The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
LIST OF OLD TESTAMENT PASSAGES MESSIANICALLY
APPLIED IN ANCIENT RABBINIC WRITINGS
(Book II. ch. 5.)
THE following list contains the passages in the Old Testament
applied to the Messiah or to Messianic times in the most ancient Jewish
writings. They amount in all to 456, thus distributed: 75 from the Pentateuch,
243 from the Prophets, and 138 from the Hagiographa, and supported by more
than 558 separate quotations from Rabbinic writings. Despite all labour care,
it can scarcely be hoped that the list is quite complete, although, it is
hoped, no important passage has been omitted. The Rabbinic references might
have been considerably increased, but it seemed useless to quote the same
application of a passage in many different books. Similarly, for the sake of
space, only the most important Rabbinic quotations have been translated in
extenso. The Rabbinic works from which quotations have been made are: the Targumim,
the two Talmuds, and the most ancient Midrashim, but neither the Zohar
(as the date of its composition is in dispute), nor any other Kabbalistic work,
nor yet the younger Midrashim, nor, of course, the writings of later Rabbis. I
have, however, frequently quoted from the well-known work Yalkut,
because, although of comparatively late date, it is really, as its name
implies, a collection and selection from more than fifty older and accredited
writings, and adduces passages now not otherwise accessible to us. And I have
the more readily availed myself of it, as I have been reluctantly forced to the
conclusion that even the Midrashim preserved to us have occasionally been tampered with for controversial purposes. I have quoted from the best
edition of Yalkut (Frankfort a. M., 1687), but in the case of the other
Midrashim I have been obliged to content myself with such more recent reprints
as I possessed, instead of the older and more expensive editions. In quoting
from the Midrashim, not only the Parashah, but mostly also the folio, the page,
and frequently even the lines are referred to. Lastly, it only remains to
acknowledge in general that, so far as possible, I have availed myself of the
labours of my predecessors - specially of those of Sch�ttgen. Yet, even
so, I may, in a sense, claim these references also as the result of my own
labours, since I have not availed myself of quotations without comparing them
with the works from which they were adduced - a process in which not a few
passages quoted had to be rejected. And if any student should arrive at a different
conclusion from mine in regard to any of the passages hereafter quoted, I can
at least assure him that mine is the result of the most careful and candid
study I could give to the consideration of each passage. With these prefatory
remarks I proceed to give the list of Old Testament passages Messianically
applied in ancient Rabbinic writings.
In Gen. i. 2, the expression, 'Spirit of God,' is
explained of 'the Spirit of the King Messiah,' with reference to Is. xi.
2, and the 'moving on the face of the deep' of 'repentance,' according to Lam.
ii. 19. So in Ber. R. 2, and in regard to the first point also in Ber.
R. 8, in Vayyik. R. 14, and in other places.
Gen. ii. 4: 'These are the generations - twdlwt - of
the heavens and of the earth,' taken in connection with Gen. iii. 15 and
Ruth iv. 18. Here we note one of the most curious Messianic interpretations
in Ber. R. 12 (ed. Warsh. p. 24 b). It is noted that the
word 'generations' (twdlwt) is always written in the Bible without the
w which is the equivalent for the numeral 6, except in Gen. ii. 4 and
Ruth iv. 18. This to indicate that subsequent to Gen. ii. 4 the Fall took
place, in which Adam lost w - six - things: his glorious sheen (Job xiv.
20); life (Gen. iii. 19)); his stature (Gen. iii. 8 - either by 100, by 200, by
300, or even by 900 cubits); the fruit of the ground; the fruits of the trees
(Gen. iii. 17); and the heavenly lights. We have now seen why in Gen. ii. 4 -
that is, previous to the Fall - the w is still in twdlwt, since at
that time these six things were not yet lost. But the w reappears in the
word twdlwt in Ruth iv. 18, because these six things are to be
restored to man
by 'the son of Pharez' - or the Messiah (comp. for each of these six things:
Judg. v. 31 b; Is. lxviii. 22; Lev. xxvi. 13; Zech. viii. 12; Is. xxx.
26). It is added that although - according to the literal rendering of Ps.
xlix. 12 (in Heb. ver. 13) - man did not remain unfallen one single night, yet,
for the sake of the Sabbath, the heavenly lights were not extinguished till
after the close of the Sabbath. When Adam saw the darkness, it is added, he was
greatly afraid, saying: Perhaps he, of whom it is written, 'he shall bruise thy
head, and thou shalt bruise his heel,' cometh to molest and attack me, and he
said, 'Surely the darkness shall cover me.' This curious extract at least
shown in what context the Synagogue applied Gen. iii. 15. The same occurs
substantially in Shem. R. 30.
Gen iii. 15. This well-known passage is paraphrased, with
express reference to the Messiah, in the Targum Pseudo Jonathan and the
so-called Jerusalem Targum. Sch�ttgen conjectures that the Talmudic
designation of 'heels of the Messiah' (Sot. 49 b, line 2 from top) in
reference to the near Advent of the Messiah in the description of the troubles
of those days (comp. St. Matt. x. 35, 36) may have been chosen partly with a
view to this passage.
Gen. iv. 25. The language of Eve at the birth of Seth:
'another seed,' is explained as meaning 'seed which comes from another place,'
and referred to the Messiah in Ber. R. 23 (ed. Warsh. p. 45 b, lines 8,
7 from the bottom). The same explanation occurs twice in the Midrash on Ruth
iv. 19 (in the genealogy of David, ed. Warsh. p. 46 b), the second time
in connection with Ps. xl. 8 ('in the volume of the book it is written of me' -
bim'gillath sepher - Ruth belonging to the class tlgm).
In connection with Gen. v. 1 it is noted in Ber.
R. 24, that King Messiah will not come till all souls predestined for it have
appeared in human bodies on earth.
In Gen. viii. 11 the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan notes
that the olive-leaf, brought by the dove, was taken from the Mount of the
Gen. ix. 27. The promise, that Japhet shall dwell
in the tents of Shem, is paraphrased in the Targum Pseudo-Jon. as meaning, that
his descendants should become proselytes, and dwell in the school of Shem -
which seems to refer to Messianic times.
In connection with Gen. xiv. 1, we are reminded
in Ber. R. 42, that when we see the nations warring together, we may expect the
coming of the Messiah.
The promise in Gen. xv. 18 is expected to be
finally fulfilled in the time of Messiah, in Ber. R. 44.
In connection with Gen. xviii. 4, 5 it is noted
(Ber. R. 48, ed. Warsh. p. 87 b) that the words of Abraham to his
Angelic guests were to be returned in blessing to Abraham's descendants, in the
wilderness, in the land of Canaan, and in the latter (Messianic) days.
Referring only to this last point, the words 'let a little water be fetched,'
is paralleled with the 'living waters' in Zech. xiv. 8; 'wash your feet,' with Is. iv. 4 (the washing away of the filth of the daughters of Zion); 'rest under
the tree,' with Is. iv. 6: 'there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the
daytime from the heat;' 'I will fetch a morsel of bread,' with the provision,
Ps. lxxii. 16: 'there shall be a handful of corn in the earth,' &c. So also
the words: 'Abraham ran unto the herd,' are paralleled with Is. vii. 21 (which
is most significantly here applied to Messianic times); and lastly, the words,
'he stood by them,' with Mic. ii. 13: 'the breaker is come up before them.'1
The same interpretation occurs in Bemid. R. 14 (ed. Warsh. p. 55 a), the
references to Messianic days there being to Is. xiv. 2; xxx. 25; xli. 18; vi.
4; and iv. 6.
this Parashah in Bedr. R. contains other similar parallelisms between Gen.
xvii. and Messianic times.
The last clause of Gen. xix. 32 is interpreted (Ber. R. 51, ed. Warsh. p. 95 a), as referring, like the words of Eve
about Seth, to the Messiah - the sin of the daughters of Lot being explained on
the ground of their believing that all mankind had been destroyed in the
judgment that overthrew Sodom.
The promise in Gen. xxii. 18 is also explained
Messianically in Bemid. R. 2 (ed. W. P. 5 b), in connection with Num.
ii. 32 where it is somewhat curiously shown in what sense Israel is to be like
the sand of the sea.
Gen. xxxiii. 1. The Midrash conjoins this with
Is. lxvi. 7, and notes that, before the first oppressor was born, the last
Redeemer was already born.
In Gen. xxxv. 21 the Targum Pseudo-Jon.
paraphrases 'the tower of Eder' (at Bethlehem) as the place whence the Messiah
would be revealed.
On Gen. xxxviii. 1, 2 there are very remarkable
Messianic comments in Ber. R. 85.
Gen. xlix. 1. The Targum Pseudo-Jon. notes, that
the end for which the Messiah would come was not revealed to Jacob. A similar
statement is found in the Midrash on the passage (Ber. R. 98, ed. Warsh. p. 173
a), where it is said of Jacob and Daniel that they saw the end, and yet
it was afterwards hid from them. The passage quoted in the case of Daniel is
Dan. xii. 4.
Gen. xlix. 9. The expression 'lion's whelp,' is
explained of the Messiah in Yalkut 160 (vol. i. p. 49 c), no less than
five times; while the term 'he couched,' is referred to the Messiah in Ber. R.
Gen. xlix. 10. This well-known prediction (on
which see the full and interesting discussion in Raym. Martini,
Pugio Fidei) is in Yalkut, u. s., applied to the Messiah, with a quotation of
Ps. ii. 9. This expression 'Shiloh' is also applied to the Messiah, with the
curious addition, that in the latter days all nations would bring gifts to Him.
Alike the Targum Onkelos, Pseudo-Jonathan, and the Jerusalem Targum, as well as
Sanh. 98 b, the Midrash on the passage, and that on Prov. xix. 21, and
on Lam. i. 16, where it is rendered shelo, 'whose it is,' refer the
expression 'Shiloh,' and, indeed, the whole passage, to the Messiah; the Midrash
Ber. R. (99, ed. Warsh. p. 178 b) with special reference to Is. xi. 10,
while the promise with reference to the ass's colt is brought into connection
with Zech. ix. 9, the fulfilment of this prophecy being expected along with
that in Ezek. xxxvi. 25 ('I will sprinkle clean water'). Another remarkable
statement occurs in the Midrash on the passage (Ber. R. 98, ed. Warsh. p. 174 b),
which applies the verse to the coming of Him of Whom it is written, Zech. ix.
9. Then He would wash his garment in wine (Gen. xlix. 11), which is explained
as meaning the teaching of the Law to Israel, and His clothes in the blood of
grapes, which is explained as meaning that He would bring them back from their
errors. One of the Rabbis, however, remarks that Israel would not require to be
taught by the King Messiah in the latter days, since it was written (Is. xi.
10), 'to it shall the Gentiles seek.' If so, then why should the Messiah. come,
and what will He do to the congregation of Israel? He will redeem Israel, and
give them thirty commandments, according to Zech. xi. 12. The Targum
Pseudo-Jon. and the Jer. Targum also apply verse 11 to the Messiah.
Indeed, so general was this interpretation, that, according popular opinion, to
see a palm-tree in one's dreams was to see the days of the Messiah (Berach. 57 a).
Gen. xlix. 12 is also applied to the Messiah in
the Targum Pseudo-Jon. and the Jerusalem Targum. So also is verse 18,
although not in express words.
In Gen. xlix. 17, last clause, in its connection
with ver. 18, the Midrash (Ber. R. 98) sees a reference to the disappointment
of Jacob in mistaking Samson for the Messiah.
In the prophecy of Gad in Gen. xlix. 19 there is
an allusion to Messianic days, as Elijah was to be of the tribe of Gad (Ber. R.
99, ed. Warsh. p. 179 a). There is, however, in Ber. R. 71, towards the
close, a dispute whether he was of the tribe of Gad, or of the tribe of
Benjamin, at the close of which Elijah appears, and settles the dispute in a
rather summary manner.
On Gen. l. 10 the Midrash, at the close of Ber.
R., remarks that as they had mourned, so in Messianic days God would turn their
mourning into joy, quoting Jer. xxxi. 13 and Is. li 3.
Ex. iv. 22 is referred to the Messiah in the Midr.
on Ps. ii. 7.
On Exod. xii. 2, 'let this be the beginning of
months,' it is remarked in Shem.R. 15 (ed. Warsh. p. 24 b) that God
would make new ten things in the latter days, these being marked by the
following passages: Is lx. 19; Ezek. xlvii. 9; xlvii. 12; Ezek. xvi. 55; Is
liv. 11; Is. xi. 7; Hos. ii. 20; Is. lxv. 19; Is. xxxv. 8; Is. xxxv. 10.
Similarly on Num. xii. 1 we have, in Shem. R. 51, a parallelism between Old
Testament times and their institutions and those of the latter days, to which Is.
xlix. 12 and lx. 8 are suppose to apply.
On Exod. xii. 42 the Jerus. Targum notes that
there were 4 remarkable nights: those of creation, of the covenant with
Abraham, of the first Passover, and of the redemption of the world; and that as
Moses came out of the desert, so would the Messiah come out of Rome.
On Exod. xv. 1. It is noted in Mekhilta (ed. Weiss,
p. 41 a) that this song would be taken up in Messianic days, only with
far wide reach, as explained in Is. lx 5; lviii. 8; xxxv. 5, 6; Jer. xxxi. 13; and
Ps. cxxvi. 2.
Ex. xvi. 25 is applied to the Messiah, it being
said that, if Israel only kept one Sabbath according to the commandment, the
Messiah would immediately come (Jer. Taan. 64 a).
Ex. xvi. 33. This manna, it is noted in Mechil.
ed. Weiss, p. 59 b, was to be preserved for the days of the
Messiah. Is. xxx. 15 is similarly explained in Jer. Taan. i. 1.
Ex. xvii. 16 the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan refers to
Exod. xxi. 1. Shem. R. 30, ed Warsh. p. 44. b,
45 a, notes on the word 'judgments' a number of things connected with
judgment, showing how Balaam could not have wished the advent of the future
deliverance (Numb. xxiv. 17), since he was to perish in it; but that Israel
should cleave to the great hope pressed in Gen. xlix. 18; Is. lvi. 1; lix. 16;
and especially Zech. ix. 9, of which a different rendering is proposed.
