ESCHATOLOGY (from τà ἔσχσατα= "the end of days":
- The Day of the Lord.
- Resurrection of the Dead.
- The Formation of an Eschatological System.
- The "Kingdom of God."
- A World-Week.
- Travail of the Messianic Time.
- The War of Gog and Magog.
- Gathering of the Exiles.
- The Days of the Messiah.
- Time of Universal Peace.
- Renewal of the Time of Moses.
- The Cosmic Characters of the Messianic Time.
- The Messiah of the Tribe of Joseph.
- The New Jerusalem.
- A. New Law.
- Regeneration of the World.
- The Last Judgment.
- Gan 'Eden.
- The Banquet.
Gen. xlix. 1; comp. Gen. R. xcviii., "the Messianic end" ; Isa. ii. 1; also "the end," Dent. xxxii. 20; Ps. lxxiii. 17; Ben Sira vii. 36, xxviii. 6; comp. "Didache," xvi. 3): The doctrine of the "last things." Jewish eschatology deals primarily and principally with the final destiny of the Jewish nation and the world in general, and only secondarily with the future of the individual; the main concern of Hebrew legislator, prophet, and apocalyptic writer being Israel as the people of God and the victory of His truth and justice on earth. The eschatological view, that is, the expectation of the greater things to come in the future, underlies the whole construction of the history of both Israel and mankind in the Bible. The patriarchal history teems with such prophecies (Gen. xii. 3, 16; xv. 14; xviii. 18; xxii. 18; xxvi. 4); the Mosaic legislation has more or less explicitly in view the relation of Israel to the nations and the final victory of the former (Ex. xix.. 5; Lev. xxvi. 45; Num. xxiii. 10, xxiv. 17-24; Deut. iv. 6; vii. 6 et seq. ; xxviii. 1, 10; xxx. 3 et seq. ; xxxii. 43; xxxiii. 29). But it was chiefly the Prophets who dwelt with great emphasis upon the Day of the Lord as the future Day of Judgment. Originally spoken of as the day when
In addition to this conception of the Day of the Lord, the Prophets developed the hope of an ideal Messianic future through the reign of a son of the house of David—the golden age of paradisiacal bliss, of which the traditions of all the ancient nations spoke (see Dillmann's commentary to Gen. ii-iii., p. 46). It would come in the form of a world of perfect peace and harmony among all creatures, the angelic state of man before his sin (Isa. xi. 1-10, lxv. 17-25: "new heavens and a new earth"). It was only a step further to predict the visitation of all the kingdoms of the earth, to be followed by the swallowing up of death forever and a resurrection of the dead in Israel, so that all the people of the Lord might witness the glorious salvation (Isa. xxiv. 21-xxv. 8, xxvi. 19). The hope of resurrection had been expressed by Ezekiel only with reference to the Jewish nation as such (Ezek. xxxvii.). Under Persian influence, however, the doctrine of resurrection underwent a change, and was made part of the Day of Judgment; hence in Dan. xii. 2 the resurrection is extended to both the wicked and the righteous: the latter "shall awake to everlasting life," the former "to shame and everlasting horror" (A. V. "contempt").The Formation of an Eschatological System.
It is certainly incorrect to speak of an eschatological system of the Bible, in which there is no trace of an established belief in the future life. Both Ben Sira and Tobit still adhere to the ancient view of Sheol as the land of the shades (see Sheol). It was the future destiny of the nation which concerned the Prophets and the people; and the hope voiced by prophet, psalmist, and liturgical poet was simply that the Lord as the Only One will establish His kingdom over the whole earth (Ex. xv. 18; Micah ii. 13, iv. 7; Obad. 21; Zech. xiv. 9; Isa. xxiv. 23; Ps. xciii. 1, xcvi. 10, xcvii. 1, xcix. 1). This implied not only the reunion of the twelve tribes (Ezek. xxxvii. 16 et seq.; Zeph. iii. 20), but the conversion of the heathen surviving the divine day of wrath as well as the downfall of the heathen powers (Zeph. iii. 8-9; Zech. xiv. 9-19; Isa. lvi. 6, lxiii. 1-6; Ps. ii. 8-12). It seems that, because of the tribulation which the house of Zerubbabel had to undergo—not, as Dalman ("Die Worte Jesu," p. 243) thinks, "because the Messiah was not an essential part of the national hope"—the expectation of a Messiah from the house of David was kept in the background, and the prophet Elijah, as the forerunner of the great Day of the Lord who would reassemble all the tribes of Israel, was placed in the foreground (Ecclus. [Sirach] xlviii. 10; I Mace. xiv. 41). See Elijah.The "Kingdom of God."
It is difficult to say how far the Sadducees or the ruling house of Zadok shared in the Messianic hope of the people (see Sadducees). It was the class of the Ḥasidim and their successors, the Essenes, who made a special study of the prophetical writings in order to learn the future destiny of Israel and mankind (Dan. ix. 2; Josephus, "B. J." ii. 8, §§ 6, 12; idem, "Ant." xiii. 5, § 9, where the term εἱμαρμένη is to be taken eschatologically). While announcing the coming events in visions and apocalyptic writings concealed from the multitude (see Apocalyptic Literature), they based their calculations upon unfulfilled prophecies such as Jeremiah's seventy years (Jer. xxv. 11, xxix. 10), and accordingly tried to fix "the end of days" (Dan. ix. 25 et seg.; Enoch, lxxxix. 59). The Talmud reproachingly calls these men, who frequently brought disappointment and wo upon the people, "mahshebe ḳeẓim" (calculators of the [Messianic] ends: Sanh. 97b; comp. 92b, 99a; Ket. 111a; Shab. 138b; 'Eduy. ii. 9-10; for the expression , see Dan. xii. 4, 13; Assumptio Mosis, i. 18, xii. 4; II Esd. iii. 14; Syriac Apoc. Baruch, xxvii. 15; Matt. xiii. 39, xxiv. 3). It can not be denied, however, that these Ḥasidean or apocalyptic writers took a sublime view of the entire history of the world in dividing it into great worldepochs counted either after empires or millenniums, and in seeing its consummation in the establishment of "the kingdom of the Lord," called also, in order to avoid the use of the Sacred Name, ("the kingdom of heaven"). This prophetic goal of human history at once lent to all struggle and suffering of the people of God a higher meaning and purpose, and from this point of view new comfort was offered to the saints in their trials. This is the idea underlying the contrast between the "kingdoms of the powers of the earth" and "the kingdom of God" which is to be delivered over at the end of time to the saints, the people of Israel (Dan. ii. 44; vii. 14, 27). It is, however, utterly erroneous to assert, as do Schürer ("Geschichte," ii. 504 et seq.) and Bousset (" Religion des Judenthums," pp. 202 et seq.), that this kingdom of God meant a political triumph of the Jewish people and the annihilation of all other nations. As may be learned from Tobit xiii. 11 et seq., xiv. 6, quoted by Schürer (l.c. ii. 507), and from the ancient New-Year's liturgy (see also 'Alenu), "the conversion of all creatures to become one single band to do, God's will" is the foremost object of Israel's Messianic hope; only the removal of "the kingdom of violence" must precede the establishment of God's kingdom. This hope for the coming of the kingdom of God is expressed also in the Ḳaddish (comp. Lord's Prayer) and in the eleventh benediction of the "Shemoneh 'Esreh," whereas the destruction of the kingdom of wickedness first found expression in the added (nineteenth) benediction (afterward directed chiefly against obnoxious informers and heretics; see Liturgy), and was in the Hellenistic propaganda literature, the Sibyllines (iii. 47, 767 et al.), emphasized especially with a view to the conversion of the heathen.World-Epochs.
