The Suffering Messiah and the New Covenant in His Blood

There is a common misconception that the Jewish Messiah was not one who would come, suffer, and die for the sins of the children of Israel. It is said that the common Jewish understanding of the Messiah is that he is to be one who will come from the direct lineage of King David and will restore Israel to its former power, authority, and glory. Messianics and Christians believe that the Yeshua of the New Testament (henceforth "Yeshua") is to come again in power to fulfill that common understanding. While it may be the common understanding amongst Jews today that their Messiah was not to be one who would come and suffer for their sins, this article is intended to evaluate the ancient Jewish understanding and compare that to the teachings and life of Yeshua.

If it can be proven that the more ancient Jewish understanding of the Messiah was that which believed he would suffer for their sins, we can then see if Yeshua meets the criteria set in the scriptures for the suffering Messiah.

Ancient Sources
The main source of the information regarding the Suffering Messiah is to be taken from the Babylonian Talmud. However, it is very important to remember that we cannot forget two extremely valuable volumes that are even more ancient than the Talmud - The Hebrew Bible (Tanakh, or Old Testament) and the New Testament. These documents will not be focused on, though, until we have evaluated the extra-Biblical documents.

- Babylonian Talmud -
The Babylonian Talmud is a compilation of various writings dated between the 3rd and 5th centuries CE. It contains two main divisions, the Mishnah and the Gemara.1 The Mishnah is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions, known by them as the "Oral Torah". It was redacted by a man called Rabbi Yehudah haNasi circa 200 CE. It is said to contain the oral teachings of the Jews that existed between approximately 536 BCE and 70 CE.2 The Gemara is basically the rabbinical commentary and analysis of the oral teachings of the Mishnah. The teachings in the Mishnah were discussed and argued back and forth for generations. These discussions were then written down and compiled into what became the Gemara.3 Together, the Mishnah and Gemara make up the large body of what Jewish oral tradition was in the first six centuries CE.

- The Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) -
The Tanakh is a compilation of 39 different books. Originally, it was composed of only 22 books, corresponding to the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet.4 The books are composed of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), the Prophets (Joshua, Judges & Ruth [1 book], 1 & 2 Samuel [1 book], 1 & 2 Kings [1 book], 1 & 2 Chronicles [1 book], Isaiah, Jeremiah & Lamentations [1 book], Ezekiel, Daniel, Ezra & Nehemiah [1 book], Esther, Job, and The Book of the Twelve [Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi]), and the Writings (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs).

The Tanakh is referred to as the "scriptures" some 50+ times in the New Testament amongst Yeshua, his disciples, and others. It is also referred to as the "Word of Elohim" some 40+ times in the New Testament. It is indisputable that Jews, ancient and modern, looked to the Tanakh to receive their instruction from יהוה. If references within it exist that point to a Suffering Messiah they should not be overlooked or ignored. Rather, they should be used as foundations upon which to build our faith.

- The New Testament -
The New Testament is often overlooked as a reliable and valuable ancient source that testifies of a Suffering Messiah. This is mostly because it was and is used by Christians, which many Jews have an innate aversion for, to prove the validity of Yeshua being the prophesied Davidic Messiah. However, setting this aversion aside for a moment, it cannot be denied that the New Testament documents are, at the very least, very ancient and reliable sources of information about certain Jewish sects in the 1st century. The documents themselves were written by Torah-observant Jews and have been studied and analyzed by theologians, Bible students, and scholars for hundreds of years.

The Ancient Suffering Messiah
The following prophecy given by Isaiah is so significant that we are going to quote it in its entirety.

"{52:13} Behold, My servant will prosper, he will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. {14} 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. {15} 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.

{53:1} Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of יהוה been revealed? {2} For he grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; he has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to him. {3} He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face he was despised, and we did not esteem him. {4} Surely our griefs he himself bore, and our sorrows he carried; yet we ourselves esteemed him stricken, smitten of Elohim, and afflicted. {5} But he was pierced through for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon him, and by his scourging we are healed.

{6} All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but יהוה has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him. {7} He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so he did not open his mouth. {8} By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? {9} his grave was assigned with wicked men, yet he was with a rich man in his death, because he had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in his mouth.

