Old Testament prophecy on Jesus coming as a man

This segment of our look at Advent focuses on Old Testament prophecy on Jesus coming as a man. Well, OK, as a baby. If you’ve read the earlier articles, you probably noticed that the reference verses are from Philippians. Weird, huh? To me, it’s bordering on annoying. How can a passage from after the birth of Jesus be used to look forward to the birth of that same Jesus? The mathematician in me says this is logically flawed. But, since we’re using Nelson’s Topical Index to set the path for the study, let’s see what we can do with this.

Old Testament prophecy on Jesus coming as a man is article #3 in the series: Advent. Click button to view titles for entire series
Old Testament prophecy on Jesus coming as a man

Since the verses listed in Nelson’s Topical Index show characteristics of Jesus as a man, we should be able to use those characteristics and find prophecies about them in Old Testament verses.

To me, that’s a much better approach than taking some new Testament verses and then using them to prove the new Testament is valid. I never could figure out how so many things, like economic models, are built with a set of recent data. Then, that same recent data is run through the model to prove the model is valid. Well of course it is! The only way it won’t work is if the model was built incorrectly.

In the same manner, if we are going to say the Old Testament prophesied about the coming of Jesus as a man, then we cannot use the New Testament to prove it. We must go back to the Old Testament to build the model. Then, and only then, can we examine the New Testament to see if it fits the model built by the Old Testament. Relying on the New Testament to prove that the New Testament is correct makes no sense!

So, let’s see what we can do with the Philippians passage.

Where are we in the Advent study?

Lets’ start with the topic table. The grayed out portion is from the previous article.

1st or 2nd Advent Prophecy subject Verses
First Advent:    
  Prophesied Deut. 18:18;
Isa. 7:14
  Came as man Phil. 2:5–8

New Testament statement on Jesus as a man

As mentioned, we’ll get to the Old Testament prophecy. However, we need to start with the passage from Philippians. So, here it is.

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Phil 2:1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Phil 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Phil 2:6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

Phil 2:7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

Phil 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Phil 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,

Phil 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Phil 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

So, let’s consider this. There’s only one verse in the entire passage that we can use for its relationship to Jesus being a man.

Phil 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

And even in that verse, only one line is relevant to the very “simple” prophecy that Jesus will come as a man. After all, let’s remember that Christians believe Jesus was both God and man. Therefore, we must be very careful to use only verses that speak to being a man, but can’t be construed as also attributable to being God.

So, what we need are verses that show a clear line from the prophecy about Jesus being a man, technically a baby boy at birth, and His actual birth. And to go one step further, let’s also look at death. After all, how many false gods have literally died and ceased to exist? Honestly, I can’t answer that question. Maybe someone has Googled it and kind of knows. I just know there have been people who claimed to be God – but died and were gone. That’s not the case with Jesus.

Three Old Testament prophesies on Jesus coming as a man

So, let’s take a look at three Old Testament Prophesies on Jesus coming as a man, related to Phil 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man.

First, what does found in appearance as a man mean? Here’s the Greek word that gets translated as in appearance.

4976 σχῆμα [schema /skhay·mah/] n n. From the alternate of 2192; TDNT 7:954; TDNTA 1129; GK 5386; Two occurrences; AV translates as “fashion” twice. 1 the habitus, as comprising everything in a person which strikes the senses, the figure, bearing, discourse, actions, manner of life etc. Additional Information: For synonyms see entry 3444, morphe. See entry 5865 for comparison of synonyms.  [1]Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

OK – that’s confusing. fashion? Sure enough, looking at an older / more literal translation shows exactly that. fashion.

Notice that it says there are only two instances of this word in the New Testament. So, let’s look at the other one to see if we can shed some light on what in appearance actually means. Note – the verse itself has nothing to do with the prophecy we’re examining. We’re solely trying to figure out what in appearance means. With that in mind, here’s the other verse.

