The Messiah

Part III: The Messiah in the Psalms

Blaine Robison, M.A.

Published 21 October 2017; Revised 7 February 2019


Scripture: Scripture quotations may be taken from various versions. Click here for Abbreviations of Bible Versions. Passages translated by the author are annotated with "BR." A list of allusions to and quotations of the Tanakh in the Besekh may be found here.

Sources: Publication data for works cited may be found at the end of the article. Various Jewish works may be cited.

DSS: Citations marked as "DSS" are from the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of Jewish manuscripts of Scripture and sectarian documents found in the Qumran caves. Most of the Qumran MSS belong to the last three centuries BC and the first century AD. Online DSS Bible. Unless otherwise indicated quotations from the DSS are taken from A New Translation of The Dead Sea Scrolls (2005), abbreviated as TDSS.

LXX: The abbreviation "LXX" ("70") stands for the Septuagint, the Jewish translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, which was in use among Jews by the mid-2nd century BC. Online. See Barry Setterfield, The Alexandrian Septuagint History.

Josephus: Citations for Josephus, the first century Jewish historian (Yosef ben Matityahu), are from The Works of Flavius Josephus (c. 75–99 A.D.) trans. William Whiston (1737). Online.

MT: The Masoretic Text is the official Hebrew text of the Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism. Work on developing a uniform Hebrew Bible began in the 2nd century under Rabbi Akiva, but completed by Jewish scholars known as the Masoretes between the 7th and 10th centuries A.D. The oldest extant manuscripts date from around the 9th century. Online.

Talmud: Unless otherwise indicated references to the Talmud are from the Soncino Babylonian Talmud (1948); available online at The Jerusalem Talmud, identified with "TJ," may be found here. Click here for Talmud abbreviations.

Targums: The Targums are early Aramaic translations of the Hebrew text with commentary that date from the first century. See an index of Targum texts here.

Syntax: Unless otherwise noted the meaning of Greek words is from F.W. Danker, The Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (2009), and the meaning of Hebrew words is from The New Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (1981), abbreviated as "BDB." Parsing information for Hebrew words is taken from John Joseph Owens, Analytical Key to the Old Testament (1991). The numbering system of the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible is identified with "SH" (Strong's Hebrew number) and "SG" (Strong's Greek number). Strong's Online.

Terminology: In order to emphasize the Jewish nature of all Scripture and message I use the terms ADONAI (=Heb. YHVH), Tanakh (Old Testament), Besekh (New Testament), Torah (Law), Yeshua (Jesus), and Messiah (Christ).


"And he said to them, 'These are My words which I spoke to you still being with you, that it is necessary for all things having been written about Me in the Torah of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms to be fulfilled. 45 Then he opened fully their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 And he said to them that, "Thus it has been written, the Messiah was to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins be proclaimed into all nations, having begun from Jerusalem.'" (Luke 24:44-47 BR)

Abstract: This monograph gives an overview of all that is written in the Scriptures concerning the Messiah, all of which point to Yeshua of Nazareth as the Messiah.
The monograph has four parts:

Introduction: The Messiah

Part I: The Messiah in the Pentateuch

Part II: The Messiah in the Prophets

Part III: The Messiah in the Psalms

The Instruction of Yeshua

"These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you—everything written concerning Me in the … Psalms must be fulfilled." (Luke 24:44 TLV)

Yeshua told his disciples that everything must come to pass which is written of him in the Psalms. The Psalms have a place of special importance as Messianic proofs in the teaching of both Yeshua and the apostles. The Jewish Sages saw the Psalms as reflectors of the Messianic idea much more than do the Christians. Many passages have been identified in the Psalms as pointing to the Messiah, particularly those authored by David. Tradition ascribes 73 of the 150 psalms to King David. In the Rabbinic literature the Messiah is constantly referred to as the "Son of David." For this reason, everywhere the future blessing of the house of David is described, the Sages saw Messianic material (Santala 109).

J. Barton Payne says that in the Book of Psalms there appear some 59 separate predictions of the Messiah and their verses, while amounting to only 10% of the Psalter, still total 242. Of these, moreover, 101 are directly anticipatory of Yeshua and they occur in 13 different Messianic psalms (257). According to his chart (260) the Messianic psalms are 2, 8, 16, 22, 40, 45, 69, 72, 89, 102, 109, 110, and 132. Kaiser also includes Psalm 68 and 118 (100, 130). Their prophetic elements are summarized below. David Stern in his Complete Jewish Study Bible (2016) lists the following Messianic prophecies in the Psalms fulfilled in the Besekh (pp. lii-liv).

● Ps 2:7− He will be the Son of God (Matt 3:17; Luke 1:32).

● Ps 72:10-11− He will be adored by great persons (Matt 2:1-11).

● Ps 45:7− He will be anointed with the Spirit of God (Matt 3:16; John 3:34; Acts 10:38).

● Ps 69:9− He will bear the reproaches due others (Rom 15:3).

● Ps 110:4− He will be a priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb 5:5-6; 6:20; 7:15-17).

● Ps 69:4− He will be hated without a cause (John 15:24–25).

● Ps 69:8− Rejected by his own people (Mark 6:3; Luke 9:58; John 1:11; 7:3-5).

● Ps 118:22− He will be rejected by Jewish leadership (Matt 21:42, John 7:48).

● Ps 41:9, 12–14− He will be betrayed by a friend (Matt 26:21–25, 47–50; John 13:18–19;Acts 1:16–18).

