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|February 2006 (5766)||Vol. 32 No. 2|
The Name of Jesus in the Old Testament
For the past over 40 years, I have had the distinct honour and privilege of sharing my faith in Y'shua (Jesus) with many of my Jewish brethren. And in so doing, some have accepted Y'shua as their own personal Saviour and Messiah!
One of the most recurring questions that I have personally had to answer is, "Where is 'Jesus' (Y'shua) mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (The Old Testament)?"
One of the individuals that stands out in my mind and heart is Mr. I. Greenbaum. He would challenge me every time he would see me: "Show me in my TORAH ('Law of Moses' or 'Pentateuch') where Jesus is mentioned by name and I might just believe the things that you have been telling me, about THE MESSIAH."
What a challenge; What a wonderful opportunity this would afford me to finally show Mr. Greenbaum that indeed The One spoken of in Isaiah 7:14, and Isaiah 9:6, and Micah 5:2, and etc., etc. is Jesus (Y'shua).
Oh, I forgot to tell you that Mr. Greenbaum was the first Jewish man that had ever asked me to prove that Y'shua (Jesus), indeed is found in TaNaCH (The Old Testament).
I was barely 30 (thirty) years of age and right out of Seminary, and believe it or not, I was not taught nor was I instructed either in Bible College or Theological Seminary how to answer a Jewish individual's question about The Name of Jesus (Y'shua), whether it appeared in The Old Testament or not.
I began my search through The Scriptures, while at the same time I asked the Lord GOD for Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge to answer Mr. Greenbaum's questions.
Where Do We Find That Name???
Before I answer this question, let me remind you that in The Old Testament all great characters were given names with a specific and significant meaning.
Here are a few examples:
1. In Genesis 5:29, LAMECH called his son, COMFORT (NOAH), saying, "...This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands..."
2. In Exodus 2:10 Pharoah's daughter called the baby rescued from the Nile DRAWN-FORTH (MOSES); "...and she said, Because I drew him out of the water."
3. In Genesis 25:24-26, "And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all over like a hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob..." So you can appreciate the fact that the man JACOB at his birth was called HEEL, because he took hold of his brother's heel! Later on in The Scriptures we read in Genesis 32:28, "And he [The LORD] said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God..." Therefore, the name JACOB (HEEL) is now ISRAEL (GOD'S PRINCE).
There are so many more examples to share with you that I would definitely have to write a very large book on this subject alone.
Let us now proceed to clearly show you that the Hebrew Name Y'SHUA (In Greek, IESUS and in English, JESUS) is indeed found many times in TaNaCH (The Old Testament). And it clearly means 'SALVATION'!
In Genesis 49:18 when Jacob was ready to depart from the land of the living, he says, "I have waited for thy Salvation, O LORD." What Jacob really said is, "To thy Y'SHUA [JESUS, Salvation] I am looking, O LORD."
In Psalm 9:14, King David of Israel said, "...I will rejoice in thy salvation." What he actually said was, "...I will rejoice in (with) thy Y'SHUA (Jesus)."
Before the birth of Y'SHUA (Jesus) almost 2,000 years ago The Angel spoke to Joseph, husband of Miriam (Mary), the mother of our LORD and said, "And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his Name JESUS [Y'SHUA or salvation] for He shall save [or salvage] his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)
In Isaiah 12:2&3 we read something very wonderful; 'SALVATION' (Y'SHUA - JESUS) is mentioned three times.In the original Hebrew they read thusly, "Behold, God is my Y'SHUA [Jesus]; I will trust, and be not afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my Y'SHUA [Jesus]. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of Y'SHUA [Jesus]."
We see here that Y'SHUA (Jesus) IS GOD, and that He (GOD) also IS BECOME our Y'SHUA (Jesus), and the wells of Salvation (Y'SHUA-JESUS) are the waters of Salvation flowing forth from Calvary.
Also, in Isaiah 62:11 we read, "Behold, The LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion [The Jewish People], Behold, thy salvation [Y'SHUA-JESUS] cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him."