In contrasting the future kingdom of God with the kingdom of the heathen powers of the world the apocalyptic writers were undoubtedly influenced by Parsism, which saw the world divided between Ahuramazda and Angro-mainyush, who battle with each other until finally the latter, at the end of the fourth period of the twelve world-millenniums, is defeated by the former after a great crisis in which the bad principle seems to win the upper hand (see Plutarch, "On Isis and Osiris," ch. 47; Bundahis, xxxiv. 1; "Bahman Yasht," i. 5, ii. 22 et seq. ; "S. B. E." v. 149, 193 et seq. ; Stade, "Ueber den Einfluss, des Parsismus auf das Judenthum," 1898, pp. 145 et seq.). The idea of four world-empires succeeding one another and represented by the four metals (Dan. ii., vii.), which also has its parallel in Parsism ("Bahman Yasht," i. 3), and in Hindu, Greek, and Roman traditions ("Laws of Manes," i. 71 et seq. ; Hesiod, "Works and Days," pp. 109 et seq. ; Ovid, "Metamorphoses," i. 89), seems to rest upon an ancient tradition which goes back to Babylonia (see Gunkel's commentary on Genesis, 1902, p. 241). Gunkel finds in the twelve millenniums of Persian belief an astronomical world-year with four seasons, and sees the four Babylonian world-epochs reproduced in the four successive periods of Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. The four periods occur again in Enoch, lxxxix. et seq. (see Kautzsch, "Pseudepigraphen," p. 294) and Rev. vi. 1; also in Zech. ii. 1 (A. V. i. 18), vi.1; and Dan. viii. 22; and the four undivided animals in the vision of Abraham (Gen. xv. 9) were by the early haggadists (Johanan b. Zakkai, in Gen. R. xliv.; Apoc. Abraham, xv., xxviii.) referred to the four world-empires in an eschatological sense.A World-Week.
The Perso-Babylonian world-year of twelve millenniums, however, was transformed in Jewish eschatologyinto a world-week of seven millenniums corresponding with the week of Creation, the verse "A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday" (Ps. xc. 5 [A. V. 4]) having suggested the idea that the present world of toil ("'olam ha-zeh") is to be followed by a Sabbatical millennium, "the world to come" ("'olam ha-ba'": Tamid vii. 4; R. H. 31a; Sanh. 97a; Ab. R. N. i., ed. Schechter, p. 5; Enoch, xxiii. 1; II Esdras vii. 30, 43; Testament of Abraham, A. xix., B. vii.; Vita Adæ et Evæ, 42; Rev. xx. 1; II Peter iii. 8; Epistle of Barnabas, xv.; Irenæus, v. 28, 3). Of these the six millenniums were again divided, as in Parsism, into three periods: the first 2,000 years devoid of the Law; the next 2,000 years under the rule of the Law; and the last 2,000 years preparing amid struggles and through catastrophes for the rule of the Messiah (Sanh. 97a; 'Ab. Zarah 9a; Midr. Teh. xc. 17); the Messianic era is said to begin 4,291 years after Creation (comp. the 5,500 years after Creation, after the lapse of which the Messiah is expected, in Vita Adæ et Evæ, 42; also Assumptio Mosis, x. 12). On a probably similar calculation, which placed the destruction of the Second Temple at 3828 (Sanh. l.c.), rests also the division of the world into twelve epochs of 400 years, nine and a half of which epochs had passed at the time of the destruction of the Temple (II Esdras xiv. 11; comp. vii. 28). Twelve periods occur also in the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch (xxvii., liii.) and the Apocalypse of Abraham (xxix.); the ten millenniums of Enoch xxi. 6, however, appear to be identical with the ten weeks in ch. xciii., that is, 10 x 700 years. As a matter of course, Biblical chronology was always so construed as to bring the six millenniums into accord with the Messianic expectations of the time; only by special favor would the mystery of the end, known only to God, be revealed to His saints (Dan. xii. 9; II Esd. iv. 37, xi. 44; Syriac Apoc. Baruch, liv. 1, lxxxi. 4; Matt. xxiv. 36; Pes. 54b). The end was believed to be brought about by the merit of a certain number of saints or martyrs (Enoch, xlvii. 4; II Esd. iv. 36; Rev. vii. 4), or by the completion of the number of human souls sent from their heavenly abode to the earth, the number of created souls being fixed (Syriac Apoc. Baruch, xxiii. 4; 'Ab. Zarah 5a; Yeb. 63b). Finally, it was taught that "he who announces the Messianic time based on calculation forfeits his own share in the future" (R. Jose, in Derek Ereẓ R. xi.) and that "the advent of the Messiah is dependent upon general repentance brought about by the prophet Elijah" (Sanh. 97b; Pirḳe R. El. xliii.; Assumptio Mosis, i. 18).Travail of the Messianic Time.
There prevails a singular harmony among the apocalyptic writings and traditions, especially regarding the successive stages of the eschatological drama. The first of these is the "travail" of the Messianic time (; literally, "the suffering of the Messiah"; comp. Pesiḳ. R. 21, 34; Shab. 118a; Pes. 118a; Sanh. 98b; Mek., Beshallaḥ, Wayassa', 4, 5; or , Matt. xxiv. 8; Mark xiii. 9, taken from Hosea xiii. 13). The idea that the great redemption shall be preceded by great distress, darkness, and moral decline seems to be based on such prophetic passages as Hosea xiii. 13 et seq.; Joel ii. 10 et seq.; Micah vii. 1-6; Zech. xiv. 6 et seq.; Dan. xii. 1. The view itself, however, is not that of the Prophets, whose outlook is altogether optimistic and eudemonistic (Isa. xi. 1-9, lxv. 17-25), but more in accordance with the older non-Jewish belief in a constant decline of the world, from the golden and silver to the brass and iron age, until it ends in a final cataclysm or conflagration, contemplated alike by old Teuton and Greek legend. It was particularly owing to Persian influence that the contrast between this world, in which evil, death, and sin prevail, and the future world, "which is altogether good" (Tamid l.c.), was so strongly emphasized, and the view prevailed that the transition from the one to the other could be brought about only through a great crisis, the signs of decay of a dying world and the birth-throes of a new one to be ushered into existence. Persian eschatology had no difficulty in utilizing old mythological and cosmological material from Babylonia in picturing the distress and disorder of the last days of the world (Bundahis, xxx. 18 et seq.; Plutarch, l.c. 47; Bahman, l.c. ii. 23 et seq., iii. 60); Jewish eschatology had to borrow the same elsewhere or give Biblical terms and passages a new meaning so as to make all terrestrial and celestial powers appear as participants in the final catastrophe. This world, owing to the sin of the first man (II Esd. iv. 30), or through the fall of the angels (Enoch, vi.-xi.), has been laden with curses and is under the sway of the power of evil, and the end will accordingly be a combat of God with these powers of evil either in the heavens above or on earth (Isa. xxiv. 21 et seq., xxv. 7, xxvii. 1; Dan. vii. 11, viii. 9; Book of Jubilees, xxiii. 29; Test. Patr., Asher, 7, Dan. 5; Assumptio Mosis, x. 1; Psalms of Solomon, ii. 25 et seq.; and see Gunkel, "Schöpfung und Chaos," pp. 171-398). The whole world, then, appears as in a state of rebellion before its downfall. A description of these Messianic woes is given in the Book of Jubilees, xx. 11-25; Sibyllines, ii. 154 et seq., iii. 796 et seq.; Enoch, xcix. 4 et seq., c. 1 et seq.; II Esd. v.-vi.; Syriac Apoc. Baruch xxv.-xxvii., xlviii. 31 et seq., lxx.; Matt. xxiv. 6-29; Rev. vi.-ix.; Soṭah ix. 15; Derek Ereẓ Zuṭa x.; Sanh. 96b-97a. "A third part of all the world's woes will come in the generation of the Messiah" (Midr. Teh. Ps. ii. 9). In all these passages evil portents are predicted, such as visions of swords, of blood, and of warfare in the sky (Sibyllines, iii. 795; comp. Luke xxi. 21; Josephus, "B. J.", vi. 5, § 3), disorder in the whole celestial system (Enoch,lxxx. 4-7; II Esd. v. 4; comp. Amos viii. 9; Joel ii. 10), in the produce of the earth (Enoch, lxxx. 2; Book of Jubilees, xxiii. 18; II Esd. vi. 22; Sibyllines, iii. 539), and in human progeny (Book of Jubilees, xxiii. 25; Sibyllines, ii. 154 et seq.; II Esd. v. 8, vi. 21). Birds and beasts, trees, stones, and wells will cease to act in harmony with nature (II Esd. v. 6-8, vi. 24).
