Thursday, December 1, 2016

Yeshua in Isaiah: Glory to God! Part XVIII

We are continuing our study to see if Jesus ("Yeshua") is in the Old Testament, and lo and behold, He is there, whenever the word for salvation ("yeshua") is used. We are exploring Isaiah.

I read something recently that stopped me in my tracks. Isaiah's own name is replete with meaning that coincides with Jesus' name and His mission.  

From this website on Biblical names,, look at what Isaiah's name means...  (My comments are in parentheses. I can't help it.)

     The name Isaiah(u) consists of two parts: The final part is יה or יהו, both abbreviated forms of יהוה; YHWH or Yahweh. (Only God alone can deliver us.)
     The first part of the name Isaiah comes from the root-verb ישע (yasha'), meaning to be saved or delivered:  (That is what we need:  deliverance from sin, ourselves and death.)
     The root-verb ישע (yasha'), probably originally meant something like to be wide or spacious (in Arabic it still does), and its counterpart is the verb צרר (sarar), meaning to be narrow, to bind or to be in distress. Our verb ישע (yasha') means exactly the opposite: to be wide, to be loose or delivered, and to be saved.  (I love how the word contains the idea "to be loose or delivered."  We are set free in Yeshua--our bonds are broken, our chains are unlocked.  We are unbound. Wow.)
     This root and its derivatives occur 353 times in the Old Testament. HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament notes that deliverance indicates a movement from distress to safety, and generally must come from some somewhere outside the party oppressed. The one who brings this deliverance is known as the "savior," and this may be a human agent delivering from any kind of earthly oppression, to God and man's deliverance from evil. However, any human savior is regarded as empowered by YHWH, and so, all deliverance comes from YHWH; the God of our salvation and deliverance (Psalm 68:19-20).  (Wow...Isn't this amazing?)
     The derivatives of this verb are: The feminine noun ישועה (yeshua) meaning salvation (Genesis 49:18, 2 Samuel 10:11).
     For a meaning of the name Isaiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Is Salvation, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Salvation Of The Lord.
     A remarkable feature of the name Isaiah is that it consists of the same two elements as the name Joshua (יהושע). The name Joshua is the Hebrew form of the Greek name Jesus, and most probably the name by which Jesus the Nazarene was known by His contemporaries.

So, suddenly the passages in Luke where Jesus is in the synagogue and is handed the scroll of Isaiah, and He proceeds to read:  

     The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
     because he has anointed me
     to proclaim good news to the poor.
     He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
     and recovery of sight for the blind,
     to set the oppressed free,
     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.  (61:1-2)

makes this moment in His ministry all the more powerful. The Savior is reading from the prophet whose own name echoes that salvation is of the Lord.

You could argue that if Jesus is in the Old Testament, you would expect a lot of verses to speak of Him in Isaiah, and this is true.  

Jesus quoted out of the three sections of the Hebrew Bible (which then represents the whole), the Torah, the Neviim ("Prophets") and the Ketuvim ("Writings").  So, let's see how often Jesus' name occurs in each of these divisions, which also then could be argued to cover the whole Old Testament as inclusive of Him:
  • Torah: 1 (Genesis); 1 (Exodus).  These two books cover the beginning of all mankind, our fall due to disobedience, and our need for atonement. Yeshua will be of the woman's seed and will crush the head of the serpent, who deceived Adam and Eve.  Exodus, while a huge event of liberation for His people in Jewish history, it is also a foreshadowing of the ultimate Deliverer leading His people out of bondage.  
  • Neviim: 2 (2 Samuel); 1 (2 Chronicles); 15 (Isaiah); 1 (Micah), 1 (Habakkuk); 1 Zechariah. Isaiah, whose own name means salvation, is abundant in Messianic references.  Isaiah also foretells the consequences of his people's sin--destruction and captivity--but also of their return and restoration.  No wonder Jesus read from this book when He began His ministry and that His name is abundantly used throughout it.
  • Ketuvim: 14 (Psalms)  No surprise here, either.  God made a covenant with David where He promised that his kingdom would never end. Jesus fulfilled this as King.   
So, as we approach Christmas, let's take a few more verses where Yeshua's name is mentioned in Isaiah:  

             How beautiful on the mountains
             are the feet of those who bring good news,
             who proclaim peace,
             who bring good tidings,
             who proclaim salvation, (yeshua)
             who say to Zion,
             “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)

Look at these words and the words from Isaiah 61:1-2; they both carry the theme of restoration.  It is little wonder that Jesus spoke them in reference to himself.  

You also hear Isaiah in the song of the angels in Luke 2:10-14, joyously announcing the Messiah's birth.  I have italicized the overlap of the words:

And the angel (a messenger of good news) said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David (Zion) a Saviour, (salvation--yeshua) which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, ("your God reigns") and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Where was this song sung?  Over the mountains and fields of Bethlehem.

God's details about His Son in His Word take my breath away.  

Isaiah echoes in Jesus' life from the very beginning.  

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