1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Messiah
MESSIAH (Dan. x. 25, 26), and Messias (John i. 41; iv. 25), transcriptions (the first form modified by reference to the etymology) of the Greek Μεσσίας, (Μεσίας, Μεσείας), which in turn represents the Aramaic םש׳הא (mĕshīḥā), answering to the Hebrew הנמשח, “the anointed.” There can be no doubt that a magical power was ascribed to the anointing oil (cf. Frazer, Golden Bough, 2nd ed., ii. 364 sqq.). The king was thereby rendered sacrosanct (1 Sam. xxiv. 6 sqq.; 2 Sam. i. 14 Sqq.; iv. 9 sqq.), and he was considered to be endowed with a special virtue. Thus whosoever curses the king is stoned as though God Himself had been cursed (2 Sam. xix. 22). In ancient Egyptian cultus the priest, after he has solemnly saluted the gods, begins the daily toilet of the god, which consists in sprinkling his image, clothing it with coloured cloths, and anointing it with oil (Erman, Die aegyptische Religion, p. 49). In the magical texts .of Babylonia a similar virtue was attached to oil: “bright' oil, pure oil, resplendent oil that bestows magnificence on the Gods the oil for the conjuration (§ iptu) of Marduk" (Tallquist, Maklil series, tablet vii. col. 1, 31 sqq.; cf. Gressmann, Der Ursprungder israelitischjildischen Eschatologie, p. 258, sqq.). We have, in Schrader's K.I.B. v. letter 37 (p. 98), evidence* from the Tell el-Amarna tablets that the-anointing of kings was practised in Egypt or Syria in 1450 B.C.. (c.)in a letter addressed to the Egyptian king by Ramman-nirari of N-uhassi. On the intimate relation which in primitive times subsisted between the sorcerer and the king see the citation from Frazer's Early History of Kingship, p. 127, in the article Priest, and cf. p. 29: “Classical evidence points to the conclusion that in prehistoric ages . . . the various tribes or cities were ruled by kings who discharged priestly duties” (p. 31). Thustlie early kings of Assyria were priests of Assur (Asur), the tutelary deity of Assyria. Tiglath-Pileser I. (c. 1100 B.C.) calls his predecessors, Samsi-Ramman and Išmi-Dagan, iššakku (pa-te-si) of the God Assur (Prism-insc. col. vii. 62, 63). Later kings, e.g. Shalmaneser II. (Nimrud-obelisk, line 15, monolith, line~11) and Assur-bani-pal (Rassam cyl. col. vii. 94) call themselves by the more definite title of šangu of Assur. The Hebrew word with the article prefixed occurs in the Old Testament only in the phrase “ the anointed priest ” (Lev. iv. 3, 5, 16; vi. 22 ), but “Yahweh's anointed” is a common title of the king of Israel, applied in the historical books to Saul and David, in Lam. iv. 20 to Zedekiah, and in Isa. xlv. 1 extended to Cyrus. In the Psalms corresponding phrases (My, Thy, His anointed) occur nine times, to Which may be added the lyrical passages 1 Sam ii. 10, Hab. iii. 13.
In the present attitude of literary criticism it would be most difficult to assert, as Robertson Smith did in the 9th edition'of this work, that “ in the intention of the writers it [i.e. the term messiah or “ anointed ”] refers to the king then on the throne.” Nor would most recent critics agree with Professor Driver (L.O.T., 8th ed. p. 385) in considering Pss. ii. and lxxii; as “ presumably pre-exilic.” G. Buchanan Gray (J.Q.R., July 1895, p. 658 sqq.) draws a parallel between the “ king ” in the Psalms and the “ servant” in Deutero-Isaiah or Yahweh's “Son” (in Hos. xi. 1, &c.) which is applied to Israel either actualor idealized. It would be possible so toe interpret “king”, or “anointed” in some Psalms, e.g. lxi., lxiii. and lxxxiv., but hardly in Pss. ii., lxxii. and lxxxix., where the Messianic reference is strongly personal. In the Psalms the ideal aspect of the kingship, its religious importance as the expression and organ of Yahweh's sovereignty, is prominent. When the Psalter became a liturgical book the historical kingship had gone by, and the idea alone remained, no longer as the interpretation of a present political fact but as part of Israel's religious inheritance. It was impossible, however, to think that a true idea had become obsolete merely because it found no expression on earth for the time being; Israel looked again for an anointed king to whom the words of the sacred hymns should apply with a force never realized in the imperfect kingship of the past. Thus the Psalms were necessarily viewed as prophetic; and meantime, in accordance with the common Hebrew representation of ideal things as existing in heaven, the true king remains hidden with God. The steps by which this result was reached must, however, be considered in detail.
