Monday, November 10, 2008

Moshiach sources

Can someone please give me some Torah sources for why Jews believe in the the coming of Moshiach (Messiah)? I would prefer the sources be from the Chumash (five books of Moses) as I just don't believe the Navi to be divine.

I don't have time to write now, but this will be part of a longer, more in-depth post.


His Lordship, Garnel Ironheart said...

In fact, unless you read into the verses in a deep way, there is no mention of a Moshiach figure in Chumash. Within the Torah there is a promise of a final redemption as arranged by God Himself. However, the first appearance of a human figure as the representative leader of that redemption does not appear until Navi.

As for the Navi being divine, it's not that it isn't. It is just not on the level of Chumash. As Chazal say, Moshe perceived God through a clear lens "face to face" as it were, while the other Nevi'im saw him through a distorted lens and had to interpret their visions.

However, while the Nevi'im were not on the same level as Moshe Rabeinu, this doesn't mean they didn't relay communcations from God.

I'm curious - most yeshivos don't educate in Navi. Was that your experience too? Because my father always says: you learn halachah and some ethics from Gemara but what God really wants from us you need to learn from Navi. I would srongly suggest you sit down with some of those books along with a decent peirush (in English, the Judaica Press one is great) and go through a couple of them. I'm willing to wager you'd really find some uplifting stuff in there to help with your concerns.

jewish philosopher said...

The actual person of the Moshiach himself is just one aspect of the ultimate redemption, and not even the most important one. I think Christians have turned the Moshiach personally into a very big deal.

AngryJew said...

I agree. I can't think of any sources of the messiah from the 5 books of moses. Most of the references come form the later prophets like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah.

Here's a simple article:

Rich Perkins said...

JP - If the Moshiach "person" is not the main part, can you please elaborate on what the final redemption means? Also, where is this outlined in the torah?

The Candy Man said...

I can't think of any sources of the messiah from the 5 books of moses. Most of the references come form the later prophets like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah.

Well, look, it depends what you're talking about here.

I think the messiah is just a term for a Jewish king. In this sense, a Jewish king is described in Deuteronomy.

As for the completely overblown concept of the messiah that appears in post-Talmudic sources, I think even the Nach sources really don't predict such a thing. They just predict the return of the king.

Jacob Da Jew said...

His Lordship writes: "I'm curious - most yeshivos don't educate in Navi. Was that your experience too? "

In Israel , most yeshivot teach Navi.

His Lordship, Garnel Ironheart said...

Interesting. Because in North America it's apparently minimally taught, the assumption being that any posuk the guy needs to know is quoted in the Gemara so why look at the original.

The Torah brings two visions of redemptions - after the first tochacha in Vayikra there is a vague mention: "But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors whom I brought forth from the land o' Egypt in the sight of the nations that I might be their God, I am the Lord." (26:45)

Not terribly inspiring but the implication is that when God remembers the covenant, He'll bring us back to Israel.

In Devarim, there are two important references:
"But from thence ye shall seek the Lord thy God and thou shalt find him if thou search after Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. In thy distress when all these things are come upon thee in the end of days thou wilt return to the Lord thy God and hearken unto His voice. For the Lord thy God is a merciful God; He will not fail thee, neither destroy thee nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He swore unto them." (4:29-31)

Again a vague reference to redemption but remember the covenant is to give the land of Israel to the descendent of our forefathers so the implication is there.

Finally, there's "That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity and have compassion upon thee and will return and gather thee from all the peoples whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine that are dispersed be in the uttermost parts of Heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee and from thence will He fetch thee. And the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed and thou shalt possess it and He will do thee good and multiply thee above thy fathers." (30:3-5)

I agree with the Candy Man on the king thing. Remember, Moshiach in Hebrew means "annointed one", as in a future king/political leader. From Navi we learn he will be of the House of David. Nothing about supernatural powers, however.

The Candy Man said...

It's worth noting that even Talmudic sources were ambivalent about the messiah. One source states that the only difference between the messianic era and the current era is Jewish independence. Another rabbi (Hillel the elder?) held that Hezekiah was the Jewish messiah.

Anonymous said...

Deut 18:15 and 18:18 refer to a prophet who will be like Moshe. The Rambam says that all previous prophets were not like Moshe. Here the verse is referring to a prophet that will be like Moshe, this Moshiach.

Anonymous said...

Actually this is one of the things that proves Judaism is a false religion.

The messianic concept (the idea of a messiah and the messianic age) is completely absent from the Torah, and only occurs in the prophetic writings. This proves that in fact the idea of an after life was in fact a latter addition to Judaism

Remember what you follow today is the religion descended from the Pharisees; the most zorastrian jewish sect. Pharisee comes from the word "parsi" which is the original name for followers of Zorastrianism. Ideas such as a coming messiah, an age of forgiveness and so on all come from Zorastrianism

Were you an Essene you would not believe in such a thing because they opposed the Pharisees not just for their false oral Torah, but because they took these after-life concepts from the Zorastrians.

Anyway the Torah has been changing for centuries. Just look up the Dead Sea Scrolls and examine all the differences it has with the Torah you have today. Ironically, the Old Testament that christians use (Greek Septuagint) has more similarities with the Dead Sea Scrolls than the masoretic version Jews use today. But the fact that such discrepancies exist show that the Torah has been changing over the centuries. Its corrupt and thus not divine

Anonymous said...

The Melech HaMashiach is mentioned in the commentary of Rashi on:

{1} Bereshit chapter 49 verses 10 and 11

{2] Shemot chapter 4 verse 20

{3} Bamidbar chapter 24 verse 19

{4} Devarim chapter 32 verse 7.

Anonymous said...

The English word PHARISEE comes from the Hebrew word PERUSHIM, which means commentaries or explainers.

prophecy said...

Concerning prophecy and the prophecy of Moshe, I suggest you read Maamar Ha-Ikarim of Ramchal.
The link is above; that might make things clearer.

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