Many Protestants say that the Deuterocanonical books are apocrypha. In other words these books are not Scripture. One of the reasons given is that there were no prophets in any of these books. Let me give a few examples:
Ron Rhodes, in his Book, Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 2000, p. 33 writes:
Moreover, no apocryphal book was written by a true prophet or apostle of God...Further, no apocryphal book contains predictive prophecy, which would have served to confirm divine inspiration.
Norman Geisler and Ralph E. MacKenzie, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences, 1995, p. 167, writes:
There is strong evidence that the apocryphal books are not prophetic. But since propheticity is the test for canonicity, this would eliminate the Apocrypha from the canon...
I don’t believe that either one of them established from Scripture that in order for a book to be termed inspired Scripture, it must be prophetic. Nonetheless, Wisdom 2:12-20 is one of the clearest passages that point to a person who would call himself Son of God, who would be put to death by jealous people. Let us look at Wisdom 2:12-20
12: "Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training. 13: He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. 14: He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;
15: the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange. 16: We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father. 17: Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; 18: for if the righteous man is God's son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. 19: Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. 20: Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected."
These particular prophecies mentioned above are only found in Wisdom 2. Let us go verse by verse. Let us start in Wisdom 2:12
Wisdom 2:12 "Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.
A righteous man will reproach the leaders and their training. Let us see how Jesus teaches on the matter.
Matthew 23:23..27-28 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others”...
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
John 7:19-20 Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?"
Jesus, as in Wisdom 2:12, is a righteous man, in fact perfectly righteous. He condemns the Scribes as lawbreakers. He calls them on hypocrisy. He ‘reproached them for their sins’, as in Matt. 23:27-28. He calls them lawbreakers. And he says that they will attempt to kill him..
Wisdom 2:12, also speaks of leaders lying in wait to get the righteous man. We see that the chief priests and elders doing the following, Mt. 26:3-4:
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Ca'iaphas, 4 and took counsel together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.
He had been welcomed as a King by the people (John 12:12-15) and so the rulers could not do this during the day. Because Jesus reproaches them for the breaking of the law, and accuses them of hypocrisy, the religious leaders take offense . What does Jesus do in dealing with the Jews? He exposes their hypocrisy. He calls them lawbreakers, and not keeping the heart of the law, as the above passages show. The gospel shows that they must do this stealthily, because of Jesus’ popularity (John 12:12-15). Just as predicted in Wis. 2:12.
Let us look next at Wisdom 2:13:
He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord.
The righteous man will profess to have knowledge of God, and in fact he will have that unique knowledge of God. He will profess to be a child of God. Let us look at the gospel:
John 8:55 But you have not known him (the Father); I know him. If I said, I do not know him, I should be a liar like you; but I do know him and I keep his word.
Jesus knows the Father in a unique fashion. He knows him better than his opponents. He also terms opponents as being the followers of their Father, the devil (Jn. 8:44). As Wisdom 2:13 shows, He claims to be a child of God, as he refers to His Father, . He refers to his Father quite often, as ‘My Father’ (See John 8:38, 49, 54, 10:19, 25, 29, etc.), signifying a special relationship with God the Father
He calls himself a child of God, or the Son of God, John 3:18:
18 He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Also see how he refers to himself as the Son of God in John 5:25
Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
He calls himself the child of God, just as Wisdom 2:13 predicted.
Next, let us look at Wisdom 2:14:
He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;
But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts?
7 And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. 8 But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come and stand here." And he rose and stood there. 9 And Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?" 10 And he looked around on them all, and said to him, "Stretch out your hand." And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11 But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Jesus read the thoughts of his opponents. And He reproofed them for those thoughts. And they reacted by plotting to destroy Jesus.
Let us take a look at the next verse, Wisdom 2:15:
the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange.
The righteous man will not do as other ‘religious’ leaders did. Let us look at the gospel:
Matthew 15:1-6 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 "Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat." 3 He answered them, "And why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die.' 5 But you say, 'If any one tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God, he need not honor his father.' 6 So, for the sake of your tradition, you have made void the word of God.
As Wisdom 2 predicted, he does not go along with the Pharisees’ false tradition. They saw his activities as strange. He heals on the Sabbath, and that is ‘strange’ for them:
1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here." 4 And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Hero'di-ans against him, how to destroy him.
