©March 21, 2010 Asher Intrater
Yeshua compared Himself to two figures in the Tenach (Hebrew Scriptures): Jonah and Solomon. He said He was like Jonah, but more. He was like Solomon, but more.
As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth… greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South… came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and a greater than Solomon is here.
Jonah suffered, died, and descended into hell (figuratively or actually - Jonah 2). On the third day he was resurrected. When he preached in Nineveh, he not only called them to repent, he told them of his miraculous death and resurrection experience. His message and his experience caused a great revival in the nation of Assyria.
This is the Messianic pattern seen in Jonah:
This pattern is seen clearly in the life of Yeshua and in the spread of Christianity to the nations. Yet, Solomon was also an image of Yeshua. Solomon was David's son. He reigned from his capital Jerusalem. He brought peace to the world. Kings and queens from around the world came to see him and hear his wisdom.
Here is the Messianic pattern in Solomon:
This pattern will be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom, when Yeshua will rule over the nations from Jerusalem.
Although Yeshua gave the examples of Jonah and Solomon, many other prophets and patriarchs can be seen as images of the Messiah as well.
These examples will suffice to make the point that the biblical heroes provide a pattern of the life of Yeshua. The examples fall into two main categories: the suffering servant and the ruling king. The rabbis call this phenomenon Messiah son of Joseph (suffering servant) and Messiah son of David (ruling king). We understand that there are not two messiahs but one, with two different periods of ministry, first the suffering servant and secondly the ruling king. The two images of the Messiah in the Tenach are indicative of the two comings of Yeshua, first and second.
Many Jewish people do not see Yeshua as Messiah because they are expecting a ruling king like Solomon. They cannot see the death and resurrection of Jonah and the faith of the Gentiles as a pattern of the Messiah. However, many Christians do not see Yeshua reigning on earth in a restored Solomonic kingdom. Yet the image of Yeshua ruling in an expanded Israelite kingdom is essential to understanding the Second Coming as much as the image of His suffering, death, and resurrection is essential to understanding the First Coming.
Tension over Building in Jerusalem
Recently the US government has expressed disdain for the Israeli government's policy of building houses in East Jerusalem. This has been communicated by the three top American officials Obama, Biden, and Clinton. The uniformed character of their response gives the impression that it was premeditated and coordinated. This week I attended a seminar with Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem. Barkat outlined the international conflict over Jerusalem, of which the current diplomatic commotion is an example. Barkat explained that the Americans were misinformed. The expansion of construction is in accordance to a plan ten years old. This plan expands Jewish and Arab neighborhoods alike and in relative proportions to maintain the status quo of approximately 1/3 Arab civilians, 2/3 Jewish civilians.
The particular neighborhood in conflict is Ramat Shlomo, an ultra-orthodox community, located in the northern part of the city, between three large Jewish neighborhoods: Ramot, French Hill, and Ramat Eshkol. Next to Ramat Shlomo is also a large Arab town named Sho'afat, which was not part of Israel prior to 1967. East Jerusalem, which was also not part of Israeli sovereignty until 1967, is in a different and separate part of the city. Yet again and again Ramat Shlomo is mentioned in the news as "East" Jerusalem. No one locally thinks of Ramat Shlomo as part of East Jerusalem. There are other Jerusalem neighborhoods much larger than Ramat Shlomo, and much deeper into formerly non-Israeli territory (such as Neve Yaakov). The question arises as to whether the American response was a reaction to new developments or an intentional strike at US-Israeli relations.
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