Two Jewish Mashiachs (Messiahs)
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this page do not represent our views. On this page, we are presenting the Jewish Apocalypse & Eschatology based on Jewish sources. We as Muslims recognize the original Torah and the Psalms as holy scriptures.
The Tanakh is the Jewish Bible and is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The word Tanakh is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah ("Teaching", also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")—hence TaNaKh. The name "Miqra", meaning "that which is read", is an alternative Hebrew term for the Tanakh. The meaning of the word Miqra is almost the same as Quran.
However, the Jews have several other religious books that they are follow. These books present opinions of Jewish Rabbis. These books include the Talmud, Zohar,etc.
The Talmud has two components: the Mishnah (c. 200 CE), the first written compendium of Judaism's Oral Law; and the Gemara (c. 500 CE), a discussion of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Tanakh. The terms Talmud and Gemara are often used interchangeably.
The Zohar (means Splendor or Radiance) is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical and esoteric thought known as Kabbalah. The Zohar is attributed to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in the 2nd century, but it was first published by a Jewish writer named Moses de Leon sometime around the 13th century. You can read the Zohar at: http://www2.kabbalah.com/k/index.php/p=zohar/zohar
Mashiach Ben Yossef
Jewish tradition speaks of two redeemers, each one called Mashiach (Messiah). Both are involved in ushering in the Messianic era. They are Mashiach ben David and Mashiach ben Yossef.
The term Mashiach unqualified always refers to Mashiach ben David (Mashiach the descendant of David) of the tribe of Judah. He is the actual (final) redeemer who shall rule in the Messianic age. All that was said in our text relates to him.
Mashiach ben Yossef (Mashiach the descendant of Joseph) of the tribe of Ephraim (son of Joseph), is also referred to as Mashiach ben Ephrayim, Mashiach the descendant of Ephraim. He will come first, before the final redeemer, and later will serve as his viceroy.
The essential task of Mashiach ben Yossef is to act as precursor to Mashiach ben David: he will prepare the world for the coming of the final redeemer. Different sources attribute to him different functions, some even charging him with tasks traditionally associated with Mashiach ben David (such as the ingathering of the exiles, the rebuilding of the Bet Hamikdash, and so forth).
The principal and final function ascribed to Mashiach ben Yossef is of political and military nature. He shall wage war against the forces of evil that oppress Israel. More specifically, he will do battle against Edom, the descendants of Esau. Edom is the comprehensive designation of the enemies of Israel and it will be crushed through the progeny of Joseph. Thus it was prophesied of old, "The House of Jacob will be a fire and the House of Joseph a flame, and the House of Esau for stubble.." (Obadiah 1:18): "the progeny of Esau shall be delivered only into the hands of the progeny of Joseph."
This ultimate confrontation between Joseph and Esau is alluded already in the very birth of Joseph when his mother Rachel exclaimed, "G-d has taken away my disgrace" (Genesis 30:23): with prophetic vision she foresaw that an "anointed savior" will descend from Joseph and that he will remove the disgrace of Israel. In this context, she called his name "Yossef, saying 'Yossef Hashem - may G-d add to me ben acher (lit., another son) - one who will be at the end of the world's time,' from which it follows that the 'meshu'ach milchamah - one anointed for battle' will descend from Joseph."
The immediate results of this war will be disastrous: Mashiach ben Yossef will be killed. This is described in the prophecy of Zechariah, who says of this tragedy that "they shall mourn him as one mourns for an only child." (Zechariah 12:10). His death will be followed by a period of great calamities. These new tribulations shall be the final test for Israel, and shortly thereafter Mashiach ben David shall come, avenge his death, resurrect him, and inaugurate the Messianic era of everlasting peace and bliss.
This, in brief, is the general perception of the "first Mashiach," the descendant of Joseph through the tribe of Ephraim.
Quite significantly, R. Saadiah Gaon (one of the few to elaborate on the role of Mashiach ben Yossef) notes that this sequence is not definite but contingent! Mashiach ben Yossef will not have to appear before Mashiach ben David, nor will the activities attributed to him or his death have to occur. All depends on the spiritual condition of the Jewish people at the time the redemption is to take place:
The essential function of Mashiach ben Yossef is to prepare Israel for the final redemption, to put them into the proper condition in order to clear the way for Mashiach ben David to come. Of that ultimate redemption it is said, that if Israel repent (return to G-d) they shall be redeemed immediately (even before the predetermined date for Mashiach's coming). If they will not repent and thus become dependent on the final date, "the Holy One, blessed be He, will set up a ruler over them, whose decrees shall be as cruel as Haman's, thus causing Israel to repent, and thereby bringing them back to the right path." In other words, if Israel shall return to G-d on their own and make themselves worthy of the redemption, there is no need for the trials and tribulations associated with the above account of events related to Mashiach ben Yossef. Mashiach ben David will come directly and redeem us.
Moreover, even if there be a need for the earlier appearance of Mashiach ben Yossef, the consequences need not be as severe as described. Our present prayers and meritorious actions can mitigate these. R. Isaac Luria (Ari-zal) notes that the descendant of Joseph, by being the precursor of the ultimate Mashiach, is in effect kissey David, the "seat" or "throne" of David, i.e., of Mashiach. Thus when praying in the daily Amidah, "speedily establish the throne of Your servant David," one should consider that this refers to Mashiach ben Yossef and beseech G-d that he should not die in the Messianic struggle. As all prayers, this one, too, will have its effect.
It follows, then, that all the above is not an essential or unavoidable part of the Messianic redemption that we await. Indeed, it - (and the same may be said of the climactic war of Gog and Magog) - may occur (or may have occurred already!) in modified fashion. This may explain why Rambam does not mention anything about Mashiach ben Yossef. R. Saadiah Gaon and R. Hai Gaon, as well as a good number of commentators, do refer to him briefly or at length. In view of the divergent Midrashim and interpretations on this subject, it is practically impossible to present a more definitive synopsis that would go far beyond the above. Thus it is wisest to cite and follow R. Chasdai Crescas who states that "no certain knowledge can be derived from the interpretations of the prophecies about Mashiach ben Yossef, nor from the statements about him by some of the Geonim;" there is no point, therefore, in elaborating on the subject.
