The Christian point of view

The Jewish point of view

Messianic Idea
The Moshiach
When Will He Come?
What Will He Do?
The Messianic Age
What About Jesus?
Biblical Passages

Jesus was the Messiah & the Moshiach

Well What Do You Think?

Matt:23:32 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36: Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
37: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38: Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39: For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Matt:17:10: And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
11: And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12: But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
13: Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

Zechariah, chapter 11


17: Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

Zechariah, chapter 12

9: And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10: And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
11: In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

John form
The Holy Bible

Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Joh 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
Joh 5:41 I receive not honour from men.
Joh 5:42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
Joh 5:43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
Joh 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
Joh 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
Joh 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.
Joh 5:47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

Deuteronomy chapter 18

Deu 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
Deu 18:16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
Deu 18:17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
Deu 18:18
I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
Deu 18:19
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.


The present restoration of the city is a clear indication that the dispensation of the church is nearing its end, and that God's divine plan for the salvation of Israel as a nation will be resumed again


Dramatic events are expected in the near future in Jerusalem, and those who have a prophetic expectation know that the time for it is near.

The two witnesses

Jewish evangelists

A genuine spiritual revival in Israel, from which 144 000 bold witnesses for Jesus will emerge. They will not be deterred by warnings and opposition, but proclaim that Jesus is the true Saviour of mankind. They will expose the false messiah as an evil deceiver and warn people against him. This campaign against him will give rise to tremendous tension, and the false messiah will openly and actively persecute his Christian adversaries.

"Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near"
(Is. 55:6).

 

Judaism 101 Table of Contents


Moshiach: The Messiah

I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the moshiach, and though he may tarry, still I await him every day.
- Principle 12 of Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith

The Messianic Idea in Judaism

Belief in the eventual coming of the moshiach is a basic and fundamental part of traditional Judaism. It is part of Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith, the minimum requirements of Jewish belief. In the Shemoneh Esrei prayer, recited three times daily, we pray for all of the elements of the coming of the moshiach: ingathering of the exiles; restoration of the religious courts of justice; an end of wickedness, sin and heresy; reward to the righteous; rebuilding of Jerusalem; restoration of the line of King David; and restoration of Temple service.

Modern scholars suggest that the messianic concept was introduced later in the history of Judaism, during the age of the prophets. They note that the messianic concept is not mentioned anywhere in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible).

However, traditional Judaism maintains that the messianic idea has always been a part of Judaism. The moshiach is not mentioned explicitly in the Torah, because the Torah was written in terms that all people could understand, and the abstract concept of a distant, spiritual, future reward was beyond the comprehension of some people. However, the Torah contains several references to "the End of Days" (achareet ha-yameem), which is the time of the moshiach; thus, the concept of moshiach was known in the most ancient times.

The term "moshiach" literally means "the anointed one," and refers to the ancient practice of anointing kings with oil when they took the throne. The moshiach is the one who will be anointed as king in the End of Days.

The word "moshiach" does not mean "savior." The notion of an innocent, semi-divine being who will sacrifice himself to save us from the consequences of our own sins is a purely Christian concept that has no basis in Jewish thought. Unfortunately, this Christian concept has become so deeply ingrained in the English word "messiah" that this English word can no longer be used to refer to the Jewish concept. The word "moshiach" will be used throughout this page.

The Moshiach

The moshiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The moshiach is often referred to as "moshiach ben David" (moshiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments. (Isaiah 11:2-5) He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being.

It has been said that in every generation, a person is born with the potential to be the moshiach. If the time is right for the messianic age within that person's lifetime, then that person will be the moshiach. But if that person dies before he completes the mission of the moshiach, then that person is not the moshiach.

When Will the Moshiach Come?

There are a wide variety of opinions on the subject of when the moshiach will come. Some of Judaism's greatest minds have cursed those who try to predict the time of the moshiach's coming, because errors in such predictions could cause people to lose faith in the messianic idea or in Judaism itself. This actually happened in the 17th century, when Shabbatai Tzvi claimed to be the moshiach. When Tzvi converted to Islam under threat of death, many Jews converted with him. Nevertheless, this prohibition has not stopped anyone from speculating about the time when the moshiach will come.

