Below is the fourth installment of my ongoing series with Dr. Michael Heiser at The Naked Bible Podcast. Throughout this series, we have been discussing the “messianic profile” that is constructed in the Old Testament. Both Mike and I have said this profile cannot be reduced down to just those instances in the Old Testament where the Hebrew word for “messiah” (māšîaḥ) is used. Instead, we have to take into account the variety of terms and descriptions used throughout the Old Testament in order to get the complete picture of the eschatological figure that came to be known as the Messiah.
In our series, we do, of course, spend a lot of time considering messiah language. But we also analyze other significant terms like “servant” and “branch,” as well as draw attention to concepts like Davidic kingship and the sonship motif. Many of these terms actually begin to merge as the Old Testament story goes on. Taken together, these give us the complete picture—a mosaic of sorts—of what the profile of the Messiah looks like. Once we have established what Mike has called “the resumé” of the Messiah in the Old Testament, then we are in a better position to understand the New Testament’s portrait of Jesus as the Christ.
In the previous episodes with Dr. Matt Halsted, we discussed how trying to articulate the Old Testament’s messiah merely by appeal to passages that contain that word (Hebrew, mashiach) was fundamentally misguided. What was needed, we concluded, was a “storied approach” to the Old Testament. We begin that journey in episode 413. In this episode, we take a look at the merging of “messiah language” (various story elements and motifs) with “David language” (motifs about his dynasty and catch phrases like “branch” and “servant”).