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Old 02-13-2018, 11:00 AM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is offline
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What is the Jewish Messiah Supposed to Do Exactly?

I'm reading the excellent book The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs, and in it he mentions an odd alliance between Ultra-Fundamentalist Christians and Ultra-Orthodox Jews to breed a completely red heifer to use in a spiritual purification ritual.

This ritual has a different purpose between the groups. For the Ultra-Orthodox, it means the Third Temple can be built in Israel in order to usher in the Jewish Messiah.
For the Ultra-Fundamentalists, it has the further purpose of ushering in the Jewish Messiah who will be the Antichrist who battles the Original Christ to bring on Armaggedon and the end of the world. According to the Fundamentalists, Jews will convert to Christianity, or die in the upheaval.

Growing up as a Jehovah's Witness, I'm familiar with the Christian lore, although the Witnesses didn't bring Third Temples and Jewish Messiahs into it. But I'm wondering, what is the Jewish Messiah supposed to do according to the Jewish side of things? I'm sure converting Jews to Christianity isn't on the agenda. Freeing Jews from Roman oppression is not a pressing matter anymore.

I have a feeling this question could get ugly, but I'd like to have my ignorance fought.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:33 AM
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Here are the basics: http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm

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

The mashiach 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).
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:46 AM
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Anything in there about his dad being God?
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:52 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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That’s getting you a warning for threadshitting, Czarcasm. Keep your hobbyhorses confined to threads where they’re relevant.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:05 PM
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So far as I understand it, there have been many messiahs in Judaism as it seems to as a general term denote a person anointed by G_d for some special purpose.

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The word “Messiah” is an English rendering of the Hebrew word “Mashiach”, whose translation is “Anointed”. It usually refers to a person initiated into G-d’s service by being anointed with oil. (Having oil poured on his head. Cf. Exodus 29:7, I Kings 1:39, II Kings 9:3).

There are many Messiahs in the Bible. Since every King and High Priest was anointed with oil, each may be referred to as “an anointed one” (a Mashiach or a Messiah). For example: “G-d forbid that I [David] should stretch out my hand against the L-rd’s Messiah [Saul]…” I Samuel 26:11. Cf. II Samuel 23:1, Isaiah 45:1, Psalms 20:6.

The Hebrew word “HaMashiach” (lit. the Messiah) describing a future anointed person to come does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Since the Bible makes no explicit reference to the Messiah, it is unlikely that it could be considered the most important concept in the Bible. Indeed, in Jewish thought, the Messianic idea is not the most crucial. However, in Christian thought, the Messiah is paramount- a difficulty in light of its conspicuous absence from scripture.

https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge...istian-claims/
(Not that any one source is going to be authoritative for a religious movement as diverse as Judaism)

I don't doubt some segments have developed these concepts in the centuries since Biblical times.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:49 PM
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1. Is there any sort of time-line as to when this might take place?
2. Is this event talked about much in the general Jewish community, outside of it being brought up by outsiders?
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:37 PM
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From my experiences, and I'm not a practicing Jew:

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1. Is there any sort of time-line as to when this might take place?
Nope, it'll happen when it happens.

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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
2. Is this event talked about much in the general Jewish community, outside of it being brought up by outsiders?
It's a central tenet of Judaism, but since it's completely out of our control most Jews don't think much about it on a day-to-day basis.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:45 PM
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I don't doubt some segments have developed these concepts in the centuries since Biblical times.
From the earlier link:

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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 explicitly 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 mashiach 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" (acharit ha-yamim), which is the time of the mashiach; thus, the concept of mashiach was known in the most ancient times.
Judaism is more than the written Torah, but it is interesting that what most religious Jews agree is one of the fundamental parts of the religion isn't explicitly mentioned in it.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:36 PM
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Anything in there about his dad being God?
To clarify, I was referring to a part of the same site that Telemark used(jewfaq.org), a site that I have used in other threads on this subject:
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The mashiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The mashiach is often referred to as "mashiach ben David" (mashiach, 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.
My apologies if my first post was taken as "atheistic".

