What were the prophecies of Jesus' birth in the Bible? How many references did the Old Testament make to the coming of a messiah to save the children of Abraham? See the numerous biblical prophecies of the birth of Jesus Christ and what we can learn from the Old Testament about His divinity in this collection of scripture quotes!
The prophets proclaimed the coming of a Savior, the Anointed One or Messiah who would rescue His people. Old Testament prophecies of the birth of Jesus would be revealed in the New Testament. Discover the prophecies of Christ that foretold His birth through the Holy Scriptures.
Here are 7 biblical prophecies fulfilled by the birth of Jesus Christ:
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1. A descendent of Abraham would bless all people.
18 centuries before Christ’s birth, God told Abram, the father of the Jewish nation, “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3b). Jesus fulfilled this promise as shown in Matthew 1:1: “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the Son of David, the son of Abraham.” Matthew then detailed the genealogy of Christ from Abraham, formerly Abram, to Joseph the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Jesus was a descendant of Abraham and came to earth as the promised Messiah. He showed His glory through miracles, died as an innocent sacrifice for sin, and rose to life conquering death. All people on earth are blessed through Christ who came from Abraham’s line as was prophesied.
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2. The Messiah would come from the house of David and take his throne.
“’The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which He will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior’” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
In fulfillment of this prophecy given over 600 years before, the angel Gabriel told Mary, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David, and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:31-33).
As was foretold, Jesus was born as a son of David, from his line, and became our eternal King.
See also: Psalm 89:3-4
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3. The Messiah would be born of a virgin.
Around 700 years before Christ was born, the prophet Isaiah said, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to a son and then she told Joseph, her betrothed. It appears he assumed Mary had been unfaithful and planned to end their relationship until he had a dream: “An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:20-23).
As was prophesied the virgin Mary conceived from the Holy Spirit and gave birth to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This event not only fulfilled prophecy but was a miracle by itself. How could a virgin conceive and give birth? Only as an act of God.
See also: Luke 2:1-7
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4. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
Micah, an Old Testament prophet, foretold, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2).
Before Jesus was born, Caesar Augustus issued a decree demanding a census. This required every citizen to register in the town of their family origin. Scripture tells us, “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David...while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son” (Luke 1:1-7).
Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Micah by being born in Bethlehem.
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5. The Messiah would be called out of Egypt.
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (Hosea 11:1).
King Herod ruled Palestine when Jesus was born. He felt threatened when he heard of the birth and planned to kill him. An angel of the Lord warned Joseph in a dream to take Mary and Jesus and escape to Egypt where they lived for a time. After Herod died, they returned to Nazareth. Matthew records, “And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son’” (Matthew 2:1-15).
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6. The Messiah would be called a Nazarene.
After the death of Herod, Joseph and his family returned to Nazareth and according to Matthew 2:23, “So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that He would be called a Nazarene.”
We know this was a fulfilled prophecy because Matthew recorded it as such though no Old Testament verses specifically mention this. For a more in-depth look at the meaning of this prophecy, refer to this article: The Messiah would be called a Nazarene.
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7. There would be a loss of children's lives.
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah wrote, “This is what the LORD says: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more’” (Jeremiah 31:15).
Jeremiah foretold the atrocity that occurred after Herod realized he did not know which baby was the Messiah. He was furious and “he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under...Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled” (Matthew 2:16-18).
Evidence or Faith?
Yes, there is evidence to support the claims of Christ. What is the probability one man would fulfill these 7 prophecies? Mathematics and astronomy professor Peter W. Stoner once calculated the chance of 8 prophecies being fulfilled as 1 in 10 to the 17th power (100,000,000,000,000,000)! Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies (BibleTimeLines.com). Stoner illustrated the chances this way: Suppose all of Texas were covered with two feet of silver coins with one coin being marked with a red dot. Then a blindfolded man is dropped off and told to walk where he wants but must pick up the right coin at the first try. The chance of him picking up the correct coin would be the same as one man fulfilling just eight of the prophecies Jesus fulfilled.
The proof that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Son of God, is overwhelming. Yet, ultimately, we come to Him by faith. I know Jesus fulfilled prophecy, but I believe in Him because He loves me and has forgiven me. I have a relationship with Him. It’s a heart awakening more than mental assent. We believe by faith that He loves us and came to rescue us from sin and death. May we trust in His presence and love as we celebrate Christmas this year.
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Originally published Monday, 29 November 2021.