Matthew 26:63b:

And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

Christ is the Greek form of the word Messiah.

It is interesting that the two titles (Messiah, Son of God) are paired in this question. See this pairing also in Matthew 16:16, John 20:31. But in the Matthew 26 example the question is coming from someone who does not believe Jesus can lay claim to either title--why does he associate the titles?

(note that in all 3 cases the title "Son of God" implies son in a unique sense that not everyone can claim)

I am unfamiliar with an Old Testament passage that would clearly indicate that the Jews expected their Messiah to be the Son of God--was that their expectation at the time?

Related question that partially inspired this one: According to the trial record at Matthew 26:63 the high priest Caiaphas ask Jesus to swear an oath as to His identity?

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    Which Jewish sect : Pharisees, Sadducees, Karaites, Essenes? Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 1:50
  • Based on Torah alone, the only “Messiah” | Ha-Mashiach הַמָּשִׁ֛יחַ ever mentioned by Moses in Leviticus 4 was a potential High Priest (Kohen Gadol) who atones for unintentional sins. - This concept of a Messiah would have been הַלֵּוִ֜י Ha-Levi | “The Levite” anointed as High Priest (not a “Son of God”). Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 2:28
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    @חִידָה information with respect to any of them would be interesting...but of particular note for this question would be the Pharisees & Sadducees who were well-represented on the Sanhedrin. Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 2:28
  • This is interesting as it brings up the question of why were the prophecies of Isaiah (for example, and others) not received by the Jews ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 7:09
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    Good Q. Liked the way you distinguished between Jews of the OT and NT. You now have 10 upvotes. That's pretty impressive on this site these days. Commented May 21, 2021 at 4:36

9 Answers 9


‘The Son of God’ was a term in common use at the time and was routinely coupled with 'Messiah' or similar names ('Christ', 'King of Israel').

Nathanael couples it with 'King of Israel' at John 1:49, Peter with 'Christ' (adding 'living' to God) at Matthew 16:16, Caiaphas with 'Christ' at Matthew 26:63, 'Christ' and 'Son of the Blessed One', another way of saying 'Son of God' at Mark 14:61, by the narrator John with 'Christ' at John 20:31, by the narrator Mark with Christ at Mark 1:1, by the angel Gabriel with 'throne of his ancestor David', 'reign over the house of Jacob forever' (King reference) and 'Son of the Most High' and 'Son of God' at Luke 1:31-35, demons with 'Christ' at Luke 4:41, and by Martha with 'Christ' at John 11:27.

That's 8 different actors in the Gospels pairing the terms.

John 1:34 has textual variants with John the Baptist calling Jesus either the Son of God or the Christ, suggesting a conceptual synonymy amongst the ancient translators.

In most of these incidences, it sounds like the terms are coupled as two ways of describing the same thing.

This would make sense, given the Gospels clarify that this term ‘the Son of God’ is given by God because Mary will conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit at Luke 1:31-35.

“And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David [i.e., be King]. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.””

The terms 'the Son of God' and 'the Messiah' were simply co-referents.

The obvious source for these terms used in this way is Psalm 2, which uses 'his anointed one', 'king', and God as a personal father ("You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.").

Answer: yes, the Jews expected the Messiah to be the Son of God. These terms were regularly coupled.

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    As far as the NT is concerned, you nailed it. Commented May 21, 2021 at 5:04
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    This is a really good NT analysis--the breadth of evidence is compelling. I wonder if the perception changed sometime in late second-temple Judaism, such that the two titles were thought of separately in OT times, but very frequently paired in NT times. Commented May 22, 2021 at 23:49
  • The NT does not necessarily describe "mainstream" Judaism. One question I have is what does contemporary Judaism believe? Are they expecting the Messiah to be the Son of God? If not now but they used to, did they change in response to Christianity? IOW, Judaism which rejects Jesus as the Christ, responded by recognizing Christians got it wrong by believing the Christ is the Son of God not the Son of David, as is plainly stated in the OT. Commented May 27 at 14:41

Which Messiah of Torah & Nevi'im did the Sanhedrin of 1-70 CE expect : The Anointed High Priest [Exodus 30, Leviticus 4] or The Son of David [1 Samuel 16:1-13, 2 Samuel 7:12-16, Jeremiah 22:5-6]?

