Jesus in the Old Testament

Jeff Smelser

Centreville, Virginia
Summer 1999

(Part 2)

Lesson 8    Bearing our Griefs, Carrying our Sorrows

The Event Prophesied    Healing the Sick

The OT passage        Is. 53:4

Study of the OT context(s)

the broad context

Remember that this section of Isaiah speaks of the Servant of the Lord. Sometimes He is described in the third person, and sometimes He speaks in the first person. Verses 13 through 15 of Isaiah 52 serve as an introduction to the portrayal of the Suffering Servant:

                Behold, My servant will prosper
                He will be high and lifted up, and greatly exalted.
                Just as many were astonished at you, My people,
                So His appearance was marred more than any man,
                And His form more than the sons of men.
                Thus He will sprinkle many nations,
                Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;
                For what had not been told them they will see,
                And what they had not heard they will understand.

There is a parallel drawn in Is. 52:14. What is the parallel?

Identify the parties who are compared.

In each case, what was the cause of astonishment?

the specific context

Isaiah 53:2 says, “He grew up before Him like a tender shoot.” Who grew up before whom?

What does “acquainted with grief”(53:3) mean?

In a later lesson, we will return to this chapter to see phrases that anticipate the specific circumstances of Jesus' trial and crucifixion. But see how many such phrases you can find in Is. 53, and make not of them now.

Make note of Acts 8:26-40. How had the eunuch understood Isaiah 53? What (whom) did Philip preach from Isaiah 53?

Compare Is. 53:4 with 1 Peter 2:24. When did Jesus “bare our sins”? Can you see a reference to that in Is. 53:4?

Study of the NT citation            Mt. 8:16-17

Who was sick with a fever in Mt.8:14?

In whose house was this? (Cf. Mark 1:29.)

What did Peter's mother-in-law do after her recovery?

In the evening, who came? How many? (Mt. 8:16, Mk. 1:32-34)

In what sense was Jesus taking upon himself our infirmities and bearing our diseases in Mt. 8:14-17?

Read Hebrews 5:1-3. In what way was Jesus shown to be “compassed with infirmity” according to this context? (See Heb. 5:7)

Is the point in Hebrews 5:3,7 more similar to Mt. 8:14-17, or to 1 Pt. 2:24?

Can you see a sense in which Jesus' humility in going to the cross was the culmination of a lifelong humiliation? (Phil 2:5-8)

Similarly, can you see a sense in which Jesus' bearing our sorrows at his death was the culmination of a lifelong work of carrying our sorrows? (Cf. Mt. 9:36, 14:14, 15:32, Jn. 11:33-35)

Identification of the kind of prophecy

Into which of the following categories would you put Isaiah 53:4? Might you want to create a new category?

Explicit Prediction?

Prediction using shadow(s)?

Lesson 9    Cleansing the Temple

The Event Prophesied    Cleansing the Temple

The OT passage        Ps. 69:9

Study of the OT context

the broad context

            This is one of the “Imprecatory Psalms” wherein the author pleads for the downfall of his enemies. The author begins with a description of his plight (69:1-4), identifies his cause and God's cause as one and the same (69:5- 12), pleads for God's help (69:13-21), asks specifically that God's anger should come upon his enemies (69:22-28), and finally offers his praise to God (69:29-36).

            The Psalm is quoted five times in the New Testament (Jn. 2:17, 15:25, Ac. 1:20, Rom. 11:9-10, 15:3). There are also a number of additional places in the NT where there is clearly an allusion to this Psalm, or where the language of this Psalm is borrowed. Verses 22-28, where the author asks that God's anger come upon his enemies, is the section upon which most of these are based.

the specific context

Considering the sections of this Psalm as discussed above, in which section is verse 9 found?

Explain how verse 9 is consistent with the overall theme of verses 5-12.

Study of the NT citation

Read Jn. 2:13-22 (our text for this lesson), Mt. 21:12-13, Mk. 11:15-18, and Lk. 19:45-47.As far as we can discern from scripture, how many times did Jesus run the money changers out of the temple?

