If YHWH intended to leave irrefutable proof of a coming Messiah, what do you think it would look like? Would we recognize it if he did? In this article I am going to look for that proof. Proof, I believe, can be found in what I call the Messiah Factors.
If you’ve read any of the articles at this blog, you know I have spent a great deal of time building a congruent picture of the 2nd temple era and Ezra’s and Nehemiah’s place in it. By now most of you have realized this chronology is indispensable to an accurate understanding of the prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks. In my article The Fifth Command I showed there is only one “commandment” which could have possibly begun the countdown to the coming of the Messiah as described in Daniel 9. That “commandment” was the Divine command given by YHWH in the 2nd year of Darius, “the great” Artaxerxes, circa 520 B.C. For the next five centuries the Scriptures are silent until that silence is broken by these words of the apostle Matthew:
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
Think about that for a moment. Five centuries of silence bridged only by an amazing prophecy about the coming of the Messiah.
The first chapter of the first book of New Testament rightly establishes the lineage of Yeshua as a son of David and Abraham. As I hinted at in my article, The New Testament Cipher, there is much more to the lineage of Yeshua in Matthew 1 than meets the eye. Let’s take a look. I believe this simple list of names is one of the greatest proofs that Yeshua is the Messiah promised in the Scripture. Take a moment to look at the chart below. A couple of points which have caused scholars no end of debate are worth noting here. First the list is described by Matthew as three sets of 14 generations each (14+14+14). Yet, when all the names are counted there are only 41 (14+14+13). Notice in the 3rd column, Yeshua is listed as the 13th generation. Symbolically, Yeshua upon his resurrection, becomes the 14th generation and completes the list.
Another point of contention for scholars over the centuries has been the fact that four Old Testament kings are missing from the lineage of Yeshua. In the list below they are represented by two red lines. Further below in the single column the missing kings are listed as they should have appeared in the list. What immediately becomes apparent is the names are missing in two peculiar places. Their omission brings attention to the numbers 13 & 14. Also, as you will see shortly, the single missing name between the 13th and 14th generation is not an accident. That missing king happens to be Jehoiakim. In Daniel 1:1-6 it states that Daniel was taken captive during the reign of this Jehoiakim. Keep that peculiar fact in mind.
In summary then, we have a lineage of Yeshua which was purposely arranged to show that He was both the 13th & 14th generation. Further it brings attention, in a subtle manner, to those same numbers in relation to a young Judean captive who would someday record the greatest Messianic prophecy in the Scripture. It is here, in this strange list of Yeshua’s generations that we first find evidence of the Messiah Factors. Did you know that this is not the only place in the Biblical record where they are found?
We found the Messiah Factors in Matthew 1, now we will look for them in the record of his birth as given by Luke. If you’ve read my article The Course of Abija you know that it provides us with the only place in the entire New Testament where we can reasonably identify the timing of the birth of Yeshua. For the sake of brevity I won’t reproduce the entire article here. But in short, based upon the time of the conception of John and the priestly service of his father Zacharias (during the course of Abija) we can determine the month of the Messiah’s birth. Take a look at the list below. Can you find the Messiah Factors?
In John 1:14 it talks about Yeshua as the “word” that was made flesh and “dwelt” or tabernacle with mankind. Based upon Luke 1 and the course of Abija it shows that in fact Yeshua was born during the 13 or 14 priestly course of service most likely during the feast of Tabernacles. Those courses were most appropriately called Huppah (Canopy) and Jeshebeab (Dwelling of the Father). Now how awesome is that! (For more details please see my article The Course of Abija)
Isaiah 7:14 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
While we’re on the subject of the Feast of Tabernacles, there is another place where the Messiah Factors are hidden. In this case they are hidden in the “Burnt Offering” sacrifices which YHWH commanded Israel to make in Numbers 29:13. Keep in mind the reference as you will find it is another one of those “coincidences” which we find associated with this subject. In Numbers 29 YHWH gave Moses some unusual instructions concerning the Burnt Offering (burnt = ascent) sacrifices for the first seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. Take a look at the chart below. On the first day there are 13 Bullocks, 2 Rams, & 14 Lambs for a total of 29 sacrifices. Also notice that the Bullock sacrifices are offered in a descending order from 13>7 for a total of 70. Notice above in the linage of Yeshua that 7th to 13th names in the list are set out by the missing names. As you will see this was not an accident. The total number of Burnt Offerings for the first seven days is equal to 182 (13×14). Clearly these numbers are all intentional but what do they mean? I asked you above to remember the reference Numbers 29:13. Now I am going to ask you to remember the numbers 13, 14, 29 and 70. Shortly you will see why they are so important.
After reading my articles on Ezra: Priest and Scribe, Nehemiah: The Governor, or The “Artaxerxes” Assumption some of you must be asking yourselves why Christian chronologists have failed to address the chronology of Ezra and Nehemiah in terms of the 2nd temple era. The simple answer is they believe; there is no other way to prove that Yeshua fulfills the prophecy of Daniel 9 unless Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries of Artaxerxes Longimanus. Out of necessity they made an assumption which few of them thought necessary to verify.