The hope of the advent, of an ideal king was only one feature of that larger hope of the salvation of Israel from all evils, which was constantly held forth by all the prophets, from the time when the seers of the 8th century B.C. proclaimed that the true conception of Yahweh’s relation to His people could become a practical reality only through a great deliverance following a sifting judgment of the most terrible kind. The idea of a judgment so severe as to render possible an entire breach with the guilty past is common to all the prophets, but is expressed in a great variety of forms and images. As a rule the prophets directly connect the final restoration with the removal of the sins of their own age; to Isaiah the last troubles are those of Assyrian invasion, to Jeremiah the restoration follows on the exile to Babylon, to Daniel on the overthrow of the, Greek monarchy. But all agree in giving the, pentral place to the, realization of a real effective kingship of Yahweh; in fact the conception of the religious subject as the nation of Israel, with a national organization under Yahweh as king, is common to the whole Old Testament, and connects prophecy proper with the so-called Messianic psalms and similar passages which speak of the religious relations of the Hebrew commonwealth, the religious meaning of:national institutions and-so necessarily contain ideal elements reaching beyond the empirical present. All such passages are frequently called Messianic; but the term is more properly reserved as the specific designation' of one particular branch of the Hebrew hope of salvation, which, becoming prominent in post-canonical Judaism, used the name of the Messiah as a technical term (which it never is in the Old Testament), and exercised a great influence on New Testament thought—the term “the Christ” (ὁ χριστός), being itself nothing more than the translation of “ the Messiah.”
In the period of the Hebrew monarchy the thought that Yahweh is the divine king of Israel was associated with the conception that the human king reigns by right only if he reigns by commission or “unction” from Him; Such was the theory of the kingship in Ephraim as well as in Judah (Deut. xxxiii.; 2 Kings ix. 6), till in the decadence of the northern state Amos (ix. 11) foretold the redintegration of the Davidic kingdom, and Hosea (iii. 5; viii. 4) expressly associated a similar prediction with the condemnation of the kingship of, Ephraim as illegitimate. So the great Judaean prophets of the 8th century connect the salvation of Israel with the rise of a Davidic king, full of Yahweh’s Spirit, in whom all the energies of Yahweh’s transcendental kingship are as it were incarnate (Isa. ix. 6 seq.; xi. 1 seq.; Micah v.). This conception, however, , is not one of the constant elements of prophecy; other prophecies of Isaiah look for the decisive interposition of Yahweh in the crisis of history without a kingly deliverer. Jeremiah again speaks of the future David or righteous sprout of David’s stem (xxiii. 5 seq.; xxx. 9) and Ezekiel uses similar language (xxxiv., xxxvii.); but that such passages do not necessarily mean more than that the Davidic dynasty shall be continued in the time of restoration under worthy princes seems clear from the way in which Ezekiel speaks of the prince in chs. xlv., xlvi. As yet we have no fixed doctrine of a personal Messiah, but only material from which such a doctrine might be drawn. The religious view of the kingship is still essentially the same as in 2 Sam. vii., where the endless duration of the Davidic dynasty is set forth as part of Yahweh’s plan.
There are other parts of the Old Testament—notably 1 Sam. viii., xii. (belonging, to the later stratum)—in which the very existence of a human kingship is represented as a departure from the theocratic ideal, and after the exile, when the monarchy had come to an end, we find pictures of the latter days in which its restoration has no place. Such is the great prophecy of Isa. xl.–xlviii., in which Cyrus is the anointed of Yahweh. So too there is no allusion to a human kingship in Joel or in Malachi; the old forms of the Hebrew state were broken, and. religious hopes expressed themselves in other shapes. In the book of Daniel it is collective Israel that, under the symbol of a “son of man,” receives the kingdom (vii. 13, 18, 22, 27).
Meantime, however, the decay and ultimate silence of the living prophetic word concurred with prolonged political servitude to produce an important change in Hebrew religion. To the prophets the kingship of Yahweh was not a mere ideal, but an actual reality; Its full manifestation indeed, to the eye of sense and to, the unbelieving world, lay in the future; but true faith found, a present stay in the sovereignty of Yahweh, daily exhibited in providence and interpreted to each generation by the voice of the prophets. And, while Yahweh’s kingship was a living and present fact, it refused to be formulated in fixed invariable shape.
