Jesus in the Old Testament

Jeff Smelser

Centreville, Virginia
Summer 1999

(Part 1)


When one first begins to study the Old Testament, he may expect to find many prophecies that are explicit, unambiguous predictions of the Messiah. What he soon learns is that most Old Testament prophecies fall into another category.

God often brought about events in such a way that the life of the Messiah, or some part thereof, or some aspect of His kingdom, was foreshadowed by those events. In these cases, the events themselves were prophetic. They were recorded by men who may have seen no predictive element in them, but the Spirit of Christ which was in those men intended that those events be recorded because they had meaning beyond their own time. When the Israelites escaped bondage coming through the waters of the Red Sea, God, by means of that event, was portraying our escape from the bondage of sin when we are baptized in water (1 Cor. 10:1-2). Passover foreshadowed the sacrifice of the ultimate lamb of God (1 Cor. 5:7). Even though they were not explicit predictions, such events could be said to be "fulfilled" when the ultimate meaning was realized (Lk. 22:15-16).

Then again, many of the prophecies which were clearly predictions were stated in terms of Old Testament persons and things which represented, or foreshadowed, the thing or person to come. Rather than saying, "I am going to send you John the Baptist, the prophet," God said through Malachi, "I am going to send you Elijah the prophet," using Elijah to represent John. There was a reason both for using someone other than John to speak of John, and also for using Elijah in particular to speak of John.

And finally, some predictions had reference first to a person or event in the near future, and ultimate reference to the Christ whom the first reference foreshadowed. So for example, the Lord told David his son would build a temple. Chronologically, the first reference is to David's son, Solomon, who would build the first temple in Jerusalem. But ultimately, the prophecy is about Jesus, son of David, who would build a spiritual temple.

Categories of Prophecy

1    Explicit Predictions
        example:    Micah 5:2, cf. Mt. 2:4-6
2.    Shadows
        example:    Exodus 12, cf. 1 Cor. 5:7
3.    Predictions using shadows
    a.    predictions of a future event described in terms of prior O.T. shadow(s)
            example:Micah 4:5, cf. Mt. 11:14

    b.    prediction of future events, the first foreshadowing another
            example:    2 Sam. 7:12-16, cf. 2 Chron. 6:7-10, Heb. 1:5

In this study, we will not cover all of the prophecies about Jesus. First, I don't pretend to have recognized all of them. The study of the Old Testament is so rich in part because as one learns more about it, one sees connections he had previously missed, sees meaning in events he hadn't seen before. While there is a danger of reading things into the text that aren't there, it cannot be denied that some things that are there are not at the first apparent.

Another reason we won't study all of the prophecies is that we are going to focus on those which anticipate specific events rather than on those which are panoramic. For example, in the life of Job there seems to be a representation of Christ's leaving heaven to suffer death on the cross and then being once again restored to His former glory. Job lost everything and suffered greatly, and not because of anything he had done wrong, but eventually regained everything and more. However, in this case, one needs to see the whole picture in order to see the prophetic aspect.

Also, the New Testament contains numerous quotations of and allusions to Old Testament passages that we will not study because they are not so much cases of fulfilled prophecy as simple citations of Old Testament teaching.

What will be Included:  Generally, those passages which predict or foreshadow some event in the life of John the Baptist or in the life of Jesus
What will be Omitted:  Specifically, O.T. passages not especially messianic but quoted by Jesus in his teaching. For example, Mt. 5, 10:35-36, 18:16

The Format of each lesson will be as follows:

        The Event Prophesied
        The OT passage
        Study of the OT context (including related history)
        Study of the NT citation (if any)
        Identification of the kind of prophecy

The work you, as a student, will have to do will usually involve studying the contexts (both Old and New Testament) and identifying the kind of prophecy in terms of the categories outlined above.

