Aliyah: “Let Him Go Up”

A Multi-Dimensional Fulfillment of Prophecy

Although most Hebrew Bibles and modern English translations of the Hebrew Scriptures contain the same thirty-nine books, there is a striking difference between the Hebrew and English canons in the configuration or order in which these books are presented in the first or older testament. We normally divide our English “Old Testament” into a variety of categories usually depicting what scholars believe to be the historical settings of the books themselves. This produces the following order: the Law (containing the five books of Moses from Genesis to Deuteronomy), the Historical Books (from Joshua to Esther), the Poetic Books (Job to the Song of Solomon), and the Prophets (the Major Prophets and the Minor Prophets).

This order for the books of the Hebrew Scriptures makes Malachi the last book of the Christian Old Testament. It also makes the last promise of the Old Testament one that predicts that Elijah the prophet will come to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers lest the Lord come and “smite the earth with a curse.” Ironically, though this promise has great eschatological significance for both Israel and the church, the configuration of our modern Christian Old Testament unintentionally obscures from the student of Scripture the last prophetic and Messianic command of the Hebrew Scriptures which is at the very heart of the work of Messiah and should be the heartbeat of every disciple of Christ in our time.

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