But when the prophets were succeeded by the scribes, the interpreters of the written word, and the yoke of foreign oppressors rested on the land, Yahweh’s kingship, which presupposed a living nation, found not even the most inadequate expression in daily political life. Yahweh was still the lawgiver of Israel, but His law was written in a book, and He was not present to administer it. He was still the hope of Israel, but the hope too was only to be read in books, and these were interpreted of a future which was no longer the ideal development of forces already at work, but wholly new and supernatural. The present was a blank, in which religious duty was summed up in patient obedience to the law and penitent submission to the Divine chastisements. The scribes were mainly busied with the law; but no religion can subsist on mere law; and the systematization of the prophetic hopes, and of those more ideal parts of the other sacred literature which, because ideal and dissevered from the present, were now set, on one line with the prophecies, went on side by side with the systematization of the law, by means of a harmonistic exegesis, which sought to gather up every prophetic image in one grand panorama of the issue of Israel’s and the world’s history.” The beginnings of, this process can probably be traced within the canon itself, in the book of Joel and the last chapters of Zechariah; and, if this be so, we see from Zech. ix. that the picture of the ideal king claimed a fpla.ce in such constructions. The full development of the method belongs, however, to the post-canonical literature, and was naturally much less regular and rapid than the growth of the legal traditions of the scribes. It was in crises of national anguish that men turned most eagerly to the prophecies, and sought to construe their teachings as a promise of speedy deliverance (see Apocalyptic Literature). But these books, however influential, had no public authority, and when the yoke of oppression was lightened but a little their enthusiasm lost much of its contagious power. It is not therefore safe to measure the general growth of eschatological doctrine by the apocalyptic books, of which Daniel alone attained a canonical position. the Apocrypha eschatology has a relatively small place; but there is enough to show that the hope of Israel was never forgotten, and that the imagery of the prophets was accepted with a literalness not contemplated by the prophets themselves.
It was, however, only very gradually that the figure and name of the Messiah acquired the prominence which they have in later Jewish doctrine of the last things and in the official exegesis of the Targums. In the very developed eschatology of Daniel they are, as we have seen, altogether wanting, and in the Apocrypha, both before and after the Maccabean revival, the everlasting throne of David’s house is a mere historical reminiscence (Ecclus. xlvii. 11; 1 Macc, ii. 57). So long as the wars of independence occupied the Palestinian Jews, and the Hasmonaean sovereignty promised a measure of independence and felicity under the law, the hope that connected itself with the House of David was not likely to rise to fresh life, especially as a considerable proportion of the not very numerous passages of Scripture which speak of the ideal king might with a little straining be applied to the rising star of the new dynasty (cf. 1 Macc. xiv. 4–15). It is only in Alexandria, where the Jews were still subject to the yoke of the Gentile, that at this time (c. 140 B.C.) we find the oldest Sibylline verses (iii. 652 seq.) proclaiming the approach of the righteous king whom God shall raise up from the East (Isa. xli. 2.) The name Messiah is still lacking, and the central point of the prophecy is not the reign of the deliverer but the subjection of all nations to the law and the temple.
With the growing weakness and corruption of the Hasmonaean princes, and the alienation of a large part of the nation from their cause, the hope of a better kingship begins to appear in Judaea also; at first darkly shadowed forth in the Book of Enoch (chap. xc.), where the white steer, the future leader of God’s herd after the deliverance from the heathen, stands in a certain contrast to the actual dynasty (the horned lambs); and then much more clearly, and for the first time with use of the name Messiah, in the Psalter of Solomon, the chief document of the protest of Pharisaism against its enemies the later Hasmonaeans. The struggle between the Pharisees and Sadducees, between the party of the scribes and the aristocracy, was a struggle for mastery between a secularized hierarchy whose whole interests were those of their own selfish politics, and a party to which God and the exact fulfilment of the law according to the scribes were all in all. This doctrine had grown up under Persian and Grecian rule, and no government that possessed or aimed at political independence could possibly show constant deference to the punctilio’s of the schoolmen. The Pharisees themselves could not but see that their principles were politically impotent; the most scrupulous observance of the Sabbath, for example—and this was the culminating point of legality—could not thrust back the heathen. Thus the party of the scribes, when they came into conflict with an active political power, which at the same time claimed to represent the theocratic interests of Israel, were compelled to lay fresh stress on the doctrine that the true deliverance of Israel must come from God.
