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messiah Summary and Overview

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messiah in Easton's Bible Dictionary

(Heb. mashiah), in all the thirty-nine instances of its occurring in the Old Testament, is rendered by the LXX. "Christos." It means anointed. Thus priests (Ex. 28:41; 40:15; Num. 3:3), prophets (1 Kings 19:16), and kings (1 Sam. 9:16; 16:3; 2 Sam. 12:7) were anointed with oil, and so consecrated to their respective offices. The great Messiah is anointed "above his fellows" (Ps. 45:7); i.e., he embraces in himself all the three offices. The Greek form "Messias" is only twice used in the New Testament, in John 1:41 and 4:25 (R.V., "Messiah"), and in the Old Testament the word Messiah, as the rendering of the Hebrew, occurs only twice (Dan 9:25, 26; R.V., "the anointed one"). The first great promise (Gen. 3:15) contains in it the germ of all the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament regarding the coming of the Messiah and the great work he was to accomplish on earth. The prophecies became more definite and fuller as the ages rolled on; the light shone more and more unto the perfect day. Different periods of prophetic revelation have been pointed out, (1) the patriarchal; (2) the Mosaic; (3) the period of David; (4) the period of prophetism, i.e., of those prophets whose works form a part of the Old Testament canon. The expectations of the Jews were thus kept alive from generation to generation, till the "fulness of the times," when Messiah came, "made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." In him all these ancient prophecies have their fulfilment. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the great Deliverer who was to come. (Compare Matt. 26:54; Mark 9:12; Luke 18:31; 22:37; John 5:39; Acts 2; 16:31; 26:22, 23.)

messiah in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(anointed). This word (Mashiach) answers to the word Christ (Christos) in the New Testament, and is applicable in its first sense to any one anointed with the holy oil. The kings of Israel were called anointed, from the mode of their consecration. #1Sa 2:10,35; 12:3,5| etc. This word also refers to the expected Prince of the chosen people who was to complete God's purposes for them and to redeem them, and of whose coming the prophets of the old covenant in all time spoke. He was the Messiah, the Anointed, i.e. consecrated as the king and prophet by God's appointment. The word is twice used in the New Testament of Jesus. #Joh 1:41; 4:25| Authorized Version "Messias." The earliest gleam of the gospel is found in the account of the fall. #Ge 3:15| the blessings in store for the children of Shem are remarkable indicated int he words of Noah. #Ge 9:26| Next follows the promise to Abraham. #Ge 12:2,3| A great step is made in #Ge 49:10| This is the first case in which the promises distinctly centre in one person. The next passage usually quoted is the prophecy of Balaam. #Nu 24:17-19| The prophecy of Moses, #De 18:18| claims attention. Passages in the Psalms are numerous which are applied to the Messiah in the New Testament; such as Psal 2,16,22,40,110. The advance in clearness in this period is great. The name of Anointed, i.e. King, comes in, and the Messiah is to come of the Lineage of David. He is described in his exaltation, with his great kingdom that shall be spiritual rather than temporal. Psal 2,21,40,110. In other places he is seen in suffering and humiliation. Psal 16,22,40. Later on the prophets show the Messiah as a king and ruler of David's house, who should come to reform and restore the Jewish nation and purify the Church, as in Isai 11,40-66 The blessings of the restoration, however, will not be confined to Jews; the heathen are made to share them fully. #Isa 2:66| The passage of #Mic 5:2| (comp. Matt 2:6 ) left no doubt in the mind of the Sanhedrin as to the birthplace of the Messiah. The lineage of David is again alluded to in #Zec 12:1-14| The coming of the Forerunner and of the Anointed is clearly revealed in #Mal 3:1; 4:5,6| The Pharisees and those of the Jews who expected Messiah at all looked for a temporal prince only. The apostles themselves were infected with this opinion till after the resurrection. #Mt 20:20,21; Lu 24:21; Ac 1:6| Gleams of a purer faith appear in #Lu 2:30; 23:42; Joh 4:25|

