A serious Muslim accusation shown to be false:

Osama’s allegation of forgery in Luke 24:44-48 exposed and refuted

In this article Osama makes the charge that there is a serious forgery in Luke 24:44-48 since it claims that the OT predicted that the Messiah would be raised on the third day.

Osama claims:

A serious forgery in Luke 24:44-48 about Jesus' "resurrection on the third day" claiming that it was foretold in the OT when it wasn't!

Let us look at Luke 24:44-48 from the NIV Bible:

Luke 24

44  He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."
45  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46  He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
47  and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48  You are witnesses of these things.

There is a serious forgery in Luke 24:44-48!  It says that it is written in the Law of Moses (i.e., the Torah) that Jesus will die and resurrect on the third day.  Where in the entire Old Testament (not just in the 5 books of Moses that make up the Law of Moses or the Torah) do you have that?!  Show me one Old Testament verse that prophesized about Jesus' third day resurrection?

In fact, in my article Answering Isaiah 53, I clearly proved that the Old Testament actually confirms the Noble Quran's claims about Jesus never got crucified!  Let alone dying and resurrecting on the third day!

Anyway, the book of Luke is not really authentic.  According to the theologians of the NIV Bible, most of the Bible's books and gospels were written by mysterious people. No one knows who wrote these books!


First, as far as the NIV Bible is concerned, please do read what it actually says about the authorship of the Gospels:


My friend Quennel Gale has done a very fine job in exposing Osama’s misquotes and misrepresentation of what the NIV Bible actually says. As far as Isaiah 53 is concerned, we will be posting links at the end of the article which thoroughly address and refute Osama’s exegetical errors.

We want to focus on Osama’s claim that Luke 24:46 is in error since, according to him, there are no OT prophecies stating that the Messiah would rise on the third day.

To be quite frank, Osama’s criticism here only exposes his fundamental ignorance of first century Judaism, specifically Jewish methods of biblical exegesis. If Osama had even bothered to research the issue more thoroughly he would have discovered that the Jews used many different methods in their exegesis of the Scriptures, some of which included the following:

P'shat ("simple") - This method applies a literal approach in interpreting Scripture.

Drash or Midrash ("search") - An allegorical approach to interpreting Scripture.

Remez ("hint") - This approach seeks to find a word, phrase or other element in the text that provides hints for a specific event.

Sod ("secret") - This applies a mystical or hidden meaning to Scripture.

These four methods are known as PaRDeS in Hebrew. (The preceding is taken and adapted from Dr. David Stern’s Jewish New Testament Commentary [Clarksville, Maryland; Jewish New Testament Publications, 1996], pp. 11-12)

Dr. James D. Price, in his response to Farrel Till regarding this very issue, cites a source that mentions the number of ways the Jews interpreted the Holy Scriptures:

The ancient Jews had 32 rules for interpreting Scripture. These were first collected and published by the 2nd century Rabbi, Eliezer Ben-Jose the Galilean. The 7th rule declares that inferences may be made from analogy and parallel passages. [source: "Halakic and Haggadic Rules of Interpretation," The McClintock-Strong Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, eds. John McClintock & James Strong (Harper & Bros, 1876; reprint, Baker, 1969), 6:243-46.] (Source: http://answering-islam.org/BibleCom/lk24-47.html)

Dr. Price lists three types of prophecies which Jewish interpreters used:

A study of how Jesus and the NT authors interpreted prophecy indicates that to the Jewish interpreters there were at three levels of prophetic statements:

(1) direct, specific statements like we Westerners expect;

(2) prophecy by analogy--acts of Israel or God that typify the Messiah; for example--"Out of Egypt I called My Son" (Hos 11:1; Matt 2:15)

(3) prophecy by similarity--ancient events that are prophetically similar to later events; for example--"A voice was heard in Ramah, ..." (Jer 31:15; Matt 2:18)

The question is: How did the ancient Jews understand the term "prophecy," not how do we Westerners think it should be interpreted. All three types were regarded by the ancient Jews as prophecy, so that is the proper way of interpreting the Scripture.

The incident of Jonah's three days and three nights in the fish was of type (2).

It involved a typical resurrection, if not a real one, and it occurred after 3 days.

