Who Will the Jewish Messiah Be?

Basic information and related links about the messianic idea in Judaism.

Who will the messiah be?

The Messiah will be a human restorer of the throne of David. The messiah will be a descendent of King David and will be born of human parents.

What will the messiah do?

The messiah will:

  • Bring about the spiritual and political redemption of the Jewish people
  • Resurrect the dead and restore all Jews to the Land of Israel
  • Restore the city of Jerusalem to its former glory
  • Bring permanent peace to the world.

    Does the Torah mention a messiah?
    No. The Torah does mention moshiach, which the Greek word messiah comes from, but not in context of our current understanding of the messiah. In the Torah, moshiach means "anointed one" and refers to kings or high priests. Post-biblical Judaism came to understand the messiah as a king who would bring about the end of times.


    Where is belief in the messiah found in Jewish texts?
    Belief in the eventual coming of the messiah is one of Maimonides' 13 principles of faith. His twelfth principle states, " I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the moshiach, and though he may tarry, still I await him every day." Belief in the eventual coming of the messiah is also a prominent part of the Amidah prayer, said three times daily by observant Jews. The Amidah includes prayers for all the elements that will mark the coming of the messiah.

    Why don't Jews accept Jesus as the messiah?
    The primary reason that Jews do not believe Jesus was the messiah is that the world was not redeemed by Jesus' arrival and death. For a more complete explanation, read David Wolpe's essay.

    Do Jews believe the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was the Messiah?
    Most Jews, including most Jews affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, which the Rebbe led, do not believe that Schneerson was the messiah. Traditional Jewish thought teaches that the messiah cannot die before the redemption of the world. Some messianist Jews maintain that certain Jewish sources say that the messiah could be a resurrected individual.

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