Introduction to the concept of the Messiah (mashiach) Part 2

Previously on Tzedaqyal:
I have begun an introduction of the concept of messiah from a Jewish point of view. Read from the start in “Introduction to the concept…Part 1.” To make a long story short, I do not quote all Bible verses.

Where does the idea of The Messiah comes from?
If we can not look it up in a Bible index, how do we develope this concept of “The Messiah?”
If you go through the entire Bible, from cover to cover, there are essentially four materials in the Jewish Bible (“Old Testament.”) Four different kind of writings;

Note: Tanakh is an acrostic of Torah, Neviim and Kethuvim.

The Five Books of Moses (Torah)
• Genesis (Bereishith; “In the beginning…”)
• Exodus (Shemoth; “The names…”)
• Leviticus (Vayiqra; “And He called…”)
• Numbers (Bamidbar; “In the wilderness…”)
• Deuteronomy (Devarim; “The words…”)

The eight books of the Prophets (Neviim)
• Joshua
• Judges
• I &II Samuel
• I & II Kings
• Isaiah
• Eremiah
• Ezekiel
• The Twelve minor prophets (they are treated as one book)

Those minor prophets are:
• Hosea
• Joel
• Amos
• Obadiah
• Jonah
• Micah
• Nachum
• Habbakkuk
• Zephaniah
• Chaggai
• Zechariah
• Malakhi

The Writings (Kethuvim)
• Psalms
• Proverbs
• Job
• Song of Songs
• Ruth
• Lamentations
• Ecclesiastes
• Esther
• Daniel
• Ezra & Nehemiah (treated as one book)
• I &II Chronicles

Those are the only kind of litterature in the Bible. One of the central parts of the Bible is prophecy and there are basically two kinds of prophecy in the Bible; relatively short-term, immidiately prophecy, when something is going to happen during these days. Example: Jonah comes to the city of Nineve and says “In 40 days the city of Nineve will be overturned” (Jonah 3:4). Or Jeremiah, the prophet, making reference to 70 years the Jewish people will spend in exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 25:11). Many times in the Bible, a prophecy is of an immidiate, short term duration. But most often in the Bible, prophecy is more indefinite and is speaking about the distant future. And there are two ways of recognizing a long term prophecy in the Bible. Generally speaking, prophecy is expressed in future tense, it is speaking about what is going to happen in a distant future. Secondly, the Bible very frequently have a preamble, the Bible will often present the prophecy by saying “Thus saith the Lord, it will come to pass at the end of days…” or by saying “In those days, saith the Lord, such and such will happen.” The Bible will give you a little indication that it is going to speak about something to happen in a distant future.

If you go through the entire Bible, probably the most central theme that comes out among the prophetic passages is the long term prophecy, articulated by practically all of the prophets, that there will come in the future a time of universal perfection. The prophets paint a picture of a future utopia. And the utopia is characterized by mainly two factors;
1. It will be a time in the future when there will be no more war, an abscence of hostility and fighting.
2. The Bible speaks about this time as a time when all human beings will understand and know, and have a relationship with G-d.

These are the two features of this future age of perfection the Bible speaks about, over and over again! It clearly emerges as one of the central, prophetic themes in the Bible. Let us go through some of these passages. Starting with the book of Micah, chapter 4:1

And it shall be at the end of the days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be firmly established at the top of the mountains, and it shall be raised above the hills, and peoples shall stream upon it.
And many nations shall go, and they shall say, “Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mount and to the house of the God of Jacob, and let Him teach us of His ways, and we will go in His paths,” for out of Zion shall the Torah come forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
And he shall judge between many peoples and reprove mighty nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nations shall not lift the sword against nation; neither shall they learn war anymore.
And they shall dwell each man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them move, for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.

Michah 4:1-4

Verse 1 “…it shall be at the end of the days…” That is the preamble.
Almost the exact same passage appears in Isaiah 2. Continuing this theme of a world that will be transformed into a world of peace and safety we find in the book of Isaiah 60:18.

Even though the Bible is painting a picture of universal peace and tranquility, the focus of the Bible is generally the Jewish people and the land of Israel, so the way the Bible articulates peace in the world is frequently by speaking of the Jewish people having peace in their own land.

We see 2 themes here. The major theme is world wide peace and tranquility; Isaiah 32:16-18, Hosea 2:18-25 and Zakariah 14:11. The second theme that characterises this age of perfection, this utopian age is a universal recognition of G-d; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9-11, Psalm 86:9, Zephaniah 3:9, Jeremiah 31:32-33, Isaiah 66:23.

We see that there are no references to any individual personality. These passages simply describe a future age. There is no reference to any single individual who will do anything. Continuing reading from the prophets, we also see in Isaiah 11:1-9 (“And a shoot shall spring forth from the stem of Jesse…”) we see that an individual will exist at this time of future world perfection.
Read Jeremiah 30:7-10 (“I will save them… from the land of their captivity…”) and Jeremiah 23:5-6 (“Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely…”) Here we will see again a reference to a ceasing and decisting of any destruction and war, accompaigned by a universal knowledge of G-d, but also a reference to a righteous judge, a righteous leader that will emerge among the Jewish people. Note the preamble telling you that it is a prophecy about the future. Basically the same passage repeats in chapter 3:14-18.

Finally, probably two of the most clear passages in the Bible is found in the book of Hezekiel chapter 37:24-28. “And My servant David shall be king over them…and they shall dwell on the land…the nations shall know that I am the Lord.”

When the Jewish messiah comes, it will be so clear to everyone in the world, that it is pointless to speak about BELIEVING in the messiah!

© 2012 Jonathan Axelsson
אתר הבית של יונתן
Twitter @tzedaqyal

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About Meadow of Tzedaqyal

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1881-1955)
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