As Dr. Price noted with the example of Jonah, the NT itself refers to this method of interpretation and even provides examples of prophecies by analogy and similarity:

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up." John 3:14

"Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ." Colossians 2:16-17

"He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever." Hebrews 7:3

"For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near." Hebrews 10:1

"and this water [Noah's flood] symbolizes baptism that now saves you also - not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ," 1 Peter 3:21 NIV

With this just said, we now turn to the Hebrew Bible to see if we can find prophecies by analogy and/or similarity which prefigures the death and resurrection of the Messiah on the third day.

We begin with the Law of Moses. All references, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NET Bible.

"Some time after these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am!’ Abraham replied. God said, ‘Take your son—YOUR ONLY SON, WHOM YOU LOVE, Isaac—AND GO TO THE LAND OF MORIAH! Offer him up there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will indicate to you.’ Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out for the place God had spoken to him about. ON THE THIRD DAY Abraham caught sight of the place in the distance. So he said to his servants, ‘You two stay here with the donkey, while the boy and I go up there. WE WILL WORSHIP AND THEN RETURN TO YOU.’ Abraham took THE WOOD for the burnt offering AND PUT IT ON HIS SON ISAAC. Then he took the fire and the knife in his hand and the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘My father?’ ‘What is it, my son?’ he replied. ‘Here is the fire and the wood,’ Isaac said, ‘but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ ‘GOD will provide FOR HIMSELF THE LAMB for the burnt offering, my son,’ Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together. When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand, took the knife, and prepared to slaughter his son. But the Lord’s angel called to him from heaven, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ ‘Here I am!’ he answered. ‘Do not harm the boy!’ the angel said. ‘Do not do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, because you did not withhold your son, YOUR ONLY SON, from me.’ Abraham looked up and saw behind him a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So he went over and got the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place ‘The Lord provides.’ It is said TO THIS DAY, ‘In the mountain of the Lord provision will be made.’ The Lord’s angel called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, ‘"I solemnly swear by my own name," decrees the Lord, "that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, YOUR ONLY SON, I will indeed bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the strongholds of their enemies. Because you have obeyed me, all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants."’" Genesis 22:1-18

Abraham is commanded to offer his son as a burnt offering to God in the region of Moriah, an event which took place on the third day. Amazingly, Abraham tells his servants that he and his son would return to them after worshiping God, suggesting that Abraham somehow knew that Isaac would be returned to him after the sacrifice. The NT picks up on this theme:

"By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He had received the promises, yet he was ready to offer up HIS ONLY SON (monogenee). God had told him, ‘Through Isaac descendants will carry on your name,’ and he reasoned that God could even raise him from the dead, and in a sense he received him back from there." Hebrews 11:17-19

This view is not unique to the NT, since certain Jewish traditions taught that Isaac actually died and was brought back to life:

Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut

There was ... a remarkable tradition that insisted that Abraham completed the sacrifice and that afterward Isaac was miraculously revived ... According to this haggadah, Abraham slew his son, burnt his victim, and the ashes remain as a stored-up merit and atonement for Israel in all generations.

--The Torah: A Modern Commentary (New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1981), p. 151 n. 5.

Encyclopedia Judaica

It appears that this notion was widespread in medieval times: Ibn Ezra (commentary on Gen. 22:19) also quotes an opinion that Abraham actually did kill Isaac… and he was later resurrected from the dead. Ibn Ezra rejects this as completely contrary to the biblical text. Shalom Spiegel has demonstrated, however, that such views enjoyed a wide circulation and occasionally found expression in medieval writings.

--Louis Jacobs, "Akedah," Encyclopedia Judaica 2:482. (http://www.jfjonline.org/apol/qa/atonement2.htm)

Let us highlight the key points:

  1. Abraham was commanded to offer up his one and only beloved Son.
  2. The sacrifice was to take place on the third day at a specific Mountain in the region of Moriah.
  3. Isaac carried the very wood which would be used for his sacrifice.

In Jewish tradition, this became known as Akedah, or the "binding" of Isaac:

The Hebrew word "akedah" means "binding" and refers to the well-known story in Genesis 22, in which God commands Abraham to offer up his only son Isaac as a burnt offering ...