Working list of Prophecies to be Studied
(If there are others you would particularly like to have addressed, please mention them to me. - JS)

The virgin birth                   Is. 7:14
Born at Bethlehem                Micah 5:2
In Nazareth/Capernaum                Is. 9:1-2
"Out of Egypt"                    Ho. 11:1
Children killed                    Jer 31:15
Announcement at John's birth            Mal. 4:5-6
John's prepares the way                Is. 40:3, Malachi 3:1
Preaching good tidings                 Is. 61:1-2
Healing the sick                    Is. 53:4
Cleansing the temple                Ps. 69:9
Avoids confrontation                Is. 42:1-3 (Mt. 12:20 is Is. 42:4, LXX?)
Teaching in parables                Ps. 78:2
Feeding the 5,000                2 Ki. 4:1-7
Walking on the water                2 Ki. 6:1-7
Judas betrays Him                Ps. 41:9, 2 Sam. 15-17:23
Betrayal for silver                 Zech. 11:12-13
40 days & nights in the wilderness        Dt. 8:3        
Entry to Jerusalem                Is. 62:11, Zech 9:9
Hosanna to the son of David            Ps 118:25-26
Cleansing the temple                Is 56:7
Praised by children                Ps. 8:3 LXX
Rejected by Jews                Ps. 118:22-23, 31:19, 69:4, Is. 53:1
Sheep scattered                    Zech 13:7
Trial & crucifixion                Is. 53,Psalm 22

bearing his cross            Gen. 22
Cast lots for garments            Psalm 22
Numbered w/ transgressors        Is. 53:12
Bones not broken            Ex. 12:1-46, Nu 9:12
Pierced                    Zech 12:10, Psalm 22
"Into thy hands I commend my spirit"    Ps. 31:5

Priest after the order of Melchizedek        Gen. 14, Psalm 110:1-4
Reconciling the world                Gen. 28:12-14
3 days and nights in the grave            Jonah 1:17
Ascension to right hand of God            Ps. 110:1
Coming in Judgment                Dan. 7:13

Lesson 1    The Virgin Birth

The Event Prophesied    Virgin Birth

The OT passage        Isaiah 7:14

Study of the OT context

the broad context

        "A few years later Pekah of Israel joined Rezin of Damascus in an alliance against Assyria. They moved against Ahaz of Judah in an attempt to force Judah into an anti-Assyrian alliance (II Kings 16:5-9). Ahaz turned to Tiglath-pileser for help, with disastrous results for the whole of western Asia....Rebellious Israel was attacked.

        "Damascus fared even worse than Israel. In 732 B.C. Tiglath pileser entered Damascus, executed Rezin its king, ravaged the city, and deported a large portion of its population. Then Tiglath-pileser organized the territory of the former state of Damascus into four Assyrian provinces. While his predecessors had been content to take tribute from conquered peoples, Tiglath-pileser adopted the policy of incorporating them into his empire. Among those who hastened to Damascus to pay tribute to Tiglath-pileser we meet the name Iauhazi of Judah, i.e. Jehoahaz, the fuller form of the Biblical name Ahaz." (Charles F.Pfeiffer, Old Testatment History, pp. 334f)

What were the dates of Ahaz's reign?

What kind of man was Ahaz? 2 Chron. 28:1-4, 2 Kings 16:1-4

Identify the various enemies that troubled Ahaz. (2 Chron. 28:5-6, 2 Ki. 16:5, 2 Chron. 28:17-18.

Why did Ahaz have these troubles? (2 Chron. 28:5, 19)

Do these facts imply that God looked favorably on Ahaz's troublers? (2 Chron. 28:8-15)

On whom did Ahaz rely for help? 2 Chron. 28:16, 2 Ki. 16:7-9

the specific context    Who were the "two stubs of smoldering firebrands" (Is. 7:4)?

Through Isaiah, God assured Ahaz that both Pekah and Rezin would be brought down, and that Ephraim would fall. What happened to Israel during Pekah's reign? (2 Kings 15:29)

Ephraim came to be representative of Israel (cf. Is. 9:9, Ezek. 37:16ff). How soon would Israel no longer be a people? (Is. 7:8).

In history, when did Samaria fall?

Regarding the prophecy of Is. 7:8, consider the following:

            "It would seem that at least three events were to be included. In the first place there is the invasion of Tiglath-pileser, which took place at about this time (2 Kings 15:29; 16:9). Secondly, the conquest of Samaria itself and the consequent deportation of the ten tribes (21 Kings 17:6). Even after this event, however, the nation Israel was yet regarded as standing. During the reign of Manasseh another race was introduced by Esar-haddon (2 Kings 17:24; Ezra 4:2; 2 Chron. 33:11). From the Bible itself it would seem to be impossible to determine precisely the year in which the deportation of Manasseh occurred.According to Esar-haddon's own inscription (681-669), however, Manasseh was listed as one of the kings of the Hittite country who were in vassalage to him. If the present prediction were uttered in 734, as is probably the case, and Manasseh were carried away captive in 669, the 18th year of Manasseh's sole rule, and the 27th year if the years of co-regency with Ahaz be counted, we have exactly sixty-five years....