On Exod. xl. 9, 11 there is in the Targum Pseudo-Jon. distinct reference to the King Messiah, on whose account the
anointing oil was to be used.
The promise (Lev. xxvi. 12) is also referred to
the latter, or Messianic, days in Yalkut 62 (vol. i. p. 17 b).
Lev. xxvi. 13 is applied to Messianic times. See
our remarks on Gen. ii. 4.
The promise of peace in the Aaronic benediction Num. vi.
26 is referred to the peace of the Kingdom of David, in accordance with Is. ix.
7 (Siphr� on Num. par. 42, ed. Friedmann, p. 12 b).
Num. vii. 12. In connection with this it is
marked that the six blessings which were lost by the Fall are to be restored by
the son of Nahshon, i.e. the Messiah (Bem. R. 13, ed. W. p. 51 a).
In the Jerusalem Targum on Num. xi. 26 the
prophecy of Eldad and Medad is supposed to have been with regard to the war of
the later days against Jerusalem and to the defeat of Gog and Magog by the
In Num. xxiii. 21 the term 'King' is expressly
referred to the Messiah in Targum Pseudo-Jon. So also Num. xxiv .
7 in the Jer. Targum.
In Num. xxiv. 17 Balaam's prediction of the Star
and Sceptre is referred to the Messiah in the Targum Onkelos and the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, as well as in Jer. Taan. iv. 8; Deb. R. 1; Midr. on Lament.
ii. 2. Similarly verses 20 and 24 of that prophecy are ascribed
in the Targum Pseudo-Jon. to the Messiah.
Num. xxvii. 16. In connection with this verse it
is noticed that His one Spirit is worth as much as all other spirits, according
to Is. xi. 1 (Yalkut, vol. i. p. 247 a).
Deut. i. 8 is applied to the days of the Messiah
in Siphr�, 67 a.
In the comments of Tanchuma on Deut. viii. 1.
(ed. Warsh. p. 104 b, 105 a) there are several allusions to Messianic
Deut. xi. 21 is applied in Siphr� Par. 47 (ed. Friedmann,
p. 83 a) to the days of the Messiah.
In Deut. xvi. 3 the record of the deliverance
from Egypt is supposed to be carried on to the days of the Messiah, in Siphr�,
Par. 130 (ed. Friedmann, p. 101 a). See, also, Ber. i. 5.
On Deut. xix. 8, 9 it is noted, in Siphr� on
Deut., Par. 185 (ed. Friedm. p. 108 b), that as three of these
cities were in territory never possessed by Israel, this was to be fulfilled in
Messianic times. See also Jer. Macc. ii. 7.
In Tanchuma on Deut. xx. 10 (Par. 19, ed. Warsh.
p. 114 b) the offer of peace to a hostile city is applied to the future
action of Messiah to the Gentiles, in accordance with Zech. ix, 10; Is. ii. 4;
and Ps lxviii. 32; while, on the other hand, the resistance of a city to the
offer of peace is likened to rebellion against the Messiah, and consequent
judgment, according to Is. xi. 4.
Deut. xxiii. 11 is typically applied to the
evening of time, when God would wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion
(Is. iv. 4); and the words: 'when the sun is down' to when King Messiah would
come (Tanchuma on Par. Ki Thetse 3, ed. Warsh. p. 115 b).
Deut. xxv. 19 and Deut. xxx. 4 are
referred by the Targum Pseudo-Jon. the Messianic times. In the latter passage
the gathering of dispersed Israel by Elijah, and their being brought back by
Messiah, are spoken of. Comp. also Bem. R., last three lines.
On Deut. xxxii. 7 Siphr� (Par. 210, ed. Friedm.
p. 134 a) makes the beautiful observation, that in all Israel's
afflictions they were to remember the good and comfortable things which God had
promised them for the future world, and in connection with this there is
special reference to the time of the Messiah.
On Deut. xxxii. 30 Siphr� (p. 138 a) marks
its fulfilment in the days of the Messiah.
On Deut. xxxiii. 5 the Jer. Targum speaks of a
king whom the tribes of Israel shall obey, this being evidently the King
Deut. xxxiii. 17. Tanchuma on Gen. i. Par. 1 (ed.
Warsh. p. 4 a) applies this to the Messiah. So also in Benidb. R. 14.
Deut. xxxiii. 12. The expression, 'he shall cover
him,' is referred to this world; 'all the day long,' to the days of the
Messiah; and 'he shall dwell between his shoulders,' to the world to come
(Sebach. 118 b).
Judg. v. 31: 'let them that love Him be as the
sun when he goeth forth in his might,' is applied to Messianic times in Ber. R.
12. See our remarks on Gen. ii. 4.
On Ruthii. 14: 'come hither at the time of
meat,' the Midr. R. Ruth 5 (ed. Warsh. p. 43 a and b), has a very
remarkable interpretation. Besides the application of the word 'eat,' as beyond
this present time, to the days of the Messiah, and again to the world to come,
which is to follow these days, the Midrash applies the whole of it mystically
to the Messiah, viz. 'Come hither,' that is, draw near to the kingdom, 'and eat
of the bread,' that is, the bread of royalty, 'and dip thy morsel in vinegar' -
these are the sufferings, as it is written in Is. liii. 5, 'He was wounded for
our transgression.' 'And she sat beside the reapers' - because His Kingdom
would in the further be put aside from Him for a short time, according to Zech.
xiv. 2; 'and he reached her parched corn' - because He will restore it to Him,
according to Is. xi. 4. R. Berachiah, in the name of R. Levi, adds, that the
second Redeemer should be like the first. As the first Redeemer (Moses)
appeared, and disappeared, and reappeared after three months, so the second
Redeemer would also appear, and disappear, and again become manifest, Dan. xii.
11, 12 being brought into connection with it. Comp. Midr. on Cant. ii. 9;
Pesik. 49 a, b. Again, the words, 'she ate, and was sufficed, and
left,' are thus interpreted in Shabb. 113 b: she ate - in this world;
and was sufficed - in the days of the Messiah; and left - for the world to
Again, the Targum on Ruthi. 1 speaks of the
Messiah; and again on Ruthiii. 15 paraphrases the six measures
of barley as referring to six righteous ones, of which the last was the
Messiah, and who were each to have six special blessings.
Ruthiv. 18. The Messiah is called 'the son of
Pharez,' who restores what had been lost to humanity through the fall of Adam.
See our remarks on Gen. ii. 4.
The Messianic interpretation of Ruthiv. 20 has
already been given under Gen. iv. 25.
1 Sam. ii. 10. The latter clause of this promise
is understood by the Targum (and also is some of the Medrashim) as applying to
the Kingdom of the Messiah.
2 Sam. xxii. 28. In a Talmudic passage (Sanh. 98 a,
line 19, &c., from the bottom), which contains many references to the
coming of the Messiah, His advent is predicted in connection with this passage.
2 Sam. xxiii. 1 is applied by the Targum to the
prophecy of David concerning the latter Messianic days.
2 Sam. xxiii. 3. The 'ruling in the fear of God'
is referred in the Targum to the future raising up of the Messiah.
In 2 Sam. xxiii. 4 the morning light at sunrise
is explained in the Midrash on the passage (par. 29, ed. Lemberg, p, 56 b,
lines 7-9 from the top), as applying to the appearance of the Messiah.
The expression, 1 Kingsiv. 33, that Solomon
spoke of trees, is referred in the Targum to his prophecy concerning kings that
were to reign in this age, and in that of the Messiah.
On the name 'Anani,' in 1 Chr. iii. 24, the
Targum remarks that this is the Messiah, the interpretation being that the word
anani is connected with the word similarly written (not punctuated) in Deut.
vii. 13, and there translated 'clouds,' of which the explanation is given in
Tanchuma (Par. Toledoth 14, p. 27 b).
Ps. ii. as might be expected, is treated as full
of Messianic references. To begin with, Ps. ii. 1 is applied to
the wars of Gog and Magog in the Talmud (Berach. 7 b and Abhod. Zarah 3 b),
and also in the Midrash on Ps. ii. Similarly, verse 2 is applied to the
Messiah in Abhod. Zach, u. s., in the Midrash on Ps. xcii. 11 (ed. Warsh. p. 70
b, line 8 from the top); in Pirqu� de R. Eliez. c. 28 (ed. Lemberg, p.
33 b, line 9 from top). In Yalkut (vol. ii. par. 620, p. 90 a,
line 12 from the bottom), we have the following remarkable simile on the words,
'against God, and His Messiah,' likening them to a robber who stands defiantly
behind the palace of the king, and says, If I shall find the son of the king, I
shall lay hold on him, and crucify him, and kill him with a cruel death. But
the Holy Spirit mocks at him, 'He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh.' On
the same verse the Midrashon Ps. ii. has a curious conceit, intended to show
that each who rose against God and His people thought he was wiser than he who
had preceded him. If Cain had killed his brother while his father was alive,
forgetful that there would be other sons, Esau proposed to wait till after his
father's death. Pharaoh, again, blamed Esau for his folly in forgetting that in
the meantime Jacob would have children, and hence proposed to kill all the male
children, while Haman, ridiculing Pharaoh's folly in forgetting that there were
daughters set himself to destroy the whole people; and, in turn, Gog and Magog,
ridiculing the shortsightedness of all, who had preceded them, in taking
counsel against Israel so long as they had a Patron in heaven, resolved first
to attack their heavenly Patron, and after that Israel. To which apply the
words, 'against the Lord, and against His Anointed.'
But to return Ps. ii. 4 is Messianically applied
in the Talmud (Abhod. Z. u. s.). Ps. ii. 6 is applied to the
Messiah in the Midrash on 1 Samuel xvi. 1 (Par. 19, ed, Lemberg, p. 45 a
and b), where it is said that of the three measures of sufferings2
one goes to the King Messiah, of whom it is written (Is. liii.) 'He was wounded
for our transgression.' They say to the King Messiah: Where dost Thou seek to
dwell? He answers: Is this question also necessary? In Sion My holy hill (Ps.
ii. 6). (Comp. also Yalkut ii. p. 53 c.)
to these three measures of sufferings, and the share falling to the age of the
Messiah sea also the Midrash on Ps. ii. 7.
Ps. ii. 7 is quoted as Messianic in the Talmud,
among a number of other Messianic quotations (Sukk. 52 a). There is a
very remarkable passage in the Midrash on Ps. ii. 7 (ed. Warsh p. 5 a),
in which the unity of Israel and the Messiah in prophetic vision seems clearly
indicated. Tracing the 'decree' through the Law, the Prophets, and the
Hagiograph, the first passage quoted in Exod. iv 22: 'Israel is My first-born
son;' the second, from the Prophets, Is. lii. 13: 'Behold My servants shall
deal prudently,' and Is. xlii. 1: 'Behold My servant, whom I uphold;' the
third, from the Hagiographa, Ps. cx. 1: 'The Lord said unto my Lord,' and
again, Ps. ii. 7: 'The Lord said unto Me, Thou art My Son,' and yet this other
saying (Dan. vii. 13): 'Behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of
heaven.' Five lines further down, the same Midrash, in reference to the words
'Thou art My Son,' observes that, when that hour comes, God speaks to Him to
make a new covenant, and thus He speaks: 'This day have I begotten Thee' -
this is the hour in which He become His Son.
Ps. ii. 8 is applied in Ber. R. 44 (ed. Warsh. p.
80 a) and in the Midrash on the passage, to the Messiah, with the
curious remark that there were three of whom it was said 'Ask of Me' - Solomon,
Ahaz,3 and the
Messiah. In the Talmud (Shukk. 52 a) the same passage is very curiously
applied, it being suggested that, when the Messiah, the Son of David, saw that
the Messiah, the Son of Joseph,4
would be killed, He said to the Almighty, I seek nothing of Thee except life.
To which the reply was: Life before Thou hadst spoken, as David Thy father
prophesied of Thee, Ps. xxi. 4.
Midrash gives two very curious explanations of his name.
the twofold Messiah, or rather the device of the Jews on this subject, see in
the text of the chapter. I cannot but suspect that the words 'Son of Joseph' in
the Talmud are a later and clumsy emendation, since what follows evidently
applies to the Son of David.
Ps. ii. 9 will be referred to in our remarks on
Ps. xvi. 5 is discussed in Ber. R. 88, in
connection with the cup which Pharaoh's butler saw in his dream. From this the
Midrash proceeds to speak of the four cups appointed for the Passover night,
and to explain their meaning in various manners, among others, contrasting the
four cups of fury, which God would make the nations drink, with the four cups
of salvation which He would give Israel in the latter days, viz. Ps. xvi. 5;
Ps. cxvi. 13; Ps. xxiii. 5. The expression, Ps. cxvi. 13, rendered in our A. V.
'the cup of salvation,' is in the original, 'the cup of salvations' - and is
explained as implying on one for the days of the Messiah, and the other for the
days of Gog.
On verse 9, the Midrash on the passage says: 'My glory
shall rejoice in the King Messiah, Who in the future shall come forth from me,
as it is written in Is. iv. 5: "upon all the glory a covering."' And the
Midrash continues 'my flesh also shall dwell in safety' - i.e. after death, to
teach us that corruption and the worm shall not rule over it.
Ps. xviii. 31 (in the Heb. verse 32). The Targum
explains this in reference to the works and miracles of the Messiah.
Ps. xviii. 50 is referred
in Jer. Talmud (Ber. ii. 4, p. 5 a, line 11 from the top), and in the
Midr. on Lam. i. 16, to the Messiah, with this curious remark, implying the
doubt whether He was alive or dead: 'The king Messiah, whether He belong to the
living or the dead, His Name is to be David, according to Ps. xviii.
Ps. xxi. 1 (2 in the Hebrew) - the King there
spoken of is explained by the Targum to be King Messiah. The Midrash on the
passage identifies him with Is. xi. 10, on which Rabbi Chanina adds that the
object of the Messiah is to give certain commandments to the Gentiles (not to
Israel, who are to learn from God Himself), according to the passage in Isaiah
above quoted, adding that the words 'his rest shall be glorious' mean that God
gives to the King Messiah from the glory above, as it is said: 'In Thy strength
shall the king rejoice,' which strength is a little afterwards explained as the
Kingdom (ed. Warsh. p. 30 a and b).
