Yeshua MUST be Messiah (regardless of whether or not any other "Messianic Prophecies" are validly speaking of Yeshua)
Isaiah 29 ties the apostasy of Judah to a sealed book (29:10-12) but with the revealing of that sealed book comes an enlightenment and restoration (29:18).
Now it is very important to realize that according to Isaiah 29 our people (Judah) are in a state of general blindness/slumber until the sealed book is revealed (29:10-14, 18).
Now Isaiah does not tell us what the book is or when it is revealed. However that information is given elswhere in the Tanak. Daniel writes of his own book:
But you, O Daniel, shut up the words,
and seal the book to the time of the end...
...Go your way Daniel: for the words are closed up
and sealed till the time of the end.
(Dan. 12:4, 10)
So this "sealed book" would seem to be at least in part, the Book of Daniel and it seems to be come unsealed in the last days. Remember Daniel wrote after the days of Isaiah so Daniel knew about the sealed book of Is. 29:10-12, 18 when he wrote Dan. 12:4, 10.
So lets bring together Is. 29:10-14, 18 with Daniel 12:4, 10. What do we learn from these two sections of the Tanak taken together? We learn that our people Judah are in an apostasy until some information hidden in the
Book of Daniel (and perhaps some other books) is revealed in the last days and the revealing of that information opens their eyes.
This means that mainline Judaism is in apostasy but in the last days there is a restoration of Judah when certain hidden (sealed) information in Daniel is revealed.
So what information is sealed in Daniel? The restoration of our people is usually tied to Messiah... could this hidden information in Daniel relate to the identity of Messiah?
Interesting the Talmud states:
The Targum of the Prophets was composed by Jonathon
ben Uzziel under the guidance of Haggai, Zechariah and
Malachi... and a Bat Kol (voice from heaven) came forth
and exclaimed, "Who is this that has revealed My secrets
to mankind?"... He further sought to reveal by a Targum
the inner meaning of the Ketuvim, but a bat kol went forth
and said, "Enough!". What was the reason?-- Because the
date of the Messiah is foretold in it.
(Babylonian Talmud; b.Megillah 3a)
Now the only prophetic book of the Ketuvim is Daniel and this is also a book of the Ketuvim for which no Targum was evr made. The following quote from Josephus also supports the theory that Daniel is the book in question:
We believe that Daniel conversed with God; for he did not
only prophecy of future events, as did the other prophets,
but also determined the time of their accomplishment.
(Josephus; Antiquities 10:11:7)
Now the Qumran community found just this information (the time of the Messiah) in the Book of Daniel:
The visitation is the Day of Salvation that He has decreed
through Isaiah the prophet concerning all the captives,
inasmuch as Scripture says, "How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news, who announces salvation,
who says to Zion "Your ELOHIM reigns"." (Isa. 52;7)
This scriptures interpretation : "the mountains" are the prophets,
they who were sent to proclaim God`s truth and to prophesy
to all Israel. "The messengers" is the Anointed of the spirit,
of whom Daniel spoke; "After the sixty-two weeks,
a Messiah shall be cut off" (Dan. 9;26)
So now we have learned that there is good reason to believe that the sealed information in the Book of Daniel which opens the eyes of Judah when it is revealed in the last days is the time of Messiah sealed up in Daniel 9:24-27.
Now lets recap:
Anyone can see from Is. 29 that the apostasy of Judah ends with the revealing of a sealed book.
Anyone can see from Daniel 12 that this sealed book is (at least in part) the Book of Daniel.
Anyone can see that the information sealed up in Daniel is (at least in part) the time of Messiah.
Anyone can see that this information is to be found in Daniel 9.
Now here is Daniel 9 unsealed:
DAN 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
DAN 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
Daniel has been doing some Tanak study. He has been reading Jer. 25:11-12; 29:10. He has read about the 70 year exile.
The reason for a 70 year captivity had been that YHWH was punishing us for having forsaken the Torah. He punished us with the curses of Deut 28-29 and Lev. 26 as the Torah had warned us. The key issue here was that of the violation of the Sabbath of the Land (Ex. 21:2; 23:11; Lev. 25:2, 20; 26:2, 34; Deut. 15:1)
According to the Torah, if we as a people did not keep the sabbath of the land every seven years we would be cursed (Lev. 26 esp. verse 34)
DAN 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
DAN 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
DAN 9:5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
DAN 9:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
DAN 9:7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
DAN 9:8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
DAN 9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
DAN 9:10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
DAN 9:11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
DAN 9:12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
DAN 9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
DAN 9:14 Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
DAN 9:15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
DAN 9:16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
DAN 9:17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
DAN 9:18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
DAN 9:19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
Daniel is very concerned. It has been 70 years and he wants to go home! He is a very old man by now. But he has worried because he knows his Torah. He knows that the Torah warns that if Israel still does not repent after the curse is inacted that Israel will have the punishment multiplied by seven (Lev. 26:18) Daniel is hoping that YHWH will not be enacting the next level punishment. For that would mean 70 * 7 or another 490 years!
DAN 9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
DAN 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
DAN 9:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
DAN 9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
DAN 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Daniel learns that there will indeed be at least another 490 years of curses for Israel. The "weeks" here are not seven DAYS but seven YEARS. In fact the Hebrew word here actually just means "seven [somethings]"
DAN 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
7 "weeks" here would be 49 years (a Jubilee cycle) plus theeescore and two weeks (3*20+2=62) is 69 "weeks" or 483 years.
But remember we are not counting years here but actual sabbath year cycles which are specific seven year blocks. In other words this is actually a count of how many sabbath year cycle blocks fall between these two points.
