Jesus In Pentateuch Part 2

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The Predictions About The Messiah in Pentateuch

Both Jewish and Christian traditions from the early centuries found references to the Messiah in the Law, also known as Pentateuch.
Some of the most controversial passages among the scholarly world are Gen. 3:15, Gen. 49:8-12, Num. 24:17-19, Deut. 18:18-19.
What Does the Law Teach Us About Jesus Christ?
Let us look at the term first.

The Meaning of Messiah

The word Messiah is used in both Jewish and Christian theology. It refers to an individual figure’s coming, ministry, activities, and future announced in the Old Testament.
The word Messiah is derived from the Hebrew term: māšîaḥ (Massiach). It is used in two ways, adjectivally, and as a noun. The word means, “anointed,” or “anointed one.”
Meaning of the Term Anointed - Used 39 times.
When used as an adjective, the word māšîaḥ is found complementing the noun priest, as in anointed priest.
As a noun, it is used in Daniel 9:25-26, as “an anointed one” who is identified as a prince/leader. The other times used as a noun, it appears in a compound phrase, “the anointed of Yahweh,” “his anointed,” or “the anointed of the God of Jacob.”
The term māšîaḥ, when used in singular form, it is used for a king, prophet or a priest, but it is also used in plural form to indicate God’s people (Psa. 105:15, and 1 Chron. 16:22).
Psalm 105:15 KJV 1900
Saying, Touch not mine anointed, And do my prophets no harm.
According the usage of the word in Daniel 9:25-26, it seems that the word Messiah took a definitive form as in “The Messiah.”
For example in John 1:41, the disciple says they found The Messiah.
John 1:41 KJV 1900
He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
So what does māšîaḥ mean?
The Anointed One!

The Predictions About Messiah in the Pentateuch

Passages that we will be looking at “briefly” today are Genesis 3:15, Genesis 9:25-27; Genesis 12:1-3, 22:16-18, and Genesis 49:8-12.

The Protevangelium Gen. 3:15.

Genesis 3:15 KJV 1900
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

The Background (Gen. 1-3).

God’s creative work.
Failure of Adam and Eve
Curses upon the serpent, Eve, Adam, and thus on entire creation.
God made the entire creation; gave Adam and Eve the complete dominion over it to rule, subdue the creation. In stead of obeying God, they have rebelled against Him; they have betrayed God; they have obeyed the voice of the serpent.
Because of this rebellion, God cursed the serpent, Adam and Eve. However, in the midst of this oracle, there is divine grace, there is this good news, a protevangelium.
Genesis 3:15 KJV 1900
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Who is the seed in this verse? Some may think that this “seed” is referring to Seth, or Issac, or Jacob, etc. But this goes a long way.
It is a stunning imagery to see that the serpent would strike the heel of the seed of the woman, and the seed of the woman would strike the head of the serpent.
How can we better understand this passage? When we see this through the lens of the crucifixion of Christ.
Charles Hodge, a theologian says:
Systematic Theology (The Protevangelium)
Immediately after the apostasy of our first parents it was announced that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. The meaning of this promise and prediction is to be determined by subsequent revelations. When interpreted in the light of the Scriptures themselves, it is manifest that the seed of the woman means the Redeemer, and that bruising the serpent’s head means his final triumph over the powers of darkness. In this protevangelium, as it has ever been called, we have the dawning revelation of the humanity and divinity of the great deliverer.
The “seed” an important term in this verse is made clear by the Scripture in Gal. 3:16
Galatians 3:16 KJV 1900
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
So the Seed in Genesis 3:15 is referring to Jesus in Galatians 3:16.
However, there are critics who claim that this verse is not talking about Messiah.
Some claim that this verse is talking about the continuous tension between human beings and evil forces. Some claim that this is an allegorical understanding and grammar does not support to view this verse as Messianic prophecy.
Whatever one may claim the conclusion of this verse, we must always refer to the text and see what the text says - because, Context is King.

The Larger Plot and the Seed (Gen. 1-11).

The “seed,” we know it is singular and referring to Jesus Christ based on Gal. 3:16 has become a key term in Genesis.
However, Genesis chapters 1-11 as whole, provides us the plot. The events and people in Genesis 1-11 are needed to provide a background for God’s election of Abram, and in him, God’s forming of the nation of Israel.
In fact, Gen. 3:15 is essential to understand Gen. 1-11. It is that “seed,” and the blessing upon that seed that God has emphasized.
Therefore, Gen 3:15 is not simply sitting in the larger context of Genesis 1-11 for no reason. 3:15 is sort of backbone for the rest of the book.
Glenn Kreider regarding Messiah in the OT says,

To read the Scriptures and fail to see the Messiah in them is to fail to read the Scriptures correctly.

The Seed in Genesis 9:25-27.

Genesis 9:25–27 KJV 1900
And he said, Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; And Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, And he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; And Canaan shall be his servant.
We know the story how Noah, a man who was righteous, got drunk and was naked under his tent. Then Ham saw Noah’s nakedness; Shem, and Japheth heard what happened from Ham, and they both went backwards and covered Noah’s nakedness.

The Prophetic Utterances

The profound statement in this verse is that Canaan is cursed. Noah utters “Cursed be Canaan.” This utterance extend beyond Noah’s immediate offspring to the yet-unborn generations.
How is Noah’s incident related to Genesis 3?
In Gen. 2:8, God planted a garden for man and woman to enjoy, and so in Noah’s account, he planted an orchard (9:20). What was the outcome? Both realized their nakedness (3:7; 9:21-22, 24). There is some parallelism in the narrative.
Now, going back to the utterances of Noah, Ham was not cursed, but his descendants, Canaan were. Why? Probably because of Gen. 9:1
Genesis 9:1 KJV 1900
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Noah probably knew that he cannot rewrite what God has blessed or unbless Ham, and so he cursed Canaan. These descendants of Ham would become slaves of Shem - the Semites.
How is the seed in Gen 9 connected with the seed in Genesis 3? There is a connection between the “seed” in these passages, and the following.
God’s story did not stop with Noah. Noah’s seed would bring forth the seed that was mentioned in 3:15. Shem had children. The Table of Nations in Gen. 10:21 calls attention to the relationship of Shem and Japheth.
Genesis 10:21 KJV 1900
Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.
The text says that Shem, the father of all the children of Eber. The children of Eber deals with the genealogy that lies ahead, which leads to the birth of Abram, who was a descendant of the blessed Shem (11:10-26).
The story of Abram and the covenant God made with Abram will uncover the progressive unfolding of the seed which ultimately culminates in Christ.
God promised redemption through Gen. 3:15, and Gen. 9 by His Seed.
What are we to do? If you do not believe in the Seed (Jesus) yet, believe in Him; if you are already a believer, as you are, then praise the Lord for foreseeing the need of a Redeemer to redeem us back to Him.
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