Revelations about the End of Days
By Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok
According to Rabbi Isaac Luria (1534-1572 AD), known as Ari'zal, when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, he not only blemished himself, but he also blemished the six days of creation that preceded him. As he was responsible for their blemish so must he be responsible for their rectification.
The now six blemished days would be rectified in six thousand human years. One day being a thousand years, as the verse in Psalm 90 suggests.
At the end of six thousand years, the blemish would be rectified and mankind (Adam's offspring) would be restored to the Garden of Eden. This then is the proverbial coming of Mashiah, thus the significance of the Hebrew year 6,000. The Hebrew calendar, supposedly, starts with creation.
According to the correlation of each day being a thousand years, then 5,000 years would equal five days in the cosmic cycle. ½ day or twelve "cosmic hours" would be equal to 500 years.
According to this correlation, if 500 human years are 12 "cosmic hours," then each and every "cosmic hour" would be the equivalent to 41 human years and 8 human months. This becomes of significance when we recognize what is to come after the six thousand years. What comes is the cosmic Shabat, the holy time of rest. Yet, as the weekly Shabat fits into the human cycle, so can its lessons be applied to the cosmic cycle.
The radiance of holiness of the weekly Shabat can begin to be felt from the fifth hour on Friday. At this time, the radiance of Shabat begins to descend upon us from Heaven. At his hour, the pious begin their Shabat preparation.
In the cosmic scheme of things, the "cosmic Friday morning" began in the year 5,500 (1740). At the rate of 41 human years and 8 human months corresponding to a "cosmic hour," then the "cosmic fifth hour of cosmic Friday" would have occurred in the Hebrew year 5,708. This corresponds to 1948.
Therefore, according to the greater Kabbalistic cosmic cycle, the year of the founding of the modern State of Israel, 1948, corresponds to the beginning of the cosmic Shabat. Thus, the birth of the State of Israel is indeed the birth of the cosmic Shabat, the messianic era.
In the mid 1600's Rabbi Avraham Azulai, a master Kabbalist of both the Ari'zal and Prophetic schools wrote a book entitled "Hesed L'Avraham." Most of his teachings are Zoharic and Cordoveran in nature. One of these rare teachings originating from “Sefer Galya Raza” deals with the lengths of the days of our world and when the redemption is to occur. It was included in a mini-encyclopedia published in Izmir, Turkey entitled, "Midrash Talpiyot.” The following is from the Midrash Talpiyot version of the original Hesed L'Avraham text :
"The measure of the days of the world is the same as the measure of (the waters of) the Mikvah. A mikvah holds 40 seah (of water); each seah is 144 eggs. 40 x 144 equals 5,760. Thus, the length of days of this world shall be 5,760 years. Then shall the world be renewed. For as the mikvah purifies the unclean, at this time the Holy One, Blessed be He will remove the unclean spirit from the world, there will not be left any remnant or trace. But this is only the beginning of the redemption."
The year 5760 is so significant that there was an entire book written about it. The texts entitled, “Remezei Geulat Yisrael” outlines where the number 5760 is hinted to throughout the TaNaKh.
According to this obscure Kabbalistic teaching, the renewal of the world is to begin in the year 5,760. This is just short of 6,000 years and would seem to coincide with the Zoharic teaching recorded earlier (Zohar Hadash, Bereshit 21B). The Hebrew year 5,760 began on Shabat, September 11th 1999.
The specific hour of the "coming" of Mashiah does not appear to be known to anyone, even the Mashiah himself (Zohar 2, 9A). Nonetheless, the time of his arrival, in this the last quarter of the sixth millennia seems to have to do with a secret meaning associated with the Hebrew letter, Vav (Zohar 1, 119A).
In this section (1, 119A), the Zohar, in its typical obtuse style speaks about specific sets of years revolving around the secret of the (sixth letter of the Hebrew alef bet) Vav, which is said to correspond to the sixth millennium (from the Hebrew year 5,000) onward.
"In the year 66, King Mashiah will be revealed in the Galilee. . . . And all the nations shall gather against the daughter of Jacob to push her out of the world.” Zohar, 1, 119A
Probably the best collection of messianic midrashim is a recently published Hebrew work entitled, "Otzrot Aharit HaYamim" by Rabbi Yehudah Chayoun (Benei Brak, 1993). This text brings together well known messianic material alongside much that is not so well known. This text has even been condensed and translated into English under the title' "When Mashiah Comes" published by Targum Press (NY, 1994).
Traditionally, midrashic literature (found in Rabbi Chayoun's work) relates that Mashiah ben Yosef is to arise only after all the nations of the World have been defeated in a horrible World war by Edom-Rome (i.e., the Western powers, possibly with the U.S. at their head). The new leader of the "New World Order" is said to be "Armilus" who in one midrash, (Milkhamot Melekh HaMashiah), is actually referred to by the Christian term, "anti-Christ."
After subduing the world, Armilus will turn his attentions towards Israel. He is to approach Mashiah ben Yosef and demand of him that all Jews convert and accept him (Armilus) as our long expected Mashiah.
Mashiah ben Yosef of course will refuse. A great war is to break out, where Mashiah Ben Yosef is to be killed by Armilus, the children of Israel are to be persecuted and cast out of all civilized areas of the world.
Only after a period of hardships is the Mashiah ben David to appear out of the sky with an army of angels. He will destroy Armilus and usher in the messianic era. This is in brief the traditional messianic scenario.