Can we now clearly see that the Hebrew Word Y'SHUA (SALVATION) is a PERSON and not a THING or an EVENT ?
In Habakkuk 3:13, I believe we have the greatest demonstration of The Name of JESUS (Y'SHUA) in the TaNaCH (The Old Testament).
"Thou wentest forth for the salvation [Y'sha - a variant of Y'shua-Jesus] of thy people, even for salvation [Y'SHUA] with thine anointed [MESSIAH]..."
The term MESSIAH is equal to the English CHRIST or ANOINTED ONE! Here we can see with much evidence, The Name of Y'SHUA HA-MASSIACH (JESUS THE CHRIST) in the Old Testament (TaNaCH), and what's more, He (Y'SHUA) is doing what Genesis 3:15 had predicted that 'the Seed of the Woman' would do, and that is, as mentioned in Habakkuk 3:13, "...thou woundest the head out of the house of the wicked..."
You can imagine when I was able to show Mr. Greenbaum about 75 references in TaNaCH (The Old Testament) that speak clearly about Y'SHUA (Jesus) as a PERSON, and not an EVENT or THING, he admitted that indeed they could be found in his Hebrew Bible.
I might share with you that not too long afterward Mr. Greenbaum's eyes and heart were opened by the Holy Spirit to understand and accept Y'SHUA (JESUS) as his MESSIAH.
It reminded me of Simeon long ago recorded in Luke 2:29-30, as he took the baby Jesus (Y'SHUA) in his arms, and said, "LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace [Shalom], according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation [Y'SHUA]..." "...and thou shalt call his name JESUS [Y'SHUA]: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)
WHO IS LORD OF THE SABBATH ?
There are certain words and/or terms that when used in Christianity seem to elicit from some a positive response, while at the same time from others a negative reaction. It simply amazes me as I have listened to certain individuals over a period of more than thirty years, as they editorialize the Holy Bible in order to apply The Word of God to their own culture and traditions. For example, the all-encompassing subject of the Sabbath (Shabbat). You would think that these individuals who apply their various explanations of the Sabbath actually invented Shabbat.
Forgotten somehow is the fact that it was the Almighty God who introduced and installed for all time the goodness of the Sabbath (See: Genesis chapter Two). By the way, the Sabbath (of God) falls on the seventh day of the week (Gen. 2:2), not on the first day of the week as some would have us believe.
Before we go any further, let's establish for ourselves a biblical definition of the word 'Sabbath'. It means Rest. In Genesis 2:2, we read that the Lord God blessed the Seventh day, then we are told that He sanctified it, and lastly that in it, He rested (Shabbat).
THUS THE SEVENTH DAY
Thus the Seventh day that is blessed and sanctified by The Almighty God is called the Sabbath (Shabbat).
Now if your tradition or practice is to worship the Lord on Sunday, which is the first day of the week, you shouldn't worry. You have the right and privilege to worship the Lord on the first day of the week, and may I remind you that you should continue worshipping our Lord on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and yes even on the 7th day of the week (Shabbat).
WHO ARE WE TO CHOOSE
Who are we to choose which day we are to worship the Lord? Oh, some may say that Y'shua (Jesus) rose from the dead on the first day of the week, therefore, we must worship Him on that day. Well, that's no problem, but what do they do the rest of the week? Do they not worship Him every day of the week? Furthermore, if you choose the first day (Sunday) of the week to worship Him at 11:00 a.m., have you forgotten, as recorded in John 20:1, that Y'shua (Jesus) had risen from the dead while it was yet 'dark'. Therefore, why do you not worship the Lord while it is dark? Why do you so conveniently wait until 9:00, 10:00, or 11:00 a.m. on Sunday?
YOU MAY WORSHIP ON SUNDAY
As stated previously, you may worship on Sunday, but please don't forget the other days of the week to honor the Lord. I mention all of this to bring us to our subject of the Sabbath (Shabbat).
