I continue from where I previously left off: https://answeringallah.com/messianic-prophecies-series-pt-1/
Second Prophecy: The Messianic Star from Egypt.
In the book of numbers the Holy Spirit inspired a false prophet named Balaam to see and proclaim the coming of a Ruler from Jacob, whom Balaam described as a Star that arises and shall come forth out of Egypt:
“Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel; so he did not go in search of omens as he had done time and time again, but turned his face toward the desert. Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel dwelling according to its tribes, and the spirit of God rested upon him. He took up his parable and said, ‘The word of Balaam the son of Beor and the word of the man with an open eye. The word of the one who hears God’s sayings, who sees the vision of the Almighty, fallen yet with open eyes. How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel! They extend like streams, like gardens by the river, like aloes which the Lord planted, like cedars by the water. Water will flow from his wells, and his seed shall have abundant water; his king shall be raised over Agag, and his kingship exalted. God, Who has brought them out of Egypt with the strength of His loftiness He shall consume the nations which are his adversaries, bare their bones and dip His arrows [into their blood]. He crouches and lies like a lion and like a lioness; who will dare rouse him? Those who bless you shall be blessed, and those who curse you shall be cursed.’… Balaam said to Balak, ‘But I even told the messengers you sent to me, saying, “If Balak gives me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot transgress the word of the Lord to do either good or evil on my own; only what the Lord speaks can I speak.” And now, I am going to my people. Come, I will advise you…what this people will do to your people at the end of days.’ He took up his parable and said, ‘The word of Balaam, son of Beor, the word of a man with an open eye. The word of the one who hears God’s sayings and perceives the thoughts of the Most High; who sees the vision of the Almighty, fallen yet with open eyes. I see it, but not now; I behold it, but not soon. A star has gone forth from Jacob, and a staff will arise from Israel which will crush the princes of Moab and uproot all the sons of Seth. Edom shall be possessed, and Seir shall become the possession of his enemies, and Israel shall triumph. A ruler shall come out of Jacob, and destroy the remnant of the city.” Numbers 24:1-9, 12-19 (The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9952/showrashi/true)
What makes this prophecy rather interesting is that there are other texts that apply similar, in fact identical, language to this future King who is said to arise out of Judah:
“Judah, [as for] you, your brothers will acknowledge you. Your hand will be at the nape of your enemies, [and] your father’s sons will prostrate themselves to you. A cub [and] a grown lion is Judah. From the prey, my son, you withdrew. He crouched, rested like a lion, and like a lion, who will rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the student of the law from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him will be a gathering of peoples. He binds his foal to a vine, and to a tendril [he binds] his young donkey. [He launders] his garment with wine, and with the blood of grapes binds his raiment. [He is] red eyed from wine and white toothed from milk.” Genesis 49:8-10 (Ibid. https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/8244#lt=primary)
“Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s Son. He will judge Your people with righteousness, And Your poor with justice. The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness. He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear You As long as the sun and moon endure, Throughout all generations… He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, And His enemies will lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles Will bring presents; The kings of Sheba and Seba Will offer gifts. Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; All nations shall serve Him… And He shall live; And the gold of Sheba will be given to Him; Prayer also will be made for Him continually, And daily He shall be praised… His name shall endure forever; His name shall continue as long as the sun. And men shall be blessed in Him; All nations shall call Him blessed.” Psalm 72:1-5, 8-11, 15, 17 New King James Version (NKJV)
Note how some of Judaism’s earliest and greatest rabbinic sources interpret these prophecies:
