Seemingly Exclusive to History Albeit Partially Foretelling the 1st Advent
There are ≈6 prophecies that are seemingly exclusive to History albeit partially foretelling the 1st Advent of Christ, which means they are double-sensed. For example, Matthew cites Hosea 11:1 as a Messianic Prophecy foretelling how Jesus would sojourn in Egypt. Yet, by all appearance, Hosea makes no indication of the Messiah according to the context of Hosea 11. Rather, it would seem that Hosea 11:1 merely rehearses what has already taken place historically, as recorded in Exodus 4:22, namely when the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt calling the people, “My son”. Therefore, according to Matthew 2:15, here we observe a prophecy that is seemingly exclusive to History albeit partially foretelling the 1st Advent of Christ.
The same pattern can be observed at least 6 times in the Gospel of Matthew. For example, Matthew cites Jeremiah 31:15 as a prophecy that foretells the slaughter of innocents in the City of Bethlehem in Matthew 2:18. Yet, by all appearance, Jeremiah makes no indication that the cause of this weeping is from the hand of Herod in 1st Century Israel. Rather, it would seem that Jeremiah 31:15 merely rehearses what has already taken place historically, as recorded in Jeremiah 40:1, namely when Babylon smote Ramah during the conquest of Judah. Jeremiah speaks of a slaughter so pervasive, Ramah is bitterly weeping and Ephraim bemoans himself, even as Rachel mourned of old for despair of her children (Jer. 31:15-20). On the contrary, the 1st Century slaughter of Herod was limited in its scope and incompatible with various contextual details in Jeremiah 31:15. Notably, Bethlehem is not even mentioned in the prophecy of Jeremiah. Explicitly, Herod slew the children of Bethlehem and the surrounding villages in the coasts of Bethlehem and proceeded no further (Matt. 2:16). Therefore, it didn’t even reach the City of Ramah seeing that it was situated far north. Ramah and Bethlehem are not even neighboring Cities, and Rachel’s grave is located in between Ramah and Bethlehem. So, what Matthew is seeing in Jeremiah 30-31 is a prophetic narrative that is largely unfulfilled even though it was framed in history; namely, because it wasn’t completely fulfilled historically, Matthew understands it to be partially applicable to futurity. In the case of Jeremiah 31:15, Matthew is affirming a partial fulfillment taking place in the 1st Century (“Then was fulfilled…” – Matt. 2:17-18). Therefore, according to Matthew 2:18, here we observe prophecy that is seemingly exclusive to History albeit partially foretelling a situation pertaining to the 1st Advent of Christ.
On several other occasions, Matthew is moved in spirit to justify the divinely sent work of among the 1st Century Jews. In doing so, Matthew cites Isaiah 6:9-10 in Matthew 13:13-16, Psalm 78:2 in Matthew 13:35, and Isaiah 29:13 in Matthew 15:7-9. Like the former citations of Matthew, these aren’t references of similar workings in the ancient times. Matthew isn’t postulating mere parallels. These are real fulfillments of these old-time prophecies (“fulfilled” – Matt. 13:14, 13:35). Matthew is declaring that these prophets were prophesying of these 1st Century events and/or people. With all boldness and authority, Christ said, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you…” (Matt. 15:7), when quoting Isaiah 29:13 in personal application to the Scribes and Pharisees of the 1st Century. Hence, these aren’t mere postulations or parallels, these behaviors, actions, and events are being powered by these ancient prophetic words!
Yet, by all appearance, Isaiah and Asaph made no indication that these prophecies foretell the strong delusion of the 1st Century (Isa. 6:9-10, Matt. 13:13-16), nor Christ’s intentional use of parables to hide the truth from His hearers (Ps. 78:2, Matt. 13:35), neither did Isaiah indicate that He was speaking of the hypocrisy of people nearly 800 years in the future in Isaiah 29:13 (Matt. 15:7-9). Rather, it would seem that Isaiah 6:9-10 is speaking of the Jews of his time, as described in Isaiah 1, and as referenced in Isaiah 5:5, whose fate is foretold in Isaiah 6:11-13 and fulfilled by historical Assyria and Babylon. Rather, it would seem that Psalm 78:2 is speaking of an opening of the truth, rather than a hiding of it, as described in Psalm 78:1-8; one given as “Maschil” (Instruction) to the people of Asaph’s time, and not another, as the context indicates in the subject title and the specified audience in Psalm 78:1, which says, “Give ear, O my people…”. Rather, it would seem that Isaiah 29:13 is describing the hypocrisy of the Jews in his current generation, the same deluded audience of Isaiah 6:9-10, for which the Jews will suffer the nearly annihilating punishment of Assyria as described in Isaiah 29:1-8 and fulfilled in Isaiah 36-38.
In Isaiah’s time, the divinely sent delusion (Isa. 6:9-10) was deserved for their rampant hypocrisy (Isa. 29:13). Historically speaking, this meant that they deserved the Assyrian and Babylonian Captivities. The divinely sent delusion, also called , rendered the people unprepared for these Wars. However, even this was for a redemptive purpose. According to prophecy, God was using the Captivities to purify the Jews so that upon their regathering and restoration to Israel and Jerusalem in the near future, as recorded in Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi, the good pleasure of the LORD would be upon them. Yet, as these Books demonstrate, fell short of the foretold intent of God. Therefore, by necessity, the LORD a , which means that all the prophecies (contained in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and elsewhere) that were framed in the past and intended for the 1st Restoration Generation have now been recalibrated for the 2nd Restoration Generation.
