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Messiah (Hebrew: מָשִׁיחַ, Modern Mašíaḥ Tiberian Māšîªḥ; in modern Jewish texts in English sometimes spelled Moshiach; Aramaic: משיחא, Greek: Μεσσίας, Syriac: ܡܫܺܝܚܳܐ, Məšîḥā, Arabic: المسيح‎, al-Masīḥ, Latin: Messias) literally means "anointed (one)".

In Jewish messianic tradition and eschatology, messiah refers to a leader anointed by God, and in some cases, a future King of Israel, physically descended from the Davidic line, who will rule the people of a united tribes of Israel[1] and herald the Messianic Age[2] of global peace. He is not considered to be divine, and is not considered to be the Christian Jesus. In standard Hebrew, The Messiah is often referred to as מלך המשיח, Méleḫ ha-Mašíaḥ (in the Tiberian vocalization pronounced Méleḵ haMMāšîªḥ), literally meaning "the Anointed King."

Christians believe that prophecies in the Hebrew Bible refer to a spiritual savior, partly evidenced in selectively culled passages from the Book of Isaiah: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The young woman is with child, and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel,"[Isa. 7:14] and, in a different chapter, "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed,"[Isa. 53:5] and believe Jesus of Nazareth to be that Messiah (Christ). The (Greek) Septuagint version of the Old Testament renders all thirty-nine instances of the Hebrew word for anointed (Mašíaḥ) as Khristós (Χριστός).[3] The New Testament records the Greek transliteration Μεσσίας, Messias twice in John.[Jn. 1:41][4:25]

In Islam, Isa (Jesus) is also called the Messiah (Masih),[4] but as in Judaism, the Messiah is not considered to be the literal, physical God or Son of God.



Belief in the eventual coming of a future, great messiah, The Messiah (Moshiach), is said to be a basic and fundamental part of traditional Judaism, though not all in the religion agree.[5] Modern scholars point out that the idea of The Messiah is not mentioned anywhere in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). They point out that the grand messianic concept was introduced during the age of the prophets (which was later in the history of Judaism). Traditional Judaism disagrees with these scholars, maintaining instead that the idea of The Messiah has always been a part of Judaism.

The concept of the coming of The Messiah was held in the highest regard by pre-Christian Judaism. The Talmud records: "All the prophets prophesied [all the good things] only in respect of the Messianic era."[6] In another folio, the Talmud says, "The Jews are destined to eat [their fill] in the days of the Messiah," and "The world was created only...for the sake of the Messiah."[7]

It should be pointed out, however, that the general Hebrew term, moshiach, is used in the Hebrew Bible to refer to Israelite priests, prophets, and kings who were anointed with oil in consecration to their respective offices. Some of these leaders were not even Jewish. For example, Cyrus the Great, the king of Persia, is referred to as "God's anointed" in the Bible. The English translation typically obscures the fact that the word, messiah, is used.

A prominent Judaism Web site claims:

Belief in the eventual coming of the part of 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: gathering 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.[5]

The literal translation of the word, messiah (moshiach), is “anointed,” which refers to a ritual of consecrating someone or something by putting holy oil upon it.[1 Sam. 10:1-2] It is used throughout the Jewish Bible in reference to a wide variety of individuals and objects; for example, a Jewish king,[1 Kings 1:39] Jewish priests,[Lev. 4:3] and prophets,[Isa. 61:1] the Jewish Temple and its utensils,[Ex. 40:9-11] unleavened bread,[Num. 6:15] and a non-Jewish king (Cyrus king of Persia).[Isa. 45:1]

Reform Jews believe there have been many messiahs -- all the anointed Jewish kings and priests, including David, Solomon, Asa, Aaron, and Saul. Saul, the first king, is designated the "Anointed of the Lord" (that is, "The Lord's Messiah").[8]

When speaking of the Messiah of the future, modern Jews speak of two potential messiahs: Moshiach ben Yossef (Messiah son of Joseph) and Moshiach ben David (Messiah son of David)[9] The Hebrew ben can mean either son or descendant. In this sense it can also mean "in the manner of," i.e., there will be a "suffering servant" messiah in the manner of Joseph, son of Israel/Jacob, and a different messiah in the manner of King David.

A common modern rabbinic interpretation is that there is a potential messiah in every generation. The Talmud, which often uses stories to make a moral point (aggadah), tells of a highly respected rabbi who found the Messiah at the gates of Rome and asked him, "When will you finally come?" He was quite surprised when he was told, "Today." Overjoyed and full of anticipation, the man waited all day. The next day he returned, disappointed and puzzled, and asked, "You said messiah would come 'today' but he didn't come! What happened?" The Messiah replied, "Scripture says, 'Today, 'if you will but hearken to His voice.'"[Ps. 95:7]

Orthodox Judaism and Conservative Judaism believe in a unique future physical messiah who will usher in the messianic age of war before peace to the world.

Reform Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism teach both the belief in a messiah or messiahs, or that there will be a time of peace (Messianic Era), etc. They believe such time will be the result of human efforts at tikkun olam (repair of the world) through working on social justice, not from one man alone.

Choice is the underlying reason the Reform Movement gave up the need for and belief in a single messiah who would one day bring judgment, and perhaps salvation, to the world. The fact that God imbues us with free choice mitigates the need for a messianic figure.[10]

Messianic Judaism is a Christian religious movement that differs from mainstream Christianity and mainstream Judaism by combining elements of each into a single faith. As explained by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan:[11]

To the Jew, the Messiah has a most important mission, namely to bring the world back to G-d, and make it a place of peace, justice and harmony. When Jesus failed to accomplish this, the early Christians had to radically alter the very concept of the Messiah. This, in turn, transformed Christianity from another Jewish Messianic sect into a religion that is quite alien to many basic Jewish teachings.[12]


Christianity emerged in or around the year 30 AD as a movement among Jews and their Gentile converts who believed that Jesus was the Messiah. The name of "Christian" refers to the Greek word for 'Messiah': Khristos (χριστος). Christians commonly refer to Jesus as either the "Christ" or the "Messiah." In Christian theology the two words are synonymous.

Christians believe Jesus to be the Messiah that Jews were expecting:

The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.[Jn. 1:41-42]

The Christian concept of the Christ/Messiah as "the Word made Flesh" (see also Logos) is fundamentally different from the Jewish and Islamic in that the majority of historical and mainline Christian theologies, as seen within the Nicene Creed, consider Jesus to be God or God the Son.

Christians believe that Daniel (Hebrew: דָּנִיֵּאל, or Daniyyel) was a prophet and gave an indication of when the Messiah, the prince mashiyach nagiyd, would come.[Dan. 9:25-26] Daniel's prophecies refer to him as a descendant of King David, a Son of Man, who will rebuild the nation of Israel, destroy the wicked, and ultimately judge the whole world.

