Messiah in The Legends of the Jews
The following are all the passages (heavily edited in most cases) dealing with the word "Messiah" (as per the index) which are in "The Legends of the Jews" by Louis Ginzberg. This is just for comparison and does not in any way admit to the veracity of certain passages. It is interesting in light of the fact that someone could take these expectations and use them to their advantage to counterfeit the pure office of the true Messiah.
1. Messiah will put an end to sinfulness
...the Messiah was appointed to bring salvation, which would put an end to all sinfulness.
2. Messiah, the abode of
a. As for the seven divisions of Paradise, each of them is twelve myriads of miles in width and twelve myriads of miles in length...The fifth division is built of silver and gold and refined gold, and the finest of gold and glass and bdellium, and through the midst of it flows the river Gihon. The wainscoting is of silver and gold, and a perfume breathes through it more exquisite than the perfume of Lebanon. The coverings of the silver and gold beds are made of purple and blue, woven by Eve, and of scarlet and the hair of goats, woven by angels. Here dwells the Messiah on a palanquin made of the wood of Lebanon, "the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom of gold, the seat of it purple." With him is Elijah. He takes the head of Messiah, and places it in his bosom, and says to him, "Be quiet, for the end draweth nigh." On every Monday and Thursday and on Sabbaths and holidays, the Patriarchs come to him, and the twelve sons of Jacob, and Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, and all the kings of Israel and of Judah, and they weep with him and comfort him, and say unto him, "Be quiet and put trust in thy Creator, for the end draweth nigh. "Also Korah and his company, and Dathan, Abiram, and Absalom come to him on every Wednesday, and ask him: "How long before the end comes full of wonders? When wilt thou bring us life again, and from the abysses of the earth lift us?" The Messiah answers them, "Go to your fathers and ask them"; and when they hear this, they are ashamed, and do not ask their fathers.
b. Moses Meets the Messiah in Heaven
Moses received still another special distinction on the day of his death, for on that day God permitted him to ascend to the lofty place of heaven, and showed him the reward that awaited him in heaven, and the future. The Divine attribute of Mercy appeared there before him and said to him: "I bring glad tidings to thee, at which thou wilt rejoice. Turn to the Throne of Mercy and behold!" Moses turned to the Throne of Mercy and saw God build the Temple of jewels and pearls, while between the separate gems and pearls shimmered the radiance of the Shekinah, brighter than all jewels. And in this Temple he beheld the Messiah, David's son, and his own brother Aaron, standing erect, and dressed in the robe of the high priest. Aaron then said to Moses: "Do not draw near, for this is the place where the Shekinah dwells, and know that no one may enter here before he have tasted of death and his soul have been delivered to the Angel of Death."
Moses now fell upon his face before God, saying, "Permit me to speak to Thy Messiah before I die." God then said to Moses: "Come, I shall teach thee My great name, that the flames of the Shekinah consume thee not." When the Messiah, David's son, and Aaron beheld Moses approach them, they knew that God had taught him the great name, so they went to meet him and saluted him with the greeting: "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Moses thereupon said to the Messiah: "God told me that Israel was to erect a Temple to Him upon earth, and I now see Him build His own Temple, and that, too, in heaven!" The Messiah replied: "Thy father Jacob saw the Temple that will be erect on earth, and also the Temple that God rears with His own hand in heaven, and he clearly understood that it was the Temple God constructed with His own hand in heaven as a house of jewels, of pearls, and of the light of the Shekinah, that was to be preserved for Israel to all eternity, to the end of all generations. This was in the night when Jacob slept upon a stone, and in his dream beheld one Jerusalem upon earth, and another in heaven. God then said to Jacob, 'My son Jacob, today I stand above thee as in the future thy children will stand before Me.' At the sight of these two Jerusalems, the earthly and the heavenly, Jacob said: 'The Jerusalem on earth is nothing, this is not the house that will be preserved for my children in all generations, but in truth that other house of God, that He builds with His own hands.' But if thou sayest," continued the Messiah, "that God with His own hands builds Himself a Temple in heaven, know then that with His hands also He will build the Temple upon earth."
When Moses heard these words from the mouth of the Messiah, he rejoiced greatly, and lifting up his face to God, he said, "O Lord of the world! When will this Temple built here in heaven come down to earth below?" God replied: "I have made known the time of this event to no creature, either to the earlier ones or to the later, how then should I tell thee?" Moses said: "Give me a sign, so that out of the happenings in the world I may gather when that time will approach." God: "I shall first scatter Israel as with a shovel over all the earth, so that they may be scattered among all nations in the four corners of the earth, and then shall I 'set My hand again the second time,' and gather them in that migrated with Jonah, the son of Amittai, to the land of Pathros, and those that dwell in the land of Shinar, Hamath, Elam, and the islands of the sea."
c. Quite new is the conception of the secret chamber of the Messiah in paradise which is called...by the peculiar name "bird's nest." On the whole, the Messiah plays an important part in this description of the life of the pious in paradise. Old is the view that the pious, particularly the patriarchs and the Messiah, grieve over Israel's suffering, and pray to God for their redemption.
3. Messiah, Elijah the companion of the
a. See 2a.
b. [Gaster's Ma'asiyyot] knows only of three halls of paradise, one of glass, for proselytes; one of silver, for the righteous of Israel; one of gold, in which dwell the three patriarchs and Moses, Aaron, David, "the weeping" Messiah, and Elijah comforting him.
4. Messiah puts to shame those who inquire about the end
5. Messiah, visited by Korah, Dathan, Abiram and Absalom
6. Messiah, the genealogy of the
a. The fruit of their [Adam and Eve] reunion was Seth, who was destined to be the ancestor of the Messiah.
The name Seth is also connected with "foundation": he became the foundation of mankind. There is a legend concerning Seth and the branch of the tree of life in various compilations.
b. The Messiah will be a descendant of his [Lot], for the Moabitess Ruth is the great-grandmother of David, and the Ammonitess Naamah is the mother of Rehoboam, and the Messiah is of the line of these two kings.
c. Wealth was not an object of desire to Jacob. He would have been well content, in his own behalf and in behalf of his family, to resign all earthly treasures in favor of Esau and his family. He said to Esau: "I foresee that in future days suffering will be inflicted by thy children upon mine. But I do not demur, thou mayest exercise thy dominion and wear thy crown until the time when the Messiah springs from my loins, and receives the rule from thee." These words spoken by Jacob will be realized in days to come, when all the nations will rise up against the kingdom of Edom, and take away one city after another from him, one realm after another, until they reach Bet-Gubrin, and then the Messiah will appear and assume his kingship. The angel of Edom will flee for refuge to Bozrah, but God will appear there, and slay him, for though Bozrah is one of the cities of refuge, yet will the Lord exercise the right of the avenger therein. He will seize the angel by his hair, and Elijah will slaughter him, letting the blood spatter the garments of God. All this Jacob had in mind when he said to Esau, "Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant, until I come unto my lord unto Seir." Jacob himself never went to Seir. What he meant was the Messianic time when Israel shall go to Seir, and take possession thereof.
d. Endowed with the gift of prophecy, Tamar knew that she was appointed to be the ancestress of David and of the Messiah, and she determined to venture upon an extreme measure in order to make sure of fulfilling her destiny.
e. Jacob spoke thus to him: "Judah, thou dost deserve thy name. Thy mother called thee Jehudah, because she gave praise to God at thy birth, and so shall thy brethren praise thee, and they all will call themselves by thy name. And as thou didst confess thy sin openly, so also thy descendants, Achan, David, and Manasseh, will make public avowal of their sins, and the Lord will hear their prayer. Thy hands will send darts after the fleeing foe, and thy father's sons shall pay thee respect. Thou hast the impudence of a dog and the bravery of a lion. Thou didst save Joseph from death, and Tamar and her two sons from the flames. No people and no kingdom will be able to stand up against thee. Rulers shall not cease from the house of Judah, nor teachers of the law from his posterity, until his descendant Messiah come, and the obedience of all peoples be unto him. How glorious is Messiah of the House of Judah! His loins girded, he will go out to do battle with his enemies. No king and no ruler will prevail against him. The mountains will be dyed red with their blood, and the garments of Messiah will be like the garments of him that presseth wine. The eyes of Messiah will be clearer than pure wine, for they will never behold unchastity and bloodshed; and his teeth will be whiter than milk, for never will they bite aught that is taken by violence."
f. [Gad said] "This also tell unto your children, that they shall honor Judah and Levi, for from them the Lord will cause a savior to arise unto Israel. For I know that in the end your children will fall off from God, and they will take part in all wickedness, malice, and corruptness, before the Lord."
g. The offerings of all the princes of the tribes were identical, but they had a different significance for each tribe. From the time of Jacob, who foretold it to them, every tribe knew his future history to the time of the Messiah, hence at the dedication every prince brought such offerings as symbolized the history of his tribe.
Nahshon, the prince of Judah, brought a silver charger and a silver bowl, the one to stand for the sea, the other for the mainland, indicating that out of his tribe would spring such men as Solomon and the Messiah, who would rule over all the world, both land and sea.
h. See 2b.
i. ...God took mercy upon him [Solomon] for the sake of his father David, and for the sake of the pious princess Naamah, the daughter of the Ammonite king, destined by God to be the ancestress of the Messiah. The time was approaching when she was to become the wife of Solomon and reign as queen in Jerusalem.
j. Not only was Zerubbabel, the first governor of Palestine after the destruction of the Temple, a grandson of Jehoiachin's, but also the Messiah himself will be a descendant of his.