{10} But יהוה was pleased to crush him, putting him to grief; if he would render himself as a guilt offering, he will see his offspring, he will prolong his days, and the good pleasure of יהוה will prosper in his hand. {11} As a result of the anguish of his soul, he will see it and be satisfied; by his knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as he will bear their iniquities. {12} Therefore, I will allot him a portion with the great, and he will divide the booty with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors." - Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (NASB)

We can clearly see here that there was to be a man, a single solitary man, who was to come and be rejected by his own people, be considered "smitten of Elohim," and have the transgressions and iniquities due the people of Israel placed upon him. Here is evidence that this passage was clearly recognized anciently as a Messianic prophecy:

"Rab said: The world was created only on David's account. Samuel said: On Moses account; R. Johanan said: For the sake of the Messiah. What is his [the Messiah's] name? - The School of R.Shila said: 'His name is Shiloh, for it is written, "until Shiloh come."' The School of R. Yannai said: 'His name is Yinnon, for it is written, "His name shall endure for ever: e'er the sun was, his name is Yinnon."' The School of R. Haninah maintained: 'His name is Haninah, as it is written, "Where I will not give you Haninah."' Others say: 'His name is Menahem the son of Hezekiah,for it is written, "Because Menahem ['the comforter'], that would relieve my soul, is far."' The Rabbis said: 'His name is "stricken," as it is written, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of Elohim, and afflicted."'"5

Notice that "the Rabbis" quoted Isaiah 53:4. The discussion here is about what the Messiah's name would be. Here we clearly see that "the Rabbis" believed that the Messiah fulfills the prophecy given by Isaiah. We also read:

"And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart. 'Is it not,' they said, 'an a fortiori argument? If in the future when they will be engaged in mourning and the Evil Inclination will have no power over them, the Torah nevertheless says, "men separately and women separately," how much more so now when they are engaged in rejoicing and the Evil Inclination has sway over them.'

'What is the cause of the mourning [mentioned in the last cited verse]?' R. Dosa and the Rabbis differ on the point. One explained, 'The cause is the slaying of Messiah the son of Joseph,' and the other explained, 'The cause is the slaying of the Evil Inclination.'

It is well according to him who explains that the cause is the slaying of Messiah the son of Joseph, since that well agrees with the Scriptural verse, 'And they shall look upon me because they have thrust him through, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son;' but according to him who explains the cause to be the slaying of the Evil Inclination, is this [it may be objected] an occasion for mourning? Is it not rather an occasion for rejoicing? Why then should they weep? [The explanation is] as R. Judah expounded: 'In the time to come the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring the Evil Inclination and slay it in the presence of the righteous and the wicked. To the righteous it will have the appearance of a towering hill, and to the wicked it will have the appearance of a hair thread. Both the former and the latter will weep; the righteous will weep saying, "How were we able to overcome such a towering hill!" The wicked also will weep saying, "How is it that we were unable to conquer this hair thread!" And the Holy One, blessed be He, will also marvel together with them, as it is said, 'Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, "If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, it shall also be marvellous in My eyes."' R. Assi stated, 'The Evil Inclination is at first like the thread of a spider, but ultimately becomes like cart ropes, as it is said, "Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart-rope."'

Our Rabbis taught, 'The Holy One, blessed be He, will say to the Messiah, the son of David (May he reveal himself speedily in our days!), "Ask of me anything, and I will give it to thee," as it is said, "I will tell of the decree etc. this day have I begotten thee, ask of me and I will give the nations for thy inheritance." But when he will see that the Messiah the son of Joseph is slain, he will say to Him, "Lord of the Universe, I ask of Thee only the gift of life." "As to life," He would answer him, "Your father David has already prophesied this concerning you, as it is said, 'He asked life of thee, thou gavest it him, [even length of days forever and ever].'"'"6

The previous passage leaves absolutely no doubt in the fact that the ancient Rabbis understood that there was going to be a Suffering Messiah. The amazing thing is that this Suffering Messiah was called "Messiah, the son of Joseph." We read in the New Testament:

"And Yeshua himself was beginning to be about thirty years old, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Heli" - Luke 3:23 (LITV)

Yeshua was supposed by many to be the son of Joseph. The gospel of Luke was written circa mid-late 1st century CE. It is a very ancient witness to a man who claimed (and was proclaimed) to be the Messiah, whose father was also named Joseph. Is it possible that the Rabbis of the Talmud referencing this man knowingly or unknowingly? It is also important to point out that the same Yeshua of the New Testament is also a "son of David" as mentioned in the Talmudic passage above.