Verse 3 is Messianically applied in the Midrash on the
Ps. xxi. 3 (4 in the Hebrew). Only a few lines
farther down in the same Midrash, among remarkable Messianic applications, is
that of this verse to the Messiah, where also the expression 'Jehovah is a man
of war,' and 'Jehovah Zidkenu,' are applied to the Messiah.5
Comp. also Shemoth R. 8, where it is noted that God will crown Him with His own
idea of an organic connection between Israel and the Messiah seems also to
underlie this passage.
Verse 4 is Messianically applied in Sukk. 52 a.
Ps. xxi. 5 (6 in the Hebrew). The first clause of
this verse. Yalkut on Num. xxvii. 20 (vol. i. p. 248 a, line 10 from the
bottom) applies to the glory of the King Messiah, immediately quoting the
second clause in proof of its Messianic application. This is also done in the
Midrash on the passage. But perhaps one of the most remarkable applications of
it is in Bemidbar R. 15, p. 63 b, where the passage is applied to the
Finally in Ps. xxi. 7 (8 in the Hebrew), the
expression 'king' is applied in the Targum to the Messiah.
On the whole, then, it may be remarked that Ps. xxi. was
throughout regarded as Messianic.
On Ps. xxii. 7 (8 in the Hebrew) a remarkable
comment appears in Yalkut on Is. lx., applying this passage to the Messiah (the
second, or son of Ephraim), and using almost the same words in which the
Evangelists describe the mocking behaviour of the Jews at the Cross.
Ps. xxii. 15 (16 in the Hebrew). There is a
similarly remarkable application to the Messiah of this verse in Yalkut.
The promise in Ps. xxiii. 5 is referred in Benid.
R. 21 to the spreading of the great feast before Israel in the latter days.
Ps. xxxi. 19 (20 in the Hebrew) is in the Midrash
applied to the reward that in the latter days Israel would receive for their
faithfulness. Also in Pesiqta, p. 149 b, to the joy of Israel in the
presence of the Messiah.
The expression in Ps. xxxvi. 9, 'In Thy light
shall we see light,' is applied to the Messiah in Yalkut on Isaiah lx. (vol.
ii. p. 56 c, line 22 from the bottom).
The application of Ps. xl. 7 to the Messiah has
already been noted in our remarks on Gen. iv. 25.
Ps. xlv. is throughout regarded as Messianic. To
begin with; the Targum renders verse 2 (3 in the Hebrew): 'Thy beauty, O
King Messiah, is greater than that of the sons of men.'
Verse 3 (4 in the Hebrew) is applied in the Talmud
(Shabb 63 a) to the Messiah, although other interpretations of that
verse immediately follow.
The application of verse 6 (7 in the Hebrew), to the
Messiah in a MS. copy of the Targum has already been referred to in another
part of his book, while the words, 'Thy throne is for ever and ever' are
brought into connection with the promise that the sceptre would not depart from
Judah in Ber. R. 99, ed. Warsh. p. 178 b, line 9 from the bottom.
On verse 7 the Targum though not in the Venice edition (1568),
has: 'Thou O King Messiah because Thou lovest righteousness,' &c. Comp. Levy,
Targum. W�rterb. vol. ii. p. 41 a.
The Midrash on the Psalm deals exclusively with the inscription
(of which it has several and significant interpretations) with the opening
words of the Psalm, and with the words (ver. 16), 'Instead of thy fathers shall
be thy children,' but at the same time it clearly indicates that the Psalm
applies to the latter, or Messianic, days.
On Ps. l. 2 Siphr� (p. 143 a) notes that
four times God would appear, the last being in the days of King Messiah.
Ps. lx. 7. Bemidbar R. on Num. vii. 48, Parash.
14 (ed. Warsh p. 54 a) contains some very curious Haggadic discussion on
this verse. But it also broaches the opinion of its reference to the Messiah.
Ps. lxi. 6 (7 in the Hebrew). 'Thou shalt add
days to the days of the king,' is rendered by the Targum: 'Thou shalt add days
to the days of King Messiah.' There is a curious gloss on this in Pirq� d. R.
Eliez. c. 19 (ed. Lemberg, p. 24 b), in which Adam is supposed to have
taken 70 of his years, and added them to those of King David. According to
another tradition, this accounts for Adam living 930 years, this is, 70 less
than 1,000, which constitute before God one day, and so the threatening had been
literally fulfilled: In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die.
Ps. lxi. 8 (9 in the Hebrew). The expression,
'that I may daily perform my vows,' is applied in the Targum to the day in
which the Messiah is anointed King.
Ps. lxviii. 31 (32 in the Hebrew). On the words
'Princes shall come out of Egypt,' there is a very remarkable comment in the
Talmud (Pes. 118 b) and in Shemoth R. on Ex. xxvi. 15, &c. (ed.
Warsh. p. 50 b), in which we are told that in the latter days all
nations would bring gifts to the King Messiah, beginning with Egypt. 'And lest
it be thought that He (Messiah) would not accept it from them, the Holy One
says to the Messiah: Accept from them hospitable entertainment,' or it might be
rendered, 'Accept it from them; they have given hospitable entertainment to My
Ps. lxxii. This Psalm also was viewed by the
ancient Synagogue as throughout Messianic, as indicated by the fact that the
Targum renders the very first verse: 'Give the sentence of Thy judgment to the
King Messiah, and Thy justice to the Son of David the King,' which is re-echoed
by the Midrash on the passage (ed. Warsh. p. 55 b) which applies it
explicitly to the Messiah, with reference to Is. xi. 1. Similarly, the Talmud
applies ver. 16 to Messianic times (in a very hyperbolical passage, Shabb. 30 b,
line 4 from the bottom). The last clause of verse 16 is applied, in Keth. 111 b,
line 21 from top, and again in the Midr. on Eccl. i. 9, to the Messiah sending
down manna like Moses.6
the passage in Sanh. 96 b &c. given at the close of this Appendix.
Verse 17. In Sanh. 98 b; Pes. 54 a; Ned.
39 b, the various names of the Messiah are discussed, and also in Ber.
R. 1; in Midr. on Lam. i. 16, and in Pirq� de R. Eliez. c. 3. One of these is
stated to be Jinnon, according to Ps. lxxii. 17.
Verse 8 is applied in Pirq� de R. El. c. 11, to the Messiah.
Yalkut (vol. ii.) on Is. lv. 8 (p. 54 c), speaks of the 'other Redeemer'
as the Messiah, applying to him Ps. lxxii. 8.
In commenting on the meeting of Jacob and Esau, the Midr. Ber.
R. (78, ed. Warsh. p. 141 b) remarks that all the gifts which Jacob gave
to Esau, the nations of the world would return to the King Messiah - proving it
by a reference to Ps. lxxii. 10; while in Midrash Bemidbar R. 13
it is remarked that as the nations brought gifts to Solomon, so they would
bring them to the King Messiah.
In the same place, a little higher up, Solomon and the Messiah
are likened as reigning over the whole world, the proof passages being, besides
others, Ps. lxxii. 8, Danielvii. 13, and ii.
On the application to the Messiah of verse 16 we have
already spoken, as also on that of verse 17.
Ps. lxxx. 17 (in the Hebrew 18). The Targum
paraphrases 'the Son of Man' by 'King Messiah.'
Ps. lxxxix. 22-25 (23-26 in the Hebrew). In
Yalkut on Is. lx. 1 (vol. ii. p. 56 c) this promise is referred to the
future deliverance of Israel by the Messiah.
Again, verse 27 (28 in the Hebrew) is applied in Shemoth
R. 19, towards the end, to the Messiah, special reference being made to Ex. iv.
22, 'Israel is My first-born son.'
Verse 51 (52 in the Hebrew). There is a remarkable
comment on this in the Midrash on the inscription of Ps. xviii. (ed. Warsh. p.
24 a, line 2 from the bottom), in which it is set forth that as Israel
and David did not sing till the hour of persecution and reproach, so when the
Messiah shall come - 'speedily, in our days' - the song will not be raised
until the Messiah is put to reproach, according to Ps. lxxxix. 52 (51), and
till there shall fall before Him the wicked idolaters referred to in Dan. ii.
42, and the four kingdoms referred to in Zech. xiv. 2. In that hour shall the
song be raised, as it is written Ps. xcviii. 1.
In the Midr. on Cant. ii. 13 it is said: If you see one
generation after another blaspheming, expect the feet of the King Messiah, as
it is written, Ps. lxxxix. 53.
Ps. xc. 15. The Midr. (ed. Warsh. p. 67 b)
remarks: The days wherein Thou hast afflicted us - that is, the days of the
Messiah. Upon which follows a discussion upon the length of days of the
Messiah, R. Eliezer holding that they are 1,000 years, quoting the words 'as yesterday,'
one day being 1,000 years. R. Joshua holds that they were 2,000 years, the
words 'the days' implying that there were two days. R. Berachiah holds that
they were 600 years, appealing to Is. lxv. 22,because the root of the tree
perishes in the earth in 600 years. R. Jos� thinks that they are 60 years,
according to Ps. lxxii. 5, the words 'throughout all generations' (dor dorim)
being interpreted: Dor = 20 years; Dorim = 40 years: 20 + 40 = 60. R. Akiba
says: 40 years, according to the years in the wilderness. The Rabbis say: 354
years, according to the days in the lunar year. R. Abahu thinks 7,000 years,
reckoning the 7 according to the days of the bridegroom.
On Ps. xc. the Midrash concludes by drawing a
contrast between the Temple which men built, and which was destroyed, and the
Temple of the latter or Messianic days, which God would build, and which would
not be destroyed.
Ps. xcii., verses 8, 11, and 13 (7,
10, and 12 in our A. V.), are Messianically interpreted in Pirq� de R. El. c.
19. In the Midrash on verse 13 (12 in our A. V.), among other beautiful
applications of the figure of the Psalm, is that to the Messiah the Son of
David. The note of the Midrash on the expression 'like a cedar of Lebanon,' as
applied to Israel, is very beautiful, likening it to the cedar, which, although
driven and bent by all the winds of heaven, cannot be rooted up from its place.
Ps. xcv. 7, last clause. In Shem. R. 25
and in the Midrash on Cant. v. 2 (ed. Warsh. p. 26 a), it is noted that,
if Israel did penitence only one day [or else properly observed even one
Sabbath], the Messiah the Son of David would immediately come. [The whole
passage from which this reference is taken is exceedingly interesting. It
introduces God as saying to Israel: My son, open to Me a door of penitence only
as small as a needle's eye, and I will open to you doors through which
carriages and wagons shall come in. It almost seems a counterpart to the
Saviour's words (Rev. iii. 20): 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any
man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to Him.'] Substantially the
same view is taken in Sanh. 98 a, where the tokens of the coming of the
Messiah are described - and also in Jer. Taan. 64 a.
Ps. cii. 16 (17 in the Hebrew) is applied in
Bereshith R. 56 (ed. Warsh. p. 104 b) to Messianic times.
Ps. cvi. 44. On this there is in the Midrash a
long Messianic discussion, setting forth the five grounds on which Israel is
redeemed: through the sorrows of Israel through prayer, through the merits of
the patriarchs, through repentance towards God, and in the time of 'the end.'
Ps. cx. is throughout applied to the Messiah. To
begin with, it evidently underlies the Targumic of ver. 4. Similarly, it
is propounded in the Midr. on Ps. ii. (although there the chief application of
it is to Abraham). But in the Midrash on Ps. xviii. 36 (35 in our A. V.), Ps.
cx. verse 1, 'Sit thou at My right hand' is specially applied to
the Messiah, while Abraham is said to be seated at the left.
Verse 2, 'The rod of Thy strength.' In a very curious
mystic interpretation of the pledges which Tamar had, by the Holy Ghost, asked
of Judah, the seal is interpreted as signifying the Kingdom, the bracelet as
the Sanhedrin, and the staff as the King Messiah, with special reference to Is.
xi. and Ps. cx. 2 (Beresh. R. 85, ed. Warsh. p. 153 a)
Similarly in Bemid. R. 18, last line, the staff of Aaron, which is said to have
been in the hands of every king till the Temple was destroyed, and since then
to have been hid, is to be restored to King Messiah, according to this verse;
and in Yalkut on this Psalm (vol. ii. Par. 869, p. 124 c) this staff is
supposed to be the same as that of Jacob with which he crossed Jordan, and of
Judah, and of Moses, and of Aaron, and the same which David had in his hand
when he slew Goliath, it being also the same which will be restored to the
Verse 7 is also applied in Yalkut (u. s. col. d)
to Messianic times, when streams of the blood of the wicked should flow out,
and birds come to drink of that flood.
Ps. cxvi. 9 is in Ber. R.
96 supposed to indicate that the dead of Palestine would live first in the days
of the Messiah.
Ps. cxvi. 13 has been already commented upon.
On Ps. cxix. 33 the Midrash remarks that there
were three who asked wisdom of God: David, Solomon, and the King Messiah, the
latter according to Ps. lxxii. 1.
Ps. cxx. 7 is applied to the Messiah in the
Midrash (p. 91 a, ed. Warsh.), the first clause being brought into
connection with Is. lvii. 19, with reference to the Messiah's dealings with the
Gentiles, the resistance being described in the second clause, and the result
in Ps. ii. 9.
Ps. cxxi. 1 is applied in Tanchuma (Par. Toledoth
14, ed. Warsh. p. 37 b. See also Yalkut, vol. ii. 878, p. 127 c)
to the Messiah, with special reference to Zech. iv. 7 and Is. lii. 7.
Ps. cxxvi. 2. In Tanchuma on Ex. xv. i. (ed.
Warsh. p. 87 a) this verse is applied to Messianic times in a rapt
description, in which successively Is. lx. 5, Is. lviii. 8, Is. xxxv. 5, 6,
Jer. xxxi. 13, and Ps. cxxvi. 2, are grouped together as all
applying to these latter days.
The promise in Ps. cxxxii. 18 is applied in Pirk�
de R. El. c. 28 to Messianic times, and verse 14 in Ber. R. 56.
So is Ps. cxxxiii. 3 in Ber. R. 65 (p. 122 a),
The words in Ps. cxlii. 5 are applied in Ber. R.
