This article is about the concept of a Messiah in religion, especially in the Christian, Islamic, and Jewish traditions. For other uses, see Messiah (disambiguation).

Messiah is a term used by Jews, Christians, and Muslims for the redeemer figure expected in one form or another by each religion. Şablon:Quotation

In Jewish messianic tradition and eschatology, messiah refers to a leader anointed by God, and in some cases, a future King of Israel, physically descended from the Davidic line, who will rule the people of a united tribes of Israel[1] and herald the Messianic Age[2] of global peace. In Judaism, the Messiah is not considered to be the literal, physical God or Son of God.

Christians believe that prophecies in the Hebrew Bible refer to a spiritual savior, partly evidenced in passages from the Book of Isaiah: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."[Isa. 7:14] and, in a different chapter, "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed,"[Isa. 53:5] and believe Jesus of Nazareth to be that Messiah (Christ).


The (Greek) Septuagint version of the Old Testament renders all thirty-nine instances of the Hebrew word for anointed (Mašíaḥ) as Khristós (Χριστός).[3] The New Testament records the Greek transliteration Μεσσίας, Messias twice in John.[Jn. 1:41]Şablon:Bibleref2c-nb

Messiah (Hebrew: מָשִׁיחַ, Modern Mashiaẖ Tiberian Māšîăḥ; in modern Jewish texts in English sometimes spelled Moshiach; Aramaic: משיחא, Greek: Μεσσίας, Syriac: ܡܫܺܝܚܳܐ, Məšîḥā, Arapça: المسيح‎, al-Masīḥ, Latin: Messias) literally means "anointed (one)". In standard Hebrew, The Messiah is often referred to as מלך המשיח, Méleḫ ha-Mašíaḥ (in the Tiberian vocalization pronounced Méleḵ haMMāšîªḥ), literally meaning "the Anointed King." In Islam, Isa (Jesus) is also called the Messiah (Masih),[4] who will come back to earth a second time before the last day.

Judaism Edit

Belief in the eventual coming of a future, great Messiah is a fundamental part of Judaism. [5] The term Messiah is derived from the Hebrew "Mashiach", which means "the anointed one," and refers to the ancient practice of anointing kings with oil when they took the throne. The Messiah is the one who will be anointed as king in the End of Days. [6]

The Torah describes the advent of the Messiah in the portion of Balak, couched in poetic prophetic prose: "I see him, but not now. I perceive him, but he is not near. There shall step forth a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel... From Jacob shall issue out and destroy the remnant of the city",[7] which Jewish Biblical scholars expound refers to the Messiah's victory over Israel's enemies.[8]

There are many references to the Mashiach and to the End of Days throughout the Tanakh, especially in the section of the Nevi'im (prophets).

The Talmud is replete with references and anecdotes about the Messiah and the Messianic era, and also provides exegesis of scriptural verses which illustrate the events that will occur at that time. For example, resurrection of the dead, which is exegetically supported from a verse in Exodus 15: "Az Yashir Moshe... " - "Then [Moses] will sing...", from which is derived that 'then', in the Messianic Era, Moses will arise and once again sing as he did at the time of the Exodus. [9]

The Messianic Age is described as follows by Maimonides:

"And at that time there will be no hunger or war, no jealousy or rivalry. For the good will be plentiful, and all delicacies available as dust.
The entire occupation of the world will be only to know G-d... the people Israel will be of great wisdom; they will perceive the esoteric truths and comprehend their Creator's wisdom as is the capacity of man. As it is written (Isaiah 11:9): "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of G-d, as the waters cover the sea." "[10]

Maimonides describes the identity of the Messiah in the following terms:

"And if a king shall arise from among the House of David, studying Torah and occupied with commandments like his father David, according to the written and oral Torah, and he will impel all of Israel to follow it and to strengthen breaches in its observance, and will fight Hashem's [God's] wars, this one is to be treated as if he were the anointed one.
If he succeeded and built the Holy Temple in its proper place and gathered the disperesed ones of Israel together, this is indeed the anointed one for certain, and he will mend the entire world to worship the Lord together, as it is stated: "For then I shall turn for the nations a clear tongue, so that they will all procalim the Name of the Lord, and to worship Him with a united resolve (Zephaniah 3:9)." [11]

The concept of the coming of The Messiah was held in the highest regard by pre-Christian Judaism. The Talmud records: "All the prophets prophesied [all the good things] only in respect of the Messianic era."[12] In another folio, the Talmud says, "The Jews are destined to eat [their fill] in the days of the Messiah," and "The world was created only...for the sake of the Messiah."[13]