But now the Jews were a nation once more, and national ideas came to the front. In the Hasmonaean sovereignty these ideas took a political form, and the result was they secularization of the kingdom of God for the sake of a harsh and rapacious aristocracy. The nation threw itself on the side of the Pharisees; not in the spirit of punctilious legalism, but with the ardour of a national enthusiasm deceived in its dearest hopes, and turning for help from the delusive kingship of the Hasmonaeans to the true kingship of Yahweh, and to His vicegerent the king of David’s house. It is in this connexion that the doctrine and name of the Messiah appear in the Psalter of Solomon. The eternal kingship of the House of David, so long forgotten, is seized on as the proof that the Hasmonaeans have no divine right.
“Thou, Lord, art our king for ever and ever. . . . Thou didst choose David as king over Israel, and swarest unto him concerning his seed for ever that his kingship should never fail before Thee. And for our sins sinners (the Hasmonaeans) have risen up over us, taking with force the kingdom which Thou didst not promise to them, profaning the throne of David in their pride. But Thou, O Lord, will cast them down and root out their seed from the land, when a man not of our race (Pompey) rises up against them. . . . Behold, O Lord, and raise up their king the Son of David at the time that Thou hast a pointed, to reign over Israel Thy servant; and gird him with strength to crush unjust rulers; to cleanse Jerusalem from the heathen that tread it under foot, to cast out sinners from Thy inheritance; to break the pride of sinners and all their strength as potter’s vessels with a rod) of iron (Ps. ii. 9); to destroy the lawless nations with the word of his mouth (Isa. xi. 4); to gather a holy nation and lead them in righteousness. . . . He Shah divide them by tribes in the land, and no stranger and foreigner shall dwell with them; he shall judge the nations in wisdom and righteousness. The heathen nations shall serve under his yoke; he shall glorify the Lord before all the earth, and cleanse Jerusalem in holiness, as in the beginning. From the ends of the earth all nations shall come to see his glory and bring the weary sons of Zion as gifts (Isa. lx. 3 seq;); to see the glory of the Lord with; which God hath crowned him, for he is over them a righteous king taught of God. In his days there shall be no unrighteousness in their midst; for they are all holy and their king the anointed of the Lord (χριστὸς κύριος, mistranslation of מש׳ח ׳הוה) Psalt. Sol. xvii.
This conception is traced in lines too firm to be those of a first essay; it had doubtless grown up as an integral part of the religious protest against the Hasmonaeans. And while the polemical motive is obvious, and the argument from prophecy against the legitimacy of a non-Davidic dynasty is quite in the manner of the scribes, the spirit of; theocratic fervour which inspires the picture of the Messiah is broader and deeper than their narrow legalism. In a word, the Jewish doctrine of the Messiah marks the fusion of Pharisaism with the national religious feeling of the Maccabean revival. This national feeling, claiming a leader against the Romans as well as deliverance from the Sadducee aristocracy, again sets the idea of the kingship rather than that of resurrection and individual retribution in the central place. Henceforward the doctrine of the Messiah is the centre of popular hope and the object of theological culture. The New Testament is the best evidence of its influence on the masses (see especially Matt. xxi. 9); and the exegesis of the Targums, which: in its beginnings doubtless reaches back before the time of Christ, shows how it was fostered by the Rabbins and preached in the synagogues. Its diffusion far beyond Palestine, and in circles least accessible to such, ideas, is proved by the fact that Philo himself (De praem. et poen., § 16) gives a Messianic interpretation of Num. xxiv., 27 (LXX). It must not indeed be supposed that the, doctrine was as yet the undisputed part of Hebrew faith which it became when the fall of, the state and the antithesis to Christianity threw all Jewish thought into the lines of the Pharisees. It has, for example, no place in the Assumption of Moses or the Book of Jubilees. But, as the fatal, struggle with Rome became more and more imminent, the eschatological hopes which increasingly absorbed the Hebrew mind all group themselves, round the person of the, Messiah. In the later parts of the Book of Enoch (the “symbols,” of chap. xlv. seq.) the judgment day of the Messiah (identified with Daniel’s “Son of Man”) stands in the forefront of the eschatological picture. Josephus (B. J. vi. 5, § 4) testifies that the belief in the immediate appearance of the Messianic king gave the chief impulse to the war that ended in the destruction of the Jewish state; after the fall of the temple the last apocalypses (Baruch, 4 Ezra) still loudly proclaim the near victory of the God-sent king; and Bar Cochebas, the leader of the revolt, against Hadrian, was actually greeted as the Messiah by Rabbi Aqiba (cf. Luke xxi. 8)., These hopes were again quenched in blood; the political idea of the Messiah, the restorer of the Jewish state, still finds utterance in the daily prayer of every Jew (the Shemōné Esré), and is enshrined in the system of Rabbinical theology; but its historical significance was buried in the ruins of Jerusalem.