74 to the resurrection of Israel in Palestine in the days of Messiah.
The words, 'When thou awakest,' in Prov. vi. 22
are Messianically applied in Siphr� on Deut. (ed. Friedmann, p. 74 b).
In Midr. on Eccl. i. 9 it is shown at great
length that the Messiah would re-enact all the miracles of the past.
The last clause of Eccl. i. 11 is applied to the
days of the Messiah in the Targum.
Eccl. vii. 24 is thus paraphrased in the Targum:
'Behold, it is remote from the sons of men that they should know what was done
from the beginning of the world, but a mystery is the day of death - and the
day when shall come King Messiah, who can find it out by his wisdom?'
In the Midr. on Eccl. xi. 8 it is noted that,
however many years a man might study, his learning would be empty before the
teaching of Messiah. In the Midr. on Eccl. xii. 1 it is noted
that the evil days are those of the woes of Messiah.
Canticles. Here we have first the Talmudic passage
(Sheb. 35 b) in which the principle is laid down, that whenever
throughout that book Solomon is named, except in chap. viii. 12, it applies,
not to Solomon, but to Him Who was His peace (there is here a play on these
words, and on the name Solomon).
To Cant. i. 8 the Targum makes this addition:
'They shall be nourished in the captivity, until the time that I shall send to
them the King Messiah, Who will feed them in quietness.'
So also on verse 17 the Targum contrasts the Temple
built by Solomon with the far superior Temple to be built in the days of the
Messiah, of which the beams were to be made of the cedars of Paradise.
Cant. ii. 8, although applied by most authorities
to Moses, is by others referred to the Messiah (Shir haShirim R., ed. Warsh.,
p. 15 a, about the middle; Pesiqta, ed. Buber, p. 47 b). Cant.
ii. 9 is Messianically applied in Pesiqta, ed. Buber, p. 49, a
The same may be said of verse 10; while in connection
with verse 12, in similar application, Is. lii. 7 is quoted.
In connection with verse 13, in the same Midrash (p. 17 a),
Rabbi Chija bar Abba speaks of a great matter as happening close to the days of
the Messiah, viz., that the wicked should be destroyed, quoting in regard to it
Is. iv. 3.
Cant. iii. 11, 'the day of his espousals.' In
Yalkut on the passage (vol. ii. p. 178 d) this is explained: 'the day of
the Messiah, because the Holy One, blessed be His name, is likened to a
bridegroom; "as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride"' - and 'the day of the
gladness of his heart,' as the day when the Sanctuary is rebuilt, and Jerusalem
On Cant. iv. 5 the Targum again introduces the
twofold Messiah, the one the son of David, and the other the son of Ephraim.
Cant. iv. 16. According to one opinion in the Midrash
(p. 25 b, line 13 from the bottom) this applies to the Messiah, Who
comes from the north, and builds the Temple, which is in the south. See also
Bemidbar R. 13, p. 48 b.
On Cant. v. 10 Yalkut remarks that He is white to
Israel, and red to the Gentiles, according to Isaiah lxiii. 2.
On Cant. vi. 10 Yalkut (vol. ii. p. 184 b) has
some beautiful observations, first, likening Israel in the wilderness, and
God's mighty deeds there, to the morning; and then adding that, according to
another view, this morning-light is the redemption of the Messiah: For as, when
the morning rises, the darkness flees before it, so shall darkness fall upon
the kingdoms of this world when the Messiah comes. And yet again, as the sun
and moon appear, so will the Kingdom of the Messiah also appear - the
commentation going on to trace farther illustrations.
Cant. vii. 6. The Midrash thus comments on it
(among other explanations): How fair in the world to come, how pleasant in the
days of the Messiah!
On Cant. vii. 13, the Targum has it: 'When it
shall please God to deliver His people from captivity, then shall it be said
to the Messiah: The time of captivity is past, and the merit of the just shall
be sweet before Me like the odour of balsam.'
Similarly on Cant. viii.1, the Targum has it: 'And at
that shall the King Messiah be revealed to the congregation of Israel, and the
children of Israel shall say to Him, Come and be a brother to us, and let us go
up to Jerusalem, and there suck with thee the meaning of the Law, as an infant
its mother's breast.'
On Cant. viii. 2 the Targum has it : 'I will take
Thee, O King Messiah, and make thee go up into my Temple, there Thou shalt
teach me to tremble before the Lord, and to walk in His ways. There we shall
hold the feast of leviathan, and drink the old wine, which has been kept in its
grapes from the day the world was created, and of the pomegranates and of the
fruits which are prepared for the just in the Garden of Eden.'
On verse 4 the Targum says: 'The King Messiah shall say:
I adjure you, My people, house of Israel, why should you rise against the
Gentiles, to go out of captivity, and why should you rebel against the might of
Gog and Magog? Wait a little, till those nations are consumed which go up to
fight against Jerusalem, and then shall the Lord of the world remember you, and
it shall be His good will to set you free.'
Chap. viii. 11 is applied Messianically in the Talmud
(Shebhu. 35 b), and so is verse 12 in the Targum.
(It should, however, be remarked that there are many other
Messianic references in the comments on the Song of Solomon.)
Is. i. 25, 26, is thus
explained in the Talmud (Sanh. 98 a): 'The Son of David shall not come
till all the judges and rulers in Israel shall have ceased.'
Similarly Is. ii. 4 is Messianically interpreted
in Shabb. 63 a.
Is. iv. 2 the Targum distinctly applies to the times of
Is. iv. 4 has been already commented upon in our remarks
on Gen. xviii. 4, 5, and again on Deut. xxiii. 11.
Verses 5 and 6 are brought into connection with Israel's
former service in contributing to, and making the Tabernacle in the wilderness,
and it is remarked that in the latter days God would return it to them by
covering them with a cloud of glory. This, in Yalkut (vol. i. p. 99 c),
and in the Midrash on Ps. xiii., as also in that on Ps. xvi. 9.
Is. vi. 13 is referred in the Talmud (Keth. 112 b)
to Messianic times.
The reference of Is. vii. 21 to Messianic times has
already been discussed in our notes on Gen. xviii. 7.
Is. viii.14 is also Messianically applied in the Talmud
(Sanh. 38 a).
Is. ix. 6 is expressly applied to the Messiah in the
Targum, and there is a very curious comment in Debarim R. 1 (ed. Warsh., p. 4 a)
in connection with a Haggadic discussion of Gen. xliii. 14, which, however
fanciful, makes a Messianic application of this passage - also in Bemidbar R.
Verse 7, 'Of the increase of his government and peace
there shall be no end,' has already been referred to in our comments on Num.
Is. x. 27 is in the Targum applied to the
destruction of the Gentiles before the Messiah. Is. x. 34, is
quoted in the Midrash on Lam. i. 16, in evidence that somehow the birth of the
Messiah was to be connected with the destruction of the Temple.
Is. xi., as will readily be believed, is
Messianically interpreted in Jewish writings. Thus, to begin with in the Targum
on verses 1 and 6; in the Talmud (Jer. Berach. 5 a and Sanh. 93 b);
and in a number of passages in the Midrashim. Thus, verse 1 in Bereshith
R. 85 on Gen. xxxviii. 18, where also Ps. cx. 2 is quoted, and in Ber. R. 99,
ed. Warsh., p, 178 b. In Yalkut (vol. i. p. 247 d, near the top),
where it is described how God had shown Moses all the spirits of the rulers and
prophets in Israel, from that time forward to the Resurrection, it is said that
all these had one knowledge and one spirit, but that the Messiah had one spirit
which was equal to all the others put together, according to Is. xi. 1.
On the 2ndverse see our remarks on Gen. i. 2,
while in Yalkut on Prov. iii. 19, 20 (vol. ii. p. 133 a) the verse is
quoted in connection with Messianic times, when by wisdom, understanding, and
knowledge the Temple will be built again. On that verse see also pirq. d. R.
On Is. xi. 3 the Talmud (Sanh. 93 b, lines 21
&c. from the top) has a curious explanation. After quoting ch. xi. 2 as
Messianic, it makes a play on the words, 'of quick understanding,' or 'scent,'
as it might be rendered, and suggest that this word wxyrhw is intended to
teach us that God has laden Him with commandments and sufferings like millstones
(Myyxyrk). Immediately afterwards, from the expression 'He shall not judge
after the sight of His eyes, but reprove with equity for the meek of the
earth,' it is inferred that the Messiah knew the thoughts of the heart, and it
is added that, as Bar Kokhabh was unable to do this, he was killed.
Verse 4, 'he shall smite the earth with the rod of his
mouth,' is Messianically applied in the Midrash on Ps. ii. 2, and in that on
Ruth ii. 14 - also in Yalkut on Is. lx.
Verse 7 has been already noticed in connection with Ex.
On verse 10 see our remarks on Gen. xlix. 10 and Ps.
Verse 11 is Messianically applied in Yalkut (vol. i. p.
31 b and vol. ii. 38 a), as also in the Midrash on Ps. cvii. 2.
Verse 12 is Messianically applied in that curious
passage in the Midrash on Lamentations i. 2, where it is indicated that, as the
children of Israel sinned from ) to t, so God would in the latter
days comfort them from ) to t (i.e. through the whole alphabet),
Scripture passages being in each case quoted.
The Messianic application of Is. xii. 3 is sufficiently
established by the ancient symbolic practice of pouring out the water on the
Feast of Tabernacles.
In connection with Is. xi. 5 the Midrash on Ps.
cxviii. 23 first speak of the wonderment of the Egyptians when they saw the
change in Israel from servitude to glory of their Exodus, and then adds, that
the words were intended by his Holy Ghost to apply to the wonders of the latter
days (ed. Warsh. p. 85 b).
On Is. xiv. 2, see our comments on Gen. xviii. 4, 5.
Is. xiv. 29, xv. 2, xvi. 1, and xvi.
5 are Messianically applied in the Targum.
Is. xviii. 5 is similarly applied in the Talmud (Sanh.
98 a); and Is. xxiii. 15 in Sanh. 99 a.
Is. xxi. 11, 12 is in Jer. Taan. 64 a, and in
Shem. R. 18, applied to the manifestation of Messiah.
Is. xxiii. 8 the Midr. on Eccl. i. 7 sees a curious
reference to the return of this world's wealth to Israel in Messianic days.
Is. xxiii. 15 is Messianically applied in the Talmud
(Sanh 99 a) where the expression 'a king' is explained as referring to
Is. xxiv. 23 is Messianically applied in the curious
passage in Bemidbar R. quoted under Gen. xxii. 18; also in Bemidbar R. 13 (ed.
Warsh. p. 51 a).
The remarkable promise in Is. xxv. 8 is applied to the
times of the Messiah in the Talmud (Moed Q. 28 b), and in that most
ancient commentary Siphra, (Yalkut
i. p. 190 d applies the passage to the world to come). But the most
remarkable interpretation is that which occurs in connection with Is. lx. 1
(Yalkut ii. 56 c, line 16 from the bottom), where the passage (Is.
xxv. 8) is after an expostulation on the part of Satan with regard to
the Messiah, applied to the casting into Gehenna of Satan and of the Gentiles.
See also our remarks on Ex. xii. 2. In Debar. R. 2, Isaiah xxv. 8 is
applied to the destruction of the Jetser ha-Ra and the abolishing of
death in Messianic days; in Shem. R. 30 to the time of the Messiah.
Verse 9. Tanchuma on Deuteronomy opens with a record of
how God would work all the miracles, which He had shown in the wilderness, in a
fuller manner for Zion in the latter days, the last passage quoted in that
section being Is. xxv. 9. (Tanchuma on Deut. ed. Warsh. p. 99 a,
line 5 from the bottom).
Of Is. xxvi. 19 there is Messianic application in the
Midrash on Ecclesiastes i. 7.
Of Is. xxvii. 10 Shem. R. 1, and Tanchuma on Exod. ii. 5
(ed. Warsh. p. 64 b) remark that, like Moses, the Messiah, Who would
deliver His own from the worshippers of false gods, should be brought up with
the latter in the land.
Verse 13 is quoted in the Talmud (Rosh. haSh. 11 b)
in connection with the future deliverance. So also in Yalkut, i. p. 217 d,
and Pirq� de R. El. c. 31.
5 is thus paraphrased in the Targum: 'At that time shall the Messiah of the
Lord of hosts be a crown of joy.'
Is. xxviii. 16 the Targum
apparently applies to the Messiah. At least, so Rashi (on the passage)
Is. xxx. 18 is Messianically applied in Sanh 97 b;
verse 15 Jer. Taan. i. 1.
The expression in Is. xxx. 19, 'he shall be very gracious
unto thee,' is applied to the merits of the Messiah in Yalkut on Zeph. iii. 8
(p. 84 c).
On verse 25 see our remarks on Gen. xviii. 4.
Verse 26 is applied to Messianic times in the Talmud
(Pes. 68 a, and Sanh. 91 b), and similarly in Pirq� de R. El. 51,
and Shemoth R. 50. So also in Ber. R. 12. see our remarks on Gen. ii. 4.
Is. xxxii. 14, 15. On this passage the Midrash of
Lam. iii. 49 significantly remarks that it is one of the three passage in which
mention of the Holy Ghost follows upon mention of redemption, the other two
passages being Is. 22, followed by lxi. 1, and Lam. iii. 49.
Is. xxxii. 20. The first clause is explained by
Tanchuma (Par. 1. ed. Warsh. p. 4 a, first three lines) to apply to the
study of the Law, and the second to the two Messiahs, the son of Joseph being
likened to the ox, and the son of David to the ass, accordingly to Zech. ix. 9;
and similarly the verse is Messianically referred to in Deb. R. 6 (ed. Warsh.
Vol. iii. p. 15 b), in a very curious play on the words in Deut. xxii.
6, 7, where the observance of that commandment is supposed to hasten the coming
of King Messiah.
Is. xxxv. 1. This is one of the passages quoted in Tanchuma
on Deut. i. 1. (ed. Warsh. p. 99 a) as among the miracles which God would
do to redeem Zion in the latter days. So also is verse 2 in this
Is. xxxv. 5, 6 is repeatedly applied to Messianic times.
Thus, in Yalkut i. 78 c, and 157 a; in Ber. R. 95; and in Midrash
on Ps. cxlvi. 8.