Last edited by Czarcasm; 02-13-2018 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
To clarify, I was referring to a part of the same site that Telemark used(jewfaq.org), a site that I have used in other threads on this subject:

My apologies if my first post was taken as "atheistic".
I think the idea of the messiah being biologically () related to G-d is strictly a Christianity thing. Asking about it in a thread about Judaism apropos of nothing is like asking whether the Christian god is going to lovingly embrace us with his noodly appendages.

Last edited by begbert2; 02-13-2018 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:09 PM
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He's not descended from God, he's decended from David. Messiah means, like the link says, annointed. You know who gets annoonted? Kings. The concept actually started around the time of the BabylonIan conquest. "Sure, Jerusalem had been conquered and the Kingdom of Judah is no more, but someday a new king in the royal line will take us back, conquer both Judea and Samaria to restore the kingdom of David and Solomon, rebuild the Temple, defeat the enemies of the Jews and make them do homage to him, and rule justly and make sure people follow God's commandments ." It's a restoration, in other words, of the kingdom of David and Solomon .
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:28 PM
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Which term is preferred-"messiah", or "mashiach"?
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:46 PM
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The concept actually started around the time of the BabylonIan conquest. "Sure, Jerusalem had been conquered and the Kingdom of Judah is no more, but someday a new king in the royal line will take us back, conquer both Judea and Samaria to restore the kingdom of David and Solomon, rebuild the Temple, defeat the enemies of the Jews and make them do homage to him, and rule justly and make sure people follow God's commandments ." It's a restoration, in other words, of the kingdom of David and Solomon .
And that messiah was Cyrus the Great, right? He was the Persian king who defeated the Babylonians, sent the exiled Jews back to Jerusalem, and let them practice their religion again, they just had to pay their taxes and not cause trouble. The Israelites thought this was pretty keen so referred to Cyrus as a messiah.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:33 PM
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And that messiah was Cyrus the Great, right?
Well, except for that little bit about being descended from David. Of course Achaemenes' origins are obscure...
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:40 PM
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Which term is preferred-"messiah", or "mashiach"?
Depends on whether you prefer your Hebrew straight up or filtered through Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:12 AM
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If he must be descended from King David, is it known who these descendants are? Is that lineage still alive and does it number in the hundreds or is it millions? Or is that descended from David bit not to be taken literally?
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:17 PM
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Depends on whether you prefer your Hebrew straight up or filtered through Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.
Actually, if you want it straight up, you'd write "משיח".

I happen to consider simple transliteration lazy and boring, myself, but then, I am a Hebrew-to-English translator.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:32 PM
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2. Is this event talked about much in the general Jewish community, outside of it being brought up by outsiders?
It is customary during Havdalah (the ceremony ending the Sabbath) to sing "Eliyahu Hanavi" (Elijah the Prophet), which contains lyrics hoping Elijah will soon bring the Messiah.

Eliyahu HaNavi
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:38 PM
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It is customary during Havdalah (the ceremony ending the Sabbath) to sing "Eliyahu Hanavi" (Elijah the Prophet), which contains lyrics hoping Elijah will soon bring the Messiah.

Eliyahu HaNavi
Pardon my ignorance, but "Tishbite"?
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:43 PM
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Pardon my ignorance, but "Tishbite"?
He's from Tishbe.

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Originally Posted by Wikipedia
As translated into English, Tishbite is the demonym for Tishbe: the demonym is predicated of the prophet to denote that his residence or possibly his birthplace was Tishbe.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:47 PM
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Pardon my ignorance, but "Tishbite"?
Elijah was from the town of Tishbe in the land of Gilead, one of the Israelite holdings east of the Jordan River.



Ninja'd.

Last edited by Alessan; 02-14-2018 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:48 PM
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Thank you. My Hebrew is rusty...and my English isn't that far behind, sometimes.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:27 PM
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The concept of a messiah is a perfect example of a concept that has clearly evolved over time within Judaism.