In Jewish tradition, this story has been elaborated numerous times. In some traditions, Isaac becomes a symbol of Jewish martyrs of all times and places. In others, the story is used to show that God does not require a "human sacrifice." According to yet other traditions, the sacrifice of Isaac actually took place and in fact brought atonement to Israel ...

In the rabbinic literature, we find traditions about the Akedah that go beyond what the text of the Bible says and attribute atoning value to the incident. These traditions show that even within Judaism, there was a place for the idea that someone's death could function as an atonement. (http://www.jfjonline.org/apol/qa/atonement2.htm)

The above articles provides several Jewish commentaries that expound on this theme:

Song of Songs Rabbah 1:14:1

MY BELOVED IS UNTO ME AS A CLUSTER OF HENNA. CLUSTER refers to Isaac, who was bound on the altar like A CLUSTER OF HENNA (KOFER): because he atones (mekapper) for the iniquities of Israel.

--Soncino Midrash Rabbah (vol. 9, second part, p. 81).

Leviticus Rabbah 29:9

When the children of Isaac give way to transgressions and evil deeds, do Thou recollect for them the binding of their father Isaac and rise from the Throne of Judgment and betake Thee to the Throne of Mercy, and being filled with compassion for them have mercy upon them and change for them the Attribute of Justice into the Attribute of Mercy!

--Soncino Midrash Rabbah (vol. 4, p. 376).

Shibbole ha-Leket (13th c.)

When Father Isaac was bound on the altar and reduced to ashes and his sacrificial dust was cast onto Mount Moriah...

--Shibbole ha-Leket.


'A bundle of myrrh (kofer) is my well-beloved' (Cant. I, 14). This refers to Isaac, who was tied up like a bundle upon the altar. Kofer, because he atones for the sins of Israel.
Cant. R. I, Sec 14,I, on I, 14; f. 12b

If then Isaac's descendants fall into sin and evil deeds, do thou make mention of the binding of Isaac, and get up from the throne of judgment, and sit down upon the throne of compassion, and be filled with pity, and turn the attribute of judgement into the attribute of mercy.
Lev.R. 29:9

R. Judah says: When the sword touched Isaac's throat his soul flew clean out of him. And when He let his voice be heard from between the two cherubim, 'Lay not thy hand upon the lad, 'the lad's soul returned to his body. Then his father unbound him, and Isaac rose, knowing that in this way the dead would come back to life in the future; whereupon he began to recite, Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who quickens the dead.
Pirkei de-Rav Eliezer 31

When Father Isaac was bound on the altar and reduced to ashes and his sacrificial dust was cast onto Mount Moriah...
Shibbole ha-Leket (http://www.jfjonline.org/pub/issues/04-05/akedah.htm)

  1. Abraham believed that both he and his son would return from the Mount after they had worshiped God.
  2. According to the inspired author of Hebrews, Abraham had reasoned that God would resurrect his son from the dead and therefore fulfill His covenant promises concerning Isaac.
  3. Figuratively speaking, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead ON THE THIRD DAY!
  4. Abraham also believed that on this same Mountain God was going to provide a lamb for sacrifice.
  5. All nations would be blessed through Abraham’s descendants.

Interestingly, Solomon built the Temple in this same region:

"Solomon began building the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem ON MOUNT MORIAH, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. This was the place that David prepared at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite." 2 Chronicles 3:1

This partially fulfilled Abraham’s prediction regarding God providing for himself, since the Temple was the place where the Levitical priests offered animal sacrifices to God.