Verse 10 is equally applied to Messianic times in the
Midrash on Ps. cvii. 1, while at the same time it is noted that this
deliverance will be accomplished by God Himself, and not either by Elijah, nor
by the King Messiah.7
A similar reference occurs in Yalkut (vol. ii. p. 162 d), at the close
of the Commentary on the Book of Chronicles, where it is remarked that in this
world the deliverance of Israel was accomplished by man, and was followed by
fresh captivities, but in the latter or Messianic days their deliverance would
be accomplished by God, and would no more be followed by captivity. See also
Shemoth R. 15 and 23.
Castelli remarks in his learned treatise (Il Messia, p. 164) that
redemption is always ascribed to God, and not to the Messiah. But the
distinction is of no importance, seeing that this is indeed the work of God,
but carried out by the Messiah, while, on the other hand, Rabbinic writings
frequently refer Israel's deliverance to the agency of the Messiah.
Is. xl. 1 is one of the passages referred to in
our note on Is. xi. 12, and also on Is. xxxv. 1.
The same remark applies to verses 2 and 3.
Verse 5 is also Messianically applied in Vayyikra R. 1; Yalk.
ii. 77 b about the middle.
On verse 10 Yalkut, in discussing Ex. xxxii. 6 (vol. i.
p. 108 c) broaches the opinion, that in the days of the Messiah Israel
would have a double reward, on account of the calamities which they had
suffered, quoting Is. xl. 10.
Is. xli. 18 has been already noted in our remarks
on Gen. xviii. 4, 5.
Verse 25 is Messianically applied in Bem. R. 13, p. 48 b.
The expression 'The first,' in ch. xli. 27, is generally
applied to the Messiah; in the Targum, according to Rashi; in Bereshith R. 63;
in Vayyikra R. 30; and in the Talmud (Pes. 5 a); so also in Pesiqta (ed.
Buber) p. 185 b.
Is. xlii. 1 is applied in the Targum to the Messiah, as
also in the Midrash or Ps. ii.; and in Yalkut ii. p. 104 d. See also our
comments on Ps. ii. 7.
On Is. xliii. 10, the Targum renders 'My servant' by 'My
servant the Messiah.'
The promise in Is. xlv. 22 is also among the future
things mentioned in the Midrash on Lamentations, to which we have referred in
our remarks on Is. xi. 12.
Is. xlix. 8. There is a remarkable comment on this in
Yalkut on the passage, to the effect that the Messiah suffers in every age for
the sins of that generation, but that God would in the day of redemption repair
it all (Yalk. ii. p. 52 b).
Is. xlix. 9 is quoted as the words of the Messiah in
Yalkut (vol. ii. p. 52 b).
Verse 10 is one of the passages referred to in the
Midrash on Lamentations, quoted in connection with Is. xi. 12.
Verse 12 has already been noticed in our remarked on Ex.
From the expression 'comfort' in verse 13, the Messianic
title 'Menachem' is derived. Comp. the Midrash on Prov. xix. 21.
Verse 14 is Messianically applied in Yalkut ii. p. 52 c.
Verse 21 is also one of the passages referred to in the
Midrash of Lamentations, quoted under Ps. xi. 12.
On verse 23 it is remarked in Vayyikra R. 27 (ed. Warsh.
p. 42 a), that Messianic blessings were generally prefigured by similar
events, as for example, the passage here quoted in the case of Nebuchadnezzar
A Messianic application of the same passage also occurs in
Par. 33 and 36, as a contrast to the contempt that Israel experiences in this
The second clause of verse 23 is applied to the Messiah
in the Midrash on Ps. ii. 2, as to be fulfilled when the Gentiles shall see the
Verse 26 is similarly applied to the destruction of the
Gentiles in Vayyikra R.33 (end).
Is. li. 12 is one of the passages referred to in the
Midrash of Lamentations, quoted in our comments in Is. xi. 12.
Is. li. 12 and 17 are among the passages referred
to in our remarks on Is. xxv.9
Is. lii. 3 is Messianically applied in the Talmud (Sanh.
97 b), while the last clause of verse 2 is one of the passages
quoted in the Midrash on Lamentations (see Is. xi. 12).
The well-known Evangelic declaration in Is. lii.
7 is thus commented upon in Yalkut (vol. ii. p. 53 c): In the hour when
the Holy One, blessed be His Name, redeems Israel, three days before Messiah
comes Elijah, and stands upon the mountains of Israel, and weeps and mourns for
them, and says to them: Behold the land of Israel, how long shall you stand in
a dry and desolate land? And his voice is heard from the world's end to the
world's end, and after that it is said to them: Peace has come to the world,
peace has come to the world, as it is said: How beautiful upon the mountains,
&c. And when the wicked hear it, they rejoice, and they say one to the
other: Peace has come to us. On the second day he shall stand upon the
mountains of Israel, and shall say: Good has come to the world, good has come
to the world, as it is written: That bringeth good tidings of good. On the
third day he shall come and stand upon the mountains of Israel, and say:
Salvation has come to the world, salvation has come to the world, as it is
written: That publisheth salvation.
Similarly, this passage is quoted in Yalkut on Ps. cxxi. 1. See
also our remarks on Cant. ii. 13.
Verse 8 is one of the passages referred to in the
Midrash on Lamentations quoted above, and frequently in other places as
Verse 12 is Messianically applied in Shemoth R. 15 and
Verse 13 is applied in the Targum expressly to the
Messiah. On the words 'He shall be exalted and extolled' we read in Yalkut ii.
(Par. 338, p. 53 c, lines 7 &c. from the bottom): He shall be higher
than Abraham, to whom applies Gen. xiv. 22; higher than Moses, of whom Num. xi.
12 is predicated; higher than the ministering angels, of whom Ezek. i. 18 is
said. But to Him there applies this in Zech. iv. 7: 'Who art thou, O great
mountain?' 'And He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our
iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His
stripes we are healed.' R. Huma says, in the name of R. Acha: All sufferings
are divided into three parts; one part goes to David and the Patriarchs,
another to the generation of the rebellion (rebellious Israel), and the third
to the King Messiah, as it is written (Ps. ii. 7), 'Yet have I set My King upon
My holy hill of Zion.' Then follows a curious quotation from the Midrash on Samuel,
in which the Messiah indicates that His dwelling is on Mount Zion, and that
guilt is connected with the destruction of its walls.
In regard to Is. liii. we remember, that the Messianic name of
'Leprous' (Sanh. 98 b) is expressly based upon it. Is. liii. 10
is applied in the Targum on the passage to the Kingdom of the Messiah.
Verse 5 is Messianically interpreted in the Midrash on
Samuel (ed. Lemberg, p. 45 a, last line), where it is said that all
sufferings are divided into three parts, one of which the Messiah bore - a
remark which is brought into connection with Ruth ii. 14. (See our comments on
Is. liv. 2 is expected to be fulfilled in Messianic
times (Vayyikra R. 10).
Is. liv. 5. In Shemoth R. 15 this is expressly applied
to Messianic days.
Is. liv. 11 is repeatedly applied to the Messianic
glory, as, for example, in Shemoth R. 15. (See our comments on Ex. xii. 2.)
So is verse 13, as in Yalkut (vol. i. 78 c); in
the Midrash on Ps. xxi. 1; and in other passages.
Is. lv. 12 is referred to Messianic times, as in the
Midrash on Ps. xiii.
Is. lvi. 1. See our comments on Exod. xxi. 1.
Verse 7 is one of the passages in the Midrash on
Lamentations which we have quoted under Is. xi. 12.
On Is. lvii. 14 Bemidhar R. 15 (ed. Warsh. p. 64 a)
expresses a curious idea about the stumbling-block, as mystically the evil
inclination, and adds that the promise applies to God's removal of it in the
world to come, or else it may be in Messianic days.
Verse 16 receives in the Talmud (Yeb. 62 a and 63
b) and in the Midr. on Exxl. i. 6 the following curious comment: 'The
Son of David shall not come till all the souls are completed which are in the
Guph' - (i.e. the pre-existence of souls is taught, and that they are kept in
heaven till one after another appears in human form, and that the Messiah is
kept back till all these shall have appeared), proof of this being derived from
Is. lvii. 16.
Similarly chap. lix. 15 is applied to Messianic times in
Sanh. 97 a, and Midr. on Cant. ii. 13; and verse 19 in Sanh. 98 a.
Verse 17 is applied to Messianic times in Pesiqta, ed. Buber,
p. 149 a.
Verse 20 is one of the passages mentioned in the Midrash
on Lamentations quoted above. (See Is. xi. 12.)
Is. lix. 19, 20, is applied to Messianic times in Sanh.
98 a. In Pesiqta 166 b it is similarly applied, the peculiar form
(plene) in which the word Goel (Redeemer) is written being taken
to indicate the Messiah as the Redeemer in the full sense.
Is. lx. 1. This is applied in the Targum to Messianic times.
Similarly, it is explained in Ber. R. i. with reference to Dan. ii. 2; in Ber.
R. 2; and also in Bemidbar R. 15 and 21. In Yalkut we have some very
interesting remarks on the subject. Thus (vol. i. Par. 363, p. 99 c),
commenting on Exod xxv. 3 &c., in a very curious description of how God
would in the world to come return to Israel the various things which they had
offered for the Tabernacle, the oil is brought into connection with the
Messiah, with reference to Ps. cxxxii. 17 and Is. lx. 1. Again, on p.
215 c (at the commencement of the Parashah Behaalothekha) we have,
first, a very curious comparison between the work of the Tabernacle and that of
the six days of Creation, after which the question is put: Why Moses made seven
lights, and Solomon seventy? To this the reply is given, that Moses rooted up
seven nations before Israel, while Solomon reigned over all the seventy nations
which, according to Jewish ideas, constitute the world. Upon this it is added,
that God had promised, that as Israel had lighted for His glory the lights in the Sanctuary, so would He in the latter days fill Jerusalem with His glory,
according to the promise in Is. lx. 1, and also set up in the midst of
it lights, according to Zeph. i. 12. Still more clearly is the Messianic
interpretation of Is. lx. brought out in the comments in Yalkut on that
chapter. One part of it is so curious that it may here find a place. After
explaining that this light for which Israel is looking is the light of the
Messiah, and that Gen. i. 4 really referred to it, it is added that this is
intended to teach us that God looked forward to the age of the Messiah and His
works before the Creation of the world, and that He hid that light for the
Messiah and His generation under His throne of glory. On Satan's questioning
Him for whom that light was destined, the answer is: For Him Who in the latter
days will conquer thee, and cover thy face with shame. On which Satan requests
to see Him, and when he is shown Him, falls on his face and says: I confess
that this is the Messiah Who will in the latter days be able to cast me, and
all the Gentiles, into Gehenna, according to Is. xxv. 8. In that hour all the
nations will tremble, and say before God: Who is this into Whose hand we fall,
what is His Name, and what is His purpose? On which God replies: This is
Ephraim, the Messiah [the second Messiah, the son of Joseph]; 'My Righteousness
is His Name.' And so the commentation goes on to touch on Ps. lxxxix. 23, 24,
and 26, in a manner most deeply interesting, but which it would be impossible
here fully to give (Yalkut, vol. ii. Par. 359, p. 56 c). In col. d
there are farther remarkable discussions about the Messiah, in connection with
the wars in the days when Messiah should be revealed, and about Israel's final
safety. But the most remarkable passage of all, reminding us almost of the
history of the Temptation, is that which reads as follows (line 22 &c. from
the top): It is a tradition from our Rabbis that, in the hour when King Messiah
comes, He stands on the roof of the Temple, and proclaims to them, that the
hour of their deliverance has come, and that if they believed they would
rejoice in the light that had risen upon them, as it is written (Is. lx.
1), 'Arise, shine, for thy light is come.' This light would be for them alone,
as it is written (ver. 2), 'For darkness shall cover the earth.' In that
hour also would God take the light of the Messiah and of Israel, and all should
walk in the light of Messiah and of Israel, as it is written (ver. 3),
'The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy
rising.' And the kings of the nations should lick the dust from under the feet
of the Messiah, and should all fall on their faces before Him and before
Israel, and say: Let us be servants to Thee and to Israel. And so the passage
goes on to describe the glory of the latter days. Indeed, the whole of this
chapter may be said to be full of Messianic interpretations.
After this it will scarcely be necessary to say that verses
2, 3, and 4 are similarly applied in the Midrashim. But it is interesting to
notice that verse 2 is specifically applied to Messianic times in the
Talmud (Sanh. 99 a), in answer to the question when the Messiah should
On verse 4 the Midrash on Cant. i. 4, on the words 'we
will be glad and rejoice in thee,' has the following beautiful illustration. A
Queen is introduced whose husband and sons and sons-in-law go to a distant
country. Tidings are brought to her: Thy sons are come back. On which she says:
Cause for gladness have I, my daughters-in-law will rejoice. Next, tidings are
brought her that her sons-in-law are coming, and she is glad that her daughters
will rejoice. Lastly, tidings are brought: The king, thy husband, comes. On
which she replies: This is indeed perfect joy, joy upon joy. So in the latter
days would the prophets come, and say to Jerusalem: 'Thy sons shall come from
far' (verse 4), and she will say: What gladness is this to me! - 'and
thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side,' and again she will say: What
gladness is this to me! But when they shall say to her (Zech. ix. 9): 'Behold,
thy king cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation,' then shall Zion
say: This indeed is perfect joy, as it is written (Zech. ix. 9), 'Rejoice
greatly, O daughter of Zion,' and again (Zech. ii. 10), 'Sing and rejoice, O
daughter of Zion.' In that hour she will say (Is. lxi. 10): 'I will greatly
rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God.'
Verse 7 is Messianically applied in the Talmud (Abod.
Sar. 24 a).
Verse 8 is Messianically applied in the Midrash on Ps.
In connection with verse 19 we read in Yalkut (vol. i. p. 103 b)
that God said to Israel: In this world you are engaged (or busied) with the
light for the Sanctuary, but in the world to come, for the merit of this light,
I send you the King Messiah, Who is likened to a light, according to Ps.
cxxxii. 17 and Is. lx. 19, 'the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting
Verse 21 is thus alluded to in the Talmud (Sanh. 98 a):
'Rabbi Jochanan said, The Son of David shall not come, until all be either just
or all be unjust:' the former according to Is. lx. 21, the latter
according to Is. lix. 16.
