Sign of the Prophet

In addition to redeeming Israel, saving the world, and establishing world peace, the Messiah is also supposed to provide us with manna.

A section of a 1659 painting by the Dutch artist Rembrandt. (Image [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

In the days of King Messiah, the land of Israel will produce an abundance of agricultural plenty: grain, new wine, and oil. The prophets describe the hills running with milk and honey and such abundant harvests that that plowman will overtake the reaper:

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.” (Amos 9:13)

Psalm 72:16 says that the Messiah will be “as abundant as grain in the land,” indicating that He will initiate an era of bounty when everyone will have sufficient food. Jewish eschatology even anticipates that, in the last days, the Messiah will bring back the manna as a sign:

The latter redeemer [Messiah] will be like the first redeemer [Moses]. What does the Torah say about the first redeemer? … The first redeemer made manna to descend, as it is written, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you.” In the same way the latter redeemer will make manna descend, as it is written, “May he be as abundant grain in the land …” (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 1:28)

And it shall come to pass at that self-same time that the treasury of manna shall again descend from on high, and they will eat of it in those years, because these are they who have come to the consummation of time. (2 Baruch 29:8)

Our Master Yeshua provided us with evidence that He can fulfill these prophecies when he took a few loaves of bread and few small fish and fed a multitude of five thousand. The miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fish astounded the multitude. Many interpreted it as a definitive sign from God. “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world!” (John 6:14) they declared. The messianic title, “the Prophet” seems to be derived from Deuteronomy 18:15 which predicts the coming of a prophet like Moses. In other words, they suggested that that Yeshua might be the Messiah—the prophet like Moses.

Judaism teaches that the Messiah will be a second Moses. As a prophet like Moses, the Messiah feeds the multitude and brings the heavenly bread: “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:32-33).

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