Another point to remember is that the bodies of the animals used for the sin offerings and the remaining portions of the burnt offering were burned outside the camp of Israel:

"all the rest of the bull-he must bring outside the camp to a clean place, to the fatty ash pile, and he must burn it on the wood with fire; it must be burned on the fatty ash pile." Leviticus 4:12

"Then the priest must put on his linen robe and must put linen leggings over his bare flesh, and he must take up the fatty ashes of the burnt offering that the fire consumed on the altar, and he must place them beside the altar. Then he must take off his clothes and put on other clothes, and he must bring the fatty ashes outside the camp to a ceremonially clean place," Leviticus 6:10-11

"The bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering, whose blood was brought to make atonement in the holy place, must be brought outside the camp and their hide, their flesh, and their dung must be burned with fire." Leviticus 16:27

When we turn to the NT teaching on Christ, we find the following parallels:

1. Jesus is God’s one and only beloved Son whom the Father offered as a sacrifice for sinners:

"Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory — the glory of the one and only (monogenous), full of grace and truth, who came from the Father." John 1:14

"For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son (ton monogenee) that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"But the statement it was credited to him was not written only for Abraham’s sake, but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification." Romans 4:23-25

"Indeed, he who did not spare (ouk epheisato) his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things?" Romans 8:32

The phrase ouk epheisato is used in the Greek translation of Genesis, called the Septuagint (LXX), in relation to Abraham offering up Isaac:

"And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the child, neither do anything to him, for now I know that thou fearest God, and for my sake thou hast not spared (ouk epheiso) thy beloved son… And an angel of the Lord called Abraam the second time out of heaven, saying, I have sworn by myself, says the Lord, because thou hast done this thing, and on my account hast not spared (ouk epheiso) thy beloved son," Genesis 22:12, 15(MT16) Brenton’s LXX

2. Jesus is the Lamb of God, which Abraham foresaw:

"On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ ... Gazing at Jesus as he walked by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’" John 1:29, 36

Fn. 73 states:

Gen 22:8 is an important passage in the background of the title Lamb of God as applied to Jesus. In Jewish thought this was held to be a supremely important sacrifice. G. Vermès stated: "For the Palestinian Jew, all lamb sacrifice, and especially the Passover lamb and the Tamid offering, was a memorial of the AKEDAH with its effects of deliverance, forgiveness of sin and messianic salvation" (Scripture and Tradition in Judaism, 225). (http://netbible.com/netbible/joh1_notes.htm#173)

"Your father Abraham was overjoyed to see my day, and he saw it and was glad." John 8:56

The NET Bible translators’ fn. 150 reads:

What is the meaning of Jesus’ statement that the patriarch Abraham "saw" his day and rejoiced? The use of past tenses would seem to refer to something that occurred during the patriarch’s lifetime. Genesis Rabbah 44:25ff, (cf. 59:6) states that Rabbi Akiba, in a debate with Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai, held that Abraham had been shown not this world only but the world to come (this would include the days of the Messiah). More realistically, it is likely that Gen 22:13-15 lies behind Jesus’ words. This passage, known to rabbis as the Akedah ("Binding"), tells of Abraham finding the ram which will replace his son Isaac on the altar of sacrifice—an occasion of certain rejoicing. (http://netbible.com/netbible/joh8_notes.htm#8150)


"You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors, you were ransomed — not by perishable things like silver or gold, but by precious blood like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, namely Christ." 1 Peter 1:18-19

3. Jesus carried the very wood (cross-beam) which would be used to crucify him:

... So they took Jesus, and carrying his own cross he went out to the place called ‘The Place of the Skull’ (called in Aramaic Golgotha). John 19:16b-17

Lest Osama try and claim that this passage contradicts the Synoptic Gospels which say that Simon of Cyrene was made to carry Jesus’ cross, we simply quote the NET Bible, fn. 54:

As was customary practice in a Roman crucifixion, the prisoner was made to carry his own cross. In all probability this was only the crossbeam, called in Latin the patibulum, since the upright beam usually remained in the ground at the place of execution. According to Matt 27:32 and Mark 15:21, the soldiers forced Simon to take the cross; Luke 23:26 states that the cross was placed on Simon so that it might be carried behind Jesus. A reasonable explanation of all this is that Jesus started out carrying the cross until he was no longer able to do so, at which point Simon was forced to take over. (http://netbible.com/netbible/joh19_notes.htm#1954)

4. Jesus was crucified outside the vicinity of the Temple, much like the bodies and remaining parts of the sacrifices were taken outside the camp:

"For the bodies of those animals whose blood the high priest brings into the sanctuary as an offering for sin are burned outside the camp. Therefore, to sanctify the people by his own blood, Jesus also suffered outside the camp. We must go out to him, then, outside the camp, bearing the abuse he experienced." Hebrews 13:11-13

5. Jesus was raised on the third day:

"For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, MOST OF WHOM ARE STILL LIVING, though some have fallen asleep." 1 Corinthians 15:3-6

6. Jesus is the descendant of Abraham through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed:

"Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. Scripture does not say, ‘and to the descendants,’ referring to many, but ‘and to your descendant,’ referring to one, who is Christ. Galatians 3:16

It is little wonder that the Holy Bible can say that Abraham had the Gospel preached to him!