As is mentioned upthread, originally it simply referred to a great military leader who saves the Jewish people, who is basically pointed out by God - "anointed" - hence, in Isaiah, Cyrus, king of the Persians and founder of their Empire, is referred to as a "messiah". He's not Jewish and it doesn't say he was descended from David - but he ended the "Babylonian Captivity", restored the Jews to their homeland (well, the ones who were ethnically cleansed and wished to return), and allowed them to worship as they pleased; they were suitably grateful!

It is interesting to read different versions of Isaiah 45:1, for comparison.

The Orthodox Jewish one:

Quote:
Yeshayah 45:1 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

45 Thus saith Hashem to His Moshiach, to Koresh (Cyrus), whose yamin (right hand) I have taken hold of, to subdue Goyim before him; and the loins of melachim I ungird, to open before him the double doors and the she’arim (gates), that they may not continue shut;
The King James:

Quote:
Isaiah 45:1 King James Version (KJV)

45 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

The Modern English:

Quote:
Isaiah 45:1 Modern English Version (MEV)

Cyrus, God’s Anointed


45 Thus says the Lord to Cyrus, His anointed,
whose right hand I have held—
to subdue nations before him
and to loosen the loins of kings,
to open doors before him
so that the gates will not be shut:
Common to them all is the notion that Cyrus was the "anointed one", which is the literal meaning of "messiah".

Of course, later thinkers expanded this initially very simple concept (a military leader, pointed out by God, who saves the Jews - meaning there can be multiple "messiahs") to the idea that there will be one future "messiah", a universal savior, chosen by God, who will be of the House of David, and who will be a singular person (that is, only one "messiah").

The Jewish notion remained that this "messiah" will be a very physical savior who will literally save people, and usher in a universal "golden age". Originally it was merely a savior of Jews, but gradually the concept expanded to include saving everyone else as well - leading to a literal 'end of history', a universal golden age.

This concept was obviously already very well developed by the time Christianity arose, because the Christian religion is essentially an elaboration of it - the savior is now not merely a physical savior, but a spiritual one, saving all of humanity from sin and later returning to usher in an "end of history" (in which the good will be saved, forever, and the bad condemned).

The Jewish and Christian concepts of messiah-dom then developed in parallel.

Modern Judaism of course is not a monolithic thing (two Jews, three opinions, as the saying goes!), but at least one strand of modern Jewish messianism is the concept of "Tikkun Olam" (literally, "to repair the world"):

Quote:
Jews believe that performing of ritual mitzvot (good deeds, commandments, connections, or religious obligations) is a means of tikkun olam, helping to perfect the world, and that the performance of more mitzvot will hasten the coming of the Messiah and the Messianic Age. This belief dates back at least to the early Talmudic period.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikkun_olam

The idea here is that Jews have a responsibility to perfect their own behavior through performing mitzvot (basically, good deeds and correct actions - judged religiously and ethically) - for the Reform branch I'm most familiar with, through social action - to improve themselves, Jewish society, and society at large. Only then will the messiah arrive.

In short, it is up to us to create the "golden age" and it is our own actions that create the necessary condition for the messiah to "arrive" - rather than the messiah being a military savior who saves us from outside.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:37 PM
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Apparently there have been a host of Jewish messiah claimants through the centuries, according to this Wiki article.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:48 PM
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Apparently there have been a host of Jewish messiah claimants through the centuries, according to this Wiki article.
It's severely undermined by the numerous exhortations of jewish mothers about their sons.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:00 PM
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It's severely undermined by the numerous exhortations of jewish mothers about their sons.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:03 PM
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I've seen a lot of perspectives on Mashiach ben David so far, but I was curious to hear perspectives on Mashiach ben Yoseph. What are the teachings / thoughts / feelings of the Jewish community in regards to the "man of peace"?
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:34 PM
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If he must be descended from King David, is it known who these descendants are? Is that lineage still alive and does it number in the hundreds or is it millions? Or is that descended from David bit not to be taken literally?
If we ignore whether or not he must be a male line descendant, and if we assume that David was real, and a king* who lived some 3,000 odd years ago, then I suspect about half the world population today would be descendant from him.

*especially with many wives/concubines and therefore many, many children.

