MESSIAH (Hebr., "Ha-Mashiaḥ"; Aramaic, "Meshiḥa" = "anointed one"):(Redirected from CHRISTOLOGY.)
- The Ideal in Isaiah.
- The "Immanuel" Passage.
- In Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
- Ideal of the Second Isaiah.
- In the Apocrypha.
- Alexander as Messiah.
- Rise of Popular Belief in a Personal Messiah.
- Development of Conception.
- In the Older Apocalyptic Literature.
- In the Psalms of Solomon.
- In the Testaments of the Patriarchs.
- The Heavenly Messiah.
- In Rabbinic Literature.
- Heavenly Preexistence.
- Earthly Preexistence.
- Messiah ben Joseph.
The Name. The name or title of the ideal king of the Messianic age; used also without the article as a proper name—"Mashiaḥ" (in the Babylonian Talmud and in the midrash literature), like Χριστός in the Gospels. The Grecized Μεσσιας of the New Testament (John i. 41, iv. 25) is a transliteration of the Aramaic form, Aramaic being the spoken language of Palestine in the time of Jesus. "The Messiah" (with the article and not in apposition with another word) is, however, not an Old Testament expression, but occurs for the first time in apocalyptic literature. Similarly, in all probability the use of the word "Mashiaḥ" to denote the Messianic king is not found earlier than the apocalyptic literature. In the Old Testament the earliest use of the word is with
In Isa. xlv. 1 Cyrus is called "God's anointed one," because God has called him and given him victory after victory for the distinct purpose of putting an end to the Babylonian kingdom and the worship of idols, of setting free exiled Israel, and thus introducing the new era of God's universal dominion. In Ps. cv. 15 the Patriarchs are called "God's anointed ones" because they are under the special protection of God and therefore inviolable. Finally, in Hab. iii. 13, Ps. xxviii. 8, lxxxiv. 10 (A. V.9), and possibly in lxxxix. 39, 52 (A. V. 38, 51), the title is applied to Israel, God's chosen people. See Anointing.
"Mashiaḥ" (anointed one of God) in Ps. ii. 2, which was formerly thought to have Messianic reference, is now taken as referring either to a Hasmonean king or to Israel. The latter interpretation is that prevailing in the Midrash (comp. Midr. Rabbah and Tanḥuma, Emor; Yalḳuṭ, Toledot, near end; Midr. Shoḥer Ṭob, ad loc.), though the Messianic interpretation occurs in the eschatological description (Pesiḳ. Zuṭarta, Balaḳ).The Ideal in Isaiah.
But though the name is of later origin, the idea of a personal Messiah runs through the Old Testament. It is the natural outcome of the prophetic future hope. The first prophet to give a detailed picture of the future ideal king was Isaiah (ix. 1-6, xi. 1-10, xxxii. 1-5). Of late the authenticity of these passages, and also of those passages in Jeremiah and Ezekiel which give expression to the hope in a Messiah, has been disputed by various Biblical scholars (comp. Hackmann, "Die Zukunftserwartung des Jesaiah"; Volz, "Die Vorexilische Jahweprophetie und der Messias"; Marti, "Gesch. der Israelitischen Religion," pp. 190 et seq.; idem, "Das Buch Jesaia"; Cheyne, "Introduction to Isaiah," and edition and transl. of Isaiah in "S. B. O. T.").