"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time, saying, ‘All the nations will be blessed in you.’ So then those who believe are blessed along with Abraham the believer." Galatians 3:8-9

The next prophecy by analogy and/or similarity comes from Israel’s relationship to God as his son:

"And you must say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, ‘Israel is my firstborn son, and I said to you, "Let my son go that he may serve me, but since you have refused to let him go, I will surely kill your firstborn son!"’" Exodus 4:22-23

"You have forgotten the Rock who fathered you, and put out of mind the God who gave you birth. But the Lord took note and despised them, because of the provocation of his sons and daughters. Deuteronomy 32:18-19

"His people remembered the ancient times. Where is the one who brought them up out of the sea, along with the shepherd of his flock? Where is the one who placed his holy Spirit among them, the one who made his majestic power available to Moses, who divided the water before them, gaining for himself a lasting reputation, who led them through the deep water? Like a horse running on flat land they did not stumble. Like an animal that goes down into a valley to graze, so the Spirit of the Lord granted them rest. In this way you guided your people, gaining for yourself an honored reputation. Look down from heaven and take notice, from your holy, majestic palace! Where are your zeal and power? Do not hold back your tender compassion! For you are our father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not recognize us. You, Lord, are our father; you have been called our protector from ancient times." Isaiah 63:11-16

"However, in the future the number of the people of Israel will be like the sand of the sea which can be neither measured nor numbered. Although it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said to them, ‘You are children of the living God!’" Hosea 1:10

"When Israel was a young man, I loved him like a son, and I summoned my son out of Egypt." Hosea 11:1

"But I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt. Therefore, you must not acknowledge any God except me; there is no Savior except me." Hosea 13:4

Israel as God’s son was tested in the wilderness in order to learn to depend on God alone for their sustenance:

"You must keep carefully the entire commandment I am giving you today so that you may live, multiply, and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised to your ancestors. Remember the whole way by which he has brought you these forty years through the desert so that he might, by humbling you, test to see whether deep within yourselves you would keep his commandments or not. So he humbled you by making you hungry and feeding you with unfamiliar manna to make you understand that mankind cannot live by food alone, but also by everything that comes from the Lord’s mouth. Your clothing did not wear out nor did your feet swell all these forty years." Deuteronomy 8:1-5

Amazingly, Hosea states that God will raise his son Israel from the dead on the third day!

"After two days he will revive us; ON THE THIRD DAY he will raise us up, that we may live before him." Hosea 6:2 RSV

The Talmud applies this passage to the Messianic era, the time when the Messiah comes to restore Israel:

The Gemara records an incident:

... This last point is related to that which R’ Zeira said ... When [R’ Zeira] found the Rabbis delaying with [this matter] ... he said to them ... "Please! I beg you not to delay [the coming of the Messiah] ... for we have learned in a Baraisa ... THREE THINGS COME WHEN then are NOT EXPECTED ... THEY ARE ... THE MESSIAH, A FIND, AND A SCORPION."

The Gemara discusses a related topic:

... Rav Katina said ... For six thousand years will the world exist ... and for one thousand years it will be destroyed ... as it is stated: Hashem [Sam- Hebrew for "The Name", the word that the rabbis used in place of God’s name, Yahweh] alone will be exalted on that day.

