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What was the common first century jewish belief concerning the messiah?

What was the common first century jewish belief concerning the messiah

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
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    Messiah (ma·shi′ach) means “anointed” or “anointed one.” The Greek equivalent is Khri·stos′, or Christ.—Mt 2:4

    The historical information available reveals a general picture of the extent of understanding about the Messiah prevalent among Jews in the first century of the Common Era. Primarily this information is gleaned from the Gospels.

    King and son of David. It was commonly accepted among the Jews that the Messiah would be a king of the line of David. When the astrologers asked about “the one born king of the Jews,” Herod the Great knew that they were asking about “the Christ.” (Mt 2:2-4) Jesus questioned the Pharisees as to whose descendant the Christ, or Messiah, would be. Though those religious leaders did not believe in Jesus, they knew that the Messiah would be David’s son.—Mt 22:41-45.

    Born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2, 4 had indicated that out of Bethlehem would come one to be “ruler in Israel” who would “be great as far as the ends of the earth.” This was understood to refer to the Messiah. When Herod the Great asked the chief priests and scribes where the Messiah was to be born, they answered, “In Bethlehem of Judea,” and quoted Micah 5:2. (Mt 2:3-6) And even some of the common people knew this.—Joh 7:41, 42.

    A prophet who would perform many signs. Through Moses, God had foretold the coming of a great prophet. (De 18:18) In Jesus’ day Jews were waiting for this one. (Joh 6:14) The way in which the apostle Peter used Moses’ words, at Acts 3:22, 23, indicates he knew they would be accepted as Messianic in nature even by religious opposer's, and this gives evidence of widespread understanding of Deuteronomy 18:18. The Samaritan woman by the well also thought the Messiah would be a prophet. (Joh 4:19, 25, 29) People expected the Messiah to perform signs.—Joh 7:31.

    Some variety in beliefs. It is evident that even though knowledge about the coming Messiah was common among the Jews, not all persons had the same knowledge or understanding about that one. For instance, though many knew that he would come from Bethlehem, some did not. (Mt 2:3-6; Joh 7:27) Some believed the Prophet to be separate from the Christ. (Joh 1:20, 21; 7:40, 41) Certain prophecies about the Messiah were not understood, even by Jesus’ disciples. This was particularly true about those prophecies dealing with the Messiah’s rejection, suffering, death, and resurrection. (Isa 53:3, 5, 12; Ps 16:10; Mt 16:21-23; 17:22, 23; Lu 24:21; Joh 12:34; 20:9) Yet once these things had taken place and the prophecies had been explained, his disciples and even ones who were not yet disciples began to appreciate the prophetic nature of these texts in the Hebrew Scriptures. (Lu 24:45, 46; Ac 2:5, 27, 28, 31, 36, 37; 8:30-35) Since the fact that the Messiah had to suffer and die was not recognised by most Jews, this point was stressed by early Christians when preaching to Jews.—Ac 3:18; 17:1-3; 26:21-23.

    Wrong Expectations. Luke’s account indicates that many Jews were anxiously expecting the Messiah to appear at the particular time Jesus was on earth. Simeon and other Jews were “waiting for Israel’s consolation” and “Jerusalem’s deliverance” when the babe Jesus was brought to the temple. (Lu 2:25, 38) During the ministry of John the Baptiser, the people “were in expectation” about the Christ, or Messiah. (Lu 3:15) Many, though, expected the Messiah to meet their preconceived notions. The prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures showed the Messiah as coming in two different roles. One was “humble, and riding upon an ***,” whereas the other was “with the clouds of the heavens” to annihilate opposers and have all rulerships serve him. (Zec 9:9; Da 7:13) The Jews failed to appreciate the fact that these prophecies related to two distinct appearances of the Messiah, these appearances occurring at widely separated times.

    Jewish sources agree with Luke 2:38 that the people at that time were waiting for Jerusalem’s deliverance. The Jewish Encyclopedia observes: “They yearned for the promised deliverer of the house of David, who would free them from the yoke of the hated foreign usurper, would put an end to the impious Roman rule, and would establish His own reign of peace.” (1976, Vol. VIII, p. 508) They tried to make him an earthly king. (Joh 6:15) When he would not fulfill their expectations, they rejected him.

    Evidently the expectation that the Messiah would be an earthly king was shared by John the Baptizer and his disciples. John knew Jesus to be the Messiah and the Son of God, having seen him anointed with holy spirit and having heard God’s voice of approval. John did not lack faith. (Mt 11:11)

    Source(s): So his question, “Are we to expect a different one?” may have meant, ‘Are we to expect yet another one who will fulfill all the hopes of the Jews?’ Christ in reply pointed to the works he was doing (which things had been foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures). He concluded: “And happy is he who has not stumbled over me.” This answer, while implying that faith and discernment would be needed, would satisfy and comfort John, assuring him that Jesus was the One who would fulfill God’s promises. (Mt 11:3; Lu 7:18-23) Also, prior to his ascension, Jesus’ disciples held the view that he would at that time deliver Israel from Gentile domination and set up the Kingdom (restore the reign of the Davidic line) on earth.—Lu 24:21; Ac 1:6. insight on the scriptures
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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    The Bible tells us that the Messiah would be…

    • Born in Bethlehem The Jewish prophet said so in Micah 5:2

    • Born a descendant of David The Jewish prophet said so in Jeremiah 23:5

    • Live a sinless life The Jewish prophet said so in Isaiah 53:9

    • Do miracles like Moses The Jewish prophet said so in Deuteronomy 18:18

    • Enter Jerusalem on a donkey The Jewish prophet said so in Zechariah 9:9

    • A rejected man The Jewish prophet said so in Isaiah 53:3

    • Die as a substitute for others The Jewish prophet said so in Isaiah 53:5

    • Rise from the dead The Jewish prophet said so in Isaiah 53:10

    • Come before 70 A.D. The Jewish prophet said so in Daniel 9:26

    • Have an impact on all nations The Jewish prophet said so in Isaiah 49:6

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  • grnlow
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    From the sacred texts, they knew the long promised Messiah, who would forgive sins by means of his sacrifice would be coming.

    They knew the year he would arrive as 29CE. Jesus became the Messiah by being dedicated and baptized with water, then with holy spirit in 29CE. They knew he would be born in Bethlehem. They knew he would be in Egypt for a time from prophecy. They knew he would be in the family line of Abraham and King David as God promised. They knew all people would bless themselves through the Messiah. They knew he would be "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." He would be a human sacrifice by being hung on a stake. Galatians 3:13 puts it, "13 Christ by purchase released us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse instead of us, because it is written: “Accursed is every man hanged upon a stake.” This is a quotation from Deuteronomy 21:23.

    They also knew he would speak and this would be as clear cool water of refreshment. They knew after his murder [sacrifice], he would stay dead for parts of 3 days. Then he would be restored to life.

    All these things were found in the Hebrew scriptures they had then. This was taught to every child on into adults. That posed a slight problem for the clergy back then. They had to deny Jesus was the Messiah, even though he fulfilled every prophecy. To acknowledge him would be to cut their own throats. It would be the end of their lavish lifestyle. The end of regarding the public as "dirt", which they truly considered the public to be. It would also mean an end to their stealing every coin they could get their hands on. Over the table or under the table, it never mattered to them. Those money changers, bankers and merchants that Jesus threw out of the Temple, all gave a cut of their cash to the clergy and the clergy made sure every visitor did their business only with those merchants.

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