Although some scholars believed that G-d has set aside a specific date for the coming of the moshiach, most authority suggests that the conduct of mankind will determine the time of the moshiach's coming. In general, it is believed that the moshiach will come in a time when he is most needed (because the world is so sinful), or in a time when he is most deserved (because the world is so good). For example, each of the following has been suggested as the time when the moshiach will come:

  • if Israel repented a single day;
  • if Israel observed a single Shabbat properly;
  • if Israel observed two Shabbats in a row properly;
  • in a generation that is totally innocent or totally guilty;
  • in a generation that loses hope;
  • in a generation where children are totally disrespectful towards their parents and elders;

What Will the Moshiach Do?

Before the time of the moshiach, there shall be war and suffering (Ezekiel 38:16)

The moshiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).

Olam Ha-Ba: The Messianic Age

The world after the messiah comes is often referred to in Jewish literature as Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH), the World to Come. This term can cause some confusion, because it is also used to refer to a spiritual afterlife. In English, we commonly use the term "messianic age" to refer specifically to the time of the messiah.

Olam Ha-Ba will be characterized by the peaceful co-existence of all people. (Isaiah 2:4) Hatred, intolerance and war will cease to exist. Some authorities suggest that the laws of nature will change, so that predatory beasts will no longer seek prey and agriculture will bring forth supernatural abundance (Isaiah 11:6-11:9). Others, however, say that these statements are merely an allegory for peace and prosperity.

All of the Jewish people will return from their exile among the nations to their home in Israel (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). The law of the Jubilee will be reinstated.

In the Olam Ha-Ba, the whole world will recognize the Jewish G-d as the only true G-d, and the Jewish religion as the only true religion (Isaiah 2:3; 11:10; Micah 4:2-3; Zechariah 14:9). There will be no murder, robbery, competition or jealousy. There will be no sin (Zephaniah 3:13). Sacrifices will continue to be brought in the Temple, but these will be limited to thanksgiving offerings, because there will be no further need for expiatory offerings.

What About Jesus?

Jews do not believe that Jesus was the moshiach. Assuming that he existed, and assuming that the Christian scriptures are accurate in describing him (both matters that are debatable), he simply did not fulfill the mission of the moshiach as Jews have always understood it and as it is described in scripture, cited above. Jesus did not do any of the things described above, and he did not bring about the anticipated messianic age.

On the contrary, another Jew born about a century later came far closer to fulfilling the messianic ideal than Jesus did. His name was Shimeon ben Kosiba, known as Bar Kochba (son of a star), and he was a charismatic, brilliant, but brutal warlord. Rabbi Akiba, one of the greatest scholars in Jewish history, believed that Bar Kochba was the moshiach. Bar Kochba fought a war against the Roman Empire, catching the Tenth Legion by surprise and retaking Jerusalem. He resumed sacrifices at the site of the Temple and made plans to rebuild the Temple. He established a provisional government and began to issue coins in its name. This is what the Jewish people were looking for in a moshiach; Jesus clearly does not fit into this mold. Ultimately, however, the Roman Empire crushed his revolt and killed Bar Kochba. After his death, all acknowledged that he was not the moshiach.

Throughout Jewish history, there have been many people who have claimed to be the moshiach, or whose followers have claimed that they were the moshiach: Shimeon Bar Kochba, Shabbatai Tzvi, Jesus, and many others too numerous to name. Leo Rosten reports some very entertaining accounts under the heading False Messiahs in his book, The Joys of Yiddish. But all of these people died without fulfilling the mission of the moshiach; therefore, none of them were the moshiach. The moshiach and the Olam Ha-Ba lie in the future, not in the past.

Biblical Passages Referring to the Moshiach

The following passages in the Jewish scriptures are the ones that Jews consider to be messianic in nature or relating to the end of days. These are the ones that we rely upon in developing our messianic concept:

  • Isaiah 2, 11, 42; 59:20
  • Jeremiah 23, 30, 33; 48:47; 49:39
  • Ezekiel 38:16
  • Hosea 3:4-3:5
  • Micah 4
  • Zephaniah 3:9
  • Zechariah 14:9
  • Daniel 10:14