Our starting point is "the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" which is Ezra 7:11-16 and gives us a start date of 457 BCE. Between that date and the Messiah 69 sabbath year cycle blocks would fall.
DAN 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
Messiah is cut off after ther 62 "weeks" which follow the 7 weeks. This elaboration allows us to see that the division of these two blocks (the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks) was to show that after the 7 weeks "the street shall be built again, and the wall" but the Messiah would not come until after the 62 week block following that.
The Messiah would be "cut off" at that time. This is an idiom meaning that he would be executed. He would not be executed for himself, but for others. Then the people of a prince destroy Jerusalem after that time.
DAN 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Remember there were 490 years or 70 "weeks" but we have so far covered only 483 (or 69 "weeks").
This is because the big test of our trust in YHWH is the Sabbath of the land. This is where Israel SHOWS our trust in YHWH by trusting him to provide. The curse would not end until we reinstitute the sabbath of the land (2Chr. 36:21).
So YHWH in his infinite mercy would send the Messiah seven years BEFORE the 490 years would end to call us to repent and return to Torah in time to reinstitute the sabbath of the land BEFORE the 490 years are over. (See my paper THE KINGDOM OFFER)
The curse will not end until we as a people repent and show that by reinstituting the sabbath of the land. When we do that we will finally kick off the last seven years of the curse we have lived with all of this time.
There is so much to learn from this chapter. Including the nature of the Kingdom offer and the layout of the last seven years. But most importantly is the time that the Messiah would come and be "cut off".
Now if our start point is 457 BCE and 69 "weeks" must fall between this point and the death of Messiah, then Messiah would have to be executed sometime in a window from 26 C.E. to 40 C.E. (depending on how the sabbath year cycles fall.
So if Yeshua was NOT the Messiah that would be "cut off, but not for himself" during that window... then who was?
Messaih would be executed in a window of time somewhere between 26 and 44 C.E.. And he would arive in accordance to the completion of a series of sabbath-year-cycles and jubilee cycles. Now these cycles indicate "the year of release". So lets look for more clues about this Messiah who is cut off at such a time.
Lets look at Isaiah 60:22-61:2
60:22 A little one shall become a thousand,
and a small one a strong nation:
I YHWH will hasten it in its time.
"A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation:" is the Kingdom represented by a stone in Dan. 2:34-35, 45 which "became a great mountain and filled the whole earth" (Dan. 3:35).
"I YHWH will hasten it in its time." refers to the "Kingdom offer"
61:1 The Spirit of Adonai YHWH is upon me;
because YHWH has anointed me to proclaim
good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to
bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty
to the captives, and the opening of the prison
to them that are bound.
61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of YHWH,
and the day of vengeance of our ELOHIM,
to comfrort all who mourn;
Here we have an anointed one, a "Messiah" who comes in accordance with the jubilee and seven year cycles to proclaim liberty to captives. It is also significant as we will soon find that he makes this proclomation to "Zion" (Is. 61:3). This Messiah comes to REDEEM.
Lets see if Isaiah speaks any more about this figure who makes a proclomation of redemption to Zion. In Is. 52:7 we also read about a figure who also proclaims good tidings to Zion. This proclomation appears in Is. 53 and also involves one who comes to redeem (Is. 53:4-5, 11-12) and is cut off, but not for himself (53:8; 53:4-5, 11-12) just like the figure in Daniel. The figure must be the Messiah of Daniel 9 and Is. 61.
I wonder how this Messiah dies? Perhaps the prophets give me some clue.
12:10 ...they shall look upon me whom they have pierced...
According to both the Talmud (b.Sukkot 52a) and the Targum, this "pierced one" is the Messiah. Now Zechariah 12:10 takes place at the coming of Messiah as king, but they notice that he was the same one whom they had "pierced" or "thrust through". Lets read on and see if Zechariah gives us any clues as to who this is and just how he was pierced. As we read further Zech 12:10-14 speaks of the people mourning over having pierced this guy. Zech 13: 1-4 takes place at the intiation of the Messianic age. The Messiah is judging idolaters and false prophets. No wonder they are now mourning over this pierced one! Then in verses 5-6 we get a detailed scene of one of these judgements:
5 And he shall say, "I am no prophet, I am a husbandman;
for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth."
6 And he [the defendant] shall say to him [Messiah],
"What are these wounds in your hands?"
Then he [the Messiah] shall answer: "Those with which
I was wounded in the house of my friends."
Zech 13:6 points us back to 12:10 regarding how they mourn when they see he is the pierced one.
So now we have a Messiah who would be "cut off" sometime between 26 and 44 C.E. not for himself but to redeem others. This execution would involve having his hands pierced.
Now lets look at Zech. 13:2. Notice that this guy will "cut off the names of the idols out of the land" (13:2). Sounds like the same guy about whom Micah 5:13 says "Your graven images also will I cut off". This guy is born in Beit-Lechem (Bethlehem) according to Micah 5:2 (and the Targum to Micah 5:2 says this is Messiah).
OK lets summarize:
* According to Isaiah 29 our people (Judah) are in a state of general blindness/slumber until the sealed book is revealed (29:10-14, 18).
* Daniel tells us that his book is sealed until the last days (Dan. 12)
* The sealed information in Daniel's book would appear to be the time of Messiah in Dan. 9.
* Daniel 9 unsealed reveals to us that Messiah would be "cut off" for others sometime between 26 and 44 CE.
* This passage points us to various other prophecies about this figure which also tell us that he is born in Beit-Lechem, and executed by having his hands pierced.
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