            "On the other hand, it may be that Isaiah is simply employing a round number, tand merely intends to say that by about 670 B.C. the nation Israel would cease to exist as a separate people. If that be the case, the difficulty practically vanishes." (Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, vol. I, pp. 275f)

What did the Lord offer Ahaz? (Is. 7:10-11, cf. Is. 38:5-8, Gen. 15:7-21, Judges 6:16-22, 36-40)

What was Ahaz's response to this offer?

Study of the NT citation    Matthew 1:23

                Is there any doubt that the record in Matthew and Luke is intended to portray Jesus' birth as miraculous,
                and specifically, as a virgin birth? (Mt. 1:18, Lk. 1:31-35)

Identification of the kind of prophecy

Explicit Prediction?

Clearly, there is a prediction in Is 7:14, and we can be sure that the connection between Isaiah 7:14 and Jesus' birth was no mere afterthought in the mind of God. But in the 8th century B.C., was Is. 7:14 explicitly a prediction of the Messiah, or would Ahaz have appropriately understood it to be a prediction pertaining to his own time? The following questions are designed to assist in exploring the answer to this question.

To whom are the words of Is. 7:10ff addressed?

"Sign" has an obvious meaning; what is it?

Explain how the things done by God in cf. Is. 38:5-8 and Judges 6:16-22 served as signs and to whom did they so serve?

The sign in Isaiah 7 was intended to give assurance of what?

The sign included a time frame in which the assured event would be accomplished. What verse states the time frame, and how long was the time frame?

How many years passed between Ahaz's reign and the birth of Jesus?

It is sometimes suggested that while the length of time remaining until the "two stubs of smoldering firebrands" were extinguished was represented by the duration of the infancy of the child, these two time periods were not contemporaneous. Rather, the child would be born seven centuries later. Assuming that to be the case and, accordingly, assuming Is. 7:14 to be an example of explicit prediction of the Messiah, explain how this would serve as a sign to Ahaz.


Indisputably, there is a prediction contained in Isaiah 7:14ff. Therefore this is more than an event that prefigured the Christ. If there is a shadow involved, it is clearly a prediction using a shadow.

Prediction using shadow(s)

Predictions of a future event described in terms of prior O.T. shadow(s)?

Does the prophecy recall earlier OT events or persons, and speak of these as coming in the future?

Prediction of future events, the first of which foreshadows another?

The Lord's words to Ahaz continue through what verse?

To whom does the Lord speak in Is. 8:1-2?

After the Lord had spoken to Ahaz and then to Isaiah, what did Isaiah do?

What is said of Isaiah's children in Is. 8:18?

What is the significance of the name Maher-shalal-hash-baz?

Damascus and Samaria were the capitals of what two kingdoms? What indication is given concerning the time remaining until their wealth would be carried away? (Is. 8:4)

To whom is the name Immanuel applied in Is. 8:8? What does Immanuel mean?

Some translations have the word "virgin" in Is. 7:14, while others have the phrase "young woman". The Hebrew word so represented is Almah. Besides two occurrences as a musical term, this word is found seven times in the O.T: Gen. 24:43, Ex. 2:8, Ps. 68:25, Prov. 30:19, Song of Solomon 1:3, Song of Solomon 6:8, and Is. 7:14. Examine these passages for evidence for or against the idea that "Almah" specifically implies virginity.

If Is. 7:14 had to do with an event in Ahaz's near future that would foreshadow the virgin birth of the Messiah, would that event necessarily have been a literal virgin birth? If not, how would it have been a sign?

If Is. 7:14 had to do with an event in Ahaz's near future that would foreshadow the virgin birth of the Messiah, who was the "young woman" or "virgin" who foreshadowed Mary, and who was the child that foreshadowed Jesus?

What is your conclusion? Is Isaiah 7:14 an explicit prediction, a shadow, a prediction using a shadow, or a prediction of a future event described in terms of a prior O.T. shadow?