1 Co 7:31 … For this world in its present form is passing away.

This is about the world passing away in a physical sense. Remember, Revelation tells us of a new earth replacing the old (current) one. Furthermore, in Revelation, the new earth was recognizable as being a new earth. So in our Philippians verse, in appearance for all purposes that we, as people, can tell, Jesus was a man. I phrase it that way because the Bible tells us Jesus was fully man and fully God. Therefore, something is different between Jesus and the rest of us. And yet, Jesus is fully human in every physical sense. And that makes sense, since the fully human is physical and fully God is spiritual. we’ll get into that a bit more later.

Let’s get started then. Below are the three prophecies I’m going to use. There are, of course, many more. But if I use them all, well, this will take ages to get written. So – it’s going to be four.

TopicProphecy Passage NameChapter : VerseFulfilled Passage NameChapter : Verse
Born of a womanThe Sign of Immanuel Isaiah 7:14The Birth of Jesus ChristMatthew 1:23
A prophet like MosesThe ProphetDeut. 18:15Luke 24:27 
Out of the clan of JudahA Promised Ruler From BethlehemMic. 5:2Mt 2:6

Prophecy on Jesus coming as a man – Born of a woman

The passage The Sign of Immanuel, from Isaiah, is one of those Old Testament prophecies that has multiple applications. In one sense, it was for the immediate time. It was a message to Ahaz. But in another sense, it’s also for what we’re looking at now – the first coming of Jesus. The time of the first Advent. Let’s read the passage and then see what I mean.

The Sign of Immanuel

Isa 7:1 When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.

Isa 7:2 Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.

Isa 7:3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman’s Field. 4 Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying, 6 “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.” 7 Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
“ ‘It will not take place,
it will not happen,

Isa 7:8 for the head of Aram is Damascus,
and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.
Within sixty-five years
Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.

Isa 7:9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.’ ”

Isa 7:10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”

Isa 7:12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test.”

Isa 7:13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right. 16 But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. 17 The LORD will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.”

Isa 7:18 In that day the LORD will whistle for flies from the distant streams of Egypt and for bees from the land of Assyria. 19 They will all come and settle in the steep ravines and in the crevices in the rocks, on all the thornbushes and at all the water holes. 20 In that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the River—the king of Assyria—to shave your head and the hair of your legs, and to take off your beards also. 21 In that day, a man will keep alive a young cow and two goats. 22 And because of the abundance of the milk they give, he will have curds to eat. All who remain in the land will eat curds and honey. 23 In that day, in every place where there were a thousand vines worth a thousand silver shekels, there will be only briers and thorns. 24 Men will go there with bow and arrow, for the land will be covered with briers and thorns. 25 As for all the hills once cultivated by the hoe, you will no longer go there for fear of the briers and thorns; they will become places where cattle are turned loose and where sheep run.

While the first twelve verses were specific to Ahaz and the situation at that time.

But check out verse 13:

Isa 7:13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also?

Aren’t we trying the patience of God now? We live in a time where so many who claim to be Christian don’t follow Jesus’ teachings, commands, or examples. And then there are so many who’ve rejected Christ. And so many who reject God altogether.

Verses 13 speaks to the people both then and now. As such, verses 14 to 25 also speak to the people both then and now.

Notice the multiple occurrences of In that day. They refer back to a passage in Isaiah that the NIV titles The Day of The Lord.

The Day of the LORD

Isa 2:6 You have abandoned your people,
the house of Jacob.
They are full of superstitions from the East;
they practice divination like the Philistines
and clasp hands with pagans.

Isa 2:7 Their land is full of silver and gold;
there is no end to their treasures.
Their land is full of horses;
there is no end to their chariots.

Isa 2:8 Their land is full of idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their fingers have made.

Isa 2:9 So man will be brought low
and mankind humbled—
do not forgive them.

Isa 2:10 Go into the rocks,
hide in the ground
from dread of the LORD
and the splendor of his majesty!

Isa 2:11 The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled
and the pride of men brought low;
the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.