The answer depends on the truth of [Exodus 30:30-33] and [2 Maccabees 2:1-8].

Which future "Messiah" required the anointing oil that Jeremiah hid from the Temple?

  • The appointed High Priest (required anointing oil hidden by Jeremiah) - This was not the expected Mashiach, since a High Priest is appointed individually & Kohanim cannot inherit the title. [Exodus 30 : v.30-33] - Although Based on Torah alone, the only “Messiah” | Ha-Mashiach הַמָּשִׁ֛יחַ ever mentioned by Moses in Leviticus 4 was a potential High Priest (Kohen Gadol) who atones for unintentional sins. - This title required the anointing oil.

  • Was David anointed with the same anointing oil as the Kohanim? Yes. - [1 Samuel 16:1-13]

  • Did David's prophesied son also require the anointing oil to inherit the everlasting Kingdom? - No. [2 Samuel 7:12-16]

  • Did The Son of King David as Messiah require priestly anointing oil (hidden by Jeremiah)? No. - [Jeremiah 22:5-6]

Pharisees & Sadducees were expecting "The Messiah" to be a "son of David" (a Messiah not requiring priestly anointing oil) in fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecies (Jeremiah 22:5-6, 2 Maccabees 2:1-8), not a "Son of God".

  • Why do you say they expected the messiah to be a son of David but not a son of God? Does the passage you cite in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 state that the son of David will be God's son?
    – Austin
    Commented Apr 21, 2023 at 5:00
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    +1 although most Christian readers will not accept this answer, I agree that there is little evidence outside of the NT for the messiah being the "Son of God." The the term is an anachronism (the gospel writer placing a Christian idea about the Messiah in the mouth of the high priest), or this concept of the messiah somehow became prominent in 1st c. Judaism with virtually no previous notice. Commented May 27 at 4:36
  • +1 This is correct. Judaism does not even recognize an exclusive "Son of God" as Christians understand the term. Contemporary Judaism is not expecting the Messiah to be the Son of God. So it makes no sense to claim Second Temple Judaism had that belief which they had to change in response to Christianity's understand of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. Commented May 27 at 14:22

Your question is interesting but to me it seems "open ended." What do you mean by, "The Son of God?" Does it mean "did the Jews expect the Messiah to actually be the literal Son of God as in having the same nature as His Father?

The Jews have what is known as the "son of idiom" and it's throughout the Bible. The presence of the son of idiom is NOT to specifically identify the nature of the son with the father. It is to USE the absolutely universal principle of that inviolable shared nature as a means of declaring the shared nature of the father and the son.

That is why, for example, the title "sons of the prophets" is used throughout 1 Kings 2: to declare and authenticate the fact that the "sons" were indeed real, honest-to-goodness prophets. The distinguishing nature that the "father" and the "sons" share here is the gift of "prophecy" which they alone had. The same thing is true of the "sons of the singers" at Nehemiah 12:28.

This idiom is applied to distinguish its subject as true, actual, honest-to-goodness musicians by virtue of the shared nature of musicianship that distinguished them from those who were NOT musicians. Other examples are "Sons of valor, 1 Samuel 14:52, simply a brave man. Sons of murder 2 Kings 6:32 denotes a murderer.

The idiom can also be found in the New Testament. Son of peace at Luke 10:6 refers to a peaceful person. Sons of disobedience at Ephesians 2:2 are those characterized by disobedience. Who was the "Son of perdition?" John 17:12, that would be Judas, the lost one. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is the son of destruction.

So what about the "Son of God" as it pertains to Jesus Christ? Remember at Matthew 16:13-17 where Jesus ask His disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" Vs14, "And they said, Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.

Vs15, "But who do you say that I am?" Vs16, "And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Vs17, "Jesus said to him, Blessed are you Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."