The objections of these scholars, however, rest principally on the hypothesis that the idea of the Messiah is inseparably bound up with the desire for universal dominion, whereas, in reality, this feature is not a characteristic of the Messianic hope until a later stage of its development. The ideal king to whom Isaiah looks forward will be a scion of the stock of Jesse, on whom will rest the spirit of God as a spirit of wisdom, valor, and religion, and who will rule in the fear of God, his loins girt with righteousness and faithfulness (xi. 1-3a, 5). He will not engage in war or in the conquest of nations; the paraphernalia of war will be destroyed (ix. 4); his sole concern will be to establish justice among his people (ix. 6b; xi. 3b, 4). The fruit of his righteous government will be peace and order throughout the land. The lamb will not dread the wolf, nor will the leopard harm the kid (xi. 8); that is, as the following verse explains, tyranny and violence will no longer be practised on God's holy mountain, for the land will be full of the knowledge of God as the water covers the sea (comp. xxxii. 1, 2, 16). The people will not aspire to political greatness, but will lead a pastoral life (xxxii. 18, 20). Under such ideal conditions the country can not but prosper, nor need it fear attack from outside nations (ix. 6a, xxxii. 15). The newly risen scion of Jesse will stand forth as a beacon to other nations, and they will come to him for guidance and arbitration (xi. 10). He will rightly be called "Wonderful Counselor," "Godlike Hero," "Constant Father," "Prince of Peace" (ix. 5).The "Immanuel" Passage.
This picture of the future fully accords with Isaiah's view, that the judgment will lead to a spiritual regeneration and bring about a state of moral and religious perfection; and it agrees also with the doctrine, which, in his bitter opposition to the alliances with Assyria and Egypt, he preached to his people—the doctrine, namely, that their sole concern should be God and their sole reliance be on Him, for thus, and thus only, might they endure (vii. 9; comp. also v. 4, viii. 13, xxx. 15). The prophets advocated a government which would be in conformity with God's will and be regulated by His laws of righteousness. In connection with Isaiah's Messianic hope it remains to be observed that the "Immanuel" passage, Isa. vii. 14, which is interpreted in Matt. i. 23 as referring to the birth of Jesus, has, as Robertson Smith ("The Prophets of Israel," pp. 271 et seq., 426 et seq.) and others have pointed out, no Messianic import whatever. The name has reference merely to events of the immediate present. He means to give a token by which the truth of his prophetic word may be tested, saying that any young woman giving birth to a son in the near future will call him "Immanuel" (= "God with us"), in remembrance of the withdrawal of the Syrian-Ephraimitic armies from the country (v. 16). "'Almah" does not mean "virgin" (as given in A. V. and other versions; the only word meaning this is "betulah"), but "a young woman sexually mature," whether married or unmarried; the article "ha-" of "ha-'almah" is the generic article.In Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
The idea of a personal Messiah is not met with again until the time of Jeremiah and Ezekiel (the Messianic picture of Micah v. 1, 3-8, as is proved by the fact that in it Israel and the Messiah hold dominion over the nations, according to this view can not be a pre-exilic product of prophecy; in fact, it must have originated late in post-exilic times). Jeremiah's picture of the Messiah is not a detailed one; but, like his future hope in general, it agrees in all essentials with that of Isaiah. The Messiah will be "a righteous sprout of David," who will establish just judgment and wise government in the country, and whose name will be
In Ezekiel, the Messiah is a purely passive figure, the only personal reference to him being in xvii. 23—"he will become a mighty cedar" (Hebr.). The regeneration of the people, like their restoration, is exclusively the work of God.
But in xxxiv. 23 et seq., xxxvii. 24 et seq., which passages date from exilic times, there is an entirely new feature—the prophecy that David will be the king of the future state. As after the decline of the Holy Roman Empire the saga arose of the return of the emperor-hero Barbarossa, so, after the fall of the nation, the Jews of the Exile dreamed of the coming of a second David, who would reestablish them as a glorious nation. So Ezekiel lays emphasis on the fact that the future Israel is to be a united nation as it was under David of old. The hope in the return of David is expressed also in the spurious passage mentioned above (Jer. xxx. 9) and in the gloss to Hos. iii. 5 ("and David their king"), and ismet with sporadically also in Neo-Hebraic apocalyptic literature (see below).
In post-exilic prophetic literature the hope in a Messiah is found only in the first two prophets of the post-exilic community, Haggai and Zechariah, and in Deutero-Zechariah, ch. ix., which, probably, dates from the time of the Seleucids. Haggai and Zechariah see in Zerubbabel the promised "sprout of David"; but they state merely that he will rebuild the Temple and attain great eminence as a ruler (Hag. ii. 23; Zech. iii. 8, vi. 12).