messiah in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

MESSI'AH The first promise of the Messiah was given in Gen 3:16. The Son of God and all true believers are "the seed of the woman." Comp. Acts 13:23; Gal 4:4, and Heb 2:16 with John 17:21,Heb 12:23. The devil and all his servants represent the serpent and his seed. John 8:44; 1 John 3:8. The temptations, sufferings, and ignominious death of Christ, and the fierce opposition and persecution which his followers have endured, are significantly described by the bruising of the heel; while the complete victory which our Redeemer has himself achieved over sin and death, and which his grace enables the believer also to obtain, and the still more perfect and universal triumph which he will finally accomplish, are all strikingly illustrated by the bruising or crushing of the serpent's head. The books of heathen mythology furnish curious allusions to this passage of the Bible. In one of them Thor is represented as the eldest son of Odin, a middle divinity, a mediator between God and man, who bruised the head of the serpent and slew him. And in one of the oldest pagodas of India are found two sculptured figures, representing two incarnations of one of their supreme divinities, the first to be bitten by a serpent and the second to crush him. The promise thus given when man fell was supplemented by so many particulars in the course of the centuries that the coming Messiah was the great hope of Israel. In type and symbol, in poetry and prose, in prophecy and history, the Jews had set before them in increasing prominence and clearness the character and life and death of the promised Messiah, and yet, as a nation, they grossly misapprehended his character and the purpose of his mission. They were accustomed to regard his coming as the grand era in the annals of the world, for they spoke of the two great ages of history, the one as preceding and the other as following this wonderful event; but they perverted the spiritual character of the Messiah and his kingdom into that of a temporal deliverer and ruler. We find that about the time of the Messiah's appearance Simeon, Anna, and others of like faith, were eagerly expecting the promised salvation. Luke 2:25-38. At the appointed time the Redeemer of the world appeared. He was born in the year of the city of Rome 749 -i.e. 4 years before the beginning of our era- at Bethlehem, in Judea, of the Virgin Mary, who was espoused to Joseph; and through them he derived his descent from David, according to prophecy. Ps 89:3-4 and Ps 110:1. Comp. Acts 2:25, Eze 23:36; Isa 11:1-10; Jer 23:5-6; Eze 34:23-24; Eze 37:24-25; John 7:42. The story of Christ's life is told with so much simplicity, completeness, and sweetness in the Gospels, and is at the same time so familiar to every Bible-reader, that it is not necessary here to repeat it. In one sentence, Jesus Christ was the incarnate God, whose coming was the fulfillment of prophecy; whose life was the exemplification of absolute sinlessness; whose death was the result of man's malice, and yet the execution of God's design and the atonement for the sins of the world; whose resurrection was the crowning proof of his divinity; whose ascension was a return to his abode, where he ever liveth to make intercession for us.

messiah in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

("anointed" (Hebrew) equates to "Christ (Greek)). frontCHRIST.) In KJV only in Daniel 9:25-26 of Old Testament; John 1:41; John 4:25, of New Testament Having the immeasurable unction of the Holy Spirit as Prophet, Priest, and King at one and the same time. All others have but a measure, and that derived from Him (John 1:16; John 3:84). See the type (Exodus 28:41; Exodus 30:23-24; 1 Samuel 24:6); and the prophecies (Genesis 3:15; Genesis 9:26; Genesis 12:2-3; Genesis 12:22; compare John 8:56; Genesis 49:10; Numbers 24:17-19; Deuteronomy 18:18 with Acts 3:22-24; John 5:45-47; Psalm 2:2; Psalm 2:6 margin; Psalm 2:7-12; Psalm 2:16; Psalm 2:22; Psalm 2:40; Psalm 45:7 compare 1 Kings 1:39-40; Psalm 69; 72; 110). His birthplace (Micah 5:2), His lineage (Isaiah 11:1), His time of coming (Daniel 9:25-26), while the second temple stood (Haggai 2:9), and His forerunner (Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1) are foretold. From Psalm 2; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Zechariah 9:9, the Jews expected a triumphant king, but overlooked the prophecies of His sufferings first (Isaiah 53; Luke 24:21-26-27). A few looked for a more spiritual deliverance (Luke 2:30; Luke 2:38), and among them the despised Samaritans (John 4:25; John 4:42) and the thief on the cross (Luke 23:42). The rabbis got over the Messianic prophecies which prove Jesus to be Messiah by imagining a Messiah ben Joseph who should suffer, distinct from Messiah ben David who should reign; but the prophecies of the suffering and glory are so blended as to exclude the idea of any but one and the same Messiah (compare Isaiah 52:7; Isaiah 52:13-14; Isaiah 52:15; Isaiah 52:53).