Y E S H U A
IN THE TANAKH
Name of JESUS in the Old Testament)
In dealing with
my Jewish brethren for the past many years in Canada, the United States,
Argentina and Uruguay.
I had one great difficulty, and it was this: My Jewish people would
always fling at
me this challenging question,
is our Messiah, and the whole Old Testament is about Him,
how come His
name is never mentioned
in It even once?"
I could never answer it satisfactorily to their way of thinking, and I admit
I often wondered why His name was not actually written in the Old
Bible. Oh, yes, I could show them His divine titles
in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 and Jeremiah 23:5,6, and even the word MESSIAH in
several places; but the Hebrew name that would be equal to Jesus, that I
could not show. Then one day the Holy Spirit opened my eyes, and I just
shouted. There was the very NAME, Jesus, found in the Old Testament
about 100 times all the way from GENESIS to HABAKKUK! Yes, the very
word - the very NAME - that the angel Gabriel used in Luke 1:31 when he told
Mary about the Son she was to have. "Where do we find that
NAME?" you ask. Here it is, friend: Every time the Old Testament
uses the word SALVATION (especially with the Hebrew suffix meaning
"my," thy," or "his"), with very few exceptions
(when the word is impersonal), it is the very same word, YESHUA (Jesus), used
in Matthew 1:21. Let us remember that the angel who spoke to Mary and the
angel who spoke to Joseph in his dream did not speak in English, Latin, or
Greek, but in Hebrew; and neither were Mary or Joseph slow to grasp the
meaning and significance of the NAME of this divine Son and its relation to
His character and His work of salvation. For in the Old Testament all
great characters were given names with a specific and significant meaning.
For example, in Genesis 5:29, Lamech called his son
[Comfort], saying, This
same shall comfort us concerning our work and tell of our hands. In Genesis 10:25, Eber calls his firstborn son, Peleg [Division]; for in his days was the earth divided. The
same is true of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob (changed to Israel-God's
Prince), and all of Jacob's sons (see Genesis, chapters 29-32). In
Exodus 2:10, Pharaoh's daughter called the baby rescued from the Nile, Moses [Drawn-Forth]: and she said,
Because I drew him out of the water. And so we can go on and on to show
the deep significance of Hebrew names.
Now then, when the angel spoke to Joseph, husband of Mary, the mother of our
Lord, this is what he really said and what Joseph actually understood: And she shall bring forth a son, and
thou shalt call his name Jesus [YESHUA
(SALVATION)]: for he shall save [or salvage] his people from their sins.
(Matthew 1:21). This text was so forcibly brought home to my soul
soon after I was converted over 24 years ago, that I saw the whole plan of
the Old Testament in that one ineffable and blessed NAME.
So let us proceed to show clearly the Hebrew name YESHUA
(Greek = Iesus English =
Jesus) in the Old Testament.
When the great Patriarch Jacob was ready to depart from this world, he by the
Holy Spirit was blessing his sons and prophetically foretelling their future
experiences in those blessings. In verse 18 of Genesis 49 he exclaims,
I have waited for thy salvation, 0
Lord! What he really did say and mean was, "To thy YESHUA
(Jesus) I am looking, 0 Lord"; or, "In thy YESHUA (Jesus) I am
hoping (trusting), Lord!" That makes much better sense.
Of course YESHUA (Jesus) was the One in Whom Jacob was trusting to carry him
safely over the chilly waters of the river of death. Jacob was a saved man,
and did not wait until his dying moments to start trusting in the Lord. He
just reminded God that he was at the same time comforting his own soul.
In Psalms 9:14, David bursts forth, I will rejoice in
What he actually did say and mean was, "I will rejoice in (with) thy
In Psalm 91:14-16 God says, Because he hath set his love upon me,
therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high [raise him above
circumstances], because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me,
and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and
honor him. With long life [eternal life] will I satisfy him, and show
him my [YESHUA (Jesus)] salvation. Of course. That promise is realized in
Revelation 22:3, 4: And
there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God
and of the Lamb shall be in it: and his servants shall serve him: And they
shall see HIS face.