● Ps 2:1-2− He will be plotted against by Jews and Gentiles together (Acts 4:27).

● Ps 22:7-8− He will be mocked (Matt 26:67–68; 27:31, 39–44).

● Ps 22:16− He will be executed by having hands and feet pierced (Matt 27:35; Luke 24:39; John 19:18, 34-37; 20:20-28; Rev 1:7).

● Ps 69:21− He will be given vinegar to quench his thirst (Matt 27:34).

● Ps 2:7-8; 16:10− He will be raised from the dead (Matt 28:1-20).

● Ps 16:11; 68:18; 110:1− He will be exalted to the right hand of God (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11).

● Ps 118:22-23− He will be the cornerstone of God's Messianic community (Matt 21:42; Eph 2:20; 1Pet 2:5-7).

● Ps 2:6− He will be the king (John 18:33-37).

Psalms Quoted in the Besekh

In the back of the Nestlé edition of the Greek New Testament there is a list of passages in bold print which are direct quotations from the Tanakh (GNT 897-920). This list shows Yeshua and the apostles as borrowing 224 separate passages from 103 different psalms, and with the same passages appearing in different places this gives a total of 280 psalm quotations in the Besekh. Approximately 50 of these deal with the sufferings, resurrection, ascension of the Messiah, and the spreading of the good news to all nations. Some passages asserting fulfillment of Messianic prophecy make a note that the quoted material is from a Psalm:

● Psalm 2:1-2: Acts 4:25.

● Psalm 2:7: Acts 13:33; Heb 1:5.

● Psalm 8:2: Matt 21:16.

● Psalm 16:10 (LXX 15:10): Acts 13:35.

● Psalm 22:18 (LXX 21:18): Matt 27:35; John 19:24.

● Psalm 34:20 (LXX 33:20): John 19:36.

● Psalm 41:9 (LXX 40:9): John 13:18.

● Psalm 45:6-7 (LXX 44:6-7): Heb 1:8-9.

● Psalm 68:18 (LXX 67:18): Ephesians 4:8.

● Psalm 69:4 (LXX 68:4): John 15:25.

● Psalm 69:9 (LXX 68:9): John 2:17; Rom 15:3.

● Psalm 82:6 (LXX 81:6): John 10:34.

● Psalm 89:20 (LXX 88:20): Acts 13:22.

● Psalm 110:1 (LXX 109:1): Matt 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42-43; Acts 2:34-35; Heb 1:13.

● Psalm 118:22-23 (LXX 117:22-23): Matt 21:42; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1Pet 2:7.

Works Cited

BAG: William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, eds., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, University of Chicago Press, 1957.

BDB: The New Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Oxford University Press, 1907. Reprinted by Associated Publishers and Authors, Inc., 1981. Online at

Boyarin: Daniel Boyarin, The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ. The New Press, 2012.

CJSB: David Stern, The Complete Jewish Study Bible. Hendrickson Publishers, 2016.

Danker: F.W. Danker, The Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, University of Chicago Press, 2009.

DNTT: Colin Brown, ed., The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Zondervan Publishing House, 1975.

Edersheim: Alfred Edersheim (1825-1889), The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. New Updated Edition. Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1993. Also online.

Gilbert: Gary Gilbert, Annotations on "The Acts of the Apostles," Jewish Annotated New Testament, eds. Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Brettler. Oxford University Press, 2011.

GNT: The Greek New Testament, eds. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Bruce M. Metzger, & Allen Wiegren. American Bible Society, 1966. [Nestle-Aland 25th ed.]

Gruber: Daniel Gruber, The Messianic Writings. Elijah Publishing, 2011. Annotations by the author.

JANT: Jewish Annotated New Testament, eds. Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Brettler. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Jastrow: Marcus Jastrow, Dictionary of Targumim, Talmud and Midrashic Literature. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1903, 1926. Online.

Kaiser: Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. The Messiah in the Old Testament. Zondervan Pub. House, 1995.

Leman: Derek Leman, A New Look at the Old Testament. Mt. Olive Press, 2006.

Marshall: Alfred Marshall, NASB-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, Zondervan Corporation, 1986.

Morris: Henry M. Morris, The Remarkable Journey of Jonah. Master Books, 2003.

Owens: John Joseph Owens, Analytical Key to the Old Testament, Vol. 4. Baker Book House, 1989.

Payne: J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy. Harper & Row, 1973.

Polhill: John B. Polhill, Paul and His Letters. B&H Academic, 1999.

Purkiser: W.T. Purkiser, ed. Exploring the Old Testament. Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1955.

Rashi: Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaqi (1040-1105), Commentary on the Tanakh. Online.

Reinhartz: Adele Reinhartz, Annotations on "John," Jewish Annotated New Testament, eds. Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Brettler. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Santala: Risto Santala, The Messiah in the Old Testament in the Light of Rabbinical Writings. Keren Ahvah Meshihit, 1980, 1992.

Shapira: Rabbi Itzhak Shapira, The Return of the Kosher Pig: The Divine Messiah in Jewish Thought. Lederer Books, 2013.

Stern: David Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, Jewish New Testament Publications, 1996.

TDSS: The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation. Rev. ed. Trans. Michael Wise, Martin Abegg Jr. and Edward Cook. HarperOne, 2005.

Thayer: Joseph Henry Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Harper Brothers, 1889.

Copyright © 2018 by Blaine Robison. All rights reserved.