Everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus, but not everything we read in the Old Testament is directly about Jesus. Given this, when we read and study the Bible, we must do so in context. Context is king. Without it, we ascribe meaning to verses that aren’t there, and ultimately our faith and those we desire to come into the faith can be wounded by misinterpretations of Scripture.

In hermeneutics, there’s a rule that we must remember when we try and interpret Scripture.

A text cannot mean what it could never have meant for its original readers/hearers…the true meaning of the biblical text for us is what God originally intended it to mean when it was first spoken or written.

Fee & Stuart, 2014, p. 52

While many prophetic utterances throughout the Old Testament refer to and point to Jesus, other Scriptures might seem to be talking about Jesus but are not because the person who said them didn’t know what we know about Jesus. Here’s a great example from the book of Job.

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

Job 19:25 (NIV)

People might read this verse and think Job is talking about or speaking prophetically about Jesus, but Job wasn’t talking about Jesus. Job was talking about God and referring to God in a specific context.

Instead of reviewing the complete context of Job up to Job 19:25, we can review two verses from Job 19 to get a handle on the context.

Job’s “friends” have been accusing him of sinning against God. Job’s sin, they say, is why Job lost all of his material possessions and why his children all died. Indeed, it was because of Job’s sin that he had been so terribly afflicted. Hence, Job asks his friends these two questions in Job 19:2-3.

“How long will you torment me and crush me with words? Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me.

Job 19:2-3 (NIV)

When Job refers to his “redeemer” in verse 25, the term redeemer deals with the kinsman-redeemer. The kinsman-redeemer is a male from the same family responsible for acting on behalf of a relative in times of trouble, danger, and need. This kinsman-redeemer is typically the closest blood relative. Still, as we see in the story of Ruth, her nearest kinsman-redeemer passed on his responsibility to the next person in line, Boaz (Ruth 3-4).

We can see this more clearly from verse 25 when we read the same verse through a different translation. Job wasn’t referring to a flesh and blood redeemer. Job was referring to God because Job knew that it was God who allowed everything that had happened to him to happen and that only God could “redeem” Job’s good name and verify his integrity. God would come to Job’s aid and defend him against his accusers.

But I know there is someone in heaven who will come at last to my defense.

Job 19:25 (GNT)

Therefore, Job wasn’t talking about Jesus. He was talking about God in context to his current situation.

Does this mean that Jesus isn’t a redeemer for us? No, it does not. Jesus is our redeemer, and he paid the price for all sin.

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.

1 Corinthians 7:23 (NIV)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Ephesians 1:7 (NIV)

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

1 Peter 1:18-19 (NIV)

All of these verses confirm that Jesus is our Redeemer. Nevertheless, Job wasn’t talking about Jesus in Job 19:25.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.

References

Fee, G. D., & Stuart, D. K. (2014). How to read the Bible for all its worth. Zondervan.