There is, however, one slight problem. The Zohar has a different reading of events than the traditional midrashic story. According to the Zohar (3, 166A), indeed there will be a great war between Persia (Iran) and the West. According to the "Matok M'Devash" commentary to this section of Zohar, the Western powers are supposed to fall, not to Persia, but to Mashiah ben Yosef.
Only after the defeat of West by Mashiah ben Yosef, does Persia then attack Yisrael. The "King of Persia" is then said to kill Mashiah ben Yosef and to proceed to rule over Eretz Yisrael (Israel) for a full year, killing countless numbers of Jews at this time.
Only after a full year is Mashiah ben David to be revealed with an army of angels. He will come and kill the King of Persia and then establish the messianic kingdom.
Zohar Volume III Shlach Lecha 166a
The King of Persia will rule and will conquer many kingdoms. He will rule over the Holy Land for twelve months. He will rule and kill many (including Moshiach ben Yosef) and afterwards the King (of Persia) will fall and the high holy ones (Israel) will receive the kingship."
The Zohar and Midrash say that Gog & Magog will begin with Persia. The Zohar says: you should know that Paras (Persia) is destined to go to Israel, approximately 45 kilometers from Jerusalem (according to the calculation of Parsa'ot of the Zohar). R' Shimon Bar Yohai says: Do you know where that is? That's the area of Dimona - in the area of the atomic furnace?, and the Zohar says (Persia) will wage a 12-month long great war, so much so, that even Mashiah Ben Yosef will be killed (in that war).
Zohar, Volume 1, Va'Era, p. 32a
Rabbi Jose and Rabbi Hiya were walking together. Said Rabbi Jose to Rabbi Hiya: “Why are you silent? Without talking words of Torah our walk has no value” Rabbi Hiya burst into tears and said: It is written “Sarai was barren, She had no child” (Bereshit 11,30), Woe, Woe for the time when Hagar begot Ishmael! … Through his circumcision (done when he was 13 years old) Ishmael entered into the holy covenant before Isaac was born… Woe, Woe that Ishmael was born into the world and was circumcised! What did The Holy One do about it? He banished the children of Ishmael from the heavenly communion and gave them instead a portion here in the Holy Land, in the merit of their circumcision.
And they are destined to rule over the land so long as it is empty, just as their form of circumcision is empty and imperfect; and They will prevent Israel from returning to their own land until that privilege of the Ishmaelites will expire.
In the future, the children of Ishmael will stir great wars in the world. And the children of Edom (Europe & the U.S.) will gather against them, and make war with them, one on the sea, and one on the land, and one by Jerusalem; and each one will prevail over the other, but the Holy Land will not fall to the hands of Edom.
At the same time, a nation from the end of the world will be awakened against wicked City (i.e. Rome or European City). And it will make war against her for three months, and many nations will gather there, and they will fall by her hand, until all the children of Edom will gather against her from all corners of the Earth. And then G-d will awaken Himself against them, as it says, a 'a sacrificial slaughter for the Lord in Bossrah', and it says, 'to shake the corners of the Land'. And after this, the children of Ishmael will be wiped out from the Holy Land. And all the supernal powers of the nations will be broken, and no power will remain above except for the power of Israel alone.
Rabbi Chaim Vital
Rabbi Chaim Vital, the student of the Holy ARI, in the book Etz daat Tov, writes that the Jews have been in four exiles and at the very end of time, there will be a fifth and last exile which is called The exile of Ishmael (Ishmael literally means G-d will hear), which will be the most terrible and difficult of all, and because of the many afflictions the Jews will suffer, they will cry to G-d and He will hear their prayers.
Zohar Volume 3 Vaera 34 Signs Heralding Mashiach
476. Rabbi Shimon opened the discourse with the verse: "And I will remember my covenant with Ya'akov" (Vayikra 26:42). The name Ya'akov is written in full; it includes the (the 6th Hebrew letter) Vav. He asks: Why? and he answers: It appears from two sides. The first is the secret of Wisdom, namely the (the 6th Hebrew letter) Vav, which is the secret of the grade of Chochmah where Ya'akov dwells. The second is because this passage refers to the exile of the children of Yisrael. While in captivity, they will be visited (also: 'redeemed') by the power of the (the 6th Hebrew letter) Vav, which symbolizes the sixth millenium. Through the letter Vav, their exile is ended. This is why Ya'akov is spelled with VAV. The Children of Yisrael shall be redeemed from exile by the (the 6th Hebrew letter) Vav, which represents the Sixth Millennium.
477. And the visitation, according to the secret of the (the 6th Hebrew letter) Vav, occurs at six and one half moments. After the sixtieth year to the "bar on the door" of the sixth millenium--the Vav, namely Tiferet, which is the secret of the middle bar (of the Tabernacle) that runs through the boards from one end to the other, and is therefore described as the "Bar of the Door"-shall Elohim (God) of heaven visit the "Daughter of Ya'akov." And after six and a half years have passed, she shall be remembered. This is the duration of the visit. And from that time, another six years shall pass, which is the duration of the remembrance. This totals 72 and a half years.
478. In the year 66, the King Messiah will appear in the land of Galilee and is called Messiah ben Joseph. He will therefore appear in the Galilee, in the possession of Joseph. A star from the East will swallow up seven stars from the North, and a flame of black fire will be suspended from the heavens for sixty days. Wars will be begun in the world from the North and two kings will fall in these wars.
479. And all the nations will be united against the daughters of Jacob, in order to drive her out of this world. And of that time it is written: "And it is a time of trouble for Jacob, but out of it he shall be saved." (Yirmeyah 30:7). Then all the souls shall be gone from the body; they will have to come back and be renewed. And your proof is the verse: "All the souls of the house of Jacob that cam into Egypt...were 66." (Beresheet 46:26)
480. In the 73rd year, that is, seven years after the Messiah ben Joseph was revealed, all the kings of the world shall assemble in the city of Rome. And the Holy One, blessed be He. will shower fire and hail and meteoric stones upon them, until they are wiped out from the world. And only those kings who did not go to Rome will remain in the world. And they shall return and wage other wars. During this time, the King Messiah will declare himself throughout the whole world. and many nations will gather around him, together with many armies from all comers of the world. And all the children of Yisrael will be gathered together from all their places.