In Christian theology, the Christ/Messiah serves five main functions:[13]

  • He suffers and dies to make atonement before God for the sins of all humanity, because His justice requires that sins be punished, according to Penal substitution theology.[14]
  • He was raised from the dead on the third day after He was crucified to prove that He has defeated death and the power of Satan, thus enabling those that receive Him as their Savior to live under God's grace rather than the strict laws of Judaism [Galatians 2:16]
  • He serves as the pioneer, embodiment of the culture and living presence of the kingdom of God
  • He will establish peace and rule the world during the Millennial Kingdom, which will immediately follow the tribulation. See Nicene Creeds of 325 and 381 A.D.:

    "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

(see Millennialism)[Rev. 20:4-6]

In the New Testament, Jesus often referred to himself as 'Son of Man'[Mk. 14:61-62] [Lk. 22:66-70] which Christianity interprets as a reference to Daniel 7:13-14 (KJV):

"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. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."

Because Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and that he claimed to be the Son of Man referred to by Daniel, Christianity interprets Daniel 7:13-14 as a statement of the Messiah's authority and that the Messiah will have an everlasting kingdom. Jesus' use of this title is seen as a direct claim to be the Messiah.[15]

Some identified Jesus as the Messiah,[Mk. 8:29] his opponents accused him of such a claim,[Lk. 23:2] and he is recorded at least twice as asserting it himself directly.[Mk. 14:60-62] [Jn. 4:25-26]

Christianity interprets a wide range of biblical passages in the Old Testament (Hebrew scripture) as predicting the coming of the Messiah (see Christianity and Biblical prophecy for examples), and believes that they are following Jesus' own explicit teaching:

  • He said to them..."Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."[Lk. 24:25-27]
  • "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."[Lk. 24:45-47]
  • The book of Matthew repeatedly says, "This was to fulfill the prophecy…."

Christianity believes all of the Messianic prophecies concerning His first coming to earth were fulfilled in the mission, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and seeks to spread throughout the world its interpretation that the Messiah is the only Saviour, and that Jesus will return to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy in human form.


The Qur'an states Jesus is the Messiah,[Qur'an 3:45] and Muslims believe Jesus is alive in Heaven and will return to Earth to defeat the Dajjal, or Antichrist.[16]

A hadith in Abu Dawud (Sunnan Abu Dawud 37:4310) says:

Narrated Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus. He will descend (to the earth). When you see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish hair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill the swine, and put an end to war (in another Tradition, there is the word Jizyah instead of Harb (war), meaning that he will abolish jizyah); God will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty and then he will die. The Muslims will pray behind him.

Shia Muslims believe al-Mahdi will arrive first, and after him, Jesus. Jesus will proclaim that the true leader is al-Mahdi. A war, literally Jihad (Jihade Asghar) will be fought - the Dajjal (evil) against al-Mahdi and Jesus (good). This war will mark the approach of the coming of the Last Day. After Jesus slays al-Dajjāl at the Gate of Lud, Muslims believe he will marry and have children. During his life, he will have revealed that Islam is the last word of concept about Mehdi is full of contraversy as they believe of Mehdi match those of jews[citation needed]

A hadith in Sahih Bukhari (4:55:658) says:

Allah's Apostle said "How will you be when the son of Mary descends amongst you and your Imam is from amongst you."

Very few scholars outside of Orthodox Islam reject all the quotes (Hadith) attributed to Muhammad that mention the second return of Jesus, the Dajjal and Imam Mahdi, believing that they have no Qur'anic basis. However, the vast majority of Muslim scholars disagree with the implication of termination of Jesus’ life when he was allegedly crucified (for example Yusuf Ali’s translation reads: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself”). Verses [Qur'an 4:157] imply that Jesus was not killed physically but it appeared as such in some other sense; Verse [Qur'an 19:33] implies that Jesus will die someday. The vast majority of Muslims, and the unified opinion of Islam maintain that the bodily death of Jesus will happen after his second coming.[citation needed]

Many classical commentators such as Ibn Kathir, At-Tabari, al-Qurtubi, Suyuti, al-Undlusi (Bahr al-Muhit), Abu al-Fadl al-Alusi (Ruh al-Maani) clearly mention that verse [Qur'an 43:61] of the Qur'an refers to the descent of Jesus before the Day of Resurrection, indicating that Jesus would be the Sign that the Hour is close.

And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour)... [Qur'an 43:61]

Those that reject the second coming of Jesus argue that the knowledge of the Hour is only with God, and that the Hour will come suddenly. They maintain that if the second coming of Jesus were true, whenever it happens, billions of people would then be certain the Hour is about to come. The response given to this is that signs that the Last Hour is near have been foretold and given, including that of the second coming of Jesus, as signs indicating the Last Hour is near. They will not clarify when it is to come in any specific sense, and hence do not reveal it. Christianity avoids this conflict because Jesus is part of the Trinity of God (Father, Son (Jesus), Holy Spirit), and the second coming of Jesus signifies the beginning of the period of Tribulation.

Allama Iqbal while commenting on the second coming of Jesus said, "It is the basic idea of Magian religion, for it contains implicitly the conception of the world-historical struggle between Good and Evil, with the power of Evil prevailing in the middle period, and the Good finally triumphant on the Day of Judgement. If this view of the prophetic teaching is meant to apply to Islam it is obviously a misrepresentation. The point to note is that the Magian admitted the existence of false gods; only they did not turn to worship them. Islam denies the very existence of false gods. In this connexion Spengler fails to appreciate the cultural value


(see also: Prophethood in Islam and Jesus in Islam)

In Ahmadiyya Islam, the terms "Messiah" and "Mahdi" (Messiah of Islam) are synonymous terms for one and the same person. Like the term Messiah which, among other meanings, in essence means being anointed by God or appointed by God the term "Mahdi" means guided by God, thus both imply a direct ordainment and a spiritual nurturing by God of a divinely chosen individual. According to Ahmadiyya thought, Messiahship is a phenomenon, through which a special emphasis is given on the transformation of a people by way of offering suffering for the sake of God instead of giving suffering (i.e. refraining from revenge). Ahmadis believe that this special emphasis was given through the person of Jesus and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad [17] among others.

Ahmadis hold that the prophesied eschatological figures of various religions, the coming of the Messiah and Mahdi in fact were to be fulfilled in one person who was to represent all previous prophets.[18] The prophecies concerning the Mahdi or the second coming of Jesus are seen by Ahmadis as metaphorical, in that one was to be born and rise within the dispensation of Muhammad, who by virtue of his similarity and affinity with Jesus of Nazareth, and the similarity in nature, temperament and disposition of the people of Jesus' time and the people of the time of the promised one (the Mahdi) is called by the same name.

