Bible prophecies fulfilled:
Bible prophecies fulfilled by Jesus' birth

Below is a selection of prophecies in the Bible that found fulfillment in the birth of Jesus the Messiah about 2,000 years ago.

The commentaries below are from the second edition of the book, 100 Prophecies, by George Konig and Ray Konig, who are the authors and copyright holders of the material. The commentaries are reprinted here with written permission from the authors. The third edition, revised and expanded, of 100 Prophecies: Ancient Biblical prophecies that foretold the future is available through

Isaiah foreshadowed the virgin birth of Jesus

Bible prophecy: Isaiah 7:14
Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC

In Isaiah 7:14, the prophet Isaiah addresses the "house of David," meaning the family and descendants of King David, and speaks of a virgin being pregnant with a child, and giving birth to the child. Isaiah says this in the context of it being a sign from God. He also says that the child would be referred to as "Immanuel," which means, "God with us."

The New Testament books of Matthew and Luke record details involving the birth of Jesus, who was born about 700 years after the time of Isaiah, saying that he was born of the virgin Mary and is the Son of God. Because he is the Son of God, Jesus literally can be referred to as "God with us."

Non-Christian scholars have challenged this interpretation. They say that the Hebrew word "almah," which is the word that Christian Bibles often translate as "virgin," actually means "young maiden" or "young woman." It should be noted that the Old Testament uses the word to refer to young, unmarried women, and that unmarried women were culturally and religiously expected to be virgins. One example can be found in Genesis 24:43, where it speaks of a person being sought as a bride for Isaac.

Isaiah 7:14 (NIV):

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem

Bible prophecy: Micah 5:1-2
Prophecy written: Sometime between 750-686 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC

In Micah 5:2, there is a prophecy that reveals that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah.

As pointed out in the book, 100 Prophecies, by George Konig and Ray Konig: "The prophecy is effective in a simple way: It eliminates all other cities and towns throughout the world as a place in which the Messiah could be born. It narrows the possibilities to one tiny village just south of Jerusalem."

And throughout the span of the past 27 centuries, from the days of the prophet Micah up through the present time, Bethlehem is credited as being the birthplace for only one person who is widely known throughout the world. And that person is Jesus Christ.

The New Testament books of Matthew and Luke name the town of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. Matthew 2:1-6 describes the birth of Jesus as the fulfillment of Micah's prophecy.

In recent years, however, some non-believers have attempted to discredit Matthew's interpretation of Micah 5:2 by claiming that the prophecy refers to a person named Bethlehem, not a town name Bethlehem. This claim has been widely circulated on the Internet by a college professor who describes himself as a former Christian minister.

The first problem with this claim appears in Micah 5:1. In that verse, the prophet establishes that he is speaking of Bethlehem the town, not Bethlehem the person, by setting up a context in which he contrasts the great city of Jerusalem with the humble town of Bethlehem.

A second problem with the claim is that there is also evidence outside of the Bible that shows that Micah 5:2 was regarded as a Messianic prophecy involving the town of Bethlehem. Here is an excerpt from the Jerusalem Talmud, which is a collection of Judaism-related writings completed about 1600 years ago:

"The King Messiah... from where does he come forth? From the royal city of Bethlehem in Judah." - Jerusalem Talmud, Berakoth 5a.

Micah 5:1-2 (NIV):

1 Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel's ruler on the cheek with a rod.

2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."

The Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah

Bible prophecy: Genesis 49:10
Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC

In Genesis 49:10, Jacob is blessing his 12 sons. This blessing was also a prophecy. Jacob told his son Judah that his descendants would be rulers and that one of his descendants will be an ultimate ruler. According to the NIV translation: "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his." Christians acknowledge that this is a reference to Jesus Christ, whose kingdom will have no end. Jesus was born about 2000 years after Jacob died. Jesus' ancestry is traced back to Jacob's son, Judah, in Luke 3:23-34 and in Matthew 1:1-16. Today, there are some estimates that claim that there are as many as 2 billion Christians worldwide who follow the teachings of Jesus.

Genesis 49:10 (NIV):

The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.

Nations would seek the counsel of Jesse's descendant

Bible prophecy: Isaiah 11:1-10
Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: By the birth of Jesus about 2000 years ago

In Isaiah 11:1-10, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a ruler who would be a descendant of Jesse. Jesse was the father of ancient Israel's great King David. This descendant would rule with true justice and true faith, and he would establish true peace. This peace would be so great that even wild animals would be able to lie down next to one another. This descendant would also become a standard for people throughout the world. And, this descendant would be sought by people throughout the world.

This is an important prophecy for Christians because we believe that Jesus is the fulfillment of this Old Testament promise. Jesus, as explained in the New Testament, is a descendant of Jesse. And Jesus has become a standard for peoples throughout the world. In fact, Christianity is the first religion to spread to every country in the world. The words of Jesus, which speak of true justice, true faith and true peace, have been taught to people in every country in the world. We Christians also believe that Jesus will return in the future to establish a kingdom on earth, a kingdom of justice and righteousness.

There is an ancient Hebrew text, called the Targum Jonathan, in which Rabbis sought to interpret passages of the Old Testament scriptures. The Targum Jonathan shows that at least some of the ancient Rabbis believed that the message contained in Isaiah 11:1-10 was a reference to a Messiah. Here is an excerpt from the Targum Jonathan: "And there shall go forth a King from the Sons of Jesse, and the Messiah shall be anointed from his children's children." Jesse was the father of King David. But the Messiah would be a descendant of Jesse, specifically through his son David.

Isaiah 11:1-10 (NIV):

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD--

3 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;

4 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.

5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling[1] together; and a little child will lead them.

7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.

9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.

NIV Footnote: [1] Hebrew; Septuagint lion will feed

The Messiah would be a descendant of King David

Bible prophecy: Jeremiah 23:5
Prophecy written: Sometime between 626-586 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: By the birth of Jesus about 2000 years ago

In Jeremiah 23:5, as well as in other Bible prophecies, we are told that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David.

The New Testament books of Matthew and Luke trace back Jesus' genealogy to King David. (Some scholars believe that the genealogy in Matthew is Jesus' legal line, through his adoptive father, Joseph, and that the genealogy in Luke is Jesus' bloodline through Mary).

Jeremiah 23:5 (NIV):

"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.

Notes: The commentaries above are summaries from the book 100 Prophecies: Ancient Biblical prophecies that foretold the future. Copyright © Ray Konig.

Next article: Bible prophecies fulfilled:
Bible prophecies that found fulfillment during the life of Jesus Christ