Was Yeshua Successful? Part 4 Rabbi Michael Weiner
The answer to the question, “Was Yeshua successful?” depends on who is answering and what expectations he/she has. Since I write everything from a Jewish perspective, what did the 16 Jewish writers of the Hebrew Scriptures (over 1400+ years) have to say about the coming Messiah? Let’s take a look. (This may take a while.)
First Mention of the Savior
The first mention of a Savior is spoken by God to the Serpent in Genesis 3:15 when God told the serpent (Adam and Eve were listening) that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent. But wait, women don’t have seed, only men. For a woman to have “seed” is a prophesy of the virgin birth. We’ll deal with that in a minute. But first, let’s continue with Genesis 4.
Eve understood the nature of this promise from God, the promise of a Savior, Who would save humanity from destruction by bruising the head (destroying) the serpent. Here is the evidence. Genesis 4:1 says in part, in Hebrew, quoting Eve, Kaniti Ish Et-Yehovah, meaning (this is the exact translation, usually mistranslated in most Bible translations), “I have gotten (acquired) a man, who IS the Lord, Yehovah.” Eve thought that her son, Cain, was the one promised to bruise the head of the serpent. However; that promised Messiah (the One Who would bruise the head of the serpent) would not come for another 4,000 years.
The Virgin Birth
In Jeremiah 31:21(22) God is speaking through His prophet, Jeremiah, when He promises to do “a new thing on earth.” He then (in the same verse) goes on to explain what that new thing is. (Again, this part of the verse is frequently mistranslated.) In Hebrew the verse ends, N’kayva T’savav Gaver, meaning “the female will go around (circumvent) the male.” That “new thing” is the prophesy of a virgin birth.
This is also spoken by Isaiah. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore Adonai Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive. When she is giving birth to a son, she will call his name Immanuel. The Hebrew word translated as “virgin” is Alma. This word appears 7 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and is usually translated “young woman.” Significantly, it always is used to describe an unmarried woman of marriageable age.
Even so, Jewish people tend to strain at believing in the virgin birth. Two things about that. First, why? Jewish people easily believe in Isaac’s birth. Let me ask you, which is easier for God, to make a 90 year old woman (Sarah) pregnant, or a young virgin woman, Miryam (Hebrew for Mary)? Secondly, if God can make a man from the dust of the earth (dirt), how much easier from a young virgin woman?
Let’s continue this discussion next time when we will examine more Scriptural expectations for the promised Messiah.