Book Review: The Messianic Hopea

by Michael Rydelnik, 206 pp., (hardback)

Reviewed by Tony Garlandb
View PDF versionc

I recently enjoyed reading The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic?d written by Michael Rydelnike, a Jewish believer in Jesus (Yeshua) and professor of Jewish studiesf at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. The book is one of the volumes comprising the NAC Studies in Bible & Theology seriesg. (Another highly-recommended book in the series which I recently completed is Future Israelh by Barry E. Horner.)

Dr. Rydelnik’s main concern is a growing tendency among evangelical scholars to explain Old Testament passages which seem clearly to predict the coming Messiah as not actually referring to the Messiah, but to find complete fulfillment in a local historical figure or situation at the time of the writer or prophet.

I can attest to this trend myself as I've run into my share of Theological Journal articles where I've been dismayed -- no shocked -- to find key Messianic passages of the Old Testament (e.g., Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Isa. 9:6-7; Isa. 49) explained away as having no reference to the Messiah by various scholars who purport to be in the evangelical camp. This has become so rampant that I've begun to wonder if some of these evangelicals may have contributed the study notes for the Jewish Study Biblei which adopts a predictable anti-Jesus interpretation at every opportunity! As Dr. Rydelnik observes, these evangelical scholars have adopted an interpretive framework for the Old Testament which is essentially that of the liberal critics:

A hermeneutic that is growing in popularity is the midrash or pesher approach, which asserts that the New Testament understood the Old Testament messianic hope using the interpretive methods of early Judaism . . . According to this view, the Old Testament prophecies commonly referred to historical figures present in the prophets' own days. Then, the New Testament interpreted these passages according to the intertestamental Jewish method called midrash or pesher. The New Testament cited these ancient passages in creative ways to show their fulfillment in contemporary events. . . . This approach has been adopted by critical as well as evangelical scholars.1

This trend means that our seminaries are becoming increasingly populated by “scholars” who claim to be evangelical, but who no longer are certain that “the scroll of the book is written of [Him]” (Ps. 40:7). What is beyond strange about all this is that these same evangelical scholars are followers of Jesus -- up to a point. They don’t seem to want to follow Jesus down the road to Emmaus and in many other passages where He clearly expects His listeners to have found unambiguous testimony to Himself in the Jewish Tanak (e.g., Luke 18:31; 24:27; 24:44; John 5:39; 5:46)! Dr. Rydelnik’s book is refreshing in its plain-sense examination of whether modern scholarship has really brought a better understanding of the original historical context of what were once thought to be Messianic passages such that we now realize much of the Church has been guilty of reading Jesus back into them where He never was to be found in the first place.

The author begins his task by establishing why Messianic prophecy is important. If the Old Testament fails to provide the necessary predictive data to unambiguously establish the credentials of Jesus of Nazareth as the predicted Messiah, then we quickly would find ourselves in the same shoes as John the Baptist, who at a particularly low point in his ministry asked, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” (Luke 7:20). This is no mere academic issue for Dr. Rydelnik as it has a great bearing upon his own salvation experience.

Messianic prophecy was the means God used to bring me to faith in Jesus the Messiah. My parents were Holocaust survivors who raised me in a traditional Jewish home. We were Orthodox in our Jewish beliefs and practices and, as such, I did believe in the future coming of a personal Messiah. Even so, it was not a central issue of my life. However, that changed when my mother announced that she believed in Jesus. This led to my father divorcing her and a radical shift in my life. I decided to study the messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Bible and prove my mother wrong in attributing their fulfillment to Jesus of Nazareth. Although I was initially quite confident of my opinion, in time I was surprised to see that there was far more credibility to the messiahship of Jesus than I had first anticipated. After dealing with my fears of ostracism from the Jewish community, based on my new conviction that the Scriptures foretold a suffering Messiah who would be rejected by His own people and provide forgiveness thorough his death and resurrection, I put my trust in Jesus as Messiah and Lord. . . . I would never have made this decision apart from studying messianic prophecy. In fact, apart from messianic prediction and fulfillment, Jesus could not be identified as the Messiah of Israel, and if not that, then He could not be the Messiah of the world. It is for this reason, joined with my commitment to exegetical accuracy, that I believe it is essential to understand the Hebrew Bible as messianic.2

Having established the importance of Messianic prophecy, the author provides a brief but valuable history of how Old Testament scholarship has interpreted prophecy and fulfillment through the ages, including some of the developments which led to what could only now be described as a “minimalist” approach to interpreting Messianic passages in the Old Testament. An especially useful summary concerns the various categories into which prediction and fulfillment have been understood (historical, dual, typical, progressive, relecture, midrash or pesher, and direct fulfillment). "3

Next up is a discussion concerning text-critical perspectives on Messianic prophecy. In this section, the author borrows heavily from John Sailhamer in arriving at the view that the Masoretic Text -- especially the relatively late vowel additions by the Masoretes -- should not be viewed as the Textus Receptus of the Old Testament.

. . . the Masoretic Text is frequently treated as a received text rather than a version of the biblical text. Yet the Masoretic Text, although generally sound and truly the best Old Testament text available, is a somewhat late version of the Hebrew Bible. Therefore, other versions, such as the Samaritan Pentateuch, and ancient translations, such as the Septuagint, should be consulted to determine the best possible readings of the Old Testament.4

His point here is that the Masoretic text may show evidence in some passages of a preferred interpretation which is flavored by anti-Messianic polemics in response to early Christian use of the Old Testament passages to point to Jesus as the promised Jewish Messiah.

The above examples have shown the occasional tendency of the Masoretic Text to offer readings that find their fulfillment in historical figures rather than in the eschatalogical times or a personal Messiah. . . . they serve to demonstrate the tendency of the Masoretic tradition.5

The author’s point is that in some cases, examination of alternative manuscript evidence can help uncover an original reading which may have been more direct in its Messianic clarity, but which is not as clear in the Massoretic Text. Thus, some of the same text-critical considerations which must be dealt with in the New Testament extend to Messianic passages in the Old Testament, especially where Messianic interpretations have possibly been suppressed.