A prominent Judaism Web site claims: Şablon:Quotation

The literal translation of the word, messiah (moshiach), is “anointed,” which refers to a ritual of consecrating someone or something by putting holy oil upon it.[1 Sam. 10:1-2] It is used throughout the Jewish Bible in reference to a wide variety of individuals and objects; for example, a Jewish king,[1 Kings 1:39] Jewish priests,[Lev. 4:3] and prophets,[Isa. 61:1] the Jewish Temple and its utensils,[Ex. 40:9-11] unleavened bread,[Num. 6:15] and a non-Jewish king (Cyrus king of Persia).[Isa. 45:1]

A common modern rabbinic interpretation is that there is a potential messiah in every generation. The Talmud, which often uses stories to make a moral point (aggadah), tells of a highly respected rabbi who found the Messiah at the gates of Rome and asked him, "When will you finally come?" He was quite surprised when he was told, "Today." Overjoyed and full of anticipation, the man waited all day. The next day he returned, disappointed and puzzled, and asked, "You said messiah would come 'today' but he didn't come! What happened?" The Messiah replied, "Scripture says, 'Today, 'if you will but hearken to His voice.'"[Ps. 95:7]

Modern, rabbinical Judaism asserts that a unique future physical messiah will usher in the messianic age of peace to the world.

In Judaism today, as always, the fervent—in the words of Rambam—"believe in the coming of the Messiah and await it daily although it may be delayed." As religious Jews were herded into the gas chambers by the Nazis, a song arose as if to proclaim that no force can wreck their trust in the Messianic future, to the words of the Rambam.

Particularly the Chabad movement—the largest and most influential Jewish outreach movement today [promoting Judaism and morality to Jews and gentiles] has a fervent hope that the Messianic age is manifesting through the radical positive changes occurring, for example the miraculous turnaround in Russian policy to free her Jews. Whereas such cataclysmic regime changes necessitated bloodshed [of epic proportions] in the past, miraculously Michael Gorbachav of his own accord freed the Jews whom were subject to the harshest of torment, exile, and imprisonment for over seventy years. Furthermore as if to underscore the Messianic notion in play, hundreds of thousands of these Jews emigrated to Israel—fulfilling the Biblical Prophecy "even if you will be in the farthest places of earth I will return you (to Israel)."


Christianity Edit

Christianity emerged early in the first century A.D. as a movement among Jews and their Gentile converts who believed that Jesus was the Messiah. The name of "Christian" refers to the Greek word for 'Messiah': Khristos (χριστος). Christians commonly refer to Jesus as either the "Christ" or the "Messiah." In Christian theology the two words are synonymous.

Christians believe Jesus to be the Messiah that Jews were expecting:

The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.[Jn. 1:41-42]</blockquote>

The Christian concept of the Christ/Messiah as "the Word made Flesh" (see also Logos) is fundamentally different from the Jewish and Islamic in that the majority of historical and mainline Christian theologies, as seen within the Nicene Creed, consider Jesus to be God or God the Son.

Christians believe that Daniel (Hebrew: דָּנִיֵּאל, or Daniyyel) was a prophet and gave an indication of when the Messiah, the prince mashiyach nagiyd, would come in the Prophecy of Seventy Weeks.[Dan. 9:25-26] Daniel's prophecies refer to him as a descendant of King David, a Son of Man, who will rebuild the nation of Israel, destroy the wicked, and ultimately judge the whole world.

In Christian theology, the Christ/Messiah serves five main functions:[14]

  • He suffers and dies to make atonement before God for the sins of all humanity, because His justice requires that sins be punished, according to Penal substitution theology.[15]
  • He was raised from the dead on the third day after He was crucified to prove that He has defeated death and the power of Satan, thus enabling those that receive Him as their Savior to live under God's grace. [Galatians 2:16]
  • He serves as the pioneer, embodiment of the culture and living presence of the kingdom of God
  • He will establish peace and rule the world during the Millennial Kingdom, which will immediately follow the tribulation. See Nicene Creeds of 325 and 381 A.D.: Şablon:Quotation (see Millennialism)[Rev. 20:4-6]
  • He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and he came to earth as a human. John 1:1-2,14a: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 14a And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 8:58: Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.

