Jewish Prophecies and Messianic Expectation
The concept of the Messiah is central to Judaism. Also there exists in the World today a state of expectation, and hope of the imminent arrival of the Jewish World Saviour among many Jews, particularly members of the various Orthodox Sects of Judaism. There are many reasons why some Jews believe that the time of the coming of the Messiah is at hand. For instance, in the Midrash which are Jewish spiritual writings and commentaries, it is described how when the Messiah comes there will be a warming of the Earth. A seeming reference to the phenomenon of Global Warming. Another reason is discussed in the following section.
The founding of the modern state of Israel and the coming of the Messiah
The founding of the modern state of Isreal just after the Second World War has also led some people to believe that the end times and therefore the coming of the Messiah is at hand. Because this act of nation building seems to have satisfied an interesting prophecy concerning the end times..
"In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth." - Isaiah 11:11-12 NIV
The above prophecy is remarkable because it predicts three things and this is the reason why. The prophecy predicts that the Jews or 'scattered people of Judah' will be returned to the Holy Lands a second time. However the prophecy was made during the first exile in Babylon which occurred at around 586BC. So firstly the prophecy correctly predicted that the Jews would return to Palestine the first time, which happen when King Cyrus invaded Babylon 539BC and looked favourable on the Jews. Secondly the prophecy predicted the second exile which occurred in 70AD after the defeat of the Jewish peoples by the Romans. Thirdly and finally the prophecy also corrected predicted the second return from exile which occurred with founding of the modern state of Isreal in 1948. So it seems, in one important way,the stage has been set for the Messiah's arrival.
Rebuilding the Temple of Soloman
An idea connected to the notion of the coming of the Messiah is the rebuilding of the Temple of Soloman, which was destroyed by the Romans around 70AD. This is a long held desire of many Jewish people around the World and for some this is where the Messiah will preside once he emerges and announces himself, or perhaps herself who knows. This process of rebuilding the temple is complicated by the fact that it would involve the destruction of the third holiest site in Islam, the Dome on the Rock and unless handled diplomatically, would certainly precipitate much bad feeling and unrest. In a slightly provocative act, a Right Wing Fundamentalist Jewish group laid a foundation stone in 1998 as the first act in the process of rebuilding the temple. Also in a Yeshiva, or Jewish Religious School, overlooking the Western Wall, which are the only remains of the last temple, ancients texts are studied with the aim of recreating the ancient rituals of the temple, including animal sacrifice. Also young boys have already been selected to act as the High Priests of the rebuilt temple, presumably with the role of enacting the ancient rituals and serving the Messiah when he comes.
A selection of prophecies concerning the coming of Messiah, his role and his attributes
What follows in the rest of this webpage are a selection of passages from Jewish scripture which gives us more information about the Messiah and what will be happening when he arrives.
Prophecies describing the Messiah
'For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called "Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness, from this time forth and for ever more. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.' - Old Testatment, Isaiah 9.6-7
'And behold, the glory of the God of Isreal came from the way of the East: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.' - Ezekiel 43.2
'Behold the man whose name is the Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord.. And they who are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord.' - Zechariah 6:12,15
'I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man. He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away. And his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.' - Bible - Old Testament, Daniel 7.13-14
Prophecies describing the state of the World when the Messiah comes
'For the windows of heaven are opened and the foundations of the earth tremble. The earth is utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is violently shaken. The earth staggers like a drunken man, it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again. on that day the Lord will punish the hosts of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be confounded, and the sun ashamed; for the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before its elders he will manifest his glory.' - Bible, Isaiah 24.18-23
'With the footprints [heralding] the Messiah, presumptions shall increase and dearth reach its height; the vine shall yield its fruit but the wine shall be costly; and the empire shall fall into heresy and there shall be none to utter reproof. The academies shall be given to fornication, and.. the wisdom of the scribes shall become insipid, and they that shun sin shall be deemed contemptible, and truth shall nowhere be found. Children shall shame the elders, and the elders shall rise up before the children. The face of this generation shall be [brazen] as the face of a dog, and the son will notbe put to shame by his father. On whom can we stay ourselves? On our Father in heaven.' - Mishnah, Sota 9.15
Ezekiel 36:11; 24 KJV - "And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better [unto you] than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.... For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land."
"For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days." - Hosea 3:4-5
Prophecies describing the role and actions that will be performed by the Messiah
'For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.' - Judaism and Christianity. Isaiah 2:2-4
'The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.. With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove the equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.' - Bible - Isaiah 11:2-5
'I will tread them in my anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be spinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.' - Isaiah 63:3