Particularly prominent among the plagues of the time, of which Baruch xxviii. 2-3 counts twelve, will be "the sword, famine, earthquake, and fire"; according to Book of Jubilees, xxiii. 13, "illness and pain, frost and fever, famine and death, sword and captivity"; but greater than the terror and havoc caused by the elements will be the moral corruptionand perversion, the wickedness and unchastity anticipated in prophetic visions, and the power of evil spirits (Syriac Apoc. Baruch, l.c. and lxx. 2-8; Book of Jubilees, xxiii. 13-19). This view of the prevalence of the spirit of evil and seduction to sin in the last days received special emphasis in the Ḥasidean schools; hence the striking resemblance between the tannaitic and the apocalyptic picture of the time preceding the Messianic advent: "In the last days false prophets [pseudo-Messiahs] and corrupters will increase and sheep be turned into wolves, love into hatred; lawlessness [see Belial] will prevail, causing men to hate, persecute, and deliver up each other; and Satan, 'the world-deceiver' (see Antichrist), will in the guise of the Son of God perform miracles, and as ruler of the earth commit unheard-of crimes" ("Didache," xvi. 3 et seq.; Sibyllines, ii. 165 et seq., iii. 63; Matt. xxiv. 5-12; II Tim. iii. 1 et seq.). The rabbinic description is similar: "The footsteps of the Messiah [, taken from Ps. lxxxix. 52; comp. the term , "the last days of the rule of Esau"="Edom—Rome"; II Esd. vi. 8-10; comp. Gen. R. lxiii.; Yalḳut and Midrash ha-Gadol, ed. Schechter, on Gen. xxv. 26; Pirḳe R. El. xxxii.] are seen in the turning of the schoolhouse into a brothel, the desolation of Galilee and Gaulanitis, the going about of the scribes and saints as despised beggars, the insolence and lawlessness of the people, the disrespect of the younger generation toward the older, and the turning of the rulers to heresy" (Soṭah ix. 15; Derek Ereẓ Zuṭa x.; Sanh. 97b; Cant. R. ii. 13; Ket. 112b; in these passages amoraim of the second and third centuries are often credited with the views of tannaim of the first; comp. also Shab. 118a with Mek., Beshallaḥ, l.c.). Simon ben Yoḥai (comp. Derek Ereẓ Zuṭa x. with Sanh. l.c.) counts seven periods of tribulation preceding the advent of the son of David. The Abraham Apocalypse (xxx.) mentions ten plagues as being prepared for the heathen of the time: (1) distress; (2) conflagration; (3) pestilence among beasts; (4) famine; (5) earthquakes and wars; (6) hail and frost; (7) wild beasts; (8) pestilence and death among men; (9) destruction and flight (comp. Isa. xxvi. 20; Zech. xiv. 5); and (10) noises and rumblings (comp. in the sixth period of Simon b. Yoḥai; comp. Test. Patr., Levi, 17, where also seven periods precede the kingdom of God).The War of Gog and Magog.
An important part in the eschatological drama is assigned to Israel's final combat with the combined forces of the heathen nations under the leadership of Gog and Magog, barbarian tribes of the North (Ezek. xxxviii-xxxix.; see Gog and Magog). Assembled for a fierce attack upon Israel in the mountains near Jerusalem, they will suffer a terrible and crushing defeat, and Israel's land will thenceforth forever remain the seat of God's kingdom. Whether originally identical or identified only afterward by Biblical interpretation with the battle in the valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel iv. [A.V.iii.] 12; comp. Zech. xiv. 2 and Isa. xxv. 6, where the great warfare against heathen armies is spoken of), the warfare against Gog and Magog formed the indispensable prelude to the Messianic era in every apocalyptic vision (Sibyllines, iii. 319 et seq., 512 et seq., 632 et seq.; v. 101; Rev. xx. 8; Enoch, lvi. 5 et seq., where the place of Gog and Magog is taken by the Parthians and Medes; II Esd. xiii. 5, "a multitude of men without number from the four winds of the earth"; Syriac Apoc. Baruch, LXX. 7-10; Targ. Yer. to Num. xi. 26, xxiv. 17, Ex. xl. 11, Deut. xxxii. 39, and Isa. xxxiii. 25; comp. Num. xxiv. 7 [Septuagint, Γὼγ for "Agag"]; see Eldad and Medad).
R. Eliezer (Mek., Beshallaḥ, l.c.) mentions the Gog and Magog war together with the Messianic woes and the Last Judgment as the three modes of divine chastisement preceding the millennium. R. Akiba assigns both to the Gog and Magog war and to the Last Judgment a duration of twelve months ('Eduy. ii. 10); Lev. R. xix. has seven years instead, in accordance with Ezek. xxxix. 9; Ps. ii. 1-9 is referred to the war of Gog and Magog ('Ab. Zarah 3b; Ber. 7b; Pesiḥ. ix. 79a; Tan., Noah, ed. Buber, 24; Midr. Teh. Ps. ii.).
The destruction of Gog and Magog's army implies not, as falsely stated by Weber ("Altsynagogale Theologie," 1880, p. 369), followed by Bousset ("Religion des Judenthums," p. 222), the extermination of the Gentile world at the close of the Messianic reign, but the annihilation of the heathen powers who oppose the kingdom of God and the establishing of the Messianic reign (see Enoch, lvi.-lvii., according to which the tribes of Israel are gathered and brought to the Holy Land after the destruction of the heathen hosts; Sifre, Deut. 343; and Targ. Yer. to Num. xi. 26).
The Gentiles who submit to the Law are expected to survive (Syriac Apoc. Baruch, lxxii. 4; Apoc. Abraham, xxxi.); and those nations that did not subjugate Israel will be admitted by the Messiah into the kingdom of God (Pesiḥ. R. 1, after Isa. lxvi. 23). The Messiah is called "Hadrach" (Zech. ix. 1), as the one who leads the heathen world to repentance (), though he is tender to Israel and harsh toward the Gentiles (: Cant. R. vii. 5). The loyalty of the latter will be severely tested ('Ab. Zarah 2b et seq.), while during the established reign of the Messiah the probation time of the heathen will have passed over (Yeb. 24b). "A third part of the heathen world alone will survive" (Sibyllines, iii. 544 et seq., v. 103, after Zech. xiii. 8; in Tan., Shofeṭim, ed. Buber, 10, this third part is referred to Israel, which alone, as the descendants of the three patriarchs, will escape the fire of Gehenna). According to Syriac Apoc. Baruch, xl. 1, 2, it is the leader of the Gog and Magog hosts who will alone survive, to be brought bound before the Messiah on Mount Zion and judged and slain. According to II Esd. xiii. 9 et seq., fire will issue forth from the mouth of the Messiah and consume the whole army. This indicates an identification of Gog and Magog with "the wicked one" of Isa. xi. 4, interpreted as the personification of wickedness, Angro - mainyush (see Armilus). In Midrash Wayosha' (Jellinek, "B. H." i. 56) Gog is the leader of the seventy-two nations of the world, minus one (Israel), and makes war against the Most High; he is smitten down by God. Armilus rises as the last enemy of God and Israel.Gathering of the Exiles.