In Isaiah 12:2, 3 we have something
wonderful. Here SALVATION is
mentioned three times. The reader will be much blessed by reading these
glorious verses in his Bible, but let me give them as they actually read in
the original Hebrew with Jesus as the embodiment and personification of the
word SALVATION: Behold, might (or,
God the mighty One) is my YESHUA (Jesus-in His pre-incarnation and eternal
existence); I will trust and not be afraid:, for JAH-JAHOVAH
is my strength and my song; He also is become my YESHUA (Jesus).... And the
WORD (Jesus incarnate) became flesh, and dwelt among us. (John 1:
14). ... Therefore with joy shall
ye draw water out of the wells of YESHUA [Jesus - waters of salvation
flowing forth from Golgotha]."
Something very interesting occurred one spring in St. Louis: I was visiting
in the home of our friends, Brother and Mrs. Charles Siegelman,
and another Jew was present there. He claimed Jewish orthodoxy for his
creed. Of course the conversation centered around Him Who is the Center
of all things -- Jesus. This good Jewish brother opposed the claims of
Yeshua in the Old Testament verbally, and in a friendly fashion, most
violently. His best offensive weapon, he
thought, was to fling at me and at all of us there the well-known
challenge: "You can't find the name of 'Jesus' in the Old Testament;"
and this he did.
I did not answer him directly, but asked him to translate for us from my
Hebrew Bible, Isaiah 62:11. Being a Hebrew scholar, he did so with utmost
ease, rapidly, and correctly; and here is what and how he translated that
text verbatim: Behold, Jehovah has
proclaimed unto the end of the world. Say ye to the
daughter of Zion, Behold thy YESHUA[ Jesus] cometh;
behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. Just then he crimsoned as he
realized what he had done and how he had played into my hands, and he just
fairly screamed out, "No! no! You made me
read it 'thy YESHUA' Jesus], Mr. Glass! You tricked me!" I said,
"No, I did not trick you, I just had you read the Word of God for
yourself. Can't you see that here SALVATION is a Person and not a thing
or an event? HE Comes, 'HIS reward is with HIM, and His work before
him.' Then he rushed at his own
Old Testament, talking away frantically saying, "I'm sure mine is
different from yours." And when he found the passage, he just dropped
like a deflated balloon. His Old Testament was, of course, identical.
All he could use as an escape from admitting defeat was to deny the divine
inspiration of the book of Isaiah.
Then skipping on to Habakkuk, we have the greatest demonstration of the NAME
"Jesus" in the Old Testament; for here we have both the name as
well as the title of the Savior. In Habakkuk 3:13 we read literally from
the original Hebrew: Thou wentest forth with the YESHA
[variant of ESHUA-Jesus]
of [or for] thy people; with YESHUA thy MESSIAH [thine
Anointed One: i.e., with Jesus thy Anointed] thou woundest
the head of the house of the wicked one [Satan]. Here you have it! The
very NAME given to our Lord in the New Testament - JESUS CHRIST! So
don't let anyone - Jew or Gentile - tell you that the Name JESUS is not found
in the Old Testament. And so when the aged Simeon came to the Temple,
led there by the Holy Spirit, and took the baby Yeshua in his arms, he said,
Lord, now lettest
thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have
seen thy salvation [YESHUA (Jesus)] (Luke 2:29-30). Certainly!
Not only did his eyes see God's Salvation - God's YESHUA (Jesus) - but he
felt Him and touched Him. His believing heart beat with joy and
assurance as he felt the loving heart of God throbbing in the heart of the
holy infant YESHUA.
And thou shalt
call his name Jesus (SALVATION = YESHUA);
for he shall save [salvage] his people from their sins!
Yesha’yahu – Isaiah 53:1-12
How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the
Stone whom the builders rejected?
In Him is life,
light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin.
with permission of
The Messianic Literature Outreach
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