For centuries, men have looked in the Scriptures, seeking the identity of the Messiah. The Scriptures have held tightly their secrets, yielding up Messiah’s identity to some, but concealing His identity to many others. To many, Messiah’s identity is not yet seen, but remains hidden.
Today however, the identity of the Messiah is being clearly revealed to many, as they seek the Scriptures, and as they consider the Biblical phrase, “Arm of Yahuweh” and how it relates to the Passover. In this writing, we will see how Scripture reveals Messiah’s identity, and how the Passover celebration confirms this identity, to all those who diligently seek Him.
Let’s first look at the phrase, “Arm [‘zeroah’] of Yahuweh” in Scripture, to see exactly what it is, and what it signifies:
“Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm [‘zeroah’] of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.” (Isaiah 51:9a)
“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm [‘zeroah’] of the LORD revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1)
Notice that the word ‘arm’ seen in the two passages above is the Hebrew word ‘zeroah,’ meaning arm or shoulder, and speaks of strength.
The first passage above speaks prophetically of a time when the ‘zeroah’ of Yahuweh will awaken, or arise, and will be clothed with strength, in the same manner as in ancient days. Though hidden for centuries in the background, there is coming a day when Yahuweh will bring miraculous deliverance to His people once again, just as in the time He brought them out of bondage in Egypt.
The second phrase seen above indicates that the ‘zeroah’ of Yahuweh continues to be hidden to some, but will be revealed to certain ones — to those who believe the report, the astonishing news or tidings presented. The “astonishing news” is to be seen in the next eleven verses of Isaiah 53.
Let’s look at the Scripture passage in Isaiah 53, to discover the identity of this hidden zeroah!
Let’s first look in context at what the zeroah is not, and then what it is. In the Isaiah 51 passage, we can see what the zeroah is not:
“Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm [‘zeroah’] of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? 10 Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?” (Isaiah 51:9-10)
Notice that in context, it was the zeroah of Yahuweh who smote Rahab, and wounded the dragon. Rahab speaks of the pride and arrogance of Egypt, and the dragon is a figure of Pharaoh and his armies, at the time of the exodus.
We see also that it was the zeroah of Yahuweh who dried up the depths of the sea in order that the Israelites might pass over, as over a highway on dry ground.
We know the Israelites could not have dried the depths of the sea, but that Yahuweh did so in a miraculous way. From this we know the zeroah in this instance speaks not of the nation of Israel, but of Yahuweh Himself.
Now, from Isaiah 53, let’s notice another clue as to the identity of the zeroah, as to what it is:
“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm [‘zeroah’] of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:2-6)
Here the zeroah is seen again and again in context, referred to as a ‘He,’ indicating the zeroah is a male person. At this point we might pause, to reflect on the historical and traditional understandings of the identity of the zeroah.
History and Tradition
Let us observe two very interesting tidbits of information.
First, it has been generally said that the sages of old all agree on one thing: that the Zeroah, or Arm of Yahuweh, speaks uniquely of the Messiah. What they do not agree on, however, is the identity of the Messiah.
Second, during the Passover seder, or order of service, there is traditionally a seder plate containing several items of food to be eaten during the Passover service. One of these items is the shankbone of a Lamb, which commemorates the Lamb that was slain during the original Passover in Egypt. This shankbone is also known as the zeroah — and because of this, the Passover Lamb, as well as the entire Passover commemoration, is drawn into the equation.
The Zeroah of Passover
What is the Passover — and what does the Passover Lamb signify? Let’s review several passages, found in Exodus, Leviticus, and 2Chronicles:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” (Exodus 12:1-14)
“Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.” (Leviticus 16:15-16)
“And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.” (2Chronicles 29:24)
“That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.” (Exodus 12:27)
In the above passages, we see several things. First, we see that the Passover lamb can be from among the sheep, or the goats (Exodus 12:5). We then see that a sin offering can be a goat, whose blood becomes an atonement, and a sin-offering for all of Israel (Leviticus 16:15-16).
We then see that the Passover was not only a deliverance from death, but that the slain Passover lamb was a sacrifice (Exodus 12:27). We will see the significance of this later.
Let’s see now what the zeroah reveals.
The Zeroah Revealed
We recall the passage above in Isaiah 53:1, asks the question, “…to whom is the arm [zeroah] of the LORD revealed?”
From this question, we understand that the zeroah is not readily seen and comprehended, unless it is ‘revealed’ — that is, unless the Spirit of Yahuweh reveals its identity.
So let’s summarise what we have thus seen:
- The Zeroah is the ‘He’ who was wounded because our transgressions of Torah, according to Isaiah 53:5;
- The Zeroah is the ‘He’ by whose stripes, or wounds, we are healed, and made whole, according to Isaiah 53:5;
- The Zeroah is the ‘Him’ upon whom Yahuweh has laid the iniquity of us all, according to Isaiah 53:6;
- The Zeroah is the commemoration ‘Remembrance’ of the Passover Lamb, whose blood on the doorpost brought deliverance from death of the first-born of Israel, according to Exodus 12:1-14, and Passover seder tradition;
- The Zeroah is the Lamb slain at Passover, according to Passover seder tradition;
- The Zeroah is the Lamb slain as a Sacrifice, whose blood effected reconciliation or remission of sins, according to Leviticus 16:15-16 and 2Chronicles 29:24;
- The Zeroah is the Messiah, according to the sages of old.
Now we ask again: To whom is the arm [zeroah] of Yahuweh revealed?
Who has believed the report seen in Isaiah 53? Who has believed this astonishing news or tidings presented?
- To those who have believed the report, the Zeroah Of Yahuweh reveals Messiah in the Passover Seder;
- To those who have believed the report, the Zeroah Of Yahuweh reveals Messiah as the One seen in the Isaiah 53 passages;
- To those who have believed the report, the Zeroah Of Yahuweh reveals Messiah as the Passover Lamb;
- To those who have believed the report, the Zeroah Of Yahuweh reveals Messiah as the sacrificial Lamb, whose Blood has purchased the remission of our sins.
To those who have not yet believed the report, the Zeroah remains only as a memorial of the One who, in a figure, is looking up from the Passover seder plate, continuing to yearn after His people, awaiting the day when “the lights go on.”
Until then, let us continue to keep the Passover. Let us do this in remembrance of Him, the Zeroah of Yahuweh, the Passover Lamb, whose Blood on the doorpost of our own heart delivers us from death!
- Communion: A Man-Made Substitute for the Biblical Passover – Also called the ‘Eucharist’ and ‘Lord’s Supper,’ this man-made substitute is a counterfeit of the Biblical Passover meal eaten by Messiah and His disciples the same night in which He was betrayed. This counterfeit has been passed down to us over the centuries, and today continues to be practiced unknowingly by most evangelical Believers.
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- The New Covenant Passover: A Mystery – Full List of Passover Articles, with Descriptions and Links