Messiah of the OT and NT


#1

A question I’ve always wondered about?

The Messiah of the OT is nothing more than a man who will be the king of Israel when utopia comes to Earth.

How did that Messiah change into the Messiah of the NT?


#2

There’s a very long answer to the question, but I’ll give you a brief summary. Essentially, the belief in a messiah is said to have arisen from (as you mention) an original expectation that a royal descendant of king David will come to the throne, usher in a utopia and establish the dynasty forever, based on God’s promise to David. Later, when we come to Ezekiel, we see him expressing a variation on the idea: rather than expecting a literal descendant of David to become king (because Ezekiel believed that the Davidic dynasty had come to an end when the Babylonians exiled the Judahites), the historical David now becomes a figure of the ideal king who will in the future appear to save Israel but does not have to be necessarily related to the historical David.

After the Exile, it seemed at first that this ‘messianic’ hope was being fulfilled in the persons of the governor Zerubbabel (who was an actual Davidic descendant) and the priest Joshua son of Jozadak, who led a huge caravan of exiles from Babylon back home. But they ultimately did not usher in an eternal Davidic kingdom, as some probably hoped. In fact, the political situation in general seems to have stifled any royal ‘messianic’ expectations: Judah (as Yehud) was an autonomous province, but a province under a foreign empire nonetheless. For about the 5th century BC up to the 2nd century BC, there was little talk of a ‘messiah’. There was still the expectation of a better world and the restoration of Jerusalem to its former glory of course, but the emphasis is now on human activity: the people of Israel, not some ideal or future king, will be responsible for building a better future.

The sociopolitical climate of the final centuries before Jesus - the advent of the Seleucids (312 BC-63 BC) and the subsequent rise and fall of the Hasmonean dynasty (140 BC-37 BC) - contributed to the sudden rebirth and further development of Jewish messianism, going hand-in-hand with the rise of resistance thought among Jews at this time. These events provided a catalyst for a radical reinterpretation of the scriptural tradition that eventually evolved into full-fledged Jewish messianism.

It was at this point that we see Jews holding different conceptions of messiahs, based on how they interpret the Scriptures: some still expected a ‘Davidic’ king to appear. Others expected a more prophetic figure like Moses, or a priestly figure, or some combination of the above ideas (king-priest, prophet-king, etc.) A few people - a minority, I should note - had a more radical idea: what if the ‘messiah’ is actually God Himself? They thought that God will literally come down from heaven, since it seemed that only He could guarantee the fulfillment of the so-called messianic hopes. This idea however had never caught on, since the general emphasis in eschatological thought still lay on history than on the cosmos: God will guide history up until the end of days, when all mankind will be handed over to the authority of a human ‘anointed one’, who will rule in God’s name. Still others did not expect a ‘messiah’ per se: all they were waiting for was a miraculous sign from God that redemption has come (say, the walls of Jerusalem collapsing) or a more abstract, God-given courage to resist foreign domination. The Samaritans, meanwhile, expected a Moses-like prophet-king (inasmuch as Moses was also believed to be a ‘king’ as he was a prophet) later called the Taheb, the ‘Restorer’, who will ‘restore’ the pure form of worship - which for the Samaritans meant Mt. Gerizim.

All in all, by the time of Jesus, there was little agreement about who or what the messiah (or messiahs - some expected more than one to appear) would be.


#3

Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As I live, says the Lord God, because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild animals, since there was no shepherd; and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, I am against the shepherds; and I will demand my sheep at their hand, and put a stop to their feeding the sheep; no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, so that they may not be food for them.

For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. (Ezekial 34: 7-16)


#4

huh, they seem the same to me. must be your perception.


#5

A good read in Isaiah may help. Jump to chapter 53. Very famous for describing the Messiah in the OT. Then you can check out the chaps around it.


#6

good point. too many people chose to ignore these prophesies.


#7

I thought Isaiah 53 was talking about Israel?


#8

Jesus is the Messiah. King of all creation. Jesus was prophecied in the old testament with the coming of the Kingdom. And Jesus fulfilled the old testament prophecies and so starts the new Testament because Jesus is the fulfillment of the scriptures. Isreal is now the Church and the Kingdom of God is here now with Jesus who reigns over it as our Heavenly King… Wherever God is so is His Kingdom…So you might say this as Utopia HAS come to earth.


#9

The Church is Isreal.


#10

Not back then.


#11

Fr. Robert Barron very effectively handles this in many talks. I highly encourage everyone to watch and listen to this brilliant priest:

A short synopsis of his main points: youtube.com/watch?v=fV18QAj6UIY

A longer talk that fully answers the question: youtube.com/watch?v=9SLK0vuQFHw

I highly recommend both videos, and pretty much everything by Fr. Robert Barron. Especially Episode 1 of his Catholicism series, which deals exclusively with this question.

God bless,
Paul


#12

Isaiah 53 was prophecy of what was to come, the Church, with the coming of the Messiah who is Jesus.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

I refer to your original post.

I suppose I don’t quite understand what you are looking for in an answer. :shrug:

The Messiah didn’t change, rather the Messiah was not recognized by the Hebrews or the nation of Isreal. They were guessing who was the Messiah even as the Messiah stood before them as Jesus the Messiah. I might add Jesus was always there but not known until He came in flesh. Just as Jesus is with us now but we know who Jesus is.