481. When the century is completed. the (the 6th Hebrew letter) Vav will join the (the 5th Hebrew letter) Hei. And "they shall bring all your brethren out of all the nations for an offering to Hashem (God)" (Yeshayah 66:20). This is when they shall be gathered from the Diaspora. The children of Ishmael - who are the head (leaders) of the forces of the Klipah from the Right, as Rome is for the Left - shall join together at that time with all the nations of the world who have not gone to Rome and come to Jerusalem to wage war, as it is written: "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle" (Zecharyah 14:2): "The kings of the Earth stand up and the rulers take counsel together against Hashem (God) and against his anointed" (Tehilim 2:2); and, "he that sits in heaven laughs, Hashem (God) has them in derision." (Tehilim 2:4)
482. After all the forces of the other side, the right and the left, are wiped out of the World, the small Vav which is Yesod of Zeir Anpin will join the Hei and renew old souls- namely all the souls that were in a body since the creation of the World, in order to renew the World, which is malcut. As it is written: "let Hashem (God) rejoice in His works." and: "May the glory of Hashem (God) endure forever" (Tehilim 104:31) which means that in order for the (the 5th Hebrew letter) Hei to join the (the 6th Hebrew letter) Vav properly. "let Hashem rejoice in His works." Let him bring His works down, referring to the renewed souls, into the world, so they all become new creatures and all the worlds are united.
483. Happy are
all those who shall remain in the world at the end of the sixth millennium and
enter the Shabbat which is the seventh Millennium - because that is a "day" for
Hashem (God) alone to join the
5th Hebrew letter)
Hei properly, and cull new souls in order
to bring them into the world. This refers to the souls that have not yet come
into the World , together with the renewed souls that have been there from the
beginning, as it is written: "And it shall come to pass. that he that is left in
Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy. everyone that is
written for life in Jerusalem. (Yeshayah 4:3)
ZOHAR Shemot 9b
Two Messiahs in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Two Messiahs are mentioned in the Community Rule, the Charter of a Jewish Sectarian Association (1QS), one of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Here is the quote: “They shall govern themselves using the original precepts by which the men of the Yachad [Unity/Community] were first instructed, doing so until there come the Prophet and the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel.” (9:1011)
A similar statement appears in the Damascus Document (another one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but also found in Egypt in the 19th century). “This is the rule for those who live in camps, who live by these rules in the era of wickedness, until the appearance of the Messiah of Aaron and of Israel.” (12.2313.1).
And this is the exposition of the regulations by which they shall be governed until the appearance of the Messiah of Aaron and of Israel, so that their iniquity may be atoned for. (14.1819).
We see either two Messiahs (or one with a dual role); one of Aaron (kohen), and one of Israel, i.e. David.
Bernard Mandelbaum's Pesikta de Rav Kahana
In Pesikta de Rav Kahana by Bernard Mandelbaum, 1962 as quoted in “The Jewish Tradition of Two Messiahs,” a publication of RBC Ministries, , we read:
“My beloved is like a gazelle” (Song 2:9). Rabbi Yitzhaq said, “Just as this gazelle can be seen and then again hides itself, so the first Messiah [Moses] revealed himself to the Children of Israel and then again hid himself from them.”
The Secret Doctrine of the Gaon of Vilna, Mashiach ben Yoseph & the Messianic Role of Torah, Kabbalah and Science
Rabbi Joel David Bakst , an orthodox Rabbi discusses the subject in detail in his 2008 book entitled, “The Secret Doctrine of the Gaon of Vilna, Mashiach ben Yoseph & the Messianic Role of Torah, Kabbalah and Science” . Here are some excerpts which are not too difficult to comprehend:
“The one theme that runs throughout the entirety of Kol HaTor, as well as in the Gaon’s school of Kabbalah, is a concept known as Mashiach ben Yoseph (Messiah son of Joseph). Although foreign to the vast majority of people—Jewish or not (including scholars)—this concept is axiomatic to a deeper understanding of the history and destiny of mankind and especially to the Jewish Nation. Yet, this foundation principle has remained strangely hidden from the world—even the orthodox Torah world.”
“Hiddenness and unrecognizability are part of the essence of Mashiach ben Yoseph. He is the master of the art of disguise. This is also the Torah’s intention in the verse: ‘Yoseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him’ (Genesis 42:8).”
“What makes Mashiach ben Yoseph such a complex subject is that it is only one half of a larger picture. The other half, which is more familiar to everyone, is known as Mashiach ben David, the King Messiah, or simply the Messiah. Mashiach ben Yoseph can only be understood together with its complementary force of Mashiach ben David. It is the symbiotic union—or antagonism—between these two cosmological forces that forms the hidden landscape upon which the drama of the entirety of the world history unfolds.”
“These two ‘messianic’ forces were in existence potentially and manifestly not only before the historical Yoseph, viceroy of Egypt, and King David, but even before creation. Rather, Yoseph and David are specific constellations of the forces of the Trein M’shechin incarnating, as it were, in historical time and space. The historical Yoseph and David then reciprocally become prototypes for the Trein M’shechin from whence we derive many of the subtle yet crucial details of the phenomenon of the Trein M’shechin.”
“What is the purpose of a Mashiach? The Mashiach is an individual who is responsible for, and who, either overtly, or covertly, spearheads a collective process of tikkun. Tikkun is perhaps the single most important concept in all of Judaism. The word tikkun means ‘rectification’ or ‘mending.’ In the Kabbalah, tikkun also refers to a process of ‘elevation’ and ‘transformation.’ Whereas the second definition implies taking something that is already complete into a more refined state, the first definition implies that something has broken, or become torn, and the immediate goal is only to return it to its original state of completion. These are the processes, or modes, of tikkun.”