A most effective approach which Dr. Rydelnik employs when examining the Messianic validity of Old Testament passages is what he calls “innerbiblical” uses and interpretations of Old Testament passages. Rather than going to the New Testament to look at fulfillment, the author looks at how Old Testament writers themselves made use of and interpreted other Messianic passages from the Old Testament. This is an important technique as it effectively side-steps the question of whether the New Testament authors might be abusing Old Testament passages in an attempt to read Jesus back into passages where He is not to be found. Instead, the Old Testament which is fully able to stand on its own legs and which is the fully accepted authoritative text of Judaism, can be examined to see how the Old Testament “views itself” in relation to what is said in earlier passages concerning Messianic expectations. Passages which the author examines in order to demonstrate a Messianic expectation by one Old Testament passage on a previous passage include: Gen. 49:9-12 → Eze. 21:27, Num. 24:14-19 → Amos 9:11-12, Deu. 18:15-19 → Num. 12:6-8 and Deu. 34:10-12. Having examined the connection between these sets of passages, the author concludes, “later Old Testament authors did indeed consider earlier passages to be messianic.”6

In the following section (chapter 5), Rydelnik attempts to show that the Hebrew Canon was itself shaped by a consistent Messianic expectation--that the organization of the text into the sections of Law, Prophets, and Writings (TNK) bears witness to a Messianic theme. This, to me, was the only weak part of the book which I found to be somewhat unconvincing.

The author then moves on to the New Testament to discuss the Messianic Hope as exhibited by the teachings of the Messiah Himself (Jesus) and the Apostles. In particular, Rydelnik discusses how the Old Testament prophets established a Messianic expectation and how Jesus and the Apostles key on that expectation to show that Jesus is the figure pointed to by the Old Testament. The question then arises: if Jesus and the Apostles placed so much emphasis on establishing Jesus to be the fulfillment of a Messianic expectation, from whence that expectation if not from the Old Testament? Hence, the very nature of the New Testament ministry of Jesus and the Apostles provides strong evidence of the validity of reading Messianic Old Testament passages as not finding their fulfillment in historic personalities within the Old Testament context. (This also underscores an important technique for readers of the New Testament: when people in the text express expectations or ask questions always consider how they came to have those expectations? More often than not, those expectations are based on a correct--if often incomplete--reading of Old Testament predictions. Thus, if numerous New Testament characters exhibit a Messianic expectation this serves as evidence that the Old Testament truly provides one!)

Chapter 7 is especially valuable: Decoding the Hebrew Bible: How the New Testament Reads the Old. Dr. Rydelnik skillfully examines several New Testament passages in the early part of Matthew’s gospel to provide an illustration of various ways in which the New Testament authors make use of Old Testament passages: direct fulfillment (Mat. 2:5-6 → Micah 5:2), typical fulfillment (Mat. 2:15 → Hos. 11:1), “applicational fulfillment” (Mat. 2:16-18 → Jer. 31:15), and summary fulfillment (Mat. 2:19-23 which summarizes widespread teaching from the Old Testament). Other writers such as Arnold Fruchtenbaum have also provided excellent material on this subject.7Suffice it to say, New Testament utilization of Old Testament passages contains many subtleties which, if overlooked, lead to an incorrect understanding of why the New Testament author referred to the Old Testament passage. These misunderstandings sometimes impinge on how Messianic passages are to be interpreted and must be carefully considered when evaluating prophetic correlations between the testaments.

Chapter 8 is of particular interest in that Dr. Rydelnik makes a clear case for the origin of non-Messianic interpretation in the anti-Christian polemical motivations of the famous Rabbi Shlomo Ytizkhaki (1040-1105), commonly known by his acronym, Rashi. The author examines numerous passages which older Jewish commentators (e.g., targums) read as Messianic predictions and demonstrates how Rashi consistently rejected the traditional interpretation in favor of finding fulfillment in a near-term historical figure. It would appear from the examples surveyed that Rashi was motivated by a desire to neutralize the Messianic interpretation which Christian contemporaries were using to argue that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah promised within the pages of the Old Testament. In the process, Rashi essentially redefined the “pesher” (plain sense) interpretation of passages:

Rash lived in an era of religious disputations between Christians and Jews, which included both public debates and written pamphlets designed to convince Jewish people of the messiahship of Jesus based on messianic prophecy. Therefore, Rashi initiated the attempt to rebut Christian interpretation of messianic passages through the use of peshat. Thus, Rashi's commentaries reflect his desire to counter Christianity. Rosenthal sates, "Many a comment on a passage in the Pentateuch, in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel or the Psalms is concluded with the statement that his interpretation is according to the plain sense and serves as 'an answer to the Christians.'" . . . Rashi's use of peshat took on an additional nuance.8

. . . Rashi, in rejecting traditional interpretations, was not necessarily, as is sometimes maintained, departing from an allegorical messianic interpretation and instead adopting a literal one. Rather, he was departing from the literary and messianic interpretation to a historical understanding. . . . some of Rashi's interpretations are quite messianic while others are historical. The deciding factor was whether a particular messianic passage could be understood to refer to the first coming of Jesus or to Jesus' deity. If this was an issue, then Rashi would commonly interpret those texts as referring to a historical figure. However, if the passage fit the traditional Jewish conception of the Messiah or referred to what Christians perceived as the Second Coming, Rashi would maintain the messianic interpretation.9

Rashi influenced many others who followed in his footsteps, even a number of influential Christians who failed to see his interpretive bias leading interpreters such as John Calvin to deny the protoevangelium of Genesis 3:15, “. . . a few centuries later, reformer John Calvin followed Rashi's naturalistic approach, saying, "I interpret this simply to mean that there should always be the hostile strife between the human race and serpents, which is now apparent."”10 This influence of Rashi fueled what has become a growing reluctance to interpret Messianic passages as predicting a Messiah. This includes important passages (some of which even novice Christians know are obviously Messianic) such as Genesis 3:15, Psalm 2, Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah 42:2-9, and Zechariah 6:9-15.

In the closing chapters of the book, Dr. Rydelnik examines commonly debated Old Testament passages (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 110) with an eye to answering the question, do the passages, when properly interpreted, concern the Messiah? This section of the book is a veritable tour de force. (Isn’t it such an incredible blessing for the Church when Jewish believers devote their considerable gifting and cultural and language background like a focused laser beam to bring to light subtleties in the Old Testament for the rest of us? I just love it!) The author’s treatment of Isaiah 7:14 -- resolving the tension and confusion between the near-term sign to Ahab (Isaiah’s son Shear-Jashub, Isa. 7:3,16) and the sign of the virgin birth given to the house of David (Isa. 7:13-15) is worth the price of the book alone.