until Shiloh comes: [This refers to] the King Messiah, to whom the kingdom belongs (שֶׁלוֹ), and so did Onkelos render it: [until the Messiah comes, to whom the kingdom belongs]. According to the Midrash Aggadah, [“Shiloh” is a combination of] שַׁי לוֹ, a gift to him, as it is said: “they will bring a gift to him who is to be feared” (Ps. 76:12). – [From Gen. Rabbah ed. Theodore-Albeck p. 1210]
and to him will be a gathering of peoples: Heb. יִקְּהַת עַמִּים denoting a gathering of peoples, for the“yud” of (יִקְּהַת) is part of the root [and not a prefix], like“with your brightness (יִפְעָתֶ)” (Ezek. 28: 17), and sometimes [the “yud” is] omitted. Many letters are subject to this rule, and they are called defective roots, like the“nun” of נוֹגֵף (smite), נוֹשֵׁ (bite), and the “aleph” of “and my speech (אַחְוָתִי) in your ears” (Job 13:17); and [the “aleph”] of “the scream of (אִבְחַת) the sword” (Ezek. 21:20); and [the “aleph”] of“a jug (אָסוּ) of oil” (II Kings 4:2). This too, is [a noun meaning] a gathering of peoples, [meaning: a number of nations who unite to serve God and join under the banner of the King Messiah] as it is said: “to him shall the nations inquire” (Isa. 11:10). Similar to this is “The eye that mocks the father and despises the mother’s wrinkles (לְיִקְּהַת אֵם)” (Prov. 30:17), [i.e., meaning] the gathering of wrinkles in her face, due to her old age. And in the Talmud [we find]: “were sitting and gathering assemblies וּמַקְהו ֹאַקְהָתָא in the streets of Nehardea” [Pumbeditha] in Tractate Yebamtoh (110b). He (Jacob) could also have said: קְהִיּת עַמִּים [Since the“yud” of יִקְהַת is not a prefix denoting the third person masculine singular, but is a defective root, the form קְהִיּת עַמִּים would be just as appropriate.]- [From Gen. Rabbah 98:9] (The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/8244/showrashi/true#v10; italicized emphasis mine)
binds: Heb. אֹסְרִי, equivalent to אוֹסֵר, as in the example:“He lifts (מְקִימִי) the pauper up from the dust” (Ps. 113:7) [instead of מֵקִים];“You, Who dwell (הַישְׁבִי) in heaven” (ibid. 123:1) [instead of הַישֵׁב]. Likewise,“his young donkey” (בְּנִי אִתֹנוֹ) [instead of בֶּן אִתֹנוֹ] follows this pattern. Onkelos, however, translated it [the verse] as referring to the King Messiah [i.e., the King Messiah will bind, etc.]. The vine represents Israel; עִירֹה means Jerusalem [interpreting עִירֹה as“his city,” from עִיר]. The tendril represents Israel, [referred to as such by the prophet:] “Yet I planted you a noble vine stock (שׁוֹרֵק)” (Jer. 2:21). בְּנִי אִתֹנוֹ [is translated by Onkelos as] They shall build his Temple [בְּנִי is derived from בנה, to build. אִתֹנוֹ is] an expression similar to “the entrance gate (שַׁעַר הָאִיתוֹן)” in the Book of Ezekiel (40:15). [The complete Targum reads as follows: He (the Messiah) shall bring Israel around to his city, the people shall build his Temple.] He (Onkelos) further translates it in another manner: the vine refers to the righteous, בְּנִי אִתֹנוֹ refers to those who uphold the Torah by teaching [others], from the idea [expressed by the verse]:“the riders of white donkeys (אֲתֹנֹת)” (Jud. 5:10). אסרי: כמו אוסר, דוגמתו (תהלים קיג ז) מקימי מעפר דל, (שם קכג א) היושבי בשמים, וכן בני אתונו כענין זה. ואונקלוס תרגם במלך המשיח. גפן הם ישראל, עירה זו ירושלים. שורקה אלו ישראל (ירמיה ב כא) ואנכי נטעתיך שורק:
[He launders]…with wine: [Onkelos renders:] “Fine purple shall be his (the Messiah’s) garment,” whose color resembles wine. [The complete Targum reads: Fine purple shall be his garment, his raiment fine wool, crimson and colorful clothing.] “And colorful clothing” is expressed by the word סוּתֹה, [a garment] a woman wears to entice [מְסִיתָה] a male to cast his eyes on her. Our Rabbis also explained it in the Talmud as a term denoting the enticement of drunkenness, in Tractate Kethuboth (11b): And if you say about the wine, that it does not intoxicate, the Torah states: סוּתֹה [which means enticement to drunkenness. The Rabbis, however, render the passage as follows: and with the blood of grapes that entices.]. (Ibid. https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/8244/showrashi/true#v11; italicized emphasis mine)
A ruler shall come out of Jacob: There will be another ruler from Jacob.
and destroy the remnant of the city: Of the most prominent [city] of Edom, that is, Rome. He says this regarding the King Messiah, of whom it says, “and may he reign from sea to sea,” (Ps. 72:8), “and the house of Esau shall have no survivors” (Obad. 1:18). – [Mid. Aggadah] (Ibid. https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9952/showrashi/true#v19; italicized emphasis mine)
The following references are taken from The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel On the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee, by J. W. Etheridge, M.A. First Published 1862. All bold emphasis shall be mine.