What if there was a more elegant solution which was intimately connected to the religious calendar of the Jewish people, the very calendar YHWH gave to Israel through Moses. As I showed in my article Ezekiel’s 13th Month, Biblical time as understood during the 2nd temple era was based upon a lunar/solar calendar. Most years their religious calendar had 12 months of 29.53 days for a total of 354.36 days per year. Once every third year or so they had a 13th month of 29.53 days which made the year 383.89 days long . Any of these “Numbers” look familiar?
For a moment put yourself in the shoes of the 2nd temple era Judeans. How did they keep track of their religious calendar? How did they know when it was time to keep Passover or the Feast of Tabernacles? Their “mow’ed” or appointed days were regulated by “lights in the firmament” as described in Genesis 1:14. Each month they watched the 29.53 day lunar cycle to determine where they were in YHWH calendar. For thousands of years that cycle has had 13 or 14 days of waxing light followed by 13 or 14 days of waning light. 2 cycles of 13 or 14 days of visible light in every 29.53 day cycle. Take a look again at Numbers 29:13 and the Burnt offering sacrifices.
Every time I look at this information it still thrills me. Years ago I remember reading about the next big thing in corporate advertising. The idea was to put huge solar powered billboards in space which could be seen by us on earth. We’ll, YHWH beat them to it. Since recorded history He has been broadcasting the Messiah Factors for all who have eyes to see. These very numbers which are closely associated with Yeshua. Can’t help but think of the words of King David. He sure had it right:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3
There are two more places I would like to look for the Messiah Factors before I move on to part II of this article. The first is found in what some might call another coincidence. I will let you decide.
How many of you remember Ephesian 2:13-14 where Paul talks about the “middle wall of partition” between Jews and Gentiles?
Ephesians 2:13-14 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
This wall was a partition build between the Court of the Gentiles and the Temple proper. On pain of death no Gentile could enter the inner court of the temple. Paul describes how the blood of Yeshua, in a symbolic sense, granted Gentiles access to the presence of YHWH once only reserved for the Jewish people. What is so fascinating about these verses is that during the time of Yeshua the “middle wall of partition” was accessed by 14 steps and entry was granted by one of 13 gates.
I am sure with time we will find more evidences of the Messiah Factors, but in this article I want to address just one more. To me what I am going to show you convinces me YHWH has an awesome sense of humor. According to mathematicians Pi is an irrational number whose decimal representation never ends. Pi express the relationship between a circles circumference and its diameter. For centuries mathematicians have tried to solve or explain its nature but have been unable to do so. In the Bible the number 7 represent divine perfection. Curiously in Numbers 29:13 we saw the numbers 7, 13, 14 and 29 featured prominently. What are the odds the first 7 numbers of Pi, reversed, gives us the same values? The very same values which have been expressed in the cycles of the moon for thousands of years.
Here you go: 295/14/13. Funny where the Messiah Factors turn up, don’t you think? Just to make it a little more interesting, note that the first 7 found in Pi is in the 13th decimal digit. Then next 7 is found in the 29th decimal digit. And just for you skeptics, it just happens to be between the 2 & the 9. The third 7 of Pi is found in the 39th decimal digit (13×3).
So does all of this have some purpose or is it just a big coincidence as skeptics might claim. In my next article, The Messiah Factors (Part II): The Countdown I will show that the numbers 13 & 14 do in fact provide reasonable proof that Yeshua/Jesus was and is the Messiah promised in the Scriptures.
Updated 4/6/2014: For more evidence of the Messiah Factors I encourage you to read my latest article The 14th Sacrifice. Did you know there were 13/14 sacrifices in the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Take a look and see what you think.
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The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bibles Messianic Symbolism
More Articles related to the prophecy of 70 Weeks and 2nd temple era chronology:
The “Artaxerxes” Assumption – The best kept secret of Old Testament chronology.
The Fifth Command – Why do prophecy teachers ignore it?
Ezra: Priest & Scribe – Part I – Defining “Artaxerxes” in the context of Ezra.
Ezra: Priest & Scribe – Part II – Ezra, Darius even “Artaxerxes”.
Nehemiah: The Governor– Nehemiah’s place in the 2nd temple chronology
Queen of Persia – Part I – Defining Esther is the context of the 2nd Temple era.
Queen of Persia – Part II – Defining Esther is the context of the 2nd Temple era.
A New Testament Cipher – The key to unlocking the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks.
Ezekiel’s 13th Month– Key to understanding Biblical “time” in the 2nd Temple era
6 milestones – Seventy Weeks – Defining the purpose of the Messiah within Daniel’s 70 “weeks”.
The Messiah Factors (Part I): Decoding 13 & 14 – Symbolism of the Messiah