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Last Updated: 2011/04/20
Summary of question
What do Jews say about the coming of the Promised Messiah?
question
What do Jews say about the coming of the Promised Messiah?
Concise answer

Similar to other faiths and people, the Jews definitely believe in the coming of a savior at the end of time. In the current Torah, there are many glad tidings of the coming of a universal reformer. In the Psalms of David, among the books of the Old Testament, various promises are mentioned in this regard. What is interesting is that the Quran quotes the Psalms of David when speaking of the coming of Imam Mahdi (aj), and the exact same excerpt can be found in the current Torah today without any distortion. As we will explain the Jewish scriptures do not bear the mention of the name of Imam Mahdi, but there are signs and attributes mentioned that can be found in the Imam.

Detailed Answer

“Raj’ah” literally means to return[1] and in Islamic terms, refers to the return of certain people from the dead (pure believers and absolute mushriks) before the Day of Resurrection.[2] Therefore Raja'ah does not apply to Imam Mahdi and what is meant in the above question is his emergence. Despite the evident diversity among different people in every aspect of life like their clothes, mindsets, cultures, costumes, passions, ambitions, desires and schools of thought, they all share the desire and love for peace and justice. Almost all of people who have studied in this field agree that all people around the world are awaiting the coming of a great leader and savior and each group calls him with their own name. In light of what was explained one can conclude that the belief in a great savior is a general and ancient belief that people of all religions and ethnicities of the west and east share.[3]

The Belief of awaiting a savior among the Jews

This belief is found among all people, but the Jews' belief in the emergence of a savior is stronger and more firm. Similar to other faiths and people, the Jews definitely believe in the coming of a savior at the end of time. In the current Torah, there are many glad tidings of the coming of a universal reformer.

As we will explain later on, the Jewish scriptures do not mention the name of Imam Mahdi, but there are signs and attributes that can be found in the Imam.

In the Psalms of David, among the books of the Old Testament, various promises are mentioned in this regard. What is interesting is that the Quran quotes the Psalms of David when speaking of the coming of Imam Mahdi (aj), and the exact same excerpt can be found in the current Torah today without any distortion. The Quran says: “and (After promising the believers salvation and prosperity in the hereafter the Quran also makes mention of the great victory they will be granted in this world: " Certainly we wrote in the (Book of) Psalms (which we sent down to Davood), after the Reminder (or after the Torah which was given to Moses before the time of Davood): "Indeed My righteous servants (The followers of Imam Mahdi) shall inherit the earth, (Meaning that they will conquer it)."[4] The Psalms of David also says: "For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land."[5]

The book of Haggai says:

"For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts"[6]

Also, the book of Daniel says: “…And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people… And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake…”[7]

The books of Zechariah, Amos and Ezekiel have also mentioned this matter and given glad tidings[8].[9]

The belief of a coming savior is so rooted in Judaism that history speaks of individuals that falsely claimed to be the promised Messiah.  One of them was "Sabbatai Sevi" which established the sect known as "Donmeh", and was born in year 1626 and claimed that he was the promised savior of the Jews. The Jews which had gone through many difficulties and hardships before his appearance answered his call and gathered around him.[10]

Some the followers of the famous Jewish Mystic "Menachem Mendel Schneerson" also believed that he is the Messiah and that he would rise someday. His death in year 1992 and at the age of 90 (1992) caused much despair and sorrow for his followers.[11]

Ironically when Prophet Isa emerged, most of Jews did not accept his prophetic claims despite the divine and holy virtues and qualities he possessed.

The Individual the Jews are awaiting:

Based on some texts, it seems like the one Jews are waiting for has the name of “Christ”, just like the Christians. Although this could have been considered a theory before Jesus, but such a viewpoint regarding the Jewish promised one is false, because their promised one is named “Mashiah”. This name used to be the title of the early rulers of the Israelites, because back then it was customary for the Prophets to pour a small amount of oil on the heads of the rulers, wipe their heads with the oil and then rub it a little in the presence of a few people so that the rulers would gain holiness and sacredness. Later on this title was used for the promised savior and ruler of the Jews. The term " Moshiach" has been used several times in the Talmud, but since the term Christ only refers to Jesus, Jewish thinkers use the Hebrew term “Moshiach” which is translated as “Messiah”[12].[13]

The most important prophecy about the savior is found in the Book of Prophet Isaiah:

"A young tree has come out of the trunk of "Yessi" (the Father of David) … The soul of God will descend upon him … He will be just with the poor and the weak and will command in favor of the oppressed of the earth … The wolves will coexist with sheep and tigers will sleep with goat …".[14]

The term "The Trunk of Yessi" can refer to some individuals: Prophet Davood, Soleiman, Isa and Imam Mahdi, because the Imam is a descendant of "Yessi" through his mother Narjes Khatoon.[15]

Therefore the Jews are awaiting a savior at the end of time.[16] However they may not be awaiting a particular individual.

For more information you can refer to Questions 1438 (website: 1631) and 5953 (website: 6436) (Imam Zaman and other religions) (Belief in the coming of the Messiah in Judaism).



[1] Farhange Mo’in, vol. 2, pg. 1640.

[2] Adopted from Question 247 (website: 1112).

[3] Makarem Shirazi, Naser, Hukumate Jahaniye Hazrate Mahdi, Qom, Nasle Javan Publications, 11th edition, pg. 51, quoted from Entezar Magazine, no. 15, pg. 136.

[4] Anbiya:105.

[5] Old Testament, Psalms 37, quoted by: Tune’iyy, Mojtaba, Mow’ud Nameh, pg. 230, Qom, 1384.

[6] Hebrew Bible, Haggai 2:6-9, quoted by Mow’ud Nameh, pg. 232.

[7] Daniel 12:1-12, quoted from Mow’ud Nameh, pg. 232.

[8] Farhange Alefbayi, “mahdaviyyat”, pp. 231-232.

[9] Adopted from Question 5953 (website: 6436).

[10] Towfiqi, Hosein, Ashnayi ba Adyane Bozorg, pg. 119, Sazmane Samt, Tehran, 1386.

[11] Ashnayi ba Adyane Bozorg, pg. 125.

[12] Ibid, pg. 121.

[13] Adopted from Question 5953 (website: 6436).

[14] Isaiah 11:10.

[15] Mow’ud Nameh, pg. 230.

[16] Today, both Zionist extremists such as the ‘Gush Emunim’, and anti-Zionist extremists such as the ‘Neturei Karta’ both await the coming of the messiah. See: Ashnayi ba Adyane Bozorg, pg. 125.

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