A Look at Old Testament Prophecies about the Birth of Christ

Since the moment when Adam and Eve were cast out of paradise, mankind awaited for the One to come in the world, Who would redeem not only the sins of the forefathers, but also the sins of every person and Who would make all people free from the slavery of passions and death. The faith and hope of people were based on the promise the Lord made for them.

For the Jews were the only people of the ancient world who preserved the true faith in God and according to His promise the expected Messiah (in Greek – Χριστός, literally the Anointed One) should have come from them.

Throughout the Old Testament (i.e. before the coming of Christ), prophets and righteous men emerged among the chosen people, through whom God reminded the Jews about the necessity of preserving the purity of faith and being ready to accept their Savior.

The first reference on the future birth of the Savior was made by God Himself when he exiled Adam And Eve from paradise.

In His words addressed to the serpent, who had seduced them, He said:

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).

According to the teachings of the Christian Church , the serpent in this prophecy represents  the fallen angel of God, which is the devil. The woman is reference to the Virgin Who would give birth to the future Savior.

The next prophecy about the coming of Messiah into the world is considered to be the promise God made to Abraham.

After the Lord tested Abraham’s faith, He said:

“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:18).

The Church teaches that these words point out that the Messiah should a decendant of  Abraham.

In the end of the book of Genesis there is another mysterious prophecy about Christ’s birth. In one of the prophecies of Righteous Jacob, which he told to his sons before he died, there were following words:

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people” (Genesis 49:10).

Shiloh means the future Savior, while the general meaning of the prophecy is as follows: the chosen people will have freedom and national identity until Jesus Christ comes. Then everything will be lost for rejecting Him. The words about the obedience of people tells us that pagans will also turn to Christ.

Prophet Micah also told about the future coming of Messiah, although he lived 700 years before Christ's birth.

In his words about Messiah, the prophet foretold the place where He would be born:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting” (Micah 5:2).

Here we can see that Messiah's birthplace was to be Bethlehem.

Prophet Isaiah, who around the same time as Prophet Micah, left a number of prophecies about Christ’s birth.

“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord… And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious” (Isaiah 11:1-10).

In this prophecy the theme of the Savior’s origin is covered. He would have be born from a Virgin of the tribe of Jesse and David (Jesse is the father of King and Prophet David). The second part of the prophecy, mentions pagans who will turn to Christ.

Isaiah’s other prophecy tells us about Christ’s future miracles, strength, spiritual power and healings:

“Your God will come… and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing” (Isaiah 35:4-6).

However, Isaiah’s brightest prophecy about the Savior’s birth says:

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

Based on this, it is clear that the prophet not only talks about the coming of the Messiah but he also explains the mystery of God’s incarnation. The Savior must be born by a Virgin, Who will miraculously “conceive a child”, and His name will be Immanuel, which means “God is with us”.

Aside from the numerous prophecies about the location and the fact of the Savior’s birth, there are many other prophecies in the Old Testament including His earthly path, miracles, sufferings, the death on the Cross and Resurrection.

Those who knew all those prophecies at that time and every person from the tribe of David hoped that Messiah would be born exactly in his family. This makes the fact that most people did not recognize the awaited Messiah in Lord Jesus Christ even more tragic. As a result, by rejecting Christ, the chosen nation “lost the scepter” and the Good News began to spread among others.

Source: https://foma.ru/prorochestva-ozhidanie-messii.html