Isa 2:12 The LORD Almighty has a day in store
for all the proud and lofty,
for all that is exalted
(and they will be humbled),

Isa 2:13 for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty,
and all the oaks of Bashan,

Isa 2:14 for all the towering mountains
and all the high hills,

Isa 2:15 for every lofty tower
and every fortified wall,

Isa 2:16 for every trading ship
and every stately vessel.

Isa 2:17 The arrogance of man will be brought low
and the pride of men humbled;
the LORD alone will be exalted in that day,

Isa 2:18 and the idols will totally disappear.

Isa 2:19 Men will flee to caves in the rocks
and to holes in the ground
from dread of the LORD
and the splendor of his majesty,
when he rises to shake the earth.

Isa 2:20 In that day men will throw away
to the rodents and bats
their idols of silver and idols of gold,
which they made to worship.

Isa 2:21 They will flee to caverns in the rocks
and to the overhanging crags
from dread of the LORD
and the splendor of his majesty,
when he rises to shake the earth.

Isa 2:22 Stop trusting in man,
who has but a breath in his nostrils.
Of what account is he?

This is why a Savior is needed. This is what the first Advent is about. A Savior who will come and give us the opportunity to choose Him over the things we just read in The Day of The Lord. By the way, the Second Coming of Jesus, as in the Second Advent, will happen right after the stuff we just read. You can check it all out in the book of Revelation. My point here though is to give just one example of the joy the people experienced in the first Advent. Their Savior, Messiah, was about to be born!

Immanuel will be a man

Yes, technically, Jesus was born as a baby boy. But as we all know, baby boys grow up to be men. So I wouldn’t make a big deal about Jesus coming as a man. Besides, when Jesus actually started His ministry, He was about thirty years old. On top of that, there’s also a cultural norm that we must take into account. For example, look at what Eve said about the birth of Cain.

Cain and Abel

Ge 4:1 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Anyway, here’s the key verse for our topic today from Isaiah 7:14:

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

… will give birth to a son…

Just to be sure, let’s look at the definition of the Hebrew word we just read as son.

1121 בֵּן, בְּנׄו, לַבֵּן [ben /bane/] n m. From 1129; TWOT 254; GK 1201 and 1217 and 4240; 4906 occurrences; AV translates as “son” 2978 times, “children” 1568 times, “old” 135 times, “first” 51 times, “man” 20 times, “young” 18 times, “young + 1241” 17 times, “child” 10 times, “stranger” 10 times, “people” five times, and translated miscellaneously 92 times. 1 son, grandson, child, member of a group. 1A son, male child. 1B grandson. 1C children (pl.—male and female). 1D youth, young men (pl.). 1E young (of animals). 1F sons (as characterisation, ie sons of injustice [for un- righteous men] or sons of God [for angels]. 1G people (of a nation) (pl.). 1H of lifeless things, ie sparks, stars, arrows (fig.). 1I a member of a guild, order, class.  [2]Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

The only one of the possible definitions that makes any sense at all is that the virgin (which we now know was Mary) will give birth to a human son.

Fulfillment of Prophecy on Jesus coming as a man – Born of a woman

The Birth of Jesus Christ

Mt 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

Just a quick cultural note here. These days, we read that verse and probably think it’s not that big of a deal, or at least not so uncommon that a huge public disgrace would come from it. However, the penalty for sex before marriage (at least the first one since the woman should have been a virgin before the first marriage) was death by stoning.

So Joseph proceeding with the marriage to Mary was a really big deal back then.

Mt 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Mt 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”

Mt 1:24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

The rest of the passage is pretty much a direct quote from the verse we just read in Isaiah. But even here, it’s a prophecy from a prophecy about an event that hasn’t occurred yet. So let’s get one more passage to complete the fulfillment.

The Birth of Jesus

Lk 2:1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register.

Lk 2:4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there we have the fulfillment of the prophecy. From Isaiah to Matthew to Luke. While we rely on the definitions of words in Isaiah, since it was prophecy, we have real people who actually saw, knew, interacted with Jesus who certainly would have said something if He wasn’t a man.

And beyond that, without getting into the resurrection, we also know that Jesus did die on the cross. Death – another attribute of being human.

