Identify Messiah by Birth and Death
First to the Jew, then the Gentile.
Most unlearned gentiles accept quotations from the New Testament when witnessing to them.
Jews are different.
They will not accept scriptures unless it comes from just their bible, the Tenach, which most Christians call the Old Testament.
I have heard Christians try what would appeal to a gentile audience on a Jewish person, and watch them fail, because they do not know how to present the scriptures from the Tenach to a Jew.
The Jew has a Jewish interpretation, not a gentile one.
Christians do not think like Jews, so they fail.
For example, I heard a Jewish rabbi tell his Jewish audience about being presented a set of questions to challenge him:
Christian: There used to be shed blood for the forgiveness of sins. What do you do now, that there are no more sacrifices?
Rabbi: we pray and repent
Christian: what do you say about the virgin birth of the Messiah?
Rabbi: That is not the correct English interpretation of the Hebrew scripture. You have to look at the Hebrew, which does not say virgin. And look at the surrounding scriptures, which is NOT referring to the Messiah.
Christian: Why don’t you accept Jesus as Messiah? He was the Suffering Servant predicted.
Rabbi: There is no world peace. We have expectations of what the Messiah will do for Israel, and Jesus did not do this. The Messiah will be a King, and rule from Jerusalem. Israel is the suffering servant. We have suffered for thousands of years.
This leaves the Christian speechless.
I found the best way is to present a puzzle, but also be well versed on the answer.
There are many scriptures which could, or could not have Messiah as the interpretation.
The one from Isaiah about the suffering servant is an example.
One has to present just facts, bits and pieces, where there can only be one interpretation, or where deductive reasoning can come to just one conclusion.
Then let the Jew think it out himself.
Timing of Messiah
Daniel’s 70 weeks predicts the timing. Daniel 9:
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah (Anointed one) the Prince shall be seven weeks (heptads), and threescore and two weeks (heptads): the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
The word Moshiach here is used, which is the Jewish term for Messiah.
Seven heptads/ weeks are 490 years
Threescore and two (62) weeks are 483 years.
The Jews consider Cyrus II (550-529 BCE) to be the one who gave the decree, which was in his 1st year
of rule. (Ezra 4:5)
Cyrus, although called anointed by God, would NOT be around 483 years after he gave the decree. So rule this out as Cyrus being the anointed one.
Artaxerxes I (465-425 BCE) also issued a decree to rebuilt the city in his 20th year (Neh 2:1-8).
Other decrees II (Darius and Artaxerxes II) were about the temple and supplies.
Whether Cyrus or Artaxerxes, the 483 years would have been up between 67 BCE and 38 CE.
That was long ago.
Ancient Jewish tomb
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
The word Moshiach (Messiah) here is used again, so it is very clear who Daniel is talking about.
And he dies NOT for himself, so it must be for others.
Messiah, then does not die peacefully, or of old age. He is killed or removed in an unnatural way.
Here is a list of prophets that were killed, or removed unnaturally
(reference http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/bb/bb32.htm ):
Elijah – raptured
Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah
Ahijah – killed by lion
None of these prophets died in the timeline of the 70 week prophecy
Birthplace of Messiah (Micah 5)
2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Bethlehem is the birthplace.
The Ruler is the Messiah, although it does not used the word Messiah. We can make it an assumption, to start, and see if any other interpretation can fit here.
There have been many rulers in Israel. This one is different, or it would not get special mention.
King David was born there.
No other ruler in Israel was born in Bethlehem in the past.
No ruler today in Israel could have been born there, or will be born there, as it is now Muslim occupied.
The ruler is from “everlasting,” or “antiquity” before he comes.
Either this means he has an eternal nature, or he was around a long time ago, and returns.
Ruler gives up on Israel, then returns (Micah 5)
3 Therefore will he give them up, UNTIL the time that she which travails has brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.
According to Daniel 9, Messiah gets killed or removed, or cut off, before his mission is complete.
It seems he would have no choice to give them up, if he is killed.
He returns once she (Israel) has travailed.
This could either mean the holocaust, the rebirth of Israel, or the time of Jacob’s trouble (Great Tribulation).
Since the holocaust and rebirth of Israel (1948) are past, the only known option left is the Great Tribulation.
The ruler does seem to be the messiah
4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
Ruler shows up when the Assyrian attacks Israel in future
5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.
Ruler brings peace.
Putting the pieces together
SO, what prophet, leader, or potential ruler was born in Bethlehem in antiquity ,
who lived between 67 BCE and 38 CE ,
who was killed or cut off,
gave up on his people,
and will return when the Assyrian invades Israel,
which will be a time of travail?