Again, they seek to destroy him, as mentioned in Wisdom 2:12. But they consider as strange that he would heal on the Sabbath.
And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, "Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?" 22 When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, "Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? 24 But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" --he said to the man who was paralyzed--"I say to you, rise, take up your bed and go home." 25 And immediately he rose before them, and took up that on which he lay, and went home, glorifying God. 26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen strange things today."
It was strange to the Pharisees that Jesus claimed the authority to forgive sins. And what the people witnessed was ‘strange’ for them. This is a fulfillment of Wisdom 2:15.
Let us look at look at Wisdom 2:16:
We are considered by him 1)
as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; 2)
he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts 3) that God is his father.
Let us look go over each of those three features in this verse:
So, the righteous man will consider his opponents evil, and avoids their way. He will call the righteous happy, and will call God his Father. I highlighted 3 specific things. He avoids their ways as unclean, he calls the end of the righteous happy, and calls God as His Father.
39 And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you.
1) We see in this passage that Jesus regards the Pharisees way as unclean, as they are hypocrites. Being full of extortion and wickedness, they are unclean. Jesus tells us to be clean by giving alms and being righteous. So Jesus tells people to avoid their ways, because they practice hypocrisy. This fits in with this Wisdom 2 prophecy.
Let us look at part 2 of a fulfillment of Wisdom 2:16, Mt. 5:10:
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2) Jesus teaches that those who seek righteousness will be happy, as they will be in God’s kingdom, as predicted in Wisdom 2:16.
Luke 10:22 All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
3) Jesus calls God as his Father, just as Wisdom 2:16 predicted. So we see three ideas in this verse, Wisdom 2:16 fulfilled in the life of Christ in the gospel.
Let us look at the final passages of this section, Wisdom 2:17-20. They are best seen together.
17: Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; 18: for if the righteous man is God's son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. 19: Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. 20: Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected."
Now, let us compare that with the gospel. Now, in Matthew 27:41-43, we see the following:
41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'"
Wisdom 2:17 says that they will see if his words are true, at the end of his life. Jesus opponents got the idea, if he was true, he would come down from the cross and Mt. 27:42 says, “we will believe him if he comes down from the cross”.
Wisdom 2:18 says if he really is God’s Son, God will deliver him. Mt. 27:43 says if he is God’s Son, he will deliver him. Now, in this passage, one will see in a Protestant Bible, a cross-reference from Mt. 27:43 to Psalm 22:8. That is because there is a mention of ‘well, if God is with him, he will deliver him’ (Ps. 22:8). There is no doubt a cross reference to that, however, it is not a complete reference. Only in Wisdom 2:18, do we see where, it specifically said that ‘If he were God’s Son, let him deliver him’. That is a much more completer reference.
Wisdom 2:19 says that he will be insulted. They mock him already in Mt. 27:43, and in a similar verse in Luke 23:35-37:
35 And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!" 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, 37 and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"
They insult and scoff at him, just like predicted in Wisdom 2:19.
Finally, Wisdom 2:20 indicates that he will be put to death. He is put to death on the cross, as though a common criminal. Two criminals die with him, one on his left, and one on his right.
We may see in this passage, Wisdom 2:12-20, one of the reasons why the Jews decided in Jamnia in 90 AD, to not allow the Deuterocanonical books. This passage in Wisdom 2 has many facets that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. He was a righteous man,. He knew God in a special way. He was one who condemned the religious leaders of the day, who sought secretly to trap Jesus. He called God as his Father. He called them on their hypocrisy. His ways were ‘strange’. He read their thoughts. He claimed to be God’s son. He was mocked and tortured, and was condemned to his death as a common criminal, and taunted by his opponents. This passage is fulfilled in so many ways in Jesus Christ. And only in Jesus Christ.
Wisdom 13 is also used by Paul in his writings in Romans 1.18-23. There are other allusions to Wisdom in other portions of the New Testament. Nonetheless, this prophecy in Wisdom 2 of the life and death of Jesus is a most powerful witness of that truth of who Jesus is. So much for any idea that there is no prophecy contained in the Deuterocanonical books.
© 2003 Wisdom 2:12-20: Prophecy Fulfilled in Jesus Christ...by Matt1618 ... This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.