Numerous Hadith are presented by the Ahmadis in support of their view such as one from Sunan Ibn Majah which says:

"There is No Mahdi but Jesus son of Mary" (Ibn Majah, Bab, Shahadatu-Zaman)

Ahmadis believe that the prophecies concerning the Mahdi and the second coming of Jesus have been fulfilled in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (1835–1908) the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement. Contrary to mainstream Islam the Ahmadis do not believe that Jesus is alive in heaven, but that he survived the crucifixion and migrated towards the east where he died a natural death and that Ghulam Ahmad was only the promised spiritual second coming and likeness of Jesus, the promised Messiah and Mahdi.

Other traditions

  • Adherents to the Unification Movement consider Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon to be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ figuratively, not literally. They believe he has the mission of Christ (whom they believe isn't God).[citation needed]
  • The Shakers believed that Jesus was the male Messiah and Mother Ann Lee, the female Messiah.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Megillah 17b-18a, Taanit 8b
  2. ^ Sotah 9a
  3. ^ Etymology Online
  4. ^ Arabic for Messiah
  5. ^ a b "Moshiach: The Messiah." The Messianic Idea in Judaism. Judaism 101. Sept. 10, 2009. <>
  6. ^ Babylonian Talmud: Sanhedrin 99
  7. ^ Babylonian Talmud: Sanhedrin 98
  8. ^ Israel H. Levinthal, Judaism: An Analysis and an Interpretation
  9. ^ Tutorial: Moshiach Ben Yossef (
  10. ^ Schwartzman, 2004
  11. ^ Kaplan, Rabbi Aryeh (2001). The Jewish Response to Missionaries (Fourth Edition, Revised). Jews for Judaism International Inc.. pp. 29.  online here
  12. ^ Kaplan, Rabbi Aryeh (1976, 1985). The Real Messiah: A Jewish Response to Missionaries (Jews for Judaism Edition). National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), Orthodox Union (OU) and NCSY in cooperation with Jews for Judaism. pp. 14. online here
  13. ^ Ankerberg & Weldon, pp. 218-223
  14. ^ See for examples, Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and Psalm 22 which Christianity interprets as referring to Jesus.
  15. ^ "The Deity of Christ". 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Ask Islam: What is the different between a messiah and a prophet?
  18. ^
  19. ^ Momen, Moojan (2004). "Baha'i Faith and Holy People". in Jestice, Phyllis G.. Holy People of the World: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1576073556. 


Kaplan, Aryeh. From Messiah to Christ, 2004. New York: Orthodox Union.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Christ is a Greek word that literally means "anointed" and is used for the messiah.

This is a disambiguation page; that is, one that points to other pages that might otherwise have the same name. If you followed a link here, you might want to go back and fix that link to point to the appropriate specific page.

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennens
This is the libretto to George Frideric Handel's oratorioExcerpted from Messiah (Handel) on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia..

NOTE: Handel frequently changed the forces used in his oratorios. Today, most American choruses use the 1912 version edited by T. Tertius Noble, and the voicings and lyrics that follow are from this version. However, it is not uncommon for different voices to sing certain arias, for arias to be cut for time and difficulty constraints, and for some sections to be omitted entirely. This listing is by no means "official", simply that which is most commonly used today.

Handel's Messiah, as sung by the MIT Concert Choir:

Part I

No. 1. Overture (help | file info or download)
No. 2. Recit. accompanied (Tenor): Comfort ye my people (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 40:1-3
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God; speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem; and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplishèd, that her iniquity is pardoned.
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
No. 3. Air (Tenor): Every valley shall be exalted (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 40:4
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.
No. 4. Chorus: And the glory of the Lord (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 40:5
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealèd, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
No. 5. Recit. accompanied (Bass): Thus saith the Lord (help | file info or download)
Haggai 2:6, 7
Thus saith the Lord of Hosts: --Yet once a little while and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come.
Malachi 3:1
The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; Behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.
No. 6. Air (Soprano): But who may abide (help | file info or download)
Malachi 3:2
But who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth?
For He is like a refiner's fire.
No. 7. Chorus: And He shall purify (help | file info or download)
Malachi 3:3
And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
No. 8. Recitative (Alto): Behold, a virgin shall conceive (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 7:14 -- Matthew 1:23
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name EMMANUEL, God with us.
No. 9. Air (Alto) and Chorus: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 40:9 -- Isaiah 60:1
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
Arise, shine, for thy Light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
No. 10. Recit. accompanied (Bass): For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 60:2, 3
For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee, and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
No. 11. Air (Bass): The people that walked in darkness (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 9:2
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
No. 12. Chorus: For unto us a child is born (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be callèd Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
No. 13. Pastoral Symphony (help | file info or download)
No. 14. Recitative (Soprano): There were shepherds abiding in the field (help | file info or download)
Luke 2:8
There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
No. 14a. Recit. accompanied (Soprano): And lo! the Angel of the Lord came upon them (help | file info or download)
Luke 2:9
And lo! the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.
No. 15. Recitative (Soprano): And the angel said unto them (help | file info or download)
Luke 2:10, 11
And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
No. 16. Recit. accompanied (Soprano): And suddenly there was with the angel (help | file info or download)
Luke 2:13
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying:
No. 17. Chorus: Glory to God (help | file info or download)
Luke 2:14
Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men.
No. 18. Air (Soprano): Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion (help | file info or download)
Zechariah 9:9, 10
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee.
He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen.
No. 19. Recitative (Alto): Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 35:5, 6
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstoppèd; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.
No. 20. Air (Alto and Soprano): He shall feed his flock like a shepherd (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 40:11
Alto:He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Matthew 11:28, 29
Soprano:Come unto Him, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and He shall give you rest.
Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him for He is meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
No. 21. Chorus: His yoke is easy, and His burthen is light (help | file info or download)
Matthew 11:30
His yoke is easy and His burthen is light.