Verse 22 is also Messianically applied in the Talmudic
passage above cited.
Is. lxi. 1 has already been mentioned in our remarks on
Is. xxxii. 14, 15.
On verse 5 there is a curious story related (Yalkut,
vol. i. Par. 212, p. 64 a, lines 23-17 from the bottom) in which, in
answer to a question, what was to become of the nations in the days of the
Messiah, the reply is given that every nation and kingdom that had persecuted
and mocked Israel would see, and be confounded, and have no share in life; but
that every nation and kingdom which had not so dealt with Israel would come and
be husbandmen and vinedressers to Israel in the days of the Messiah. A similar
statement to this is found in the Midrash on Eccl. ii. 7.
Verse 9 is also applied to Messianic times.
Verse 10 is one of the passages referred to in Tanchuma
on Deut. i. 1 quoted under Is. xxv. 9. In Pesiqta, ed. Buber, p. 149 a,
the verse is explained as applying to the glory of Messiah's appearance.
Is. lxii. 10 has already been referred to in our remarks
on Is. lvii. 14.
Is. lxiii. is applied to the Messiah, Who comes to the
land after having seen the destruction of the Gentiles, in Pirq� de R. Eliez.
Verse 2 has been referred to in our comments on Cant. v.
10. It is also quoted in reference to Messianic days in Pesiqta, ed. Buber,
p. 149 a.
Verse 4 is explained as pointing to the days of the
Messiah, which are supposed to be 365 years, according to the number of the
solar days (Sanh. 99 a); while in other passages of the Midrashim, the
destruction of Rome and the coming of the Messiah are conjoined with the day of
vengeance. See also the Midr. on Eccl. xii. 10.
Is. lxiv. 4 (3 in the Hebrew). In Yalkut on Is. lx.
(vol. ii. p. 56 d, line 6, &c., from the bottom) Messianic
application is made of this passage in a legendary account of the seven
tabernacles which God would make for the Messiah, out of each of which proceed
four streams of wine, milk, honey, and pure balsam. Then God is represented as
speaking of the sufferings which Messiah was to undergo, after which the verse
in question is quoted.
Is. lxv. 17 is quoted in the Midrash on Lamentations,
referred to in our remarks on Is. xi. 12.
Verse 19 is one of the passages referred to in Tanchuma
on Deut. i. 1. See Isaiah xxv. 9.
To verse 25 we have the following curious illustrative
reference in Ber. R. 20 (ed. Warsh. p. 38 b, line 6 from the bottom) in
connection with the Fall: In the latter days everything shall be healed again
(restored again) except the serpent (Is. lxv. 25) and the Gibeonites (Ezek.
xlviii. 19). But a still more strange application of the verse occurs in the
same Midrash (Par. 95, ed. Warsh. p. 170 a), where the opening clauses
of it are quoted with this remark: Come and see all that the Holy One, blessed
be His Name, has smitten in this world, He will heal in the latter days. Upon
which a curious disquisition follows, to prove that every man would appear
after death exactly as he had been in life, whether blind, dumb, or halting,
nay, even in the same dress, as in the case of Samuel when Saul saw him - but
that afterwards God would heal the diseased.
Is. lxvi. 7 is applied to Messianic times in Vayyikra R.
14 (last line), and so are some of the following verses in the Midrashim,
notably on Gen. xxxiii. 1.
Is. lxviii. 22 is applied to Messianic times in
Ber. R. 12. See our remarks on Gen. ii. 4.
Jer. iii. 17 is applied to Messianic days in Yalkut
on Joshua iii. 9 &c. (vol. ii. p. 3 c, line 17 from the top), and so
is verse 18 in the commentation on the words in Cant. i. 16 'our bed is
green,' the expression being understood of the ten tribes, who had been led
captive beyond the river Sabbayon; but when Judah's deliverance came, Judah and
Benjamin would go to them and bring them back, that they might be worthy of
the days of the Messiah (vol. ii. p., 176 d, line 9 &c. from the
Jer. v. 19 is mentioned in the Introd. to Echa R. as one
of three passages by which to infer from the apostasy of Israel the near advent
The expression 'speckled bird' in Jer. xii. 9 is applied
to the Messiah in Pirq� de R. Eliez. c. 28.
The last word in Jer. xvi. 13 is made the basis of the
name Chaninah, given to the Messiah in the Talmud (Sanh. 98 b),
and in the Midr. on Lam. i. 16.
On verse 14 Mechilta has it, that in the latter days the
Exodus would no more be mentioned on account of the greater wonders then
On Jer. xxiii. 5, 6, the Targum has it: 'And I will
raise up for David the Messiah the Just.' This is one of the passages from
which according to Rabbinic views, one of the Names of the Messiah is derived,
viz: Jehovah our Righteousness. So
in the Talmud (Babba Bathra 75 b), in the Midrash on Ps. xxi. 1, Prov.
xix. 21, and in that on Lamentations i. 16.
On verse 7 see our remarks on Jer. xvi 14. In the Talmud
(Ber. 12 b) this verse is distinctly applied to Messianic days. Jer.
xxx. 9 is Messianically applied in the Targum on the passage.
Jer. xxx. 21 is applied to the Messiah in the Targum,
and also in the Midrash on Ps. xxi. 7.
On Jer. xxxi. 8, 3rdclause, Yalkut has a
Messianic interpretation, although extremely far-fetched. In general, the
following verses are Messianically interpreted in the Midrashim.
Verse 20 is Messianically applied in Yalkut (ii. p. 66 c,
end), where it is supposed to refer to the Messiah when imprisoned, when all
the nations mock and shake their heads at Him. A more remarkable interpretation
still occurs in the passage on Is. lx. 1, to which we have already referred.
Some farther extracts from it may be interesting. Thus, when the enemies of the
Messiah flee before Him. God is supposed to make an agreement with the Messiah
to this effect: The sins of those who are hidden with Thee will cause Thee to
be put under an iron yoke, and they will do with Thee as with this calf, whose
eyes are covered, and they will choke Thy spirit under the yoke, and on account
of their sins Thy tongue shall cleave to Thy mouth. On which the Messiah
inquires whether these troubles are to last for many years, and the Holy
replies that He has decreed a week, but that if His soul were in sorrow, He
would immediately dispel these sorrows. On this the Messiah says: Lord of the world,
with gladness and joy of heart I take it upon Me, on condition that not one of
Israel should perish, and that not only those alone should be saved who are in
My days, but also those who are hid in the dust; and that not only the dead
should be saved who are in My days, but also those who have died from the days
of the first Adam till now; and not those, but also those who have been
prematurely born. And only these, but also those who have come into Thy
knowledge to create them, but have not yet been created. Thus I agree, and thus
I take all upon Me. In the hebdomad when the Son of David comes, they shall
bring beams of iron, and shall make them a yoke to His neck, until His stature
is bent down. But He cries and weeps, and lifts up His voice on high, and says
before Him: Lord of the world, what is My strength, My spirit, and My soul, and
My members? Am I not flesh and blood? In that honor David (the Son of David)
weeps, and says: 'My strength is dried up like a potsherd.' In that hour the
Holy One, blessed be His Name, says: Ephraim the Messiah, My righteous one,
Thou hast already taken this upon Thee before the six days of the world, now
Thy anguish shall be like My anguish; for from the time that Nebuchadnezzar,
the wicked one, has come up and destroyed My house, and burned My Sanctuary,
and I have sent into captivity My children among the children of the Gentiles,
by My life, and by the life of Thy head, I have not sat down on My throne. And
if Thou wilt not believe Me, see the dew which is on My head, as it is said
(Cant. v. 2) 'My head is filled with dew.' In that hour the Messiah answers
Him: Lord of the world, now I am quieted, for it is enough for the servant that
he is as his Master (his reminding us of our Lord's saying, St. Matt. x. 25 ).
R. Isaac then remarks that in the year when the King Messiah shall be revealed,
all nations shall rise up against each other (we have already quoted this
passage in another place, as also that about the Messiah standing upon the roof
of the Temple). Then follows this as a tradition of the Rabbis: In the latter
days the Fathers shall stand up in the month of Nisan, and say to Him: Ephraim,
the Messiah, our Righteousness, though we are Thy Fathers, yet Thou art better
than we, because Thou hast borne all the sins of our sons, and hard and evil
measure has passed upon Thee, such as has not been passed either upon those
before or upon those after. And Thou hast been for laughter and derision to the
nations for the sake of Israel, and Thou hast dwelt in darkness and in mist,
and Thine eyes have not seen light, and Thy light clung to Thee alone, and Thy
body was dried up like wood, and Thine eyes were darkened through fasting, and
Thy strength was dried up like a postsherd. And all this on account of the sins
of our children. Is it Thy pleasure that our sons should enjoy the good thing
which God had displayed to Israel? Or perhaps on account of the anguish which
Thou hast suffered for them, because they have bound Thee in the prison-house,
wilt Thou not give unto them thereof? He says to them: Fathers of the world,
whatever I have done I have done for your sakes, and for the sake of your
children, that they may enjoy that goodness which the Holy One, blessed be He,
has displayed to Israel. Then say to Him the Fathers of the world: Ephraim,
Messiah, our Righteousness, be Thou reconciled to us, because Thou hast
reconciled They Maker and us. R. Simeon, the son of Pasi, In that hour the Holy
One, blessed be His Name, exalts the Messiah to the heaven of heavens, and
spreads over Him the splendour of His glory, because of the nations of the
world, and because of the wicked Persians. Then the Fathers of the world say to
Him: Ephraim, Messiah, our Righteousness, be Thou their judge, and do to them
what Thy soul desireth. For unless mercies had been multiplied on Thee, they
would long ago have exterminated Thee suddenly from the world, as it is written
(Jer. xxxi. 20) 'Is Ephraim my dear son?' And why is the expression: 'I
will surely have mercy' [in the Hebrew reduplicated: 'having mercy I will have
mercy'], but that the first expression 'mercy' refers to the hour when He was
bound in prison, when day by day they gnashed with their teeth, and winked with
their eyes, and nodded with their heads, and wide-opened their mouths, as it is
written in Ps. xxii. 7 [8 in Hebrew]; while the second expression 'I will have
mercy' refers to the hour when He came out of the prison-house, when not only
one kingdom, not two, came against Him, but 140 kingdoms came round about Him,
and the Holy One, blessed be His Name, says to Him: Ephraim, Messiah, My
righteous one, be not afraid, for all these shall perish by the breath of Thy
mouth, as it is written (Is. xi. 4). Long as this quotation may be, its
interest seems sufficient to warrant its insertion.
Jer. xxxi. 31, 33, and 34 are applied to Messianic times
in Yalkut (vol. i. p. 196 c; 78 c; and in vol. ii. p. 54 b,
and p. 66 d).
Jer. xxxiii. 13. The close of the verse is thus
paraphrased in the Targum: 'The people shall yet learn by the hands of the
Messiah,' while in Yalkut (vol. i. p.105 d) mention is made of a tenfold
gathering of Israel, the last - in connection with this verse - in the latter
On Lam. i. 16 there is in the Midrash R. (ed. Warsh. p.
64 b) the curious story about the birth of the Messiah in the royal
palace of Bethlehem, which also occurs in the Jer. Talmud.
Lam. ii. 22, first clause. The Targum here
remarks: Thou wilt proclaim liberty to Thy people, the house of Israel, by the
hand of the Messiah.
Lam. iv. 22, first clause. The Targum here
remarks: And after these things thy iniquity shall cease, and thou shalt be set
free by the hands of the Messiah and by the hands of Elijah the Priest
Ezek xi. 19 is applied to the great spiritual change
that was to take place in Messianic days, when the evil desire would be taken
out of the heart (Deb. R. 6, at the end; and also in other Midrashic passages).
Ezek. xvi. 55 is referred to among the ten things which
God would renew in Messianic days - the rebuilding of ruined cities, inclusive
of Sodom and Gomorrah, being the fourth (Shem. R. 15, ed. Warsh. p. 24 b).
Ezek xvii. 22 and 23 is distinctly and very beautifully
referred to the Messiah in the Targum.
Ezek. xxv. 14 is applied to the destruction of all the
nations by Israel in the days of the Messiah in Bemidbar R. on Num. ii. 32
(Par. 2, ed. Warsh. p. 5 b).
Ezek. xxix. 21 is among the passages applied to the time
when the Messiah should come, in Sanh. 98 a.
So is Ezek. xxxii. 14.
Ezek xxxvi. 25 is applied to Messianic times alike in the
Targum and in Yalkut (vol. i. p. 235 a), as our in the Talmud (Kidd. 72 b).
On verse 27 see our remarks on chap. xi. 19.
Ezek. xxxix. 2 is Messianically applied in Bemidbar R.
13, Warsh. p. 48 b.
Ezek. xlvii. 9 and 12 are quoted as the second and the
third things which God would renew in the latter days (Shem. R. 15) - the
second being, that living waters should go forth out of Jerusalem, and the
third, that trees should bear fruit every month, and the sick be healed by
On Ezek. xlviii. 19 the Talmud (Baba B. 122 a)
has the following curious comment, that the land of Israel would be divided
into thirteenth tribes, the thirteenth belonging to the Prince, and this verse
is quoted as proof.
Dan. ii. 22 is Messianically applied in Ber. R. 1, and
in the Midr. on Lament. i. 16, where it gives rise to another name of the
Messiah: the Lightgiver.
Verse 35 is similarly applied in the Pirq� de R. Eliez.
c. 11, and verse 44 in c. 30.
Dan. vii. 9. This passage was interpreted by R. Akiba as
implying that one throne was set for God, and the other for the Messiah (Chag.
Dan. vii. 13 is curiously explained in the Talmud (Sanh.
98 a), where it is said that, if Israel behaved worthily, the Messiah
would come in the clouds of heaven; if otherwise, humble, and riding upon an
Dan. vii. 27 is applied to
Messianic times in Bem. R. 11.