1. ...it is said that Zerubbabel was a son of Jehoiachin, but [there are differing opinions] as to how to harmonize this view with 2 Chronicles 3:17, which seems to contradict it. According to the Talmud, this scriptural passage contains a number of attributes of Zerubbabel, whereas the Midrash maintains that these attributes are assigned to Jehoiachin. The Talmud is also of the opinion that Zerubbabel is identical with Nehemiah.
2. Anani as mentioned in the Targum on 1 Chronicles 3:24 is said in some sources to be the name of the Messiah (="the one from the clouds").Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
k. Besides the seven shepherds and eight princes of the Messianic times, the Talmud knows of four distinguished personages as Messiahs. These are: Messiah the son of David; Messiah the son of Joseph; Elijah; the priest of justice (Melchizedek?). [Some sources say] instead of the last, a Messiah appears who is a descendant of Manasseh.
l. [Some sources show] where the name Perez is taken to be an allusion to the Messiah, who is called "the breaker" (compare Micah 2:13), and who is a descendant of Perez, the son of Judah.
Micah 2:13 The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.
m. [Some sources] state that the Messiah was a Danite on his maternal side; this view is very likely related to the one found in early Christian authors [Irenaeus, Hippolytus] about the Danite descent of the anti-Christ.
n. The view that Miriam was the ancestress of David (and hence of the Messiah) is [found in Jewish sources]. The Christian legend that Jesus is a descendant of the priestly family is very likely connected with this view of the Rabbis.
o. [There is a legend that] the advent of the Messiah, the son of Ephraim, will precede the Messiah, the son of David.
7. Messiah will rule over the whole world
a. The first among the leaders of the corrupt men was Nimrod. His father Cush had married his mother at an advanced age, and Nimrod, the offspring of this belated union, was particularly dear to him as the son of his old age. He gave him the clothes made of skins with which God had furnished Adam and Eve at the time of their leaving Paradise. Cush himself had gained possession of them through Ham. From Adam and Eve they had descended to Enoch, and from him to Methuselah, and to Noah, and the last had taken them with him into the ark. When the inmates of the ark were about to leave their refuge, Ham stole the garments and kept them concealed, finally passing them on to his first-born son Cush. Cush in turn hid them for many years. When his son Nimrod reached his twentieth year, he gave them to him. These garments had a wonderful property. He who wore them was both invincible and irresistible. The beasts and birds of the woods fell down before Nimrod as soon as they caught sight of him arrayed in them, and he was equally victorious in his combats with men. The source of his unconquerable strength was not known to them. They attributed it to his personal prowess, and therefore they appointed him king over themselves. This was done after a conflict between the descendants of Cush and the descendants of Japheth, from which Nimrod emerged triumphant, having routed the enemy utterly with the assistance of a handful of warriors. He chose Shinar as his capital. Thence he extended his dominion farther and farther, until he rose by cunning and force to be the sole ruler of the whole world. the first mortal to hold universal sway, as the ninth ruler to possess the same power will be the Messiah.
b. See 6g.
c. ...concerning the rulers of the world, a number of versions are extant. [The first] reads: God, at the time of the creation of the world was the first ruler; then Nimrod, Joseph, Solomon, Ahab, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander of Macedon, the Messiah, and at the end of time God, who was the first ruler, will also be the last...[Another source] has (instead of Joseph, Solomon, Ahab, Cyrus, and Alexander) the following names: Pharaoh king of Egypt (either the one who ruled in the land in the time of Joseph or the Pharaoh of the Exodus), Israel, Ahasuerus, Greece, and Rome. [Another version states] there were only four rulers over the world, two Jews (Solomon and Ahab), and two non-Jews (Nebuchadnezzar and Ahasuerus)...[Another source] cites David, Solomon, Ahab, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, and Darius as the rulers of the world. To this list are probably to be added the first, as well as the last two names mentioned in [the first list] in order to complete the number ten. [Another source] gives the following rulers: Nimrod, Pharaoh, Solomon, Ahab, Nebuchadnezzar, Ahasuerus, Cyrus, Alexander, Vespasian, Adarsham...[Another source reads] Edom's (=Rome's) dominion of the world shortly before the advent of the Messiah [is] for the duration of nine months.
8. Messiah, accorded the privilege of asking what he would
a. As a further distinction, God gave him [Abraham] leave to ask what he would have, rare grace accorded to none beside, except Jacob, Solomon, Ahaz, and the Messiah.
b. But Solomon's wealth and pomp were as naught in comparison with his wisdom. When God appeared to him in Gibeon, in a dream by night, and gave him leave to ask what he would,--a grace accorded to none beside except King Ahaz of Judah, and promised only to the Messiah in time to come,--Solomon chose wisdom, knowing that wisdom once in his possession, all else would come of itself.
9. Messiah, bidden by Abraham to wait until the time appointed for him
a. But though he believed the promise made him with a full and abiding faith, he yet desired to know by what merit of theirs his descendants would maintain themselves. Therefore God bade him bring Him a sacrifice of three heifers, three she-goats, three rams, a turtle dove, and a young pigeon, thus indicating to Abraham the various sacrifices that should once be brought in the Temple, to atone for the sins of Israel and further his welfare. "But what will become of my descendants," asked Abraham, "after the Temple is destroyed?" God replied, and said, "If they read the order of sacrifices as they will be set down in the Scriptures, I will account it unto them as though they had offered the sacrifices, and I will forgive all their sins." And God continued and revealed to Abraham the course of Israel's history and the history of the whole world: The heifer of three years indicates the dominion of Babylon, the she-goat of three years stands for the empire of the Greeks, the ram of three years for the Medo-Persian power, the rule of Ishmael is represented by the ram, and Israel is the innocent dove.
Abraham took him these animals and divided them in the midst. Had he not done so, Israel would not have been able to resist the power of the four kingdoms. But the birds he divided not, to indicate that Israel will remain whole. And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abraham drove them away. Thus was announced the advent of the Messiah, who will cut the heathen in pieces, but Abraham bade Messiah wait until the time appointed unto him. And as the Messianic time was made known unto Abraham, so also the time of the resurrection of the dead. When he laid the halves of the pieces over against each other, the animals became alive again, as the bird flew over them.
10. Messiah, the titles bestowed upon the
a. See 6c.
b. ...Israel exclaimed, "The Torah that Moses brought to us at the risk of his life is our bride, and no other nation may lay claim to it. Moses was our king when the seventy elders assembled, and in the future the Messiah will be our king, surrounded by seven shepherds, and he will gather together once more the scattered tribes of Israel."
c. Eighteen characters designated by God as "His servants" are enumerated: Abraham, Jacob, Israel, the Messiah, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, David, Isaiah, Eliakim, Job, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, Nebuchadnezzar, Zerubbabel, and the angels. The expression "servant of God," employed in addressing a person, which is found in medieval rabbinic literature, is due to Arabic influence.
d. Besides David, the following are described in Scripture as "the elect of God": Abraham, Jacob, Israel (the people of), Saul, Levi (the tribe of), Moses, the Messiah, Joshua, Judah, Solomon, and Jerusalem
e. The statement that Elijah is one of the names of the Messiah is inferred from Malachi. This shows that even later this biblical passage was taken to refer to the Messiah. But since it later became a fixed conception that the Messiah must be a "son of David," there is no other way out of the difficulty than to give the name Elijah to the son of David.
11. Messiah, the standard of the
The rule of Edom was of short duration, while the rule of Israel will be unto all times, for the standard of the Messiah shall wave forever and ever.
12. Messiah will annihilate Rome
When the chief baker heard the interpretation of the butler's dream, he knew that Joseph had divined its meaning correctly, for in his own he had seen the interpretation of his friend's dream, and he proceeded to tell Joseph what he had dreamed in the night: "I also was in my dream, and, behold, three baskets of white bread were on my head; and in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bake- meats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head." Also this dream conveyed a prophecy regarding the future of Israel: The three baskets are the three kingdoms to which Israel will be made subject, Babylon, Media, and Greece; and the uppermost basket indicates the wicked rule of Rome, which will extend over all the nations of the world, until the bird shall come, who is the Messiah, and annihilate Rome. Again Joseph kept the prophecy a secret. To the chief baker he gave only the interpretation that had reference to his person, but it was unfavorable to him, because through his dream Joseph had been made acquainted with the suffering Israel would have to undergo.
13. Messiah, alluded to as a bird
See 12 and 2c.
14. Messiah, the character of
a. See 6e.
b. ...God [said] "Of all these that I have shown thee [Moses], each will have his individual spirit and his individual knowledge, but such a man as thou now wishest for thy successor, whose spirit is to embrace in itself the spirits of sixty myriads of Israel, so that he may speak to each one of them according to his understanding, such a man as this will not arise until the end of time. The Messiah will be inspired with a spirit that in itself will embrace the spirits of all mankind."