No. 22. Chorus: Behold the Lamb of God (help | file info or download)
John 1:29
Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.
No. 23. Air (Alto): He was despised (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 53:3
He was despisèd and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.
Isaiah 50:6
He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting.
No. 24. Chorus: Surely He hath borne our griefs (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 53:4, 5
Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; He was wounded for our trangressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.
No. 25. Chorus: And with His stripes we are healed (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 53:5
And with His stripes we are healèd.
No. 26. Chorus: All we like sheep have gone astray (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 53:6
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turnèd every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
No. 27. Recit. accompanied (Tenor): All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn (help | file info or download)
Psalm 22:7
All they that see Him, laugh Him to scorn, they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads saying,:
No. 28. Chorus: He trusted in God that He would deliver Him (help | file info or download)
Psalm 22:8
He trusted in God that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, if He delight in Him.
No. 29. Recit. accompanied (Tenor): Thy rebuke hath broken His heart (help | file info or download)
Psalm 69:20
Thy rebuke hath broken His heart; He is full of heaviness. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was no man; neither found He any to comfort Him.
No. 30. Air (Tenor): Behold, and see if there be any sorrow (help | file info or download)
Lamentations 1:12
Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow.
No. 31. Recit. accompanied (Tenor): He was cut off out of the land of the living (help | file info or download)
Isaiah 53:8
He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of Thy people was He stricken.
No. 32. Air (Tenor): But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell (help | file info or download)
Psalm 16:10
But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell; nor didst Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption.
No. 33. Chorus: Lift up your heads, o ye gates (help | file info or download)
Psalm 24:7-10
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is the King of glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.
No. 34. Recitative (Tenor): Unto which of the Angels said He (help | file info or download)
Hebrews 1:5
Unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee?
No. 35. Chorus: Let all the angels of God worship Him (help | file info or download)
Hebrews 1:6
Let all the angels of God worship Him.
No. 36. Air (Alto): Thou art gone up on high (help | file info or download)
Psalm 68:18
Thou art gone up on high, Thou hast led captivity captive, and receivèd gifts for men; yea, even for Thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them.
No. 37. Chorus: The Lord gave the word (help | file info or download)
Psalm 68:11
The Lord gave the word: great was the company of the preachers.
No. 38. Air (Soprano): How beautiful are the feet of them (help | file info or download)
Romans 10:15
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.
No. 39. Chorus: Their sound is gone out into all lands (help | file info or download)
Romans 10:18
Their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world.
No. 40. Air (Bass): Why do the nations so furiously rage (help | file info or download)
Psalm 2:1, 2
Why do the nations so furiously rage together? [and] why do the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take consel together against the Lord, and against His Anointed.
No. 41. Chorus: Let us break their bonds asunder (help | file info or download)
Psalm 2:3
Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us.
No. 42. Recitative (Tenor): He that dwelleth in heaven (help | file info or download)
Psalm 2:4
He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision.
No. 43. Air (Tenor): Thou shalt break them (help | file info or download)
Psalm 2:9
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
No. 44. Chorus: Hallelujah (help | file info or download)
Revelation 19:6; 11:15; 19:16
HALLELUJAH! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ: and He shall reign for ever and ever.


(Part the Third was not recorded by MIT at Christmas; The following are early Edison recordings)

No. 45. Air (Soprano): I know that my Redeemer liveth (help | file info or download)
Job 19:25, 26
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.
I Corinthians 15:20
For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first-fruits of them that sleep.
No. 46. Chorus: Since by man came death
I Corinthians 15:21
Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
No. 47. Recit. accompanied (Bass): Behold, I tell you a mystery
I Corinthians 15:51, 52
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
No. 48. Air (Bass): The trumpet shall sound (help | file info or download)
I Corinthians 15:52, 53
The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
No. 49. Recitative (Alto): Then shall be brought to pass
I Corinthians 15:54
Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory.
No. 50. Duet (Alto and Tenor): O death, where is thy sting?
I Corinthians 15:55, 56
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
No. 51. Chorus: But thanks be to God
I Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
No. 52. Air (Soprano): If God be for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31, 33, 34
If God be for us, who can be against us? who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth?
It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us.
No. 53. Chorus: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
Revelation 5:12, 13
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MESSIAH (Dan. x. 25, 26), and Messias (John i. 41; iv. 25), transcriptions (the first form modified by reference to the etymology) of the Greek Alec-alas, (Mevias, Meador), which in turn represents the Aramaic K,47? (meshilia), answering to the Hebrew ?'V~, "the anointed." 1 There can be no doubt that a magical power was ascribed to the anointing oil (cf.Frazer, Golden Bough, 2nd ed., ii. 364 sqq.). The king was thereby rendered sacrosanct (i Sam. xxiv. 6 sqq.; 2 Sam. i. 14 sqq.; iv. 9 sqq.), and he was considered to be endowed with a special virtue. Thus whosoever curses the king is stoned as though God Himself had been cursed (2 Sam. xix. 22).

In ancient Egyptian cultus the priest, after he has solemnly saluted the gods, begins the daily toilet of the god, which consists in sprinkling his image, clothing it with coloured cloths, and anointing it with oil (Erman, Die aegyptische Religion, p. 49). In the magical texts of Babylonia a similar virtue was attached to oil: "bright oil, pure oil, resplendent oil that bestows magnificence on the Gods ... the oil for the conjuration (siptu) of Marduk" (Tallquist, Maklu series, tablet vii. col. I, 31 sqq.; cf. Gressmann, Der Ursprung der israelitisch-jiidischen Eschatologie, p. 258, sqq.).

We have, in Schrader's K.I.B. v. letter 37 (p. 98), evidence from the Tell el-Amarna tablets that the anointing of kings was practised in Egypt or Syria in 1450 B.C. (c.) in a letter addressed to the Egyptian king by Ramman-nirari of Nuliassi. On the intimate relation which in primitive times subsisted between the sorcerer and the king see the citation from Frazer's Early History of Kingship, p. 127, in the article Priest, and cf. p. 29: "Classical evidence points to the conclusion that in prehistoric ages ... the various tribes or cities were ruled by kings who discharged priestly duties" (p.31). Thus the early kings of Assyria were priests of Assur (Asur), the tutelary deity of Assyria. Tiglath-Pileser I. (c. 1 100 B.C.) calls his predecessors,.

Samsi-Ramman and Ismi-Dagan, issakku (pa-to-si) of the God Assur (Prism-insc. col. vii. 62, 63). Later kings, e.g. Shalmaneser II. (Nimrud-obelisk, line 15, monolith, line II) and Assur-bani-pal (Rassam cyl. col. vii. 94) call themselves by the more definite title of sangu of Assur. The Hebrew word with the article prefixed occurs in the Old Testament only in the phrase "the anointed priest" (Lev. iv. 3, 5, 16; vi. 22 [151), but "Yahweh's anointed" is a common title of the king of Israel, applied in the historical books to Saul and David, in Lam. iv. 20 to Zedekiah, and in Isa. xlv. i extended to Cyrus. In the Psalms corresponding phrases (My, Thy, His anointed) occur nine times, to which may be added the lyrical passages I Sam. ii. 10, Hab. iii. 13.