Lesson 2    Born at Bethlehem

The Event Prophesied    Born at Bethlehem

The OT passage        Micah 5:2

Study of the OT context (including related history)

the broad context

Micah prophesied during the reigns of what kings? (Micah 1:1)

During what century did Micah prophesy?

Compare the time of Micah's work with that of Isaiah:

What happened to the northern kingdom of Israel during that century?

What would happen to Judah at the end of the following century?

Who would be the last king of the line of David to reign over Judah in Old Testament times?

Read Jeremiah 29:1-14, 2 Chron 36:9-23, Ezra 1:1-2:1

the specific context

What verse in Micah specifically predicts the destruction of Jerusalem?

Immediately after predicting the destruction of Jerusalem, the prophet looks ahead reassuringly to the Messianic kingdom, describing it in almost the very same words used by Isaiah in Is. 2:2-4. The prophet tells of the Lord's promise that the former dominion would be restored. But there is one significant thing noted that seems to prevent such a restoration. What is that?

The nation's troubles during its time without a king are described using what metaphor?

Notice the same metaphor in Rev. 12:1ff. In Revelation 12, who is the child that is born and caught up to God?

According to Micah, where would the nation endure the agony of its labor?

The prophecy in Micah 5:2 speaks of the one who would come from Bethlehem to be “ruler in Israel”. What indications are given pointing to his divinity?

What is meant by “This One will be our peace”? Compare Romans 5:12, Eph. 2:14-18.

Note that there were two places named “Bethlehem”. One was only seven miles from Nazareth. According to Josh. 19:15, where was that Bethlehem located?

What information is given in Micah 5:2 to clearly distinguish the Bethlehem there mentioned from the one mentioned in Josh. 19:15?

What was the significance of “Ephrathah”? (Gen. 48:7).

What significance did Bethlehem have in each of the following passages?

Ruth 1:19, 4:11

1 Samuel 16:1

Study of the NT citation    Mt. 2:1-6

Why were Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus' birth? (Lk. 2:1-5)

Lk 2:7 mentions that Jesus was laid in a manger because there was “no room for them in the inn.” Why would this have been the case? (Lk. 2:3)

Sometime later, when wise men arrived from the east inquiring of the one born to be King of the Jews, one particular man was concerned. Who was he and why was he concerned?

Of whom did he inquire about the “Christ”, and what was meant by the term “Christ”?

Identification of the kind of prophecy

   Explicit Prediction?

On its own, does Micah 5:2 seem to be a prediction?

Explain how each of the following passages demonstrates that the prophecy in Micah 5:2 was understood by the Jews to be a prediction of the birthplace of the Messiah.

Mt. 2:4-6

John 7:40-43


We have already seen that there is a clear prediction in Micah 5:2, therefore this passage will not be characterized as merely a shadow. But could it be...

Prediction using shadow(s)?

For the most part, the prophecy is straightforward and not couched in the shadows of the OT. Only in a very general way does one see foreshadowing. For example, the rule of the Savior who would come into the world would have been foreshadowed by the rule of David; he would “shepherd his flock,” imagery very familiar from the OT, and especially so from the life of David.

Lesson 3    Out of Egypt

The Event Prophesied    Jesus was taken to Egypt and returned to Palestine only after Herod's death

The OT passage        Hosea 11:1

Study of the OT context (including related history)

the broad context    Hosea was contemporary of Micah and Isaiah. See Hosea 1:1.

During what century did Hosea prophesy?

The prophecy of Hosea was particularly directed against which part of the divided kingdom? (Hos. 1:4)

Who was king in Israel at the time Hosea began to prophecy?

What was to happen to Israel during the time that Hezekiah reigned in Jerusalem? (2 Ki. 18:9-12)

What tribe was regarded as prominent in Israel, so much so that at this time in history, it seems to have represented the whole of the northern kingdom? (Is. 7:2, 5, 9, 17; 9:9)

the specific context

What historical event is referred to in Hosea 8:9, and when did this occur?

Why did this event occur? (Hosea 11:5, 2 Ki. 18:11-12)

In Hos. 11:1, who is it that is pictured as a youth, loved by God and rescued from Egypt?    When did God rescue this “youth” from Egypt?

Study of the NT citation    Mt. 2:15; Read Mt.. 2:1-16

When wise men came from the east to worship the One born King of the Jews, Herod heard about it. What was his sentiment, and why?