So who is the child in [Isa. 7:16]? In light of Isaiah being directed to bring his own son to the confrontation with the king at the conduit of the upper pool [Isa. 7:3], it makes most sense to identify the lad as Shear-Jashub. Otherwise there would be no purpose for God directing Isaiah to bring the boy. Thus having promised the virgin birth of the Messiah (Isa. 7:13-15), the prophet then points to the very small boy that he has brought along and says, “But before this lad (using the article with a demonstrative force) knows enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.” In this way, Shear-Jashub functioned as a sign to the king. Appropriately, Isaiah could tell Judah in the very next chapter, “Here I am with the children the Lord has given me to be signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of Hosts who dwells on Mount Zion” (Isa. 8:18).11

In the closing chapter of the book, the author relates the story of his own conversion to Christ and his early attempt as a student at his university to uphold the Messianic interpretation of the Old Testament in a public setting which featured a Jewish speaker of considerable experience and speaking ability. Although the author felt he failed in his mission, the “failure” led to two great blessings: 1) he became motivated to truly master the Biblical passages so as to be able to handle them more adeptly in the future; and 2) unbeknownst to him a Jewish teacher at the university who heard the interchange was led to investigate the New Testament for himself -- leading to his eventual belief in Jesus as the promised Messiah. Through the grace and mystery of God, Rydelnik and this former teacher were to later cross paths. Which all goes to show that the Word of God, even when wielded imperfectly, will eventually have its way in the hearts of those who are seek God.

This book is a fine contribution to the subject and one which should solidify believers, both new and seasoned, in their conviction that Jesus Christ is indeed the fulfillment of the Messianic Hope consistently set forth in many passages throughout the Old Testament. Don’t let the so-called evangelical scholars who seem to have jumped the track by pandering to academic respectability hoodwink you into following them in jettisoning the clear teaching of the New Testament that Messiah Jesus is predicted in the Old Testament. The great Greek scholar A. T. Robertson may have said it best: “Jesus found himself in the Old Testament, a thing that some modern scholars do not seem to be able to do.12

I've appended some citations from the book which I found to be of particular interest.


Notes of Interest

“. . . what I mean by a historical reading or historical interpretation is biblical interpretation that is constrained to find the references of Old Testament prophecy within the historical confines of the prophet's own time.” [p. 3.]

“. . . the foremost reason for seeing the Hebrew Bible as a messianic document is that this appears to be the best way to explain the evidence of the Scriptures themselves. . . . To put it plainly, it appears that the best way of understanding the Bible as a whole is to see the Old Testament as predicting the coming of the Messiah and the New Testament revealing him to be Jesus of Nazareth. A commitment to faithful exegesis of the Hebrew Bible should yield a messianic interpretation. A second reason for treating the Hebrew Bible as a messianic document is that it provides the most biblical apologetic for Jesus as the Messiah. Without the evidence of the Tanak, it would be impossible to identify Jesus as the Promised One. Consistently, the apostles contended that Jesus of Nazareth was "the Messiah . . . the One Moses wrote about in the Law (and so did the prophets)" (John 1:41,45). This was the perspective that they learned from Jesus himself when he said that "everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44). Affirming the messianic hope is the apologetic linchpin in the New Testament for proving that Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah. For this reason, the apostles, church fathers, the medieval churchmen, biblical theologians, apologists and missionaries have all recognized the importance of messianic prophecy.” [pp. 7-8.]

“Messianic prophecy was the means God used to bring me to faith in Jesus the Messiah. My parents were Holocaust survivors who raised me in a traditional Jewish home. We were Orthodox in our Jewish beliefs and practices and, as such, I did believe in the future coming of a personal Messiah. Even so, it was not a central issue of my life. However, that changed when my mother announced that she believed in Jesus. This led to my father divorcing her and a radical shift in my life. I decided to study the messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Bible and prove my mother wrong in attributing their fulfillment to Jesus of Nazareth. Although I was initially quite confident of my opinion, in time I was surprised to see that there was far more credibility to the messiahship of Jesus than I had first anticipated. After dealing with my fears of ostracism form the Jewish community, based on my new conviction that the Scriptures foretold a suffering Messiah who would be rejected by His own people and provide forgiveness through his death and resurrection, I put my trust in Jesus as Messiah and Lord. . . . I would never have made this decision apart from studying messianic prophecy. In fact, apart from messianic prediction and fulfillment, Jesus could not be identified as the Messiah of Israel, and if not that, then He oculd not be the Messiah of the world. It is for this reason, joined with my commitment to exegetical accuracy, that I believe it is essential to understand the Hebrew Bible as messianic.” [pp. 11-12.]

“Sailhamer's understanding of messianic prophecy has to significant elements. First, he asserts that the Masoretic Text should be viewed not as the original Hebrew text but as its final stage. As such, the Masoretic Text is a consolidation of the Hebrew text and reflects postbiblical interpretation of texts that are messianic in other ancient versions. Hence, the first task of the interpreter of the Hebrew Bible, particularly in messianic passages, is to establish the text through textual criticism. Second, Sailhamer builds on the well-established fact that the medieval Jewish "peshat" (simple) interpretations of the text were designed as an answer to the Christian messianic interpretation of the Tanak. Through the rise and influence of Christian Hebraism, Jewish non-messianic interpretations slipped into the Protestant understanding of the Old Testament. As a result, Protestant interpretation either denied messianic prophecy altogether or adopted alternative interpretations, such as dual, typological, and progressive fulfillment.” [p. 25.]

“A hermeneutic that is growing in popularity is the midrash or pesher approach, which asserts that the New Testament understood the Old Testament messianic hope using the interpretive methods of early Judaism . . . According to this view, the Old Testament prophecies commonly referred to historical figures present in the prophets' own days. The, the New Testament interpreted these passages according to the intertestamental Jewish method called midrash or pesher. The New Testament cited these ancient passages in creative ways to show their fulfillment in contemporary events. . . . This approach has been adopted by critical as well as evangelical scholars.” [pp. 30-31.]

“. . . the Masoretic Text is frequently treated as a received text rather than a version of the biblical text. Yet the Masoretic Text, although generally sound and truly the best Old Testament text available, is a somewhat late version of the Hebrew Bible. Therefore, other versions, such as the Samaritan Pentateuch, and ancient translations, such as the Septuagint, should be consulted to determine the best possible readings of the Old Testament.” [p. 34.]

“John H. Sailhamer clarifies the way interpreters should view the Masoretic Text by warning, "Evangelicals, in the desire to stress the verbal inspiration of the OT text, should be careful not to identify the 'original' Hebrew text with the MT." Eminent textual criticism scholar Emmanuel Tov concurs, writing that "the Masoretic Text does not reflect the 'original text' of the biblical books in many details." . . . The Masoretic Text reflects a consonantal text that was not clearly consolidated until the second century AD. Furthermore, the pointings and accents were not recorded until the ninth and tenth centuries AD. . . . Although the Masoretic Text seeks to identify the original intent of the biblical autographs in a consistent fashion, and often does, it also has an interpretive tradition embedded in it. As Jewish scribes, the Masoretes faithfully transmitted the textual traditions that they had received . . . from rabbinic Judaism. Thus, there is significant rabbinic theology embedded in the Masoretic Text's standardization of the consonantal text and its addition of accents and vowels. . . . As such, it reflects the theological perspective of post-Christian, rabbinic Judaism. Thus, there are several significant examples of the Masoretic Text interpreting Old Testament messianic texts in a distinctly nonmessianic . . . fashion.” [pp. 35-36.]