In the present attitude of literary criticism it would be most difficult to assert, as Robertson Smith did in the 9th edition of this work, that "in the intention of the writers it [i.e. the term messiah or" anointed "1 refers to the king then on the throne.

Nor would most recent critics agree with Professor Driver (L.O.T., 8th ed. p. 385) in considering Pss. ii. and lxxii. as" presumably pre-exilic."G. Buchanan Gray (J.Q.R., July 1895, p. 658 sqq.) draws a parallel between the" king "in the Psalms and the" servant "in Deutero-Isaiah or Yahweh's" Son "(in Hos. xi. 1, &c.) which is applied to Israel either actual or idealized. It would be possible so to interpret" king "or" anointed "in some Psalms, e.g. lxi., lxiii. and lxxxiv., but hardly in Pss. ii., lxxii. and lxxxix., where the Messianic reference is strongly personal. 3 In the Psalms the ideal aspect of the kingship, its religious importance as the expression and organ of Yahweh's sovereignty, is prominent.

When the Psalter became a liturgical book the historical kingship had gone by, and the idea alone remained, no longer as the interpretation of a present political fact but as part of Israel's religious inheritance. It was impossible, however, to think that a true idea had become obsolete merely because it found no expression on earth for the time being; Israel looked again for an anointed king to whom the words of the sacred hymns should apply with a force 1 The transcription is as in - for -Aw4, Onomastica, ed. Lag., pp. 247, 281, ii. 3. For the termination -as for Km, see Lagarde, Psalt. Memph., p. vii.

2 The plural is found in Ps. cv. 15, of the patriarchs as consecrated persons.

' In Ps. lxxxiv. 9 [To] it is disputed whether the anointed one is the king, the priest, or the nation as a whole. The second view is perhaps the best.

never realized in the imperfect kingship of the past. Thus the Psalms were necessarily viewed as prophetic; and meantime, in accordance with the common Hebrew representation of ideal things as existing in heaven, the true king remains hidden with God. The steps by which this result was reached must, however, be considered in detail.

The hope of the advent of an ideal king was only one feature of that larger hope of the salvation of Israel from all evils, which was constantly held forth by all the prophets, from the time when the seers of the 8th century B.C. proclaimed that the true conception of Yahweh's relation to His people could become a practical reality only through a great deliverance following a sifting judgment of the most terrible kind. The idea of a judgment so severe as to render possible an entire breach with the guilty past is common to all the prophets, but is expressed in a great variety of forms and images.

As a rule the prophets directly connect the final restoration with the removal of the sins of their own age; to Isaiah the last troubles are those of Assyrian invasion, to Jeremiah the restoration follows on the exile to Babylon, to Daniel on the overthrow of the Greek monarchy. But all agree in giving the central place to the realization of a real effective kingship of Yahweh; in fact the conception of the religious subject as the nation of Israel, with a national organization under Yahweh as king, is common to the whole Old Testament, and connects prophecy proper with the so-called Messianic psalms and similar passages which speak of the religious relations of the Hebrew commonwealth, the religious meaning of national institutions, and so necessarily contain ideal elements reaching beyond the empirical present.

All such passages are frequently called Messianic; but the term is more properly reserved as the specific designation of one particular branch of the Hebrew hope of salvation, which, becoming prominent in post-canonical Judaism, used the name of the Messiah as a technical term (which it never is in the Old Testament), and exercised a great influence on New Testament thought - the term" the Christ "(6 xpccrros) being itself nothing more than the translation of" the Messiah."

In the period of the Hebrew monarchy the thought that Yahweh is the divine king of Israel was associated with the conception that the human king reigns by right only if he reigns by commission or" unction "from Him. Such was the theory of the kingship in Ephraim as well as in Judah (Deut. xxxiii.; 2 Kings ix. 6), till in the decadence of the northern state Amos (ix. II) foretold' the redintegration of the Davidic kingdom, and Hosea (iii. 5; viii. 4) expressly associated a similar prediction with the condemnation of the kingship of Ephraim as illegitimate.

So the great Judaean prophets of the 8th century connect the salvation of Israel with the rise of a Davidic king, full of Yahweh's Spirit, in whom all the energies of Yahweh's transcendental kingship are as it were incarnate (Isa.ix. 6 seq.; xi. I seq.; Micah v.). This conception, however, is not one of the constant elements of prophecy; other prophecies of Isaiah look for the decisive interposition of Yahweh in the crisis of history without a kingly deliverer. Jeremiah again speaks of the future David or righteous sprout of David's stem (xxiii. 5 seq.; xxx. 9) and Ezekiel uses similar language (xxxiv., xxxvii.); but that such passages do not necessarily mean more than that the Davidic dynasty shall be continued in the time of restoration under worthy princes seems clear from the way in which Ezekiel speaks of the prince in chs. xlv., xlvi.

As yet we have no fixed doctrine of a personal Messiah, but only material from which such a doctrine might be drawn. The religious view of the kingship is still essentially the same as in 2 Sam. vii., where 1 Most recent critics regard Amos ix. 9-15 as a later addition, and the same view is held by Nowack, Harper and others respecting Hos. iii. 5, though on grounds which seem questionable. Isa. ix. I-7, xi. i sqq. are held by Hackmann, Cheyne, Marti, and other critics to be post-exilian. Duhm and others hold that they are genuine. It may be admitted that Isa. xi. I seq. might be held to be contemporary with Isa. lv. 3, 4, and to refer to Zerubbabel. Cf. Haggai ii. 21-23, composed seventeen years afterwards. Mic. v. I-8 can with difficulty be regarded as genuine.

the endless duration of the Davidic dynasty is set forth as part of Yahweh's plan.

There are other parts of the Old Testament - notably I Sam. viii., xii. (belonging to the later stratum) - in which the very existence of a human kingship is represented as a departure from the theocratic ideal, and after the exile, when the monarchy had come to an end, we find pictures of the latter days in which its restoration has no place. Such is the great prophecy of Isa. xl.-xlviii., in which Cyrus is the anointed of Yahweh. So too there is no allusion to a human kingship in Joel or in Malachi; the old forms of the Hebrew state were broken, and religious hopes expressed themselves in other shapes. 2 In the book of Daniel it is collective Israel that, under the symbol of a" son of man,"receives the kingdom (vii. 13, 18, 22, 27).

Meantime, however, the decay and ultimate silence of the living prophetic word concurred with prolonged political servitude to produce an important change in Hebrew religion. To the prophets the kingship of Yahweh was not a mere ideal, but an actual reality. Its full manifestation indeed, to the eye of sense and to the unbelieving world, lay in the future; but true faith found a present stay in the sovereignty of Yahweh, daily exhibited in providence and interpreted to each generation by the voice of the prophets. And, while Yahweh's kingship was a living and present fact, it refused to be formulated in fixed invariable shape.