15. Messiah, the persons identified with the
a. In blessing Dan, Jacob's thoughts were occupied chiefly with his descendant Samson, who, like unto God, without any manner of assistance, conferred victory upon his people. Jacob even believed the strong, heroic man to be the Messiah, but when Samson's death was revealed to him, he exclaimed, "I wait for Thy salvation, O Lord, for Thy help is unto all eternity, while Samson's help is only for a time. The redemption" continued Jacob, "will not be accomplished by Samson the Danite, but by Elijah the Gadite, who will appear at the end of time."
b. By failing in gratitude Hezekiah lost a great opportunity. The Divine plan had been to make Hezekiah the Messiah, and Sennacherib was to be Gog and Magog. Justice opposed this plan, addressing God thus: "O Lord of the world! David, king of Israel, who sang so many songs and hymns of praise to Thee, him Thou didst not make the Messiah, and now Thou wouldst confer the distinction upon Hezekiah, who has no word of praise for Thee in spite of the manifold wonders Thou hast wrought for him?" Then the earth appeared before God, and said: "Lord of the world! I will sing Thee a song in place of this righteous man; make him to be the Messiah," and the earth forthwith intoned a song of praise. Likewise spake the Prince of the World: "Lord of the world! Do the will of this righteous man." But a voice from heaven announced: "This is my secret, this is my secret." And again, when the prophet exclaimed sorrowfully, "Woe is me! How long, O Lord, how long!" the voice replied: "The time of the Messiah will arrive when the 'treacherous dealers and the treacherous dealers' shall have come."
The Church Fathers Justin Martyr and Tertullian maintain that the Jews interpret Psalm 110 as referring to Hezekiah...the old sources knew nothing of the explanation of Isaiah 9:5 as given by the medieval commentators, according to whom "the child" mentioned here (i.e., Hezekiah) was called "prince of peace" by the wonderful Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father. The Talmud and Midrash explicitly state that the names in this verse are those of the child to whom the "names of God were given," though the authorities differ as to whether Hezekiah or the Messiah is meant by this "child."
c. Hardly anything is known in the older rabbinic literature of the glorification of Seth, which has prevailed for some time, as may be seen from the existence of a gnostic sect, the Sethiani, who identified him with the Messiah. Certain traces of this glorification have been retained by Josephus, and in the apocryphal and pseudepigraphic literature. Only in kabbalistic writings has this view attained importance. Hence, for instance, it is asserted that the soul of Seth entered into Moses and will again reappear in the Messiah. The account by Syncellus concerning the translation of Seth to the angels, who instructed him about the fall of the angels, the fall of man, the deluge, and the advent of the Messiah, seems to go back to an apocryphal book of Seth (very likely of Jewish origin).
d. ...it is said that Abraham had admonished his sons by Keturah never to come near Isaac and his descendants (as any nation ruling over them will be punished in Gehenna) until the advent of the Messiah. When Solomon became king, the inhabitants of Sheba, the descendants of Sheba the son of Keturah, thought that he was the promised Messiah, and came to pay him homage. But when they realized their mistake, they returned to their country, where they will remain till the advent of the Messiah. Is this in any way connected with the Christian story of the worship of the infant Jesus by the Magi?
e. [One] authority...speaks of the throne upon which David will sit on the Day of Judgment. [Another source states] it is said that David will sit at God's right hand on the Day of Judgment. There can be no doubt that these legends about David are connected with the view that he is the promised Messiah. [Another source] reads: David, the king of Israel, lives for ever; [another] which reads: David is the first and the last of the Jewish rulers. [There] is a kabbalistic rendering of the statement that in the days to come God will raise "another David" to be the Messiah, whose viceroy will be the first David.
f. [A] targum seems to take Solomon as the promised Messiah.
g. See 10e.
h. ...Daniel was saved from the lions as a reward for his having refrained from eating the forbidden food offered to him at the table of Nebuchadnezzar. But Daniel's piety did not consist exclusively in his strict observance of the dietary laws; lovingkindness, charity, and praying were his chief merits. It is therefore not surprising that according to one view, Daniel is the promised Messiah.
i. Zerubbabel...it is said...will recite the Kaddish after the lecture to be delivered by God on the new Torah which He is to reveal through the Messiah. All men, including the wicked in hell and the Gentiles, hearing the Kaddish, will respond: Amen. This will cause God to extend His compassion to all his creatures, even to the sinners, and He will send Michael and Gabriel to open the gates of hell that its dwellers should be set free. Together with Elijah Zerubbabel, in the time to come, will explain all the obscure passages of the Torah, and reveal all its mysteries...Zerubabbel is [sometimes] described as the "Messianic herald," at whose call Michael and Gabriel will undertake the war of annihilation against the pagan world. There is some connection between this legend and the one about Zerubbabel's "superhuman" voice. Not quite clear is the part attributed to Zerubbabel in Ma'aseh Daniel, 128, where it is stated that the Messiah will ascend the Mount of Olives with Elijah and Zerubbabel, whereupon Elijah, at the bidding of the Messiah, will blow the trumpet. There can be no doubt that the text is incomplete; there must have been something said about the part to be played by Zerubbabel on this occasion. It is rather strange that the Rabbis never thought of declaring Zerubbabel to be the promised Messiah.
16. Messiah, the prophecy concerning the, in the blessing of Judah
a. See 6e.
b. The Haggadah finds in the blessing of Judah not only praise for his valiant and gallant spirit displayed at Tamar's trial and at the time when Joseph's life was threatened by his brethren, but also a prophecy about his prominent descendants, the Judean kings, and particularly the Messiah. The Church accepted the messianic interpretations of the blessing. Next to the Messiah it is David whose life history is found in the blessing of Judah.
17. Messiah, the redeemer of Israel
a. [Joseph] adjured his brethren not to leave Egypt until a redeemer should appear and announce his message with the words, "Pakod--I have surely visited you"--a tradition which Joseph had received from his father, who had it from Isaac, and Isaac in turn had heard it from Abraham. And he told them that God would redeem Israel through Moses as through the Messiah, in this world as in the world to come, and the Egyptian redemption would begin in Tishri, when Israel would be freed from slave labor, and would be completed in the following Nisan, when they would leave Egypt.
[A] targum remarks: two redeemers will appear, Moses and Aaron.
b. Jacob also taught Joseph three signs whereby to distinguish the true redeemer, who should deliver Israel from the bondage of Egypt. He would proclaim the Ineffable Name, appoint elders, and use the word Pakod in addressing the people.
c. In obedience to the command of God, the elders of the people were assembled, and before them Moses performed the wonders that were to be his credentials as the redeemer sent to deliver the people. Nevertheless, the deeds he did were not so potent in convincing them of the reality of the mission as the words wherein God had announced the approaching redemption to him, which he repeated in their ears. The elders knew that Jacob had imparted to Joseph the secret mark designating the redeemer, and Joseph had in turn confided it to his brethren before his death. The last surviving one of the brethren, Asher, had revealed it to his daughter Serah, in the following words: "He that will come and proclaim the redemption with the words of God, 'I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt,' he is the true redeemer." Serah was still alive at Moses' return, and the elders betook themselves to her, and told her the words of Moses announcing the redemption. When she heard that his words had been the same as those Asher had quoted, she knew that he was the promised redeemer, and all the people believed in him.
d. In the Messianic time, Moses will be one of the seven shepherds that shall be the leaders of Israel with the Messiah.
e. In that night it was that God looked upon the suffering of Israel, and smote the first-born of the Egyptians, and it is one of the four nights that God has inscribed in the Book of Memorial. The first of the four is that in which God appeared to create the world; all was waste and void, and darkness brooded over the abyss, until the Lord came and spread light round about by His word. The second night is that in which God appeared unto Abraham at the covenant of the pieces. In the third night He appeared in Egypt, slaying the first-born of the Egyptians with His right hand, and protecting the first-born of the Israelites with His left. The fourth night recorded will be that in which the end of the redemption will be accomplished, when the iron yoke of the wicked kingdom will be broken, and the evil-doers will be destroyed. Then will Moses come from the desert, and the Messiah from Rome, each at the head of his flock, and the word of God will mediate between them, causing both to walk with one accord in the same direction.
Israel's redemption in future days will happen on the fifteenth of Nisan, the night of Israel's redemption from Egypt, for thus did Moses say, "In this night God protected Israel against the Angels of Destruction, and in this night He will also redeem the generations of the future."
Though the actual deliverance from Egypt took place in that night, the Hebrews did not leave the land until the following day.
According to a commonly accepted view...the Israelites at this time had ceased to serve the Egyptians; compare Rosh ha-Shanah 11b, which reads: On the first of Tishri (i.e. six and a half months before the Exodus; compare note 174) our fathers ceased to serve the Egyptians.
According to one view, a warning of three weeks preceded each plague, which lasted for a week; but according to the other view the duration of each plague was three weeks, preceded by a warning of one week. A dissenting view from an unknown source, states that the plagues began the first of Shebat, and ended ten weeks later, on the fifteenth of Nisan. The difference of opinion concerning the duration of the plagues is in one way or another connected with the legend that Moses left Egypt for some time (three or six months) after his first visit to Pharaoh.
f. ...the legend accords a special place of honor to Adam in Messianic times. In allusion to Micah 5:4, it is asserted in the old rabbinic literature that when the Messiah is about to start his work of salvation, he will be furnished with a council of fourteen members to assist him. One half of these members will have the title of "shepherds," and the other half will be "princes." The shepherds will be David, as president, and Adam, Seth, Methuselah, on his right, and Abraham, Jacob, and Moses, on his left. The princes are: the Messiah as the head, and Samuel, Saul, Jesse, Elijah, Amos, Zephaniah, and Hezekiah (this is more probable than Zedekiah, as given in some texts).
Micah 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
18. Messiah, the donkey used by
At last Moses sallied forth upon his journey to Egypt, accompanied by his wife and his children. He was mounted upon the very ass that had borne Abraham to the 'Akedah on Mount Moriah, the ass upon which the Messiah will appear riding at the end of days.
19. Messiah, the date and place of birth of
a. See 17e.
b. The legend about the birth of the Messiah on the day of the destruction of the Temple is often mentioned but there is no way of telling whether the destruction of the first or the second Temple is meant.
c. [One legend states] that the Messiah would be born and brought up in Rome (=Babylonia).