"The Book of the genealogy of Yeshua Messiah the Son of David, the son of Abraham" - Matthew 1:1 (LITV)

But, is there anything else in that Talmudic passage that would point to Yeshua? There are a couple of scripture verses quoted in it that we need to analyze and compare closer:

"I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on him7 whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn."

The Talmudic passage shows us that the ancient Rabbis believed that Messiah, the son of Joseph was to suffer and be slain fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah. The following verse shows how this very passage was also applied to Yeshua.

"Then when Yeshua took the vinegar, he said, 'It has been finished.' And bowing his head, he delivered up the spirit. {31} Then, since it was Preparation, that the bodies not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for great was the day of that sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and they be taken away. {32} Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other crucified with him. {33} But on coming to Yeshua, when they saw he was dead already, they did not break his legs. {34} But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance, and at once blood and water came out. {35} And the one seeing has borne witness and his witness is true; and that one knows that he speaks truly, that you may believe. {36} For these things happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled, 'Not a bone of Him shall be broken.' {37} And again, a different Scripture says, 'They shall look at Him whom they have pierced.'" - John 19:30-37 (LITV)

The Apostle John here states that the soldier's act of piercing Yeshua's side with the spear was the fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy. So once again we have multiple witnesses to this prophecy concerning the Suffering Messiah. Zechariah prophesied that one man would be pierced causing mourning as if for an only son; Yeshua claimed (and was proclaimed) to be the Messiah; John testified to the fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy is Yeshua being pierced in his side by the soldier; and the Rabbis confirm that Zechariah's prophecy was indeed a messianic one.

There is yet another verse quoted in the Talmudic passage that the New Testament writers apply to Yeshua.

"I will surely tell of the decree of יהוה: He said to Me, 'You are My son, Today I have begotten You.' {8} Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession." - Psalm 2:7-8 (NASB)

The Rabbis acknowledge that this passage is to be fulfilled in Messiah, the son of David. But, we also see this passage applied to Yeshua in the New Testament.

"Who being the shining splendor of His glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, having made purification of our sins through himself, he sat down on the right of the Majesty on high, {4} having become so much better than the angels, he has inherited a name more excellent than they. {5} For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'You are My Son; today I have begotten You?' And again, 'I will be a Father to him, and He shall be a Son to Me.'" - Hebrews 1:3-5 (LITV)

The author of Hebrews applies the messianic prophecy of Psalm 2:7 to Yeshua. As mentioned above, Yeshua was indeed a son of David according to his direct lineage. There is still more evidence that Yeshua was indeed the Suffering Messiah Isaiah prophesied about. Isaiah tells us that the Messiah's suffering and death was not for himself, but for many others. We read the following:

"Even as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." - Matthew 20:28 (LITV)

"Because even Messiah once suffered concerning sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to Elohim; indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit." - 1 Peter 3:18 (LITV)

"And as it is reserved to men once to die, and after this, judgment; {28} so Messiah having been once offered 'to bear the sins of many,' Messiah shall appear a second time without sin to those expecting him for salvation." - Hebrews 9:27-28 (LITV)

Yeshua knew that giving his life was not for himself, but for the many, to bear all of their sins, transgressions, and iniquities.

"For you were called to this, for even Messiah suffered on our behalf, leaving behind an example for us, that you should follow his steps; {22} 'who did not sin, nor was guile found in his mouth;' {23} who, having been reviled, did not revile in return; suffering, he did not threaten, but gave himself up to him who was judging righteously; {24} who 'himself carried up in his body our sins' onto the tree; that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness, of whom 'by his wound you were healed." - 1 Peter 2:21-24 (LITV)

Yeshua also fulfills these aspects of Isaiah's prophecy. He was found blameless having committed no sin without deceit in his mouth. It is by the wounds he suffered in scourging and crucifixion that has brought us healing.