The great event preparatory to the reign of the Messiah is the gathering of the exiles, "ḳibbuẓgaliyyot." This hope, voiced in Deut. xxx. 3; Isa. xi. 12; Micah iv. 6, vii. 11; Ezek. xxxix. 27; Zech. xi. 10-12 and Isa. xxxv. 8, is made especially impressive by the description in Isa. xxvii. 13 of the return of all the strayed ones from Assyria and Egypt, and by the announcement that "the Gentiles themselves shall carry Israel's sons and daughters on their arms to Jerusalem with presents for the Lord" (Isa. xlix. 22, lx. 4-9, lxvi. 20). It was accordingly dwelt upon as a miraculous act in the synagogal liturgy and song (Shemoneh 'Esreh; Meg. 17a; Cant. xi. 1, xvii. 31), as well as in apocalyptic visions (Apoc. Abraham, xxxi.; II Esd. xiii. 13; Matt. xxiv. 31). God shall bring them back from the East and the West (Baruch, iv. 37, v. 5 et seq.; Ecclus. [Sirach] xxxvi. 13; Tobit xiii. 13); Elijah shall gather them and the Messiah summon them together (Ecclus. [Sirach] xlviii. 10; Sibyllines, ii. 171-187; Cant. xvii. 26; Targ. Yer. to Ex. vi. 18, xl. 9-10, Num. xxiv. 7, Deut. xxx. 4, Jer. xxxiii. 13). In wagons carried by the winds the exiles shall be borne along with a mighty noise (Enoch, lvii. 1 et seq.; Zeb. 116a; Cant. R. and Haggadat Shir ha-Shirim to Cant. iv. 16; Midr. Teh. to Ps. lxxxvii. 6), and a pillar of light shall lead them (Philo, "De Execrationibus," 8-9). The Lost Ten Tribes shall be miraculously brought back across the mighty waters of the River Euphrates (II Esd. xiii. 39-47; Syriac Apoc. Baruch, lxxvii.; Sanh. x. 13; Tan., Miḳḳez and Shelaḥ, i. 203, iii. 79, ed. Buber, after Isa. xi. 15; see Arzareth; Sambation; Ten Tribes).The Days of the Messiah.
The central place in the eschatological system is, as a matter of course, occupied by the advent of the messiah. Nevertheless the days of the Messiah ("yemot ha-Mashiaḥ"), the time when the prophetic predictions regarding the reign of the descendant of David find their fulfilment, do not form the end of the world's history, but are merely the necessary preparatory stage to the kingdom of God ("malkut shamayim"), which, when once established, will last forever (Dan. vii. 27; Sibyllines, iii. 47 et seq., 767 et seq.; Mek., Beshallaḥ, 'Amaleḳ, end). The Messiah is merely "the chosen one" (Enoch, xlv. 3, xlix. 2, li. 3 et seq.); he causes the people to seek the Lord (Hosea iii. 5; Isa. xi. 9; Zech. xii. 8; Ezek. xxxiv. 24, xxxvii. 24 et seq.), and, as "the Son of God," causes the nations to worship Him (Enoch, cv. 2; II Esd. viii. 28 et seq., xiii. 32-52, xiv. 9, after Ps. ii. 7, lxxxix. 27 et seq.). The time of his kingdom is therefore limited according to some to three generations (Mek., l.c., after Ex. xvii. 16, ); according to others, to 40 or 70, to 365 or 400 years, or to 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, or 7,000 years (Sanh. 99a, 97b; Pesiḥ. R. 1, end; Midr. Teh. xc. 17); the number 400, however, based upon a combination of Gen. xv. 13 and Ps. xc. 15 (see Pesiḥ. R. 1), is supported by II Esd. vii. 28 et seq., where it is positively stated that after his 400 years' reign the Messiah will die to rise again, after the lapse of a week, with the rest of the righteous in the world's regeneration. It is probably to emphasize his human character that the Messiah is frequently called the "Son of Man" (Dan. viii. 13; Enoch, xlvi. 2 et seq., xlviii. 2, lxii. 7; See Man, Son of). For it is in order to fulfil the designs of God for Israel and the whole race of man that he is to appear as the triumphant warrior-king to subjugate the nations (Sibyllines, iii. 653-655), to lead in the war against Gog and Magog (II Esd. xiii. 32; Targ. Yer. to Num. xxiv. 17, 20), to annihilate all the powers of wickedness and idolatry, cleanse the Holy Land and city from all heathen elements, build the new house of the Lord "pure and holy," and become the Redeemer of Israel (Syriac Apoc. Baruch, xxxix. 7 et seq., lxxii. 2; Cant. xvii. 21-30; Targ. Yer. to Gen. xlix. 11, Ex. xl. 9, Num. xi. 16, Isa. x. 27; comp. Philo, "De Præmiis et Pœnis," with reference to Num. xxiv. 7): "he is to redeem the entire creation by chastising the evil-doers and making the nations from all the ends of the world see the glory of God" (II Esd. xiii. 26-38; Cant. xvii. 31). "Free from sin, from desire for wealth or power, a pure, wise, and holy king imbued with the spirit of God, he will lead all to righteousness and holiness (Cant. xvii. 32-43; Sibyllines, iii. 49, v. 414 et seq.; Test. Patr., Levi, 18; Midr. Teh. lxxii. 12; Targ. Yer. to Gen. xlix. 12, and Isa. xi. 2, xli. 1).Time of Universal Peace.
The Messianic time, accordingly, means first of all the cessation of all subjection of Israel by other powers (, Ber. 34b; Sanh. 91b), while the kingdoms and nations will bring tributes to the Messiah (Pes. 118b; Gen. R. lxxviii.; Tan., Yelamdenu, Shofeṭim; Sibyllines, iii. 350, iv. 145, all based upon Ps. lxxii. 10 and lxviii. 32); furthermore, it will be a time of conversion of the heathen world to monotheism (Tobit xiv. 6; Sibyllines, iii. 616, 624, 716 et seq.; Enoch, xlviii. 4 et seq.; 'Ab. Zarah 24a, after Zeph. iii. 9), though the Holy Land itself will not be inhabited by strangers (Cant. xvii. 28; Sibyllines, v. 264; Book of Jubilees, 1. 5). Both earth and man will be blessed with wondrous fertility and vigor (Enoch, x. 17-19, "They will live until they have a thousand children"; Sibyllines, iii. 620 et seq., 743; Syriac Apoc. Baruch, xxix. 5; comp. Papias' description of the millennium given as coming directly from Jesus, in Irenæus, "Adversus Hæreses," v. 33, 3-4; Ket. 111b; Shab. 30b, "The earth will produce new fruits daily, women will bear children daily, and the land will yield loaves of bread and garments of silk," all with reference to Ps. lxxii. 16; Deut. xxxii. 1; Gen. xlix. 11; comp. Targ. Yer.). The days of the youth of the earth will be renewed; people will again reach the age of 1,000 years (Book of Jubilees, xxx. 27; comp. Isa. lxv. 20); the birth of children will be free from pain (Syriac Apoc. Baruch, lxxiii. 60, after Isa. xiii. 8; Philo, "De Præmiis et Pœnis," 15 et seq.); there will no longer be strife and illness, plague or trouble, but peace, health, and joy (Enoch, x. 16-22; Sibyllines, iii. 371; Syriac Apoc. Baruch, lxxiii. 1-5). All physical ailments and defects will be healed (Gen. R. xcv.; Pesiḥ. R. 42 [ed. Friedmann, p. 177, note]; Midr. Teh. cxlvi. 8; Eccl. R. i. 9, after Isa. xxxv. 6; comp. Matt. xi. 5). A spiritual regeneration will also take place, and Israel's sons and daughters will prophesy (Num. R. xv., after Joel iii. 1 [A. V. ii. 28], a passage which contradicts the statement of Bousset, l.c. p. 229).Renewal of the Time of Moses.