Identification of the kind of prophecy

Into which of the following categories would you put Psalm 69:9?

Explicit Prediction?


Prediction using shadow(s)?


Lesson 10

The Event Prophesied    In Nazareth and Capernaum

The OT passage        Is. 9:1-2

The NT citation        Mt. 4:15-16


The Event Prophesied    Avoiding confrontation

The OT passage        Is. 42:1-4

The NT citation        Mt. 12:18-21      (loose quotation, although Mt. 12:21 is from LXX of Is. 42:4)


The Event Prophesied    Teaching in parables

The OT passage        Ps. 78:2

The NT citation        Mt. 13:34f

Lesson 11    Elisha and Christ
The Event Prophesied    Miraculous feedings, Raising the dead in life, Healing lepers, Walking on the water, Raising the dead in death

The OT passage        2 Kings 4-6, 13

What does “Elisha” mean?

What did “Joshua” mean?

Compare Heb. 4:8 in the King James Version with the rendering of that passage in another translation. Why does the KJV say Jesus while other translations say Joshua?

Who was Elisha's predecessor?

Who was Jesus' predecessor?

Can you cite 3 NT passages that establish a connection between John the Baptist and Elijah?

There is a section of 2 Kings where the history of the kings themselves recedes to the background, and the narrative focuses instead on the work of the prophet Elisha. So much is the focus upon Elisha that from 2 Kings 4:1 to 2 Kings 8:6, even though the King of Israel is mentioned his name is never given. Read each of the following NT passages wherein one of Jesus' miracles is described, and then find something Elisha did which seems similar and which is described in 2 Ki 4-6.

Mt. 14:13-21.
Lk. 7:11-15
Lk. 5:12-16
Mt. 14:22ff

The account of Elisha's death is found in 2 Kings 13. Compare Mt 27:52 and 2 Ki. 13:20- 21.

Explain the graphic at right:

Identification of the kind of prophecy

Is this...

Explicit Prediction?


Prediction using shadow(s)?

Lesson 12    Entry to Jerusalem, part 1    

The Event Prophesied    Mt. 21:1-11, Jn. 12:12ff, Mark 11:1-10, Lk. 19:29-40

The OT passage        Is. 62:11, Zech 9:9

Where is Is. 62:11 quoted in the NT? Give two verses where Zech. 9:9 is quoted in the NT.

Study of the OT context        Once again, we visit the section of Isaiah where the prophet speaks of the Servant of the Lord. In Lesson 7, we looked at the promise of a “new name which the mouth of the Lord will designate.”

According to Is. 62:11, what is it that “comes”?

What evidence is there that what “comes” is to be embodied in a person?

Remember that the Old Testament explicitly spoke of a coming Messiah (e.g., Dan. 9:25). Remember that Micah prophesied of one who would “go forth” from “Bethlehem Ephrathah,” and that he would be “Ruler in Israel” (Micah 5:2). Remember also that the Jews understood that passage to be talking about the Messiah ( How do we know this?______________). If you were a 1st century Jew and were familiar with these things, do you think you would have understood Is. 62:11 to be talking about the Messiah of Dan. 9:25 and the “Ruler” prophesied in Micah 5:2?

Zechariah was written late in the 6th century B.C., after the Persians had come to power and the Jews had been allowed to return to their land. At that time, the Jews were rebuilding the temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:9) and Joshua (Zech. 3:1). But through the prophet, God directs the people's attention to one who would eventually come, who would build the temple of the Lord and who would be both priest and king (Zech. 6:12-13). According to Zech. 6:9, what is the name of this one? Can you think of anything in Isaiah that would serve as a precedent for referring to this one by this name?

If you were a 1st century Jew, do you think you would have understood Zech. 6:9f to be talking about one who would be a descendent of David? Would you have understood Zech. 6:9f to be talking about the same one who was spoken of in Is. 11:1f? Would you have understood Zech. 6:9f to be talking about the Messiah?

In chapter 9, the first seven verses describe the fate of various Philistine and Phoenician cities. On the other hand, beginning in verse 8, God speaks of the future glory that will come to Zion. In verse 9, who is said to be coming?