From this exchange does is it really "probable" that Peter who received this information from God the Father was simply advocating that Jesus Christ was a man only like the rest of us?

On the basis of this "son of" idiom the Jews knew full well what Jesus was claiming. Examples of this can be found at John 5:17-18. John 8:56-59. John 10:30-39. Or how about at John 19:7, "The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because (or why?) He made Himself out the Son of God."

This is brought out more clearly at the complete trial record at Matthew 26:57-66. The high priest Caiaphas goes to great lengths to get Jesus to admit to His true identity. Here is what he said to Jesus at Matthew 26:63, "I adjure/swear You by the living God, that You tell us whether/if You are the Christ/Messiah, the Son of God." At Luke 22:70 Jesus says, "Yes, I am."

Vs65, "Then the high priest tore his robes, saying, He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;" In short, Jesus did not commit the crime of blasphemy because He was who He said He was, the Sanhedrin simply did not believe Jesus Christ.

  • The cultural background is very useful, upvoted +1. I edited to soften one sentence at the end; hope that's okay. Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 1:24

The two titles come from independent pedigrees in the OT as follows:

Son of God

The title, "Sons of God" was regularly applied to God's people in the OT (as well as the new!) in many places such as: Gen 6:4, Deut 32:8, 43, Ps 89:6, 29:1, etc.

However, "Son of God" only appears in Dan 3:25 as the "angel" that preserves the three men in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace. With the benefit of hindsight, we see here an anticipation of Jesus being the Son of God.

In Daniel's time, this was possibly an allusion to Ps 2:2, 7 -

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together, against the LORD and against His Anointed One [ie, Messiah]: ... I will proclaim the decree spoken to Me by the LORD: “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.

This Psalm is quoted in Acts 4:25, 26. Therefore, it was well-known that Jesus as messiah would be called the Son of God.

Anointed (= Messiah/Christ)

Apart from some sacred objects, only two kinds of people were anointed in the OT (see Ex 30:33):

  • Priests, Ex 28:41, 29:7, 29, 30:30, 40:13, 15, Lev 4:5, 16, 8:12, Num 35:25, 1 sam 2:35, etc
  • Kings, Judges 9:8, 15, 1 Sam 9:16, 10:1, 11:15, 12:3, 15:1, 16:12, 13, 26:9, 11, 2 Sam 2:7, 3:39, 5:3, 17, 12:7, 19:10, 1 Kings 1:34, 45, 19:16, etc.

Jesus' Titles

The titles "Christ" (= anointed") and "Son of God" thus appear to imply that Jesus was claiming to be a high priest and king who was one of God's people. See appendix below. But not just any one of God's people, as He was "The Son of God". The High Priest at Jesus' trial; would have known all this which is why he regarded these titles as so blasphemous!

The high priest at Jesus' trial had heard the gossip and "street talk" that this "Jesus" was held to be the Messiah and THE Son of God - a blasphemous combination for a mortal man. Thus, if Jesus admitted these titles, He was effectively pleading guilty to blasphemy.

APPENDIX: NT on Jesus' Titles

Jesus certainly was to be the king of Israel because:

  • He was of the lineage of David (Matt 1)
  • The prophesied Messiah was to be the king of Israel - Ex 15:18, Ps 10:16, 61:7, 68:16, 92:8, 93:5, 146:10, Isa 9:7, 47:7, Lam 5:19, Micah 4:7. This was fulfilled according to Luke 1:32, 33, John 1:49, Acts 13:34
  • While David and his successors were earthly kings, they were to recognize that the real king of Israel was God. 1 Sam 8:7, 8, 24:6, 2 Sam 19:21, 1 Chron 28:5, 2 Chron 9:8, 13:8, Ps 5:2, 44:4. See also 1 Sam 12:14.
  • Jesus was High Priest of the New Covenant, Heb 4:14-16, 5:10, 7:23-28, 8:1, 2, 9:1-28, 10:1-18. Thus, Jesus inherits and was the fulfilment of the Levitical Covenant (See Mal 3:1)
  • That’s the angle that I was looking at it, entrapment Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 22:38
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    Full and concise. Commented May 21, 2021 at 4:58
  • He is asking about the Jews expectation in Jesus times.
    – Michael16
    Commented May 21, 2021 at 10:34
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    "The two titles come from independent pedigrees in the OT as follows:" I don't think this is right. They are both (actually, it's the anointed, the king, and the son of God) in Psalm 2, but instead of the actual phrase 'the Son of God' it's "You are my Son, I am your Father", which straightforwardly means "the Son of God." They are used as co-referents and apparently something like synonyms at multiple places in the NT. See Mark 14:61 - Caiaphas is using them as co-referents and virtual synonyms, not distinguishing between them. Commented May 21, 2021 at 16:34
  • 1. Daniel 3:25 is spoken by Nebuchadnezzar, hardly reason to support a position the Jews held to the belief. Also the LXX renders Nebuchadnezzar as υἱῷ θεοῦ not ο υιος του θεου, a phrase never used in the LXX. 2. Contemporary Judaism does not hold this belief neither do they recognize a Son of God in the exclusive sense it is used by and of Jesus. 3. The Christ as the the Son of God is 100% a Christian understanding. No doubt employed as entrapment by the high priest, as a blasphemous belief contrary to Judaism. Commented May 27 at 14:07

Isa 9:6,7 - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

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    – agarza
    Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 3:31

The Jew's question clearly indicates that the Messiah and Son of God are interchangeable titles to them. They [implicitly] taught & knew that the Messiah was divine and understood the meaning of claims like [the] Son of God, coming in the clouds in the divine power and glory. The reason they rejected him because he was a meek and lowly, ordinary man, however even the interpretations existed about the meek and lowly suffering and dying Messiah. The Jewish Talmud and rabbinic commentaries also show that Messiah being Son of God is not a new concept invented in the New Testament. The reason Christians are unfamiliar with the true nature and background of the Messianic prophecies is because of lack of understanding of the midrash interpretation as seen in the Jewish sources, otherwise you wouldn't respect those OT proof texts used by NT authors because they seem to be desperate out of context applications to Jesus.

Rabbinic statements: “R. Yose the Galilean said: “The name of the Messiah is Peace, for it is said, Everlasting Father, Prince Peace” (Midrash Pereq Shalom, p. 101); “The Messiah is called by eight names: Yinnon [see Ps. 72:17], Tzemach [e.g., Jer. 23:5]; Pele [Wonderful, Isa. 9:6 (5)], Yo’etz [Counselor, Isa. 9:6 (5)], Mashaich [Messiah], El [god, Isa. 9:6 (5)], Gibbor (Hero, Isa. 9:6 (5)], and Avi’ Ad Shalom [Eternal Father of Peace, Isa. 9:6 (5)]; see Deuteronomy Rabbah 1:20.

What is the name of the King Messiah? R. Abba b. Kahana said: His name is "the Lord" (Midrash Rabbah, Lamentations 1:16)

You can see that not just Jesus' claims but even the concept of Trinity, everything was already understood by the Jews. Nothing is new in the NT, except for the revealing. We can say, the title Son of God may have not been as much explicit as Jesus made it. Some references from Michael Brown's book, from the same site:

The Messiah is the same figure described in Isaiah as God’s suffering servant, in the Psalms as the Son of God, and in Daniel 7 as coming on the clouds of heaven to judge and rule the Earth. In Psalms the Messiah is called “elohim” (Hebrew for “God”). In Isaiah 45 the Messiah is called “El Gibbor” (Hebrew for “Mighty God”). As a result of such passages and others such as Isaiah 52-53, where the Messiah is said to be higher than the angels, the Messiah has been regarded as a divine, semi-divine, supernatural figure. The Messiah is also described as existing prior to his birth and having discourse with Old Testament figures. (In accordance with Old Testament teaching, some Hasidic Jews of Lubavitcher Hasidism claim that their deceased Grand Rabbi is both Messiah and God and that he will be resurrected from the dead and return.) The New Testament Christian view of a virgin birth is a legitimate possible interpretation of Isaiah 7 supported by the language of the text as interpreted even by non-Christian Jewish scholars before the time of Christ who translated the (Old Testament) Hebrew Bible into Greek (called the Septuagint.) The language of the prophecy also indicates something unique is occurring regarding the birth and that this remarkable aspect is related to the impossibility of the mother conceiving and bearing a child as a young woman. Micah 5 is a prophecy of the Messiah and foretells of his coming birth in Bethlehem.