“This verse [Judges 18:30] records the establishment of the first pagan priesthood in Israel. The consonantal text's original reading indicated that mšh (Moshe or Moses) was the grandfather of Jonathan, the founder of this pagan priesthood. The Masoretes inserted the raised letter נ [n] (n or nun making the word read mnšh (Měnaššeh). According to Tov, the suspended nun was a correction of "an earlier reading which ascribed the erecting of the idol in Dan to one of the descendants of Moses . . . . The addition can therefore be understood as a deliberate change of content."” [p. 37.]

“. . . a variant reading [of Numbers 24:7] substitutes "Gog" for "Agag." This reading has wide support, being found in the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion. According to this reading, Balaam foresees a king from Jacob who would be exalted over Gog, the end-time enemy of Israel (Ezek 38:3). Thus, the passage links this prophecy with Messiah's day, when He will have victory over the eschatological foes of Israel. The "Gog" reading is supported by the context, in which Balaam says he is speaking of "the end of days" (Num. 24:14). . . . . Additionally, in Ezek 38:17, there is a recognition that Gog is known from earlier Scripture. There the Lord addresses Gog and asks, "Are you the one I spoke about in former times?" This is an obvious reference to the variant reading in Num 27:7.” [pp. 38-39.]

“Second Samuel 23:1 provides another example of the Masoretic Text exhibiting a historical reading rather than the more messianic variant reading of the versions. . . . In the Masoretic Text, the passage contains five synonymous identifications of the author of these words. They come from David, who is the son of Jesse, who is "the man raised on high," who is "anointed by the God of Jacob," who is "the favorite singer [lit. "the delightful one of the songs"] of Israel." This translation and interpretation hinges on the Masoretic Text reading ʿāl, "on hight." However, the Septuagint translates epi ("concerning"), apparently reading the same Hebrew consonants but a different Hebrew vowel: pathah (yielding ʿal) rather than qamas (yielding ʿāl). This slight vowel difference results in a substantial difference in translation: These are the last words of David: the delcaration of David son of Jesse, and the declaration of the man raised up concerning the Messiah [Anointed One] of the God of Jacob, and the Delightful One of the songs of Israel. Sailhamer aptly explains the significance of the different readings when he writes, "The effect of the difference in the length of the vowel is such that the title 'anointed one' is the Masoretic Text refers to King David, whereas in other, non-Masoretic versions of the text, David's words are taken as a reference to the Messiah (cf. 2 Sa 22:51)." The internal evidence is against the interpretation that David was writing about himself. In 2 Sam 23:3-4, David proceeds to describe the righteous reign of the king as "the one who rules the people with justice (2 Sam 23:3-4). In v. 5 David makes a declarative statement (lit.): "For not so is my house with God" . . . (2 Sam. 23:5). Most translations recognize the internal contradiction. In v. 1 David seems to be saying it is all about him, and then in v. 5 he plainly states it is not. Therefore, most English versions translate v. 5 as a question to avoid this internal contradiction with the first verse in the paragraph . . . However, the problem with taking 2 Sam. 23:5 as a questions is that there is no interrogative particle (prefixed h), the Hebrew form normally found in yes/no questions. Hence, it is unlikely that the phrase should be understood as a question.” [pp. 39-41.]

“Psalm 72:5 is another example of a significant difference between the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint. The Masoretic Text reads, "They will" [or "May they"] fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon throughout all generations." On the other hand, the Septuagint reads, "May he continue while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations." The difference in the two versions is in the Masoretic Text yîrāʾûkā, "they will [may they] fear you," versus the Septuagintal reading kai sumparamenei which is a translation of the Hebrew wěyaʾărîk, "and he will continue/endure."” [p. 41.]

“. . . the Masoretic Text inserts accents which divide the titles [of Isaiah 9:6, English text] resulting in this translation: "The Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, calls his name eternal father, prince of peace." According to this translation, the first two couplets are names that refer to God himself, and the second two refer to the child that was born. The point of this reading appears to be to negate any thought of considering the child whose birth is described as deity. Additionally, the Masoretic Text reading is decidedly different from the New Testament rendering in Luke 1:32-33.” [p. 43.]

“Shiloh is a word meaning "which belongs to him" or "to whom it belongs." This view is sustained by accepting the variant reading šelōh (i.e., šlh) instead of šilōh (i.e., šylh). According to this view, šelōh is a word formed from še, an archaic relative pronoun like the more common ʿāšer. [This view] has intertextual support from Ezek 21:27 [Hb. 21:32]. Barnes states that "perhaps the oldest extant reference to the . . . [šilōh] passage is the parallel phraseology to be found in the book of Ezekiel. The passage in Ezekiel substantiates two ideas: First, it affirms the rendering of šilōh as "to whom it belongs." Second, it confirms that Gen 49:10 is a messianic prophecy.” [p. 49.]

“There is an intertextual allusion to Gen 49:10 in Ezek 21:27 [32], which describes one who would defeat Israel's enemies and bring blessing to his people. However, since the last kings of Judah were evil and not qualified to fulfill this promise, the nation would have to wait for another one who had the right. Thus, von Rad writes, "Even the grievous harm done to the royal office by those who had last worn the crown did not vitiate the prophet's hope that Jaweh would redeem the promise attached to the throne of David, 'until he comes whose right it is'" (Ezek 21;32). . . . The intertextual reference to Gen 49:10 demonstrates that šîlōh does indeed mean "which belongs to him."” [p. 53.]

“The feminine plural suffix ("their broken places") [in Amos 9:11] refers to the two kingdoms that had been divided since the days of Rehoboam. God will unite the nation once again under their messianic king. The masculine singular suffix ("his ruins") refers to David (not his booth, which is feminine). Since David is dead, Kaiser points out that this "must refer to that 'second David,' mentioned in Hosea 3:5. God will raise up from the ashes of 'destruction' the new David, even Christ the Messiah." The feminine suffix ("build it") refers to the fallen booth, the Davidic dynasty that will be restored under the Messiah.” [p. 55.]

“The first interpretation [of Deu. 18:15-19] is the direct nonmessianic view. This approach held by some medieval Jewish interpreters, takes the coming prophet to be a particular future prophet but not the Messiah. According to McCaul, Abarbanel held that Jeremiah was the prophet like Moses, while Ibn Ezra applied the prophecy to Joshua. . . . it should be noted that in Deuteronomy 34, immediately after the description of Joshua (Deut 34:9), the writer says that no prophet had arisen like Moses (Deut 34:10). obviously disqualifying Joshua as the referent.” [p. 56.]