A dissenting view:

... Abaye says ... For two thousand years it will be destroyed ... as it is stated: After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up and we will live in His presence. Sanhedrin 97a (underlined emphasis ours)

"Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your destruction? Compassion is hid from my eyes." Hosea 13:14 RSV

Isaiah reiterates this last point:

"The Lord who leads armies will hold a banquet for all the nations on this mountain. At this banquet there will be plenty of meat and aged wine— tender meat and tasty wine. On this mountain he will swallow up the shroud that is over all the peoples, the woven covering that is over all the nations; he will swallow up death permanently. The sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from every face, and remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. Indeed, the Lord has announced it. At that time they will say, ‘Look, here is our God! We waited for him and he delivered us. Here is the Lord! We waited for him. Let’s be happy and celebrate his deliverance!’" Isaiah 25:6-9

"Your dead will come back to life; your corpses will rise up. Wake up and shout joyfully, you who live in the ground! For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew, and the earth will bring forth its dead spirits." Isaiah 26:19

Here is a list of some of the key points:

  1. Israel is God’s son, his firstborn.
  2. God called his son out of Egypt.
  3. God tested his son in the wilderness.
  4. God will raise his son from the Grave/Sheol/Hades on the third day.

We now turn to the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. To start off, it may come as a surprise to some that the Messiah is prophetically called Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures:

"Listen to me, you coastlands! Pay attention, you people who live far away! The Lord summoned me from birth; he commissioned me when my mother brought me into the world. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, he hid me in the hollow of his hand; he made me like a sharpened arrow, he hid me in his quiver. He said to me, ‘You are my servant, ISRAEL, through whom I will reveal my splendor.’ But I thought, ‘I have worked in vain; I have expended my energy for absolutely nothing.’ But the Lord will vindicate me; my God will reward me. So now the Lord says, the one who formed me from birth to be his servant— he did this to restore Jacob to himself, so that ISRAEL might be gathered to him; and I will be honored in the Lord’s sight, for my God is my source of strength— he says, ‘Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant, to reestablish the tribes of Jacob, and restore the remnant of ISRAEL? I will make you a light to the nations, so you can bring my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.’ This is what the Lord, the protector of Israel, their sovereign king, says to the one who is despised and rejected by nations, a servant of rulers: ‘Kings will see and rise in respect, princes will bow down, because of the faithful Lord, the sovereign king of Israel who has chosen you.’ This is what the Lord says: ‘At the time I decide to show my favor, I will respond to you; in the day of deliverance I will help you; I will protect you and make you a covenant mediator for people, to rebuild the land and to reassign the desolate property. You will say to the prisoners, "Come out," and to those who are in dark dungeons, "Emerge." They will graze beside the roads; on all the slopes they will find pasture. They will not be hungry or thirsty; the sun’s oppressive heat will not beat down on them, for one who has compassion on them will guide them; he will lead them to springs of water.’" Isaiah 49:1-10

Here, God’s servant Israel is sent to restore and gather the nation of Israel as well as bring God’s salvation to the nations! In the words of the NET Bible, fn. 6:

This verse identifies the servant as Israel. This seems to refer to the exiled nation (cf. 41:8-9; 44:1-2, 21; 45:4; 48:20), but in vv. 5-6 this servant says he has been commissioned to reconcile Israel to God, so he must be distinct from the exiled nation. This servant is an ideal "Israel" who, like Moses of old, mediates a covenant for the nation (see v. 8), leads them out of bondage (v. 9a), and carries out God’s original plan for Israel by positively impacting the pagan nations (see v. 6b). By living according to God’s law, Israel was to be a model of God’s standards of justice to the surrounding nations (Deut 4:6-8). The sinful nation failed, but the servant, the ideal "Israel," will succeed by establishing justice throughout the earth. (http://netbible.com/netbible/isa49_notes.htm#496)

Keeping the foregoing point in mind, it is little wonder that we find Jesus encountering similar experiences to that of national Israel:

"After they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph saying, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to look for the child to kill him.’ Then he got up, took the child and his mother at night, and went to Egypt. He stayed there until Herod died. In this way what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet was fulfilled: ‘I called my Son out of Egypt.’" Matthew 2:13-15

"After Jesus was baptized, just as he was coming up out of the water, the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my one dear Son; in him I take great delight.’" Matthew 3:16-17

The NET Bible translators’ state in fn. 36:

Grk "my beloved Son," or "my Son, the beloved [one]." The force of αγαπητος (agapêtos) is often "pertaining to one who is the only one of his or her class, but at the same time is particularly loved and cherished" (L&N 58.53; cf. also BAGD 6 s.v. 1). (http://netbible.com/netbible/mat3_notes.htm#336)