  1. For now, however we will return to Psalm 2 in the Tanakh in light of a homiletical Rabbinic commentary called Midrash Tehillim. The midrash is addressing the words, “I will declare the decree. The LORD said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have begotten you.’” Which decree, the rabbis ask, is being referred to here? First, it is answered, the text refers to the “decree of the Torah,” Exodus 4:22, where God calls Israel his firstborn son. In other words, just as Israel was God’s son, so also the king was God’s son. Next, it refers to “the decree of the Prophets,” citing Isaiah 52:13 (“Behold, my servant will act wisely”) and Isaiah 42:1 (“Here is my servant, who I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight”). Now, what is interesting here is that neither of these verses makes reference to the term son, yet they are among the most famous Messianic prophecies in the entire Bible, often pointed to by Christians with ultimate reference to Jesus. And the madrash ties them in with the king being called God’s son in Psalm 2:7! Next, the rabbis point to “the decree of the Writings” (i.e., the remainder of the Tanakh), citing Psalm 110:1, “The LORD said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand,’” a verse quoted by Jesus himself to demonstrate that as Messiah, he was more than just David’s son, since David in Psalm 110 called him “my lord” (see Matt. 22:42-45). And all this is given in explanation of “the decree” proclaiming the Davidic king as God’s son. But it gets even better. The final verse cited is Daniel 7:13: “In my vision at night I looked and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.” Thus, in light of this Rabbinic compilation of Scripture the exalted figure coming in the clouds of heaven is none other than the Davidic king, the Son of God! (Remember this is Rabbinic midrash not New Testament commentary.) From a Messianic standpoint, this verse in Daniel is of critical importance...Now, let’s put this all together: According to this Midrash, the justification for calling the king the son of God is based on: (1) God calling Israel his firstborn son; (2) prophecies from Isaiah referring to the faithful servant of the Lord, clearly Messianic references; and (3) a royal psalm in which God says to the king, “Sit at my right hand,” and the glorious “son of man” prophecy from Daniel. If I didn’t read this myself in the Hebrew Midrash Tehillim, I would have thought that a Messianic Jew put these verses together. They are some of the most common texts that we quote, all with reference to Jesus the Messiah. And here the rabbis tie them in with the Davidic king as son of God. In fact, Rabbi Yudan states explicitly that the words “you are my son” refer to the Messiah. – Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volume 2, Theological Objections, p. 41-42

  2. We saw above (3.3) that the Midrash to Psalm 2:7 – in which the Davidic king (i.e., King Messiah, according to Rabbi Yudan) is called God’s son – joined several key Scriptural passages together, interpreting them with reference to the Lord’s anointed one. The verses were (1) Exodus 4:22, in which God calls Israel his firstborn son, meaning that just as Israel was God’s son so also the king was God’s son; (2) Isaiah 52:13, “Behold, my servant will act wisely,” and Isaiah 42:1, “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight,” 364 equating the king with the servant of the Lord; (3) Psalm 110:1, “The LORD said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand,’” a verse quoted by Jesus himself to demonstrate that as Messiah he was more than just David’s son, since David in this psalm called him “my lord”; and (4) Daniel 7:13, “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven,” another verse applied by Jesus to his own Messianic mission. Putting this Rabbinic compilation of Scripture together, we see that the exalted figure coming in the clouds of heaven is none other than the Davidic king, the Son of God. – Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volume 2, Theological Objections, p. 216-217