The Messiah will furthermore win the heathen by the spirit of wisdom and righteousness which rests upon him (Sibyllines, iii. 780; Test. Patr., Levi, 18; Judah, 24; Targ. Yer. to Gen. xlix. 12 and Isa. xli. 1). He will teach the nations the Noachian laws of humanity and make all men disciples of the Lord (Midr. Teh. xxi.). The wonders of the time of Moses will be repeated on a larger scale in the time of the Messiah (Mek., Beshallaḥ, Shirah, 8, after Micah vii. 15; comp. Hosea ii. 17; Targ.; Tan., Bo, ed. Buber, 6). What Moses, the first redeemer, did is typical of what the Messiah as the last redeemer will do (Eccl. R. i. 9). The redemption will be in the same month of Nisan and in the same night (Mek., Bo, 14); the same pillar of cloud will lead Israel (Philo, "De Execrationibus," 8; Targ. Yer. to Isa. xxxv. 10): the same plagues will be sent upon Israel's foes (Tan., Wa'era, ed. Buber, 15; Bo, 6, 19; Midr. Wayosha'; Jellinek, "B. H." i. 45); the redeemer will ride on an ass (Zech. ix. 9; comp. Ex. iv. 20); manna will again be sent down from heaven (Ps. lxxii. 16; comp. Ps. lxxviii. 24; Syriac Apoc. Baruch, xxix. 8); and water rise from beneath by miraculous power (Joel iv. [A. V. iii.] 18; comp. Ps. lxxviii. 15 et seq.; Eccl. R. i. 9). Like Moses, the Messiah will disappear for 90 or 45 days after his appearance (Pesiḥ. R. 15; Pesiḥ. v. 49b, after Hosea v. 15). The same number of people will be redeemed (Sanh. 111a) and the Song of Moses be replaced by another song (Mek., Beshallaḥ, Shirah, 1; Rev. xv. 3). But, like Moses, the Messiah will die (II Esd. l.c.); the opinion that the Messiah will not taste death (Midr. Teh. lxxii. 17) seems to be of later origin, and will be discussed in connection with the account of the Messiah from the tribe of Joseph or Ephraim (see below).The Cosmic Characters of the Messianic Time.
Jewish theology always insisted on drawing a sharp line between the Messianic days and the final days of God's sole kingdom. Hence the characteristic baraita counting ten world-rulers, beginning with God before Creation, then naming, Nimrod, Joseph, Solomon, Ahab, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander the Great, the Messiah, and ending with God last as He was the first (Pirḳe R. El. xi.; Meg. 11a is incomplete). There are, however, in the personality of the Messiah supernatural elements adopted from the Persian Soshians ("Savior") which lent to the whole Messianic age a specifically cosmic character. An offspring of Zoroaster, born miraculously by a virgin of a seed hidden in a lake for thousands of years, Soshians is, together with a number of associates, six, or seven, or thirty, to bring about the resurrection, slay Angro-mainyush and his hosts of demons, judge the risen dead, giving each his due reward, and finally renew the whole world (Bundahis, xxx.; Windischmann, "Zoroastrische Studien," 1863, pp. 231 et seq.; Böcklen, "Die Verwandtschaft der Jüdischchristlichen mit der Parsischen Eschatologie," 1902, pp. 91 et seq.). Similarly, the Messiah is a being existing from before Creation (Gen. R. i.; Pesiḥ. R. 33; Pirḳe R. El. iii.; Pes. 54a, based on Ps. lxxii. 17), and kept hidden for thousands of years (Enoch, xlvi. 2 et seq., xlviii. 6, lxii. 7; II Esd. xii. 32, xiii, 26; Syriac Apoc. Baruch, xxix.; Midr. Teh. xxi.; Targ. to Micah iv. 8). He comes "from a strange seed" (: Gen. R. xxiii., with reference to Gen. iv. 25; Gen. R. li., with reference to Gen. xix. 34; Gen. R. lxxxv.; Tan., Wayesheb, ed. Buber, 13, with reference to Gen. xxxviii. 29; comp. Matt. i. 3); or from the North (, which may also mean "concealment": Lev. R. ix.; Num. R. xiii., after Isa. xli. 25; comp. John vii. 27).
The Messiah's immortal companions reappear with him (II Esd. xiii. 52, xiv. 9; comp. vi. 26). Derek Ereẓ Zuṭa i. mentions nine immortals (see Kohler, in "J. Q. R." v. 407-419, and comp. the transposed [hidden] righteous ones in Mandäan lore; Brand, "Die Mandäische Religion," 1889, p. 38). They are probably identical with "the righteous who raise the dead in the Messianic time" (Pes. 68a). Prominent among the companions of the Messiah are: (1) Elijah the prophet (see
The origin and character of the Messiah of the tribe of Joseph, or Ephraim, are rather obscure. It seems that the assumed superhuman character of the Messiah appeared to be in conflict with the tradition that spoke of his death, and therefore the figure of a Messiah who would come from the tribe of Joseph, or Ephraim, instead of from Judah, and who would willingly undergo suffering for his nation and fall as victim in the Gog and Magog war, was createdby the haggadists (see Pesik. R. 37; comp. 34.). To him was referred the passage, "They shall look unto him whom they have pierced and mourn for him" (Zech. xii. 10, Hebr.; Suk. 52a), as well as the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah (see Justin, "Dialogus cum Tryphone," lxviii. and xc.; comp. Sanh. 98b, "the Messiah's name is 'The Leper' ['ḥiwwara'; comp. Isa. liii. 4]; the passage quoted in Martini, "Pugio Fidei," p. 417, cited by Gfrörer [l.c. 267] and others, is scarcely genuine; see Eppstein, "Bereshit Rabbati," 1888, p. 26). The older haggadah referred also "the wild ox" who with his horns will "push the people to the ends of the earth" (Deut. xxxiii. 17, Hebr.) to the Ephraimite Messiah (Gen. R. lxxv.; comp. Num. R. xiv.). The Messiah from the tribe of Ephraim falls in the battle with Gog and Magog, whereas the Messiah from the house of David kills the superhuman hostile leader (Angro-mainyush) with the breath of his mouth; then he is universally recognized as king (Suk. 52a; comp. Targ. Yer. to Ex. xl. 9, 11; Targ. to Isa. xi. 4, Cant. iv. 5; Sefer Zerubbabel, in Jellinek, "B. H." ii. 56, where he is introduced with the name of Nehemiah b. Ḥushiel; comp. l.c. 60 et seq., iii. 80 et seq.).
"Great will be the suffering the Messiah of the tribe of Ephraim has to undergo for seven years at the hand of the nations, who lay iron beams upon him to crush him so that his cries reach heaven; but he willingly submits for the sake of his people, not only those living, but also the dead, for all those who died since Adam; and God places the four beasts of the heavenly throne-chariot at his disposal to bring about the great work of resurrection and regeneration against all the celestial antagonists" (Pesiḥ. R. 36). The Patriarchs will rise from their graves in Nisan and pay homage to his greatness as the suffering Messiah, and when the nations (104 kingdoms) put him in shackles in the prison-house and make sport of him, as is described in Ps. xxii. 8-16, God will address him with the words "Ephraim, My dear son, child of My comfort, I have great compassion on thee" (Jer. xxxi. 20, Hebr.), assuring him that "with the breath of his mouth he shall slay the wicked one" (Isa. xi. 4); and He will surround him with a sevenfold canopy of precious stones, place streams of wine, honey, milk, and balsam at his feet, fan him with all the fragrant breezes of paradise, and then tell the saints that admire and pity him that he has not gone through half the suffering imposed upon him from the world's beginning (Pesiḥ. R. 37). The haggadists, however, did not always clearly discriminate between the Ephraimite Messiah, who falls a victim, and the son of David, who is glorified as victor and receives the tributes of the nations (Midr. Teh. xviii. 5, where the former is meant as being the one "insulted" according to Ps. lxxxix. 51 [A. V. 52]; comp. Targ. Yer. to Num. xi. 26, and Midr. Teh. lxxxvii. 6, where the two Messiahs are mentioned together). According to Tan. Yelamdenu, Shofeṭim (end), the nations will first bring tributes to the Messiah; then, seized by a spirit of confusion ("ruaḥ tezazit"), they will rebel and make war against him; but he will burn them with the breath of his mouth and none but Israel will remain (that is, on the battle-field: this is misunderstood by Weber, l.c.; comp. II Esd. xiii. 9).
