Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Coming of Israel’s Divine Shepherd King Pt. 2a

Sam Shamoun

We continue from where we left off.


The Solution

The Hebrew Bible provides the solution to this seemingly irreconcilable problem.

The Prophetic writings testify that a Child will be born to rule over David’s throne who shall be the Mighty God himself:

“But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on themFor a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (El Gibbor), Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7 NASB

What makes this prophecy so shocking is that Isaiah applies the phrase “Mighty God” to Yahweh himself in the very next chapter!

“And it shall come to pass that on that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob shall not continue to lean on him that smote them; but he shall lean on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God (El Gibbor).” Isaiah 10:20-21

In fact, this is title never applied in a positive sense to any other Being besides Yahweh:

“For the Lord, your God, is God of gods and the Lord of the lords, the great mighty (ha’ggibor) and awesome God (ha’el), Who will show no favor, nor will He take a bribe.” Deuteronomy 10:17

“Who is this King of Glory? The Lord, Who is strong and mighty (wa’ggibor), the Lord Who is a mighty (gibbor) warrior.” Psalm 24:8

“Who exercises loving- kindness to thousands and requites the iniquity of the fathers in the bosom of the children who follow them, O Great and Mighty God (ha’ggibor… ha’el), the Lord of Hosts is His Name.” Jeremiah 32:18

As if this weren’t shocking enough, the Messiah is even called Yahweh our righteousness!

“Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will set up of David a righteous shoot, and he shall reign a king and prosper, and he shall perform judgment and righteousness in the land. In his days, Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is his name that he shall be called, The Lord is our righteousness (YHVH Tseidkenu).” Jeremiah 23:5-6

To top it off, the prophetic writings further proclaim that the Messiah comes from eternity itself:

“Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek. But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago (miqqedem), From the days of eternity (olam). Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth.” Micah 5:1-4 NASB

And you, Bethlehem Ephrathah: whence David emanated, as it is stated (I Sam. 17:58): “The son of your bondsman, Jesse the Bethlehemite.” And Bethlehem is called Ephrath, as it is said (Gen. 48:7): “On the road to Ephrath, that is Bethlehem.”

you should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah: You should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah because of the stigma of Ruth the Moabitess in you.

from you shall emerge for Me: the Messiah, son of David, and so Scripture says (Ps. 118:22): “The stone the builders had rejected became a cornerstone.”

and his origin is from of old: “Before the sun his name is Yinnon” (Ps. 72:17). (The Complete Jewish Bible With Rashi Commentary; underline emphasis ours)

Amazingly, the prophet has taken the very same terms which the Hebrew Bible uses to describe the eternal, uncreated nature of Yahweh,

“Your throne is established of old; You are from everlasting (me’olam).” Psalm 93:2

Are You not from everlasting (miqqedem), O Lord, my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, You have ordained them for judgment, and, O Mighty God, You have established them for correction.” Habakkuk 1:12

And applied them to the coming Messianic Shepherd-King!

Hence, the solution to the dilemma is that Yahweh God himself will become a human descendant of David in order to fulfill all the promises made to both David and Israel that God’s people will have only one shepherd to rule over them forever and ever.

With that said it is time to unveil the identity of this God-Man, which we shall do in the next section.