Deutero-Zechariah's Messiah has much in common with Isaiah's. He is described (Zech. ix. 9, 10) as a righteous Prince of Peace, who will rise from the ranks of the pious and oppressed, who will ride into Jerusalem not in military splendor, but on an ass (comp. Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on an ass, and also Ibn Ḳuṭaibah's account of Salman, the governor of Medina at the time of the dissensions of the califs, who rode upon an ass in order to show his advocacy of peace). For, unlike worldly rulers, he will not maintain his dominion by the sword—he will destroy all the instruments of war (if, instead of
The personal Messiah does not figure at all in the future hope of Deutero-Isaiah, whose lofty universalism marks the final step in the development of the religious ideas of the Prophets. The salvation of mankind is the goal of history, and Israel's prerogative becomes but the privilege of suffering for the good of the whole world. God has called Israel for the realization of His purpose toward man. Israel, and not an individual, is "the servant of God" (Isa. xlii. 1-6, xlix. 1-6, l. 4-9, lii. 13-liii. 12), through whom the regeneration of mankind will be accomplished, who will spread the true religion among all nations, convert all men into willing servants of God, and lead all tongues to confess Him (xlv. 23). Naturally, not the actual Israel of the present is meant, but the ideal Israel of the future, risen to spiritual heights in consequence of his wonderful deliverance by God. For this high destiny Israel has been especially fitted by reason of the religious experience which God has stored up in him in the course of his history; and, by submitting, in accordance with God's will, to suffering and ignominy, he fulfils his mission and advances toward his final goal. In Isa. ii. 1-4 and Micah iv. 1-4 there is the same picture of the Messianic future as in Deutero-Isaiah—Jerusalem as the religious center of the world, whence salvation will radiate to all men—but contain the additional promise that universal peace will ensue in consequence thereof. In like manner the post-exilic prophets Trito-Isaiah, Malachi, and Joel, and the post-exilic Apocalypse of Isaiah, xxiv.-xxvii., have no personal Messiah. According to them, God Himself, without the instrumentality of a man, will redeem Israel from his present misery and bring about the new era of salvation. The conclusion, however, of Malachi (the authorship of which is doubtful) speaks of a messenger, Elijah, whom God will send to convert men and thus pave the way for His own coming.In the Apocrypha.
As in the prophetic writings just enumerated, so in the Apocrypha of the Old Testament the figure of the Messiah has no prominence whatever. In I Maccabees there is a brief general reference to the promise given to David, that his throne would be reestablished (ii. 57), but Ecclesiasticus, Judith, Tobit, Baruch, II Maccabees, and the Wisdom of Solomon contain no mention of the Davidic hope. The Hellenistic author of the Wisdom of Solomon is so thoroughly universalistic that the idea of a Messiah is precluded. His eschatological picture shows no nationalistic feature whatever.Alexander as Messiah.
