Show notes –
The mainstream Judaized Christians love to look back into the Old Testament for Messianic prophecies, those which have to do with the Advent of Christ on earth, and use those as proof and assurance of their Christian faith. But aside from a few other favorite stories, they do not pay much attention to the rest of the Old Testament.
However the same Old Testament which spoke about Jesus also recorded many other promises made to the ancient patriarchs of Israel. Jesus said, as it is recorded in John chapter 5, “46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”
The same Moses who wrote of Christ also wrote this of Abraham, recorded in Genesis chapter 17: “3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”
The same Moses who wrote of Christ later wrote in this manner of the patriarch Jacob: “9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. 10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. 11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins”.
The same Moses who wrote of Christ later recorded these promises which Jacob had in turn made to the sons of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh: “14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, 16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. 17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head. 18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. 19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. 20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.”
Now in addition to the favor which the sons of Joseph had received, Jacob had promises for his other sons as well, in relation to their own prosperity and a continued portion of their posterity, which are recorded in Genesis chapter 49, in the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 33, and elsewhere.
If Moses is to be believed, then these promises must also have been fulfilled, as the coming of Christ whom Moses had written about was fulfilled. But these promises were not ever fulfilled in Palestine, and the children of Israel, who had already been traveling abroad on the ships of Tarshish for centuries, turned to paganism and were eventually all taken away into the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. However Moses even foresaw that captivity, in places such as Numbers chapter 24 and Deuteronomy chapter 28.
At the other end of the Bible, in the letters of Paul in Romans chapter 4, we find this description of the faith of Abraham, which is directly related to Paul’s ministry:
Romans 4: “13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”
Abraham was promised that his seed would inherit the world, which was the Adamic oikoumenê, or that part of the planet where the race of the Bible had lived at his time.
Romans 4: “14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.”
The Jews are not the heirs simply because they pretended to keep the law, and collectively they never were the heirs because Judaea at that time was a mixed nation, as Paul goes on to explain in Romans chapter 9 and elsewhere. These things are also explained in the prophets, such as in Ezekiel chapter 34 and Malachi chapter 1. Of course, those true Israelites among the Judaeans did indeed have a part in the inheritance, as Paul also explains in Romans chapter 9.
Romans 4: “16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,”