“The New Testament confirms that Deut 18:15-19 is messianic (Acts 3:20-23; 7:37-38).” [p. 60.]

“On the basis of the above evidence, it is safe to say that Deuteronomy 33-34 was added to the Mosaic Torah as part of its final canonical redaction.” [p. 63.]

“Some older conservative commentators have conjectured the writer of this section to be Ezra . . . This is feasible on the basis of Ezra 7:10, which literally reads, "For Ezra had set his heart to search the Law of the Lord, and to do/make it . . . and to teach his statutes and judgments in Israel." Perhaps Ezra did play a role in the final shaping of the Pentateuch, as a scribe and writer of inspired Scripture.” [p. 63n76.]

“. . . he notes that the narrative books in all three sections generally cover successive historical periods: The Law covers the period from creation to the death of Moses; The Prophets covers the period from the Conquest to the Exile; The Writings covers the period from the Exile to the Return.” [p. 66.]

“The book of Judges appears to have been written (or undergone final editing) not during the time of the events in the book but sometime after the fall of the Davidic dynasty and the captivity. This is evident from the time notation in Judge 18:30. There it says that the pagan priesthood begun by Moses' grandson Jonathan continued "until the time of the exile from the land."” [p. 73.]

“. . . Roland Murphy has concluded that "the eventual canonization of the work . . . can best be explained if the poetry originated as religious rather than secular literature." Therefore, James Hamilton has recently averred that "the Song of Songs is in the canon because it was written from a messianic perspective in order to nourish a messianic hope." Is it possible that this love song was written with the authorial intent to advance and explain the messianic hope?” [p. 79.]

“It is evident in Jesus' emphasis on the word "all" in both those encounters [Luke 24:25027; 44-46] that He believed the entire Old Testament predicted the Messiah.” [p. 84.]

“A. T. Robertson said, "Jesus found himself in the Old Testament, a thing that some modern scholars do not seem to be able to do."” [p. 85.]

“The significance of John 5:45-47 with regard to messianic prophecy is that Jesus indicated that Moses knew that he was writing about the Messiah. If Moses had not know of whom he was speaking, how could he accues those who did not believe him? Imagine how illogical that would be--Moses accusing others for failing to understand what he himself did not comprehend. Moses had to understand that he wrote of Mesiah in the Torah or he would not be qualified to accuse those who did not correctly interpret the messianic hope in the Torah.” [p. 85.]

“Regardless of the translation of the phrase eis tina ē poion kairon (either "what person or time" or "what time or circumstances"), the passage still does not support the view that the prophets failed to understand that they wrote of Mesiah. Kaiser states that according to 1 Pet 1:10-12, the prophets were aware of five facts in their prophecies: They knew they were predicting that: (1) the Messiah would come; (2) the Messiah would suffer; (3) the Messiah would be glorified (in kingly splendor); (4) the order of events 2 and 3 was that the suffering came first, and then the glorious period followed; and (5) this message had been revealed to the prophets not only for their own day, but also for a future generation such as the church of Peter's audience (v. 12).” [p. 89.]

“Jeremiah 31:15 speaks of Ramah as the place of weeping because it was there the Babylonians gathered the captive young men of Judah before sending them into exile (Jer 40:1-2). There Rachel was said to weep for her children. Obviously, the matriarch Rachel had been long dead when Jeremiah wrote. So Jeremiah did not use her name literally (i.e., weeping from her grave) but rather symbolically, representing all of Jewish mothers. Thus Jeremiah states that Jewish mothers were weeping for their sons who had died in the war with Babylon and for the young men who were being taken to a distant land as captives. Jeremiah was referring to the deep pain of Jewish mothers at the loss of their young men to Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians. So the question is, Since Jer 31:15 refers to the Babylonian exile, how could Matthew cite the Slaughter of the innocents as fulfilling this text?” [p. 105.]

“One problem with citing midrashic background as the explanation of the New Testament's exegesis of the Old is that this is historically anachronistic. It is based on rabbinic exegesis of a later time but substantially misunderstands how pre-AD 70 Jewish interpreters used biblical texts. . . . A second flaw in taking New Testament citations of the Old as creative exegesis in the form of midrash is that it misunderstands the true purpose of midrash. The point of midrash is not to pull texts out of context. Rather, a more correct understanding of midrash is that it was to show the continuing relevance of Scripture to contemporary life.” [pp. 106-107.]

“The reason for Matthew's citation of Jer 31:15 was to show that Scripture had a continuing relevance. As David L. Cooper wrote, "Matthew simply applies the language of this prophecy to a similar situation of his day." Just as Rachel represented Jewish mothers who wept at the death and exile of their sons, so Jewish mothers once again mourned when wicked Herod murdered their children. And Rachel has continued to lament and has refused to be consoled for her children as they have been murdered by Crusaders, Nazis, and terrorists. Sadly, this is a Scripture that has had continued relevance for centuries.” [p. 108.]

“[By quoting this text, Matthew] understood a principle in a biblical passage and then applied it to [his] contemporary situation. Thus Matthew recognized that Jeremiah wrote of the suffering of Rachel, the personification of Jewish mothers, at the exile. He, in turn, applied the principle that the Jewish mothers of Bethlehem still wept because of the suffering of their children at the hands of wicked Herod.” [p. 108.]

“But what theme is Matthew summarizing by calling Jesus a Nazarene [Mat. 2:19-23]? He is using "Nazarene" as a term of derision and is summarizing the Old Testament teaching that the Messiah was to be despised. That "Nazarene" was itself a disparaging term in the first century is evident from Nathanael's reaction to hearing of a Messiah from Nazareth, objecting "Can anything good come out of Nazareth? (see also John 7:41-42,52). Moreover the only other place Matthew uses "Nazarene," it is used in a derogatory way (Matt 26:72). Thus, according to Matthew, the prophets taught that Messiah would be despised.” [p. 110.]

“If messianic hope is so evident using a literary reading of the Hebrew Bible, why is it that so many contemporary exegetes fail to recognize it? . . . it is surprising that some many prefer a historical reading of Old Testament texts rather than an eschatological, messianic interpretation. Luke records that the Messiah Jesus saw Himself in the text of the Hebrew Bible (Luke 24:25-27,44-46). Therefore, it is especially unexpected that so many who accept the authority of the New Testament and the deity of Jesus view Old Testament texts as having their fulfillments in historical figures rather than the future Messiah. Old Testament scholar Louis Goldberg noted this trend of interpretation and lamented that contemporary evangelical scholarship had begun to deny "any messianic message in key passages, i.e., Psalm 22, Isaiah 7:14, as well as others." Moreover, he bemoans that such approaches find all fulfillments "at the time of writing" rather than being considered predictions of the Messiah. As such, Goldberg is shocked that these evangelical Old Testament scholars agree more readily with Jewish anti-Christian polemicists than with the Messiah Jesus' own explanation of the Old Testament.” [p. 112.]