20. Messiah, the travail of the
a. "If," continued Moses, "you will observe the Sabbath, God will give you three festivals in the months of Nisan, Siwan, and Tishri; and as a reward for the observance of the Sabbath, you will receive six gifts from God: the land of Israel, the future world, the new world, the sovereignty of the dynasty of David, the institution of the priests and the Levites; and, furthermore, as a reward for the observance of the Sabbath, you shall be freed from the three great afflictions: from the sufferings of the times of Gog and Magog, from the travails of the Messianic time, and from the day of the great Judgment."
b. When you begin to suffer the "travail of the Messiah," start to prepare gifts for him.
c. It is Elijah who, during the long exile, consoles the Messiah for the suffering inflicted upon him for the atonement of Israel's sins. (See 2a).
21. Messiah will anoint the high priest
Through the various objects God bade them dedicate to the sanctuary, the course of their history was indicated. The gold signified their yoke under Babylon, "the head of gold"; the silver pointed toward the sovereignty of Persia and Media, who through silver tried to bring about the destruction of Israel; brass stood for the Greek Empire, that like this metal is of inferior quality, its rule also was less significant than that of its predecessors in the sovereignty over the world; the rams' skins dyed red indicate the sovereignty of "red Rome." God now said to Israel: "Although you now behold the four nations that will hold sway over you, still shall I send you help out of your bondage, 'oil for the light,' the Messiah, who will enlighten the eyes of Israel, and who will make use of 'spices for anointing-oil,' for he will anoint the high priest, that once again 'I may accept you with your sweet savour.'"
1. During the reign of Ahasuerus the Mede the destruction of Israel was sought by Haman by means of money; see Esther 3:9.
Esther 3:9 If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.
2. "Red Rome" is an allusion to the identification of Rome with Edom.
Rebekah asked other women whether they, too, had suffered such pain during their pregnancy, and when they told her they had not heard of a case like hers, except the pregnancy of Nimrod's mother, she betook herself to Mount Moriah, whereon Shem and Eber had their Bet ha-Midrash. She requested them as well as Abraham to inquire of God what the cause of her dire suffering was. And Shem replied: "My daughter, I confide a secret to thee. See to it that none finds it out. Two nations are in thy womb, and how should thy body contain them, seeing that the whole world will not be large enough for them to exist in it together peaceably? Two nations they are, each owning a world of its own, the one the Torah, the other sin. From the one will spring Solomon, the builder of the Temple, from the other Vespasian, the destroyer thereof. These two are what are needed to raise the number of nations to seventy. They will never be in the same estate. Esau will vaunt lords, while Jacob will bring forth prophets, and if Esau has princes, Jacob will have kings. They, Israel and Rome, are the two nations destined to be hated by all the world.* One will exceed the other in strength. First Esau will subjugate the whole world, but in the end Jacob will rule over all. The older of the two will serve the younger, provided this one is pure of heart, otherwise the younger will be enslaved by the older."
*The use of the names Edom, Seir, Esau, and similar ones, to describe Rome is very old, and was probably coined at the time of Herod, whose designation "the Idumean" was applied to his masters, the Romans. When Rome adopted Christianity, the same appellations were transferred to the Christians and Christianity. In the Amoraic portions of the talmudic and midrashic literature the use of Edom for Rome is met with quite frequently. The appellation of Edom for Rome is rarely found in tannaitic [first two centuries CE] sources, however several Tannaim, who flourished about 100 CE, in speaking of Rome, use the designation of Amalek for it. Early Christian authorities likewise apply these biblical appellatives to Rome. Sa'adya, as a man with an independent mind, rejects the tradition that the Romans are descendants of Edom. [Some believe] the descendants of Esau were Kittim.
The circumstances connected with the birth of her twin sons were as remarkable as those during the period of Rebekah's pregnancy. Esau was the first to see the light, and with him all impurity came from the womb; Jacob was born clean and sweet of body. Esau was brought forth with hair, beard, and teeth, both front and back, and he was blood-red, a sign of his future sanguinary nature. On account of his ruddy appearance he remained uncircumcised. Isaac, his father, feared that it was due to poor circulation of the blood, and he hesitated to perform the circumcision. He decided to wait until Esau should attain his thirteenth year, the age at which Ishmael had received the sign of the covenant. But when Esau grew up, he refused to give heed to his father's wish, and so he was left uncircumcised. The opposite of his brother in this as in all respects, Jacob was born with the sign of the covenant upon his body, a rare distinction. But Esau also bore a mark upon him at birth, the figure of a serpent, the symbol of all that is wicked and hated of God.
22. Messiah, oil symbolical of the
23. Messiah will reject the gifts of Rome
a. In the Tabernacle, as later in the Temple, gold, silver, and brass were employed, but not iron. God meant to indicate by the exclusion of iron that "in the future time," "the golden Babylon, the silver Media, and the brazen Greece," would be permitted to bestow gifts on the new Temple, but not "the iron Rome." It is true that Babylon also destroyed the sanctuary of God, like Rome, but not with such fury and such thorough-going wrath as Rome, whose sons cried: "Raze it, raze it, even to the foundations thereof," and for this reason Rome may not contribute to the Messianic Temple. And as God will reject the gifts of Rome, so also will the Messiah, to whom all the nations of the earth will have to offer gifts. Egypt will come with her gifts, and although the Messiah will at first refuse to accept anything from the former taskmaster of Israel, God will say to him: "The Egyptians granted My children an abode in their land, do not repulse them." Then the Messiah will accept their gift. After Egypt will follow her neighbor, Ethiopia, with her gifts, thinking that if the Messiah accepted gifts from the former taskmaster of Israel, he will also accept gifts from her. Then the Messiah will also accept Ethiopia's gifts. After these two kingdoms will follow all others with their gifts, and all will be accepted save those from Rome. This kingdom will be sorely disappointed, for, depending upon their kinship with Israel, they will expect kind treatment from the Messiah, who had graciously received the other nations not connected with Israel. But God will call out to the Messiah: "Roar at this monster that devours the fat of the nations, that justifies its claims for recognition through being a descendant of Abraham by his grandson Esau, the nation that forgives all for the sake of money, that kept Israel back from the study of the Torah, and tempted them to deeds that are in accord with the wishes of Satan."
b. The Haggadah frequently speaks of Esau (=Rome) priding himself of his descent from Abraham, and says that in the time to come he will attempt to save himself by claiming relationship with Jacob (=Israel).
24. Messiah, the Temple to be erected by
a. As the sanctuary stood first in Shiloh, Joseph's possession, then in Jerusalem, Benjamin's possession, so did this tribe with its sacrifices follow Joseph's tribes...The three burnt offerings corresponded to the three temples erected in Jerusalem, Benjamin's property, the Temple of Solomon, the Temple of the exiles returned from Babylon, and the Temple to be erected by the Messiah.
b. Every detail of the equipment and ornamentation of the Temple testifies to Solomon's rare wisdom. Next to the required furniture, he planted golden trees, which bore fruit all the time the building stood. When the enemy entered the Temple, the fruit dropped from the trees, but they will put forth blossoms again when it is rebuilt in the days of the Messiah.
c. [One source] contains the statement that Aaron's rod is identical with the rod of Judah; [another source] reads: Aaron's rod was placed in the middle, so that the people should not say that its proximity to the Shekinah (i.e., the ark) caused it to blossom. The rod which blossomed is the very same with which Jacob crossed the Jordan, which later came into the possession of Judah, and which Moses took with him on his journey to Egypt (Exo 4:17). It is the same rod with which Aaron performed the miracles before Pharaoh, and which David held in his hand in his encounter with Goliath (1 Sam 18:40). It remained in the possession of the Davidic kings until the destruction of the Temple, when it was hidden. It will again be made use of in the time of the Messiah when it will be taken out from the place where it is hidden. [Some sources say] that Moses divided the Red Sea with this rod. In this legend Aaron's rod is identified not only with that of Moses, but also with the staff of the kings (i.e., Judah, David, and the Messiah), so that the blossoming of the rod proved not only the justice of Aaron's claim to the priesthood, but also established David's claim to the kingdom...The rod brought forth blossoms on one side and almonds on the other, and when the blossoms turned into almonds, there were sweet almonds on one side and bitter ones on the other. As long as Israel walked in the ways of the Lord, the sweet almonds were fresh (literally, moist); but when they departed from the right path, the bitter ones were fresh...[A Midrash is quoted as stating that] according to which the buds represent the first Temple, the blossoms the second, and the fruit--that is, the almonds--the third, i.e., the Temple to be built by the Messiah.
d. According to some Kabbalists, the destruction of the Temple was not a reality, but it appeared to the people as though it had actually taken place (docetism); the Temple disappeared from the sight of man, and will become visible again in messianic times.
25. Messiah will receive Aaron's rod from Elijah
a. Aaron's rod was then laid up before the Holy Ark by Moses. It was this rod, which never lost its blossoms or almonds, that the Judean kings used until the time of the destruction of the Temple, when, in miraculous fashion, it disappeared. Elijah will in the future fetch it forth and hand it over to the Messiah.
b. See 24c.
26. Messiah, the forerunners of
a. But the highest reward to Phinehas was that God granted him everlasting priesthood. For Phinehas is none other than the prophet Elijah. His task it is to make atonement for Israel, and without tasting of death, he constantly discharges the duties of his everlasting priesthood until the resurrection of the dead, offering up daily two sacrifices for the children of Israel, and upon the skins of these animals recording the events of each day. God furthermore said to Phinehas: "Thou hast in this world established peace between Me and Israel; in the future world also shalt thou establish peace between Me and them." He was therefore destined to be the forerunner of the Messiah to establish before his coming peace on earth.
