The hijacking of the term "messianic Judaism" by Christians has always struck me as ironic as observant Jews ARE messianic Jews and always have been. Judaism believes that one day a special HUMAN king, descended from Kings David and Solomon, will help usher in an age of global peace, global knowledge of the one true G-d, the return of the Jewish people from exile to our land, and so forth.
12th of the 13 Principles of Judaism – Belief in the Messiah and the messianic age.
“We believe and affirm that the Messiah will come and usher in an age of global peace (the messianic age). [One must also] believe that [the Messiah] will surpass all the kings who have ever ruled in terms of his grandeur, his greatness, and his honor. Included within this Principle is [the idea] that the king of Israel must come from the House of David and the seed of Solomon. Anyone who opposes this dynasty defies the Almighty and the words of His prophets.”
The Jewish concept of the messiah is very different from the Christian concept. Again – remember that with thousands of iterations of Christianity one will say Jesus was a human while another will say he was G-d in human form (G-d forbid). Jesus was never a moshiach (messiah) -- and he did not have the "birth right" to be a rightful king of the Jews.
To be a Jewish messiah a king must be anointed with the שֶֽׁמֶן מִשְׁחַת קֹֽדֶשׁ / shĕmĕn mish'ḥat kōdĕsh (“anointment-of-holiness oil”). This is a very special type of anointment with a particular oil for kings. The Hebrew word is inseparable with the concept of the special oil and the messiah.
The shĕmĕn mish'ḥat kōdĕsh (“anointment-of-holiness oil”) was a special mixture of spice and olive oil that was used for “anointing” of kings and priests. It is mentioned in the passage of Sh'mot / Exodus 30:22-33 which gives the formula for making it and how to properly use it. . .
"G-d spoke to Moses, saying: You (Moses) must take the finest fragrances, 500 [shekels] of distilled myrrh, [two] half portions, each consisting of 250 [shekels] of fragrant cinnamon and 250 [shekels] of fragrant cane, and 500 shekels of cassia, all measured by the sanctuary standard, along with a gallon of olive oil. Make it into sacred anointing oil. It shall be a blended compound, as made by a skilled perfumer, [made especially for] the sacred anointing oil. Then use it to anoint the Communion Tent, the Ark of Testimony, the table and all its utensils, the menorah and its utensils, the incense altar, the sacrificial altar and all its utensils, the washstand and its base. You will thus sanctify them, making them holy of holies, so that anything touching them becomes sanctified. You must also anoint Aaron and his sons, sanctifying them as priests to Me. Speak to the Israelites and tell them, 'This shall be the sacred anointing oil to Me for all generations. Do not pour it on the skin of any [unauthorized] person, and do not duplicate it with a similar formula. It is holy, and it must remain sacred to you. If a person blends a similar formula, or places it on an unauthorized person, he shall be cut off [spiritually] from his people." Sh'mot / Exodus 30:22-33.
Did the Christian bible ever claim that Jesus was anointed by the only oil the bible allows for anointing kings?
Did the Christian bible claim that Jesus was descended from Kings David and Solomon?
Yes, it does – but it gives two conflicting lineages for Joseph which would disqualify any of Joseph’s children from being a messiah. One excludes Solomon (which is a requirement) and the other lineage goes through a cursed line (Jeconiah) which has been cut off from kingship in the bible.
But a far bigger mistake is the virgin birth. Tribal rights only pass from having a Jewish mother and a Jewish father (who is married to the mother). The biological father passes the tribal status and if Jesus were a “virgin birth” then Joseph was not his father and he was not of the tribe of Judah. It doesn’t matter what tribe Mary might have had – that is immaterial.
In fact the whole lineage argument for Jesus is a bit silly. The right parentage is just “table stakes.” It is a requirement – but there are men from the tribe of Judah through David and Solomon who are alive today and none are the messiah.
The true messiah will build the Sanctuary (Jesus lived during the time of the Second Temple and it was destroyed within 40 years of his death – so this is the opposite of the prophecy).
The messiah gather the dispersed of Israel and return them to the land. Jesus did not do this – and within 100 years of his death the Jews were exiled from the land by the Romans – again the opposite of the prophecy.
Jewish law (Halacha) will be re-instituted in his days. Many Christians think that Jesus removed all the mitzvot – so again we have the opposite of the prophecy occurring – his followers deserted Halacha. Jews were under Roman law during Jesus’ lifetime. . .
