.  Greatly simplifying a very complex historical debate, most Jews who believed in a Messiah expected a scion of the House of David who would re-establish, with the help of God, the Jews as a great people ruling themselves.  A minority of Jews thought the Messiah might be humble and meek, the “suffering servant” of Messiah, while most Jews regarded such passages as a prophetic reference to the weak state of the Jewish nation.  A handful of Jews, some of the Essenes, believed that the Messiah had come about a century to a century and a half before the Christian Era and would come again.

Intriguingly some Romans believed about the time of Christ that some great change was about to enter the world.  One of the odder stories in the history of Rome is the purported purchase by the last Roman King Tarquinus Superbus.  Sybil means prophetess in Greek.  Lines of women prophets established themselves at various locations throughout the Greek world and were frequently consulted during times of crisis.  As the story goes, the Cumaean Sybil, located near Naples, offered to Superbus nine books of prophecies of the history of Rome written in Greek hexameters at an exorbitant price.  When he declined the offer she burned three of the books and repeated her offer.  The King declining again she burned three more books at which the King met her price for the final three books.  God alone knows what grains of truth are in this story.  What is quite historical is that the Roman Senate did have Sybilline Books, or rather scrolls, of prophecies, closely guarded by the Roman state and consulted in times of peril as to the religious observances that must be undertaken to avert the peril.  Kept in the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol the original books were lost when the temple burned in 83 BC.  The Senate rounded up prophecies from other Sybils to replace them, and the new Sybilline books were placed in the restored temple to Jupiter.  Consul Flavius Stilicho ordered these books burned in 408 AD as they were being used by adversaries of the government. Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Deuteronomy 18: 15-18

 

Beginning our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102, 2013 and 2014, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here,   here, and here, we come to Deuteronomy 18: 15-18:

[15] The Lord thy God will raise up to thee a PROPHET of thy nation and of thy brethren like unto me: him thou shalt hear:

[16] As thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the assembly was gathered together, and saidst: Let me not hear any more the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see any more this exceeding great fire, lest I die. [17] And the Lord said to me: They have spoken all things well. [18] I will raise them up a prophet out of the midst of their brethren like to thee: and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him. [19] And he that will not hear his words, which he shall speak in my name, I will be the revenger.

Saint Augustine in his Tractates on the Gospel of John cites this passage: Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Isaiah 40: 1-5

 

Concluding our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102 and 2013, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here,  and here, we come to Isaiah 40: 1-5:

 

[1] Be comforted, be comforted, my people, saith your God.

[2] Speak ye to the heart of Jerusalem, and call to her: for her evil is come to an end, her iniquity is forgiven: she hath received of the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.

[3] The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God.

[4] Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough ways plain.

[5] And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see, that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken.

As Saint Augustine notes, this is a clear reference to John the Baptist: Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Haggai 2: 6-8

 

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102 and 2013, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here  and here, we come to Haggai 2: 6-8 :

[6] The word that I covenanted with you when you came out of the land of Egypt: and my spirit shall be in the midst of you: fear not.

[7] For thus saith the Lord of hosts: Yet one little while, and I will move the heaven and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land.

[8] And I will move all nations: AND THE DESIRED OF ALL NATIONS SHALL COME: and I will fill this house with glory: saith the Lord of hosts.  

Saint Augustine reveals Who this passage refers to:  Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Isaiah 50:6

 

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102 and 2013, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here and here ,we come to Isaiah 50:6:

 

 

I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me.

Saint Athanasius links this passage to the sufferings of Christ: Continue reading

Messianic Prophesies: Jeremiah 23: 5-6

 

 

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102 and 2013, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here and here we come to Jeremiah 23: 5-6:

 

 [5] Behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will raise up to David a just branch: and a king shall reign, and shall be wise, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth.

[6] In those days shall Juda be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently: and this is the name that they shall call him: the Lord our just one.

Pope Leo in Sermon 28, his great Christmas sermon, illuminates this passage for us: Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Isaiah 35

 

 

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, which we began in Advent 2011 and continued last year, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here and here we come to Isaiah 35:

 

 

[1] The land that was desolate and impassable shall be glad, and the wilderness shall rejoice, and shall flourish like the lily. [2] It shall bud forth and blossom, and shall rejoice with joy and praise: the glory of Libanus is given to it: the beauty of Carmel, and Saron, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the beauty of our God. [3] Strengthen ye the feeble hands, and confirm the weak knees. [4] Say to the fainthearted: Take courage, and fear not: behold your God will bring the revenge of recompense: God himself will come and will save you. [5] Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