The Biblical account of the prophet Elijah, of his life and work during the reigns of Ahab and his son Joram, gives but a faint idea of a personage whose history begins with Israel's sojourn in Egypt, and will end only when Israel, under the leadership of the Messiah, shall have taken up his abode again in Palestine.
The Scripture tells us only the name of Elijah's home, but it must be added that he was a priest, identical with Phinehas, the priest zealous for the honor of God, who distinguished himself on the journey through the desert, and played a prominent role again in the time of the Judges.
[Some sources state] Elijah whose name was changed (from Phinehas) and who is destined to bring Israel back to their heavenly Father. The identification of Elijah with Phinehas is also known to [some church fathers].
In those days God spake to Phinehas: "Thou art one hundred and twenty years old, thou hast reached the natural term of man's life. Go now, betake thyself to the mountain Danaben, and remain there many years. I will command the eagles to sustain thee with food, so that thou returnest not to men until the time when thou lockest fast the clouds and openest them again. Then I will carry thee to the place where those are who were before thee, and there thou wilt tarry until I visit the world, and bring thee thither to taste of death."
b. The activity of the tribe of Gad in "the time to come" very likely alludes to the activity of the Gadite Elijah who will appear in "the time to come" as the forerunner of the Messiah.
c. [Some sources state] that God promised Moses to send him, together with Elijah, at the end of the days. Messianic activity in co-operation with Elijah or the Messiah is ascribed to Moses...it is said that Moses will be the cupbearer at the messianic banquet.
d. Four Messiahs: Messiah the son of David, the Messiah of the tribe of Joseph, Elijah, and the priest of righteousness.
e. Forerunner of the Messiah
Many-sided though Elijah's participation in the course of historical events is, it cannot be compared with what he is expected to do in the days of the Messiah. He is charged with the mission of ordering the coming time aright and restoring the tribes of Jacob. His Messianic activity thus is to be twofold: he is to be the forerunner of the Messiah, yet in part he will himself realize the promised scheme of salvation. His first task will be to induce Israel to repent when the Messiah is about to come,* and to establish peace and harmony in the world. Hence he will have to settle all legal difficulties, and solve all legal problems, that have accumulated since days immemorial, and decide vexed questions of ritual concerning which authors entertain contradictory views. In short, all differences of opinion must be removed from the path of the Messiah.** This office of expounder of the law Elijah will continue to occupy even after the reign of peace has been established on earth, and his relation to Moses will be the same Aaron once held.
*This was probably the prevalent notion in the early formative period of Christianity, as may be inferred from the New Testament account of John the Baptist (=Elijah), the alleged precursor of the Messiah.
**The phrase, "This must remain undecided until Elijah comes," is of frequent occurrence in tannaitic literature.
Elijah's preparatory work will be begun three days before the advent of the Messiah. Then he will appear in Palestine, and will utter a lament over the devastation of the Holy Land, and his wail will be heard throughout the world. The last words of his elegy will be: "Now peace will come upon earth!" When the evil-doers hear this message, they will rejoice. On the second day, he will appear again and proclaim: "Good will come upon earth!" And on the third his promise will be heard: "Salvation will come upon earth." Then Michael will blow the trumpet, and once more Elijah will make his appearance, this time to introduce the Messiah.* To make sure of the identity of the Messiah, the Jews will demand that he perform the miracle of resurrection before their eyes, reviving such of the dead as they had know personally.** But the Messiah will do the following seven wonders: He will bring Moses and the generation of the desert to life; Korah and his band he will raise from out of the earth; he will revive the Ephraimitic Messiah, who was slain; he will show the three holy vessels of the Temple, the Ark, the flask of manna, and the cruse of sacred oil, all three of which disappeared mysteriously; he will wave the sceptre given him by God;*** he will grind the mountains of the Holy Land into powder like straw, and he will reveal the secret of redemption. Then the Jews will believe that Elijah is the Elijah promised to them, and the Messiah introduced by him is the true Messiah.
*It is noteworthy that according to a widespread belief, Elijah, with the "rest of the righteous," will flee into the desert, whence they will return after a stay of forty-five days, led by the Messiah, who will then begin his work of redemption...Christian authors mention the Jewish belief that Elijah will anoint the Messiah; but the old rabbinic writings know nothing of this function of Elijah's, and the prevalent opinion in these works is that the Messiah will not be anointed at all. Only later Jewish writers mention the anointing of the Messiah by Elijah, and one may be permitted to question whether these writers represent an original Jewish view or not.
**In Christian legendary lore it is Elijah who demands the same sign from the anti-Christ as his credential. In the Jewish version of this belief it is presupposed that the resurrected dead will have the same appearance and form as they had before their death.
The Messiah will have Elijah blow the trumpet, and, at the first sound, the primal light, which shone before the week of the Creation, will reappear; at the second sound the dead will arise, and with the swiftness of wind assemble around the Messiah from all corners of the earth; at the third sound, the Shekinah will become visible to all; the mountains will be razed at the fourth sound, and the Temple will stand in complete perfection as Ezekiel described it.
During the reign of peace, Elijah will be one of the eight princes forming the cabinet of the Messiah. Even the coming of the great judgment day will not end his activity. On that day the children of the wicked who had to die in infancy on account of the sins of their fathers will be found among the just, while their fathers will be ranged on the other side. The babes will implore their fathers to come to them, but God will not permit it. Then Elijah will go to the little ones, and teach them how to plead in behalf of their fathers. They will stand before God and say: "Is not the measure of good, the mercy of God, larger than the measure of chastisements? If, then, we died for the sins of our fathers, should they not now for our sakes be granted the good, and be permitted to join us in Paradise?" God will give assent to their pleadings, and Elijah will have fulfilled the word of the prophet Malachi; he will have brought back the fathers to the children.
The last act of Elijah's brilliant career will be the execution of God's command to slay Samael, and so banish evil forever.
27. Messiah, the immortality of the
a. "Who was he that was born and died not?" "Elijah and the Messiah."
b. ...Methuselah is one of those whom death did not destroy (in addition to him, there are: Enoch; Eliezer, Abraham's servant; Hiram, king of Tyre; Ebed-melech; Bithiah, Pharaoh's daughter; Serah, Asher's daughter; the three sons of Korah; Elijah; the Messiah, and R. Joshua b. Levi). (See 44)
In Christian legends it is stated that Enoch and Elijah will also die at the end of time (it is even said that the anti-Christ will kill them).
28. Messiah, Joshua ben Levi's interview with the
This Rabbi was a particular favorite of Elijah, who even secured him an interview with the Messiah. The Rabbi found the Messiah among the crowd of afflicted poor gathered near the city gates of Rome, and he greeted him with the words: "Peace be with thee, my teacher and guide!" Whereunto the Messiah replied: "Peace be with thee, thou son of Levi!" The Rabbi then asked him when he would appear, and the Messiah said, "To-day." Elijah explained to the Rabbi later that what the Messiah meant by "to-day" was, that he for his part was ready to bring Israel redemption at any time. If Israel but showed himself worthy, he would instantly fulfil his mission.
In the Hebrew the reply made by the Messiah contains a play on words, which cannot be reproduced in another language.
29. Messiah, scepter of the
30. Messiah, the seven wonders to be performed by
31. Messiah, the demand for credentials from the
32. Messiah, Moses' interview with the
33. Messiah will reveal the hidden Temple treasures
The Temple Vessels
The task laid upon Jeremiah had been twofold. Besides giving him charge over the people in the land of their exile, God had entrusted to him the care of the sanctuary and all it contained. The holy Ark, the altar of incense, and the holy tent were carried by an angel to the mount whence Moses before his death had viewed the land divinely assigned to Israel. There Jeremiah found a spacious cave, in which he concealed these sacred utensils. Some of his companions had gone with him to note the way to the cave, but yet they could not find it. When Jeremiah heard of their purpose, he censured them, for it was the wish of God that the place of hiding should remain a secret until the redemption, and then God Himself will make the hidden things visible.
Even the Temple vessels not concealed by Jeremiah were prevented from falling into the hands of the enemy; the gates of the Temple sank into the earth, and other parts and utensils were hidden in a tower at Bagdad by the Levite Shimur and his friends. Among these utensils was the seven-branched candlestick of pure gold, every branch set with twenty-six pearls, and beside the pearls two hundred stones of inestimable worth. Furthermore, the tower at Bagdad was the hiding-place for seventy-seven golden tables, and for the gold with which the walls of the Temple had been clothed within and without. The tables had been taken from Paradise by Solomon, and in brilliance they outshone the sun and the moon, while the gold from the walls excelled in amount and worth all the gold that had existed from the creation of the world until the destruction of the Temple. The jewels, pearls, gold, and silver, and precious gems, which David and Solomon had intended for the Temple were discovered by the scribe Hilkiah, and he delivered them to the angel Shamshiel, who in turn deposited the treasure in Borsippa. The sacred musical instruments were taken charge of and hidden by Baruch and Zedekiah until the advent of the Messiah, who will reveal all treasures. In his time a stream will break forth from under the place of the Holy of Holies, and flow through the lands to the Euphrates, and, as it flows, it will uncover all the treasures buried in the earth.
1. When the imminent destruction of the Temple was announced to King Josiah, he concealed the Holy Ark, and with it also the vessel with manna, as well as the jug filled with sacred oil, which was used by Moses for anointing the sacred implements, and other sacred objects. In the Messianic time the prophet Elijah will restore all these concealed objects.
