Concerning the Word “Until”

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Matthew 11:13 (KJV)

Until – Is this what you believe? Do you believe that the prophets and the law no longer have a place in our everyday lives now that John has come?

Well you’re not alone. It’s a common theology, and an argument often used to justify that the law is no longer applicable today.

It is meant by this verse that John introduced a new dispensation; and that the old one, under which the prophets and the law of Moses were the guide, was closed when he preached that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. By the “law” is meant here the five books of Moses; by the prophets, the remainder of the books of the Old Testament.

Barnes’ notes on the Bible

Follow this theology through. If that’s the case, then any prophecy that foretold of what was going to happen to Yeshua is also not applicable. Many prophecies foretold of the story of Yeshua and His death and resurrection. If they all ended at John, then they can’t continue past him.

But what if I told you to take a look at the Hebrew Matthew again? It makes much more sense in light of what Yeshua is explaining in these verses.

For all the prophets and the law spoke concerning John.

Shem Tov’s Hebrew Matthew

Do you see the difference? Yeshua is stating that the prophets and the law spoke concerning John… not up until John. Yeshua is attempting to justify John’s authority and his place as the Elijah who was to prepare the path of the Messiah. The prophets and law spoke about this.

This is a huge change in theology, right? It’s not about removing the law and prophets from our lives. It’s about justification that the law and prophets are true. They pointed to John as that “spirit of Elijah,” and they pointed to Yeshua as well. This confirms them as the authority in our lives. They tell us what is wrong and what is right. It is God’s will clearly laid out for us. Thank the Almighty that He loved us so much that He made it clear what He expected from us.

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