One of the many hints that Jesus (Yeshua) is an “unseen” main character in the story of the Exodus is completely lost in our English translations. In Matthew 1:21, Mary is told by an angel to name her son “Jesus”, because he will save his people from their sins.” There’s a long, long, long, list of reasons why we KNOW that “Jesus” is not what the angel actually said. We’ll just start with the fact that there was no “J” sound in English until the past few centuries (the 1629 revision of KJV was the first to print the name “Jesus”). I’ll leave it at that for now since that’s not my point, nor am I “Jesus-shaming” anyone simply for speaking English.
Messiah’s actual Hebrew name, “Yeshua” or “Yehoshua”, actually means “Yah’s Salvation”–so it’s pretty clear that’s what Mary heard. If the Holy Father, Gabriel, and Messiah’s mother all agree–that’s good enough for me.
Not to reduce the name of the King of Kings to a reference number, but looking up Strongs H3444 in your favorite Bible study tool will uncover some cool connections to hints, themes, patterns and prophecies rarely talked about in traditional Christian circles.
For fun, lets just insert the modern name “Jesus” into the ancient texts, where the Savior’s name is referred to in its original context. (This is supposed to be an example of a paradigm-shifting exercise–please don’t leave angry comments about Hebrew grammar rules.)
Exodus 14:13 “But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see Jesus the LORD –which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.”
Exodus 15:2 “The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my Jesus. This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.”
These two references are closely related—one proceeds the parting of the Red Sea, the other is the opening line of the Song of Moses, immediately after death is defeated on the other side. This is just one of many hints that the salvation prophecy given to mother Mary was connected to the Red Sea event, connecting that Exodus event with both the empty tomb and the divinity of the unborn Messiah. Both events are not at odds with one another, one doesn’t replace the other–quite the opposite: they are designed to reinforce one another. This is the essence of what Messiah meant when he said he did not come to “abolish” the Torah, but to “fulfill” it.
The next article will go deeper into spiritual re-birth and the resurrection of Messiah, all rooted right here at the Red Sea.