“Although serving as a rabbi, teacher and a judge, Rashi earned his living as a vintner.” [p. 113.]

“Classical Jewish interpretation of the Bible has been characterized by four methods, summarized by the acronym PaRDeS, spelled with the four Hebrew consonants פ [], ר [r], ד [], ס [s] (P, R, D, S). They stand for Peshat (meaning "simple" and referring to the plain meaning of the text), Remez (meaning "hint" and referring to an allusion to another teaching in a secondary biblical text), Derash (meaning "search" and referring to the homiletical interpretation of the text in terms of relevance and application), and Sod (meaning "secret" and referring to mystical interpretation). Thus, the four basic Jewish interpretive methods were plain, allusion, homiletical, and mystical. According to the Talmud, peshat is the most foundational, expressed by the dictum, "A verse cannot depart from its plain meaning (peshat)."” [p. 115.]

“Rash lived in an era of religious disputations between Christians and Jews, which included both public debates and written pamphlets designed to convince Jewish people of the messiahship of Jesus based on messianic prophecy. Therefore, Rashi initiated the attempt to rebut Christian interpretation of messianic passages through the use of peshat. Thus, Rashi's commentaries reflect his desire to counter Christianity. Rosenthal sates, "Many a comment on a passage in the Pentateuch, in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel or the Psalms is concluded with the statement that his interpretation is according to the plain sense and serves as 'an answer to the Christians.'" . . . Rashi's use of peshat took on an additional nuance.” [p. 116.]

“In order to refute Christian claims, Rashi made a significant shift in the meaning of peshat: he equated the simple meaning of the text with the historical interpretation. This means that Rashi would often rebut the Christian claim that a given verse was messianic and referred to Jesus by countering that it referred "to a biblical historical person or event." Hence, Rashi no longer understood the peshat as the plain sense of the text but the historical sense. Moreover, Rashi frequently argued for the historical sense of a passage even if this meant that "he had to depart from traditional exposition."” [p. 116.]

“. . . Rashi, in rejecting traditional interpretations, was not necessarily, as is sometimes maintained, departing from an allegorical messianic interpretation and instead adopting a literal one. Rather, he was departing from the literary and messianic interpretation to a historical understanding. . . . some of Rashi's interpretations are quite messianic while others are historical. The deciding factor was whether a particular messianic passage could be understood to refer to the first coming of Jesus or to Jesus' deity. If this was an issue, then Rashi would commonly interpret those texts as referring to a historical figure. However, if the passage fit the traditional Jewish conception of the Messiah or referred to what Christians perceived as the Second Coming, Rashi would maintain the messianic interpretation.” [p. 117.]

“Those who followed Rashi's view of peshat as referring to the historical sense included his grandson, Samuel ben Meir (also known as Rashbam, 1085-1174), Joseph Bekhor Shor (twelfth century), David Kimchi (also known as Radak, 1160-1235), Abraham Ibn Ezra (1089-1164), and Don Isaac Abravanel (1437-1509). Building upon Rashi's work, these scholars also used the historical sense to combat Christological interpretation and even emphasized this approach more than Rashi.” [p. 118.]

“. . . the purpose of medieval Jewish exegesis was polemical. Peshat was used as a tool to advance an antimessianic, historical interpretation of the messianic texts. Thus, the literal sense of the Scriptures became identified with the historical sense. Hence, when the Reformers borrowed literal interpretation from Rashi and other medieval Jewish exegetes, . . .” [pp. 121-122.] in effect they embraced antimessianic interpretations designed to combat Christianity.]

“. . . David Kimchi even recognized [Gen. 3:15] as messianic when he wrote, "Messiah, the Son of David, who shall wound Satan, who is the head, the King and Prince of the house of the wicked." Rashi, however, interpreted Gen 3:15 naturalistically to refer to conflict between snakes and humanity . . . A few centuries later, reformer John Calvin followed Rashi's naturalistic approach, saying, "I interpret this simply to mean that there should always be the hostile strife between the human race and serpents, which is now apparent."” [p. 123.]

“Psalm 2 is another example of Rashi's influence on messianic interpretation. . . . Rashi understood the text as having a historical referent, writing, "Our Sages [Ber. 7b] expounded the passage as referring to the King Messiah, but according to its apparent meaning [the peshat], it is proper to interpret it as referring to David himself." Today it is fairly common for evangelical scholarship to see the Psalms as essentially historical and to follow Rashi's view that Psalm 2 addresses David or the Davidic king.” [p. 124.]

“Rashi, in an attempt to avoid the apparent deity of the child [in Isa. 9:6], understands the title as follows: "The Holy One, blessed be He, Who gives wondrous counsel, is a mighty God and an everlasting Father, called Hezekiah's name, 'the prince of peace.'" To accomplish this interpretation, Rashi must take God as the subject of the third person singular verb "he called," although it is more likely that it is an indefinite personal subject ("one calls"). As a result of Rashi's identification of God as the subject of the verb, the divine titles do not describe the Messiah but God Himself, thereby avoiding the Christian idea of a divine Messiah. . . . Rashi breaks with the midrashic idea that the verse speaks of the Messiah and rather identifies the child with Hezekiah.” [pp. 124-125.]

“Isaiah 42:1-9 is yet another example of shifting interpretation because of Rashi's influence. This passage, the first of the famous Servant Songs, was recognized as messianic in the ancient Targum Jonathan, paraphrasing it as "Behold, my servant, the Messiah, whom I bring, my chosen one, in whom one delights." . . . Rashi, however, rejects the messianic interpretation of Isa 42:1 and instead identifies collective Israel as the historical referent.” [pp. 125-126.]

“. . . the Midrash . . . asks [concerning Zec. 6:12], "What is the name of the Messiah?" Then, after giving various names from differing Old Testament texts, it says, "His name is 'Branch' as it is stated, 'Behold, a man whose name is Branch, and who shall branch forth from his place, and build the Temple of the Lord' (Zec. 6:12)." Rashi rejects the messianic interpretation and opts for a historical one, writing concerning the Branch, 'He is Zerubbabel, mentioned above (3:8)' . . . Remarkably, Rashi is arguing that his view reflects the peshat, the simple meaning of the text, although Zerubbabel is nowhere to be found in this text.” [p. 127.]

