I Came Not to Send Peace, But a Sword:
The Footsteps of Messiah
James Scott Trimm
When I present Messiah to my Rabbinic friends, they often respond by saying that Messiah is supposed to bring peace on earth, but that Yeshua himself said he came bot to bring peace, but a sword.
The passage to which they refer is Mattew 10:34-36 (though most do not actually know to which verses they refer) where Yeshua quotes Micah 7:6 saying:
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.(Micah 7:6)
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
(Matt. 10:34-36 KJV)
The truth is that the Talmud also applies this very same verse (Micah 7:6) to the Messiah. In tractate Sanhedrin we read:
It has been taught: R. Nehorai said: in the generation when Messiah comes, young men will insult the old, and old men will stand before the young [to give them honour]; daughters will rise up against their mothers, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law. (Micah 7:6) The people shall be dog-faced, and a son will not be abashed in his father's presence.
This Gemara (San. 97a) actually draws from an earlier tradition recorded in the Mishnah:
UPON WHOM IS IT FOR US TO RELY? UPON OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN. IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE MESSIAH INSOLENCE WILL INCREASE AND HONOUR DWINDLE; THE VINE WILL YIELD ITS FRUIT [ABUNDANTLY] BUT WINE WILL BE DEAR; THE GOVERNMENT WILL TURN TO HERESY AND THERE WILL BE NONE [TO OFFER THEM] REPROOF; THE MEETING-PLACE [OF SCHOLARS] WILL BE USED FOR IMMORALITY; GALILEE WILL BE DESTROYED, GABLAN DESOLATED, AND THE DWELLERS ON THE FRONTIER WILL GO ABOUT [BEGGING] FROM PLACE TO PLACE WITHOUT ANYONE TO TAKE PITY ON THEM; THE WISDOM OF THE LEARNED WILL DEGENERATE, FEARERS OF SIN WILL BE DESPISED, AND THE TRUTH WILL BE LACKING; YOUTHS WILL PUT OLD MEN TO SHAME, THE OLD WILL STAND UP IN THE PRESENCE OF THE YOUNG, A SON WILL REVILE HIS FATHER, A DAUGHTER WILL RISE AGAINST HER MOTHER, A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW, AND A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD;(MICAH 7:6) THE FACE OF THE GENERATION WILL BE LIKE THE FACE OF A DOG, A SON WILL NOT FEEL ASHAMED BEFORE HIS FATHER. SO UPON WHOM IS IT FOR US TO RELY? UPON OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN.
(m.Sotah 9:15; b.Sotah 49b)
Yes, the Messiah will ultimately bring peace on earth, but first, the footsteps of the Messiah bring not peace, but a sword. This is not only the teaching of Yeshua as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, it is also the teaching of the Talmud!
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