WHAT THE PROPHETS SPOKE — Jon Macon

There are numerous Old Testament prophecies about Jesus Christ that are quoted in the New Testament as they were fulfilled. Most of those prophecies are easy to find written in the 39 books that are in the Old Testament. However, there are some prophecies that are not included in the writings of the prophets that we have in the Bible. Let us consider some examples of these exceptions.

Jesus the Nazarene
Speaking of Christ, Matthew 2:23 says, “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.” We do not find the prophecy that Christ would be called a Nazarene anywhere in the Bible. From this, we learn an important lesson. Not all prophecies were written. Many were only spoken. The prophets had all said that Christ would be called a Nazarene, and the Jews all knew about that spoken word, but that particular prophecy is not included in any of the inspired writings that compose our Bible. This fact also explains why there are some apparent discrepancies between the way certain scriptures are written in the Old Testament and the way they are quoted in the New Testament. The New Testament frequently quotes what had been said by various prophets, not necessarily what they had written. (That is also why a prophecy about the potter’s field being purchased with the thirty pieces of silver that Judas had betrayed Christ for is written in Zechariah 11:12-13 but is attributed to Jeremiah in Matthew 27:9. A careful examination of the wording of Matthew 27:9 shows that Jeremiah spoke that prophecy, though it is not written in his book. Zechariah also spoke the same prophecy and it is written in his book.) The prophets spent their careers speaking the inspired word of God. We have only a fraction of all that they spoke written down in their respective books. No doubt they repeated certain prophecies many times so that they would reach the ears of all the people. What is written for us might only be the wording of one particular occasion, and the wording God gave them on other occasions in which they spoke to the people might have differed slightly. Therefore, there are no actual discrepancies in any of the quotations. That is a vital point for us to remember.

All the prophets spoke of Christ
And we should not only remember that we do not have a written record of all that the prophets spoke, but we should also remember that we do not even have all that the Old Testament prophets wrote. For example, we do not have the book of Enoch (Jude 14). We do not have “the book of the wars of Jehovah” (Num 21:14). We do not have “the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies” (2 Chr 12:15). And it does not appear that we have “the book of Nathan the prophet,” and “the book of Gad the seer” which, along with “the book of Samuel the seer” contains a written record of “the acts of David the king, first and last” (1 Chr 29:29), unless all of that is included in what we know as 1 Samuel through 2 Chronicles. As this point pertains to the prophecies of Christ, the scriptures state that “God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets” (Acts 3:18). Acts 3:21 also says that “God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” the things tha pertain to His Son Jesus Christ. Therefore, whether the words of those prophets were only spoken and not written down, or whether they were written down and not preserved by God for us to have today, or whether they were permanently written in our Bibles, all the prophets spoke and/or wrote about Christ. The main point of all of this is found in Acts 3:18-19: “But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” May we take heed to all of God’s word, to believe it and obey it.

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