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Article - Yeshua In The Tenach

Yeshua In The Tenach

Original text by Arthur E. Glass, Revised by George Gruen.

In talking with my Jewish brethren for the past many years in Canada, the United States, Argentina, and Uruguay, I had one great difficulty.  My Jewish people would always ask me this challenging question, “If Jesus is our Messiah, and the whole Old Testament is about Him, how come His name is never mentioned in it even once?”

I could never answer it satisfactorily to their way of thinking.  I, myself, often wondered why His name was not actually written in the Jewish Bible.  Oh, yes, I could show them His divine titles in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, Jeremiah 23:5, 6, etc., and even the word MESSIAH in several places; but the Hebrew name that would be equal to Jesus, I could not show.  Then one day I saw it.  There was the very NAME, Jesus found in the Old Testament about 100 times all the way from GENESIS to HABAKKUK!

“Where do we find that NAME?” you ask.  Here it is.  Every time the Old Testament uses the word SALVATION (especially with the Hebrew suffix meaning “my,” “thy,” or “his”), with very few exceptions (when the word is impersonal), it is the very same word, YESHUA (Jesus), used in Matthew 1:21.  Let us remember that the angel who spoke to Mary and the angel who spoke to Joseph in his dream did not speak in English, Latin, or Greek, but rather Hebrew.  Mary and Joseph were not slow to grasp the meaning and significance of the NAME of this divine Son and its relation to His character and His work of salvation.  In the Old Testament all great characters were given names with a specific and significant meaning.

For example, in Genesis 5:29, Lamech called his son “Noah [Comfort], saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands.”  In Genesis 10:25, Eber calls his firstborn son “Peleg (Division); for in his days was earth divided.”  The same is true of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob (changed to Israel—God’s Prince), and all of Jacob’s sons (see Genesis, Chapters 29-32).  In Exodus 2:10, Pharaoh’s daughter called the baby rescued from the Nile “Moses [Drawn-Forth]: and she said Because I drew him out of the water.”  We could go on and on to show the deep significance of Hebrew names.

Now then, when the angel spoke to Joseph, husband of Mary, the mother of our Lord, this is what he really said and what Joseph actually understood: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus [YESHUA (SALVATION)]: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).  This text was so forcibly brought home to my soul soon after I became a believer, that I saw the whole plan of the Old Testament in that one ineffable and blessed NAME.

So let us proceed to show clearly the Hebrew name YESHUA (Greek, Iesus; English, Jesus) in the Jewish Scriptures.

When the great Patriarch Jacob was ready to depart from this world, he, by the Holy Spirit, was blessing his sons and prophetically foretelling their future experiences in those blessings.  In verse 18 of Genesis 49 he exclaims, “I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord!”  What he really did say and mean was, “To thy YESHUA (Jesus) I am looking, O Lord”: or, “In thy YESHUA (Jesus) I am hoping (trusting), Lord!”

Of course YESHUA (Jesus) was the One to Whom Jacob was trusting to carry him safely over the chilly waters of the river of death.  Jacob was a saved man, and did not wait until his dying moments to start trusting in the Lord.  He just reminded God that he was, at the same time, comforting his own soul.

In Psalm 9:14, David bursts forth, “I will rejoice in thy salvation!”  What he actually did say and mean was, “I will rejoice in (with) thy YESHUA (Jesus).”

In Psalm 91:14-16 God says, “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life [eternal life] will I satisfy him, and show him my [YESHUA (Jesus)] salvation.”  That promise is realized in Revelation 22:3, 4, “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the lamb shall be in it: and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see HIS face.”

In Isaiah 12:2, 3 we have something wonderful. Here SALVATION is mentioned three times. The reader will be much blessed by reading these glorious verses in his Bible  Let me give them as they actually read in the original Hebrew with Jesus as the embodiment and personification of the word SALVATION, “Behold mighty (or God the mighty One) is my ESHUA (Jesus—in His pre-incarnation and eternal existence); I will trust and not be afraid; for JAH-JAHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my YESHUA (Jesus).”  “And the WORD [Jesus incarnate] became flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).  “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of YESHUA.”

Something very interesting occurred one spring in St. Louis.  I was visiting in the home of our friends, Brother and Mrs. Charles Siegelman, and another Jew was present there.  He claimed Jewish orthodoxy for his creed.  This good Jewish man opposed the claims of Messiah in the Old Testament verbally, and in a friendly fashion, most violently.  His best offensive weapon, he thought, was the well-known challenge: “You can’t find the name ‘Jesus’ in the Old Testament.”

I did not answer him directly, but asked him to translate for us from my Hebrew Bible, Isaiah 62:11.  Being a Hebrew scholar, he did so with utmost ease, rapidity, and correctness; and here is what and how he translated that text verbatim, “Behold, Jehovah has proclaimed unto the end of the world.  Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold thy YESHUA [Jesus] commeth; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.”  Just then he realized what he had done and he said, “No! no! You made me read it, ‘thy YESHUA’ [Jesus], Mr. Glass! You tricked me!”   I said, “No, I did not trick you.  I just had you read the Word of God for yourself.  Can’t you see that here SALVATION is a person and not a thing or an event?  HE comes, ‘HIS reward is with HIM, and His work before HIM.’” Then he rushed to his own Old Testament saying, “I’m sure mine is different from yours.”  When he found the passage, his Old Testament was, of course, identical.

Then skipping on to Habakkuk, we have the greatest demonstration of the NAME “Jesus” in the Old Testament.  Here we have both the name as well as the title of the Savior.  In 3:13 we read literally from the original Hebrew, “Thou wentest forth with the YESHA [variant of YESHUA] of [or for] thy people; with YESHUA thy MESSIAH.”

The name Jesus is found throughout the Jewish Holy Scriptures. We need to trust Him as our Messiah who provided the atonement for us through which we will be forgiven of our sins.  The atonement for sin, as demanded in the law of Moses, is found today in Messiah Jesus.  Ask the God of Israel to show you this truth.

You will know true peace in your life today and for eternity as you understand God’s plan for your life and put your trust in Almighty God and His Holy Scriptures – the Bible.

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