With what is he endowed?

If you were a 1st century Jew, do you think you would have understood Zech. 9:9 to be talking about the Messiah?

What similarities do you see between Zech. 9:9 and Is. 62:11?

If you were a 1st century Jew, and you thought only of coming glory and a coming King, which of the following words would most likely be associated with what you would anticipate? Honor, Suffering, Prestige, Exaltation, Coronation, Crucifixion, Humble

Zech. 9:9 says, “Behold, your King is coming to you...Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The word “humble” is emphasized by the picture of the King coming on a donkey, moreover, on the foal of a donkey. Picture a grown man, a national leader, riding on a foal of a donkey. To be sure, early in Israel's history, when the Israelites did not have horses (Dt. 17:16), prominent men of Israel were known to ride donkeys (Judges 5:10, 10:4, 12:14, 2 Sam. 17:23, 19:26). During the reign of David, what did men of status often ride? (2 Sam. 13:29, 18:9, 1 Ki. 1:33)

During the reign of Solomon, what animal had become the mark of wealth and power in Israel? (1 Ki. 4:26, 10:26).

Study of the NT context

John's account of the fulfillment of Zech. 9:9 is found in Jn. 12:12ff. Note John 12:1 and tell what feast was near, and how near.

In what chapter does John first tell of the coming of that feast in that particular year?

How much time transpires from the beginning of chapter 13 to the end of chapter 17?

What happens in chapter 18?

So, reviewing information gained in answering the last four questions, how long was it from the time Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey to the time he was crucified?

In what manner was he received by the people when he rode into Jerusalem upon the donkey?

What did the people shout as Jesus rode in? Who do you think they supposed him to be?

Which of the four accounts mentions not only the foal but also the mother of the foal? Which animal did Jesus ride?

Many OT passages prophesied of the coming Messiah. What particular insight did the prophecy in Zech. 9:9 give about the coming Messiah?

Identification of the kind of prophecy

Into which of the following categories would you put Is. 62:11? What about Zech. 9:9?

Explicit Prediction?


Prediction using shadow(s)?

Lesson 13    Entry to Jerusalem, part 2

The Event Prophesied     Hosanna to the son of David

The OT passage         Ps 118:25-26

Study of the OT context        Psalm 118:22 by itself is quoted in Lk. 20:17, Ac. 4:11, 1 Pt. 2:7. Psalm 118:22-23 is quoted in Mt. 21:42 and Mk 12:10-11. Psalm 118:26 is quoted in Mt. 23:39, Lk. 13:35, and Lk. 19:38.

What were the builders of Psalm 118:22 building? (Eph. 2:19-22)

Who were the builders? (Acts 4:1-11)

In what sense can they be thought of as builders?

What does the stone that was rejected represent? (Acts 4:1-11)

In what sense is it the chief corner stone? (Eph. 2:19-22)

What similarities do you see between Ps. 118:25-26 and Is. 62:11 and Zech. 9:8-9?

Do you suppose the Jews thought of Ps. 118 as referring to the Messiah?

Study of the NT context

How many verses in Psalm 118 are quoted in connection with Jesus' entry into Jerusalem?

What was the significance of the phrase “Son of David”? In particular, did this designation seem to have any special significance in the following passages: Mt 9:27, 15:22, 20:30, 20:31, Mk 10:47, 10:48, Lu 18:38, 18:39

Did the Jews in Jesus' day look for a descendent of David to be the Messiah? (Mt 22:42, Mk 12:35)

What particular significance did the phrase have in Mt 12:23?

In Mt 21:15, what was it that particularly concerned the chief priests and the scribes?

What does “Hosanna” mean, and what verse in Psalm 118 contains the basis for this expression?

Using all of the accounts, describe the details of Jesus reception as he rode into Jerusalem on the donkey.