“The one who performs that act of restoration is said to be its redeemer (goel), which is another quality and name for messiah. Therefore, the Messiah is simply the one who is responsible for the restoration—the tikkun—and the redemption of creation.”
“The one who performs that act of transformation is said to be its redeemer, for he has released it from the bondage of its static level of completion. This type of redeemer is also a messiah.”
“These two modes of tikkun are referred to in Torah literature as the Trein M’shechin—the Two Messiahs.”
“In general, the redeemer, whose mission is fundamentally one of restoration and purification, is known as Mashiach ben Yoseph. The redeemer, whose mission is fundamentally one of elevation and transformation, is known as Mashiach ben David.”
“The statement that there are two distinct modes and periods for each of the Trein M’shechin must now be qualified. In truth, there is much overlapping between the two. The ben David mode is always present in the immediate background of the ben Yoseph mode and vice versa.”
Quoting from a Rabbi Hillel Rivlin, we read, “the ingathering of the exiles, via the awakening from below, comes through a process of reclamation and redemption. This follows from the verse, ‘God’s Redeemed will return and they will come singing to Zion, they shall obtain joy and happiness’ (Isaiah 35:10 and 51:11).
This redemption will take place under the leadership of Mashiach ben Yoseph. It will involve a redemption from bodily subjugation and redemption from the subjugation of the soul. ‘God’s redeemed [plural] will return’ implies this twofold process: ‘They will return to Zion’ in body [i.e., the material body of Israel], and ‘they will come singing to Zion’ [i.e., the religious spirit of Israel]. They will then [both] return in teshuvah (repentance). This is implied in the continuation of the verse, ‘They shall attain joy and happiness.’”
Continuing on in the writings of this Rabbi, we read: “all activities and all efforts—in all their particulars, down to the most minute details—that are directed to the ingathering of the exiles, the building of Jerusalem, the expansion and resettlement of the Land of Israel, and the return of the Shechinah (Divine Presence), are dependent upon the mission and destiny of the Messiah of the Beginning, the first Messiah—Mashiach ben Yoseph. He is the supranatural force that aids every activity, which is ‘aroused from below,’ through the natural occurring process.
In this sense, Mashiach ben Yoseph is that aspect of redemption that manifests ‘from the earth’ [i.e., from below], and Mashiach ben David is that aspect of redemption that manifests ‘from the heavens’ [i.e., from above]. In other sense, Mashiach ben Yoseph himself contains both of these manifestations. As the son of Rachel, he manifests ‘from the earth.’ As the son of Jacob, he manifests ‘from the heavens.’
R. Bakst continues: “In other words, any human labor and pursuit involving the ingathering of the exiled of Israel, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the expansion and resettlement of the Land of Israel although appearing on the surface as part of a natural ‘man made’ process—is, in truth, being directed by a supranatural providential force—Mashiach ben Yoseph.”
“The Trein M’shechin are two sides of one cosmic coin. Only because the natural process of Mashiach ben Yoseph—the ‘arousal from below’— chronologically precedes that of the supranatural process of Mashiach ben David—the reciprocal ‘arousal from above’—is Mashiach ben Yoseph known as the first Messiah and Mashiach ben David as the last Messiah. In the end, however, both of the messiahs are united together by a power that is even greater than both.”
How the Mashiach will appear (from the Zohar Shemot 7a)
R. Shimon lifted up his hands and wept. 'Woe,' he said, 'to him who will live at that time! Yet fortunate he who will live at that time! When the Holy One comes to visit the "Hind" (Israel), he will examine who it is that remains loyal to her at that time, and then woe to him who shall not be found worthy, and of whom it shall be said, "I looked and there was none to help" (Isa. 22, 23)- Many sufferings shall then befall Israel. But happy he who will be found faithful at that time! For he shall see the joy giving light of the King. Concerning that time it is proclaimed: "I will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried" (Zech. 13, 9). Then shall pangs and travail overtake Israel, and all nations and their kings shall furiously rage together and take counsel against her. Thereupon a pillar of fire will be suspended from heaven to earth for forty days, visible to all nations. Then the Mashiach will arise from the Garden of Eden, from that place which is called "The Bird's Nest". He will arise in the land of Galilee, and on that day the whole world shall be shaken and all the children of men shall seek refuge in eaves and rocky places. Concerning that time it is written: "And they shall go into the holes of the rocks and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord and for the glory of his majesty, when he arises to shake terribly the earth" (Isa. 2,19). "The glory of his majesty" refers to the Mashiach when he shall reveal himself in the land of Galilee; for in this part of the Holy Land, the exile first began, and therefore he will manifest himself there first, and from there begin to war against the world.
After the forty days, during which the pillar shall have stood between heaven and earth before the eyes of the whole world, and the Mashiach shall have manifested himself, a star shall come forth from the East variegated in hue and shining brilliantly, and seven other stars shall surround it, and make war on it from all sides, three times a day for seventy days, before the eyes of the whole world. The one star shall fight against the seven with rays of fire flashing on every side, and it shall smite them until they are extinguished, evening after evening. But in the day, they will appear again and fight before the eyes of the whole world, seventy days long. After the seventy days, the one star shall vanish.
Also the Mashiach shall be hidden for twelve months in the pillar of fire, which shall return again, although it shall not be visible. After the twelve months, the Mashiach will be carried up to heaven in that pillar of fire and receive there power and dominion and the royal crown. When he descends, the pillar of fire will again be visible to the eyes of the world, and the Mashiach will reveal himself, and mighty nations will gather round him, and he shall declare war against all the world.