The messiah will resume sacrifices and will bring a sin sacrifice (see Yechezkel / Ezekiel). Most Christians believe that Jesus was the "last and final sacrifice." Yet the T'nach (bible) tells us that the messiah (called the prince in Yechezkel / Ezekiel) will bring sacrifices in the messianic era -- including a sin sacrifice for himself (Christians believe Jesus was "without sin" -- he never brought a sin sacrifice).
"the burnt-offerings and the meal-offerings and the libations on the Festivals and on the New Moons and on the Sabbaths, and on all the times fixed for meetings of the House of Israel shall devolve on the prince (the messiah); he shall prepare the sin-offering and the meal-offering and the burnt offering and the peace-offering, to effect atonement for the House of Israel. . . And the prince shall make on that day for himself and for all the people of Israel a bull for a sin-offering." Yechezkel / Ezekiel 45:17-22.
Within 40 years of Jesus’ death the Temple was destroyed and sacrifices ceased. Again we have the opposite of the ture messianic prophecies with Jesus. The messiah will build the Temple as described in Yechezkel / Ezekiel 43 (the Second Temple, existing during the time of Jesus, had been built hundreds of years prior to his birth -- ergo he did not build it. The Second Temple was not built to the prophecy of Yechezkel / Ezekiel in chapter 43, more proof that Jesus was not the messiah and that the Second Temple was not the Temple of the messiah). Chapters 40-48 of Ezekiel gives a very detailed directions for building the messianic era Temple -- and again this Temple did not exist 2000 years ago (meaning Jesus was not "the" messiah).
The Second Temple (the one standing 2000 years ago) was specifically NOT built to Yechezkel / Ezekiel's prophecy because the prophets alive when it was constructed were told by G-d that it was not to be the messianic Temple. When it came time to rebuild the second Temple, G‑d commanded through his prophets Chaggai, Zechariah and Malachi not to build it according to the specifications in Ezekiel.
When missionaries use the term “messiah” or “christ” (Greek) they mean Jesus and only Jesus – if they think of what the word means they probably assume it means “king” (it can refer to kings, but it refers to any anointed one and is often used to speak of Jewish priests).
Most Christians think Jesus was the only messiah there ever was – and yet by the Torah requirement Jesus was never a moshiach -- and he did not have the "birth right" to be a rightful king of the Jews. Also, most Christian translations only translate “moshiach” as “messiah” once or twice in their English translations – doing so only where they think they can use it to “point” to Jesus. Generally speaking the one or two times the word “messiah” is used in their translations of the Jewish bible it is in Daniel 9. The other 37 instances are translated as “anointed one.” This is misleading to the average Christian who doesn’t know of the deceit. Even in Daniel 9 there is deceit as most versions say “the messiah” even though the word “the” is not in Daniel 9. Daniel 9 actually speaks of two anointed ones (messiahs), none of whom is called “the messiah.”
There have been many messiahs (Saul, David, Solomon and even Cyrus who was a non-Jewish messiah). See Shmuel I / I Samuel 26:11, Shmuel II / II Samuel 23:1,Yeshayahu / Isaiah 45:1, and T'hillim / Psalms 20:6. . . However when Jews speak of “the” messiah they are speaking of the specific King who will usher in the messianic age. The final Messiah will be a normal human being, born of human parents. It is thus possible that he is already born. In every age there is a man who could be the messiah – if we are ready for him and deserving of him.
Where does the Jewish concept of Messiah come from? Some of the prophecies are found in Yeshayahu / Isaiah 2:1-4; Tzefaniah / Zephaniah 3:9; Hoshea / Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Yeshayahu / Isaiah 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Michah / Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; and Yirmiyahu / Jeremiah 31:33-34 (the renewed covenant between G-d and the Jews).
Many of these prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Yeshayahu / Isaiah 11:1-9; Yirmiyahu / Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Yechezkel / Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hoshea / Hosea 3:4-5).
Since every King is a Messiah, by convention, we refer to this future anointed king as The Messiah. The above is the only description in the T'nach of a Davidic descendant who is to come in the future. We will recognize the Messiah by seeing who the King of Israel is at the time of complete universal perfection.
Here are a few of those messianic prophecies with their sources listed:
A. Build the Third Temple (Yechezkel / Ezekiel 37:26-28).
B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Yeshayahu / Isaiah 43:5-6).
C. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Yeshayahu / Isaiah 2:4)
D. Spread universal knowledge of the G-d of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "G-d will be King over all the world -- on that day, G-d will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).
If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be "The Messiah."