But when the prophets were succeeded by the scribes, the interpreters of the written word, and the yoke of foreign oppressors rested on the land, Yahweh's kingship, which presupposed a living nation, found not even the most inadequate expression in daily political life. Yahweh was still the lawgiver of Israel, but His law was written in a book, and He was not present to administer it. He was still the hope of Israel, but the hope too was only to be read in books, and these were interpreted of a future which was no longer the ideal development of forces already at work, but wholly new and supernatural.

The present was a blank, in which religious duty was summed up in patient obedience to the law and penitent submission to the Divine chastisements. The scribes were mainly busied with the law; but no religion can subsist on mere law; and the systematization of the prophetic hopes, and of those more ideal parts of the other sacred literature which, because ideal and dissevered from the present, were now set on one line with the prophecies, went on side by side with the systematization of the law, by means of a harmonistic exegesis, which sought to gather up every prophetic image in one grand panorama of the issue of Israel's and the world's history. The beginnings of this process can probably be traced within the canon itself, in the book of Joel and the last chapters of Zechariah; 3 and, if this be so, we see from Zech. ix. that the picture of the ideal king claimed a place in such constructions.

The full development of the method belongs, however, to the post-canonical literature, and was naturally much less regular and rapid than the growth of the legal traditions of the scribes. It was in crises of national anguish that men turned most eagerly to the prophecies, and sought to construe their teachings as a promise of speedy deliverance (see Apocalyptic Literature). But these books, however influential, had no public authority, and when the yoke of oppression was lightened but a little their enthusiasm lost much of its contagious power.

It is not therefore safe to measure the general growth of eschatological doctrine by the apocalyptic books, of which Daniel alone attained a canonical position. In the Apocrypha eschatology has a relatively small place; but there is enough to show that the hope of Israel was never forgotten, and that the imagery of the prophets was accepted with a literalness not contemplated by the prophets themselves.

It was, however, only very gradually that the figure and name of the Messiah acquired the prominence which they have in 2 The hopes which Haggai and Zechariah connect with the name of Zerubbabel, a descendant of David, hardly form an exception to this statement. There may even be a reference to him in Isa. lv. 3, 4. See Stade's articles" Deuterozacharja,"Z. f. A.-T.-lithe Wiss., 1881-1882. Cf. Dan. ix. 2 for the use of the older prophecies in the solution of new problems of faith.

later Jewish doctrine of the last things and in the official exegesis of the Targums. In the very developed eschatology of Daniel they are, as we have seen, altogether wanting, and in the Apocrypha, both before and after the Maccabean revival, the everlasting throne of David's house is a mere historical reminiscence (Ecclus. xlvii. iI; i Macc. ii. 57).

So long as the wars of independence occupied the Palestinian Jews, and the Hasmonaean sovereignty promised a. measure of independence and felicity under the law, the hope that connected itself with the House of David was not likely to rise to fresh life, especially as a considerable proportion of the not very numerous passages of Scripture which speak of the ideal king might with a little straining be applied to the rising star of the new dynasty (cf. 1 Macc. xiv. 4-15). It is only in Alexandria, where the Jews were still subject to the yoke of the Gentile, that at this time (c. 140 B.C.) we find the oldest Sibylline verses (iii. 652 seq.) proclaiming the approach of the righteous king whom God shall raise up from the East (Isa. xli. 2.)

The name Messiah is still lacking, and the central point of the prophecy is not the reign of the deliverer but the subjection of all nations to the law and the temple.' With the growing weakness and corruption of the Hasmonaean princes, and the alienation of a large part of the nation from their cause, the hope of a better kingship begins to appear in Judaea also; at first darkly shadowed forth in the Book of Enoch (chap. xc.), where the white steer, the future leader of God's herd after the deliverance from the heathen, stands in a certain contrast to the actual dynasty (the horned lambs); and then much more clearly, and for the first time with use of the name Messiah, in the Psalter of Solomon, the chief document of the protest of Pharisaism against its enemies the later Hasmonaeans.

The struggle between the Pharisees and Sadducees, between the party of the scribes and the aristocracy, was a struggle for mastery between a secularized hierarchy whose whole interests were those of their own selfish politics, and a party to which God and the exact fulfilment of the law according to the scribes were all in all. This doctrine had grown up under Persian and Grecian rule, and no government that possessed or aimed at political independence could possibly show constant deference to the punctilios of the schoolmen. The Pharisees themselves could not but see that their principles were politically impotent; the most scrupulous observance of the Sabbath, for example - and this was the culminating point of legality - could not thrust back the heathen. Thus the party of the scribes, when they came into conflict with an active political power, which at the same time claimed to represent the theocratic interests of Israel, were compelled to lay fresh stress on the doctrine that the true deliverance of Israel must come from God.

But now the Jews were a nation once more, and national ideas came to the front. In the Hasmonaean sovereignty these ideas took a political form, and the result was the secularization of the kingdom of God for the sake of a harsh and rapacious aristocracy. The nation threw itself on the side of the Pharisees; not in the spirit, of punctilious legalism, but with the ardour of a national enthusiasm deceived in its dearest hopes, and turning for help from the delusive kingship of the Hasmonaeans to the true kingship of Yahweh, and to His vicegerent the king of David's house. It is in this connexion that the doctrine and name of the Messiah appear in the Psalter of Solomon. The eternal kingship of the House of David, so long forgotten, is seized on as the proof that the Hasmonaeans have no divine right.

" Thou, Lord, art our king for ever and ever... Thou didst choose David as king over Israel, and swarest unto him concerning his seed for ever that his kingship should never fail before Thee. And for our sins sinners (the Hasmonaeans) have risen up over us, taking with force the kingdom which Thou didst not promise to them, profaning the throne of David in their pride. But Thou, 0 Lord, will cast them down and root out their seed from the land, when a man not of our race (Pompey) rises up against them Behold, 0 Lord, and raise up their king the Son of David at the time that Thou hast appointed, to reign over Israel Thy servant; and gird him with strength to crush unjust rulers; to cleanse Jerusalem from the heathen that tread it under foot, to cast out sinners from Thy 1 In Sibyll. iii. 775, v nov must undoubtedly be read for viov. inheritance; to break the pride of sinners and all their strength as potter's vessels with a rod of iron (Ps. ii. 9); to destroy the lawless nations with the word of his mouth (Isa. xi. 4); to gather a holy nation and lead them in righteousness..