The natural deduction from the facts thus far outlined is that while from the time of the Prophets the belief in an ideal future determined the character and tendency of Jewish religious life and thought to such an extent that this belief may be called the special characteristic of the Jewish genius, still, in the periods thus far covered, the idea of a personal Messiah is far from having that general prominence which one would, at first, be inclined to assume. Further, it has been seen how Deutero-Isaiah heralded Cyrus as the favorite of God, the hero called by God to introduce the new era of universal bliss. In like manner, no doubt, as Kampers has shown in his "Alexander der Grosse und die Idee des Weltimperiums in Prophetie und Sage," the Jewish contemporaries of Alexander the Great, dazzled by his glorious achievements, hailed him as the divinely appointed deliverer, the inaugurator of the period of universal peace promised by the Prophets. Proof of this is: (1) The legend related in Josephus ("Ant." xi. 8) and in the Talmud (Yoma 67b) of the audience of the high priest Jaddua (in the Talmud it is Simon the Just) with Alexander the Great in Gaza. Alexander recognizes in the high priest the man who had appeared to him in a dream, urging him to the conquest of Asia and promising him that he himself would lead his army and deliver the Persian kingdom into his hands; he prostrates himself to worship God, whose name he sees inscribed on the plate of gold on the high priest's cidaris, accompanies the high priest to Jerusalem to sacrifice to God in His Temple, and is there shown the Book of Daniel, in which it is written that the Persian kingdom will be conquered by a Greek—a prophecy which Alexander applies to himself. (2) The various sagas which sprang up about Alexander, chiefly among the Jews in Alexandria, and out of which the Alexander romance of pseudo-Callisthenes grew, the only explanation of which is that Alexander had once been the central figure in their future hope. (3) The apocalyptic traditions about Alexander the Great in medieval apocalyptic literature and also in the midrashic literature—for example, the tradition (mentioned by Josephus) of Alexander imprisoning Gog and Magog behind the mountains of darkness in the far north. The version of this legend given by Jacob of Serug (521
But while all these hopes centering in Alexander the Great bear witness to the liberality and broad-mindedness of the Jews of that time, they, on the other hand, corroborate the conclusion, expressed above, that the hope in the Messiah had, as yet, no definite form and can not have been commonly an article of faith. This is true, not only of the time of Alexander the Great, but even as late as the first period of apocalyptic literature, and is proved by the absence of a personal Messiah in the oldest apocalyptic writing, the Book of Daniel, as well as in the oldest part of the Book of Enoch ("The Apocalypse of the Ten Weeks") and in the Book of Jubilees, which also date from the Maccabean period, apart from the fact, pointed out above, that in the contemporaneous apocrypha there is but vague reference to the Messiah. The "one of the likeness of man" ("ke-bar enash") of Dan. vii. 13 (Hebr.), to whom the rulership in the divine world-monarchy will be entrusted, is, according to the author's own explanation (vii. 18, 22, 27), the nation of God's holy ones (i.e., the faithful Jews). These constitute the earthly representatives of God in the "civitas Dei," and in contrast to the other nations of the world, who are represented under the figures of animals, they are represented under the figure of a man in order to signify that in them the divine ideal of manhood has preserved itself most faithfully.Rise of Popular Belief in a Personal Messiah.
Not until after the fall of the Maccabean dynasty, when the despotic government of Herod the Great and his family, and the increasing tyranny of the Roman empire had made their condition ever more unbearable, did the Jews seek refuge in the hope of a personal Messiah. They yearned for the promised deliverer of the house of David, who would free them from the yoke of the hated foreign usurper, would put an end to the impious Roman rule, and would establish His own reign of peace and justice in its place. In this way their hopes became gradually centered in the Messiah. As evidence that in the Roman period the Messianic hope had become universal among the Jews may be adduced: (1) Jesus' conviction that he was the Messiah, a conviction inspired in him by the current belief in a Messiah, as is shown by the fact that on his entry into Jerusalem the populace hailed him as such; (2) the testimony of Josephus ("B. J." vi. 5, § 4), Tacitus ("Hist." v. 13), and Suetonius (Vespasian, iv.) regarding the Messianic belief of the Jewish people at that time; (3) the fact that even in Philo's picture of the future, in spite of its moralistic tendency, the Messianic king has a place (comp. "De Præmiis et Pœnis," § 16). It may be noted in this connection that the "Prayer for the Coming of the Messiah," as the version of it given both in the Babylonian and in the Palestinian recensions of the Shemoneh 'Esreh shows (see Nos. 14 and 15 respectively), can not have become an integral part of the daily prayers later than the time immediately following the destruction of the Temple, for in that period the "Shemoneh 'Esreh" received its present form. Hillel's assertion (Sanh. 98b) that there would be no future Messiah for Israel since the latter had had its Messiah in the days of Hezekiah, can have no weight as a contrary argument, as Hillel lived in the reign of Herod the Great, at the beginning of the period which marks the development of the popular belief in the Messiah.Development of Conception.