But this proof that the true kingdom of God could not be realized in an earthly state, under the limitations of national particularism, was not the final refutation of the Old Testament hope. “Amidst the last convulsions of political Judaism a new spiritual conception of the kingdom of God, of salvation, and of the Saviour of God's anointing, had shaped itself through the preaching, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. As applied to Jesus the name of Messiah lost all its political and national significance. Between the Messiah of the Jews and the Son of Man who came to give His life a ransom for many there was on the surface little resemblance; and from their standpoint the, Pharisees reasoned that the marks of the Messiah were conspicuously absent from this Christ. But when we look at the deeper side of the Messianic conception in the Psalter of Solomon, at the heartfelt longing for a leader in the way of righteousness and acceptance with God which underlies the aspirations after political deliverance, we see that it was in no mere spirit of accommodation to prevailing language that Jesus did not disdain the name in which all the hopes of the Old Testament were gathered up.
Messianic Parallels.—Within the limits of this article it is impossible to attempt any extended survey of parallels to Hebrew Messianic conceptions drawn from other religions. One interesting analogy communicated by Professor Rapson, may, however, be cited from the Bhagavad-gītā, iv. 5–8, in which Krishna says:—
5 “Many are the births that have passed of me and of thee
All these I know: thou knowest them not, O conqueror of thy foes.
6 Unborn, of imperishable soul, the Lord of all creatures,
Taking upon me mine own nature, I arise by my own power.
7 For whensoever, O son of Bharata, there is decay of righteousness
And a rising up of unrighteousness, then I create myself,
8 For the protecting of the good and for the destroying of
And for the establishing of righteousness I arise from age to age.”
“Somewhat similar are the avatars of Vishnu, who becomes incarnate in a portion of his essence on ten occasions to deliver mankind from certain great dangers. Krishna himself is usually regarded as one of these avatars.” This we may consider as one of the striking parallels which meet us in other religions to that “hope of the advent of an ideal king which was one of the features of that larger hope of the salvation of Israel from all evils, the realization of perfect reconciliation with Jehovah and the felicity of the righteous in Him,” to which reference was made in an early portion of this article and which constitutes the essential meaning of Messiahship. The form in which the Indian conception presents itself in the above quoted lines is more closely analogous amid many differences to the later and apocalyptic type of the Messianic idea as it appears in Judaism.
The interesting parallels between the Babylonian Marduk (Merodach) god of light and Christ as a world saviour are ingeniously set forth by Zimmerman in K.A.T. 3rd ed., pp. 376–391, but the total impression which they leave is vague.
It would carry us too far to consider in this place the details of the Jewish conception of the Messiah and the Messianic times as they appear in the later apocalypses or in, Talmudic theology. See for the former the excellent summary of Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, 3rd ed., vol. ii. pp. 497–556. See also Weber, Jüdische Theologie, ch. xxiii. For the whole subject see also Drummond, The Jewish Messiah, and Kuenen, Religion of Israel, ch. xii. For the Messianic hopes of the Pharisees and the Psalter of Solomon see especially Wellhausen, Pharisäer und Sadducäer (Greifswald, 1874). In its ultimate form the Messianic hope of the Jews is the centre of the whole eschatology, embracing the doctrine of the last troubles of Israel (called by the Rabbins the “birth pangs of the Messiah”, the appearing of the anointed king, the annihilation of the hostile enemy, the return of the dispersed of Israel, the glory and world-sovereignty of the elect, the new world, the resurrection of the dead and the last judgment. But even the final form of Jewish theology shows much vacillation as to these details, especially as regards their sequence and mutual relation, thus betraying the inadequacy of the harmonistic method by which they were derived from the Old Testalment and the stormy excitement in which the Messianic idea was developed. It is, for example, an open question among the Rabbins whether the days of the Messiah belong to the old or to the new world (העולם הזה or חעולם הבא), whether the resurrection embraces all men or only the righteous, whether it precedes or follows the Messianic age. Compare Millennium.