Is the reception given Jesus on this occasion consistent with the rest of what we read about Jesus' reception among the people? There were two groups of people with very different attitudes toward Jesus. Who were these two groups? (Jn 6:5, 14-15, 7:40-41, 45- 49)

Had Jesus been to Jerusalem before this occasion? Had he entered the city in such a manner as this? (Cf. Jn. 7:10)

Why did Jesus go into the city in such a manner on this occasion? (Hint: Jn. 2:4, 7:30, 8:20, 12:23, 13:1, 17:1)

Lesson 14    Entry to Jerusalem, part 3

The Event Prophesied     cleansing the temple, the 2nd time

The OT passage         Is. 56:7, Ps 8:2

Study of the OT context        Again we find ourselves in Isaiah, and again it is in this section where the prophet speaks of the Servant of the Lord. Previously in this study, we have encountered the following passages in this section of Isaiah:

40:3    of John the Baptist
42:1-3    of the quiet manner of the Servant of the Lord
53:2    “He grew up before Him like a tender shoot.”
53:3    of being acquainted with grief
53:4    of healing the sick
61:1-2    of the liberty for the captives
61:4    of the rebuilding of the ruins
61:5    of participation of foreigners
62:11    of the Salvation to come

And we will be back in this section in future lessons. For this lesson, we want to focus on Is. 56:7. But as a preliminary to the first question on Is. 56, we need to take a detour and look at Ezekiel 37.

When did Ezekiel live?

What was the Lord talking about in Ezek. 37:21-23?

When did David live?

Who was the Lord talking about in Ezek. 37:24?

When God's people would again be one, and have one king, where would they live? (Ezek. 37:25)

And now back to Isaiah, but to chapter 66 briefly:

In Is. 66:19-20 and 23, what indications do you see that the passage is talking about the messianic kingdom?

How do you explain the fact that there would be priests and Levites, and Sabbath days?

Time to go to work on Is. 56:

Dt. 23:1 precluded eunuchs from participating in the congregation of the Lord. And yet Is. 56:4 speaks of the eunuchs who keep the sabbaths and hold fast to the covenant, and says they will have a place in God's house. What is God's house, and how could eunuchs have a place in it given the rule of Dt. 23:1?

If you view Is. 56:4 as messianic, how do you explain the fact that the eunuchs who would have a place in God's house would be those who keep the “ sabbaths”?

Given the broad context, which “house of the Lord” is especially in view in Is. 56:7, the physical one that foreshadowed the real one, or the real one itself which is the spiritual house of the Lord? Be sure to consider Is. 56:7 in light of Is. 2:1-4, and in light of the whole section of Isaiah beginning with chapter 42, and especially in light of Is. 56:6 where the passage speaks of “foreigners who join themselves to the Lord.”

Study of the NT context

In Matthew 21, after Jesus rode into Jerusalem upon a donkey colt, he entered the temple and did what?

Is this the same incident described in John 2:13ff?

Read Ex. 30:11-15. The tax there described was to be paid on the occasion of a census. But it seems to have become an annual tax by N.T. times, and inasmuch as Jews from outside Judea would carry various currencies, they would go to moneychangers for the requisite “shekel of the sanctuary.” The moneychangers would charge a premium for their own profit.

 “the business of exchangnig foreign coins for various purposes became a lucrative one, the exchangers exacting whatever fee they might.” (ISBE, ed. James Orr p. 2081)

As Jesus overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove sellers, what did he say?

Of what “house” did Jesus speak most immediately, the physical temple, or the spiritual one which it forshadowed?

Notice that in Is. 56:7, the Old Testament passage, the reference is clearly to the spiritual house, but in Mt. 21:13, Mk. 11:17, & Lk 19:46 where Is. 56:7 is quoted, the reference is most immediately to the physical temple. In this case, the shadow is most clearly in view in the NT passages, and the reality most clearly in view in the OT passage.

The religious leaders of Jerusalem seemed truly offended by the adulation of the multitudes that followed Jesus. Matthew describes them as being “moved with indignation.” We will observe this in reviewing the events of Jesus' entry into the city.

Where was Jesus when the colt was brought to him? (Luke 19:29-35, Mark 11:1-7) What direction was this from Jerusalem?

In whose home had he been? (Jn. 12:1ff, Mt. 26:6ff) Who came to see not only Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead? (Jn. 12:9)

John says it was “on the morrow” that a great multitude heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. (Jn. 12:12) Why were they in the area? What did they do?

