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The name of the Messiah

Possibly predicted beforehand

So there is this interesting prophecy in Zechariah I came across a few years back.

Zechariah 6:9-15 (I put the scripture at the bottom of this)

It is a very exciting prophecy because it seems to predict a number of things.

1. It seems to possibly predict that the name of the Messiah would be either Yehoshua or Yeshua and from that you can derive Jesus.
2. That the Messiah would be both a priest and a king at the same time.
3. That the Messiah would build the temple.
4. That people from far away would be involved in this building of the temple.

There is some debate on what is the correct translation of this piece of text because the source texts differ slightly. Mostly the last two sentences of verse 13. After looking into it I think the NIV 1984 translation is possibly a correct translation and so I include it at the bottom.

In short God instructs the prophet to make a crown and to then go to a person called Yehoshua (Joshua) and to put it on his head. This person’s name is spelled in two ways in the Old Testament Yehoshua (Joshua) and the short form Yeshua (Jeshua) - two alternate spellings. The prophet is instructed to say here is the man whose name is the Branch. The person was high priest at the time but the prophet is to say that he will rule from his throne clothed in majesty (a king therefore) and he will be a priest on his throne and there will be harmony between the two (kingship and the priesthood). The prophet is also to say that he will build the temple and people will come from far away to help.

Now in the Old Testament the Branch usually refers to the Messiah. Below I include an example prophecy. Here it basically says that the Branch will be a descendant of David. It also says he will be called the Lord Our Righteous Savior. Which incidentally is what Jesus is called today. He never sinned and He saved and saves us. He is our righteous saviour.

5 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,“when I will raise up for David[I] a righteous Branch,a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.This is the name by which he will be called:The Lord Our Righteous Savior. Jeremiah 23:5-6 | NIV

So back to the prophecy in Zechariah 6.

So here it says “Here is the man whose name is the Branch”. So if we take it literally that the name of the person receiving the crown is also the name of the Branch (the Messiah) and we go with what this person was called in the Old Testament, it would mean that the Branch and therefore the Messiah could have either of these two names, Yeshua (Jeshua) or Yehoshua (Joshua).

Wikipedia has this summary on the name of Jesus:.

The proper name Jesus /ˈdʒiːzəs/ used in the English language originates from the Latin form of the Greek name Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous), a rendition of the Hebrew Yeshua (ישוע), also having the variants Joshua or Jeshua.[1][2] In a religious context the name refers to Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. In the Spanish cultural sphere, Jesús (pronounced IPA: [xeˈsus]) is a very common male personal name.

So how cool is that! God gave us a clue as to what the name of the Messiah would be! Very likely Jesus. That is really amazing!

So to the next thing predicted - that the Messiah would be both a king and a priest. This raises a question. We know that God promised David that he would always have a descendent on the throne as a king. This promise cannot be changed and it therefore seems safe to say that the Messiah has to be a descendant of David as he is predicted to be an eternal king. This makes him a king but how will he be a priest as well? Will he also have to be a descendant of Levi or of Aaron? Is there another precedent?

It turns out there is. God can choose to make anybody a priest by decree as seems to have happened with Melchizedek.

This brings us to another amazing prophecy. A Psalm written by David. Psalm 110. The whole Psalm seems to be God the Father speaking to the Messiah. In it there is this verse:

4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind:“You are a priest forever,in the order of Melchizedek.” Psalms 110:4 | NIV84

So here God is telling the Messiah that he will be a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek - therefore by decree not by lineage.

So that then provides the answer. The Messiah would have to descend from David at least. But as for the priesthood would be so by decree. Therefore a priest and a king. Which then ties in neatly with this prophecy in Zechariah in that the person the prophet had to put the crown on, to indicate that he would rule, was high priest at the time too.

This then brings up the third point. The Messiah would have to build the Temple. So how does that fit in?

In fact in some other prophecies it looks like the temple has to exist for the Messiah to come. So how can the temple both exist and be built by the Messiah. See this prophecy:

1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:1 | NIV

Here it talks about John the Baptist that will come followed straight after by the Messiah. The Messiah will come to His temple. So the temple will clearly have to exist.

So what now? The Messiah will come while the temple exists and he will build it. Is he going to tear it down and rebuild it?

This reminds me of one of the strangest things Jesus used to say. They actually even tried to use it as a reason to crucify Him.

Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ” Matthew 26:60c-61 | NIV

40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself ! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” Matthew 27:40 | NIV

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. John 2:19-22 | NIV

I think Jesus knew off course that He was going to die and be raised from the dead after three days. He also knew that once He paid for the sins of all people it would be possible for God to live in those people's hearts that put their faith in Him (Jesus) by His Spirit and that people would therefore literally become temples of God.

20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. John 4:20-21 | NIV

So that then brings us to the tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out. See Acts 2.

Why tongues of fire? And a loud wind?

It is interesting that when Moses met God the first time himself it was when he saw a bush with flames of fire in it that was not consuming it. He thought that it was strange and went closer to investigate.

Also when the Israelites met God the first time at Mount Sinai. It says God came down in fire onto the mountain and that also caused thick smoke and a loud noise sounding like a trumpet getting louder and louder.

I wonder if the loud wind on the day of Pentecost and the description of the sound of a trumpet were not maybe similar sounds described differently. I guess we will only know at the end.

However I do think the tongues of fire was meant to show God was coming down again but this time upon individuals instead of a mountain or a temple. In fact I think it was meant to show that people were now becoming God’s temple (dwelling place) and that a new covenant was being established replacing the one at Mount Sinai. As such I think it also signified that the Messiah had finished his work and had in fact rebuilt the temple literally fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 6. Believers would now be God’s temple. The physical temple in Jerusalem was obsolete.

The physical temple was destroyed by the Romans forty years later within one generation of Jesus in 70 AD and it has not been rebuilt since for about 1947 years by now. In all this time the Messiah could not have come because the physical temple has to stand. So Jesus has been the last credible person who could have claimed to have been the Messiah. If the Antichrist is supposed to claim to be the Messiah - of which I am not sure - he would have to have the temple rebuilt before he comes at the very least.

On top of all this you will read that there were people from all over the Roman Empire in Jerusalem for the Passover on the day of Pentecost. Many put their faith in Jesus and so became temples of God since He started to live in their hearts. And even up till today people from very far away still put their faith in Jesus every day and so extend the temple of God. And so they fulfill the last part of this prophecy in Zechariah that says people will come from far away to help rebuild the temple.

The Alternate Spelling for the same person (Jeshua - Yeshua) an example scripture where the person's name is spelt Yeshua / Jeshua

2 Then Jeshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. Ezra 3:2 | NIV84

The Actual Prophecy (Joshua - Yehoshua)

9 The word of the Lord came to me: 10 “Take ˻silver and gold˼ from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11 Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak. 12 Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord.13 It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’ 14 The crown will be given to Heldai,[N] Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen[O] son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the Lord.15 Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the Lord, and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God.” Zechariah 6:9-15 | NIV84