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A Minor Prophets Study Feature Focus: Messianic Prophecies

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Posted on CCPC's website 2023

The Minor Prophets Study Index page.

      One of the highlights of working your way through the Book of the Twelve is finding prophecies of the coming Messiah. Some are obvious, and the fulfillment is mentioned in the Gospels. Others are somewhat obscure, and there is some debate about exactly what the prophet is talking about.
      Of course there are prophecies along this line beginning in Genesis. The coming of The Holy One is mentioned in Psalms, and in those books called the Major Prophets. And you are welcome to browse them at your leisure. But here, and now, we're concentrating on the Minor Prophets, and even in them, there are dozens of references, so for this brief outing, we're going to limit ourselves to a few highlights, and point out you can find discussions of many of the others in the overall study, see link below.

      But in all cases, there are at least three solid categories of prophecies about the coming of the Savior. And those are what we're going to look at here, with an example or two of each as we go, and where in the New Testament it was fulfilled, if it has already been fulfilled, that is.
      First off, let's define those three ideas and then we'll go back and check the books in the Book, and see what we see.
      The first category is the easiest to recognize, mainly because those have already come to pass. These deal with what may best be called His First Coming. The foretelling of the birth and life, and then death and resurrection of the Son of God.
      The second set will be those that have yet to happen, at least that we know of, and deal with His return. Some of these cover Him and what He'll be doing, and some are looking at what's going on down here at the time.
      Our third category comes after the Second Coming and deal with the Eternal Kingdom of God.

      And there is something of a fourth category of allusions to one that include a dash of the other just to keep you guessing. So at the end, we'll run one of those up the flagpole and see if those warrant a fourth file drawer.

      Under each we could have a couple of sub-categories, such as 'General' and 'Specific', we'll highlight a few of those as we go.

      For the first category we'll go with one from the first of the Minor Prophets, Hosea. Chapter 11, verse 1.

     “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
            and out of Egypt I called my son."
      We see this quoted in Matthew 2. It is obviously a reference to the return to Israel proper from down south when Joseph had to take his family and flee from the murderous paranoia of Herod the Great.

      Zephaniah one brings us our entry for the second category:

"14 The great day of the Lord is near-
      near and coming quickly.
The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter;
      the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry.
15 That day will be a day of wrath-
      a day of distress and anguish,
            a day of trouble and ruin,
      a day of darkness and gloom,
            a day of clouds and blackness...."
      The description goes on, but the point is made, this is something described in similar detail in several places in Revelation. And, it has NOT happened just yet.

      The third category comes up in Haggai 2 : 9:

"‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty."
      As we saw in the study, "Ezra's Temple" was in no way comparable to "Solomon's Temple" which had been leveled by Babylon. In any case, some visiting Greeks looted and then all but destroyed the one Ezra built. Then the Roman puppet king Herod built the Temple Christ was familiar with, but you can't really say there was peace there, especially when The Carpenter cleared the thieves out of it. And besides, it didn't last long because the Romans tore it down to the foundation not long after. So the 'house' in the prophecy has to be in New Jerusalem.

      For the tentatively proposed Fourth Category, we have two good examples. The first is in Micah 5...

"2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
      though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
      one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
      from ancient times.” ....
4 "He will stand and shepherd his flock
      in the strength of the Lord,
      in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
      will reach to the ends of the earth. ..."
      This is a very good example of one that references the First Advent of Christ and then the Eternal Kingdom. Verse three, which we did not quote here, may well be talking about the same woman from Revelation 12, which, if it is, puts these three verses in all three categories.

      One more. Malachi 4 : 5 describes the one coming before the day of the Lord.
      While most take it as a prophecy of the coming of John the Baptist before the public ministry of Jesus, it is also talking about the prophets in Revelation 11.

"See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes."
      And then you have references like what we saw in Zechariah 14 : 8 and 9. There we see the "Living Water" that is Christ.

      Which is a good place to end this quick look at a MASSIVE category with somewhere over 200 prophecies of the Messiah in the Old Testament, not counting the Apocrypha, and by some counts the number approaches 500. There's partial lists at the links below.

How many prophecies did Jesus fulfill?

Chart of Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus

Sources used throughout entire study:

the Geneva Bible downloadable

the 1611 KJV

The Minor Prophets Study Index page.

NOTE: The Bible Study Lesson presented above is posted as a reference document to begin a conversation of the topic. And that's it. Please accept it at such.

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