The HyperTexts

Yeshua in the Tanakh

by Arthur E. Glass

If you're concerned about innocent children being terrorized by the debilitating fear that they're in danger of an "eternal hell" when they grow up, please read this article No Hell in the Bible.

Editor's Note: This article has been excerpted. There is a link to the full article at the bottom of this page. This article is of interest to me because I have often wondered why three faiths that all began with the same patriarch, Abraham, are in such disagreement about the person of Jesus Christ. Does the Old Testament actually cite Jesus by his Hebrew name, Yeshua? Arthur E. Glass sheds light on an interesting and mysterious subject. But please allow me to interject that I have read a number of books and articles on the subject of why most Jews do not believe Jesus was the Messiah. While there are quite a number of arguments, the main one seems to be that Jesus did not do what the Messiah was predicted to do: usher in an era of world peace. Anyone who studies the history of the Christian church will be struck by the intolerance, rage and murderous violence people who profess to believe in Jesus have often been guilty of. The Catholic church had its bloody Crusades and Inquisitions. Protestant reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated horrific crimes, including murder, of people who chose not to believe as they did. The Puritans put red hot pokers through the cheeks and tongues of peaceable Quakers. Jesus did nothing to prevent World War II or the Holocaust, and seventy million people died in the conflagration. So I certainly understand why non-Christians are skeptical about the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. They have every right to examine the evidence and form their own conclusions and beliefs, or non-beliefs. And perhaps Christians need to consider the picture they paint of Jesus, when they claim he will save the worst of sinners who believe in him, and yet condemn the saints of other religions to an "eternal hell." Why would Jesus praise the compassion of the Good Samaritan (a man with the wrong religious beliefs, according to what Jesus said himself), and yet send the Good Samaritans of other religions to hell? Of course it makes no sense, and yet millions of Christians seem to be convinced that Jesus, who always condemned hypocrisy, will become a hypocrite himself, by demanding belief and acting without compassion. Did the unconscious man the Good Samaritan helped have to "believe" in him? Michael R. Burch

In dealing with my Jewish brethren for the past many years in Canada, the United States, Argentina, and Uruguay, I had one great difficulty, and it was this: My Jewish people would always fling at 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?" ...

"Where do we find that NAME?" you ask. Here it is beloved: 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 in Hebrew; and neither were Mary or Joseph 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. For 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 his days was the 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." And so we can 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 [or salvage] his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21) ... So let us proceed to show clearly the Hebrew name YESHUA (Greek, Iesus; English, Jesus) in the Old Testament.

When the great Patriarch Jacob was ready to depart 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!"; or "In thy Yeshua (Jesus) I am hoping (trusting), O Lord!" ... YESHUA (Jesus) was the One in 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 [raise him above circumstances], 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 ... SALVATION is mentioned three times ... 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 YESHUA (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 is also 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 (Jesus crucified -- waters of salvation flowing forth from Golgotha)."

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 ... The good Jewish brother opposed the claims of Christ in the Old Testament verbally, and in a friendly fashion, most violently. His best offensive weapon, he thought, was to fling at me and at all of us there the well known challenge: "You can't find the name 'Jesus' in the Old Testament" ; and this he did.

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) cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work is before Him." Just then he crimsoned as he realized what he had done and how he had played into my hands, and he fairly screamed out, "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 is before HIM." Then he rushed at his own Old Testament, talking away frantically, saying, "I'm sure mine is different from yours." And when he found the passage, he dropped like a deflated balloon. His Old Testament was, of course, identical. All he could use as an escape from admitting defeat was to deny the divine inspiration of the book of Isaiah.

Then skipping on to Habakkuk, we have the greatest demonstration of the NAME "Jesus" in the Old Testament; for 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 YESHA [variant of YESHUA -- Jesus] of [or for] thy people; with YESHUA thy MESSIAH [thy Anointed One: i.e., with Jesus thy Christ]; thou woundest the head of the house of the wicked one [Satan]." Here you have it! The very NAME given to our Lord in the New Testament -- Jesus Christ! So don't let anyone -- Jew or Gentile -- tell you that the name JESUS is not found in the Old Testament.

And so when the aged Simeon came to the Temple, led there by the Holy Ghost, and took the baby Jesus in his arms, he said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation [YESHUA -- Jesus]." Luke 2:29-30 ... Not only did his eyes see God's SALVATION -- God's YESHUA (Jesus) -- but he felt Him and touched Him. His believing heart beat with joy and assurance as he felt the loving heart of God throbbing in the heart of the holy infant Jesus.

"And thou shalt call his name Jesus (SALVATION, YESHUA): for he shall save (salvation, salvage) his people from their sins!" Matthew 1:21

This article is available from Messianic Literature Outreach

If you're concerned about innocent children being terrorized by the debilitating fear that they're in danger of an "eternal hell" when they grow up, please read this article No Hell in the Bible before continuing.

If you're interested in "things mysterious," you may be interested in these other Mysterious Ways pages:

A Direct Experience with Universal Love
Two Tales of the Night Sky
Michael, Wonderful and Glorious
The Poisonous Tomato
Of Mother Teresa, Angels and the Poorest of the Poor
Thy Will Be Done (Iron Lung)
Did Jesus Walk on the Water?
Mysterious Ways Index

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