You have reached the university web site, gotMessiah.com! We are happy that you came our way! This site is for serious, thinking people. We hope you qualify! To even think about a Messiah is a Jewish thing to do.
So what is Messiah anyway? Is it a person, or an age, or neither?
YOU must make the choice. However, it is best to make your decision after considering a few important and amazing facts. Yes, the World’s Best Seller (the Hebrew Scripture) does conclude there is a Messiah. It describes Him as a person.
“Nonsense!” you might say. However, IF you are a thinking person, it is better to look at the facts than just dismiss the whole thing as nonsense. Does that sound reasonable?
All right, here are the facts:
It was predicted in Micah 5:2 (verse one in Hebrew…by the way, Micah was the Jewish writer of the book by his name in the Hebrew Bible. He wrote around 700 BCE. He was deemed a prophet by his early readers as he is today in Jewish circles):
- “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One who is to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting.”
RASHI (1040-1105), that great medieval Jewish commentator, understood the Ruler coming out of the town of Bethlehem to be Messiah, son of David! He linked this passage with Psalm 118:24 and says that Messiah will be the “stone which the builders rejected!” (Rashi’s statements here are found in the Mikraot Gedolot, a seventeenth century compilation of famous medieval rabbinical commentary.)
TALMUD YERUSHALMI states:
- “…King Messiah is born…he is from the royal palace of Bethlehem Judah.”
The idea that the Messiah would be “the stone which the builders rejected” ties in well with the Jewish midrashic commentary in MIDRASH RABBAH RUTH on Ruth 2:14 in which Messiah is said to “approach to a royal state” but would suffer BEFORE he becomes king in accordance with Isaiah 53:5, which the midrash quotes:
- “But He was wounded for our transgressions.”
The midrash goes on to say that after that, the Messiah would be restored to His throne and defeat Israel’s enemies, quoting the Hebrew Scriptures again from Isaiah 11:9,
- “And he will smite the land with the rod of his mouth.”
The passage from Midrash Rabbah Ruth on Ruth 2:14 reads, quoting from the Soncino Press English translation of 1939:
- “The fifth interpretation makes it refer to the Messiah. COME HITHER: approach to a royal state. AND EAT OF THE BREAD refers to the bread of royalty; AND DIP THY MORSEL IN THE VINEGAR refers to his sufferings, as it is said, ‘But he was wounded because of our transgression’ (Isa. 53:5). AND SHE SAT BESIDE THE REAPERS, for he will be deprived of his sovereignty for a time, as it is said, ‘For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken’ (Zech. 14:2). AND THEY REACHED HER PARCHED CORN, means that he will be restored to his throne, as it is said, ‘And he shall smite the land with the rod of his mouth’ (Isa. 11:4).”
One might well ask, “What kind of time period are we talking about here between Messiah’s sufferings (Isaiah 53:5) mentioned in the above midrash, and his being restored to his throne as the midrash states he will be (Isaiah 11:4)?” No time period is given. The Hebrew Scriptures in two places refer only to an unspecified amount of time:
- “The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand UNTIL I make your enemies Your footstool.” Psalm 110:1
- “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days.” Hosea 3:4, 5
The Jewish prophet, Zechariah (480 BCE), picked up on the theme of the “last days” (“aharit hayamin”) seen in the above passage in Hosea and said:
- “In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem…It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; THEN THEY WILL LOOK ON ME WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED [emphasis ours] and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:9, 10)
Regardless of how we translate the above Hebrew Scripture into English, the Talmud in Sukkah 52a, says in a comment on this passage:
- “The cause of the mourning is the slaying of Messiah”…it calls him Messiah the son of Joseph.”
What are we to make of all this? Isaiah 9:6, 7 (9:5, 6 in Hebrew) speaks of a special Son who will be born to the Jewish people:
- “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of Daviid and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
Regardless of how one translates this verse into English, the Jewish TARGUM JONATHAN says this Son is Messiah:
- “…A child has been born to us, a son has been given to us…and his name has been called from of old, Wonderful counsellor, Mighty God, He who lives for ever, the Anointed one (or Messiah) in whose days peace shall increase upon us.”
MOSES ben MAIMON, popularly called Maimonides (1135-1204), who was the author of Mishneh Torah and considered the great Talmudist of his day, also says Isaiah 9:6 (9:5 in Hebrew) refers to Messiah:
- “…you have not considered the pre-eminence of the Messiah, the manner of his appearance, and the marks whereby he is to be identified…Six appellations were divinely conferred upon him as the following passage indicates:’For a child is born unto us, and a son is given unto us, and the government is upon his shoulder, and he is called Pele, Yoetz, El, Gibbor, Abiad, Sar Shalom.’ (Iaaiah 9:5).”
This revealing statement by Maimonides is taken from his “Egeret Teman” (Letter to Yemen).
The Jewish MIDRASH DEVARIM (Deuteronomy), also says Isaiah 9:6 speaks of Messiah. Rabbi Samuel, the son of Nachman, says:
- “Jacob replied; ‘Let my Lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant’ (Genesis 33:14.) What is the meaning of, ‘I pray thee, pass over?’ Jacob said to him: ‘I have yet to supply the messiah, of whom it is said: “Unto us a child is born.”‘”
A different Jewish source says our above passage in Isaiah refers to King Hezekiah (700 BCE), one of the few good kings of Israel. However, we hardly think this is the case, because King Hezekiah’s reign was not intended to be forever. His son, Manasseh, was an evil king.
YOU can make the choice of whom you think this “Son given to us” (the Jewish people) is…but bear in mind other Jewish Scriptures like Psalm 2:7, 8:
- “I will declare the decree; the LORD has said to Me, You are MY Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.”
The TALMUD in SUKKAH 52a says this son is Messiah:
- “Our Rabbis taught, The Holy One, blessed be He, will say to the Messiah, the Son of David (May he reveal himself speedily in our days!), ‘Ask of me anything, and I will give it to thee’, as it is said, ‘I will tell of the decree etc. this day have I begotten thee, ask of me and I will give the nations for thy inheritance.'”
MAIMONIDES also lends his voice declaring this son in Psalm 2:7 to be Messiah when he states:
- “And another verse alluding to the Messiah culminates in the following manner ‘Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.” (Psalm 2:7; Maimonides, “Letter to Yemen”)
(Maimonides puts the above verse and Isaiah 9:5 in the same passage, referring them both to Messiah and saying, “All these statements demonstrate the pre-eminence of the Messiah.” Maimonides had said previously in this passage that “God had bestowed some gifts upon him (Messiah) which he did not bestow upon Moses.” He then cited these two verses.)
“WELL, I’M NOT CONVINCED YET,” YOU MIGHT BE SAYING RIGHT NOW. That’s understandable. If you would like more evidence about Messiah, click below or call us at 1-888-293-7482 ext. 230 to get a free copy of the story of one Jewish businessman’s search of the Hebrew Scriptures for Messiah, Betrayed, by Stan Telchin.