LORD OF THE SABBATH
Who is Lord of the Sabbath (Shabbat)? In Matthew 12:8 we read "for the Son of man (Y'shua-Jesus) is Lord even of the Sabbath day"! Isn't it interesting that nowhere in the Holy Bible do we read that God is Lord over any other specific day of the week, except the seventh day, which is Shabbat (the Sabbath). We read in Revelation 1:11, that the Apostle John "was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day". Now what day do you suppose that is? Well, you have seven choices since a week has seven days. If you conclude that it is the Sabbath (Shabbat), the seventh day of the week that long ago the Almighty God blessed and sanctified (remember Genesis 2), then you are absolutely and completely correct.
You may ask me, Dr. Hidalgo, are you telling me that Jesus and His Apostles and all the disciples actually met and worshipped on Saturday? My unequivocal answer is YES, YES, & YES! Then who changed the day of worship ?
I THOUGHT YOU WOULD NEVER ASK
Oh, I thought you would never ask. There are many things that we find today being observed in Christianity, and even memorialized which are not found nor are they commanded in the Holy Bible. You would think that people who love The Word of God would actually observe its commandments without changing them.
WHAT HAPPENED TO CHRISTIANITY?
What happened to Christianity? By the end of the third century after the advent of Christ, everything that had any semblance of, or connection with, the Jewish people, disappeared from off the face of the earth. Christianity has it's roots and foundation in Christ, a Jewish man (and yet God), and every fundamental doctrine and teaching found within the pages of The Old Testament (see: Luke 24:44), SPEAKS about Y'shua (Jesus) Who came through the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (the Jewish people). Yes, Christianity did so well (the first two centuries); then came the big change as more and more Gentiles (non-Jewish) people continued entering the congregation of believers; almost overnight the Sabbath became Sunday.
IT IS MOST INTERESTING
It is most interesting that Christianity for the most part worships on the first day of the week called Sun-day. What does the Sun have to do with all of this? Let us remember the day that the Lord has made (Psalm 118). Should we not according to Scripture worship and rejoice in God's-day (Sabbath-Shabbat), rather than Man's-day (Sun-day).
We at Shalom Scripture Studies come together and worship the Lord on the Sabbath (which is our Friday evening service), and also on the first day of the week while it is yet dark (which is our Saturday evening service). Thus we worship and remember the Lord of the Sabbath day, as well as recognizing the resurrection of Y'shua (Jesus) by worshipping on the first day of the week, while it is yet dark.
In conclusion, may I encourage you to remember the 4th commandment in Exodus 20. "Remember the Sabbath day (the Seventh day), to keep it holy".
Please don't forget to observe all 10 commandments, for all ten are most holy before God. Neglecting just one dishonours God.
May the Lord grant you wisdom to know the difference between God's Law and man's law. Shalom (Peace) in Him.
WHY TO THE JEW FIRST ?
The question before us demands an answer.
It is apparent that to some Christians, a simple "because GOD said so" is not sufficient. I say this based on the following personal observations that I have been able to pick up from various people over the last twenty-five years. Some will say, "I don't want to offend"; others have said, "I don't think it's necessary"; while yet others have actually spoken these words to me, "I don't think it's for today."
In addition to the above, here are some other reasons that I believe people use as excuses for not practicing "to the Jew first" in their own lives.
1- There may be some misinformation about The Scriptures.
2- The individual may be unaware that The Bible actually invites us to be a faithful witness to Jewish people.
3- Perhaps there exists either covertly or overtly some form of prejudice (anti-Semitism).
4- An individual may feel that he or she may not have enough knowledge of Holy Writ to be effective for Our Lord.
5- Or, a person might be just plain 'afraid' to speak to a Jewish person about their Messiah.
Before we go any further let's establish the Biblical identity of the Jewish people.