At that time, the Holy One shall show forth his power before all the nations of the earth, and the Mashiach shall be manifested throughout the whole universe, and all the kings will unite to fight against him, and even in Israel, there will he found some wicked ones who shall join them in the fight against the Mashiach.
Then, there will be darkness over all the world, and for fifteen days shall it continue, and many in Israel shall perish in that darkness. Concerning this darkness, it is written: "Behold, darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the peoples" (Isa. 60, 2).' R. Shimon then discoursed on the verse: "If a bird's nest chance to be before you in the way in any tree, or on the ground, young ones or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young ... You shall in no way let the dam go" (Deut. 22, 6-7). 'This passage', he said, 'we interpret as an esoteric commandment in the Law, containing mysteries of doctrine, paths and ways known to the Fellowship and belonging to the thirty-two paths of the Torah.'
Then, turning to R. Eleazar, his son, he said: 'At the time when the Mashiach shall arise, there will be great wonders in the world. See now, in the lower Paradise, there is a secret and unknown spot, broidered with many colors, in which a thousand palaces of longing are concealed. No one may enter it, except the Mashiach, whose abode is in Paradise. The Garden is encompassed with multitudes of saints who look to the Mashiach as their leader, along with many hosts and bands of the souls of the righteous there. On New Moons, festivals, and Shabbats, he enters that place, in order to find joyous delight in those secret palaces.
Behind those palaces there is another place, entirely hidden and undiscoverable. It is called "Eden", and no one may enter to behold it. Now, the Mashiach is hidden in its outskirts until a place is revealed to him which is called "the Bird's Nest". This is the place proclaimed by that Bird (the Shechinah) which flies about the Garden of Eden every day. In that place, the effigies are woven of all the nations who band together against Israel. The Mashiach enters that abode, lifts up his eyes and beholds the Father (Patriarchs) visiting the ruins of G-d's Sanctuary.
He perceives mother Rachel, with tears upon her face; the Holy One, blessed be He, tries to comfort her, but she refuses to be comforted (Jer. 31, 14)- Then, the Mashiach lifts up his voice and weeps, and the whole Garden of Eden quakes, and all the righteous and saints who are there break out in crying and lamentation with him. When the crying and weeping resound for the second time, the whole firmament above the Garden begins to shake, and the cry echoes from five hundred myriads of supernal hosts, until it reaches the highest Throne. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, beckons to that "Bird", which then enters its nest and comes to the Mashiach, and flits about, uttering strange cries. Then from the holy Throne the Bird's Nest and the Mashiach are summoned three times, and they both ascend into the heavenly places, and the Holy One swears to them to destroy the wicked kingdom (Rome) by the hand of the Mashiach, to avenge Israel, and to give her all the good things which he has promised her. Then the Bird returns to her place. The Mashiach, however, is hidden again in the same place as before.
'At the time, when the Holy One shall arise to renew all worlds, and the letters of his Name shall shine in perfect union, the Yod with the (the 5th Hebrew letter) Hei, and the Hei with the (the 6th Hebrew letter) Vav, a mighty Star will appear in the heavens of purple hue, which by day shall flame before the eyes of the whole world, filling the firmament with its light.
And at that time, shall a flame issue in the heavens from the north; and flame and star shall so face each other for forty days, and all men will marvel and be afraid.
And when forty days, shall have passed, the star and the flame shall war together in the sight of all, and the flame shall spread across the skies from the north, striving to overcome the star, and the rulers and peoples of the earth shall behold it with terror, and there will be confusion among them. But the star will remove to the south and vanquish the flame, and the flame shall daily be diminished until it be no more seen.
Then shall the star cleave for itself bright paths in twelve directions which shall remain luminous in the skies for the term of twelve days.
After a further twelve days, trembling will seize the world, and at midday, the sun will be darkened as it was darkened on the day when the holy Temple was destroyed, so that heaven and earth shall not be seen.
Then out of the midst of thunder and lightning shall a voice be heard, causing the earth to quake and many hosts and principalities to perish. On the same day, when that voice is heard throughout the world, a flame of fire shall appear burning in Great Rome; it will consume many turrets and towers, and many are the great and mighty who shall perish then.
All shall gather against her to destroy her, and no one will have hope to escape. From that day on, for twelve months, all the kings (of the world) will take counsel together and make many decrees to destroy Israel; and they shall prosper against him, as has been said. Blessed is he who shall live in that time, and blessed is he who shall not live in that time! And the whole world then will be in confusion.
At the end of the twelve months, the "scepter of Judah", namely the Mashiach, will arise, appearing from Paradise, and all the righteous will surround him and gird him with weapons of war on which are inscribed the letters of the Holy Name (Tetragrammaton).
Then, a voice will burst forth from the branches of the trees of Paradise: "Arise, O you saints from above, and stand you before the Mashiach For the time has come for the Hind (Israel) to be united with her Spouse, and he must avenge her on the world and raise her from the dust".
And all the saints from above will arise and gird the Mashiach with weapons of war, Abraham at his right, Isaac at his left, Jacob in front of him, while Moses, the "faithful shepherd" of all these saints, shall dance at the head of them in Paradise. As soon as the Mashiach has been installed by the saints in Paradise, he will enter again the place which is called "the Bird's Nest", there to behold the picture of the destruction of the Temple, and of all the saints who were done to death there.
Then, will he take from that place ten garments, the garments of holy zeal, and hide himself there for forty days, and no one shall be able to see him. At the end of those forty days, a voice shall be heard from the highest throne calling the Bird's Nest and the Mashiach who shall be hidden there. Thereupon, he shall be carried aloft, and when the Holy One, blessed be He, shall behold the Mashiach adorned with the garments of holy zeal and girded with weapons of war, he will take him and kiss him upon his brow.
