OT Prophecies


(Steve E) #1

I am hoping for some better understanding of the OT prophecies particularly those in the Psalms.

I know there is a bunch of them in Psalms and here is one example. In John 2:17 - His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” This is a reference of Psalm 69:9.

My question is how and when did this become prophetic. Did people before Jesus’ time pinpoint this verse and know the Messiah would fulfill this? How does David as the author play into all of this?


(SeanO) #2

@hikernole While there are many more details we could get into, the basic answer is in I Peter where it says that the authors of Scripture were aware that the Spirit was pointing ahead, but they were not sure to exactly what the Spirit was pointing.

I Peter 1:10-12 - Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

A book on how the OT is Messianic, including the Psalms:

https://www.amazon.com/Messianic-Hope-Hebrew-Studies-Theology-ebook/dp/B004OR18CY/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=is+the+hebrew&qid=1552599657&s=gateway&sr=8-3


(Michael Fitzgerald) #3

That is a very interesting reference, Steve. The authorities had let them set up their businesses in the “court of the gentiles”. This was where gentile believers were supposed to be able to come to worship the real and living God, but it had been taken over to make the wrong kind of profit. One Psalm that is eerily prophetic is 22 which, of course, describes our Lord’s crucifixion hundreds of years before it was invented. Ultimately, I believe, the Holy Spirit revealed to them the prophetic fulfillment. He is still the One who teaches us. How interesting I think it is that they didn’t know until after it was fulfilled. I love prophecy but by myself I find it difficult to get a handle on–future unfulfilled prophecies. Mostly I rely on the “experts” and there are some good ones.


(Kathleen) #4

Hi, Michael! Quick clarifying question… Did you mean that Psalm 22 was prophetic in that it described certain circumstances around Jesus’ death hundreds of years before it actually happened or that it described crucifixion hundreds of years before it was invented?


(Michael Fitzgerald) #5

Both, but I believe it was especially significant to what our Lord suffered on the cross–even to what He spoke when he was there. If I remember correctly, it was written something like 7 centuries before crucifixion was invented, and a thousand years before the event. It has always amazed me that, despite knowing what He faced, the Lord submitted to all that. It was why He came–to die in our place. What a gift! Does that answer your question?


(Steve E) #6

Thanks, SeanO, for the reply. I think what I’m really wrestling with is this: were the Jewish people (not just the leaders, priests, rabbis, etc, but ALL the people) interpreting the Psalms and writings of the prophets in a way that was messianic? When they read/heard Psalm 69:9 did they know it was a reference to the Messiah? When I read John 2:17 it sounds like they KNEW it was meant to be a prophesy, because the text says, “Then his disciples remembered this PROPHESY [emphasis added] from the Scriptures: ‘Passion for God’s house will consume me.’” How did they know Psalm 69:9 was meant for the Messiah?


(Kathleen) #7

@Michael_Fitzgerald - thanks for the clarification! I guess I’m just not seeing crucifixion at all in Psalm 22. I see the phrase ‘they pierce my hands and my feet’ but I don’t see that as necessarily pointing to crucifixion. But I do agree with you that David, when writing this poem (presumably from his own experience), had no idea that of the greater thing he was foreshadowing!

And @hikernole, it is my understanding that the Psalms were not viewed as prophetic. These were poems and songs, not prophecy, per se. (Do, someone correct me if I’m off base! :slight_smile: ) Looking at 69:9 in context, an overwhelmed King David is pleading his case before God. He seems to be writing from his own experience and doesn’t seem to have in mind that words would be interpreted in a greater way.

You know, I wonder if some of the disciples (as recorded in John 2:17) are a bit like me: I am constantly seeing things in life which call to mind song lyrics or poetry/prose excepts that aptly describe the situation. (My friends call me the human jukebox!) The Psalms were their prayer and songbook, so they would have been familiar with the words, therefore, when they see Jesus driving out the merchants in the temple, it’s like this little line in Ps. 69 is brought to bear on their mind. It was most likely a very profound moment for them!

Interestingly, both the ESV and the NIV translate the line in John as…

His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.

So it’s not that it was formally prophesied – that is, something was predicted and then ticked off some divine list – the concept of fulfilment is a lot bigger than that. But David’s own words are being used by and to describe his Greater Son.


(Michael Fitzgerald) #8

To me it looks like a description of Christ’s experience on the cross, how and what He felt. Since God knows absolutely the end from the beginning and continues to operate in the world He created, things are going to happen exactly as He sees. The difficulty arises, I think, in to whom it is revealed. We “study to show ourselves approved unto God” (2Timothy 2:15) and learn that “the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord” in Proverbs, but knowing and showing comes from spending time with the One Who made it all and “walking in the Spirit”. Over the years I have discovered that He gives answers to my questions in His time. He will show you because He wants you to understand. Profound is a good word. So is apt “like apples of gold in settings of silver” is how it’s described in Prov. 25:11. Sounds like you have a special gift there.


(Michael Fitzgerald) #9

My 2 cents is that the Holy Spirit revealed it to them later, like the Lord promised, because He is the revealer of all truth. The Apostles were voluntary instruments of God. Inspired means God-breathed. Does that make sense?


(SeanO) #10

@hikernole It is my understand that the Jews, at least some of them, did interpret the Psalms as messianic - at least certain passages. Here is an explanation using Psalms 2 from Jews for Jesus.

Though some say that Psalm 2 is not considered messianic by the rabbis or Jewish sages, the Jewish messianic understanding of Psalm 2 has a long history. Some of the rabbinic sources which take a messianic interpretation of Psalm 2 are as follows:

https://jewsforjesus.org/answers/is-psalm-2-considered-messianic-by-the-rabbis-and-jewish-sages-2/