“The point of this discussion of the importance of Rashi and medieval Jewish interpreters has been to show that their anti-Christian polemic has subtly crept into Christian interpretation of the Old Testament. This is a result of Rashi's shift in the use of peshat from the literal/literary meaning to the historical sense.” [p. 128.]

“It seems that the classic understanding of Gen 3:15 as the protevangelium, or the "first gospel," has eroded dramatically, even among those who hold to inspiration and inerrancy. Is the messianic interpretation really exegetically untenable? Did the author of this text intend it to be read only of the perpetual hatred between snakes and people? The trend in Old Testament interpretation is to answer these questions affirmatively.” [p. 129.]

“. . . R. B. Chisholm Jr. . . . takes writers to task for espousing a messianic interpretation. He finds it “disappointing” that B. K. Waltke and C. J. Fredericks offer “the traditional interpretation of [Gen 3:15] without interacting with approaches that challenge this interpretation as being pure allegory that is unsubstantiated linguistically or contextually.”” [pp. 130-131n3.]

“In response to the lexical argument that the word “seed” [in Gen. 3:15] is limited to a collective sense, this is simply incorrect. The word can also be used with an individual meaning as well. For example, the word “seed” is used of an individual in the very next chapter (4:25) when Eve identified Seth as the particular seed (translated “child”) given in place of Abel.” [p. 132.]

“. . . the whole idea of sensus plenior is highly questionable. The only meaning in a given text is that which the author intended. To say the Holy Spirit meant something other than what the human author understood contradicts the very idea of biblical inspiration.” [p. 134.]

“Some have proposed that in Gen 3:15 there is an alleged prediction of the virgin birth because of the use of the phrase “her seed.” . . . This is unlikely since Ishmael and his descendants are called Hagar’s seed (Gen 16:10) and no one would content that Ishmael was virgin born.” [p. 135, 135n19.]

“. . . it is not the serpent’s seed that will be crushed by the woman’s seed after a long conflict but the serpent itself, indicating a longevity not normal for mere snakes.” [p. 136.]

“Although in Gen 3:14 the Lord addresses the actual serpent, in the following verse (3:15), He appears to address the dark power animating it. I believe this is similar ot the way the king of Tyre is addressed in Ezek 28:1-19 followed by an oracle against Lucifer, the anointed cherub, as the power behind the throne (cf. Ezek 28:11-19), yet with no textual indication of a change of addressee.” [pp. 137-138.]

“This messianic reading of Gen 3:15 is evident in the Septuagint and the rabbinic literature of the Targumim Pseudo-Jonathan, Neofit, Onqelos and the midrash Genesis Rabbah 23:5.” [p. 137.]

“Nevertheless, this curse [Gen 3:14] should not be understood as changing the actual physical condition of all snakes but more likely declaring the meaning of their normal characteristics. Thus, when God proclaimed that the serpent would crawl on its belly, it does not mean that serpents previously had legs. Rather, crawling would now forever be understood as a sign of defeat. . . . Unlike the rest of creation, when the effects of the fall are reversed, the curse on the serpent will remain forever [Isa 65:25]. In this way, the serpent will remain an eternal outward symbol of the spiritual defeat of the dark force behind the fall.” [p. 138, 138n39.]

“. . . there is an ambiguity to the term “seed” in that it can oscillate from the collective to the individual usage. Walter Kaiser writes that the word “is deliberately flexible enough to denote either one person who epitomizes the whole group . . . or the many persons in that whole line of natural and/or spiritual descendants.”” [p. 139.]

“Jack Collins has demonstrated that when a biblical author has a collective sense for “seed” in mind, he uses plural pronouns and verbal forms to describe it. However, when he has an individual in mind, he uses singular verb forms and pronouns to describe the “seed.”” [p. 140.]

“Kaiser maintains that the two blows are different despite the same word being used to describe them [Gen 3:15]. The distinction, he says, is that “crushing the head and crushing or bruising the heel is the difference between a mortal blow to the skull and a slight injury to the victor.” This seems mistaken. Since in the context the tempter has taken the form of a serpent . . . it is likely that the tempter’s blow would be equated with a serpent’s bite. And in the case of this animal, the Hebrew generally uses it to speak of a venomous and lethal snake. Most likely, therefore, the text is speaking of two comparable death blows: the future redeemer will strike the head of the tempter and thereby kill it, and at the same time the tempter will strike the heel of the redeemer and kill him. . . . it indicates that the woman’s seed will indeed have victory, but the victory will be achieved through suffering his own death. This appears to be how the writer of Hebrews understood this verse . . . (Heb. 2:14-15).” [p. 141.]

“[In Gen 22:17] the HCSB, NASB, NIV, NKJV, and NET Bible all translate the third person singular pronoun here as “their.” The KJV and ESV translate the singular pronoun accurately as “his.”” [p. 143.]

“The historical setting [of Isaiah 7:14] was a threat against Judah around the year 734 BC. At that time, Rezin, king of Syria (Aram) and Pekah, king of the northern kingdom of Israel, formed an anti-Assyrian alliance. They in turn wanted Ahaz, king of Judah, to join their alliance. When he refused, they decided to make war against Ahaz to force the issue (7:1). The northern alliance against Ahaz caused great fear in the royal family of David (7:2) because the goal was not just to conquer Judah but also to “set p the son of Tabeel as king” in the place of Ahaz (7:6). Their plan would place a more pliable king on the throne and also put an end to the Davidic house. This thread provides a significant detail in understanding the passage.” [p. 148.]

“. . . Ahaz, with false piety, refuses to test God [Isa. 7:12]. The disingenuous nature of his response is plain in that this is a kin who had so little regard for the Lord that he practiced idolatry, even offering his own son as a child sacrifice to Molech (2 Kgs 16:3; 2 Chr 28:3).” [p. 140.]