"And the content of the Scripture which he was reading was this: 'He was led as a sheep to slaughter, and as a lamb voiceless before the one shearing it, so he does not open his mouth. {33} In his humiliation his judgment was taken away. And who will recount His generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.' {34} And answering the eunuch said to Philip, 'I ask you, about whom does the prophet say this? About himself, or about some other one?' {35} And opening his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, Philip announced the gospel to him, Yeshua." - Acts 8:32-35 (LITV)

Philip opened the eyes of this eunuch to the truth of this part of Isaiah's prophecy. Once again, this portion is fulfilled in Yeshua's loving sacrifice.

"And evening having come, a rich man from Arimathea (Joseph by name) who also himself was discipled to Yeshua, {58} coming up to Pilate, this one asked for the body of Yeshua. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given. {59} And taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen, {60} and laid it in his new tomb, which he had cut out in the rock. And rolling a great stone to the door of the tomb, he departed." - Matthew 27:57-60 (LITV)

Yeshua, though wrongly crucified as a criminal, having his grave assigned with the wicked men who suffered with him, was buried in a rich man's tomb. Once again, this perfectly fulfills Isaiah's prophecy.

"Then two plunderers were crucified with him, one off the right, and one off the left of him." - Matthew 27:38 (LITV)

Yeshua, just as Isaiah prophesied, was numbered with the transgressors even though he was not one of them.

As can be seen, there is plenty of evidence from the Tanakh, the New Testament, and from the ancient Rabbis themselves to prove that the belief in a Suffering Messiah existed long ago. There is even more evidence to show that these prophecies of a Suffering Messiah were fulfilled in Yeshua.

The Need for the Suffering Messiah
It is abundantly clear from both scripture and ancient extra-biblical literature that the concept of a Suffering Messiah was not unknown. In fact, it was well known and totally accepted. But, what does this mean for us? Why did there have to be a Suffering Messiah? The answer lies in the Torah.

- Blood Sacrifice -
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement." - Leviticus 17:11 (NASB)

The lifeblood of a sacrifice has always been the requirement for atonement. Verses such as Jeremiah 7:21-22, Hosea 6:6, Amos 5:21-22, and Micah 6:6-7 make it extremely clear that blood in and of itself wasn't enough. A humble, repentant, and contrite heart was always a necessity as well. But, nevertheless, atonement for sin was always done using the lifeblood of a sacrifice. We read the same thing confirmed in the New Testament.

"And almost all things are purified by blood according to the Law; and apart from shedding of blood no remission occurs." - Hebrews 9:22 (LITV)

The Messiah had to suffer and die to offer up his lifeblood as atonement for the sins of the children of Israel. The same is confirmed in Isaiah's prophecy above. We find more proof for this awesome forgiveness in a prophecy given by Jeremiah.

"'Behold, days are coming,' declares יהוה, 'when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, {32} not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,' declares יהוה.

{33} 'But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,' declares יהוה, 'I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. {34} They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, "Know יהוה," for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,' declares יהוה, 'for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.'" - Jeremiah 31:31-34

We can see here that this awesome forgiveness was still but a shadow in Jeremiah's day. This new covenant, like the three main scriptural covenants before it8, required blood to be shed for its enactment. Yeshua, reclining with his disciples the final evening before his death, tells us what blood was to be used for the enactment of יהוה's new covenant prophesied through Jeremiah.

"And as they ate, taking the bread and blessing it, Yeshua broke and gave to the disciples, and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body.' {27} And taking the cup, and giving thanks, he gave to them, saying, 'Drink all of it. {28} For this is my blood of the new covenant which concerning many is being poured out for remission of sins.'" - Matthew 26: 26-28 (LITV)

Here we see that Yeshua, the one in whom all of the Suffering Messiah prophecies mentioned above are fulfilled, tells us that his own shed blood is the blood of the new covenant. The events that took place in the last hours of his life are all prophesied down to the very words from his lips and the lips of those surrounding him. We read the following in the 22nd Psalm. The verses in parentheses are found in the parallel passages of Yeshua's life and death in the New Testament.

