Shortly before his ascension back to heaven, Jesus declared:
“All things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me” (Lk. 24:44).
This three-fold division of the Old Testament was common to the Jews. The “law” referred to the first five books.
The “prophets” included Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, as well as the formal prophets — Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel — and the Twelve, Hosea through Malachi.
The “psalms” (also called Holy Writings) encompassed all the poetical literature, Ruth, Esther, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah and Daniel.
More than 300 prophecies pointing to the Messiah are scattered throughout these writings. Note some of these under the three classifications cited.
- The Woman’s Seed (Gen. 3:15)
- Abraham’s Seed (Gen. 22:18)
- Shiloh (Gen. 49:10)
- Lamb of God (Ex. 12:1ff)
- Brazen Serpent (Num. 21:9)
- Prophet like Moses (Dt. 18:15ff)
- David’s Seed (2 Sam. 7:12-13)
- The Virgin’s Son (Isa. 7:14)
- Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6)
- Branch Out of David (Isa. 11:1ff)
- The Precious Cornerstone (Isa. 28:16)
- The Gentle Servant (Isa. 42:1-3)
- The Suffering Servant (Isa. 53)
- The Righteous Branch (Jer. 23:5)
- Herod’s Slaughter of the Babies (Jer. 31:15)
- The Son Called from Egypt (Hos. 11:1)
- Three Days in the Tomb (Jon. 1:17)
- Birth in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2)
- Priest upon His Throne (Zech. 6:12-13)
- Betrayed — Thirty Sliver Coins (Zech. 11:12-13)
- Shepherd Slain (Zech. 13:7)
Psalms (Holy Writings)
- The Living Redeemer (Job 19:25)
- Jehovah’s Anointed (Psa. 2)
- The Risen Savior (Psa. 16)
- The Pierced Savior (Psa. 22)
- The Submissive Sacrifice (Psa. 40:6-8)
- Abuse on the Cross (Psa. 69:21)
- King of Kings (Psa. 89:27)
- King and Priest (Psa. 110)
- The Reigning Christ (Dan. 7:13-14)
- The Anointed One Cut Off (Dan. 9:24-27)