Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Talmudic Evidence for the Messiah

We read in the Jerusalem Talmud:
"Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open" (Jacob Neusner, The Yerushalmi, p.156-157). [the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE]
A similar passage in the Babylonian Talmud states:
"Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot ['For the Lord'] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-coloured strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel [Temple] would open by themselves" (Soncino version, Yoma 39b).
Could there be any clearer indication that the days of the first, God-given Mosaic Covenant were over and that a new era had dawned, that of the Messiah?
"The rabbis have taught, the Holy One, blessed be He, will say to Messiah ben David, may he be revealed soon in our days. ‘Ask of Me anything and I shall give it to you.’ For it is written, Adonai said to me, ‘Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of Me and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance (Psalm 2:7-8).’ And when he will see that Messiah ben Joseph will be slain, he will say before Him, ‘Master of the World! I ask nothing of you except life.’ G~d will say to him, ‘Even before you said, "life," your father David prophesied about you, as it is written, ‘He asked life of thee, Thou gavest it to him. (Psalm 21:5)’ " [Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a]

The rabbis read from the various prophecies in the Nevi'im/Prophets the words concerning the Messiah and drew the conclusion that there would be two Messiahs; the Son of David and the Son of Joseph. One would be the victorious King and the other would be the suffering sacrifice for his people (Tanakh, Yesha'yahu 53). They failed to perceive that the Messiah would embody both, first Joseph and then David. From His genealogies in Matthew and Luke it is clear that Yeshua/Jesus is both; son of David, and son of Joseph. Even his earthly 'foster' father was named Joseph.
Since the Temple was burnt to the ground in AD 70 by the Romans, all the carefully preserved Jewish genealogies were destroyed. No-one could prove their ancestry any more, and anyone claiming to be the Messiah would have no legal documents to prove his lineage; an absolute requirement.
So for the many claiming Messiahship for themselves or for others in our days, be it the late Chasidic Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, (1902-1994) or leaders of cults, they haven't a leg to stand on. When a world leader arises to 'save' the earth from self-destruction, while many will gullibly bow the knee, those 'who know their God' will see through the deception.
I don't believe in necessarily keeping feasts, be they traditionally church feasts (which are basically pagan in origin), or Hebrew feasts. The point is, is that it's 'Christ in you, the hope of glory' and all those outward things can become legalistic and draw attention away from Jesus Himself. (Having said that, the Hebrew feasts point with prophetic marvellousness to Jesus as church feasts never could and are a great way to teach our children biblical truths)... BUT... Sukkot is coming up soon, (Thursday, the 27th of September, continuing for 7 days until Wednesday, the 3rd of October) and Yom Kippur (Saturday, 22nd September), and both are a glorious reminder of the birth of our Saviour and His atoning death on the Cross and His soon-to-come Return.

Keep our eyes on You, Lord, in the daily crush of life, so that nothing can sway us from loving You and hearing Your voice.

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