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Old 02-14-2018, 04:46 PM
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I've seen a lot of perspectives on Mashiach ben David so far, but I was curious to hear perspectives on Mashiach ben Yoseph. What are the teachings / thoughts / feelings of the Jewish community in regards to the "man of peace"?
There is no "Jewish community" response. Some Jews regard him as an itinerant teacher with some good ideas in the tradition of Hillel. Some Jews regard him as an itinerant teacher with some good ideas in the tradition of Hillel, who also had some less good ideas and whose followers went nuts. Some Jews regard him as an itinerant preacher of no particular significance whose followers branched out to become the primary persecutors of Jews.

There is no single view. Jesus plays no significant role, (or no role at all, depending on the source), in Jewish thought. The question is like asking the Christian community's perspective on Buddha. It would depend on which Christian one asked, from the favorable writings of Thomas Merton to the foaming mouth hatred of Franklin Graham to the "man on the street" who could not identify a single thought expressed by Buddha.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:01 PM
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There is no "Jewish community" response. Some Jews regard him as an itinerant teacher with some good ideas in the tradition of Hillel. Some Jews regard him as an itinerant teacher with some good ideas in the tradition of Hillel, who also had some less good ideas and whose followers went nuts. Some Jews regard him as an itinerant preacher of no particular significance whose followers branched out to become the primary persecutors of Jews.

There is no single view. Jesus plays no significant role, (or no role at all, depending on the source), in Jewish thought. The question is like asking the Christian community's perspective on Buddha. It would depend on which Christian one asked, from the favorable writings of Thomas Merton to the foaming mouth hatred of Franklin Graham to the "man on the street" who could not identify a single thought expressed by Buddha.
Only on one thing are all Jews agreed - whatever their opinion of Jesus, he wasn't what the Jews regard as the "messiah".

Those that disagree on that point are "Christians".

(Yes, there exists this group known as "Jews for Jesus", but Jews pretty well unanimously consider that a Christian movement intent on converting Jews).
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:16 PM
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There is no single view. Jesus plays no significant role, (or no role at all, depending on the source), in Jewish thought. The question is like asking the Christian community's perspective on Buddha. It would depend on which Christian one asked, from the favorable writings of Thomas Merton to the foaming mouth hatred of Franklin Graham to the "man on the street" who could not identify a single thought expressed by Buddha.
It would indeed be a struggle for most average Christians to identify Buddhist principles.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:09 PM
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1. Is there any sort of time-line as to when this might take place?
2. Is this event talked about much in the general Jewish community, outside of it being brought up by outsiders?
Old old joke - a Russian Jew in the old days was paid a ruble a month to by the community council to stand at the town outskirts to greet the Messiah on his arrival. His friend: "That's pretty low pay." The greeter: "Yes, but talk about job security!"

And as noted, it's talked about but differently in different segments. The Reform Judaism position is feh on an individual Messiah; it's combined human efforts that will bring out that more utopian age. (Cribbed generously from Telushkin's wonderful "Jewish Literacy")

Claims of the Messiah's imminent arrival (or having arrived) have generally ended badly for Jews.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:12 PM
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Common to them all is the notion that Cyrus was the "anointed one", which is the literal meaning of "messiah".
How many persons, besides Cyrus, does the Torah (or other traditional Jewish texts) refer to as an "anointed one"? Presumably, David and Solomon?
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:15 PM
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(Yes, there exists this group known as "Jews for Jesus", but Jews pretty well unanimously consider that a Christian movement intent on converting Jews).
A couple showed up at my Reform Temple, and when the husband told us, there was a silence went over the group, but the service went well. They didn't yell, "Praise Jesus!" or anything like that.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:05 PM
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If we ignore whether or not he must be a male line descendant, and if we assume that David was real, and a king* who lived some 3,000 odd years ago, then I suspect about half the world population today would be descendant from him.

*especially with many wives/concubines and therefore many, many children.
I think it depends on the circumstance of the family line. In 3000 years you might think Lincoln would have millions of descendants, but there would be exactly as many as there are today- zero. How do we know that at all of his lineage didn't die out?
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:14 AM
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One factoid that I've heard third-hand (so no cite unfortunately ), is that some ultra-Orthodox Jews opposed the creation of Israel because there was no obvious Mashiach. And especially that modern Israel can't be legitimate because the Temple has not been rebuilt.