At that moment, three hundred and ninety Armaments shall begin to shake. The Holy One shall command one of these Armaments, which has been kept in waiting since the six days of creation, to approach, and He shall take out from a certain temple in it a crown inscribed with holy names. It was with this crown that the Holy One adorned Himself when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and He avenged Himself on all the chariots of Pharaoh and his horsemen. With this same crown will He crown King Mashiach.
As soon as he is crowned, the Holy One will take him and kiss him as before. All the holy multitude and the whole holy army will surround him and will bestow upon him many wonderful gifts, and he will be adorned by them all. Then, will he enter into one of the temples and behold there all the upper angels, who are called "the mourners of Zion" because they continually weep over the destruction of the Holy Temple.
These angels shall give him a robe of deep red in order that he may commence his work of revenge. The Holy One will again hide him in the "Bird's Nest" and he will remain there for thirty days. After the thirty days, he will again be decked with those adornments from above and from below, and many holy beings will surround him.
The whole world then shall see a light extending from the firmament to the earth, and continuing for seven days, and they will be amazed and not comprehend: only the wise will understand, they who are adepts in the mystic lore, blessed is their portion. All through the seven days, the Mashiach shall be crowned on earth. Where shall this be? "By the way", to wit, Rachel's grave, which is on the crossroad. To mother Rachel, he will give glad tidings and comfort her, and now she will let herself be comforted, and will rise and kiss him.
The light will then move from that place and shall Stand over Jericho, the city of trees, and the Mashiach will be hidden in the light of the "Bird's Nest" for twelve months. After the twelve months, that light will stand between heaven and earth in the land of Galilee, where Israel's captivity began, and there will he reveal himself from the light of the "Bird's Nest", and return to his place.
On that day, the whole earth will be shaken from one end to the other, and thus the whole world will know that the Mashiach has revealed himself in the land of Galilee. And all who are diligent in the study of the Torah-and there shall be few such in the world-will gather round him.
His army will gain in strength through the merit of little infants at school, symbolized by the word ephroah "young bird" (cf. Deut. 22, 6). And if such will not be found at that time it will be through the merit of the sucklings, "the eggs" (Ibid.), "those that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts" (Isa. 22, 9), for whose sake the Shechinah dwells in the midst of Israel in exile, as indeed there will be few sages at that time. This is the implication of the words "And the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs", which, allegorically interpreted, means that it does not depend upon the Mother to free them from exile, but upon the Supreme King; for it is the young ones and the sucklings that will give strength to the Mashiach, and then the Supernal Mother, which "sits upon them", will be stirred up towards Her Spouse.
He will tarry for twelve months longer, and then he will appear and raise her from the dust: "I will raise up on that day the tabernacle of David that is fallen" (Amos 9, II). On that day, the Mashiach will begin to gather the captives from one end of the world to the other: "If any of you be driven out unto the utmost parts of heaven, from there will the Lord your G-d gather you" (Deut. 30, 4)- From that day on, the Holy One will perform for Israel all the signs and wonders which He performed for them in Egypt: "As in the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt, will I show unto him wonders" (Micah 7).' Then said R. Shimon: 'Eleazar, my son! You can find all this in the mystery of the thirty two paths of the Holy Name. Before these wonders have taken place in the world, the mystery of the Holy Name will not be manifested in perfection and love will not be awakened: "You daughters of Jerusalem, I adjure you by the gazelles and by the hinds of the field, that you stir not up, nor awake the love until she pleases" (Cant 11, 7). The "gazelles" (Zebaoth) symbolize the king, who is called Zebaoth; the "hinds" represent those other principalities and powers from below; "that ye stir not up, etc." refers to the "Right Hand" of the Holy One, called "Love"; "until she pleases", namely She (the Shechinah) who ties at present in the dust and in whom the King is well pleased.
Rabbi Levi said (TANCHUMA, EMOR, 13):
There will be a period of about seven years of terrible famines and other troubles. The land of Israel will at that time be under Non-Jewish control, and a leader of the tribe of Ephraim, will arise to lead militarily against these nations who control Jerusalem. He will be successful, but after his initial victory, he will die in battle. This will cause a great mourning and many will lose faith.
The mission and role of the first mashiach, Mashiach ben Yosef: He is the miraculous power who will assist every act done when the awakening starts from below, in a natural manner, because he comes from the earth.
Mashiach ben David, however, will come from Heaven as revealed by the different aspects of Rachel and Leah, and as known regarding the footsteps of the Mashiach and the revealed end.
Mashiach ben Yosef himself is a composite of two aspects: on the one hand, he is Yosef the son of Rachel of the land; on the other hand, he is Yosef son of Jacob from Heaven. (Kol HaTor)
The general mission of Moshiach Ben Yosef is threefold:
(a) revelation of the mysteries of Torah,
(b) ingathering of the exiles, and
(c) removal of the impure spirit from the land.
Ingathering of the exiles encompasses three tasks: building Jerusalem, gathering
in the exiles, and fulfilling the commandments dependent upon the Land. All
these are alluded to in the following possukim: "Who will ascend the mountain
of the Lord? " (Tehillim 24:3), referring to the ingathering of exiles (the
head-letters of which — mem-bais-yud — are the initials of ‘Moshiach Ben Yosef’);
"Who will stand up in the place of His sanctuary" (Ibid.), referring to building
(the head-letters of which — mem-yud-bais — are the initials of ‘Moshiach Ben
Yosef’); "He will receive a blessing from the Lord" (Tehillim 24:5), refers to
something that carries with it a blessing, such as planting (the head-letters of
which — yud-bais-mem — are the initials of ‘Moshiach Ben Yosef’). (Kol HaTor,
The fight of the Moshiachs against the EREV
The specific role of Moshiach Ben Yosef
is against Eisav (Esau) who is the k'lipah of the left, the main purpose of
Moshiach Ben Dovid is against Yishmael (Ishmael), the k'lipah of the right, and
together they go against Eisav and Yishmael who are the ox and the donkey from
the side of impurity. The joining of Eisav and Yishmael is the result of
Armelius, the Czar of the Erev Rav, who are able to destroy Israel and the entire
world, may G-d have mercy. The main drive of the Erev Rav is to unify Eisav and
Yishmael and to separate the two moshiachs.