Based on Luke's account , where was it that the multitudes began to rejoice? What is the exact phrase Luke uses with reference to these people?

In Jn. 12:17, what are told about some of the multitude?

Were there some who now gathered to Jesus who had not been present at Lazarus' resurrection but had only heard about it? (Jn. 12:18)

It is at this point in Luke's account that the Pharisees are disturbed. What did they say, and to whom? What was the response?

Luke 19:41 says, “And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it.” What sort of view would he have had of the city? Remember the geography. You may need to consult a Bible atlas.

Matthew describes Jesus' entry into the temple. Immediately after relating that Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of the dove sellers, Matthew writes of some who came to Jesus. Who came to him, where did they come to him, and what did he do for them?

Who witnessed this and how did they feel about these things? What did they say to Jesus? What was Jesus' response?

What does indignation mean? These people, the Pharisees and the scribes and the chief priests, had enough evidence before them to know that Jesus was the Messiah. And yet they seemed truly indignant when Jesus received praises as if he were the Messiah. What does this tell you about indignation as a measure of rightness?

When Jesus said, “Yea: did ye never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?'” what passage of scripture was he quoting?

What differences do you see when you compare the Old Testament passage and its quotation in Mt. 21:16? Though you may not know the Greek alphabet, you may find it interesting to at least visually compare the Greek text of Mt. 21:16 and Psalm 8:2 as it appears in the Septuagint:

The quotation in Mt. 21:16

Psalm 8:2, as it is represented in the Septuagint at Ps. 8:3

What other verses in Psalm 8 are quoted in the NT?

Consider the significance of the NT quotations of Psalm 8 and Is. 56:7. Do these quotations serve as stand alone proofs that Jesus is the Christ? Were they intended to do that? In each case, tell what you see as Jesus' point in quoting the passage.

In three Parts, we have studied Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. List the Old Testament passages, which we have studied, that were quoted in the NT accounts of these events.

Lesson 15    Betrayal and Crucifixion

The Event Prophesied    Judas betrays Jesus, commits suicide; Jesus' suffering on the cross

The OT passage        2 Sam. 15-17, Ps. 41, Ps. 22


Study of the OT context

Multiple choice

1.    (15:2) Early in the morning, where would Absalom stand?
    a.    in his back yard minding his own business
    b.    in an alley where no one would see him
    c.    beside the way to the gate

2.    (15:2) People would come past that place on the way to see the king for what purpose?
    a.    To attack the palace
    b.    To seek a judgement from the King favorable to themselves
    c.    To file a complaint against the King

3.    (15:3-4) Absalom would talk to these people about
    a.    how the King was doing a good job
    b.    how Absalom was glad that he didn't have to render judgements for them
    c.    how much better it would be for the people if Absalom could judge their cases

4.    (15:5-6) As a result of Absalom's doings,
    a.    he became very popular in Israel
    b.    he became despised by the people
    c.    the King appointed Absalom to judge the people

5.    (15:7-11)When Absalom went to Hebron, his true purpose
    a.    was to pay a vow
    b.    was to join the band as a trumpet player
    c.    was to have himself proclaimed king, even though he claimed he was going to pay a vow

6.    (15:12) The man who had been a counselor to David, and now was helping Absalom, was named
    a.    Giloh
    b.    Ahithophel
    c.    Judas

7.    (15:13-18) When David found out that Absalom was trying to usurp (look it up!) the throne, David
    a.    fled, leaving ten of his concubines (wives) behind
    b.    burned the palace down
    c.    shut himself up in the palace

True/False (15:19-37)

8.    _____    There were a large number of people who went with David when he fled.
9.    _____    Ittai was loyal to David.
10.    _____    Zadok and Abiathar were against David.
11.    _____    Zadok and Abiathar were told to stay in the city (Jerusalem).
12.    _____    Zadok's son was Jonathan and Abiathar's son was Ahimaaz.
13.    _____    Ahimaaz and Jonathan were useful as messengers, sneaking out of Jerusalem with information for David.
14.    _____    David never found out that Ahithophel had become a traitor.
15.    _____    Hushai was loyal to David.
16.    _____    Hushai was sent back to the city to Absalom.
17.    _____    Hushai the plan was for Hushai to pretend to be loyal to Absalom, while actually helping David
18.    _____    Hushai would be able to send messages to David by means of Ahimaaz and Jonathan.