Psalm 22 (NASB)

1: "My El, my El, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning." (Matthew 27:46)

2-5: "O my El, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest. {3} Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. {4} In You our fathers trusted; they trusted and You delivered them. {5} To You they cried out and were delivered; in You they trusted and were not disappointed."

6: "But I am a worm and not a man, a reproach of men and despised by the people." (Matthew 27:20:23)

7-8: "All who see me sneer at me; they separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying, {8} 'Commit yourself to יהוה; let Him deliver him; let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.'" (Matthew 27:41-43)

9-11: "Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother's breasts. {10} Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my El from my mother's womb. {11} Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help."

12-13: "Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. {13} They open wide their mouth at me, as a ravening and a roaring lion." (Matthew 27:39-40)

14-15: "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within me. {15} My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and You lay me in the dust of death." (John 19:28)

16-18: "For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. {17} I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; {18} they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots." (John 19:23-24)

19: "But You, O יהוה, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance." (John 16:32)

20-21: "Deliver my soul from the sword, my only life from the power of the dog. {21} Save me from the lion's mouth; from the horns of the wild oxen You answer me."

22: "I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You." (Hebrews 2:11-12)

23-31: "You who fear יהוה, praise Him; all you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel. {24} For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard. {25} From You comes my praise in the great assembly; I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him. {26} The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him will praise יהוה. Let your heart live forever! {27} All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to יהוה, and all the families of the nations will worship before You. {28} For the kingdom is יהוה's and He rules over the nations. {29} All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, all those who go down to the dust will bow before Him, even he who cannot keep his soul alive. {30} Posterity will serve Him; it will be told of the Master to the coming generation. {31} They will come and will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has performed it."

Multiple ancient witnesses recorded that the prophecy spoken by David in this Psalm was fulfilled in Yeshua and his suffering and death. Does any other person in recorded history even come close to meeting the requirements of this prophecy?

Between the many witnesses contained in Isaiah's prophecy in chapter 53, David's prophecy in the 22nd Psalm, the Apostle Matthew's gospel account, and the Apostle John's gospel account we have undeniable evidence that there was to be a Suffering Messiah and that the Suffering Messiah was Yeshua. From the facts of his scourging, crucifixion, and death, to the very words of his mouth and the mouths of those scoffing at him, all was prophesied of and fulfilled in him. How awesome an Elohim we have in יהוה and how awesome a Suffering Messiah we have in Yeshua!

- The Torah in Our Hearts -
The prophesied new covenant contained a promise that יהוה's Torah would be written in the hearts of those who were party to the covenant. Yeshua teaches us about what was going to happen as a result of his death, or his "going to the Father."

"'Indeed, I tell you truly, the one believing into me, the works which I do, that one shall do also, and greater than these he will do, because I go to my Father. {13} And whatever you may ask in my Name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. {14} If you ask anything in my Name, I will do it. {15} If you love me, keep my commandments. {16} And I will petition the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may remain with you to the age, {17} the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He abides with you and shall be in you' {23} Yeshua answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father shall love him. And we will come to him and will make a dwelling place with him. {24} The one who does not love me does not keep my words. And the word which you hear is not mine but of the Father who sent me. {25} I have spoken these things to you, abiding with you; {26} but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things and shall remind you of all things that I said to you.'" - John 14:12-17, 23-26 (LITV)

And what did Yeshua say to us?

"And if anyone hears my words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come that I might judge the world, but that I might save the world. {48} The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has that judging him: the word which I spoke, that will judge him in the last Day. {49} For I did not speak from myself, but He who sent me, the Father, He has given me command, what I should say, and what I should speak." - John 12:47-49 (LITV)

This is only one location amongst many that shows us what Yeshua said and taught. He only said and taught that which he was given by the Father. He taught the Father's commandments. So, when he tells us that he will send a Helper to remind us of all of what he said he is saying that he is giving us the Holy Spirit to remind us of the Torah, יהוה's commandments. This Holy Spirit is to live and abide in us, in our hearts. Therefore, the Torah is indeed written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit as we are continually taught new things. As we listen to the voice of יהוה's Spirit speaking to us, leading us into all truth, the truth of the Torah will be continually written on our hearts.

- To Know יהוה -
Part of the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah was that all of those who were a part of it would know יהוה, from the least to the greatest. What does this mean? And, can we find any fulfillment of this aspect of the new covenant?