In the later apocalyptic literature the Ephraimite Messiah is introduced by the name of Nehemiah ben Ḥushiel, and the victorious Messiah as Menahem ben 'Ammi El ("Comforter, son of the people of God": Jellinek, "B. H." ii. 56, 60 et al.). It appears that the eschatologists were anxious to discriminate between the fourth heathen power personified in Edom (Rome) the wicked, over whom the Ephraimite Messiah alone is destined to carry victory (Pesiḥ. R. 12; Gen. R. lxxiii.; B. B. 123b), and the Gog and Magog army, over which the son of David was to triumph while the son of Ephraim fell (see Otot ha-Mashiaḥ, Jellinek, l.c.). While the fall of the wicked kingdom (Rome) was taken to be the beginning of the rise of the kingdom of God (Pesiḥ. v. 51a), the belief was that between the fall of the empire of Edom = Rome and the defeat of the Gog and Magog army there would be a long interval (see Pesiḥ. xxii. 148a; comp. Pesiḥ. R. 37 [ed. Friedmann, 163b, note]).
According to R. Eliezer of Modin (Mek., Beshallaḥ, Wayassa', 4 [ed. Weiss, p. 58b, note]), the Messiah is simply to restore the reign of the Davidic dynasty ("malkut bet Dawid"; comp. Maimonides, Commentary to Sanh. xi.: "The Messiah, the son of David, will die, and his son and grandson will follow him"; on the other hand, Baḥya ben Joseph in his commentary to Gen. xi. 11 says: "The Messiah will not die"); also "the Aaronitic priesthood and Levitic service."The New Jerusalem.
The apocalyptic writers and many rabbis who took a less sober view of the Messianic future expected a new Jerusalem built of sapphire, gold, and precious stones, with gates, walls, and towers of wondrous size and splendor (Tobit xiii. 15, xiv. 4; Rev. xxi. 9-21; Sibyllines, iii. 657 et seq., v. 250 et seq., 420 et seq.; B. B. 75a; Pes. 50a; Pesiḥ. xx. 143a; Pesiḥ. R. 32; Midr. Teh. lxxxvii.; in accordance with Isa. liv. 11 et seq., lx. 10; Hag. ii. 7; Zech. ii. 8). The "new" or "upper Jerusalem" (; Ta'an 5a; Ḥag. 12b; Test. Patr., Dan. 5; Rev. xxi. 2, 10; Gal. iv. 26; Heb. xii. 22) seen in visions by Adam, Abraham, and Moses (Syriac Apoc. Baruch, iv. 2-6) will in the days of the Messiah appear in all its splendor (II Esd. vii. 26, x. 50 et seq.; Syriac Apoc. Baruch, xxxii. 4); it will be reared upon the top of all the mountains of the earth piled one upon the other (Pesiḥ. xxi. 144b, after Isa. ii. 2).
This expectation of course includes a "heavenly temple," "miḳdash shel ma'alah" (Enoch, xc. 29 et seq.; comp. Ḥag. l.c.; Pes. 54, after Jer. xvii. 12). The more sober view is that the Messiah will replace the polluted temple with a pure and holy one (Enoch, liii. 6, xc. 28, xci. 13; Sibyllines, iii. 77b; Psalms of Solomon xvii. 30; comp. Lev. R. ix.: "Coming from the North, the Messiah will erect the temple in the South"). The sacred vessels of the Tabernacle of Moses' time, hidden ever since, are expected to reappear (II Macc. ii. 4-8; Syriac Apoc. Baruch, vi. 7-10; Tosef., Soṭah, xiii. 1; apocryphical Masseket Kelim; Yoma 52b; Tan., Wayeḥi, ed. Buber, 3; comp. Josephus, "Ant." xviii. 4, § 1). There will be no sin any more, for "the Lord will shake the land of Israel andcleanse it from all impurity" (Pirḳe R. El. xxxiv. 21, after Job xxxviii. 13). The Messianic time will be without merit ["zekut"] and without guilt ["ḥobah"] (Shab. 151b). Yet "only the select ones will be allowed to go up to the new Jerusalem" (B. B. 75b).A. New Law.
Whereas the Babylonian schools took it for granted that the Mosaic law, and particularly the sacrificial and priestly laws, will be fully observed in the Messianic time (Yoma 5b et al.), the view that a new Law of God will be proclaimed by the Messiah is occasionally expressed (Eccl. R. ii. 1; Lev. R. xiii., according to Jer. xxxi. 32)—"the thirty commandments" which comprise the Law of humanity (Gen. R. xcviii.). "Ye will receive a new Law from the Elect One of the righteous" (Targ. to Isa. xii. 3). The Holy One will expound the new Law to be given by the Messiah (Yalḳ. ii. 296, to Isa. xxvi.); according to Pes. xii. 107a, He will only infuse new ideas ("ḥiddush debarim"); or the Messiah will take upon himself the kingdom of the Law and make many zealous followers thereof (Targ. to Isa. ix. 5 et seq., and Iiii. 11-12). "There will be a new covenant which shall not be broken" (Sifra, Beḥuḳḳotai, ii., after Jer. xxxi. 32). The dietary and purity laws will no longer be in force (Lev. R. xxii.; Midr. Teh. cxlvii., ed. Buber, note; R. Joseph said: "All ceremonial laws will be abrogated in the future" [Nid. 61b]; this, however, refers to the time of the Resurrection).
Resurrection formed part of the Messianic hope (Isa. xxiv. 19; Dan. xii. 2). Martyrs for the Law were specially expected to share in the future glory of Israel (II Macc. vii. 6, 9, 23; Book of Jubilees, xxiii. 30), the term for having a share in the future life being "to inherit the land" (Ḳid. i. 10). The Resurrection was therefore believed to take place solely in the Holy Land (Pesiḥ. R. 1; the "land of the living" in Ps. cxvi. 9 means "the land where the dead live again"). Jerusalem alone is the city whose dead will blossom forth as the grass, for those buried elsewhere will be compelled to creep through holes in the ground to the Holy Land (Ket. 3b; Pesiḥ. R. l.c.). From this point of view the Resurrection is accorded only to Israel (Gen. R. xiii.). The great trumpet blown to gather the tribes of Israel (Isa. xxvii. 13) will also rouse the dead (Ber. 15b; Targ. Yer. to Ex. xx. 15; II Esd. iv. 23 et seq.; I Cor. xv. 52; I Thess. iv. 16).
The Last Judgment precedes the Resurrection. Judged by the Messiah, the nations with their guardian angels and stars shall be cast into Gehenna. According to Rabbi Eleazar of Modi'im, in answer to the protests of the princes of the seventy-two nations, God will say, "Let each nation go through the fire together with its guardian deity," when Israel alone will be saved (Cant. R. ii. 1). This gave rise to the idea adopted by Christianity, that the Messiah would pass through Hades (Test. Patr., Benjamin, 9; Yalḳ., Isa. 359; see Eppstein, "Bereshit Rabbati," 1888, p. 31). The end of the judgment of the heathen is the establishment of the kingdom of God (Mek., Beshallaḥ, 'Amaleḳ). The Messiah will cast Satan into Gehenna, and death and sorrow flee forever (Pesiḥ. R. 36; see also Antichrist; Armilus; Belial).
In later times the belief in a universal Resurrection became general. "All men as they are born and die are to rise again," says Eliezer ben Ḳappar (Abotiv.). The Resurrection will occur at the close of the Messianic era (Enoch, xcviii. 10). Death will befall the Messiah after his four hundred years' reign, and all mankind and the world will lapse into primeval silence for seven days, after which the renewed earth will give forth its dead and God will judge the world and assign the evil-doers to the pit of hell and the righteous to paradise, which is on the opposite side (II Esd. vii. 26-36). All evildoers meet with everlasting punishment. It was a matter of dispute between the Shammaite R. Eliezer and the Hillelite R. Joshua whether the righteous among the heathen had a share in the future world or not (Tosef., Sanh. xiii. 2), the dispute hinging on the verse "the wicked shall return to Sheol, and all the Gentiles that forget God" (Ps. ix. 18 [A. V. 17], Hebr.). The doctrine "All Israelites have a share in the world to come" (Sanh. xi. 1) is based upon Isa. Ix. 21: "Thy people, all of them righteous, shall inherit the land" (Hebr.). At first resurrection was regarded as a miraculous boon granted only to the righteous (Test. Patr., Simeon, 6; Luke xiv. 14), but afterward it was considered to be universal in application and connected with the Last Judgment (Slavonic Enoch, lxvi. 5; comp. second blessing of the "Shemoneh 'Esreh"). Whether the process of the formation of the body at the Resurrection is the same as at birth is a matter of dispute between the Hillelites and Shammaites (Gen. R. xiv.; Lev. R. xiv.). For the state of the soul during the death of the body see Immortality and Soul.Regeneration of the World.