As the future hopes of the Jews became Messianic in character the figure of the Messiah assumed a central and permanent place in apocalyptic literature; and as apocalyptic literature in general, so the Messiah-concept in particular, embodies a multitude of bizarre fantasies which can not possibly be reconciled or woven into anything like a connected picture. There are many factors which contributed to this manifold and variegated imagery. Not only was all the Messianic and quasi-Messianic material of the Scriptures collected, and out of it, by means of subtle combinations, after the manner of the Midrash, a picture of the Messiah sedulously drawn, but everything poetical or figurative in the Prophets' descriptions of the future was taken in a literal sense and expounded and dogmatized accordingly. Many foreign elements, moreover, crept in at this time and became part of the general potpourri of imagery relating to the Messiah. This being the case, an exceedingly complex and difficult question arises—where, in the Messiah-pictures, and, indeed, in the pictures of the future in general, presented by apocalyptic literature, has one to deal with organic development from prophetic ideas, and where with foreign religious elements? At present it is not possible to form a final judgment in regard to the place of origin of these foreign ideas. The material from the Assyro-Babylonian religion and mythology which has been offered in recent years by Assyriologists shows what an involved question is presented in this one point, and that a series of preliminary and exhaustive studies is necessary before a final decision can be reached regarding it or the various questions bound up with it. The one thing safe to maintain in this connection is, perhaps, that, according to the time at which the heterogeneous character of the conceptions becomes noticeable in the literature, Alexandria must have had a prominent part in the fusion of the native and foreign elements, since that city had been from the time of Alexander the Great the seat of religious syncretism as well as the intellectual metropolis of the civilized world.
For the better understanding of the Messianic pictures in apocalyptic literature it is important to point out that, although frequently interlaced, two distinct sets of ideas may be traced—the one set concerned with this world, hence realistic and national; the other directed to the world to come, hence transcendent and universalistic. The Messiah presents a correspondingly double character. Side by side with the traditional idea of an earthly king of the house of David is the new conception of a heavenly preexistent Messiah, from which it follows that in regard to the question of the Messiah the older apocalyptic literature, as well as the younger rabbinical branch, falls naturally into two groups.In the Older Apocalyptic Literature.
In the older apocalyptic literature the first book to be mentioned in which the Messiah figures as an earthly king is "The Vision of the Seventy Shepherds of the Book of Enoch" (ch. lxxxv.-xc.) of the time of John Hyrcanus (135-105
"The Vision of the Seventy Shepherds" and Sibyllines, iii. 652 et seq. say nothing whatever about the lineage of the earthly Messiah, but in the Psalms of Solomon (xvii.), which were called forth by the conquest of Jerusalem by Pompey (63
In the Apocalypse of Baruch (70-100
The Testament of Levi (ch. viii. and xviii.) shows a unique conception of the Messiah. He is not, as in the Testament of Judah (see below) and according to the popular belief, a descendant of David, but a priestly king of the tribe of Levi. His character and activity are altogether spiritual. The pouring out of the spirit and knowledge of the Lord over all mankind and the cessation of sin and evil will be the fruit of his ideal priesthood, which will last for all eternity. He himself will open the doors of paradise, cast aside the sword threatening Adam, and give the saints to eat of the tree of life. He will chain up Belial and will give his children power to trample on the evil spirits. The picture of the Messiah in the Testament of Judah (ch. xxiv.), although far more brief, resembles, in its spiritual character and in its universalistic tendency, that in the Testament of Levi. The sole mission of the Messiah will be the regeneration of mankind, and his kingdom will be one of justice and salvation for the whole world. If, as Bousset sought to prove ("Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft," i. 193 et seq.), the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs date mainly from the time of the Maccabees, then the Messiahconception of the Testament of Levi is easily accounted for; the author expects that the future Savior will be a prince of the reigning priestly house of the Maccabees.The Heavenly Messiah.