He shall divide them by tribes in the land, and no stranger and foreigner shall dwell with them; he shall judge the nations in wisdom and righteousness. The heathen nations shall serve under his yoke; he shall glorify the Lord before all the earth, and cleanse Jerusalem in holiness, as in the beginning. From the ends of the earth all nations shall come to see his glory and bring the weary sons of Zion as gifts (Isa. lx. 3 seq.); to see the glory of the Lord with which God hath crowned him, for he is over them a righteous king taught of God. In his days there shall be no unrighteousness in their midst; for they are all holy and their king the anointed of the Lord (xpwros idptos, mistranslation of rnm rrwn). - Psalt. Sol. xvii.

This conception is traced in lines too firm to be those of a first essay; it had doubtless grown up as an integral part of the religious protest against the Hasmonaeans. And while the polemical motive is obvious, and the argument from prophecy against the legitimacy of a non-Davidic dynasty is quite in the manner of the scribes, the spirit of theocratic fervour which inspires the picture of the Messiah is broader and deeper than their narrow legalism. In a word, the Jewish doctrine of the Messiah marks the fusion of Pharisaism with the national religious feeling of the Maccabean revival.

This national feeling, claiming a leader against the Romans as well as deliverance from the Sadducee aristocracy, again sets the idea of the kingship rather than that of resurrection and individual retribution in the central place. Henceforward the doctrine of the Messiah is the centre of popular hope and the object of theological culture. The New Testament is the best evidence of its influence on the masses (see especially Matt. xxi. 9); and the exegesis of the Targums, which in its beginnings doubtless reaches back before the time of Christ, shows how it was fostered by the Rabbins and preached in the synagogues. 2 Its diffusion far beyond Palestine, and in circles least accessible to such ideas, is proved by the fact that Philo himself (De praem. et poen. § 16) gives a Messianic interpretation of Num. xxiv. 27 (LXX).

It must not indeed be supposed that the doctrine was as yet the undisputed part of Hebrew faith which it became when the fall of the state and the antithesis to Christianity threw all Jewish thought into the lines of the Pharisees. It has, for example, no place in the Assumption of Moses or the Book of Jubilees. But, as the fatal struggle with Rome became more and more imminent, the eschatological hopes which increasingly absorbed the Hebrew mind all group themselves round the person of the Messiah.

In the later parts of the Book of Enoch (the "symbols" of chap. xlv. seq.) the judgment day of the Messiah (identified with Daniel's "Son of Man") stands in the forefront of the eschatological picture. Josephus (B. J. vi. 5, § 4) testifies that the belief in the immediate appearance of the Messianic king gave the chief impulse to the war that ended in the destruction of the Jewish state; after the fall of the temple the last apocalypses (Baruch, 4 Ezra) still loudly proclaim the near victory of the God-sent king; and Bar Cochebas, the leader of the revolt against Hadrian, was actually greeted as the Messiah by Rabbi Aqiba (cf. Luke xxi. 8).

These hopes were again quenched in blood; the political idea of the Messiah, the restorer of the Jewish state, still finds utterance in the daily prayer of every Jew (the Shemone Esre), and is enshrined in the system of Rabbinical theology; but its historical significance was buried in the ruins of Jerusalem.3 2 The Targumic passages that speak of the Messiah are registered by Buxtorf, Lex. Chald., s.v. 3 False Messiahs have continued from time to time to appear among the Jews. Such was Serenus of Syria (c. 720 A.D.). Soon after, Messianic hopes were active at the time of the fall of the Omayyads, and led to a serious rising under Abu `Isa of Ispahan, who called himself forerunner of the Messiah. The false Messiah David Alrui (Alroy) appeared among the warlike Jews in Azerbijan in the middle of the 12th century. T

he Messianic claims of Abraham Abulafia of Saragossa (born 1240) had a cabalistic basis, and the same studies encouraged the wildest hopes at a later time. Thus Abarbanel calculated the coming of the Messiah for 1503 A.D.; the year 1500 was in many places observed as a preparatory season of penance; and throughout the 16th century the Jews were much stirred and more than one false Messiah appeared. See also Sabbatai, Sebi.

But this proof that the true kingdom of God could not be realized in an earthly state, under the limitations of national particularism, was not the final refutation of the Old Testament hope. Amidst the last convulsions of political Judaism a new spiritual conception of the kingdom of God, of salvation, and of the Saviour of God's anointing, had shaped itself through the preaching, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. As applied to Jesus the name of Messiah lost all its political and national significance.

Between the Messiah of the Jews and the Son of Man who came to give His life a ransom for many there was on the surface little resemblance; and from their standpoint the Pharisees reasoned that the marks of the Messiah were conspicuously absent from this Christ. But when we look at the deeper side of the Messianic conception in the Psalter of Solomon, at the heartfelt longing for a leader in the way of righteousness and acceptance with God which underlies the aspirations after political deliverance, we see that it was in no mere spirit of accommodation to prevailing language that Jesus did not disdain the name in which all the hopes of the Old Testament were gathered up.

Messianic Parallels

Within the limits of this article it is impossible to attempt any extended survey of parallels to Hebrew Messianic conceptions drawn from other religions. One interesting analogy communicated by Professor Rapson, may, however, be cited from the Bhagavad-gita, iv. 5-8, in which Krishna says: - 5 "Many are the births that have passed of me and of thee Arj una.

All these I know: thou knowest them not, 0 conqueror of thy foes.

6 Unborn, of imperishable soul, the Lord of all creatures, Taking upon me mine own nature, I arise by my own power.

7 For whensoever, 0 son of Bharata, there is decay of righteousness And a rising up of unrighteousness, then I create myself, 8 For the protecting of the good and for the destroying of evil-doers, And for the establishing of righteousness I arise from age to age." "Somewhat similar are the avatars of Vishnu, who becomes incarnate in a portion of his essence on ten occasions to deliver mankind from certain great dangers. Krishna himself is usually regarded as one of these avatars."

This we may consider as one of the striking parallels which meet us in other religions to that "hope of the advent of an ideal king which was one of the features of that larger hope of the salvation of Israel from all evils, the realization of perfect reconciliation with Jehovah and the felicity of the righteous in Him," to which reference was made in an early portion of this article and which constitutes the essential meaning of Messiahship. The form in which the Indian conception presents itself in the above quoted lines is more closely analogous amid many differences to the later and apocalyptic type of the Messianic idea as it appears in Judaism.

The interesting parallels between the Babylonian Marduk (Merodach) god of light and Christ as a world saviour are ingeniously set forth by Zimmern in K.A.T., 3rd ed., pp. 376-391, but the total impression which they leave is vague.