“A close reading of the text will disclose not just one prophecy here but two—a long term prediction addressed to the house of David (Isa. 7:13-15) and a short-term prediction addressed to Ahaz (Isa. 7:16-25). . . . Since the northern alliance was threatening to replace Ahaz with the son of Tabeel, the entire house of David was being endangered. Were Syria and Israel to succeed, the messianic promise of a future son of David who would have an eternal house, kingdom, and throne (2 Sam 7:16) would be demolished. This provides the need for a long-term sign of hope that despite the menace to the house of David, the Messiah would be born, with the sign of His coming being His virgin birth. . . . When addressing Ahaz alone, the singular was used. However in 7:13-14, Isaiah used the second person plural. This is not an obvious change in the English Bible, but in v. 13 the imperative verb “listen” is plural, the expression “is it not enough for you” is plural, and “Will you also try” is plural. Then in v. 14 “you” is plural. The reason for the shift is that God was clearly fed up with this wicked and sanctimonious king, so he addressed the royal house he represented. Moreover, it was not only Ahaz that was being threatened but the entire house of David. . . . The prophet returned to using the second-person singular pronoun in 7:16 (“the land of the two kings you [sg.] dread”). In 7:1011 he used the singular to address King Ahaz. Then, when addressing the house of David with the prophecy of Messiah, he shifted to the plural. But in 7:16, he addressed King Ahaz, using the singular pronoun once again and giving him a clear prophecy: before Shear-Jashub would be able to discern good from evil, the northern confederacy attacking Judah would fail. Within two years, Tiglath-Pileser defeated both Israel and Syria, just as the prophet had predicted. Having completed his long-term prophecy, Isaiah gave a short-term prophecy. In doing so, he followed a frequent pattern in his book. He consistently did this so his readership could have confidence in the distant prediction by observing the fulfillment of the near one.” [p. 140, 158.]

“While some commentators believe that Jephthah’s daughter was an actual human sacrifice [Judg 11:34-40], others maintain that she was given by Jephthah to lifelong service in the tabernacle. Thus, she was never to marry and went with her friends to mourn her virginity. If this is the case, then perhaps it indicates that serving in the temple was restricted to virgins.” [pp. 153-154.]

“Some have objected to Matthew’s use of this passage [Isa. 7:14] in the birth narrative (Matt 1:23) because Mary did not name the child “Immanuel.” However, “Immanuel” is no the given name of the Messiah. Rather, it was to be seen as a symbolic, descriptive throne title. Similarly, David’s son was given the name Solomon, but his descriptive royal title was “Jedidiah” or “Beloved of the Lord” (2 Sam 12:24-25).” [p. 155n22.]

“So who is the child in [Isa. 7:16]? In light of Isaiah being directed to bring his own son to the confrontation with the king at the conduit of the upper pool [Isa. 7:3], it makes most sense to identify the lad as Shear-Jashub. Otherwise there would be no purpose for God directing Isaiah to bring the boy. Thus having promised the virgin birth of the Messiah (Isa. 7:13-15), the prophet then points to the very small boy that he has brought along and says, “But before this lad (using the article with a demonstrative force) knows enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.” In this way, Shear-Jashub functioned as a sign to the king. Appropriately, Isaiah could tell Judah in the very next chapter, “Here I am with the children the Lord has given me to be signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of Hosts who dwells on Mount Zion” (Isa. 8:18).” [pp. 157-158.]

“Some might object that the careful reading available to Matthew [Isa. 7:14] was not understandable to Ahaz, who might be considered “the original audience” of this prophecy. This objection fails to understand the nature of the Bible as a text. While Ahaz did receive this prophecy in a particular time and place, all we have is a textual record of that event in the composition known as the book of Isaiah. Thus, Ahaz is not the original audience of the book of Isaiah but a character in the inspired narrative written in the book. The audience of the book is eighth century BC Judah, to whom a careful reading of the visible compositional strategies were available. They could read it in context with Isaiah 9 and 11 just as any reader of the book of Isaiah can after the house of David had found its fulfillment in the virgin birth of Jesus of Nazareth.” [p. 161n37.]

“Signund Mowinckel and other scholars prefer the LXX, which reads [at Ps.110:3], “from the womb of the dawn, I have begotten you,” a translation based on the same Hebrew consonants but with different vowel pointings (yělidtîkā). Additionally, Bentzen has suggested that the corruption of the MT resulted from deliberate scribal efforts to obfuscate the meaning and its plain allusion to Ps. 2:7.” [p. 175.]

“D. Sayers’ observation is helpful: “We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him ‘meek and mild,’ and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies” (The Whimsical Christian: Eighteen Essays [New York: Macmillan, 1978], 14).” [p. 179n60.]

“A final but significant innertextual link between the two psalms is derived from the variant reading for [Ps. 110:3]. There, God declares to the King, “from the womb of the dawn, I have begotten You [yelidtîkā],” the same word used in God’s oracle to the King in [Ps. 2:7]: “You are my Son, today I have begotten you [yelidtîkā].” Although Psalms 2 and 110 are clearly linked in the New Testament (Heb. 1:3-5,13; 5:5-6), the phrases about the Begotten One were not associated (as far as we know) until Justin Martyr in the second century.” [p. 181.]

“Rabbi Akiba made the connection between Daniel 7 and Psalm 110. When explaining the plural “thrones” used in Dan 7:9, he said, “One [throne] was for Himself and one for David,” that is, for the Messiah. As Hay points out, “It seems distinctly possible that both Akiva and the writer of Daniel 7 were thinking of Ps. 110:1.” Yet a second important intertextual reference to Ps. 110:4 is Zech 6:9-15. There it describes the eschatological unification of the royal and priestly offices with a role play by Joshua the high priest. A composite crown, representing kingship and priesthood, is placed on Joshua’s head, and he is called by the messianic title, “Branch” (6:12). The Priest-King will build the eschatological Temple and sit and rule on His throne . . . He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices” (Zech 6:12-13 NASB). Clearly this is a reference to the King described in Ps 110:4, who is a priest like Melchizedek, uniting the offices of king and priest.” [p. 182.]


Endnotes:

1.Ref-1272, pp. 30-31
2.Ref-1272, pp. 11-12
3.Ref-1272, pp. 28-33
4.Ref-1272, p. 34
5.Ref-1272, p. 46
6.Ref-1272, p. 64
7.Ref-0009
8.Ref-1272, p. 116
9.Ref-1272, p. 117
10.Ref-1272, p. 123
11.Ref-1272, pp. 157-158
12.Ref-1272, p. 85.


Sources:

Ref-0009Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Israelology - The Missing Link in Systematic Theology (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries Press, 1989).
Ref-1272Michael Rydelnik, The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic? (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2010). ISBN=978-0-8054-4654-8.


Links Mentioned Above
a - See http://www.bestbookdeal.com/book/compare/9780805446548.
b - See http://www.spiritandtruth.org/id/tg.htm.
c - See http://www.spiritandtruth.org/teaching/reviews/tony_garland/review_of_messianic_hope.pdf.
d - See http://www.bestbookdeal.com/book/compare/9780805446548.
e - See http://www.michaelrydelnik.com/.
f - See http://www.moody.edu/edu_FacultyProfile.aspx?id=4564.
g - See http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=nac+studies+in+bible+theology.
h - See http://www.bestbookdeal.com/book/compare/978-0-8054-4627-2.
i - See http://www.bestbookdeal.com/book/compare/0195297512.