The oldest apocalypse in which the conception of a preexistent heavenly Messiah is met with is the Messiological section of the Book of Enoch (xxxvii.-lxxi.) of the first century
It is worthy of special note that in the appendix to the Messiological section of Enoch, the latter himself is the Son of Man = Messiah (lxxi. 14), and, as in the Slavonic Book of Enoch and the Hebrew Book of Enoch (see
Whether the Messiah in Sibyllines v. 415-430, where he is called "a blessed man coming from heaven," is the preexistent or the earthly Messiah can not be determined. In the Assumptio Mosis, however (c. 4
In the rabbinical apocalyptic literature the conception of an earthly Messiah is the prevailing one, and from the end of the first century of the common era it is also the one officially accepted by Judaism. As proof of this may be given: (1) "The Prayer for the Coming of the Messiah," mentioned above, inwhich the Messiah is called "descendant of David." (2) The information given in the second century by Justin ("Dialogus cum Tryphone," ch. xlix.) and by the author of "Philosophumena" (ix. 30). Both writers state expressly that, contrary to the belief of the Christians, the Jews emphasize the human origin of the Messiah, and the author of "Philosophumena" adds that they expect him to be descended from David. (3) The liturgy of later times, which, like the Daily Prayer, calls him the descendant of David throughout. His mission is, in all essential respects, the same as in the apocalypses of the older period: he is to free Israel from the power of the heathen world, kill its ruler and destroy his hosts, and set up his own kingdom of peace (comp. the descriptions of him in
The conception of the preexistent Messiah is met with in Pesiḳ. R. xxxiii., xxxvi. (pp. 152b, 162, ed. Friedmann; comp. Yalḳ. i. 339). In accordance with the Messiological section of Enoch the former of these two passages says: "At the beginning of the creation of the world was born the King Messiah, who mounted into God's thoughts before the world was made"; and in the latter passage it is related that God contemplated the Messiah and his works before the creation of the world and concealed him under His throne; that Satan, having asked God who the Light was under His throne, was told it was the one who would bring him to shame in the future, and, being then allowed, at his request, to see the Messiah, he trembled and sank to the ground, crying out, "Truly this is the Messiah who will deliver me and all heathen kings over to hell." God calls the Messiah "Ephraim, my righteous Messiah."
The preexistent Messiah is presented also in the Haggadah (Pes. 54a; Ned. 39a; Yalḳ. i. 20; et al.), where the name of the Messiah is included among the seven things created before the world was made, and where he is called "Yinnon," reference being made to Ps. lxxii. 17 (which passage probably was in the mind of the author of the Messiological section of Enoch when writing xlviii. 3). That, contrary to the view of Weber ("Jüdische Theologie," 2d ed., p. 355) and others, it is actual preexistence which is meant here, and not predestination, is evident from the additional remark—"According to another view, only the Torah and the Throne of Glory were [actually] created; as to the other [five] things the intention was formed to create them" (Yalḳ., l.c.; in regard to "the name of the Messiah" compare the comment above to Enoch, xlviii. 3). Finally, the preexistence of the Messiah in paradise is minutely described in "The Revelation of R. Joshua b. Levi" (see
The conception met with in the rabbinical literature of an earthly preexistence of the Messiah must be distinguished from that of his heavenly preexistence. It occurs in various forms, representing, probably, different stages of development. First, he is expected to lead a hidden life and then to step forth suddenly. (On this conception of the sudden, unexpected appearance of the Messiah comp. Matt. xxiv. 27, 43-44, where it is said that the Messiah will come like a thief in the night or like a flash of lightning.) This is the conception of him in Ex. R. i. and in Tan., Shemot, both of which say that as Moses, the first deliverer, was reared at the court of Pharaoh, so the future deliverer will grow up in the Roman capital; in agreement with this, in the Agadat ha-Mashiaḥ (Jellinek, l.c. iii. 