It would carry us too far to consider in this place the details of the Jewish conception of the Messiah and the Messianic times as they appear in the later apocalypses or in Talmudic theology. See for the former the excellent summary of Scharer, Geschichte des jiidischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, 3rd ed., vol. ii. pp. 49755 6. See also Weber, Judische Theologie, ch. xxiii. For the whole subject see also Drummond, The Jewish Messiah, and Kuenen, Religion of Israel, ch. xii. For the Messianic hopes of the Pharisees and the Psalter of Solomon see especially Wellhausen, Phariseer and Sadduccer (Greifswald, 1874).

In its ultimate form the Messianic hope of the Jews is the centre of the whole eschatology, embracing the doctrine of the last troubles of Israel (called by the Rabbins the "birth pangs of the Messiah"), the appearing of the anointed king, the annihilation of the hostile enemy, the return of the dispersed of Israel, the glory and world-sovereignty of the elect, the new world, the resurrection of the dead and the last judgment. But even the final form of Jewish theology shows much vacillation as to these details, especially as regards their sequence and mutual relation, thus betraying the inadequacy of the harmonistic method by which they were derived from the Old Testament and the stormy excitement in which the Messianic idea was developed.

It is, for example, an open question among the Rabbins whether the days of the Messiah belong to the old or to the new world (r t n' ? iyn or H n ' yn), whether the resurrection embraces all men or only the righteous, whether it precedes or follows the Messianic age. Compare Millennium.

We must also pass over the very important questions that arise as to the gradual extrication of the New Testament idea of the Christ from the elements of Jewish political doctrine which had so strong a hold of many of the first disciples - the relation, for example, of the New Testament Apocalypse to contemporary Jewish thought. A word, however, is necessary as to the Rabbinical doctrine of the Messiah who suffers and dies for Israel, the Messiah son of Joseph or son of Ephraim, who in Jewish theology is distinguished from and subordinate to the victorious son of David.

The developed form of this idea is almost certainly a product of the polemic with Christianity, in which the Rabbins were hard pressed by arguments from passages (especially Isa. liii.) which their own exegesis admitted to be Messianic, though it did not accept the Christian inferences as to the atoning death of the Messianic king. That the Jews in the time of Christ believed in a suffering and atoning Messiah is, to say the least, unproved and highly improbable. See, besides the books above cited, De Wette, Opuscula; Wansche, Die Leiden des Messias (1870).

See the articles on "Messiah" in Hastings's D. B. (together with Fairweather's art., "Development of Doctrine," in extra vol., pp. 2 95302) in Ency. Bibl. Also P.R.E. 3rd ed., as well as Hastings's Diet. of Christ and the Gospels, should be consulted. Comp. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 2nd ed., i. 160-179, ii. 434 sggl , 710-741; Stanton, The Jewish and the Christian Messiah (1886); Wendt, Teaching of Jesus, i. 60-84, 176-181, ii. 122-139; Holtzmann, N. T. Theologie (1897), pp. 81-85, 234-304; Baldensperger, Das Selbstbewusstsein Jesu; Wellhausen, Israel. u. jud. Geschichte (1895), pp. 198-204; Charles's Book of Enoch and Apocalypse of Baruch (especially the introductions); Bousset, Religion des Judentums, 2nd ed., pp. 245-277; Volz, Judische Eschatologie von Daniel bis Akiba, pp. 55-68, 213-237: Dalman, Der leidende u. sterbende Messias; Gressmann, Ursprung der israelitisch jiidisclzen Eschatologie, pp. 250-345. A fuller survey of literature will be found in Scharer. op. cit., p. 496 sqq. (W. R. S.; O. C. W.)

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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also messiah



Proper noun




  1. (Christianity) Jesus



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Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

(Heb. mashiach). In all the thirty-nine instances of its occurring in the Old Testament, is rendered by the LXX as "Christos." It means anointed.

Thus priests (Ex 28:41; Ex 40:15; Num 3:3), prophets (1 Kg 19:16), and kings (1Sam 9:16; 1Sam 16:3; 2 Sam 12:7) were anointed with oil, and so consecrated to their respective offices. The great Messiah is anointed "above his fellows" (Ps 457); i.e., he embraces in himself all the three offices. The Greek form "Messias" is only twice used in the New Testament, in Jn 1:41 and Jn 4:25 (R.V., "Messiah"), and in the Old Testament the word Messiah, as the rendering of the Hebrew, occurs only twice (Dan 9:25f; R.V., "the anointed one").

The first great promise (Gen 3:15) contains in it the germ of all the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament regarding the coming of the Messiah and the great work he was to accomplish on earth. The prophecies became more definite and fuller as the ages rolled on; the light shone more and more unto the perfect day. Different periods of prophetic revelation have been pointed out, (1) the patriarchal; (2) the Mosaic; (3) the period of David; (4) the period of prophetism, i.e., of those prophets whose works form a part of the Old Testament canon. The expectations of the Jews were thus kept alive from generation to generation, till the "fulness of the times," when Messiah came, "made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." In him all these ancient prophecies have their fulfilment. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the great Deliverer who was to come. (Comp. Mt 26:54; Mk 9:12; Lk 18:31; Lk 22:37; Jn 5:39; Acts 2; Acts 16:31; Acts 26:22f)

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

Messiah or the Anointed One is the figure promised by God to the Jews for the salvation of the world. The Jews think that the Messiah will be a human being that will save Israel and lead the whole world into the End Of Days and eternal peace.

Other people in real life or fiction are called messianic if they have the qualities of a messiah, or people think they will bring about a better world.

The How, Where, and Why

  • Why: Jews believe the biblical prophets inspired by God to tell of his coming.[1] During the period of the Roman rule in 1st century BC the idea of the messiah became very important in Jewish thought and teaching. According to the scriptures the messiah would rescue the people from the Romans and restore the country.
  • Where: It is not known but most Jews believe that messiah will come to Israel.
  • How: There are many of ideas about how the messiah will come: Judge, warrior, beggar, academic, Philosopher, healer or a common person.

Jesus as the Messiah

Christianity, which began in Israel with Jewish followers of Jesus (Hebrew: Yeshua), holds that the Messiah foretold by the Jewish Scriptures is Jesus, and that in fulfillment of prophecy Jesus died for the sins of the world, rose from the dead and lives today, seated at the right hand of God until His return. Most Jews do not hold these beliefs; those who do are sometimes called Messianic Jews. Some Messianic Jews and other Christians see the fact that a majority of Jews do not hold these beliefs as a fulfillment of prophecy.[needs proof]Muslims believe that Jesus was the son of Mary, the Messiah, and as a mighty prophet of God. They believe that he will come again one day in his second coming to fight besides the Mahdi against the (Dajjal, "false messiah").


  1. "Isaiah 11:1-9".;&version=9;. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 

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