What did Herod want to know about the appearance of the star?

Where were Mary and Joseph when the wise men finally found Jesus? (Mt. 2:1-11)

What had Herod instructed the wise men to do upon finding Jesus?

When the wise men left, what warning did an angel of the Lord give to Joseph?

How long did Joseph, Mary, and Jesus remain in Egypt?

What purpose does Matthew see in these events? (Mt. 2:15)

Identification of the kind of prophecy

Explicit Prediction?

On its own, does Hosea 11:1 seem to be a prediction?


If this is an example of a prophetic shadow, what forshadows whom? Compare Ex. 4:22, Ps. 89:27, and Colossians 1:15 for insight into the significance of Israel as a type of the Christ.

Prediction using shadow(s)?

If Hos. 11:1 is not a prediction at all, then clearly it is not a prediction using a shadow.

Would this particular prophecy be of greatest value to those who doubt the inspiration of the OT scriptures, or to those who doubt the inspiration of the New Testament scriptures, or to those who already ackowledge the inspiration of both?

Lesson 4    Slaughter in Bethlehem

The Event Prophesied    Herod has all the male children under two years of age killed

The OT passage        Jeremiah 31:15

Study of the OT context (including related history)
        Gen. 47:8, 1 Sam. 10:2, Gen. 35:16-20

Lesson 5    John the Baptist

The Event Prophesied    The coming and work of John the Baptist

The OT passage        Malachi 4:5-6, Malachi 3:1, Isaiah 40:3

Study of the OT context(s)

the broad context    We have already discussed the historical setting of Isaiah's prophecies. Malachi is written at a much later time.

Date of Malachi

Consider first of all, Mal. 1:8, and the reference to “your governor”. At what time in Israel's history were they under “governors”? (See 2 Chron. 23:20, Ezra 5:3,6,14, 6:6f, 6:13, 8:36, Neh. 2:7, 2:9, 3:7 5:14f, 5:18, 12:26, Hag 1:1, 1:14, 2:2, 2:21. Note that the word is also used as early as 1 Ki 10:15 & 2 Chron 9:14, but in these two passages the “governors” mentioned are those in Arabia.)

On the basis of the phrase, “your governor,” we can assume that Malachi belongs to the period after what event?

Next, notice the references to the altar of the Lord (Mal. 1:7, 10, 2:13), suggesting the temple service has been reinstituted, the temple having been rebuilt. When was the temple rebuilt?

Finally, consider the similarity in the conditions described in Nehemiah and Malachi


Nehemiah Malachi
10:32-39, 13:10 3:8
5:1-5  3:5
13:1-3, 13:23f  2:10-11


These considerations lead most conservative scholars to suppose Malachi was written in the mid to late 5th century, B.C., and among the last of the Old Testament books to be written, if not the very last.


Read 2 Kings 1:1-8. On what basis did Ahaziah know that the man his messengers had met was Elijah?

What did some false prophets do in order to pass themselves off as true prophets? (Zech. 13:4) Why would they have supposed this would lend them credibility? When was Zechariah written relative to the writing of Malachi?

the specific context    The transition from chapters 1 and 2 to chapters 3 and 4 of Malachi is an abrupt but natural one. In the first two chapters, the spiritual failings of the people are set forth. In chapters 3 and 4, the coming of the Lord is announced (3:1).It will be a time of judgment and purification (3:2-6) and thus will be “terrible” (4:5). But this coming will be preceded by a messenger who will prepare the way for the Lord (3:1, 4:5), restoring “the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (4:6). This messenger is identified as “Elijah”. The language used to describe the work of this messenger is very similar to that found in Is. 40:3. There, the glory of the Lord would be revealed after the way had been prepared for His coming. The greater detail given in Is. 40:3f brings to mind the work of those who prepared the way before an advancing conqueror. The following is from Josephus' description of Vespasian's manner of marching:

But asVespasian had a great mind to fall upon Galilee, he marched out of Ptolemais, having put his army into that order wherein the Romans used to march. He ordered those auxiliaries which were lightly armed, and the archers, to march first, that they might prevent any sudden insults from the enemy, and might search out the woods that looked suspiciously, and were capable of ambuscades. Next to these followed that part of the Romans which was completely armed, both footmen ,and horsemen. Next to these followed ten out of every hundred, carrying along with them their arms, and what was necessary to measure out a camp withal; and after them, such as were to make the road even and straight, and if it were any where rough and hard to be passed over, to plane it, and to cut down the woods that hindered their march, that the army might not be in distress, or tired with their march. Behind these he set such carriages of the army as belonged both to himself and to the other commanders, with a considerable number of their horsemen for their security. After these he marched himself, having with him a select body of footmen, and horsemen, and pikemen. Wars of the Jews, Book 3, chap. 6:2

Study of the NT citation

Lk 1:17

Tell the story of John's birth.