How goodly were the tabernacles in which Jakob their father did pray; and the tabernacle of ordinance which you have made to My name, and your own tabernacles, O house of Israel! As torrents that prevail, so shall Israel overpower their adversaries; and as gardens planted by fountains of water, so shall be their cities, giving forth scribes and teachers of the law; and as the heavens which the Memra of the Lord spread forth for the dwelling of His Shekinah, so shall Israel live, and endure unto eternity, beautiful and renowned as cedars by the waters which grow up oil high. Their King will arise from among their children, and their Redeemer will be of them and among them; and He will gather their captives from the cities of their adversaries, and their children shall have rule among the peoples. And the kingdom of the King Meshiha shall be made great: stronger is He than Shaul who vanquished Agag the kill of the Amalkaab. Unto God who redeemed, and brought them out free from the land of Mizraim, belong power, and praise, and exaltation. The sons of Israel will prevail over their enemies, will divide their cities, slay their heroes, and disperse their residue. Behold, these people will dwell as a lion, and be as the strong lions. He who blesseth you, O Israel, shall be blessed, as Mosheh the prophet, the scribe of Israel; and he who curseth you will be accursed, as Bileam, the son of Beor… But Bileam said to Balak, Did I not tell thy messengers whom thou sentest to me, saying, If Balak would give me the fulness of his treasures of silver and gold, I have no power to transgress the decree of the Word of the Lord to do good or evil of my own will: what the Lord saith shall I not speak…
I shall see Him, but not now; I shall behold Him, but it is not near. When the mighty King of Jakob’s house shall reign, and the Meshiha, the Power‑sceptre of Israel, be anointed, He will slay the princes of the Moabaee, and bring to nothing all the children of Sheth, the armies of Gog who will do battle against Israel and all their carcases shall fall before Him. And the Edomaee will be utterly driven out, even the sons of Gabela from before Israel their foes, and Israel will be strengthened with their riches and possess them. And a prince of the house of Jakob will arise and destroy and consume the remnant that have escaped from Constantina the guilty city, and will lay waste and ruin the rebellious city, even Kaiserin the strong city of the Gentiles.
And he looked on the house of Amalek, and took up the parable of his prophecy, and said: The first of the nations who made war with the house of Israel were those of the house of Amalek; and they at last, in the days of the King Meshiha, with all the children of the east, will make war against Israel; but all of them together will have eternal destruction in their end…
And he took up the parable of his prophecy, and said, Woe to them who are alive at the time when the Word of the Lord shall be revealed, to give the good reward to the righteous, and to take vengeance on the wicked, to smite the nations and the kings, and bring these things upon them! And ships (lit., sails) armed for war will come forth with urreat armies from Lombarnia, and from the land of Italia, conjoined with the legions that will come forth from Constantina, and will afflict the Athuraee, and bring into captivity all the sons of Eber; nevertheless the end of these and of those is to fall by the hand of the King Meshiha, and be brought to everlasting destruction: [JERUSALEM. Woe to him who is alive when the Word of the Lord setteth Himself to give the good reward to the just, and to take vengeance on the wicked! And great hosts in Livernia will come from the great city, and will conjoin with them many legions of the Romaee, and subjugate Athuria, and afflict all the children beyond the river. Nevertheless the end of these and of those is to perish, and the destruction to be everlasting. And Bileam rose up and went to return to his place; and Balak also.] (Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, Numbers 22-25)
Bileam, the son of Beor, speaketh, The man who saw the Beautiful speaketh, He speaks who heard the Word from before God, And who knoweth knowledge from the Most High, Who saw the vision of the Almighty, prostrate when he saw. I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh. When a king shall arise out of Jakob, And the Meshiha be anointed from Israel, He will slay the princes of Moab, and reign over all the children of men; And Edom shall be an inheritance, And Seir a possession of his adversaries; But Israel shall prosper in riches. One will descend from the house of Jakob, Who will destroy him that escapeth from the city of the peoples. (Targum Onkelos, Numbers 22-25)
This next Jewish reference is taken from The Psalms Targum: An English Translation, by Edward M. Cook, Psalms 42-72:
- Composedby Solomon, uttered in prophecy. O God, give your just rulings to the King Messiah, and your righteousness to the son of King David. (Bold emphasis mine)
Lord Jesus willing, I will be posting further installments in the near future.