  • The Jews expect the Son of Man coming on the clouds. There is nothing within Judaism which equates the Son of Man and the Son of God, nor is there anything in Judaism today which understands the Son of God in the singular exclusive sense Jesus used it or how Christianity applies it. The two rabbinic quotes you provide make your point about what Christians might not understand, but nowhere in that list is the term "Son of God." If this was a belief held by Jews, you should offer a rabbinic source stating that, and demonstrate it is still held today. Commented May 27 at 14:14

I will provide a minority report. The answer is no. The Jews did not generally expect the Messiah to be the Son of God. Other answers, with the notable exception of @חִידָה, have shown that this title was in common use among the Romans and that it can be gleaned from Christian interpretations of various OT scriptures, or from the NT itself. However this does not adequately address the OP question, except to show the possibility that some Jews thought this way - most of them being believers in Jesus whose attitudes are described by later Christian writers. What is lacking is any contemporary historical record of Jews expressing this expectation directly. On the other hand, the expectation of the Messiah coming as Son of David and/or Son of Aaron is well attested.

The question then arises as to why the high priest would have said what he did. Presuming the hypothesis that Jews did not generally give the title Son of God to the Messiah, I see two explanations:

  1. The title is anachronistic. Matthew was not an eye witness to the event but reports it from the viewpoint of the time of writing, a generation after the fact. But that time Christians did indeed understand the Messiah to be the Son of God and believed the high priest thought as they did about the Messiah's nature.

  2. Although Jews did not see the Messiah as the Son of God, the high priest knew that Jesus' followers had claimed this. So he asked: "Is it true you claim to the be the Messiah, the Son of God?" - as opposed to "Is it true that you claim to be the Messiah, the Son of David?" The latter would not be a blasphemy, and blasphemy was the charge against him as far as the high priest was concerned.

Conclusion: No, the Jews did not generally expect the Messiah to be the Son of God. Either this title is an anachronism, or the high priest asked the question to confirm the alleged blasphemy that had been reported to him.

  • +1 Absolutely correct. Not only did they not hold that belief, they still do not believe a Son of God, as Christians define the term even exists. The NT shows the term "son" of God was understood as referring to anyone who was Jewish, but in a general sense, not the exclusive sense it was applied to Jesus. I would add a third point to your answer. Jesus response was considered blasphemy. Therefore claiming the Christ was not or was other than the Son of David was blasphemy. IOW the question was put forth as blasphemous belief to which a denial was the correct response. Commented May 27 at 13:52
  • Additionally, the phrase ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ is never used in the LXX. It is pretty hard to maintain the position Judaism understood the Christ was ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ when that terminology was never used in the LXX. Commented May 27 at 13:57

Yes they would’ve understood the Messiah as being a son of God but that’s not very specific. They more specifically understood the Messiah as being from the house of David, a son of David. They being the Pharisees. The Sadducees didn’t believe in the messiah prophecy so everything Jesus said was considered to be madness, unless it was a useful application of the Law of Moses within the current tradition.

The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

The phrase son of God is not significant because everyone was a son of God because the Israelites were the firstborn of God. “Tell us who are the sons of God if you the son of God are the Messiah.” Anybody could be spoken of as a son of God but within the limits of it being a national identity with the Jews. It’s as pointless as asking a Jew if they are a Jew when you know they are a Jew and don’t need to ask.

Jesus gets charged for blasphemy for how he responds with Daniel 7 spoken as though they, the High Priest and Sanhedrin were the “horn” of verse 21 (As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them,)

The son of man is the holy people.

Jesus spoke of the son of man as those who were more righteous than the Pharisees and scribes. Matthew 5:20.

Those acts of righteousness would become their payment by which to enter the kingdom of God after the current residents of the kingdom of God leave it to repay their debt.