Ah, found one reference
Wiki article
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Old 02-15-2018, 07:59 AM
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A couple showed up at my Reform Temple, and when the husband told us, there was a silence went over the group, but the service went well. They didn't yell, "Praise Jesus!" or anything like that.
Their "line" is that they are Jews - who just happen to consider that the messiah has already arrived, in the person of Jesus; that it is possible, and preferable, for Jews to continue to be Jews, doing what they already do, just accepting this one additional doctrine ...
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:20 AM
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How many persons, besides Cyrus, does the Torah (or other traditional Jewish texts) refer to as an "anointed one"? Presumably, David and Solomon?
There you run into definitional problems ... the term originally referred to no more than the ritual attending the induction of a king or high priest, by anointing with oil (it is still part of the royal rituals). So every king or high priest is, in a highly technical sense, an "anointed one".

See for example 1 Samuel 10:1

Quote:
[ Saul Anointed King ] Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you to be prince over his heritage.
However, from very early times, it took on a more significant meaning - chosen by God in a more general sense. However, as the ritual of anointing was considered a sign of being "chosen by God", it is really difficult to disentangle the two.

David was "anointed" as king, but the Bible uses the term in both senses when referring to him:

Quote:
2 Samuel 23:1

[ The Last Words of David ] Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel:
Over time, the "anointed by God" took on a less literal meaning (i.e., the ritual of making a king or high priest, which demonstrated "God's choice" of monarch or priest), and came to mean a chosen savior.

It is, however, very difficult to disentangle these two meanings, as you can see from the language ...

So to answer the question: many in the Bible are identified as "anointed" - basically every high priest or Jewish king - but not all of these would be considered "saviours" as well. In some cases the "anointing" merely designated status, in others it had a deeper meaning - as can be seen when discussing David. Many of the Jewish kings were bad guys, but were nonetheless "anointed": Saul was "anointed" but God withdrew his favour from him and his dynasty, in preference to David and his line ...
  #39  
Old 02-15-2018, 08:36 AM
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I think it depends on the circumstance of the family line. In 3000 years you might think Lincoln would have millions of descendants, but there would be exactly as many as there are today- zero. How do we know that at all of his lineage didn't die out?
If he was just some average schlub with one wife and a couple kids, that might be a distinct possibility. But he was a king, and probably had lots and lots of children, so the odds are against that. Especially when we compare him to someone like Charlemagne, whom almost everyone in Europe is descended from one way or another.

And if David didn't have a whole bunch of wives (the Bible is not clear, but it looks like he had several), his son, Solomon, had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Talk about Big Love! And his sons probably had multiple wives, too.

So, if we take the Biblical narrative as historically accurate, it's unlikely that Kind David's line died out. Quite the opposite.

Last edited by John Mace; 02-15-2018 at 08:37 AM.
  #40  
Old 02-15-2018, 09:07 AM
senoy senoy is offline
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The Messiah is a more recent Jewish creation. Primarily from around the end of the Second Temple Period and coincidental (or not so coincidental) to when Jesus of Nazareth was preaching. We see very little written evidence prior to the destruction of the Second Temple mentioning a Messiah, but we do know that there were various claimants during the Roman domination. This seems to imply that it was a laic belief rather than a clerical one. Looking back through the Old Testament, we can definitely see passages that seem to be foreshadowing a Messiah and certainly both Christians and most Jews (excluding Reformed) see those passages today as being Messianic prophecy, but we can't be too sure that they did back in the day. At least not prior to the Talmudic era (There could be an argument that the Son of God text of the Dead Sea Scrolls could be referring to the Messiah, but it's debateable. Christians are likely to see it as being more conclusive than it is.) It could be conjectured that the belief in a Messiah was directly the result of Roman rule and the seeming futility of challenging it (although there is a chance that Messianic belief emerged during the time of the Seleucid domination of Judea), thus the need to create a supernatural hope. It's hard to say what the original Messiah beliefs looked like, but to think that he was a war leader sent by God to free the Jews from the Romans seems pretty likely, but we don't know that conclusively. It also seems pretty likely that Jesus of Nazareth was not what they were expecting at the time (based on the fact that Jewish Christianity always remained a minority belief and Christians themselves claiming it was so during the time period.) Modern Jewish traditions regarding the Messiah formed in large part due to Christian claims that the Messiah had already come, so it's very difficult to pin down so it's very difficult to pin down what we might call 'pre-Rabbinical Judaism's' views on the Messiah. Modern Judaism it's much easier to say their beliefs, but those beliefs have boiled in the broth of a dominant Christianity, so it's hard to draw conclusions about Jesus of Nazareth from them.