[6] Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free: for waters are broken out in the desert, and streams in the wilderness. [7] And that which was dry land, shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water. In the dens where dragons dwell before, shall rise up the verdure of the reed and the bulrush. [8] And a path and a way shall be there, and it shall be called the holy way: the unclean shall not pass over it, and this shall be unto you a straight way, so that fools shall not err therein. [9] No lion shall be there, nor shall any mischievous beast go up by it, nor be found there: but they shall walk there that shall be delivered. [10] And the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and shall come into Sion with praise, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away

Saint Athanasius writes of this passage: Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Jeremiah 31: 15

 

The Slaying of the Holy Innocents

 

 

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, which we began in Advent 2011 and continued last year, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here and here, we come to Jeremiah 31: 15:

Thus saith the Lord: A voice was heard on high of lamentation, of mourning, and weeping, of Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted for them, because they are not.

This passage was horribly fulfilled in the slaying of the Holy Innocents.  Saint John Chrysostom elucidates the passage for us: Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Zechariah 12: 10

 

 

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, which we began in Advent 2011 and continued last year, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here and here, we come to Zechariah 12: 10:

 

10. And I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace, and of prayers: and they shall look upon me, whom they have pierced: and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for an only son, and they shall grieve over him, as the manner is to grieve for the death of the firstborn.

Saint Justin Martyr views this as a prophecy of the Second Coming of Christ: Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Psalm 2

 

 

Beginning our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, which we began in Advent 2011 and continued last year, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, and here, we come to Psalm 2:

 

[1] Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things?

[2] The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord and against his Christ.

[3] Let us break their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us.

[4] He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them: and the Lord shall deride them.

[5] Then shall he speak to them in his anger, and trouble them in his rage.

[6] But I am appointed king by him over Sion his holy mountain, preaching his commandment.

[7] The Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.

[8] Ask of me, and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.

[9] Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron, and shalt break them in pieces like a potter’ s vessel.

[10] And now, O ye kings, understand: receive instruction, you that judge the earth.

[11] Serve ye the Lord with fear: and rejoice unto him with trembling.

[12] Embrace discipline, lest at any time the Lord be angry, and you perish from the just way.

[13]When his wrath shall be kindled in a short time, blessed are all they that trust in him.

Saint Augustine wrote regarding this Psalm: Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Isaiah 53

Concluding our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, which we began last Advent, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here , and here, we come to Isaiah 53:

 

[1] Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

[2] And he shall grow up as a tender plant before him, and as a root out of a thirsty ground: there is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him:

[3] Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not.

[4] Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted.

[5] But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed.

[6] All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

[7] He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.

[8] He was taken away from distress, and from judgment: who shall declare his generation? because he is cut off out of the land of the living: for the wickedness of my people have I struck him.

[9] And he shall give the ungodly for his burial, and the rich for his death: because he hath done no iniquity, neither was there deceit in his mouth.

[10] And the Lord was pleased to bruise him in infirmity: if he shall lay down his life for sin, he shall see a long-lived seed, and the will of the Lord shall be prosperous in his hand.

[11] Because his soul hath laboured, he shall see and be filled: by his knowledge shall this my just servant justify many, and he shall bear their iniquities.

[12] Therefore will I distribute to him very many, and he shall divide the spoils of the strong, because he hath delivered his soul unto death, and was reputed with the wicked: and he hath borne the sins of many, and hath prayed for the transgressors.

 

Of this passage Saint Clement wrote: Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Isaiah 60: 1-6

 

 

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies which we began last Advent, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here and here , we come to Isaiah 60: 1-6.

[1] Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

 

[2] For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

 

[3] And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising.

 

[4] Lift up thy eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side.

 

[5] Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee.

 

[6] The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord.

Saint Methodius has written the following in regard to this passage: Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Jonah 2:1

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. And he left them, and went away.

Matthew 16:4

 

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies which we began last Advent, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, and here we come to Jonah 2:1:

[1] Now the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonas: and Jonas was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Saint Jerome writes about this passage: Continue reading

Messianic Prophecies: Malachi 3:1-5

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies which we began last Advent, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here and here, we look today at Malachi 3: 1-5.

 

[1] Behold I send my angel, and he shall prepare the way before my face. And presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the angel of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to his temple. Behold he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts.

 [2] And who shall be able to think of the day of his coming? and who shall stand to see him? for he is like a refining fire, and like the fuller’s herb:

[3] And he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice. [4] And the sacrifice of Juda and of Jerusalem shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years.

 [5] And I will come to you in judgment, and will be a speedy witness against sorcerers, and adulterers, and false swearers, and them that oppress the hireling in his wages; the widows, and the fatherless: and oppress the stranger, and have not feared me, saith the Lord of hosts. Continue reading

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