The following is an advanced study. It is intended for mature students. If you are new to the movement I suggest you start with more basic studies, such as those found at the Davar Bible School free Bible Correspondence Course at http://www.davarbibleschool.ning.com .
DISCLAIMER: The following study makes use of the Targums, Talmud, Midrashim and Zohar. Their use in these studies is not meant to imply that they should be regarded as canon, but simply as a record of Jewish tradition in general.
There is a lengthy section in the Talmud that discusses the Messiah. This section is part of the Gemara to Mishna Sanhedrin 10:1
All Israelites have a share in the world to come…
but these are the ones with no portion in the World to Come:
He who says, the resurrection is a teaching which does not
derive from Torah…
The Gemara to this Mishna begins on b.San. 90a and continues all the way through 99a. Beginning around 97a this Gemara brings up the subject of the Messiah.
This “Messianic” section begins with a citation of Amos 9:11-12 and the raising up of the Tabernacle of David. The Gemara interprets the “Tabernacle of David” to be the body of Messiah and the “raising up” to be the resurrection. Thus attaching belief in the Messiah to belief in the resurrection.
Before I continue it should be noted that this particular Mishna and Gemara shed light on Acts 15:16-17 and Acts 23:6-8.
In Acts 15:16-17 Ya’akov cites Amos 9:11-12 as having been in some way fulfilled in the first century. This makes perfect sense in light of the Talmudic interpretation of Amos 9:11.
In Acts 23:6-8 Paul allies himself as a Pharisee against the Sadducees who deny the resurrection. He claims that in being attacked for teaching Messiah, he is really being attacked for the doctrine of the resurrection. From this Mishna and Gemara we can see that Pharisees most certainly did tie belief in Messiah to belief in the doctrine of the resurrection, and had no tolerance for those who denied the doctrine of Resurrection. Paul’s defense in Acts 23:6-8 makes perfect sense. From a Pharisaic perspective, belief in the resurrection was essential, and was to include belief in the resurrection of Messiah as depicted in Amos 9:11-12.
This Gemara goes on to discuss the time of Messiah’s coming for several pages. Among these traditions concerning the time of Messiah’s coming is one presented by “The School of Elijah” which says:
The World is to exist six thousand years.
In the first two thousand there was chaos;
two thousand years Torah flourished;
and the next two thousand are the days of the Messiah.
These six thousand years form a sort of “six day work week” with a seventh thousand years (the Millennial Kingdom) “Sabbath” following:
It has been taught in accordance with R. Kattina:
Just as the seventh year is one year of release in seven,
so is the world: one thousand years out of seven shall be fallow,
as it is written, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day,’
and it is further said, A Psalm and song for the Sabbath day,
meaning the day that is altogether Sabbath — and it is also said,
For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past.
(b. San. 97a)
(Paul lays out this same concept in Hebrews chapter 4)
From these passages of Sanhedrin we can see that the “Torah flourished” from about the time of Abraham to around the first century, and that the Messiah would have come, beginning the “days of the Messiah” around the first century.
Eventually Rabbi Judah concludes “All the predetermined dates [for Messiah] have passed” (b.San. 97b).
Rabbi Joshua ben Levi sees Messiah [apparently in a vision] as a leper who tells him that he will come “today” which Elijah explains to him means “today, if you will hear his voice.” (b.San. 98a)
In other words the Rabbis of the Talmud acknowledge that Messiah should have already come around the first century, and seek to explain why he has not come.
This Gemara also asks “What is Messiah’s name?” Rabbi Shila offers the answer: “His name is Shiloh, for it is written, ‘until Shiloh comes.” (b.San. 98b)
This Gemara is citing Genesis 49:10:
The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the staff from between his feet,
until Shiloh comes;
and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
The Targums (Onkelos, Pseudo-Jonathan and Yerushalmi) all have “until Messiah comes” in place of “until Shiloh comes”.
The word “Shiloh” has a gematria (numerical value) of 345 which is the same as the value of “HaShem” (“the name”) and El Shaddai. The phrase “Shiloh comes” has a gematria of 358 which is the same as the gematria for “Messiah and “Moses” (because the Messiah is “the prophet like Moses” (Deut. 18:18). This is because “the name” of Messiah is imbedded in the phrase “until Shiloh comes.”
The Zohar says of Gen. 49:10:
…”the scepter” referring to the Messiah of the House of Judah,
and “the staff” to the Messiah of the House of Joseph.
“Until Shiloh comes”, this is Moses, the gematria of Shiloh
and Moses being the same .
The word Shiloh, here, is spelt with both a yod and a he,
to allude to the holy supernal name, Yah,
by which the Shekinah shall rise…
Thus the Zohar teaches us that in Genesis 49:10 we have the two Messiahs (or the two comings of Messiah) represented as a “scepter” and a “staff” which are one “Shiloh” and that the one “Shiloh” has Yah within him.
Now if we look at the Hebrew of the phrase “…Shiloh comes and…” (in the Hebrew it is literally “…comes Shiloh and…”) the first letter from each word in the Hebrew spells “Yeshu” which is the Aramaic and Galilean pronunciation of “Yeshua” (later Rabbis lampooned this fact by making another acronym from YESHU meaning “may his name be blotted out forever”).
You may notice a parallel between the “scepter” and “staff” of the two Messiah’s and the “two sticks” of the two houses of Israel in Ezekiel 37.
There is a clear parallel between the two Houses of Israel and the two comings of Messiah (as reflected in the “Two Messiah Theory”). I will write more soon on this important parallel.
This study also opens the door to a study of Genesis 49:11 which also has some amazing implications. I will write in this soon as well.
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