Demonstrably, this was the understanding of Christ insomuch that He attributed the words of Isaiah to be directly foretelling the events and/or people of the 1st Century Jews. Moreover, in working together with the divinely sent delusion at hand, Christ spoke to the people in parables (Ps. 78:2, Matt. 13:35). Marvelously (Isa. 29:14), what was supposed to be for their good (Ps. 78:2) was being used for their evil (Matt. 13:35; Isa. 8:14-15, 28:10-13) because , just like the Jews of (Ezek. 20:24-26). What God did of old in using Babylon He will do again using Rome, and therefore the divine utility of delusion of old is applied anew. (Note: According to the Book of Revelation, because fell short of the foretold intent of God, like , Babylon will rise again; thus, let the reader understand, will be employed on this occasion in the near future.)
Likewise, and in accordance with the former demonstration, Christ’s use of Psalm 78:2 as having been fulfilled in Matthew 13:35 does further emphasize the need for renewed attempts in new generations to perform ancient promises. In fact, this is the message of Psalm 78. Yet, only this time, will be incarnated by of God to wit, at last, as recorded in Psalm 78:65-72, only much better, the LORD will accomplish . Therefore, conclusively, according to Matthew 13:13-16, Matthew 13:35, & Matthew 15:7-9, we observe prophecies that are seemingly exclusive to History albeit partially foretelling situational characteristics in the 1st Advent of Christ.
Contrastingly, Jesus uses Psalm 8:2 in Matthew 21:14-16 to affirm the children who cried to Jesus in the Temple, saying, “Hosanna to the son of David”, because God opened their eyes and compelled the so to do (Matt. 13:16)! Even as God closed the eyes of the vast majority of 1st Century Jews (Rom. 11:7-10)! Yet, by all appearance, David makes no indication that the cause for praise in the mouths of babes is on behalf of Jesus. Rather, it would seem that Psalm 8:2 merely rehearses the ongoing praiseworthiness of God in creation that springs from the mouths of babes historically and progressively, even as they act in employed tasks according to God’s purpose in creation as Psalm 8:1-9 demonstrates. Yet, who could deny that the shouts of praise from babes in Matthew 21:14-16 is a superior fulfillment of God’s created purposes, even as the Creator stands among them in bodily form for the dawn of the New Covenant! For, indeed, “by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist” (Col. 1:15-16). It is a marvel that anyone could keep silent at such a time as this! For, even it is were possible, “the stones would immediately cry out” (Lk. 19:40)! Therefore, according to Matthew 21:14-16, here we observe prophecy that is seemingly exclusive to History albeit partially foretelling a situation pertaining to the 1st Advent of Christ.
Likewise, Jesus quotes Psalm 41:9 as being fulfilled in Matthew 26:23-24 when Judas, who was one of the 12 Apostles, sat to dine with Christ in the fateful evening of His betrayal. While eating the Passover Meal, as explicitly stated by Christ in Matthew 26:23, the LORD identified the signal event whereby the Apostles would discern who the betrayer is, it being, “He that dippeth his hand with Me in the dish, the same shall betray Me” (Matt. 26:23). In this precious company of friends, the 12 Apostles (the Special Messengers of the Christ), lo and behold, the prophecy is fulfilled: “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me” (Ps. 41:9). This is the exact affirmation of Christ, namely that this prophecy was fulfilled in Judas eating bread with Christ while in the act of betraying Him. Shockingly, just following the Passover Meal, Jesus conducted the first Communion Meal of bread and wine, which Judas also partook (Matt. 26:26-29, Jn. 13:18-30, Lk. 22:14-23, Mk. 14:17-25).
Yet, by all appearance, David makes no indication that Psalm 41:9 is a prophecy of a treacherous friend of Christ. Nor does the context of Psalm 41:1-13 indicate this. Rather, David is the subject of contempt and betrayal while being sick, as described in Psalm 49:5-8; and, admittedly, according to Psalm 41:4, David is not without sin in the matter! He asked for healing, saying, “heal my soul; for I have sinned against Thee” (Ps. 41:4), speaking to God. No such request or admission could possibly be made by Christ, and yet Christ is speaking in Psalm 41:9, saying, “Mine own familiar friend…”. How can it be? Well, the Messiah is called by the name David for a reason. This mystery explains it. Jesus Christ is, demonstrably, ! Therefore, according to Matthew 26:23-24, here we observe a prophecy that is seemingly exclusive to History albeit partially foretelling the 1st Advent of Christ.
Lastly, and similarly to the observations and use of Psalm 41:9 in Matthew 26:23-24, Christ quoted Psalm 22:1 in Matthew 27:46 while hanging on the Cross in the throes of betrayal on all sides. Suffice it to say, without going into detail, the same dynamics are involved in this shocking and climactic prophecy, Jesus saying, “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?”. Of course, in the quoting of this prophecy, the mind of alert Jews would recall the scene portrayed before their very eyes in Psalm 22:12-18. This passage, perhaps only second to Isaiah 53, clearly describes the suffering and death of Christ on the Cross, while Psalm 22:27-31 speaks of the worldwide dominion that is soon-to-be achieved by Christ in the 2nd Advent. Albeit, David’s suffering and humiliation is certainly in view in Psalm 22:1-11 and other like portions of the psalm. However, as is evident, . In other words, ! The framework of prophecy is organized to convey this message to believers. This is why in Revelation 5. Therefore, according to Matthew 27:46 quoting Psalm 22:1, here we observe a prophecy that is seemingly exclusive to History albeit partially foretelling the 1st Advent of Christ. However, this much couldn’t be said about Psalm 22:12-18. Hence, there are other prophecies utilized by Matthew that need to be examined as to what method of interpretation is being utilized.