Owing to the gradual evolution of eschatological conceptions, the Rabbis used the terms, "'olam ha-ba" (the world to come), "le-'atid la-bo" (in the coming time), and "yemot ha-Mashiaḥ" (the Messianic days) promiscuously or often without clear distinction (see Geiger, "Lesestücke aus der Mischnah," p. 41; idem, "Jüd. Zeit." iii. 159, iv. 124). Thus, for instance, the question is discussed whether there will be death for the Gentiles "in the coming time" or not (Gen. R. xxvi.). R. Eleazar of Modi'im, of the second century (Mek., Beshallaḥ, Wayassa', ed. Weiss, p. 59, note) distinguishes between the Messianic time("malkut bet Dawid"), the "'olam ha-ba" (the future world), which is that of the souls, and the time of the Resurrection, which he calls "'olam ḥadash" (the new world, or world of regeneration). This term, used also in the "Ḳaddish" prayer "Le-Ḥadata 'Alma" (The Renewal of the World), is found in Matt. xix. 28 under the Greek name παλινγένεσις: "In the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory" and judge the world in common with the twelve Apostles (for the last words see the twelve judges for the twelve tribes of Israel in Testament of Abraham, A. 13, and compare the seventy elders around the seat of God in heaven in Lev. R. xi.)
Concerning this regeneration of the world Pirḳe R. El. i. says, with reference to Isa. xxxiv. 4, li. 6, lxv. 17; Hosea vi. 2: "Heaven and earth, as well as Israel, shall be renewed; the former shall be folded together like a book or a garment and then unfolded,and Israel, after having tasted death, shall rise again on the third day." "All the beauty of the world which vanished owing to Adam's sin, will be restored in the time of the Messiah, the descendant of Perez [Gen. R. xii.]—the fertility of the earth, the wondrous size of man [Sifra, Beḥuḳḳotai, 1-2], the splendor of sun and moon" (Isa. xxx. 26; Targ. to II Sam. xxiii. 4; comp. Apoc. Mosis, 36). Ten things shall be renewed (according to Ex. R. xv.; comp. Tan., Wayiggash, ed. Buber, 9): The sun and moon shall regain their splendor, the former endowed with healing powers (Mal. iii. 20 [A. V. iv. 2]); the fountains of Jerusalem shall flow, and the trees grow (Ezek. xlvii. 12); desolate cities like Sodom shall rise from their ruins (Ezek. xvi. 55); Jerusalem, rebuilt of precious stones, shall shine like the sun (Isa. liv. 11 et seq.); peace shall reign among the beasts (Isa. xi. 7); and between them and Israel (Hosea ii. 20 [A. V. 18]); weeping and death shall cease (Isa. 1xv. 19, xxv. 8-10); joy only shall reign (Isa. xxxv. 10); the "yeẓer ha-ra'" (evil desire) shall be slain by God (Suk. 52a). This regeneration of the world is to be brought about by a world-conflagration ("mabbul shel esh" = "a floor of fire" = ἐκπύρωσις: Sibyllines, iii. 542, 689; iv. 174; ii. 296; Hippolytus, "Refutatio Omnium Hæresium," ix. 30). This view, borrowed from the Stoics, is based upon Isa. xxxiv. 4 (comp. Bousset, "Der Antichrist," p. 159). In this world-conflagration Belial himself will be consumed (Sibyllines, iii. 73; compare the burning up of the primeval serpent Gohithar in Bundahis, xxx. 31). Thus the fire of Gehenna which consumes the wicked angels and the stars (Enoch, xc. 24 et seq., et al.) was turned into a cosmic force bringing about the world's renewal.The Last Judgment.
The Messianic kingdom, being at best of mere earthly splendor, could not form the end, and so the Great Judgment was placed at its close and following the Resurrection. Those that would not accept the belief in bodily resurrection probably dwelt with greater emphasis on the judgment of the souls after death (see Abraham, Testament of; Philo; Sadducees; Wisdom, Book of). Jewish eschatology combined the Resurrection with the Last Judgment: "God summons the soul from heaven and couples it again on earth with the body to bring man to judgment" (Sanh. 91b, after Ps. l. 4). In the tenth week, that is, the seventh millennium, in the seventh part, that is, after the Messianic reign, there will be the great eternal judgment, to be followed by a new heaven with the celestial powers in sevenfold splendor (Enoch, xci. 15; comp. lxxxiv. 4, xciv. 9, xcviii. 10, civ. 5). On "the day of the Great Judgment" angels and men alike will be judged, and the books opened in which the deeds of men are recorded (lxxxi. 4, lxxxix. 70 et seq., xc. 20, ciii. 3 et seq., civ. 1, cviii. 3) for life or for death; books in which all sins are written down, and the treasures of righteousness for the righteous, will be opened on that day (Syriac Apoc. Baruch, xxiv. 1). "All the secret thoughts of men will then be brought to light." "Not long-suffering and mercy, but rigid justice, will prevail in this Last Judgment"; Gehenna and Paradise will appear opposite each other for the one or the other to enter (II Esd. vii. 33 et seq.).
This end will come "through no one but God alone" (ib. vi. 6). "No longer will time be granted for repentance, or for prayer and intercession by saints and prophets, but the Only One will give decision according to His One Law, whether for life or for everlasting destruction" (Syriac Apoc. Baruch, lxxxv. 9-12). The righteous ones will be recorded in the Book of Life (Book of Jubilees, xxx. 22, xxxvi. 10; Abot ii. 1; "Shepherd of Hermas," i. 32; Luke x. 20; Rev. iii. 5, xiii. 8, xx. 15). The righteous deeds and the sins will be weighed against each other in the scales of justice (Pesiḥ. R. 20; Ḳid. 40b). According to the Testament of Abraham (A. xiii.), there are two angels, one on either side: one writes down the merits, the other the demerits, while Doḳiel, the archangel, weighs the two kinds against each other in a balance; and another, Pyroel ("angel of fire"), tries the works of men by fire, whether they are consumed or not; then the just souls are carried among the saved ones; those found unjust, among those who will meet their punishment. Those whose merits and demerits are equal remain in a middle state, and the intercession of meritorious men such as Abraham saves them and brings them into paradise (Testament of Abraham, A. xiv.). According to the sterner doctrine of the Shammaites, these souls must undergo a process of purgation by fire; "they enter Gehenna, swing themselves up again, and are healed." This view, based upon Zech. xiii. 9, seems to be something like the Christian purgatory. According to the Hillelites, "He who is plenteous in mercy inclines the scale of justice toward mercy"—a view which shows (against Gunkel, "Der Prophet Ezra," 1900, p. 15) that Judaism believed in divine mercy independently of the Pauline faith (Tosef., Sanh. xiii. 3). As recorder of the deeds of men in the heavenly books, "Enoch, the scribe of righteousness," is mentioned in Testament of Abraham, xi.; Lev. R. xiv. has Elijah and the Messiah as heavenly recorders, a survival of the national Jewish eschatology.Gehenna.