Calculating the date of Mashiach's
Arrogance is a form of idolatry
THE ARROGANT MAN COMMITS IDOLATRY Not for nothing it is written in the Talmud which is the Book of Oral Law put into writing one thousand five hundred years ago: “Rabbi Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai: An arrogant person is as if he worships idols, for it is written, “Every haughty person is an abomination to G-d” (Proverbs 16:5), and it is also written, “Do not bring any abomination (idolatry) into your house” (Deuteronomy 7:26). Rabbi Yochanan said himself: The arrogant person is as if he reneged on the oneness of G-d, as it is written: “Lest your heart grows proud and you forget G-d your Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:14).
PASSAGE FROM THE ZOHAR (II, 58)
“Rabbi Ytzchak said: In the future seventy princes from all over the world will unite with the masses to attack Jerusalem and plot against G-d. They will plan to battle Him, then fight over His people and Temple. However, “He who sits in heaven laughs, The Lord will mock them” (Psalms 2:4). In His glory, G-d will wipe them from the face of the earth.
Rabbi Abba said in the name of Rabbi Yisa Sabba, and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai also said: In the future, G-d will revive (reincarnate) and reinstate all the kings who oppressed the Jewish people and ruled Jerusalem: Adrianus, Lupinus, Nevuchadnezzar, Sancheriv, and all the others who destroyed His house. They will unite with other nations. The Lord will announce: “And this will be the plague with which G-d will smite all the nations that mobilized against Jerusalem…” (Zechariah 14:12).”
FROM MISHNE TORAH authored by RAMBAM (1135 - 1204 AD) Chapter 11
1. In future time, the King Mashiach will arise and renew the Davidic dynasty, restoring it to its former glory. He will rebuild the Temple and gather in the dispersed remnant of Israel. Then, in his days, all the statutes will be reinstated as in former times. We will offer sacrifices and observe the Sabbatical and Jubilee years according to all their particulars set forth in the Torah.
“Zeiri said in the name of Rabbi Chanina: “The son of David will not come until the arrogant are eliminated from Israel” “You will arise and have mercy on Zion for it is time to favor her, for the time has come” (Psalms 102:14)
Rabbi Yochanan said: Jerusalem will become a capital for all countries and draw them toward her like a river in her house (Shir Ha Shirim rabba 1:37)
The Lord's revenge against Gog & Magog
And it shall come to pass, on that day, when Gog shall come against the Land of Israel, says the Lord G-d, that my fury shall glare out. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my anger I have spoken saying, Surely in that day, there will be a great quake in the land of Israel, and the fishes of the sea, and the birds of the sky, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep on the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him upon all my mountains, says the Lord G-d. Every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will contend with him by pestilence and by blood; and I will rain down upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many peoples that are with him, a torrential rain and great hailstones, fire and brimstone. Thus I will magnify and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord. And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus says The Lord G-d; Behold I am against you, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tuval; and I will turn you about, and entice you, and I will cause you to come up from the far sides of the north, and I will bring you against the mountains of Israel; and I will smite your bow out of your left hand, and I will cause your arrow to fall out of your right hand. You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your bands, and the peoples that are with you; I will give you to the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the fields to be devoured. You shall fall in the open field. For I have spoken it, says the Lord G-d. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell securely in the coastlands, and they shall know that I am the Lord. So I will make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not allow my name to be profaned anymore, and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.
The Big Day of the Lord
Behold it comes and will be accomplished, says The Lord G-d; this is the day of which I have spoken. And they that dwell in the cities of Israel, shall go forth and shall set fire to the weapons, and burn both shield and buckler, bow and arrows, and the staves and the spears, and they shall make fire with them for seven years. So that they shall take no wood out of the field, nor cut down any of the forests, for they shall make fire with the weapons, and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, says The Lord G-d. And it shall come to pass, on that day, that I will give to Gog a burial place in Israel, in the valley of those that travel to the east of the sea. And it shall block the path to the travelers, and there shall they bury Gog and his entire multitude. And they shall call it the valley of Hamon Gog (the multitude of Gog). And for seven months shall the House of Israel bury them, that they may cleanse the land. And all the people of the land shall bury them, and it shall be a praise for them on the day that I shall be glorified, says The Lord G-d. and officers shall dispatch men to range the land and with rangers they shall bury those that remain above the earth to cleanse it. After the end of seven months, they will make their search. And the rangers that pass through the land, when they see a human bone, then shall they set up a sign by it, until the buriers have buried the bone in the valley of Hamon Gog. And also the name of the city shall be Hamona, and in this way shall the land be cleansed.
Rabbi Abba (from Zohar, Emor 89)
Zohar, Volume 1 Beresheet A, 21. Moshe and the two Messiahs
243. As soon as MOSHE (Moses) appears at the End of Times, He will plant the children of Yisrael in the holy Garden of Eden, as it is written: "And Hashem Elohim", Aba and Ima, "planted a garden", the lower Shechinah, "in Eden", the supernal Ima. "And there he put the man", the Central Column, YISRAEL. Then THE SHECHINAH will become His planting, His female counterpart and shall never leave his side. She will be his delight FOREVER. And the Holy One, blessed be He, planted Yisrael at that time to be a sacred plant in the world. THIS MEANS THAT WHEN YISRAEL RECEIVE THEIR MOCHIN, THEY SHALL BECOME A SACRED PLANT IN THE WORLD, as it is written: "The branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified" (Yeshayah 60:21).
Zohar Volume 10: Misphatim, Section 18: Two Messiahs
For more information, download the following booklets: