Davidic Covenant in Psalms and Isaiah
2 Samuel 7:8–17; 1 Chronicles 17:11–14
Samuel Lesson #165
March 19, 2019
“Father, it is a great privilege to study Your Word, and we are overwhelmed as we look at what You have revealed and the intricate interconnections in the Scriptures as one writer continues to expand on what has been revealed to an earlier writer, and how everything intersects and interconnects.
“And that this cannot be something that was devised by human beings on their own will, but it is something that reflects and demonstrates the inspiration that has been breathed out by You through the writers of Scripture—that the origin is not in human minds or human thinking or human interpretation, but it is in Your mind, Your eternal omniscience breathing out that which is a sufficient and complete revelation.
“Thank You for what we have and help us to understand and have our confidence renewed. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.”
Last week was the Chafer Conference for 2019, and we had a speaker, Pastor Steven Ger. Steve did a great job going through the Messianic prophecies and really emphasizing that the Old Testament is Messianic; there are real prophecies there.
This is demonstrated through numerous passages in the New Testament that talk about the prophecies in the Old Testament—Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13 and following), which probably was a two- to three-hour walk, that this was an opportunity for Him to take those two disciples who didn’t know who He was at the time, and He went through Moses and the Prophets, just a basic summation term for the Old Testament, for the Hebrew Scriptures, and took them through Moses and the Prophets from beginning to end to show all of the prophecies that related to Him and that were fulfilled.
It took Steve three hours and three nights to cover this material, so that gives us a pretty good idea, and he didn’t hit all of them. So, that was a great overview, and I don’t know about you, but even as much as I have studied this, he brought out one or two that I had not truly considered or gone through. It’s just so impressive when somebody does that all the way through, hitting those high points.
That’s what we’ve been looking at as we’ve been talking about the Davidic Covenant, looking at the developments following the original giving or cutting of the covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7:8–17 and the parallel in 1 Chronicles 17:11–14. One of the things you should realize is that the 2 Samuel 7 passage was written at approximately the same time that the covenant was given—within a few years, so that passage is a record of that. The 1 Chronicles 17 passage is sometime later, so let’s use 1000 BC as a general time for David. We know that the exile occurs in 586 BC, and they come back from the exile in approximately 538 BC, and then they rebuild the temple.
During that time, Chronicles is written as sort of a motivational “kick in the pants” speech to get moving. It goes along with the last three minor prophets—called minor because they’re short, not because they’re less in significance—Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi. These were written in order to get them motivated to finish building the temple. 1 and 2 Chronicles is written to remind them of what God has done for David and the House of David—that’s the Davidic Dynasty. 1 and 2 Chronicles is parallel to 1 and 2 Kings, but it doesn’t talk about the Northern Kingdom; it just talks about the Southern Kingdom. It’s to remind the people of the significance of God’s covenant with David, so that really fits into what I’ve been doing, and that’s showing how the Davidic Covenant is worked out through the later prophets. But I’m not going to go into an exposition of 1 and 2 Chronicles and his argument there. I’m just going to state it like that—that Chronicles’ primary purpose is to get them going.
We looked at the Davidic Covenant. We looked at the provisions of the Davidic Covenant. We talked about covenants as a significant framework in the Old Testament—that this is a contract between God and man. And there are human covenants between one man and another man. Abraham made a covenant with Abimelech, the ruler of the Philistines, and there are other covenants that are between rulers and between leaders.
We saw that a covenant is a legally binding agreement or promise between two or more parties, especially for the performance of some action. I think that is really critical. It is always action oriented; somebody is promising to do something and to bring it to pass. It is not used in 2 Samuel 7, but it is used in Psalm 89:35, which is post-exilic. That, like 1 and 2 Chronicles, is written after the exile as a reminder to those who have returned from the exile that God’s covenant with David is still in effect.
We looked at this chart showing that in the Old Testament, you have promises that are made with reference to the Old Testament plan of God for Israel, and these are fulfilled, they come to completion, and they are enacted fully in the future. So, we have our dispensational timeline there.
Early in the history of Israel, you have the Abrahamic Covenant; that is the foundation for God’s plan for Israel—the calling of Abraham and his purpose in being a blessing to all nations, and that God would bless the nations through his descendants, specifically, Jesus. In the Hebrew, it’s a collective noun “seed” that can refer to descendants (plural) or it can refer to just one descendant. We’ll come back and look at that issue a little later.
There are three elements to the Abrahamic Covenant as we have seen: land, seed and blessing. The land covenant or real estate covenant isn’t fulfilled until Israel takes control of all of the promised land, and that occurs at the beginning of the Millennium. At the same time, this is when the Messiah will return and establish His kingdom. We believe the Messiah is Jesus.
This is something interesting that comes up. I’ve been reading a book called God’s Country by Samuel Goldman. Goldman teaches at George Washington University. This is a book on the significance of Zionism in American History. He does a pretty good job; he writes from the framework, as he puts it, of a slightly observant Jew. He is not writing as a Christian. So, his interpretation of some things Christian is, I think, a little bit slanted, but he does a pretty good job over all. He has some really good information in his book, but he’s emphasizing the fact that Christians are motivated by the Abrahamic Covenant and preparing things for the time in the future when Israel will be restored to the land—that is, when Jesus returns as the Messianic King. That’s what we believe as Christians. Jews will look at this and they will say, “Well, not so fast. You just want to convert us all.” Well, yes and no.
We get the idea that it is the Messiah who establishes His kingdom from about 90 percent of that doctrine, which is developed from the Old Testament prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the 12 (the minor prophets). What we’re doing because of New Testament revelation is we’re plugging Jesus into the role of the Messiah, because we believe it’s certain that Jesus is the Messiah; therefore, that’s what brings forth that conclusion.
Jews don’t quite get the fact that it’s the Messiah. I wish more Christians, when they talked about it, would talk about the Old Testament prophecies, not starting off with, “Jesus is going to come back and establish the kingdom” because you assume what you want to prove. Wait. Just establish a fact, get a point of agreement, with the Jewish receptor that the Old Testament teaches that Israel has to turn to God, then the Messiah comes.
We looked at this last time in Hosea 3. Then they’re going to turn to God, and God will restore them to the land and give them the land. It’s the Messiah that comes after they turn to God; that’s important. Once you establish that’s what the Old Testament teaches, then you get to where you can talk about the point, “Well is Jesus the Messiah or not?”
What happens with most Christians is that they frontload the whole thing with Jesus as the Messiah, and from a methodological viewpoint in a courtroom, basically, you started off with your conclusion instead of developing your conclusion. So, you have to do it that way. Most Jews are not Messianic in the sense that they really are focused on a coming Messiah. That’s sort of been written out, especially reformed Jews, they no longer believe that a Messiah is going to come, and many of the conservative and the orthodox are not quite so sure. More orthodox are than not.
You have these three covenants in the Old Testament that expand on the land-seed-blessing aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant, and they are all brought into effect at the same time, that is, at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. The kingdom is that kingdom that was promised to David.
That’s why the Davidic Covenant becomes so important. And that’s why I’m taking the time to go through these passages, and what I’ve discovered and what I hope you discover is that the Davidic Covenant is talked about—and I won’t talk about all the places its alluded to because we’d be here until next November talking about the Davidic Covenant—but I want to hit some of the important ones and some of the key ones. It strengthens our faith and helps us to see why this is so important.
The Abrahamic Covenant, as I’ve said, has these three elements of land, seed, and blessing that are broken out into three subsequent covenants: The Land Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, and then the New Covenant, each of which will be enacted. There’s a lot of discussion about whether you’re talking about “inaugurated,” “enacted,” or “fulfilled,” it goes on, and I’m not going to get into discussing all of those terms. It’s when you say, “the covenant’s not here,” and then you say, “the covenant is here.” That’s going to happen at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom.
The Davidic Covenant also has three elements. God promises David an eternal house—that’s a dynasty—an eternal kingdom, and an eternal throne.
Last week, Steve brought out the same thing. I like it when guys come in, and we never talk about these things, yet they say almost the same thing that I’ve been saying for the last twenty years. He said that to have an eternal house and an eternal kingdom and eternal throne, somebody’s got to be sitting on it that’s eternal. That means He’s divine. You don’t have a human being that’s eternal.
So, the Davidic line is assumed by this promise to culminate in a descendant who will be eternal. That gives us that divine element in the Davidic Covenant, but it’s a descendant of David, and that means he’s fully human. So, we have the God-man implicit within the Davidic Covenant.
What I started two lessons back, was that we’re going to pick up two vocabulary words. You got one of them from Steve Ger and I’ve used the other one. But I want to make sure these terms are clear. First, is the word diachronic and the other is intertextual. Neither of these words were used in seminary when I was there 40 years ago; now, they’re everywhere.
I’m educating you. I am so gratified sometimes and appreciated when people send me emails and tell me things like this. I’ve had a dozen or 20 people say, “I realized after listening to these speakers, how well you have taught us and trained us because I had no trouble understanding them, and it really made a huge difference.” So, that’s what it’s all about, education.
The word, diachronic: DIA is the Greek preposition “through,” and chronic is from the Greek word CHRONOS, which means “time”. Thus, it basically means “through time.” So, we’re starting at 1000 BC, and we’re going to work forward century by century as we go through the Scriptures going through time to see how the Davidic Covenant is referred to afterwards, subsequently. Diachronic is a term that is used of word studies and topical studies that follow this sort of chronological development.
For example, you can see some words that are used by Moses in the Pentateuch, in Genesis, and then you look at how those words progressed in their meaning in later books. You look at the major prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and they may use the words in a slightly different sense.
I can think of a couple of words in the first part of Genesis, one of which is used in Song of Solomon 400 years later. There are words in English—400 years ago, say 1619. What happened in 1611? The King James Version was translated. The authorized version uses “charity” as the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. Has charity changed its meaning in the last 400 years? Certainly. Usage is what determines word meaning, and charity has now been replaced in more up-to-date translations with what it should have been to begin with, “love” (AGAPE). It’s not charity in the sense that we use the word charity today. Diachronic studies will take words or topics and work them through from a chronological perspective.
The other word is “intertextual.” Steve used this word. The text, of course, is Scripture. We have the text in the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi and then we have the New Testament. “Intertextual” looks at how something is used and interwoven in later texts. It’s similar to what is going on, but you realize that there’s just a word here and a word there that are used in the major prophets: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Amos. It alludes to, it just brings to mind, the whole concept of the Davidic Covenant.
One of the passages I talked about is Psalm 89, [which speaks of] the eternal nature of God’s covenant with David. Psalm 89:34, “My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.” It’s not going to change; it is set in stone. It is rock solid. I made this contract with David; it’s unconditional, it’s eternal, and it will not change. Psalm 89:35, “Once I have sworn by My holiness;”
There’s a lot of debate as to what it is that begins or establishes a covenant, what’s essential to establishing a covenant. A lot of people will go to passages in the Abrahamic Covenant like Genesis 15 where there are the sacrifices, and God puts Abraham to sleep, and He alone passes between the two halves of the sacrifices.
People will say a sacrifice begins a covenant. People will come along and say, “See, Jesus died, and that was the new covenant of His blood. We’re in the new covenant.” Wrong! A lot of covenants don’t have sacrifices.
What initiates a covenant is an oath, an oath. That’s what God says right here with the Davidic Covenant in Psalm 89:35. When was there a sacrifice in association with the Davidic Covenant? 1 Samuel 7? No. 1 Chronicles? No. See, a covenant does not have to have a sacrifice. It’s the sworn oath that establishes or cuts the covenant.
Psalm 89:6, “His seed shall endure forever.” Now, I want to put in a couple of passages here because the New Testament connects Messiah back to this Davidic Covenant: “His seed shall endure forever and his throne as the sun before Me.” That’s prophetic. The descendant of David will sit on the throne that is established forever.
Now, the New Testament, immediately, right off the bat, establishes that this is Jesus. Matthew 1:1, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:” This is connecting the dots for the reader at the time Matthew wrote, Jewish reader, Jesus is a direct descendant of David. That’s the Davidic Covenant, and a direct descendant therefore of Abraham, the Abrahamic Covenant. What you should hear when you read this is that covenant connection.
Then, in Luke 1:68–69, this is Zechariah the priest, John the Baptist’s father, and he is praising God for what He is going to do through his son, John the Baptist. Luke 1:68, “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people.” See, he’s connecting John’s birth to the redemption of his people. He says, [Luke 1:69], He “has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David.” See, it’s dynasty, and who’s going to be the One who is from the house of His servant David? Luke tells us in the next chapter.
Luke 2:4, “Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David,—that’s Bethlehem; right away you read “David” and you ought to be thinking Davidic Covenant—which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David.” House of David, there’s Davidic Covenant language. Luke 2:11, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” It is connecting Jesus and His birth; He is the Messiah, and He is in the house and of the lineage of David. That is central in understanding the birth narrative in Luke.
Matthew 2:1, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold wise men from the East—Magi form the East—came to Jerusalem saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’ ” That is a loaded question; it is so Davidic because of the promise that there will be a Davidic descendant on the throne.
When they show up, they are going to Herod, who is paranoid. Magi were Medes. Remember the Medes and the Persians coming out of Daniel? The Medes had a tribe called Magi. They studied. They specialized in mathematics and astronomy. Usually it’s described as astrology, but they are studying the stars. They, as a priestly caste, become elevated in the subsequent Parthian Empire and they become the power brokers in the kingdom.
It’s the Magi who select and affirm the king of Parthia. As you have one king die and the next ascends to the throne, he’s validated by the Magi. So, they’re Parthian kingmakers. And the Parthians and Romans were always fighting in the last century BC in the 50 years or so before Jesus was born.
One time, they started to invade Judea, and Herod had to flee for his life. He stashed his family in the fortress up in Masada and he hightailed it to Alexandria of Egypt to Cleopatra. She got him a ship, and he went to Rome and came back with an army.
Herod hated the Parthians; they scared him to death. He feared he would be deposed, dethroned, and killed by them. When these Parthian kingmakers showed up and knocked on his door saying, “We want to know where the king of the Jews is,” and it wasn’t him, he hit the panic button. Then, he’s very sly and says, “Well, when you find Him, come back and tell me. I want to come and worship him, too.” No, we know he wanted to kill Him.
There we have at the beginning of the New Testament this identification of Jesus with the Davidic Covenant, the Davidic promise, and at the end of the New Testament and all of the way through and in between, we have Jesus making the statement at the end of Revelation 22:16, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root—now we’re going to see that that term “Root” comes out of Isaiah and it refers to the “Root of Jessie.” The family of David, and the Messiah is portrayed as the Branch.—I am the Root and the Offspring of David, —that’s just another way of saying, I’m the beginning and the end—the Bright and Morning Star.” The Messiah had to be Davidic; Jesus is Davidic. Jesus is the Messianic, Davidic King.
Last time, I put this chart up here to give you a chronology of the prophets, the writing prophets, the latter major prophets, and the minor prophets. You have the 9th century Joel and Obadiah, more than likely. Some conservatives will put them later, but they should probably go early. These [in the box] I talked about last time: Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, Micah, and Jonah; Jonah doesn’t have anything to say about the Messiah.
Then we move from the 700s to the 7th century, and we have Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Nahum, and Jeremiah. So we’re going to look at a couple of prophecies in Jeremiah. That’s in the late 600s. And then in the early 500s, you have Ezekiel. Ezekiel gets deported in the second invasion, and he is taken back to Babylon. Then, he becomes a prophet, and he is about the same time as Daniel; that’s about the same time Daniel and the other boys go back. They may have gone back in 605 BC, but in one of those exiles.
Then you have the 5th century after they come back from the exile. In the 400s, you have the three prophets who were dealing with the post-exile issues: Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. There’s one thing I left out. David wrote about the Davidic Covenant and alluded to it in some of his psalms. I skipped past that because of my enthusiasm to get to the Isaiah prophecies. We probably won’t get back into Isaiah today, but I wanted to point some of these out because they are very important. These are critical psalms.
In Psalm 16, we don’t know when David wrote this, all it says in the title in the superscript is, “A Michtam of David.” A michtam is a form of poetry. In Psalm 16:8, he says, “I have set the Lord always before me—what that means is, “I’m always focused on God. I’m always thinking, ‘How do I serve God? What does God want me to do?’ That’s why he’s called the man after God’s own heart. I make my relationship with the Lord the priority of my life—because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
He knows he is solid with being the king of Israel because of the Davidic Covenant. He states, in Psalm 16:9, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;”— That’s talking about his essence, who he is. He’s rejoicing. “My glory,” is parallel to “my heart.” He’s talking about who he is, and he’s joyful. He says, “My flesh also will rest in hope.”
If we were going to take time to develop this, we would develop a connection between glad, rejoicing and hope. Where do you find those words connected together in close proximity in the psalms? That would be a fascinating study; one day we might do that.
Psalm 16:10, “For you will not leave my soul in Sheol,—that could be simply the grave, but clearly, he’s died physically—nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” We know that he is being prophetic here. At this point, he is speaking about the Messiah.
He becomes a type. Some event in his life is a type, and he’s prophesying about the Messiah, and he says, [Psalm 16:11] “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
This is important because these verses get picked up in Acts. Acts 2:25–31 quotes Psalm 16:8–11. Here we read that Peter, on the day of Pentecost, as he is presenting the case that Jesus is the Messiah and that He rose from the dead the resurrection is central in Peter’s message on the day of Pentecost. He goes to Psalm 16 as proof that the Messiah will be resurrected, and he quotes in Acts 2:25, “For David says concerning Him,” and then I put in italics all the rest of what he says from Acts 2:25–28 [quoting from Psalm 16].
Then he makes application starting in Acts 2:29–30, “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.—It’s not the tomb of David that you see when you go to Israel now. That was done in the Middle Ages; or maybe it was done in the intertestamental period but, it’s not the tomb of David—Therefore, being a prophet,—David did not have the office of prophet; he had the gift of prophecy. He is the king, so there is a distinction between the office of prophet who addresses the king and can challenge the king on the basis of their failure or success in following the Law—and knowing that God had sworn with an oath—What is the oath? The establishing of the Covenant—to him that of the fruit of his body,—his true descendant—according to the flesh—He puts that appositional phrase in there to ensure that we get the point of the fruit of his body—He would raise up the Christ—I would prefer to translate this the Messiah because you get the point more easily if it’s translated Messiah—to sit on his throne.” That is God’s throne. [Acts 2:31] “[H]e foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.” Psalm 16 is Messianic.
If you go to Kiev, if you go to many places under Greek orthodoxy or the Russian Orthodox Church—the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been made the official state church; it was a political ploy. The president of Kiev is running for reelection in April, and he thought this would get the religious vote, so he formally recognized the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the Ukrainian patriarch is the head of the church in Ukraine, so that would get brownie points with the orthodoxy in Ukraine—and if you go to these places, and I’ve been several times to a place called the Lavra Monastery.
This is probably where Kiev was founded. There were two brothers Cyril and Basil who came up from Greece. They were orthodox missionaries, and they lived in these caves. So, they established a monastery there, a beach head, so those who were living in old Kievan Rus’, the king decided everyone was going to become Christians. So, they marched everybody down to the Dnieper River and they baptized everybody (I hope it wasn’t in winter). Every year when I’m there in January, somewhere around the 12th or 13th, somewhere around in there, is Крещение (Kre-SHEN-yuh) that’s the Russian word for baptism. It’s “John the Baptist day.” It’s the anniversary of when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, so people go down and get baptized in the Dnieper. They cut a hole in the ice.
We don’t have those strong convictions anymore. We think, “I want to be baptized, but I’ll wait until the water warms up.” When I was in Preston City, that church was founded by a group of people who came under Baptist convictions. Before that time, this was 1811, there was a Congregational Church, so you got sprinkled as an infant. But then, they came under Baptist convictions that you should be baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit upon your confession of faith when you were old enough to believe in Jesus.
So, there was group of six or seven adults, and they decided that they were ready to be baptized. It was February, and it was on Amos Lake, which was right across the street from where I lived. They cut through 18–20 inches of ice. There was a man that just went to be with the Lord last year at the age of 100+ and his wife was a direct ancestor of one of the women at that time, and she [the ancestor] had 16 petticoats. I’ve had women that, one time we were baptizing in somebody’s pool, and I had a woman that showed up in an ankle-length denim dress. I said, “be modest,” so she was. The trouble is, if you’re wearing denim, and you’re walking down into a pool, the denim floats, so she’s trying to push all the denim down, and so once she got everything down, that dress was heavy! I can’t imagine what 16 petticoats would do trying to pull somebody up out of that icy water. But anyway, they had the strength of their convictions; they got baptized in really icy water.
When you go down to the Lavra Monastery, you go down into the caves, and there are all of these little caskets because when they [the priests] died, they would put them down in these caves, and they would be naturally mummified. People crawl up on the caskets and kiss them. Legalism and mysticism are horrible task masters.
But they believed that those priests are the ones who are holy and whose bodies did not see corruption because they did not decompose. Now that is not what Psalm 16 is talking about. Psalm 16 is not talking about holy priests whose bodies did not see corruption because they were somehow mummified because of the atmosphere of these caves. You’ll find that in different places in Eastern Orthodoxy. This is talking about the uniqueness of resurrection in Psalm 16 as identified by Peter in Acts 2. Jesus’ body did not go through corruption because of the resurrection, and He gets a resurrection body.
Later on, in Acts 13:33, we read, “God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ ” (Psalm 2). Now that’s an important line. When does this happen—“Today I have begotten You”—because He has already announced several times that He is the father of Jesus at the time of the baptism by John the Baptist? Psalm 2 is used there in Acts 13:33. In Acts 13:34, he quotes from Isaiah 65:3, which again alludes to the Davidic Covenant, “And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’ ” That connects it to the Davidic Covenant.
Then in the next verse, in Acts 13:35–37, he says, “Therefore He also says in another Psalm: ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption.’ ” So, Acts 13 is all about connecting the resurrection to the Davidic Covenant.
Another passage that is of critical importance in the intertextual nature of the Davidic Covenant is Psalm 2. Psalm 2 has some difficult passages in it. It begins by looking forward to a time when the kings of the earth are going to rebel against God. [Psalm 2:1] “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?” I think this is looking forward to what is happening at Armageddon, just before the King comes. [Psalm 2:2] “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed. …” The fulfillment, I believe, is in the future, but it is applied in Acts 4 by Peter.
Acts 4 is when he and John were arrested by the Sanhedrin, they’re thrown in jail and then they’re released, and he comes back. He’s with the disciples praying and, in that prayer, he says in Acts 4:25, “who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things?’ ” What’s happening here is Peter is using Acts 2 to formulate his line of argument in his prayer to God.
I’m not going to go into that; I just want to point out this connection. So, Psalm 2, which is about the Messianic King and His future rule, which is Davidic Covenant language, is quoted here in Act 4:25, and in Acts 4:26, “ ‘The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Messiah.’ For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together?” He’s just making application; he’s not saying this was fulfilled.
Then later in Psalm 2:6, “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” We know who the king is because of the Davidic Covenant. It doesn’t come right out and hit you over the head with it, but if you know the Davidic Covenant, that has to be the background of what is being said here. God is saying, I’m setting My king, this is looking forward to a time in the future when He sets His king on Zion to rule in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant to rule over Israel.
In Psalm 2:7 He says, “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me,” Okay, “I will declare the decree:”—this is the king speaking,—“The Lord—that is God the Father, Yahweh,—said to Me, ‘You—the King—are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ ” This is applied to the resurrection as a recognition that He is the King, He’s raised, He’s given new life. We know that by following how it’s used and quoted in the New Testament. John’s going to talk about this, so I’m not going to go through all of the details. I just want to point this out.
In Acts 13:33, Paul says, “God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ ” Paul is applying that to what happens at the resurrection.
Then in Romans 1:4, this is how we know that, he says “and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” So that is pinpointing this at the time of the resurrection.
Now I want to go back to Psalm 2. In Psalm 2 He declares, “You are My Son.” That means the Davidic King is the Son of God. So when we read that title, “Son of God,” and we get into the New Testament, guess what that goes back to? It all goes back to Psalm 2, and it is also an allusion to the Davidic Covenant, because the Son of God is the son of David.
So, we have Acts 13:33, He raised up Jesus and said, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.” And Romans 1:4, He’s declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness. He’s already the Son of God, and all through John He’s the Son of God all the way from John 1. He is the Son of God.