Last edited by senoy; 02-15-2018 at 09:07 AM.
  #41  
Old 02-15-2018, 09:16 AM
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There you run into definitional problems ... the term originally referred to no more than the ritual attending the induction of a king or high priest, by anointing with oil (it is still part of the royal rituals). So every king or high priest is, in a highly technical sense, an "anointed one".

See for example 1 Samuel 10:1



However, from very early times, it took on a more significant meaning - chosen by God in a more general sense. However, as the ritual of anointing was considered a sign of being "chosen by God", it is really difficult to disentangle the two.

David was "anointed" as king, but the Bible uses the term in both senses when referring to him:



Over time, the "anointed by God" took on a less literal meaning (i.e., the ritual of making a king or high priest, which demonstrated "God's choice" of monarch or priest), and came to mean a chosen savior.

It is, however, very difficult to disentangle these two meanings, as you can see from the language ...

So to answer the question: many in the Bible are identified as "anointed" - basically every high priest or Jewish king - but not all of these would be considered "saviours" as well. In some cases the "anointing" merely designated status, in others it had a deeper meaning - as can be seen when discussing David. Many of the Jewish kings were bad guys, but were nonetheless "anointed": Saul was "anointed" but God withdrew his favour from him and his dynasty, in preference to David and his line ...
Thank you very much for your response! I find the intersection of words, culture, and their coevolution fascinating.
  #42  
Old 02-15-2018, 10:01 AM
PapaJoe PapaJoe is offline
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There is no "Jewish community" response. Some Jews regard him as an itinerant teacher with some good ideas in the tradition of Hillel. Some Jews regard him as an itinerant teacher with some good ideas in the tradition of Hillel, who also had some less good ideas and whose followers went nuts. Some Jews regard him as an itinerant preacher of no particular significance whose followers branched out to become the primary persecutors of Jews.

There is no single view. Jesus plays no significant role, (or no role at all, depending on the source), in Jewish thought. The question is like asking the Christian community's perspective on Buddha. It would depend on which Christian one asked, from the favorable writings of Thomas Merton to the foaming mouth hatred of Franklin Graham to the "man on the street" who could not identify a single thought expressed by Buddha.
While I do appreciate this view, I was not specifically referring to "Jesus", but rather the tradition of the counterpart to Mashiach ben David. The "man of peace" who would precede the "man of war". I know Christians understand this to be "Jesus". I was more interested in the Jewish understanding of their own Messianic traditions, not those of Christianity.
  #43  
Old 02-15-2018, 10:06 AM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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Originally Posted by Pleonast View Post
Thank you very much for your response! I find the intersection of words, culture, and their coevolution fascinating.
Thanks! I find this stuff fascinating as well.

It is worth noting that the two meanings of "anointed one" continue right down to the present day - as a self-conscious imitation of the Biblical ritual.