2. This candlestick was later set up in the Temple of Solomon, and although he set up ten other candlesticks, still this one was the first to be lighted. Solomon chose the number ten because it corresponds to the number of Words revealed on Sinai; and each of these candlesticks had seven lamps, seventy in all, to correspond to the seventy nations. For while these lamps burned the power of these nations was held in check, but on the day on which these lamps are extinguished the power of the nations is increased. The candlestick stood toward the south, and the table to the north of the sanctuary, the table to indicate the delights of which the pious would partake in Paradise, which lies to the north; the light of the candlestick to symbolize the light of the Shekinah, for in the future world there will be but one delight, to gaze at the light of the Shekinah. On account of its sacredness the candlestick was one of the five sacred objects that God concealed at the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar, and that He will restore when in His loving-kindness He will erect His house and Temple. These sacred objects are: the Ark, the candlestick, the fire of the altar, the Holy Spirit of prophecy, and the Cherubim.
3. Beside the house of Daniel [his burial place in Shushan] lay a stone, under which he had concealed the holy Temple vessels. Once an attempt was made to roll the stone from its place, but whoever ventured to touch it, fell dead. The same fate overtook all who later tried to make excavations near the spot; a storm broke out and mowed them down.
34. Messiah, Zerubbabel had an interview with
As unto his predecessor Daniel, so unto Zerubbabel, God vouchsafed a knowledge of the secrets of the future. Especially the archangel Metatron dealt kindly with him. Besides revealing to him the time at which the Messiah would appear, he brought about an interview between the Messiah and Zerubbabel.
In reality, Zerubbabel was none other than Nehemiah, who was given this second name because he was born in Babylon. Richly endowed as Zerubbabel-Nehemiah was with admirable qualities, he yet did not lack faults. He was excessively self-complacent, and he did not hesitate to fasten a stigma publicly upon his predecessors in the office of governor in the land of Judah, among whom was so excellent a man as Daniel. To punish him for these transgressions, the Book of Ezra does not bear the name of its real author Nehemiah. (See 15i)
35. Messiah, spirit of, identified with the spirit of God
a. The prevalent opinion of the Palestinian Midrashim is that by "God's spirit" the spirit (=soul) of Adam is meant; according to others it implies the spirit of the Messiah. The souls of all the pious, however, were likewise created at the same time as Adam, or, as others assert, the primordial light which came into being on the first day is the material out of which the souls have been formed.
b. "The spirit of God," which in the beginning of creation moved on the surface of the waters, was afterwards identified with the spirit (=soul) of the Messiah.
36. Messiah, the weeping of, in Paradise
37. Messiah prays for Israel's redemption
38. Messiah, the world created for the sake of
a. The view occurring frequently in rabbinic and pseudepigraphic literature that the world was created for the sake of Israel does not owe its origin to national pride, but is closely connected with the ethical conception of creation. Man was the purpose of creation, and just as "the host will not invite his guest to the feast, until everything has been prepared...;even so thought and did the Guide of all things...When He wished to invite man to the feast, He prepared the necessary good things."Of course, it is not every man that can claim to be the "crown of creation." "He who observes the law...and obeys God...outweighs the whole world." It is not the average man but, to use a modern expression, the "superman" who was the goal of creation. Hence the Rabbis remark that the world was created for the sake of Abraham, Moses, David, the Messiah. To be sure, every man is given the opportunity to attain to the highest ideal. It is therefore asserted that "every Jew, that every man may outweigh the whole world." The means whereby man may attain the goal of his task was given in God's revelation, in the Torah. Hence the frequent statement that it is the Torah for whose sake the world was created...The fundamental idea that man is the crown of creation, and that the Torah was revealed to Israel as the only means whereby man can perform the task assigned to him, is found in the Bible (compare especially Jer 31:35 and 33:25,26; Psa 8:6,7; Isa 42:5,6). The Church accepted this view, without any modifications, substituting only the word "Christian" for "Jew." "The Christian is of greater importance than the whole world," observes Cyprian, and Justin Martyr speaks of "Christians who knew that they were the cause of the preservation of nature." The attacks on Jewish arrogance and exclusiveness, in modern theological literature, on account of this belief, are practically identical with those against which Origen had to defend the Christians. Similar charges were brought by the pagan Celsus against the Christians, and Origen refuted them in his Contra Celsum, 4.27-31 (he quotes the following from Euripides: The sun and the moon are slaves of mortal men)...patristic literature [views] that the Christian alone was made in the image of God. The following characteristic remark of the Talmud (Berakot 61b) may be quoted here: The world was created only for the very pious or for the very wicked, for men like R. Hanina b. Dosa (a saint who flourished during the first century CE); or for men like Ahab; this world was created for the latter, the other for the former.
b. The world was created for the sake of David;...Moses and the Messiah are regarded by some authorities as those for whose sake the world was created.
39. Messiah judges Azazel
According to a talmudic legend, God will slay the Yezer ha-Ra', "the evil inclination," on the day of judgment. Since the Yezer ha-Ra' is identical with Sammael, the angel of Edom, the purport of this Abkir legend is that evil and sin will be abolished in the world to come. In Enoch 55.4 it is the Messiah who judges Azazel and his companions, and this view is shared by 12 Testaments, Levi 18.2, where it is said that the Messiah will bind Belior. Matthew 12:29 and Luke 10:19 agree with this view, while in Revelation 20:2,3 this role is assigned to an angel. In Abkir it is Elijah, an old competitor of the Messiah, who with the assistance of God, will destroy the prince of Edom, i.e., Satan. The account of the struggle between leviathan and the angels, ending in the slaughtering of the monster by God Himself, so often alluded to in haggadic writings, is another form of the legend about God's final victory over evil, which is here represented by the leviathan in accordance with the old mythological terminology
40. Messiah will bind Belior
41. Messiah, Elijah the old competitor of
42. Messiah, the anointing of the
a. [In 2 sources] it is stated that until Josiah hid the sacred oil (see 33) all the high priests and those kings who did not come to the throne by inheritance were anointed with the oil prepared by Moses. During the second commonwealth neither the high priests nor the kings were anointed with the "oil of ointment," though some of the kings were anointed with balsam. [According to another source] Aaron and his sons and Zadok were the only "anointed priests"; among the kings, Saul, David, Joash, and Jehoash enjoyed this distinction. The emphatic manner in which many of the passages [of a slew of books] state their view that neither Aaron nor the Messiah will be anointed in the time to come leads one to assume the probability that this opinion is directed against the Christian Messiah, literally "the anointed one."
b. See 26e.
43. Messiah entered Paradise alive
a. See 27b.
b. [One source] references the widespread view that Jonah was the son of the widow of Zarephath resuscitated by Elijah. Since the son of the widow is said to be the "Messiah of the tribe of Joseph" the statement that Jonah was permitted to enter paradise alive is very likely to be understood in the sense that he awaits there the end of times to start on his Messianic mission. The "Messiah, the son of David" likewise entered paradise alive, and awaits there "his time." It is, however, possible that the Messianic part attributed to Jonah (=the son of the widow of Zarephath) is a Jewish adaptation of the Christian view which considers him a prototype of Jesus.
1. The midrashic basis for the statement that the son of the widow was the future "Messiah of the tribe of Joseph" is found in the words of Elijah addressed to the widow to the effect that he should receive his portion first and afterwards her son should receive his (see 1 Kings 17:13). By this he wished to convey that at the end of time he would appear as the forerunner of the "Messiah of the tribe of Joseph."
1 Kings 17:13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
2. Jonah's suffering in the watery abyss had been so severe that by way of compensation God exempted him from death: living he was permitted to enter Paradise.
44. Messiah, the preexistence of
Nothing is to be found in the Jewish sources concerning the association of [the] immortals (see 27b) with the Messiah. The part ascribed in the Midrash and in the New Testament to Moses as the forerunner or assistant of the Messiah does not presuppose Moses' immortality, but his resurrection at the very beginning of the Messianic time. In case 4 Ezra 14.9 is not a Christian interpolation, this passage does not suppose a pre-existing Messiah but only implies that the Messiah entered paradise alive after having completed his earthly career. In conclusion it may be remarked that the list of the immortals is found only in late writings (hardly earlier than the end of the tenth century CE), at the time when Enoch came to be honored again. The older rabbinic literature is not particularly favorably inclined toward Enoch.
45. Messiah, the association of the Immortals with
46. Messiah will acquire the knowledge of God by himself
a. It is noteworthy that in all the sources stress is laid upon the fact that Abraham came to know God through his own reasoning about the universe and its ruler who must necessarily exist. [One source] enumerates three men who acquired the knowledge of God "by themselves." They are: Abraham, Job, Hezekiah, and the fourth will be the Messiah. This Haggadah probably wishes to call attention to the fact that although these pious men lived during a godless age, they did not succumb to the influence of their surroundings.
47. Messiah, Perez an allusion to the
48. Messiah, the reign of, will last forty years
In connection with the widespread view that the reign of the Messiah will last forty years, this statement very likely implies the doctrine that the messianic kingdom will be confined to the Holy Land, whose dead will therefore be resurrected forty years before the general resurrection takes place when the Lord Himself will be King and Ruler. [Some sources] when speaking of the resurrection of the dead, refer to a very small bone in the human body which is indestructible and will form the nucleus of the new body at the time of resurrection...old German anatomists called this bone "Jew-bone."