Mark 14:61, as He is being interrogated and tortured, the high priest asks Him, “ ‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ ” They understood from these prophecies in the Old Testament that the Messiah would be the Son of God. They use the term “the Blessed” as a circumlocution to avoid saying the name God. But, that’s what their saying, “Are you the Son of God?”
John 1:34, John the Baptist said, “And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” From the time of John the Baptist’s baptizing of Jesus, it is clear that they are saying that He is the Son of God. Son of God always goes back to Psalm 2:7.
Acts 9:20, “Immediately—this is Paul right after he’s saved—he proclaimed the Christ [the Messiah] in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.” Again and again, you have this interconnection between the Davidic Covenant, that the King is going to come from David, and that the King is the Son of God. He is fully God and fully man.
This is what will develop out of what we’ve looked at in 2 Samuel 23:5 as David says that he is prophesying in the Psalms about the Messiah and uses the term, “Will He not make it increase?”—that is, to cause it to branch. That is using the word tzamach which means to grow, to sprout, to branch. The noun is tzemach is branch or sprout, and Jesus is going to be the Branch.
We’ve already looked at this as it’s played out in Isaiah 4:2, in Jeremiah 23:5–6, He’s called the Branch of David. In Zechariah 3:8, “My servant the Branch,” and then in Zechariah 6:12, “the man whose name is the Branch.” I will go through each of those passages, not everything you could possibly discuss about them, but I will go through them.
We did start this but then I backed up to look at Hosea and Amos; we looked at Isaiah 4:2 talking about the Branch of the Lord, that’s Messianic.
I got this from Steve Ger last week; this is great! The Amidah is a central pray in Judaism, and any time you go to a service—I was at a service in November following the shooting that occurred in a synagogue in Pittsburg; they had a memorial service at Beth Yeshurun. It was just packed; probably 1,500 people in that auditorium. In case you don’t know it, Beth Yeshurun is a conservative, Jewish synagogue. It is the largest conservative synagogue in the country. That’s very significant. They recited the Amidah.
And in the Amidah, in the 15th Benediction, it says, “Speedily cause the Branch of your servant David to flourish.”—See, they’re still saying this. They probably don’t know what that means. They don’t necessarily identify that with the Messiah, but they say that—“Exalt his horn by your salvation, because we hope for your salvation all the day. Blessed are you, O Lord, who causes the horn of salvation to flourish.”
Can you pray that? Yes, we can. I’ve gone through the prayer book in general, and there are a lot of prayers that we can pray because we understand who they’re talking about. All the phrases here come right out of the Prophets; they’ve just rearranged them. It’s remarkable.
Last time, we looked at Hosea 3:4–5 and this really struck me just looking at verse 5. [Hosea 3:5]
“Afterward”—after many days without a king or priest, afterward what happens?—“the children of Israel shall return—shuv—and seek the Lord their God and David their king.” They had turned to idols and false religions; now they’re going to turn back and seek the Lord their God and David their king. And then there’s the full restoration. That’s the order of events there.
We’ve looked at Deuteronomy 30 using shuv here. You return to the Lord.
It was interesting in reading the Samuel Goldman book on God’s Country, he points out that among protestants, there’s this huge missionary endeavor because up until the early 1800s, protestants thought that the Jews had to all convert before God would restore them to the land. And then they began to realize, “no”; there can be a different order. They can all return to the land and then become converted. At about the same time in the Jewish community, there’s a shift away from the orthodox view that the Jews could not return to the land until Messiah came and then they began to realize, “Wait a minute! We can return to the land. We don’t have to wait for Messiah; He can come after we return to the land.”
They weren’t consulting each other. It’s just fascinating, I think, that in the sovereign plan of God, that Christians on the one hand, and Jews on the other hand without any knowledge of what’s going on in the other camp, both decide, “Hmm, the Jews can go back to the land without conversion on the Christian side or without Messiah coming.” What we’ve seen as a result of that is the increased return to the land through the 19th century and then all the major aliyahs and everything leading to the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.
We also looked at Amos 9:11 and I pointed out that this term “tabernacle of David” is a sukkat; it’s a lean-to of David, or “booth of David.” That’s because it’s fallen down. Amos is looking ahead to the time when the House of David is no longer ruling. That’s going to pop up some more.