142) it is said that the Messiah will suddenly be revealed to Israel in Rome. Then, again, the Messiah is represented as born, but not yet revealed. This conception appears as early as the second century in Justin Martyr's "Dialogus cum Tryphone" (ch. viii.), and in accordance with it is the passage Sanh. 98b, where R. Joshua ben Levi is quoted as saying that the Messiah is already born and is living in concealment at the gates of Rome. In Targ. Yer. to Micah iv. 8 the Messiah is on the earth, but because of the sins of the people he is still in hiding. Finally, the Messiah is thought of as born at a certain time in the past. This is the case in Yer. Ber. ii., which states that the Messiah was born at Bethlehem on the day the Temple was destroyed, and in the Apocalypse of Zerubbabel (see
The notion, traceable to Ezek. xxxiv. 23 et al., that David himself is the Messiah, is another variation of the conception of earthly preexistence. It occurs in the apocalyptic fragment of the "Siddur" of R. Amram (see
Finally, there must be mentioned a Messianic figure peculiar to the rabbinical apocalyptic literature—that of Messiah ben Joseph. The earliest mention of him is in Suk. 52a, b, where three statements occur in regard to him, for the first of which R. Dosa (c. 250) is given as authority. In the last of these statements only his name is mentioned, but the first two speak of the fate which he is to meet, namely, to fall in battle (as if alluding to a well-known tradition). Details about him are not found until much later, but he has an established place in the apocalypses of later centuries and in the midrash literature—in Saadia's description of the future ("Emunot we-De'ot," ch. viii.) and in that of Hai Gaon ("Ṭa'am Zeḳenim," p. 59). According to these, Messiah b. Joseph will appear prior to the coming of Messiah b. David; he will gather the children of Israel around him, march to Jerusalem, and there, after overcoming the hostile powers, reestablish the Temple-worship and set up his own dominion. Thereupon Armilus, according to one group of sources, or Gog and Magog, according to the other, will appear with their hosts before Jerusalem, wage war against Messiah b. Joseph, and slay him. His corpse, according to one group, will lie unburied in the streets of Jerusalem; according to theother, it will be hidden by the angels with the bodies of the Patriarchs, until Messiah b. David comes and resurrects him (comp.
When and how this Messiah-conception originated is a question that has not yet been answered satisfactorily. It is not possible to consider Messiah b. Joseph the Messiah of the Ten Tribes. He is nowhere represented as such; though twice it is mentioned that a part of the Ten Tribes will be found among those who will gather about his standard. There is a possibility, however, as has been repeatedly maintained, that there is some connection between the Alexander saga and the Messiah b. Joseph tradition, for, in the Midrash, on the strength of Deut. xxxiii. 17, a pair of horns, with which he will "strike in all directions," is the emblem of Messiah b. Joseph (comp. Pirḳe R. El. xix.; Gen. R. lxxv.; Num. R. xiv.; et al.), just as in the apocalyptic Alexander tradition in the Koran (referred to above) the latter is called "The Double-Horned" ("Dhu al-Ḳarnain"). See also Eschatology; Jesus;
- R. Smend, Alttestamentliche Religionsgesch.;
- W. Nowack, Die Zukunftshoffnung Israels in der Assyrischen Zeit;
- Hühn, Die Messianischen Weissagungen;
- Fr. Giesebrecht, Der Knecht Jahwe's in Deutero-Jesaia;
- Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., ii. 29;
- W. Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im Neutestamentlichen Zeitalter, part 3, ch. ii.-v.; part 6, pp. 474 et seq.;
- P. Volz, Jüdische Eschatologie von Daniel bis Akiba, §§ 34-35;
- H. J. Holtzmann, Lehrbuch der Neutestamentlichen Theologie, i. 68-85;
- W. Baldensperger, Die Messianisch-Apokalyptischen Hoffnungen des Judentums;
- F. Weber, Jüdische Theologie auf Grund des Talmud, etc., ch. xxii.-xxiii.;
- G. H. Dalman, Der Leidende und der Sterbende Messias;
- idem, Die Worte Jesu, pp. 191 et seq.;
- Kampers, Alexander der Grosse und die Idee des Weltimperiums in Prophetie und Sage;
- B. Beer, Welchen Aufschluss Geben die Jüdischen Quellen über den "Zweigehörnten" des Korans? in Z. D. M. G. ix. 791 et seq.