49. Messiah, the glory of, chanted by the Erelim
The following is from a Midrash on the ascension of Moses: In the first heaven Moses saw a division of angels reading in the Torah the section concerning the first day of creation. Having finished reading, they chanted the praise of the Torah. In the second heaven he saw a division of angels reading in the Torah the section concerning the second day of creation. Having finished reading, they chanted the praise of Israel. In the third heaven he saw the angels reading in the Torah the section concerning the third day of creation. Having finished reading, they chanted the glory of Jerusalem. The Er'elim (the fourth rank of angels) in the fourth heaven read in the Torah the section concerning the fourth day of creation. Having finished reading, they chanted the glory of the Messiah. In the fifth heaven Moses saw the angels reading in the Torah the section concerning the fifth day of creation. Having finished reading, they announced the torture of the wicked in Gehenna. The angels in the sixth heaven read in the Torah the section concerning the sixth day of creation. Having finished reading, they announced the joy of the righteous in paradise. On entering the seventh heaven, Moses was greatly terrified at the sight of the Seraphim, Ofanim, angels of mercy, angels of love, angels of grace, angels of fear, and angels of dread. In his terror of the numerous awe-inspiring angels he caught hold of God's throne for protection. He then heard the angels surrounding the throne read in the Torah from the section concerning the Sabbath, the seventh day of creation. Having finished reading, they proclaimed the great power of repentance. He then knew that repentance reaches God's throne.
50. Messiah will furnish the tenth red heifer
Mishnah Parah 3.5 states that the Messiah will furnish the tenth red heifer.
51. Messiah, radiant face of
The rays which will emanate from the countenance of the Messiah will spread a stronger lustre than those of Moses and Joshua. Does this mean that the Messiah will be greater than Moses? The Messiah is greater than the (three) patriarchs, more exalted than Moses, and superior to the angels. Maimonides, on the other hand, explicitly states that the Messiah will be "a great prophet, akin to Moses."
Moses' countenance shone like the sun, and Joshua's like the moon.The metaphorical description of Joshua as the moon gave rise to the popular belief, common among Jews of Eastern Europe, that Joshua is the man in the moon.
52. Messiah compared with Moses
53. Messiah writes down the good deeds of man
Elijah and the Messiah write down the good deeds of man, and God affixes His seal to this record.
54. Messiah will judge the sons of Esau
In the future the Messiah, accompanied by the sons of Moses, will betake himself to mount Seir to judge the sons of Esau.
55. Messiah will be accompanied by the sons of Moses
56. Messiah, the allusion in Isaiah 9:5 to the
57. Messiah, endowed with seven gifts
Messiah = the one endowed with seven divine gifts; Isa 11:2
1. Isaiah 11:1, 2 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
2. By the six measures of barley which Boaz gave Ruth on her return home, he indicated to her that she was destined to become the ancestress of six pious men who would be endowed with six spiritual gifts. These men are: David, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, and the Messiah (others count Daniel's three friends as one, and add Hezekiah and Josiah).
58. Messiah, the stone cut out without hands an allusion to
? I am leaving this index entry here so people will know that there is some sort of explanation but that I can't make heads nor tails of it.
59. Messiah, God complained about Cyrus to the
God said to the Messiah: "I must complain against Cyrus (a haggadic interpretation of Isa 41:1). I wanted him to rebuild the Temple and to take the exiles back to the Holy Land; but all he did was to proclaim through his kingdom: Whatsoever there is among you of all His people let him go up." Cyrus disappointed still more the hopes set upon him. When he noticed that the Babylonian cities became desolate because the Jews emigrated from there to the Holy Land, he forbade them to leave the country. The degeneration of Cyrus is quite amazing. At the destruction of the Temple he wept bitterly, and as a reward for his tears the Medes (=Persians) received the dominion over the world; he became not only a "cosmocrator," but he was also found worthy to sit on the throne of Solomon (with the exception of Nebuchadnezzar, he was the only Gentile ruler who was thus distinguished).
Isaiah 41:1 Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.
60. Messiah will reveal a new Torah
61. Messiah, ascent of, upon the Mount of Olives
62. Messiah of Joseph, the details concerning
a. Once Joseph dreamed a dream, and he could not refrain from telling it to his brethren. He spoke, and said: "Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed. Behold, you gathered fruit, and so did I. Your fruit rotted, but mine remained sound. Your seed will set up dumb images of idols, but they will vanish at the appearance of my descendant, the Messiah of Joseph. You will keep the truth as to my fate from the knowledge of my father, but I will stand fast as a reward for the self-denial of my mother, and you will prostrate yourselves five times before me."
b. See 26e.
c. See 6k.
d. Rachel prophesied that Joseph would be the ancestor of the (Ephraimitic) Messiah, who would arise at the end of days.
e. Zohar remarks that the tribe of Dan produced four heroes: Samson, Zaliah, Ira, David's friend (see 2 Sam 20:26), and Seraiah who, as assistant of the Ephraimite Messiah, will cause great havoc among the Gentiles. The connection between this Seraiah and the Christian legend concerning the Danite descent of the anti-Christ is obvious, although it is difficult to trace the exact nature of this connection.
f. According to the Kabbalists, the son of Abijah will be the Ephraimitic Messiah.
g. See 43b.
h. See 26d.
63. Messiah, advent of, the announcement of the
a. The whole creation was called into existence by God unto His glory, and each creature has its own hymn of praise wherewith to extol the Creator...The song of the vulture is: "I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them, and they shall increase as they have increased"--the same verse with which the bird will in time to come announce the advent of the Messiah, the only difference being, that when he heralds the Messiah he will sit upon the ground and sing his verse, while at all other times he is seated elsewhere when he sings it.
b. The words that Balaam* announced were heard by all the inhabitants of the earth, such power did God lend to his voice, for He knew that at some future time there would be a man born of woman who would pass himself for a god and would mislead all the world. Hence God permitted all the world to hear Balaam's words, that said: "God is not a man, and the man that passeth himself for God lieth. But he that will mislead the world by declaring that he will disappear for a time and then reappear will promise what he can never fulfil. Woe then to that nation that will lend ear to the man who will pass himself for God."** Balaam furthermore announced the events that would come to pass at the time of David's sovereignty; and also what will happen at the end of days, in the time of the Messiah, when Rome and all other nations will be destroyed by Israel, excepting only the descendants of Jethro, who will participate in Israel's joys and sorrows. Yea, the Kenites are to be the ones to announce to Israel the arrival of the Messiah, and the sons of the Kenite Jonadab*** are to be the first at the time of the Messiah to bring offerings at the Temple and to announce to Jerusalem its deliverance. This was Balaam's last prophecy. After this, the prophetic spirit left Balaam, and God in this way granted Moses' wish to reserve the gift of prophecy as a special distinction to Israel. Balaam was the last prophet of the nations.
*Balaam, the Heathen Prophet
The man whom the Moabites and Midianites believed to be Moses' peer was none other than Laban, Israel's archenemy, who in olden days had wanted to root out entirely Jacob and all his family, and who had later on incited Pharaoh and Amalek against the people of Israel to bring about their destruction. Hence, too, the name Balaam, "Devourer of Nations," for he was determined to devour the nation of Israel. Just at this time Balaam was at the zenith of his power, for his curse had brought upon the Moabites their defeat at the hands of Sihon, and his prophecy that his compatriot Balak should wear the royal crown had just been fulfilled, so that all the kings sent ambassadors to seek advice from him. He had gradually developed from an interpreter of dreams to a sorcerer, and had now attained the still greater dignity of prophet, thus even surpassing his father, who had indeed been a prophet too, but not so notable a one as his son.
God would permit the heathens to have no ground for exculpation, for saying in the future world, "Thou hadst kept us far from Thee." To them, as well as to Israel, he gave kings, sages, and prophets; but whereas the former showed themselves worthy of their high trust, the latter proved themselves unworthy of it. Both Solomon and Nebuchadnezzar were rulers over all the world: the former built the Temple and composed many hymns and prayers, the latter destroyed the Temple and cursed and blasphemed the Lord, saying, "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High." Both David and Haman received great treasures from God, but the former employed them to secure a site for God's sanctuary, whereas the latter with his tried to destroy a whole nation. Moses was Israel's prophet, and Balaam was prophet of the heathens: but how great a contrast between these two! Moses exhorted his people to keep from sin, whereas Balaam counselled the nations to give up their moral course of life and to become addicted to lewdness. Balaam was also different from the Israelite prophets in his cruelty. They had such pity for the nations that misfortune among the heathens caused them suffering and sorrow, whereas Balaam was so cruel that he wanted to destroy an entire nation without any cause.
Balaam's course of life and his actions show convincingly why God withdrew from the heathens the gift of prophecy. For Balaam was the last of the heathen prophets. Shem had been the first whom God had commissioned to communicate His words to the heathens. This was after the flood, when God said to Shem: "Shem, had My Torah existed among the previous ten generations, I suppose I should not have destroyed the world by the flood. Go now, announce to the nations of the earth My revelations, ask them if they will not accept My Torah." Throughout four hundred years did Shem go about as a prophet, but the nations of the earth did not heed him. The prophets that labored after him among the heathens were Job and his four friends, Eliphaz, Zophar, Bildad, and Elihu, as well as Balaam, all of whom were descendants of Nahor, Abraham's brother, from his union with Milcah. In order that the heathens might not say, "Had we had a prophet like Moses, we should have received the Torah," God gave them Balaam as a prophet, who in no way was inferior to Moses either in wisdom or in the gift of prophecy. Moses was indeed the greatest prophet among the Israelites, but Balaam was his peer among the heathens. But although Moses excelled the heathen prophet in that God called him without any previous preparation, whereas the other could obtain Divine revelations only through sacrifices, still Balaam had one advantage over the Israelite prophet. Moses had to pray to God "to shew him His ways," whereas Balaam was the man who could declare of himself that he "knew the knowledge of the Most High." But because, in spite of his high prophetic dignity, Balaam had never done anything good or kind, but through his evil tongue had almost destroyed all the world, God vowed a vow to His people that He would never exchange them for any other people or nation, and that He would never permit them to dwell in any land other than Palestine.