Then, he talks about, how he will “repair its damages.” I went through the Hebrew here. The first repairing of its damages is uniting the two kingdoms. “I will raise up its ruins.” “It” as used there is a third person, masculine singular. That refers to David, to the ruins of the House of David. So, He, the Second David, will rebuild it—that is the third person, feminine singular, and refers to the House of David—as in the days of old.” Amos 9:12 says, “That they may possess the remnant of Edom”.
I connected that back to Numbers 24:7, and when I did that I went through and summarized this prophecy a little bit, and on this slide (36), I only had Numbers 24:17, which mentions battering the brow—the future judgment—of Moab. And I didn’t [previously] put Numbers 24:18 in there, but verse 18 is where the action is because that mentions Edom. So see, that’s the intertextual connection between Amos 9:12—“they may possess the remnant of Edom”—and that is what is said in Numbers 24:18, “And Edom shall be a possession.” That connects those dots. This is a fulfillment of a Messianic prophecy in Balaam’s third oracle. So, all of these things fit together.
[He skips slides 37–39]
We then looked at how Amos was used in Acts 15 to show that they rebuilt the tabernacle of David and that [Acts 15:17] there were going to be “Gentiles called by My name”, and so the early apostles recognized that Gentiles were very much a part of the plan of God. That brings us to the next significant prophecy which is Isaiah 7:14.
Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”—“God with us.” That’s what Immanuel means. So that is foundational. This is the next major prophecy in Isaiah, and this whole section, Isaiah 7, 8, and 9, is usually referred to as the Immanuel prophecy, the Immanuel section because that name ties it together—Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 9:6. The whole section goes together.
And this is quoted as being fulfilled in Matthew 1:23. “ ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’ ” If you notice in the translation in the New King James in Isaiah 7:14, it translated it “the virgin.” Also, in Matthew 1:23, the Greek has PARTHENOS, which is what you have in the Septuagint, so the rabbis who translated Isaiah in approximately 250 BC understood that this passage was talking about a virgin.
However, we get into a real problem because in modern Judaism starting in about the 10th or 11th century, they said wait a minute, we’re not going to translate that word as “virgin” because that makes the Christians sound as if they’re right. So, they began to translate it as just a “young woman,” which is technically correct, but the word that is used there is alma and only refers to a “young woman.”
It’s never applied to an older woman, only a very young woman who is of marriageable age. Of course, under the Mosaic Law, if you were a young woman and of marriageable age, but you were not a virgin, then you would be under the death penalty under the Mosaic Law, so you’d be dead. So, it is assumed that a young woman who is of marriageable age is a virgin, and we’ll see a couple of passages that support that.
But this is what the rabbis came up with, that this does not necessarily mean virgin, and this is all wrong. However, the rabbis in 250 BC certainly understood that it referred to a virgin. What we see here is that this is a sign, which means it is not an everyday event; it is something highly unusual if not improbable or impossible that happens to get everybody’s attention that God is doing something. What we’ll do next time, is come back and deal with this because this is all related to the House of David.
This sign is for the house of David that God is not through with the house of David. Ahaz, who is the king, is in a position where the king in the north and the king in Syria are going to go into an agreement with each other to attack him and take him off the throne and replace him with somebody else. That’s a direct assault on the house of David.
Isaiah 7:14 is a very important section dealing with God’s provision for the house of David, which ultimately is going to be through this sign, the birth of Immanuel through the virgin. When I get back, the week after next, we will get into this great, great prophecy. I love this, and one day, I will teach Isaiah. I’ve been studying it off and on. It is a monster book: the biggest book in the Bible. I pray the Lord will leave me alive long enough to cover that.
“Father, thank You for this time we’ve had to look at these prophecies, to look at how intricate and interwoven these statements are, how Your promise to David runs through the rest of the Old Testament and how it culminates in Jesus, the greater Son of David.
“Help us to see these things, to remember them, to be able to use this information at times when we witness that we may clearly present the uniqueness of Jesus as the One who has fulfilled all of these prophecies and therefore must be a descendant of David and the promised Messiah. And we pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.”