In DEUTERONOMY 7:6 we read:
"FOR THOU (THE JEWISH PEOPLE) ART A 'HOLY' PEOPLE UNTO THE LORD THY GOD: THE LORD THY GOD HATH 'CHOSEN' THEE TO BE A 'SPECIAL' PEOPLE UNTO HIMSELF, ABOVE ALL PEOPLE THAT ARE UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH."
The usual connotation of a Jewish person is that he or she belongs to 'the chosen people', but in actuality according to our Scripture the Jewish people are not only 'chosen', but they are also 'holy' and 'special'.
In Zechariah 2:12 we read that The LORD Himself tells us, "for he that toucheth you (the Jewish people) toucheth the Apple of His (The LORD's) Eye."
In The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 10 and verse 6, we read that our LORD Jesus Christ spoke of the Jewish people as "the lost sheep of the house of Israel", and He commissioned His disciples to "go" and "preach" saying , "the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
The Jewish Apostle Saul-Paul who was sent by our LORD to the Gentiles (non-Jewish people) to preach and witness of GOD's love, said:
IN ROMANS 1:16
"For I am not ashamed of The Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of GOD unto salvation to every one that believeth; 'to the Jew first', and also to the Gentile".
Yes, the Apostle Saul-Paul was instructed to go to the Gentiles, yet everywhere he went, according to The Scriptures, he first presented The Good News of Salvation "to the Jew first". Therefore, when we are confronted in Romans 1:16 that The Gospel is to be presented "to the Jew first", and for the most part it is not part and parcel of Christianity, we would naturally ask ourselves, WHY NOT ?
I believe that if you do not place "to the Jew first" in your witness, prayer life, financial support, and in your life as a believer in general; and I repeat, if you do not, you probably do not have a place at all for GOD's 'holy', 'chosen', 'special' PEOPLE, that is, the Jewish people.
Even Jesus our LORD in The Gospel according to Luke 24:46-47 said, "Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ (Messiah) to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations (Gentiles), BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM (the Jewish people)".
Please remember what Romans 3:9 tells us, "For we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin".
SO, WHY TO THE JEW FIRST ?
Because, GOD said so, and this of course is found in Holy Writ: also, because Jewish people should have an opportunity 'TODAY' to hear that
Yeshua (Jesus) is
The Promised Messiah (Christ).
I hope that you are interested in being obedient to GOD's Word.
If you believe that The Gospel of Christ 'IS' the power of GOD unto Salvation - for EVERYONE that believeth, then you must recognize that the Jewish people are part of EVERYONE. Furthermore, The LORD instructs you to place "to the Jew first" in your life of service unto our LORD, that is, in your prayers (see: Romans 10:1) and in your financial support (see: Romans 11:30-31, and Romans 15:26-27).
The LORD Himself has a very special blessing for you as you obey Him. Remember, that if you DON'T put "to the Jew first" in your program of service unto our LORD, you probably will leave the Jewish people totally and absolutely out of your life as a witness.
Once the Biblical principle of "to the Jew first" takes hold of your life and you put into practice the admonition thereof, don't try to reform or convert your Church or Fellowship. Remember, that Jewish Evangelism for all practical purposes is 'NOT' an integral part in the average Church or Fellowship, and you might even find that there is no interest whatsoever in reaching Jewish people with The Gospel. Usually a Church or Fellowship Missionary Budget speaks for itself. However, The LORD might just use you as an instrument to help others in realizing that "to the Jew first" is for TODAY AND NOW.
In Genesis 12:3 we read, "And I will bless them (you) that bless thee (the Jewish people). Take hold of this promise of blessing as you practice "to the Jew first".
Our ministry, SHALOM SCRIPTURE STUDIES, INC., allows you an avenue to become involved in practicing "to the Jew first", by STUDYING with us; or, by SUPPORTING us in a prayerful financial way; or, SERVING with us in preaching "to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" that MESSIAH HAS COME and that He is Coming Again.
The LORD bless you in your new awareness and challenge of "to the Jew first".
Dr. and Mrs. Elias E. Hidalgo
Pray For The Peace Of Jerusalem:
They Shall Prosper That Love Thee".
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