Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Jesus Christ in the Hebrew Scriptures


Dr. Alice C. Linsley

Someone observed that the name "Jesus" is mentioned only in the New Testament. In this person's mind that raises doubt about His historicity and the authenticity of the Gospel. 

There are allusions to the Lamb's Blood that saves the Israelites from death, or to the scarlet cord by which Rahab's household is spared from the slaughter in Jericho. The Apostle Paul described the Rock in the wilderness as Christ. Melchizedek is posed as a type of Christ, both High Priest and High King. The New Testament writers certainly found Jesus in the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Old Testament.

Beyond these allusions and typologies, a critical reading of the Old Testament presents an accurate picture of the Gospel as a tradition received from the early Hebrew, Abraham's ancestors.

About one-quarter of Genesis is the story of God’s dealings with Abraham and his ancestors (chapters 1-12). Some of Jesus' ancestors are named in the King Lists of Genesis 4, 5, 10, 11, 25 and 36. Jesus' eventual victory over sin and death is described in Genesis 3:5. Because this is so, we recognize that the promise concerning the incarnate Seed/Son of God (Gen. 3:15) does not originate with the Jews. It is the much older belief of the Horite and Sethite Hebrew who believed that the Son of God would be miraculously conceived, and that in his repose he would proclaim glad tidings to those in Hades. A Horite Hebrew song found at the royal complex at Ugarit speaks of HR descending to the place of the dead "to announce good tidings." The text reads: Hr ešeni timerri duri - "below in the dark netherworld" and has the Hittite phrase Šanizzin ḫalukan ḫalzi - "to announce good tidings".

The Seed of God was expected to crush the serpent's head. This early Hebrew expectation was expressed in the Pyramid Texts, dating to 2200 B.C. "Horus has shattered (tbb, crushed) the mouth of the serpent with the sole of his foot (tbw)" (Utterance 388).

The early Hebrew believed that the Son of God would rise on the third day. A reference to the third day resurrection is found in the Pyramid Texts: "Oh Horus, this hour of the morning, of this third day is come, when thou surely passeth on to heaven, together with the stars, the imperishable stars." (Utterance 667) Jesus' third-day resurrection fulfilled that Hebrew expectation in every detail.

The Messianic reference in Psalm 110:1 - The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet." - is expressed 1000 years earlier in the Coffin Texts (Passage 148). "I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of 'Red Cloak'." (Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt by R.T. Rundle Clark, p. 216)

Jesus subdues the Father's enemies so that God's children might live and prosper. This is expressed in the Messianic Psalm 2:12: "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him."

The name "Jesus" (Yeshua in Hebrew) is derived from the ancient Egyptian name Yesu (shown above) which is associated with royal authority. The feather represents the letter Y and stands for one who judges, measures, or weights. The next symbol represents horns. The idea of God's presence "between the horns" predates Judaism. Then there is the sedge plant which represents a king, and finally the falcon, the totem of HR (Horus), the patron of kings. HR in ancient Egyptian means "Most High One". (Source: Bill Manley, Egyptian Hieroglyphs, 2012, Thames and Hudson Ltd., London)

In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Horus is called the "advocate of his father" (cf. 1 John 2:1).

The expectation of the coming of the incarnate Son of God was preserved by Abraham's ancestors to whom the promise was first made in Eden, a well-watered region that extended from the sources of the Nile to the Tigris-Euphrates (Gen. 2). Christianity alone preserves that oldest known religious belief.

The oldest known site of Horite Hebrew worship is at Nekhen on the Nile (4500 B.C.). The Hebrew ruler-priests served at many of the ancient Nilotic Sun Cities. They gave the world the earliest known resurrection texts.

Related reading: The Oldest Known Religion; Belief in the High God; Righteous Rulers and the Resurrection; Early Resurrection Texts, Horite and Sethite Mounds, The Hebrew Were a Caste; Is It Possible to Speak of the Proto-Gospel?

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