In other words, Jesus was telling them the Sanhedrin and High Priest to resign from their jobs. To leave the kingdom of God so that the holy people, the son of man can enter into the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not meant for being a lifelong career and residence so to say. The kingdom of God is God’s property. Upon entering it you now start being charged for the time there. It is a debt. What is done inside the kingdom of God is the work of the Spirit. Anybody who does these works is NOT given credit of righteousness to themselves because it is the Spirit that lives in them that does the work. To repay the debt that person must by free will leave the kingdom of God and do works of righteousness by their own free will, works done without the Spirit, to repay for their time spent in the kingdom of God which is the priesthood and Sanhedrin. The High Priest and Sanhedrin, Sadducees and Pharisees did not want to leave their jobs.


One cannot know for certain what the Pharisees of Jesus’ day ascribed to or what motivated them beyond money and power but they appeared well versed in the Scriptures, in so far as what they said, even if they had their own prejudicial expectation.

When Herod at the time of Jesus’ birth asked for information he received it most accurately.

“When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭2:3-4‬ ‭

Which could lead one to assume that within a thirty year period some of the scholars who answered Herod were still around to explain who the Messiah was and details about Him from the Scriptures to the leaders thirty years later.

They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭2:5-6‬ ‭

This points to the fact that that they expected the ruler, the king, the anointed one, the one from the line of David to be BORN, in other words a human being.

And this human was also a pre-existent being who would enter into humanity having had a previous existence

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from eternity. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.” ‭‭Micah‬ ‭5:2-4‬ ‭

This makes reference again to the birth of a ruler, a Shepherd, the anointed.

It is also important to note that scholars who studied in-depth the Holy Scriptures noticed in the prophets that God has a son, who is distinct from the sons of God.

“I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭2:7-9‬ ‭

These are Scriptures used by NT writers to show that Jesus was that Son. Jesus Himself asserts He is He.

“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭2:26-27‬ ‭

It would seem out of place for the ancients Jews to accept these prophecies if they were monotheists, but they believed in a visible God and an invisible God. Jesus makes the point that only He has seen the Father, which implies that the God men saw in the OT was not the Father but another.

“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭2:12‬ ‭

Again the reference to the Son. Specifically THE son of God.

This is not the only reference and in true keeping with a witness of minimum two or three witnesses there is another passage that makes reference to the son, specifically of God.

“Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭30:4‬ ‭

Again to an astute careful reader this detail does not go unnoticed.

God clearly has a son

The messiah was going to be born, therefore would be a human.

What maybe no one had connected yet, was that the Messiah would be the visible God taking on the human biological machine/body.

In conclusion, I cannot speak to why Jesus was asked this question in this way. But Jesus tried very hard to help them connect the dots, which in my mind tells me they knew the Messiah would be God and would be born and would be THE Son of God.

“So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,” ‭‭John‬ ‭10:24-25‬ ‭

At least believe because you know the Messiah would cast out demons, the single sign that was not practiced in the OT and they still refused to believe.

My best guess is they knew what they should expect, EVEN the exact TIME according to Daniel’s prophecy when He should appear, which corresponded to the 100th Jubilee year from day 1 of creation, the year 4,900. But they just could not see, because their eyes were darkened by the love of money and greed.

Imagine how blind you have to be, to know the truth, to understand the prophecies, to have Truth incarnate before you and to stumble over Him.

“Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭9:32-33‬ ‭

  • So King David spoke Aramaic in Psalm 2:12 instead of Hebrew? - Why would נַשְּׁקוּ־בַ֡ר in ancient Hebrew mean anything other than “ Arm yourselves with purity “? - When did David ever use a word for a Hebrew son other than בֵּן Ben? Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 11:16
  • @חִידָה interesting question, I don’t have an answer. Certainly Aramaic would read son but Hebrew would read grain (which I don’t know makes sense). Acts 2:24-26 quotes some of these verses and claims David the author, so that seems to be confirmation. By 8th century BC Aramaic was the lingua Franca, David being monarch I image learned sister languages and dialects of the region maybe even earlier when a fugitive and in the land of Philistia. That’s one possibility. But why would he do that? I don’t have a definite explanation right now. Just thinking out loud Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 11:53
  • The only relevant language is Koine Greek.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 15:49
  • 1
    @Ruminator hahaha not for the OT but I get your point Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 15:56

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