"And I will petition the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may remain with you to the age, {17} the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He abides with you and shall be in you." - John 14:16-17 (LITV)

יהוה's Holy Spirit in us allows us to know him as Yeshua knew him. If we submit and listen to His voice we will know Him more and more. The Apostle John explains more about this in his first letter.

"And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commands. {4} The one saying, I have known him, and not keeping his commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that one. {5} But whoever keeps his word, truly in this one the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him. {6} The one claiming to rest in him ought so to walk himself as that one walked." - 1 John 2:3-6 (LITV)

John tells us that our obedience to Yeshua's commandments, which contain יהוה's commandments, is evidence of our knowing him. The Holy Spirit is the one in us that will continually lead us into obedience to the commandments. So, the more we submit to the Holy Spirit the more we learn the commandments and the more we know Yeshua and the Father.

"We know that we are of Elohim, and the whole world lies in the evil. {20} And we know that the Son of Elohim has come, and he has given to us an understanding that we may know the true One, and we are in the true One, in His Son Yeshua Messiah. This is the true Elohim and the life everlasting."1 John 5:19-20 (LITV)

John makes what we have already learned even clearer. Yeshua came and has given us understanding that we may know Him who is true, the Father, יהוה. John also says we are in Him who is true. Earlier in the letter he says that we know we abide in Him and He in us because he has given us of his Spirit (4:13).

Abundant proof has been presented above to prove two main things. First, the belief in a Suffering Messiah is not new and was not developed by Chrisitianity, or even the first Jews to follow Yeshua. Second, Yeshua is the one true fulfillment to the prophecies concerning the Suffering Messiah. No doubt should be left to the fact that this one man, Yeshua of Nazareth, is the prophesied Messiah of the Tanakh. If he has fulfilled the Suffering Messiah prophecies with such accuracy surely we can be patient and await his return to redeem the earth from the hand of the adversary!


  1. "Babylonian Talmud." Wikimedia Foundation. 2 Apr. 2012  [back to study]

  2. "Mishnah." Wikimedia Foundation. 2 Apr. 2012  [back to study]

  3. "Gemara." Wikimedia Foundation. 2 Apr. 2012  [back to study]

  4. Josephus, Flavius. "Against Apion, Book I, Section 8." The Complete Works of Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1981.  [back to study]

  5. Tractate Sanhedrin. "98b." Babylonian Talmud. 4 Apr. 2012.  [back to study]

  6. Tractate Sukkah. "52a." Babylonian Talmud. 4 Apr. 2012.  [back to study]

  7. It will be noticed that this quote of Zechariah 12:10 contains the word "him." The NASB version actually has "Me" in its translation. There are several reasons and proofs as to why this is an inaccurate translation of that Hebrew phrase. Firstly, there are several Bible versions that actually use "him/he" instead of "Me" including the RSV, NRSV, The Jerusalem Bible, The Moffatt Bible, and the NAB. Secondly, John quotes this passage in his gospel, "And again, a different Scripture says, 'They shall look at him whom they have pierced.'" - John 19:37 (LITV). Clearly it should be acknowledged that the Apostle was able to quote from a more ancient version of the Hebrew text than any of the codices we have available to us today. Thirdly, the "father of Hebrew Grammarians," Wilhelm Gesenius, argues that the Hebrew phrase translated "on Me whom," אֵלַי אֵת אֲשֶׁר, should more correctly be read as אֶל־אֲשֶׁר, "on him whom" (see Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar §138 e-f, and corresponding footnotes). Finally, several early church fathers who quote the verse use "him" instead of "Me" (see (i) Ignatius, Letter to the Trallians [Long Recension], X; (ii) Justin Martyr, First Apology, LII; (iii) Tertullian, On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Ante-Nicene Fathers, XXVI).  [back to study]

  8. The three other covenants are the Noachide, Abrahamic, and Mosaic. The Noachide covenant and its shed blood can be found in Genesis 9:9-17 and 8:20-22, respectively. The Abrahamic covenant and its shed blood can be found in Genesis 17:1-14. The Mosaic covenant and its shed blood can be found in Exodus 24:3-8.  [back to study]

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