The Birth of Jesus Foretold in the Old Testament
The Birth of Christ was foretold hundreds of years before the actual event took place by the major prophets including Isaiah, Jeremiah and Micah and other Books in the Old Testament including very early on in Genesis, in the Book of Numbers and the Second Book of Samuel.
Isaiah as many who read the Bible know, is one of the more profound books in the Bible, these prophecies read like the Book of Revelation, you have to read a number of times and cross reference to other Books to really understand what is being said. I would say Isaiah is one of the hardest Books to understand in the Old Testament, but if you understand that Book, it reveals another dimension to the Bible that makes you realise that it is more than just something you read like a novel.
The birth of Jesus is mentioned in Genesis, not really referring to his birth in prophetic terms, but just stating that something big is on it´s way in the future and it is stated that he will come from the Tribe of Judah. As we will see later this lineage or blood line is imperative in the creation of the Messiah. Judah was Jacob´s fourth son.
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Note 2
Note 2 Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Shiloh. From shalah; tranquil; Shiloh, an epithet of the Messiah
It was also mentioned in Prophecy terms in Genesis that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham as told in:
Genesis 22:18: 18. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (When the Angel of the Lord spoke to Abraham)
References to the Birth of Jesus
The Prophet Isaiah
Isaiah wrote a prophecy about the Birth of Jesus about the mid 700 years before he was born. These two Bible verses from Isaiah 7 and Isaiah 9 state quite strongly and in detail how the birth of Jesus would come about.
A virgin shall conceive and bear a son
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel Note 1
Note 1 “Immanuel” is a Hebrew word meaning “God with us” and expresses the wonder of the incarnation, that God “became flesh and made his dwelling among us”
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
The Prophet Micah
Micah prophesies that Jesus will be born in Bethlehem which at the time was a small village of 300-1000 inhabitants in Judah and is referred in the New Testament as the City of David. He mentions that he will be born of a woman. This was written approximately 700 years before the Birth of Jesus.
2. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
3. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.
4. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
He would be Jesse’s descendant
David is a key part of the lineage of Christ. Jesse in the Bible is father of David and thus an important part of that lineage.
1. And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
2. And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
3. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
6. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
10. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
The Messiah would be a descendant of King David
The Prophet Jeremiah goes into more detail in his prophecy that the bloodline of the Messiah would be a descendant of King David who was Head of the House of David which is is the head of the Tribe of Judah, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The hereditary bloodline of King David was the the only legitimate royal bloodline in Jewish history. From David will come all the future kings of Judah and ultimately the Messiah himself hence the importance of this bloodline. Saul was removed as King and David was placed in his place and as the Bible states in Acts David was described as a man after his own heart, hence the favour.
Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
One of the main reasons for the importance of the David/Judah blood line.
5. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth.
6. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
7. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
8. But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land
The Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers from the Old Testament was written at the time of Chapter 1 about 1444 years BC and spans over 30 years. The events of the book began in the second year after the Israelites departed Egypt, as they camped at Mount Sinai. This Prophecy speaks again of something way off in the future.
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
The line of kings from David would endure forever
The birth of Jesus was mentioned in the Second Book of Samuel which was composed in the period around 630–540 BC
2 Samuel 7:12-16
12. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
15. But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
16. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
The Birth of Jesus was part of Gods plan via the virgin birth that the Messiah was to be born of God according to God’s will………. not man’s will. It is also a fulfillment of God’s promise to Eve that her descendant would destroy the serpent and the seed of the serpent (sin) Genesis 3:15, thereby preparing the way for salvation of mankind from his fallen state.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Further reading on why God chose Mary and the Judah Blood Line which is a whole topic and book in itself that arouses huge debate, but here are a couple of links that go into some detail..