Short Answer: Shimei curses David (16:1-23)

19.    Shimei was a member of the family of what very famous man?

20.    What did Shimei throw at David?

21.    What did Shimei call David?

22.    What did Abishai want to do about Shimei?

23.    Who was Abishai's mother?

24.    Was David pleased with Abishai's suggestion?

Short Answer: Hushai and Ahithophel, Two counselors (16:15-17:23)

25.    Was Hushai truly loyal to David?

26.    When Hushai came to offer his services to Absalom, was Absalom a little surprised that Hushai wasn't with David?

27.    What did Hushai give as a reason for helping Absalom?

28.    Remember the ten concubines that David left behind? Ahithophel advised Absalom to have sexual relations with them. Was this to be done secretly, or in such a way as to become public knowledge?

Interesing Possibility

It appears that Bathesheba may have been a grandaughter of Ahithophel, and this might explain why Ahithophel was willing to turn against David and side with Absalom. The evidence suggesting she was a grandaughter of Ahithophel is as follows: Ahithophel was referred to as Ahithophel the Gilonite ( 2 Sam. 15:12). Among David's mighty men, specifically, among the thirty, were both Eliam the son of "Ahithophel the Gilonite" (2 Sam. 23:34) and Uriah the Hittite (2 Sam. 23:39). This suggests these two men were at least acquainted, even comrades. Is it too much to suppose Uriah and Ahithophel's son, Eliam, were friends?

2 Sam. 11:3 tells us that Bathsheba was the daughter of an Eliam. It seems likely that this is the same Eliam inasmuch as it is reasonable to suppose that Uriah married the daughter of his friend, Eliam. And that would mean that Bathsheba was Ahithophel's grandaughter.

Challenge Question

29.    Why did Ahithophel give the advice found in 16:21?

30.    How had Ahithophel's advice been regarded by David, and then later, by Absalom?

31.    Both Ahithophel and Hushai gave Absalom advice about how best to attack David.
    a.    Which one advised an immediate attack while David was weak?
    b.    Which one advised a delay before attacking?
    c.    Which one made Absalom worry about David's famous skills as a warrior?
    d.    Which one was giving advice that would really be most likely to give victory to Absalom?
    e.    Which one was giving advice that would help David, by giving David time to escape and regroup his forces?
    f.    Which advice did Absalom think was the best?
    g.    What was the Lord accomplishing by means of Hushai's advice?
    h.    What did Ahithophel do after he saw that his advice was not followed?

Fill in the Blanks: Chain of Events (17:15-22)

After Absalom's plans were made, Hushai sent word to ___________
and ____________, the priests, who in turn, sent a __________ to
their sons ______________ and ______________ at En-rogel. But the
sons of the priests were seen by a _________ who told __________.
So the sons of the priests hid in a ________ which was then
covered, and _________ was spread on the covering, so that
Absalom's__________ didn't find them. Then _________ and
__________ got out of the well and went and gave Hushai's
information to __________.

Challenge Questions
  1. Why did Ahithophel kill himself?

  2. Who betrayed David, by going over to Absalom's side, and which verse in Psalm 41 (written by David) refers to this man?

  3. Jesus quotes this verse in John 13:18. Read from John 13:18 to verse 30. Of whom was Jesus speaking when he quoted Psalm 41?

  4. What did Judas do after betraying himself? (Mt. 27:3-5) Do you see a parallel?

  5. What mountain did David sorrowfully ascend, and in what mountain was Jesus very sorrowful before being betrayed? (2 Samuel 15:30, Matthew 26:30-38)

  6. Read Psalm 22 and see how many parallels you can find to Matthew 27:33-46.

  7. Were all these parallels mere coincidence? (John 19:23-24)