Here's a video of Queen Elizabeth II of England being "anointed" in 1953:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYay408Rd7c

The ritual:

Quote:
The Queen rising from her devotions, having been disrobed of her crimson robe by the Lord Great Chamberlain, assisted by the Mistress of the Robes, and being uncovered, shall go before the Altar.
The Queen sits in King Edward's Chair, wherein she was anointed. Four Knights of the Garter hold over her a cloth of gold: the Dean of Westminster, taking the Ampulla and Spoon from off the Altar, hold them ready, pouring some holy Oil into the Spoon, and with it the Archbishop anointed the Queen in the form of a cross:
On the palms of both the hands, saying,
Be thy Hands anointed with holy Oil.
On the breast, saying,
Be thy Breast anointed with holy Oil.
On the crown of the head, saying,
Be thy Head anointed with holy Oil:
as kings, priests, and prophets were anointed:
And as Solomon was anointed king
by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet,
so be thou anointed, blessed, and consecrated Queen

over the Peoples, whom the Lord thy God
hath given thee to rule and govern,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Then the Dean of Westminster lay the Ampulla and Spoon upon the Altar; and the Queen kneeling down at the faldstool, the Archbishop said this Blessing over her:
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Son of God,
who by his Father was anointed with the Oil of gladness
above his fellows,
by his holy Anointing pour down upon your Head and Heart
the blessing of the Holy Ghost,
and prosper the works of your Hands:
that by the assistance of his heavenly grace
you may govern and preserve
the Peoples committed to your charge
in wealth, peace, and godliness;
and after a long and glorious course
of ruling a temporal kingdom
wisely, justly, and religiously,
you may at last be made partaker of an eternal kingdom,
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[Emphasis added]

Thus, Queen Elizabeth II is, in that very ancient sense, a "messiah" in that she's been "anointed" ... though no one, I think, considers her a "savior"!
  #44  
Old 02-15-2018, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by senoy View Post
The Messiah is a more recent Jewish creation. Primarily from around the end of the Second Temple Period and coincidental (or not so coincidental) to when Jesus of Nazareth was preaching. We see very little written evidence prior to the destruction of the Second Temple mentioning a Messiah, but we do know that there were various claimants during the Roman domination. ...
The most famous of those claimed to be the Messiah (other than Jesus) during that Roman period was Simon Bar Kokhba. The Bar Kokhba Revolt in 132 to 136 CE had Bar Kokhba leading many who believed him to be the Messiah. 580,000 Jews died as a result and many more were dispersed as slaves and refugees. The conceptualization of the Messiah changed a bit after that.
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:59 AM
sciurophobic sciurophobic is offline
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Regarding anointment, was the idea that oil was such a precious commodity (see, for example, the Hanukah miracle) that someone would have to be really special to waste a flask of oil by pouring it on his head?
  #46  
Old 02-15-2018, 12:38 PM
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someone would have to be really special to waste a flask of oil by pouring it on his head?
Surely not a very large flask.
A little dab will do ya.
  #47  
Old 02-15-2018, 12:50 PM
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Surely not a very large flask.
A little dab will do ya.
That was actually going to be my next question: What amount of oil was used-a couple of drops, a little drizzle, or a decent pour?
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:59 PM
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The oil itself isn't precious like saffron. Olives (e.g.) grow on trees...
  #49  
Old 02-15-2018, 01:04 PM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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Regarding anointment, was the idea that oil was such a precious commodity (see, for example, the Hanukah miracle) that someone would have to be really special to waste a flask of oil by pouring it on his head?
No - I think it was supposed to be perfumed.

Oddly enough, the Bible gives the exact recipe for making the stuff (allegedly handed down by God himself!). See Exodus 30:22-25:

Quote:
22 Moreover the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:
23 'Take thou also unto thee the chief spices, of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty,
כ24 and of cassia five hundred, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin.
25 And thou shalt make it a holy anointing oil, a perfume compounded after the art of the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil.
It's described as "perfume". So it is oily in consistency, but not like petroleum or a lamp-oil - it's basically a perfume with an olive oil base.

(We don't know how much was used in an "anointing" in ancient times, but presumably it was used more like a modern cosmetic use of perfume, and not poured over the head in a bucket ... )
  #50  
Old 02-15-2018, 01:07 PM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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The oil itself isn't precious like saffron. Olives (e.g.) grow on trees...
The recipe provided in Exodus does however contain ingredients that were pricey in the ancient world - such as Myrrh. Which also figures in the New Testament as one of the gifts of the Magi.
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