Dan. viii. 13, 14. By a very curious combination these
verses are brought into connection with Gen. iii. 22 ('man has become like one
of us'), and it is argued, that in Messianic days man's primeval innocence and
glory would be restored to him, and he become like one of the heavenly beings,
Ber. R. 21 (ed. Warsh. p. 41 a).
Dan. ix. 24. In Naz. 32 b it is noted as that
referred to the time when the second Temple was to be destroyed. So also in
Yalkut, vol. ii. p. 79 d, lines 16&c. from the bottom.
Dan. xii. 3 is applied to Messianic times in a beautiful
passage in Shem. R. 15 (at the end).
Dan. xii. 11, 12. These two verses receive a peculiar
Messianic interpretation, and that by the authority of the Rabbis. For it is
argued that, as Moses, the first Redeemer, appeared, and was withdrawn for a
time, and then reappeared, so would the second Redeemer; and the interval
between His disappearance and reappearance is calculated at 45 days, arrived at
by deducting the 1,290 days of the cessation of the sacrifice (Dan. xii. 11)
from the 1,335 days of Dan. xii. 12 (Midr. on Ruth ii. 14, ed. Warsh. p. 43 b).
Hos. ii. 2 is explained in the Midr. on Ps. xlv. 1 as
implying that Israel's redemption would be when they were at the lowest.
Hos. ii. 13 is one of the three passages referred to on
Jer. v. 19.
Hos. ii. 18 is quoted in Shem. R. 15 (on Ex. xii. 2) as
the seventh of the ten things which God would make new in Messianic days.
Hos. iii. 5 is applied to the Messiah in the Targum, and
from it the Jer. Talm. (Ber. 5 a) derives the name David as one of those
given to the Messiah.
Hos. vi. 2 is Messianically applied in the Targum.
Hos. xiii. 14 is applied to the deliverance by
the Messiah of those of Israel who are in Gehinnom, whom He sets free; - the
term Zion being understood of Paradise. See Yalk. on Is. Par. 269, comp. Maas.
de R. Joshua in Jellinek's Beth ha-Midr. ii. p. 50.
Hos. xiv. 7 is Messianically applied in the
Joel ii. 28 is explained in the Midrashim as referring
to the latter days, when all Israel will be prophets (Bemidbar R. 15; Yalkut i.
p. 220 c, and other places).
Joel iii. 18 is similarly applied in the Midrashim, as
in that on Ps. xiii. and in others. The last clause of this verse is explained
in the Midr. on Eccl. i. 9 to imply that the Messiah would cause a fountain
miraculously to spring up, as Moses did in the wilderness.
Amos iv. 7 is in Midr. on Cant. ii. 13 applied to the
first of the seven years before Messiah come.
Amos v. 18 is one of the passages adduced in the Talmud
(Sanh. 98 b) to explain why certain Rabbis did not wish to see the day
of the Messiah.
Amos viii. 11 is applied to Messianic times in Ber. R.
Amos ix. 11 is a notable Messianic passage. Thus, in the
Talmud (Sanh. 96 b) where the Messiah is called the 'Son of the Fallen,'
the name is explained by a reference to this passage. Again, in Ber. R. 88,
last three lines (ed. Warsh. p. 157 a) after enumerating the unexpected
deliverances which Israel had formerly experienced, it is added: Who could have
expected that the fallen tabernacle of David should be raised up by God, as it
is written (Amos ix. 11) and who should have expected that the whole
world should become one bundle (be gathered into one Church)? Yet it is written
Zeph. iii. 9. Comp. also the long discussion in Yalkut on this passage (vol.
ii. p. 80 a and b).
Obadiah verses 18 and 21 are applied to the Kingdom and
time of the Messiah in Deb. R. 1.
Micah ii. 13. See our remarks on Gen. xviii. 4, 5. The
passage is also Messianically quoted in the Midrash on Prov. vi. (ed. Lemberg,
p. 5 a, first two lines).
The promise in Micah iv. 3 is applied to the times of
the Messiah in the Talmud (Shabb. 63 a).
So is the prediction in verse 5 in Shemoth R. 15; while verse
8 is thus commented upon in the Targum: 'And thou Messiah of Israel, Who shalt
be hidden on account of the sins of Zion, to thee shall the Kingdom come.'
The well-know passage, Micah v. 2, is admittedly
Messianic. So in the Targum, in the Pirq� de R. Eliez. c. 3, and by later
Verse 3 is applied in the Talmud to the fact that the
Messiah was not to come till the hostile kingdom had spread for nine months
over the whole world (Yoma 10 a), or else, over the whole land of Israel
(Sanh. 98 b).
Similarly Micah vii. 6 is applied to Messianic times in
Sanh. 97 a, and in Sotah 49 b; also in the Midr. on Cant. ii. 13.
And so is verse 15 in Yalkut (vol. ii. p. 112 b.)
In Micah vii. 8, the expression, Jehovah shall be light to
me, is referred to the days of the Messiah in Deb. R. 11, ed. Warsh. vol. v. p.
Nahum ii. 1. See our remarks on Is. lii. 7.
Habakkuk ii. 3. This is applied to Messianic times in a
remarkable passage in Sanh. 97 b, which will be quoted in full at the
close of this Appendix; also in Yalkut, vol. ii. p. 83 b.
Habakkuk iii. 18 is applied to Messianic times in the
Zephaniah iii. 8. The words rendered in our A.V. 'the
day that I rise up to the prey' are translated 'for testimony' and applied to
God's bearing testimony for the Messiah (Yalkut, vol. ii. p. 84 c, line
6 from the top).
Verse 9 is applied to the voluntary conversion of the
Gentiles in the days of the Messiah in the Talmud (Abhod. Zarah, 24 a);
and in Ber. R. 88; and verse 11 in Sanh. 98 a.
Haggai ii. 6 is expressly applied to the coming
redemption in Deb. R. 1 (ed. Warsh. p. 4 b, line 15 from the top).
Zech. i. 20. The four carpenters there spoken of are
variously interpreted in the Talmud (Sukk. 52 b), and in the Midrash
(Bemidbar R. 14). But both agree that one of them refers to the Messiah.
Zech. ii. 10 is one of the Messianic passages to which
we have referred in our remarks on Is. lx. 4. It has also a Messianic cast in
Zech. iii. 8. The designation 'Branch' is expressly
applied to King Messiah in the Targum. Indeed, this is one of the Messiah's
Verse 10 is quoted in the Midrash on Ps. lxxii. (ed.
Warsh. p. 56 a, at the top) in a description of the future time of
Zech. iv. 7 is generally applied to the Messiah,
expressly in the Targum, and also in several of the Midrashim. Thus, as regards
both clauses of it, in Tanchuma (Par. Toledoth 14, ed. Warsh. p. 37 b
and 38 a).
Verse 10 is Messianically explained in Tanchuma (u. s.).
Zech. vi. 12 is universally admitted to be Messianic. So
in the Targum, the Jerusalem Talmud (Ber. 5 a), in the Pirq� de R.
Eliez. c. 48, and in the Midrashim.
Zech. vii. 13 is one of the three passages supposed to
mark the near advent of Messiah. See our remarks on Jer. v. 19.
Zech. viii. 12 is applied to Messianic times in Ber.
R. 12. See our remarks on Gen. ii. 4.
Zech. viii. 23 is one of the predictions expected to be
fulfilled in Messianic days, it being however noted that it refers to
instruction in the Law in that remarkable passage on Is. lx. 1 in Yalkut ii. p.
56 d, to which we have already referred.
In Zech. ix. 1 the name 'Chadrakh' is mystically
separated into 'Chad,' sharp, and 'rakh,' gentle, the Messiah being the one to
the Gentiles and the other to the Jews (Siphr� on Deut. p. 65 a, Yalkut
i. p. 258 b).
Verse 9. The Messianic application of this verse in all
its parts has already repeatedly been indicated. We may here add that there are
many traditions about this ass on which the Messiah is to ride; and so firm was
the belief in it, that, according to the Talmud, 'if anyone saw an ass in his
dreams, he will see salvation' (Ber. 56 b). The verse is also
Messianically quoted in Sanh. 98 a, in Pirq� de R. Eliez. c. 31, and in
several of the Midrashim.
On verse 10 see our remarks on Deut. xx. 10.
Zech. x. 4 is Messianically applied in the Targum.
Zech. xi. 12 is Messianically explained in Ber. R. 98,
but with this remark, that the 30 pieces of silver apply to 30 percepts, which
the Messiah is to give to Israel.
Zech. xii. 10 is applied to the Messiah the Son of
Joseph in the Talmud (Sukk. 52 a), and so is verse 12, there
being, however, a difference of opinion whether the mourning is caused by the
death of the Messiah the Son of Joseph, or else on account of the evil
concupiscence (Yetser haRa).
Zech. xiv. 2 will be readily understood to have been
applied to the wars of Messianic times, and this in many passages of the
Midrashim, as, indeed, are verses 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Verse 7. The following interesting remark occurs in
Yalkut on Ps. cxxxix. 16, 17 (vol. ii. p. 129 d) on the words 'none of
them.' This world is to last 6,000 years; 2,000 years it was waste and
desolate, 2,000 years mark the period under the Law, 2,000 years that under the
Messiah. And because our sins are increased, they are prolonged. As they are
prolonged, and as we make one year in seven a Sabbatic year, so will God in the
latter days make one day a Sabbatic year, which day is 1,000 years - to which
applies the verse in Zechariah just quoted. See also Pirq� de R. Eliez. c. 28.
Verse 8 is Messianically applied in Ber. R. 48. See our
remarks on Gen. xviii 4, 5.
Verse 9 is, of course, applied to Messianic times, as in
Yalkut i. p. 76 c, 266 a, and vol. ii. p. 33 c, Midr. on
Cant. ii. 13, and in other passages.
Malachi iii. 1 is applied to Elijah as forerunner of the
Messiah in Pirq� de R.Eliez. c. 29.
Verse 4. In Bemidbar R. 17, a little before the close
(ed. Warsh. p. 69 a), this verse seems to be applied to acceptable
sacrifices in Messianic days.
On verse 16 Vayyikra R. 34 (ed. Warsh. p. 51 b,
line 4 from the bottom) has the following curious remark: If any one in former
times did the Commandment, the prophets wrote it down. But now when a man
observes the Commandment, who writes it down? Elijah and the King Messiah and
the Holy One, blessed be His Name, seal it at their hands, and a memorial book
is written, as it is written Mal. iii. 16.
The promise in verse 17 is extended to Messianic days in
Shemoth R. 18.
On Mal. iv. 1 (in Hebrew iii. 19) the following curious
comment occurs in Bereshith R. 6 (p. 14 b, lines 15 &c. from the
bottom): 'The globe of the sun is encased, as it is said, He maketh a
tabernacle for the sun (Ps. xix.). And a pool of water is before it. When the
sun comes out, God cools its heat in the water lest it should burn up the
world. But in the latter days the Holy One takes it out of its sheath, and with
it burns up the wicked, as it is written Mal. iv. 1.'
Verse 2 (iii. 20 in Hebrew) is in Shemoth R. 31 quoted
in connection with Ex. xxii. 26, and explained 'till the Messiah comes.'
Verse 5 is, of course, applied to the forerunner of the
Messiah. So in many places, as in the Pirq� de R. Eliez. c. 40; Debarm R. 3; in
the Midrash on Cant. i. 1; in the Talmud, and in Yalkut repeatedly.8
the above review of Old Testament passages, all reference to sacrifices has
been omitted, because, although the Synagogue held the doctrine of the
vicariousness and atoning character of these sacrifices, no mention occurs of
the Messiah in connection with them.
To the above passages we add some from the Apocryphal Books,
partly as indicating the views concerning the Messiah which the Jews had
derived from the Old Testament, and partly because of their agreement with
Jewish traditionalism as already expounded by us. These passages must therefore
be judged in connection with the Rabbinical ideas of the Messiah and of
Messianic days. It is in this sense that we read, for example, the address to
Jerusalem, Tobit xiii. 9 to the end. Comp. here, for example, our
quotations on Amos ix. 11.
Similarly Tobit xiv. 5-7 may be compared with our
quotations on Ps. xc, Is. lx. 3, and especially on Zech. viii. 23, also on Gen.
Wisdom of Solomon iii. 7, 8 may be compared with our
remarks on Is. lxi. 1.
Ecclus. xliv. 21 &c. and xlvii. 11 may be
compared with our quotations on Ps. lxxxix. 22-25; Ps. cxxxii. 18; Ezek. xxix.
Ecclus. xlviii. 10, 11. See the comments on Is. lii. 7,
also our references on Mal. iii. 1; Mal. iv. 5; Deut. xxv. 19 and xxx. 4; Lam.
ii. 22. In Sotah ix. 15 Elijah is represented as raising the dead.
Baruchii. 34, 35; iv. 29 &c.; and
ch. v. are so thoroughly in accordance with Rabbinic, and, indeed, with Scriptural
views, that it is almost impossible to enumerate special references.
The same may be said of 1 Macc. ii. 57; while
such passages as iv. 46 and xiv. 41 point forward to the ministry
of Elijah as resolving doubts, as this is frequently described in the Talmud
(Shekalim ii. 5; Men. 45 a, Pes. 13 a; and in other places).
Lastly, 2 Macc. ii. 18 is fully enlarged on in the
Rabbinic descriptions of the gathering of Israel.
Perhaps it may be as well here to add the Messianic discussion
in the Talmud, to which such frequent reference has been made (Sanhedrin,
beginning at the two last lines of p. 96 b, and ending at p. 99 a).