There is no Scriptural basis for the belief in retribution for the soul after death; this was supplied by the Babylonians and Persians, and received a Jewish coloring from the word "Gehinnom" (the valley of Hinnom), made detestable by the fires of the Moloch sacrifices of Manasseh (II Kings xxiii. 10). According to 'Er. 19a, the smoke from subterranean fires came up through the earth in this place; "there are cast the spirits of sinners and blasphemers and of those who work wickedness and pervert the words of the Prophets" (Enoch, cviii. 6). Gehinnom has a double purpose, annihilation (Enoch, xciv. 1 et seq.) and eternal pain (II Esd. vii. 36 et seq.). Gehinnom has seven names: "Sheol," "Abbadon," "Pit of Corruption," "Horrible Pit," "Mire of Clay," "Shadow of Death," and "Nether Parts of the Earth" (Jonah ii. 3; Ps. lxxxviii. 12 [A.V. 11], xvi. 10, xl. 3 [A.V. 2], cvii. 14; Ezek. xxvi. 20). It is also called "Tophet" (Isa. xxx. 33). It has seven departments, one beneath the other (Soṭah 10b). There are seven kinds of pains (II Esd. vii. 81 et seq.). According to rabbinical tradition, thieves are condemned to fill an unfillable tank; the impure sink into a quagmire; thosethat sinned with the tongue are suspended thereby; some are suspended by the feet, hair, or eyelids; others eat hot coals and sand; others are devoured by worms, or placed alternately in snow and fire. On Sabbath they are respited (see Dumah). These conceptions, ascribed chiefly to Joshua ben Levi, have their parallel in the apocalyptic literature appropriated by the Christian Church (see Gehenna). The punishment of the wicked endures twelve months, according to R. Akiba; the generation of the Flood will in time be released (Gen. R. xxviii.), but the punishment of those who have led others into heresy or dealt treacherously against the Law will never cease (Tosef., Sanh. xiii. 5).Gan 'Eden.
The Garden of Eden is called the "Garden of Righteousness" (Enoch, xxxii. 3), being no longer an earthly paradise (ib. lx. 8, lxi. 12, lxx. 3). It is above the earth, and its inhabitants are "clothed with garments of light and eternal life, and eat of the tree of life" (ib. lviii. 3) in the company of the Lord and His anointed. In Slavonic Enoch its place is in the third heaven; its four streams pour out honey and milk, oil and wine (compare Sibyllines, ii. 318). It is prepared for the "righteous who suffer innocently, who do works of benevolence and walk without blame before God." It has been created since the beginning of the world, and will appear suddenly at the Judgment Day in all its glory (II Esd. vi.; comp. Pes. 54a). The righteous dwell in those heights where they enjoy the sight of the heavenly "ḥayyot" that carry God's throne (Syriac Apoc. Baruch, li. 11). As the wicked have a sevenfold pain the righteous have a sevenfold joy (II Esd. vii. 88 et seq.). There are seven divisions for the righteous, which shine like the sun (Judges v. 31; comp. Matt. xiii. 43), the moon (Ps. lxxxix. 37), the firmament (Dan. xii. 3), lightnings, torches (Nahum ii. 5 [A. V. 4]), and lilies (Ps. xlv. 1, Hebr.). Each of these divisions is placed differently before the face of God. Each of the righteous will have a mansion, and God will walk with them and lead them in a dance (Yer. Meg. ii. 73b). See Eden, Garden of.The Banquet.
According to Ascensio Isaiæ, viii. 26, ix. 18, xi. 40, the righteous on the arrival of the Messiah receive in the seventh heaven garments of light as well as crowns and thrones. No small part in the future bliss is played by the eating of the heavenly bread or manna (Sibyllines, Proœmium, 87; Ḥag. 12b; Tan., Beshallaḥ, ed. Buber, p. 21; comp. "the mysterious food," II Esd. ix. 19), the ambrosial milk and honey (Sibyllines, ii. 318, iii. 746), and, according to R. Joshua b. Levi, "the wine prepared from the beginning of the world" (Ber. 34b; comp. Matt. xxvi. 29). The very name for the highest bliss of the future is "the banquet" (Abot iii. 16), which is the same as "sitting at the table of the Messiah" (Rev. xix. 9; Luke xiii. 28-29, xxii. 30, et al.). It is called in rabbinical literature "se'uddat ha-liwyatan" (the banquet of the leviathan), that is to say, in accordance with Job xl. 30 (A. V. xli. 6) the "ha-barim, or pious ones, shall hold their meal over it" (see Leviathan). It seems that the Persian ox, "hadhayos," whose marrow imparts immortality to the eater (Bundahis, xxx. 25), gave rise to the idea of the behemoth and leviathan meal which is dwelt on in Enoch, lx. 7 et seq.; Syriac Apoc. Baruch, xxix. 4; II Esd. vi. 52; Targ. Yer. to Num. xi. 26, Ps. civ. 26; B. B. 74b; Tan., Beshallaḥ, at end.
But while this eudemonistic view is the popular one, based upon Isa. lxv. 13 and Ps. xxiii. 5 (Num. R. xxi.), there is also the higher and more spiritual view taught by Rab: "In the world to come there is neither eating, drinking, nor procreation, neither barter nor envy, neither hatred nor strife; but the righteous sit with their crowns on their heads and enjoy the splendor of the Shekinah; for it is said: 'And they saw God and did eat and drink'; that is, their seeing God was meat and drink to them" (Ber. 17a). More characteristic still is the view of Rab's Palestinian contemporary R. Johanan: All the bliss for the future promised by the Prophets refers only to the Messianic time, whereas in regard to that which is in store for the righteous in the world to come it is said: "No eye hath seen it beside thee, O God" (Isa. lxiv. 3 [A. V. 4]; Ber. 34b; comp., however, Ex. R. xlv., at end, according to which God showed to Moses all the treasures in store for the doers of benevolent works). The New Testament sentence, "Many shall be last [there] that are first [here], and first [there] that are last [here]" (Matt. xix. 30, Greek), finds its explanation in the saying of a son of R. Joshua b. Levi: "A contrary order of things I have seen in the world beyond: the high in station are low there, the lowly are placed on high" (Ber. 50a).
Only in the esoteric Essene circles whence the apocalyptic literature emanated were attempted all the elaborate descriptions of paradise that found their way into the Midrash Konen, the Ma'aseh Gan 'Eden, and similar midrashim of the geonic time given in Jellinek's "B. H." ii. 28, 52 et seq.; iii. 131, 191 et seq.; but these descriptions can be traced through early Christian back to Jewish sources (see "J. Q. R." vii. 595). Mystics like Naḥmanides in his "Sha'ar ha-Gemul" adopted these views; Maimonides and his school rejected them. The whole eschatological system of retribution through paradise and hell never assumed in Judaism the character of a dogmatic belief, and Talmudic Judaism boldly transferred the scene of the heavenly judgment from the hereafter to the annual Day of Judgment at the beginning of the year (R. H. 16b; see New-Year). For Samaritan eschatology see Samaritans.
The account above deals only with the early stages of the Jewish eschatological views, roughly speaking, down to the end of the Talmudic period. For later development and present-day views see Immortality; Judgment, Day of; Messiah; Resurrection.
- Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., ii. 496-556, where an extensive literature is given;
- Bousset, Die Religion des Judenthums im Neutestamentlichen Zeitalter, pp. 199-273, 473-483, Berlin, 1903;
- Charles, A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life in Israel, in Judaism, and in Christianity, London, 1899;
- E. Böcklen, Die Verwandtschaft der Jüdisch-Christlichen mit der Parsischen Eschatologie, Göttingen, 1902;
- Hastings, Dict. Bible;
- Cheyne and Black, Encyc. Bibl.;
- Hamburger, R. B. T. s.v. Auferstehung, Wiederbelebung der Todten, Messianische Zeit, Paradies Zukunftsmahl;
- Weber, System der Altsynagogalen Palestinischen Theologie, pp. 322-386, Leipsic, 1880 (to be consulted with caution);
- Drummond, Jewish Messiah, London, 1877;
- P. Volz, Jüdische Eschatologie von Daniel bis Akiba, Leipsic, 1903.