In the New Testament, Jesus often referred to himself as 'Son of Man'[Mk. 14:61-62] [Lk. 22:66-70] which Christianity interprets as a reference to Daniel 7:13-14 (KJV):

« "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."[Daniel 7:7,13] »</div>

Because Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and that he claimed to be the Son of Man referred to by Daniel, Christianity interprets Daniel 7:13-14 as a statement of the Messiah's authority and that the Messiah will have an everlasting kingdom. Jesus' use of this title is seen as a direct claim to be the Messiah.[16]

Some identified Jesus as the Messiah,[Mk. 8:29] his opponents accused him of such a claim,[Lk. 23:2] and he is recorded at least twice as asserting it himself directly.[Mk. 14:60-62] [Jn. 4:25-26]

Christianity interprets a wide range of biblical passages in the Old Testament (Hebrew scripture) as predicting the coming of the Messiah (see Christianity and Biblical prophecy for examples), and believes that they are following Jesus' own explicit teaching:

  • He said to them..."Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."[Lk. 24:25-27]
  • "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."[Lk. 24:45-47]
  • The book of Matthew repeatedly says, "This was to fulfill the prophecy…."

Christianity believes all of the Messianic prophecies concerning His first coming to earth were fulfilled in the mission, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and seeks to spread throughout the world its interpretation that the Messiah is the only Saviour, and that Jesus will return to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy in human form.

Islam Edit

The Qur'an states Jesus is the Messiah,[Qur'an 3:45] and Muslims believe Jesus is alive in Heaven and will return to Earth to defeat the Dajjal, or Antichrist.[17]

A hadith in Abu Dawud (Şablon:Three digit.sat.html#Şablon:Three digit.Şablon:Four digit 37:4310) says:

Narrated Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus. He will descend (to the earth). When you see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish hair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill the swine, and put an end to war (in another Tradition, there is the word Jizyah instead of Harb (war), meaning that he will abolish jizyah); God will perish all religions except Islam. He [Jesus] will destroy the Antichrist whom will live on the earth for forty days and then he will die. The Muslims will pray behind him.

Shia Muslims believe al-Mahdi will arrive first, and after him, Jesus. Jesus will proclaim that the true leader is al-Mahdi. A war, literally Jihad (Jihade Asghar) will be fought—the Dajjal (evil) against al-Mahdi and Jesus (good). This war will mark the approach of the coming of the Last Day. After Jesus slays al-Dajjāl at the Gate of Lud, Muslims believe he will marry and have children. During his life, he will have revealed that Islam is the last word of God.

A hadith in Sahih Bukhari (Sahih al-Bukhari, Şablon:Three digit.sbt.html#Şablon:Three digit.Şablon:Three digit.Şablon:Three digit 4:55:658) says:

Allah's Apostle said "How will you be when the son of Mary descends amongst you and your Imam is from amongst you."

Very few scholars outside of Orthodox Islam reject all the quotes (Hadith) attributed to Muhammad that mention the second return of Jesus, the Dajjal and Imam Mahdi, believing that they have no Qur'anic basis. However, the vast majority of Muslim scholars disagree with the implication of termination of Jesus’ life when he was allegedly crucified (for example Yusuf Ali’s translation reads: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself”). Verses Şablon:Quran-usc-range imply that Jesus was not killed physically but it appeared as such in some other sense; Verse [Qur'an 19:33] implies that Jesus will die someday. The vast majority of Muslims, and the unified opinion of Islam maintain that the bodily death of Jesus will happen after his second coming.[citation needed]

Many classical commentators such as Ibn Kathir, At-Tabari, al-Qurtubi, Suyuti, al-Undlusi (Bahr al-Muhit), Abu al-Fadl al-Alusi (Ruh al-Maani) clearly mention that verse [Qur'an 43:61] of the Qur'an refers to the descent of Jesus before the Day of Resurrection, indicating that Jesus would be the Sign that the Hour is close.

And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour)... [Qur'an 43:61]

Those that reject the second coming of Jesus argue that the knowledge of the Hour is only with God, and that the Hour will come suddenly. They maintain that if the second coming of Jesus were true, whenever it happens, billions of people would then be certain the Hour is about to come. The response given to this is that signs that the Last Hour is near have been foretold and given, including that of the second coming of Jesus, as signs indicating the Last Hour is near. They will not clarify when it is to come in any specific sense, and hence do not reveal it. Christianity avoids this conflict because Jesus is part of the Trinity of God (Father, Son (Jesus), Holy Spirit), and the second coming of Jesus signifies the beginning of the period of Tribulation.

Allama Iqbal while commenting on the second coming of Jesus said, "It is the basic idea of Magian religion, for it contains implicitly the conception of the world-historical struggle between Good and Evil, with the power of Evil prevailing in the middle period, and the Good finally triumphant on the Day of Judgement. If this view of the prophetic teaching is meant to apply to Islam it is obviously a misrepresentation. The point to note is that the Magian admitted the existence of false gods; only they did not turn to worship them. Islam denies the very existence of false gods."

Ahmadiyya Islam Edit

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