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus
Mark 8:27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

As I understand the Jewish people still await their Messiah who we believe is Jesus who fulfilled the prophecies. The Jews awaited an earthly King to lead them out to the Promised land yet the Kingdom of God is not of this world. The promised land is heavenly Jerusalem when there is a new earth and a new heaven.

John 18:36

Look at the definition of Messiah.

mes·si·ah
məˈsīə/Submit
noun

  1. the promised deliverer of the Jewish nation prophesied in the Hebrew Bible.
    Jesus regarded by Christians as the Messiah of the Hebrew prophecies and the savior of humankind.
  2. a leader or savior of a particular group or cause.
    “he was regarded as a messiah by liberal and conservatives alike”

Jesus even pointed the pharisees to the scriptures explaining to them that He was the Messiah.

Mark 12: The Question about David’s Son
35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”’
37 David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

And also here where Jesus said:

John 5:39 “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

The deliverer is Jesus and always has been Jesus, The Word of the Lord.


#13

I don’t know about Isaiah 53 referring to Jesus.
In the beginning of Isaiah 53

Isaiah Chapter 53:3. Despised and rejected by men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness, and as one who hides his face from us, despised and we held him of no account.

Was Jesus despised?

The NT tells us a completely different story…
MARK 3:7-9
7 Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; 8 hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. 9 He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him;

LUKE 2:52
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

LUKE 4:14-15
14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

It doesn’t say that as Jesus got older, more and more people despised him. It sounds like Jesus was treated like a rock star. The more he got around, the more he was loved. He was an immensely popular person. It wasn’t till the very end that somehow a group of people were found and ushered into the courtyard to condemn him.

Isaiah 53 clearly points out that this servant was despised and rejected his whole life. This clearly isn’t describing Jesus.

Where am I wrong? :shrug:

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

I refer to your original post.

I suppose I don’t quite understand what you are looking for in an answer. :shrug:

The Messiah didn’t change, rather the Messiah was not recognized by the Hebrews or the nation of Isreal. They were guessing who was the Messiah even as the Messiah stood before them as Jesus the Messiah. I might add Jesus was always there but not known until He came in flesh. Just as Jesus is with us now but we know who Jesus is.

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus
Mark 8:27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

As I understand the Jewish people still await their Messiah who we believe is Jesus who fulfilled the prophecies. The Jews awaited an earthly King to lead them out to the Promised land yet the Kingdom of God is not of this world. The promised land is heavenly Jerusalem when there is a new earth and a new heaven.

John 18:36

Look at the definition of Messiah.

mes·si·ah
məˈsīə/Submit
noun

  1. the promised deliverer of the Jewish nation prophesied in the Hebrew Bible.
    Jesus regarded by Christians as the Messiah of the Hebrew prophecies and the savior of humankind.
  2. a leader or savior of a particular group or cause.
    “he was regarded as a messiah by liberal and conservatives alike”

Jesus even pointed the pharisees to the scriptures explaining to them that He was the Messiah.

Mark 12: The Question about David’s Son
35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”’
37 David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

And also here where Jesus said:

John 5:39 “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

The deliverer is Jesus and always has been Jesus, The Word of the Lord.


#14

In presuming that “despised and rejected by men” implies that the contempt and rejection had to be from birth and universal without exception - or some such.


#15

if you don’t think Jesus was despised, i have to question what bible you are reading.


#16

The Bible in the OT says often that all the earth and all of Creation worships and praises God.

Then God often says, also in the OT, that Israel treats him likes a dirty shirt and runs around with other gods like she’s an unfaithful woman. He also talks about how the various pagan nations hate and despise Him.

So yes, everyone loved Jesuswhen they thought he was the messiah, and yet He was despised and hated by many, especially after that chow on my flesh sermon. He was both the handsome bridegroom who is alluring to Israel, and the suffering servant, the man of sorrows whose back is flogged into stripes and whose face is no longer recognizable.


#17

The same bible that I retrieved these quotes from.

MARK 3:7-9
7 Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; 8 hearing all that he was doing,** they came to him in great numbers** from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. 9 He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of** the crowd, so that they would not crush him;**

LUKE 2:52
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

LUKE 4:14-15
14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and** was praised by everyone**

Sounds pretty popular to me.


#18

Okay so keep reading about Jesus in Isaiah 53, Isaiah is prophesying and speaking the Word of God.

4 Surely he has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

What has the Lord done for us? He bore our infirmities on the cross and by His wounds we are healed so we might receive the mercy of God and be with Him forevermore.

Now see this prophesy fulfilled in this scripture.

1 Peter 2:24
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Don’t forget that the more Jesus was loved by His followers, the more Our King was a threat to those the earthly rulers who wanted power in their hands

From the start Jesus was rejected as seen in King Herod looking for the child King to kill so Mary and Joseph had to flee to Egypt. In the end, Jesus was killed. So though He was loved by many, many more did not understand that Jesus was the Messiah and mocked and killed Jesus because He did not deny that.

Jesus said this of the World and why we might feel the same because of what we believe in.

The World’s Hatred
John 15:18 “If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you

Matthew 5:11"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.…


#19

Where can I find that chapter and verse about “Israel treats him like a dirty shirt…”?


#20

you can pick out as many quote’s on people who despised Him. why do you think He was crucified, because He was loved by all? unless your bible is missing that small matter.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.