Judas in the Old Testament

Finding foreshadowing of the New Testament hidden in the Old Testament has been a study I always enjoy. This year I marked out months just for that in my study plan so here is the first. What I would attribute to Judas being like is found in several Psalms. I will mention the Psalm but also where I think the inspiration for that Psalm came from in scripture and who was the shadow of Judas.

Psalm 52David was writing this about Doeg the Edomite from 1 Samuel 22. He was the instrument of destruction for an entire branch of the priestly family; this was part of the sentence handed down from the Lord because of Eli and his wicked sons in 1 Samuel 2.  The final part of the story is found in 1 Kings 2:27.  Psalm 52:1 – 4 gives a look at what I think he was like: boasted of evil, practiced deceit, loved evil and spoke harmful words. Verses 5 -7 talks of his downfall and how he is remembered: in everlasting ruin, uprooted from the living, destroyed others.

Psalm 55 – Verses 12 – 14, 20 and 21 also talks about Judas’ character. “My companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked to the house of God”, Psalm 55:13,14 (NIV). And in verse 20 +21, “My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant.”  A possible point when this was birthed is 1 Samuel 22:3 when David is hiding his parents from King Saul.  But as I thought about it, it could be referring to his cousin Joab the commander of the army and a consistent problem for David or even his son Absalom.

Psalm 41:9 Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. This verse is quoted in John 13:18.

Psalm 109:1 – 20 – verse 8 is quoted in Acts 1:20 May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership. (Matthias) I think this Psalm was written because of Nabal in 1Samuel 25:35. The reason for this is in vs. 16 – 20 and describes both Nabal and Judas – never thought of doing a kindness, hounded the poor, needy and broken hearted, loved to pronounce curses and wore them like a garment.

Psalm 69:25 is also quoted in Acts 1:20 “let there be no one to dwell in their tents.”

Zechariah 11:12 – If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not keep it. So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. (Matt. 26:15)

So as expected Judas has some of the worst guys in the Bible providing his foreshadowing: Doeg the Edomite (priest killer), Nabal (the selfish fool) and possibly Joab (under minding cousin) and Absalom (son with ambition).

2 thoughts on “Judas in the Old Testament

  1. Greetings, It may well be the case that it is possible to manipulate or re-interpret OT passages to allegedly “predict” NT passages. But the real challenge is to make such prediction with no knowledge or reference to the NT passages.

    By this I mean – read only the OT passages and based on these alone, make your predictions. Try this with Psalm 41:9. Demonstrate how you get from the content of Psalm 41:9 to the NT story, without any reference to the NT. More specifically, if the Psalm 41:9 reference does not mention “Judas”, how can you make this refer to (future) Judas if you have no knowledge of the NT?

    This whole exercise described in this article might be entertaining, but it can never be the basis for any serious claim about prophecy or foreknowledge.

    • The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29

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