Prophecy on Jesus coming as a man – A prophet like Moses

Rather than just stop here, I want to include three other prophecies and their fulfillment as anecdotal evidence that the prophecy of Jesus coming as a man was truly fulfilled.

For the first one, let’s go all the way back to Deuteronomy. Pay special attention to the underlined verse. There’s a lot in there and I’d love to go into it. But this would be so incredibly long if I went into all the details on every passage. And so, I leave it to you to read the passage for context, but realize that the prophet spoke of in here is Jesus.

The Prophet

Dt 18:14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. 15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. 16 For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”

Dt 18:17 The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. 19 If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. 20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”

Dt 18:21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

OK – there’s a lot in there. One thing we want is this: Moses was a man. Of course, Moses was a great prophet. But he was a man. Human.

Another thing to look at is this: from among their brothers. That phrase extends the humanity concept. The prophet in question will come from among God’s people. All human.

Fulfillment of Prophecy on Jesus coming as a man – A prophet like Moses

When I first saw the verse listed as the fulfillment of the “prophet like Moses” prophecy, I thought it must’ve been a mistake. But after I read it, I changed my mind. So here it is – let’s see what you think.

On the Road to Emmaus

Lk 24:13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

Lk 24:17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

Lk 24:19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

Lk 24:25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Lk 24:28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

Lk 24:30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Lk 24:33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

In the middle of all that, there’s verse 27.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Maybe it’s too obvious? Here’s Jesus, the Prophet from the Old Testament, explaining Moses and all the prophets, and showing how everything in Scripture points to Him.

And remember, some of what’s in Scripture was (and some still is) yet to come. So we have the “ultimate” Prophet, discussing all the prophets and making those with Him say what they did below:

Lk 24:28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

Lk 24:30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

And guess what? Like all those other prophets, Jesus was human.

Prophecy on Jesus coming as a man – Out of the clan of Judah

In some ways, this is similar to the Prophet like Moses. Let’s take a look.

A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem

Mic 5:1 Marshal your troops, O city of troops,
for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
on the cheek with a rod.

Mic 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.’”

Mic 5:3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor gives birth
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.

Mic 5:4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.

Mic 5:5 And he will be their peace.

The second verse is the key for us today.

Mic 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.’”

From Bethlehem, from the clans of Judah, will come a ruler. That ruler is also the Prophet we just looked at. Jesus. And those waiting in the period of the first Advent are waiting for Him.

Fulfillment of Prophecy on Jesus coming as a man – Out of the clan of Judah

We actually see a direct quote from the previous passage in Matthew’s gospel.

The Visit of the Magi

Mt 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

Mt 2:3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

Mt 2:6 “ ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’’”

Mt 2:7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

Mt 2:9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

And there we have it. The Magi knew where to find Jesus, based on the Old Testament prophecy. And they did in fact find Jesus in that very place. And as was mentioned earlier, had Jesus not been human, these Magi certainly would have noticed. That’s the kind of thing you just can’t hide. Even today, we still don’t have robots good enough to actually pass as humans from close inspection.

Conclusion – Old Testament prophecy on Jesus coming as a man

Hopefully you’ve seen enough to see that the prophecy in the Old Testament, saying that Jesus was coming as a man, really was fulfilled.

Of course, there’s no way to see this for ourselves. We need faith. And since we’ve already looked at the prophets, I want to close with another passage on the prophets. And on faith.

By Faith

Heb 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Heb 11:11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

Heb 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

Heb 11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

Heb 11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

Heb 11:22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

Heb 11:23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

Heb 11:29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

Heb 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
Heb 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

Heb 11:32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned ; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

Heb 11:39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Yes – as the author of Hebrews said, people in that time got to see what the prophets told about – Jesus. And now, today, we must have faith and rely on both the prophets of old and the people of Jesus’ time (and shortly afterwards) to have the reward of all that God planned.

In the next segment, we’ll look at Old Testament prophecy announcing Jesus’ birth. Hope to see you there!


1, 2 Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

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