The first question is that asked by one Rabbi of the other, whether he knew
when the Son of the Fallen would come? Upon which follows an explanation of
that designation, based on Amos ix. 11, after which it is added that it would
be a generation in which the disciples of the sages would be diminished, and
the rest of men consume their eyes for sorrow, and terrible sorrows so follow
each other, that one had not ceased before the other began. Then a description
is given of what was to happen during the hebdomad when the Son of David would
come. In the first year it would be according to Amos iv. 7; in the second year
there would be darts of famine; in the third year great famine and terrible
mortality, in consequence of which the Law would be forgotten by those who
studied it. In the fourth year there would be abundance, and yet no abundance;
in the fifth year great abundance and great joy, and return to the study of the
Law; in the sixth year voices (announcements); in the seventh wars, and at the
end of the seventh the Son of David would come. Then follows some discussion
about the order of the sixth and seventh year, when Ps. lxxxix. 51 is referred
to. Next we have a description of the general state during those days. Sacred
places (Academies) would be used for the vilest purposes, Galilee be desolated,
Gablan laid waste, and the men of Gebul wander from city to city, and not find
mercy. And the wisdom of the scribes would be corrupted, and they who fear sin
be abhorred, and the face of that generation would be like that of a dog, and
truth should fail, according to Is. lix. 15. (Here a side issue is raised.) The
Talmud then continues in much the same terms to describe the Messianic age as
one, in which children would rebel against their parents, and as one of general
lawlessness, when Sadduceeism should universally prevail, apostasy increase,
study of the Law decrease; and, generally, universal poverty and despair of
redemption prevail, the growing disregard of the Law being pointed out as
specially characterising the last days. R. Kattina said: The world is to last
6,000 years, and during one millennium it is to lie desolate, according to Is.
ii. 17. R. Abayi held that this state would last 2,000 years, according to
Hosea vi. 2. The opinion of R. Kattian was however, regarded as supported by
this, that in each period of seven there is a Sabbatic year, the day here =
1,000 years of desolateness and rest - the appeal being to Is. ii. 17; Ps.
xcii. 1, and xc. 4. According to another tradition the world was to last 6,000
years: 2,000 in a state of chaos, 2,000 under the Law, and 2,000 being the
Messianic age. But on account of Israel's sins those years were to be deducted
which had already passed. On the authority of Elijah it was stated that the
world would not last less than eighty-five jubilees, and that in the last
jubilee the Son of David would come. When Elijah was asked whether at the
beginning or at the end of it, he replied that he did not know. Being further
asked whether the whole of that period would first elapse or not, he similarly
replied, his meaning being supposed to be that until that term people were not
to hope for the Advent of Messiah, but after that term they were to look for
it. A story is related of a man being met who had in his hands a writing in
square Hebrew characters, and in Hebrew, which he professed to have got from
the Persian archives, and in which it was written that after 4,290 years from
the Creation the world would come to an end. And then would be the wars of the
great sea-monsters, and those of Gog and Magog, and the rest of the time would
be the time of the Messiah, and that the Holy One, blessed be His Name, would
only renew His world after the 7,000 years; to which, however, one Rabbi
objects, making it 5,000 years. Rabbi Nathan speaks of Habakkuk ii. 3 as a
passage so deep as to go down to the abyss, reproving the opinion of the Rabbis
who sought out the meaning of Daniel vii. 25, and of Rabbi Samlai, who
similarly busied himself with Ps. lxxx. 5, and of Rabbi Akiba, who dwelt upon
Haggai ii. 6. But the first kingdom (Babylonian?) was to last seventy years;
the second (Asmon�an?) fifty-two years; and the rule of the son of Kozebhah
(Bar Kakhabh, the false Messiah) two and a half years. According to Rabbi
Samuel, speaking in the name of Rabbi Jonathan: Let the bones of those be
broken who calculate the end, because they say, The end has come, and the
Messiah has not come, therefore He will not come at all. But still expect Him,
as it is said (Hab. ii. 3), 'Though it tarry, wait for it.' Perhaps thou wilt
say: We wait for Him, but He does not wait for it. On this point read Is. xxx.
18. But if so, what hinders it? The quality of judgment. But in that case, why
should we wait? In order to receive the reward, according to the last clause of
Is. xxx. 18. On which follows a further discussion. Again, Rabh maintains that
all the limits of time as regards the Messiah are past, and that it now only
depends on repentance and good works when He shall come. To this Rabbi Samuel
objected, but Rabh's view was supported by Rabbi Eliezer, who said that if
Israel repented they would be redeemed, but if not they would not be redeemed.
To which Rabbi Joshua added, that in the latter case God would raise over them
a King whose decrees would be hard like those of Haman, when Israel would
repent. The opinion of Rabbi Eliezer was further supported by Jer. iii.22, to
which Rabbi Joshua objected by quoting Is. lii. 3, which seemed to imply that
Israel's redemption was not dependent on their repentance and good works. On
this Rabbi Joshua retorted by quoting Mal. iii. 7, to which again Rabbi Joshua
replied by quoting Jer. iii. 14, and Rabbi Eleizer by quoting Is. xxx. 15.
To this Rabbi Joshua replied from Is. xlix. 7. Rabbi Eliezer then urged Jer.
iv.1, upon which Rabbi Joshua retorted from Dan. xii. 7, and so effectually
silenced Rabbi Eliezer. On this Rabbi Abba propounded that there was not a
clearer mark of the Messianic term than that in Is. xxxvi. 8. To which Rabbi
Eliezer added Zech. viii. 10. On this the question is raised as to the meaning
of the words 'neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in.' To
this Rabh gave answer that it applied to the disciples of the sages, according
to Ps. cxix. 165. On which Rabbi Samuel replied that at that time all the
entrances would be equal (i.e. that all should be on the same footing of
danger). Rabbi Chanina remarked that the Son of David would not come till after
fish had been sought for the sick and not found, according to Ezek. xxxii.
14 in connection with Ezek. xxix. 21. Rabbi Chamma, the son of Rabbi Chaina,
said that the Son of David would not come until the vile dominion over Israel
had ceased, appealing to Is. xviii. 5, 7. R. Seira said that Rabbi Chanina
said: The Son of David would not come till the proud had ceased in Israel,
according to Zeph. iii. 11, 12. Rabbi Samlai, in the name of Rabbi Eliezer the
son of Rabbi Simeon, said that the Son of David would not come till all judges
and rulers had ceased in Israel, according to Is. i. 26. Ula said Jerusalem is
not to be redeemed, except by righteousness, according to Is. i. 27. We pass
over the remarks of Rabbi Papa, as not adding to the subject. Rabbi Jochanan
said: If thou seest a generation that increasingly diminishes, expect Him,
according to 2 Sam. xxii. 28. He also added: If thou seest a generation upon
which many sorrows come like a stream, expect Him, according to Is. lix. 19,
20. He also added: The son of David does not come except in a generation where
all are either righteous, or all guilty - the former idea being based on Is.
lx. 21, the latter on Is. lix. 16 and xlviii. 11. Rabbi Alexander said, that
Rabbi Joshua the son of Levi referred to the contradiction in Is. lx. 22
between the words 'in his time' and again 'I will hasten it,' and explained it
thus: If they are worthy, I will hasten it, and if not, in His time. Another
similar contradiction between Dan. vii. 13 and Zech. ix. 9 is thus reconciled:
if Israel deserve it, He will come in the clouds of heaven; if they are not
deserving, He will come poor, and riding upon an ass. Upon this it is remarked
that Sabor the King sneered at Samuel, saying: You say that the Messiah is to
come upon an ass: I will send Him my splendid horse. To which the Rabbi
replied: Is it of a hundred colours, like His ass? Rabbi Joshua, the son of
Levi, saw Elijah, who stood at the door of Paradise. He said to him: When shall
the Messiah come? He replied: When that Lord shall come (meaning God). Rabbi
Joshua, the son of Levi, said: I saw two (himself and Elijah), and I heard the
voice of three (besides the former two the Voice of the son of Jochai, and said
to him: Shall I attain the world to come? Elijah replied: If it pleaseth the
Lord. Upon which follows the same remark: I have seen the Messiah come? To
which the answer is: Go and ask Him thyself. And where does He abide? At the
gate of the city (Rome). And what is His sign? He abides among the poor, the
sick and stricken. And all unbind, and bind up again the wounds at the same
time, but He undoes (viz. the bandage) and rebinds each separately, so that if
they call for Him they may not find him engaged.9
He went to meet Him and said: peace be to Thee, my Rabbi and my Lord. He
replied to him: Peace be to thee, thou son of Levi. he said to Him: When wilt
Thou come, my Lord? He replied to him: To-day. Then he turned to Elijah, who
said to him: What has He said to thee? He said to me: Son of Levi, peace be to
thee. Elijah said to him: He has
assured thee and thy Father of the world to come. He said to him: But He has
deceived me in that He said: I come to-day, and he has not come. He said to him
that by the words 'to-day' He meant: To-day if ye will hear My voice (Ps. xcv.
7). Rabbi Jos� was asked by his disciples: When will the Son of David come? To
this he replied: I am afraid you will ask me also for a sign. Upon which they
assured him they would not. On this he replied: When this gate (viz. of Rome)
shall fall, and be built, and again fall, and they shall not have time to
rebuild it till the Son of David comes. They said to him: Rabbi, give us a
sign. He said to them: Have ye not promised me that ye would not seek a sign?
They said to him: Notwithstanding do it. He said to them: If so, the waters from
the cave of Pamias (one of the sources of the Jordan) shall be changed into
blood. In that moment they were changed into blood. Then the Rabbi goes on to
predict that the land would be overrun by enemies, every stable being filled
with their horses. Rabh said that the son of David would not come till the
kingdom (i.e foreign domination) should extend over Israel for nine months,
according to Micah v. 3. Ula said: Let Him come, but may I not see Him, and so
said Raba. Rabbi Joseph said: Let Him come, and may I be found worthy to stand
in the shadow of the dung of His ass (according to some: the tail of his ass).
Abayi said to Raba: Why has this been the bearing of your words? If on account
of the sorrows of the Messiah, we have the tradition that Rabbi Eliezer was
asked by his disciples, what a man should do to be freed from the sorrows of
the Messiah; on which they were told: By busying yourselves with the Torah, and
with good works. And you are a master of the Torah, and you have good works. He
answered: Perhaps sin might lead to occasion of danger. To this comforting
replies are given from Scripture, such as Gen. xxviii. 15, and other passages,
some of them being subjected to detailed commentation.
Vienna edition of the Talmud has several lacun� on this page (98 a).
Rabbi Jochanan expressed a similar
dislike of seeing the days of the Messiah, on which Resh Lakish suggested that
it might be on the ground of Amos v. 19, or rather on that of Jer. xxx. 6. Upon
this, such fear before God is accounted for by the consideration that what is
called service above is not like what is called service below (the family above
is not like the family below), so that one kind may outweigh the other. Rabbi
Giddel said, that Rabh said, that Israel would rejoice in the years of the
Messiah. Rabbi Joseph said: Surely, who else would rejoice in them? Chillak and
Billak? (two imaginary names, meaning no one). This, to exclude the words of
Rabbi Hillel, who said: There is no Messiah for Israel, seeing they have had
Him in the time of Hezekiah. Rabh said: The world was only created for David;
Samuel, for Moses; and Rabbi Jochanan, for the Messiah. What is His Name? The
school of Rabbi Shila said: Shiloh is His Name, according to Gen. xlix. 10. The
school of Rabbi Jannai said: Jinnon, according to Ps. lxxii. 17. The school of
Rabbi Chanina said: Chaninah, according to Jer. xvi. 13. And some say Menachem,
the son of Hezekiah, according to Lam. i. 16. And our Rabbis say: The Leprous
One of the house of Rabbi, is His Name, as it is written Is liii. 4. Rabbi
Nachman said: If He is among the living, He is like me, according to Jer. xxx.
21. Rabh said: If He is among the living, He is like Rabbi Jehudah the Holy,
and if among the dead he is like Daniel, the man greatly beloved. Rabbi Jehudah
said, Rabh said: God will raise up to them another David, according to Jer.
xxx. 9, a passage which evidently points to the future. Rabbi Papa said to
Abaji: But we have this other Scripture Ezek. xxxvii. 25, and the two terms
(Messiah and David) stand related like Augustus and C�sar. Rabbi Samlai
illustrated Amos v. 18, by a parable of the cock and the bat which were looking
for the light. The cock said to the bat: I look for the light, but of what use
is the light to thee? So it happened to a Sadducee who said to Rabbi Abahu:
When will the Messiah come? He answered him: When darkness covers this people.
He said to him: Dost thou intend to curse me? He replied: It is said in
Scripture Is. lx. 2. Rabbi Eliezer taught: The days of the Messiah are forty
years according to Ps. xcv. 10. Rabbi Eleazar, the son of Asariah, said: Seventy
years, according to Is. xxiii. 15, 'according to the days of a King,' the King
there spoken of being the unique king, the Messiah. Rabbi said: Three
generations, according to Ps. lxxii. 5. Rabbi Hillel said: Israel shall have no
more Messiah, for they had him in the days of Hezekiah. Rabbi Joseph said: May
god forgive Rabbi Hillel: when did Hezekiah live? During the first Temple. And
Zechariah prophesied during the second Temple, and said Zech. xi. 9. We have
the tradition that Rabbi Eliezer said: The days of the Messiah are forty years.
it is written Deut. viii. 3, 4, and again in Ps xc. 15 (showing that the days
of rejoicing must be like those of affliction in the wilderness). Rabbi Dosa
said: Four hundred years quoting Gen. xv. 13 in connection with the same Psalm.
Rabbi thought it was 365 years, according to the solar year, quoting Is. lxiii.
4. He asked the meaning of the words: 'The day of vengeance is in My heart,'
Rabbi Jochanan explained them: I have manifested it to My heart, but not to My
members, and Rabbi Simon benLakish: To My heart, and not to the ministering
angels. Abimi taught that the days of the Messiah were to last for Israel 7,000
years (a Divine marriage-week), according to Is. lxii. 5. Rabbi Jehudah said,
that Rabbi Samuel said, that the days of the Messiah were to be as from the day
that the world was created until now, according to Deut. xi. 21. Rabbi Nacham
said: As from the days of Noah till now, according to Is. liv. 9. Rabbi Chija
said, that Rabbi Jochanan said: All the prophets have only prophesied in regard
of the days of the Messiah; but in regard to the world to come, eye has not
seen, O God, beside Thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him
(Is. lxiv. 4). And this is opposed to what Rabbi Samuel said, that there was no
differences between this world and the days of the Messiah, except that foreign
domination would cease. Upon which the Talmud goes off to discourse upon
repentance, and its relation to perfect righteousness.
Lengthy as this
extract may be, it will at least show the infinite differences between the
Rabbinic expectation of the Messiah, and the picture of him presented in the
New Testament. Surely the Messianic idea, as realised in Christ, could not have
been derived from the views current in those times!