Christians reply that Jesus will do this the "next time" (e.g. the "second coming"). There is no mention of a second coming in the T'nach. The "second coming" was an attempt by Jesus' followers to explain why he failed to fulfill the messianic prophecies -- but it certainly does not constitute proof of messianic claims. Indeed, Jesus told his followers he would return in THEIR lifetimes (over 2000 years ago). The second coming "promise" is a failed promise. There is not one word about a second coming of the Messiah in any of those passages! Some missionaries point to Daniel 7:13(12) to support the idea of the second coming, but Daniel 7 is a vision (primarily of the kingdoms who follow Daniel). The term used in Daniel 7:13 is כְּבַר אֱנָשׁ k'var ĕnash, which means “something like a human being." It does not say the "son of man" is coming. . . And how would a Christian know if it referred to Jesus the first time (or the second)?
If Daniel 7 were speaking of someone as important as the messiah and a "second coming" why would the passage be a vague "possible" reference rather than a clear message that cannot be interpreted incorrectly?
As with most proof texting, the answer becomes clear when it is read IN CONTEXT. Don't stop at line 14 in Daniel 7. After Daniel has the vision he approaches an angel and asks for an explanation of all that he had seen (7:16). The angel tells Daniel that the four beasts represent four kingdoms, and the final dominion will be given to the “holy ones of the most high” (7:18) – a reference to the nation of Israel. The reference to the Jewish people (Israel) is repeated in verse 7:27. According to the angel, each of the beasts represents a different kingdom, while the son of man in Daniel’s vision represents Israel. The Christian assertion that this passage refers to the Messiah (let alone a second coming of a messiah) is plainly refuted by scripture itself.
So, no, Daniel 7 does not support the concept of a "second coming" of the messiah.
Bottom line, the messiah MUST fulfill the prophecies in his lifetime or he is not the messiah.
The Rambam "If he did not succeed to this degree or was killed, he surely is not the redeemer promised by the Torah. Rather, he should be considered as all the other proper and complete kings of the Davidic dynasty who died. G-d caused him to arise only to test the many, as Daniel 11:35 states: 'And some of the wise men will stumble, to try them, to refine, and to clarify until the appointed time, because the set time is in the future.' If the Messiah fulfilled some miracles but not all, before dying, we cannot regard him to be the Messiah, and instead view him as a test or our own will." Hilchot Melachim 11:4-5.
Jesus was not a Davidic king (he was not properly anointed as a king as already explained in this post, and he lacked the lineage to be a king).
Because no one has ever fulfilled the T’nach's description of this future King, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. I don't want to overwhelm you with references -- but here are the messianic prophecies. Compare them to Jesus for yourself. Bamidbar / Numbers 24:14‑19, D'varim / Deuteronomy 4:30, 30:1‑10, 32:43, Yirmiyahu / Jeremiah 3:14‑18, 16:14,15,19, 23:3‑8, 30:3,7; Yechezkel / Ezekie 11:17‑20, 20:40‑44, 28:25‑26, 34:9‑16,22‑31, 36:6‑15,22‑38, 37:1‑28, 38:1‑48:35, Yeshayahu / Isaiah 1:26,27, 2:1‑4, 4:2‑6, 10:33‑12:6, 24:21‑25:9, 30:26, 34:1‑35:10, 40:1‑11, 41:8‑20, 43:1‑10, 44:1‑5 49:8‑26, 51:11,22‑52:12, 54:1‑55:5, 56:7, 60:1‑63:9, 65:17‑25, 66:10‑24, Hoshea / Hosea 2:1‑3,16‑25, Yoel / Joel 3:1‑4:21, Amos 9:11‑15, Ovadiah / Obadiah 1:17‑21, Michah / Micah 4:1‑7, 5:1‑13, 7:8‑20, Tzefaniah / Zephaniah 3:9‑20, Zechariah 2:9, 8:1‑8, 14:3‑21, Malachi 3:4,16‑24, T'hillim / Psalm 51:20,21, 69:36,37, 98:1‑3, 102:14‑23, 126:1‑6, Dannyiel / Daniel 2:44, 7:18,22,27, 12:2,3. Here is a link to the Judaica Press T'nach if you want to check the sources.
Principle #12: "Anyone who does not believe in the messiah, or whoever does not look forward to his coming, denies not the teachings of the prophets including those in the Torah. “G-d, your G-d, will return your captivity and have mercy on you. He will return and gather you [from all the nations whither G-d, your G-d, has scattered you]. If your banished shall be at the utmost end of the heavens [G-d, your G-d, will gather you from there]… and G-d, your G-d, will bring you [to the land that your fathers possessed, and you will possess it]." D’varim / Deuteronomy 30:3-5.
Sophiee Saguy has been countering false missionary claims about Judaism and the T'nach (Jewish bible) for nearly twenty years. You may find her on FaceBook and at the Messiah Truth forum.