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread. But he answered, ‘It is written, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." Then the devil took him to the holy city, had him stand on the highest point of the temple, and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, "He will command his angels concerning you" and "with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."’ Jesus said to him, ‘Once again it is written: "You are not to put the Lord your God to the test."’ Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their grandeur. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all these things if you fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go away, Satan! For it is written: "You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him."’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and began ministering to his needs." Matthew 4:1-10

Here, the Lord Jesus cites Deuteronomy 8:3, 6:16 and 13, which are all taken from Moses’ last discourse to the nation. What national Israel failed to do throughout their desert wandering, the Messiah, ideal Israel, perfectly accomplished through his total obedience and dependence on God! Other similarities include:

"From that time on Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." Matthew 16:21

"But God raised him up, having released him from the pains of death, because it was not possible for him to be held in its power. For David says about him, ‘I saw the Lord always in front of me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body also will live in hope, because you will not leave my soul in HADES, nor permit your Holy One to experience decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of joy with your presence.’ Brothers, I can speak confidently to you about our forefather David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. So then, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, David by foreseeing this spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was neither abandoned to HADES, nor did his body experience decay. This Jesus God raised up, and we are all witnesses of it." Acts 2:24-32

"You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all)— you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, that God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him. We are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him up ON THE THIRD DAY and caused him to be seen, not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to warn them that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead." Acts 10:36-42

"He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him — all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers — all things were created through him and for him. He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him. He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead so that he himself may become first in all things. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross — whether things on the earth or things in heaven." Colossians 1:13-20

Let us review:

  1. Jesus is called Israel.
  2. Jesus is God’s Son, his firstborn.
  3. God called Jesus out of Egypt.
  4. God tested Jesus in the wilderness.
  5. God raised Jesus out of the Grave/Sheol/Hades on the third day.

The final example has to do with the rebuilding of the Solomonic temple, which had been destroyed by Nebuzaradan in BC. 586:

"The elders of the Jews continued building and prospering, while at the same time Haggai the prophet and Zachariah the son of Iddo continued prophesying. They built and brought it to completion by the command of the God of Israel and by the command of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes (king of Persia). They finished this temple ON THE THIRD DAY of the month Adar, which is the sixth year of the reign of King Darius." Ezra 6:14-15

The commencement of the temple’s "raising" (rebuilding) took place on the third day of the month. Contrast this with what the Lord Jesus says:

"Jesus replied, ‘Destroy THIS temple and IN THREE DAYS I will raise IT up again.’ Then the Jewish leaders said to him, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But Jesus was speaking about the temple OF HIS BODY. So after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the saying that Jesus had spoken." John 2:19-22

Jesus, the eternal temple of God, was also raised on the third day!

Recommended Reading

The following articles deal with Messianic prophecy, Jewish methods of OT exegesis as well as thoroughly refuting the arguments used by Osama and others questioning the messianic understanding of Isaiah 53:


We also highly recommend the following series of books by Messianic Jewish scholar Dr. Michael L. Brown, since they answer and refute the major anti-missionary Jewish objections to Jesus:

Answering  Jewish Objections To Jesus

Volume 1 - General and Historical Objections
Volume 2 - Theological Objections
Volume 3 - Messianic and Prophecy Objections

This last volume deals extensively with the alleged responses against Isaiah 53 being a prophecy of the death and resurrection of the Messiah, as well as a host of other objections often leveled against Christians such as Messiah rising on the third day. These books can be ordered from ICN Ministry, which is Brown’s ministry: http://icnministries.org/, Amazon.com or any local bookstore.

Another book which is a must read is William Webster's Behold Your King: Prophetic Proofs That Jesus Is the Messiah, Christian Resources, June 2003, which can be purchased here: http://christiantruth.com/beholdyourking.html.

This book is a goldmine of prophetic, rabbinic and historical evidences demonstrating the inspiration and the textual reliability of the Holy Bible.

Sam Shamoun

Rebuttals to Answering-Christianity
Articles by Sam Shamoun
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