People often wonder how King Herod suspected the birth of the Messiah when he ordered that all children under two be killed. According to the Sanhedrin, the “two thousand years of Torah” had passed, so the time for Jesus’ arrival was near.
“The world will exist six thousand years. Two thousand years of desolation [meaning from Adam to Abraham]; two thousand years of Torah [meaning from Abraham to somewhere around the beginning of the Common Era] and two thousand years of the Messianic era [roughly the last two thousand years]; but because our iniquities were many, all this has been lost [i.e., the Messiah did not come at the expected time]” (b. Sanhedrin 97a-b; Brown, 2000, p. 70).
“That is the course that history was to take, but due to our sins that time frame increased. The Messiah did not come after four thousand years passed, and furthermore, the years that elapsed since then, which were to have been the messianic era, have elapsed.” (Sanhedrin 97b).
Furthermore, the prophet Daniel (9) and Malachi (3:1) had predicted that the Anointed One would appear in the 2nd Temple, which Jesus fulfilled prior to its destruction by the Romans in the year 70 A.D.
The prophets predicted Jesus’ genealogy, from Abraham to his grandson Jacob to Jesse to King David (Jesse’s son).
Genesis 22:15-18 on Abraham
“The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, ‘I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.’”
Numbers 24:17 on Jacob
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.
Isaiah 11:1-5 on Jesse
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
Jeremiah 23:5-6 on David
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.
2 Samuel 7:12-13 on David
“When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
Psalm 110:4 Order of Melchizedek
“The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Isaiah 7:14 Born of a virgin
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Isaiah 9:6 Prince of peace
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Brown, M.L. (2000). Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.