**A legend concerning Balaam's powerful voice reads: Balaam's voice carried as far as sixty miles.
***When Balaam saw the sons of Jonadab occupying seats in the Chamber of Gazit (=the great Sanhedrin), he exclaimed in astonishment: "The law prescribes that only priests, Levites, and (pure-blooded ) Israelites are qualified to become members of the Sanhedrin, and yet these descendants of Jonadab were found worthy of this high position as a reward for the hospitality of their sire Jethro, who offered bread to Moses."
c. See 26e.
64. Messiah, advent of, the tenth famine before the
Scarcely had Abraham established himself in Canaan, when a devastating famine broke out--one of the ten God appointed famines for the chastisement of men. The first of them came in the time of Adam, when God cursed the ground for his sake; the second was this one in the time of Abraham; the third compelled Isaac to take up his abode among the Philistines; the ravages of the fourth drove the sons of Jacob into Egypt to buy grain for food; the fifth came in the time of the Judges, when Elimelech and his family had to seek refuge in the land of Moab; the sixth occurred during the reign of David, and it lasted three years; the seventh happened in the day of Elijah, who had sworn that neither rain nor dew should fall upon the earth; the eighth was the one in the time of Elisha, when an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver; the ninth is the famine that comes upon men piecemeal, from time to time; and the tenth will scourge men before the advent of Messiah, and this last will be "not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord."
65. Messiah, advent of, the symbol of the
66. Messiah, advent of, three things will be destroyed before the
? Another one I can't figure out.
67. Messiah, advent of, the date of
a. See 6c.
b. Then Judah revealed to his sons, in clear, brief words, the whole history of Israel until the advent of the Messiah...
c. At the moment of his departure, a heavenly voice cried aloud: "Moses, servant of the Lord, thou that art faithful in His house, even as thou hast seen the reward that is laid up for the pious in the world to come, so also thou wilt be worthy of seeing the life of the world that shall be in the future time. Thou and all Israel, ye shall see the rebuilding of the Temple and the advent of the Messiah, behold the beauty of the Lord, and meditate in His Temple."
d. See 15b.
e. There is a place where the souls of all future generations are preserved and the Messiah will not come until this place is emptied. According to one view this place is identical with the "curtain" before God's throne (frequently mentioned in the Talmud), on which all souls are "painted."
f. There is an apocalyptic book written by Elijah in which he reveals the secrets made known to him by the angel Michael concerning the Messianic times. Closely related to it is another apocalyptic writing in which Elijah imparts to R. Jose more valuable information about the Messiah and the Messianic redemption. These two apocalyptic works were very likely composed about the middle of the eighth century.
68. Messiah, advent of, the cause of the delay of
69. Messiah, advent of, the events that will occur at the
a. See 15d.
b. The appearance of God against Gog will be the third and the fourth at the advent of the Messiah. An old tannaitic tradition speaks of "God's ten descents on earth." He descended to punish Adam (Gen 3:8); to look at the tower (Gen 11:5); to convince Himself of the wickedness of the sinful cities (Gen 18:21); to deliver Israel from Egypt (Exo 3:8); to drown the Egyptians in the Red Sea (2 Sam 22:10); to reveal the Torah (Exo 19:20); to make His spirit rest upon the seventy elders (Num 11:5); to make the Shekinah dwell in the Temple (Eze 44:21). He will also descend in the time to come when He will appear to execute judgment upon Gog.
c. The blood of the goat slaughtered by the brethren of Joseph (comp. Gen 37:31), it is said, will remain uncongealed until the advent of the Messiah.
Genesis 37:31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
d. It is very likely presupposed that with the destruction of the Temple nature deteriorated, and will not regain its former excellence until the advent of the Messiah.
70. Messiah, advent of, Solomon attempted to discover
According to the Hellenistic writers, Solomon's wisdom consisted in his great knowledge of science and philosophy. But for the Rabbis there is no other wisdom than the knowledge of the Torah, and accordingly, Solomon's great mastery of the Torah is praised. He attempted to find not only the reasons of the divine commandments, but also the profound secret of divine retribution for the fulfilment of the commandments. He further attempted to discover the "end" (the time of the advent of the Messiah).
71. Messiah, advent of, the time of, a curse pronounced upon those who calculate
Daniel erred in the calculation of the end of time. The curse pronounced against those who "reckoned the end of time" is to be explained accordingly. If Daniel himself failed in fixing the time accurately, it would be futile for any other mortal to attempt this task. Notwithstanding this anathema, there are many treatises by medieval authors dealing with the "end of time" revealed to Daniel.
72. Messiah, advent of, time of, treatises dealing with
73. Messiah, advent of, details concerning the knowledge of
a. See 9a.
b. When his sons were brought into his presence by the angels, Jacob spoke, saying, "Take heed that no dissensions spring up among you, for union is the first condition of Israel's redemption," and he was on the point of revealing the great secret to them concerning the end of time, but while they were standing around the golden bed whereon their father lay, the Shekinah visited him for a moment and departed as quickly, and with her departed also all trace of the knowledge of the great mystery from the mind of Jacob.* He had the same experience as his own father Isaac, who also had loss of memory inflicted upon him by God, to prevent him from revealing the secret at the end of time to Esau, when he summoned him to receive his blessing.
1. In all sources [mentioned] it is presupposed that Jacob did not act rightly in attempting to reveal divine mysteries to his sons without having first obtained permission from God.
2. Several medieval authors quote the following from an unknown Midrash: God called Jacob's attention to the fact that the names of the twelve tribes contain neither the letters [in the word] "sin" nor [in the word] "end"; the tribes are free from sin, but the knowledge of the "end" shall not be revealed to them. Sanhedrin 97b very strongly condemns those who occupy themselves with ascertaining the end of time, and the Rabbis speak of the "end" as a mystery which has not been revealed to man or angel.
The accident made Jacob apprehensive that his sons were not pious enough to be considered worthy of the revelation concerning the Messianic era, and he said to them, "Ishmael and the sons of Keturah were the blemished among the issue of my grandfather Abraham; my father Isaac begot a blemished issue in Esau, and I fear now that among you, too, there is one that harbors the intention to serve idols." The twelve men spake, and said: "Hear, O Israel, our father, the Eternal our God is the One Only God. As thy heart is one and united in avouching the Holy One, blessed be He, to be thy God, so also are our hearts one and united in avouching Him." Whereto Jacob responded, "Praised be the Name of the glory of His majesty forever and ever!" And although the whole mystery of the Messianic time was not communicated to the sons of Jacob, yet the blessing of each contained some reference to the events of the future.
c. Daniel entreated the king to relieve him of the duties of his position, for the performance of which he no longer felt himself fit, on account of his advanced age. The king consented on condition that Daniel designate a successor worthy of him. His choice fell upon Zerubbabel. Loaded with rich presents and amid public demonstrations designed to honor him, Daniel retired from public life. He settled in the city of Shushan, where he abode until his end. Though he was no prophet, God vouchsafed to him a knowledge of the "end of time" not granted his friends, the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, but even he, in the fulness of his years, lost all memory of the revelation with which he had been favored. (See 71)
d. See 34.
e. See 15c.
f. See 73b.
g. See 71.
74. Messiah, the names of the
a. In the beginning, two thousand years before the heaven and the earth, seven things were created: the Torah written with black fire on white fire, and lying in the lap of God; the Divine Throne, erected in the heaven which later was over the heads of the Hayyot; Paradise on the right side of God, Hell on the left side; the Celestial Sanctuary directly in front of God, having a jewel on its altar graven with the Name of the Messiah, and a Voice that cries aloud, "Return, ye children of men."
b. On her flight [Hagar] was met by several angels, and they bade her return, at the same time making known to her that she would bear a son who should be called Ishmael--one of the six men who have been given a name by God before their birth, the others being Isaac, Moses, Solomon, Josiah, and the Messiah.
c. The view that the Name of the Messiah is engraved upon a stone of the heavenly temple belongs likewise to the Eben Shetiyyah legend cycle.
[Jacob] took the stone made out of the twelve, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it, which had flowed down from heaven for him, and God sank this anointed stone unto the abyss, to serve as the centre of the earth, the same stone, the Eben Shetiyyah, that forms the centre of the sanctuary, whereon the Ineffable Name is graven, the knowledge of which makes a man master over nature, and over life and death.
d. The legend which speaks of the name of the Messiah as engraved on a jewel presupposes the idea that God's name was engraved on the Eben Shetiyyah.
e. See 60.
f. See 15e.
g. See 10e.
75. Messiah, the names of the comforters of the
a. See 2a.
b. See 3b.
c. See 20c.
76. Messiahs, the number of
77. Messiahship, the staff a symbol of
With prophetic caution, Tamar demanded that, as a pledge for the reward he [Judah] promised her, he leave with her his signet, his mantle, and his staff, the symbols of royalty, judgeship, and Messiahship, the three distinctions of the descendants of Tamar from her union with Judah.
Please see "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah," Alfred Edersheim
Appendix 9. List of Old Testament Passages Messianically Applied in Ancient Rabbinic Writings
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