We must also pass over the very important questions that arise as to the gradual extrication of the New Testament idea of the Christ from the elements of Jewish, political doctrine which had so strong a hold of many of the first disciples—the relation, for example, of the New Testament Apocalypse to contemporary Jewish thought. A word, however, is necessary as to the Rabbinical doctrine of the Messiah who suffers and dies for Israel, the Messiah son of Joseph or son of Ephraim, who in Jewish theology is distinguished from and subordinate to the victorious son of David. The developed form of this idea is almost certainly a product of the polemic with Christianity, in which the Rabbins were hard pressed by arguments from passages (especially Isa. liii.) which their own exegesis admitted to be Messianic, though it did not accept the Christian inferences as to the atoning death of the Messianic king. That the Jews in the time of Christ believed in a suffering and atoning Messiah is, to say the least, unproved and highly improbable. See, besides the books above cited, De Wette, Opuscula; Wünsche, Die Leiden des Messias (1870).
See the articles on “Messiah” in Hastings’s D. B. (together with Fairweather’s art., “Development of Doctrine,” in extra vol., pp. 295–302) in Ency. Bibl. Also P.R.E. 3rd ed., as well as Hastings’s Dict. of Christ and the Gospels, should be consulted. Comp. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, ,2nd ed., i. 160–179, ii. 434 sq ., 710–741; Stanton, The Jewish and the Christian Messiah (1886); Wendt, Teaching of Jesus, i. 60–84, 176–181, ii. 122–139; Holtzmann, N. T. Theologie (1897), pp. 81–85, 234–304; Baldensperger, Das Selbstbewusstsein Jesu; Wellhausen, Israel. u. jüd. Geschichte (1895), p. 198–204; Charles’s Book of Enoch and Apocalypse of Baruch (especially the introductions); Bousset, Religion des Judentums, 2nd ed., pp. 245–277; Volz, Jüdische Eschatologie von Daniel bis Akiba, pp. 55–68, 213–237: Dalman, Der leidende u. sterbende Messias; Gressmann, Ursprung der israelitisch-jüdischen Eschatologie, pp. 250–345. A fuller survey of literature will be found in Schürer. op. cit., p. 496 sqq. (W. R. S.; O. C. W.)
- The transcription is as in Γεσσύρ Γεσσίρ for גשור, Onomastica, ed. Lag., pp. 247, 281, Βασ. β ii. 3. For the termination -ας for הא, see Lagarde, Psalt. Memph., p. vii.
- The plural is found in Ps. cv. 15, of the patriarchs as consecrated persons.
- In Ps. lxxxiv. 9  it is disputed whether the anointed one is the king, the priest, or the nation as a whole. The second view is perhaps the best.
- Most recent critics regard Amos ix. 9–15 as a later addition, and the same view is held by Nowack, Harper and others respecting Hos. iii. 5, though on grounds which seem questionable. Isa. ix. 1–7, xi. 1 sqq. are held by Hackmann, Cheyne, Marti, and other critics to be post-exilian. Duhm and others hold that they are genuine. It may be admitted that Isa. xi. 1 seq. might be held to be contemporary with Isa. lv. 3, 4, and to refer to Zerubbabel. Cf. Hafggai ii. 21–23, composed seventeen years afterwards. Mic. v. 1–8 can with difficulty be regarded as genuine.
- The hopes which Haggai and Zechariah connect with the name of Zerubbabel, a descendant of David, hardly form an exception to this statement. There may even be reference to him in Isa. lv. 3, 4.
- See Stade’s articles “Deuterozacharja,” Z. f. A.-T.-liche Wiss., 1881–1882. Cf. Dan. ix. 2 for the use of the older prophecies in the solution of new problems of faith.
- In Sibyll. iii. 775, νηόν must undoubtedly be read for υἱόν.
- The Targumic passages that speak of the Messiah, are registered by Buxtorf, Lex. Chald., s.v.
- False Messiahs have continued from time to time to appear among the Jews. Such was Serenus of Syria (c. 720 A.D.). Soon after, Messianic hopes were active at the time of the fall of the Omayyads, and led to a serious rising under Abu ʽIsa of Ispahan, who called, himself forerunner of the Messiah. The false Messiah David Alrui (Alroy) appeared among the warlike Jews in Azerbijan in the middle of the 12th century. The Messianic claims of Abraham Abulafia of Saragossa (born 1240) had a cabalistic basis, and the same studies encouraged the wildest hopes at a later time. Thus Abarbanel calculated, the coming of the Messiah for 1503 A.D.; the year 1500 was in many places observed as a preparatory season of penance; and throughout the 16th century the Jews were much stirred and more than one false Messiah appeared. See also Sabbatai, Sebi.