Who is speaking in Luke 1:17? The words of this verse is reminiscent of the language of what Old Testament passage?

When John was in prison at the end of his life, what message did he send to Jesus? (Mt. 11:2-3)

Did Jesus express disappointment at John's question? What did Jesus say about John to the multitudes who were present? Specifically, what did he say about John and Elijah?

Who appeared with Jesus on the mountain according to Mt. 17:3?

What question from the disciples did this prompt? (Mt. 17:10).

What was Jesus' answer? What did Jesus say about the work “Elijah” was to do when he came, and what did Jesus say about the timing of Elijah's coming?

What did the disciples understand Jesus to mean?

Mt. 3:3, Mk. 1:3

What Old Testament passage is quoted in these two places?

Describe John's appearance (Mt. 3:4). Why did God see fit to include a description of John's appearance in scripture. Is it merely because his appearance was distinct? Does his appearance remind you of anything in connection with Elijah?

In Mt. 3:1, where was John said to be preaching? What langauage in what Old Testament passage comes to mind?

What Old Testament passage is quoted in Mark 1:2?
Note: That Is. 40:3 and Mal. 3:1 are to be understood as talking about the same thing is confirmed by Mark 1:2-3 wherein both passages are quoted and applied to John. Mal. 3:1 is quoted of John by Jesus (Lk. 7:27), while John quotes Is. 40:3 of himself (Jn. 1:23)

John 1:19-28

Why did the Jews send priests and Levites to question John?

The text says, “he confessed and denied not.” What did he not deny?

What did John say when he was asked if he were Elijah?

Did John know that he was the one prophesied in Is. 40:3?

What did John's interrogators apparently suppose was meant by Malachi 4:5? (Remember how Elijah left the earth! 2 Kings 2:11)

Given that John was the voice in the wilderness of Is. 40:3, and given that he was the Elijah of Malachi 4:5, what implications did his preaching have? (Mt. 3:2, Jn. 5:33)

John was the culmination of a long line of prophets (Mt. 11:13, 21:33ff) whose work anticipated the coming Messiah. John in particular prepared the way, preaching repentance and calling the people back to the Lord, much as Elijah before had stood against the prophets of Baal in a time of spiritual blight.

Identification of the kind of prophecy

Explicit Prediction?

Clearly, Is. 40:3, Mal. 3:1, and Mal. 4:5 are all predictions. In each case there are things that are very explicit


While there is a shadow involved in Mal. 4:5, it is not merely an OT event or character, but the use of an OT character to describe a future person, and therefore, Mal. 4:5 falls into the category....

Prediction using shadow(s)

When Malachi prophesied of the one who would prepare the way for the Lord, the Spirit saw fit for Malachi to use the name of one of the greatest of OT prophets, God having already arranged certain parallels between the work of Elijah and the messenger of the Lord.

Lesson 6    Jesus in the wilderness

The Event Prophesied    Jesus fasting in the wilderness

The OT passage        Dt. 8:3

Study of the OT context(s)

the broad context

Consider Ex. 16 where there is a description of the time when God first gave manna to Israel. What happened when the instruction in Ex. 16:19 was disobeyed?            

On the sixth day, how much were the people told to gather? Why?

When people to gather on the 7th day, what did they find?

Was the manna intended to provide sustenance for the people? (Exodus 16:12a, 35)

More than merely providing physical nourishment, there was a lesson in all of this. What was it? (Exodus 16:28, 4)

the specific context

For what period of time had God humbled Israel in the wilderness? (Dt. 8:2)

How did God humble Israel in the wilderness? (Dt. 8:3)

Study of the NT citation     Mt. 4:4 “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,”

Using John 5:19, 5:30,36, 6:38, 11:42-43, Mt. 26:39, and Phil 2:7-8, show how Jesus' life served to teach the lesson of the manna.

Keeping in mind the last question, explain why it would have been wrong for Jesus to turn the stones into bread in Mt 4:1-4.

In Mt. 4, Jesus is not merely living in accordance with the principle taught in Ex. 16 and capsulized in the statement, “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” but he is teaching it to us.

What did Jesus say of himself in Jn 6:41?

What contrast do you find in Jn. 6:49 and Jn. 50, 57-58?

Find three words in Dt. 8:2 that are also found in Mt. 4:1-2. (Such words as “the”, “was”, “in” and “to” don't count..)

God led Israel in the wilderness 40 years that he might do what?

Who led Jesus into the wilderness, for how long, and in order that what might happen?

Identification of the kind of prophecy

Explicit Prediction?


Prediction using shadow(s)?

Lesson 7    Preaching Good Tidings

The Event Prophesied    Proclamation of Liberty

The OT passage        Is. 61:1-2

Study of the OT context(s)

the broad context

According to Is. 60:3, who would come to Zion's light?

When did this happen?

What then, is the light that would emanate from Zion?

According to Is. 60:10, who would build up the walls?

Are these walls literal or symbolic?

Is. 62:2 says, “And you will be called by a new name.” Look at the following O.T. passages and see what other “new” things would characterize the Messianic kingdom:

Jer. 31:31-32
Ezek. 36:26
Is. 42:10

What was the new name, or rather, what were the new names, which were designated by the mouth of the Lord? (Is. 62:2-4). If your Bible gives Hebrew names in vs. 4, be sure and check you footnotes or look the words up in a Bible dictionary. Note that two of the “names” in Is. 62:4 are in fact known to us as names of specific people. See 1 Kings 22:42 and 2 Kings 21:1.

No longer would Zion be called by what names? (Is. 62:4) Why would Zion have ever been called by those former names?

the specific context

Why would “proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners” have particular resonance in the context of Isaiah's prophecy. Remember what we have already studied in Micah 4:9-10, and see also Jeremiah 25:8-11, 2 Chron. 36:15-21.

Read Leviticus 25:1-12, 35-55 and understand the meaning of “jubilee”in the Law. Specifically, note the provision of verses 10 and 54. Note that the phrase “proclaim liberty” in Is. 61:1 is exactly that found in Lev. 25:10

What spiritual significance does “proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners” have? (John 8:34-35, Romans 6:16, 7:14, Hebrews 2:15)

the broad context revisited

In Isaiah 42, the Servant of the Lord is introduced. From time to time in this section of the book of Isaiah, the Servant of the Lord speaks in the first person. Note in particular Is. 49:5-7 and 50:4-6. In other places, the Servant of the Lord is described in the third person, e.g. Is. 53.

the specific context revisited

In Isaiah 61, the Servant of the Lord is speaking. Notice in particular the following:

Liberty (61:1)
Rebuilding the ruins (61:4)
Participation of foreigners (61:5)

See if you can find each of these three ideas (Liberty, Rebuilding the ruins, Participation of foreigners) in Acts 15:1-21. Is the meaning of these a social/political one, or a spiritual one?

Study of the NT citation        Luke 4:17-21

What significance did the town of Nazareth have for Jesus, according to Luke 4:16?

When “the book” was given to Jesus, what passage of scripture did he read?

The second line of this passage is particularly significant. Why? (Hint: In Greek, the word translated “anointed” in Luke 4:18 is e)/xrisen from xri/w = chrio.)

At what did the Jewish audience marvel? Quote the answer verbatim from Luke 4:22. Why would they have so characterized his words?

In contrast to the words which Jesus spoke, and particularly his claim that the passage in Isaiah was then being fulfilled, how did the Jews of Nazareth regard Jesus himself?

What so angered the Jews that they intended to throw him headlong down the hill?

What two events did Jesus cite in verses 25-27?

In what O. T. passages can the accounts of these events be found?

What was Jesus' point in citing these two events?

Identification of the kind of prophecy

Is. 61 contains a prophecy of the good news that would be brought by the Servant of the Lord, i.e., the Messiah. Is the prophecy given in the form of...

Explicit Prediction?


Prediction using shadow(s)?