A Jewish woman who was raised Christian wrote me that her parents have returned to Judaism, but she still has doubts. She discovered a Jew named Ariel Alloro who seems to claim that Jesus was moshiach ben Yosef and that the "bible codes" show that Jesus was a messiah.
Ariel Alloro may be a well intentioned musician, but he needs to improve his Jewish education before he continues making misleading videos. While his goal may be to establish bridges between Christians and Jews he instead is being used by missionaries to convince them that Jesus was the messiah -- but simply from reviewing the main points here it is clear that Alloro himself is misled and it is a case of the blind leading the blind.
Jesus was not a messiah (let alone "the" messiah). The Hebrew word is inseparable with the concept of the special oil in my last paragraph. This was a special mixture of spice and olive oil that was used for “anointing” of kings and priests. It is called שֶֽׁמֶן מִשְׁחַת קֹדֶשׁ shemen mish'ḥat kodesh (“Oil of Anointment of Sanctity”) in the passage of Sh'mot / Exodus 30:22-33.
Jesus was never anointed with this oil and he was not an uncontested descendant from David and Solomon (the only reason a person does not need a personal anointing is if the line from father to son is not only unbroken but is uncontested (everyone recognizes he is a messiah)... Not true for Jesus who was not a legal descendant and was certainly not universally accepted as a messiah even in his own lifetime, let alone today.
As discussed in the blog entry "There is no "anti" Messiah (Christ), part 1: Daniel 8," the concept of an "anti" messiah is totally foreign to the Jewish bible (T'anch).
Some Christians fervently believe in the antichrist -- and some think he is not human, but perhaps their mythical devil (who does not exist). . .
Although the concept is foreign to the T'nach some missionaries will refer back to Daniel 8 and Daniel 11 as "proof" of this concept.
The last blog entry dispelled the error that Daniel 8 is about this mythical evildoer. . . who is actually an arrogant king that defied G-d and defiled the Temple, stopping Temple sacrifices until such time as the messiah arrives, the new Temple is rebuilt, the Jews all return from exile and sacrifices resume.
This did not happen in the time of Jesus, but it will happen in the real messianic age.
What of Daniel 11?
Daniel 11 is a very quick tour of Jewish (and to some extent world) history from the Persians through Alexander the Great and the Greeks to the Romans, eventually Christianity all the way to the time of the messiah (and potentially a final war that might precede the messiah).
Notice I said a final war that MIGHT precede the messiah.
All negative visions are warnings -- heed the warning and the evil will not happen.
Just as Daniel 8 spoke of various kingdoms where Jews would be exiled, so to does Daniel 11. Start with Daniel 11:2:
“three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth one will become wealthy with great wealth, and when be becomes strong with his wealth, he will arouse all against the kingdom of Greece.”
Seder Olam assumes this Greek king to be Alexander the Great. The chapter goes on to discuss a southern kingdom whose daughter will marry a ruler in the north. The daughter's husband dies and she is taken captive. One of her family members will recapture the northern kingdom -- and on and on it goes. . . The north conquers the south then the king of the north goes south unopposed -- just more and more strife. . .
Eventually the kings of the north and the south ally, but the alliance fails -- and a pretender to the throne becomes rich and plots against the Jews.
This was the emperor of Rome ( Daniel 11:28) who went home full of the spoils of Judah with no intention of keeping his covenant he had made with the Jewish leaders. "And companies will come upon him from the Kittites (Romans, Kittim is another name for Rome), and he will be crushed" Daniel 11:30.
"And arms from him will stand, and they will profane the Sanctuary, the stronghold, and they will remove the daily sacrifice, and place a silent abomination." Daniel 11:31. This happened in the time of Hadrian, who set up an idol on the site of the second Temple.
"And the king will do as he wishes, and he will exalt himself and magnify himself over every powerful one, and about the G-d of the mighty he will speak wondrous things, and he will succeed until the fury is spent, when it will be finished and executed." Daniel 11:36 Rashi says this king is a Roman Emperor -- possibly Constantine, the Roman Emperor who introduced Christianity to the Romans (and made it the national religion).
The next line seems to speak of the pope and the Christians. "And he will not contemplate the gods of his fathers, and the most desirable of women and any god he will not contemplate, for he will magnify himself over all." Priests are supposed to be celibate -- so the line about not desiring women (not contemplating them) fits this "king" -- the pope.
The next few lines also seem to speak about Christianity "But the god of the strongholds on its base he will honor, and the god that his ancestors did not know he will honor with gold and with silver and with precious stones and with desirable things. And he will construct for the fortresses of the strongholds with a foreign god; whomever he will recognize, he will honor increasingly, and he will give them dominion over multitudes, and he will apportion land for a price." Daniel 11:38 - 39. The church built glorious churches with gold and silver -- it held great power over the people of many lands (including the kings of those lands), and it even levied taxes.
Christianity will be with us until the true messiah comes.
Daniel 11 continues looking into the future (from Daniel's perspective in the first Persian empire). Line 40 takes us to a possible war which could happen just prior to the messianic age -- a war between Muslim and Christian.
This is a prophecy about Jewish exile and redemption -- and the troubles caused by the other nations to the Jewish people. There is no devil, no antichrist -- no demigods either.
It is worth reading what Maimonides, the Rambam, has to say about Jesus and Daniel 11:
"If a king will arise from the House of David who diligently contemplates the Torah and observes its mitzvot as prescribed by the Written Law and the Oral Law as David, his ancestor, will compel all of Israel to walk in (the way of the Torah) and rectify the breaches in its observance, and fight the wars of God, we may, with assurance, consider him messiah.
If he succeeds in the above, builds the Temple in its place, and gathers the dispersed of Israel, he is definitely the messiah.
He will then improve the entire world, motivating all the nations to serve God together, as Tzephaniah 3:9 states: 'I will transform the peoples to a purer language that they all will call upon the name of God and serve Him with one purpose.'
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. God 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.'
Jesus of Nazareth who aspired to be the messiah and was executed by the court was also alluded to in Daniel's prophecies, [Daniel 11:14] which states: 'The vulgar among your people shall exalt themselves in an attempt to fulfill the vision, but they shall stumble.'
Can there be a greater stumbling block than Christianity?
All the prophets spoke of messiah as the redeemer of Israel and their savior who would gather their dispersed and strengthen their observance of the mitzvot. In contrast, Christianity caused the Jews to be slain by the sword, their remnants to be scattered and humbled, the Torah to be altered, and the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the L-rd.
Nevertheless, the intent of the Creator of the world is not within the power of man to comprehend, for His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts, our thoughts. Ultimately, all the deeds of Jesus of Nazareth and that Ishmaelite who arose after him will only serve to prepare the way for messiah's coming and the improvement of the entire world, motivating the nations to serve G-d together as Tzephaniah 3:9 states: 'I will transform the peoples to a purer language that they all will call upon the name of God and serve Him with one purpose.'
How will this come about? The entire world has already become filled with the mention of messiah, Torah, and mitzvot. These matters have been spread to the furthermost islands to many stubborn hearted nations. They discuss these matters and the mitzvot of the Torah, saying: 'These mitzvot were true, but were already negated in the present age and are not applicable for all time.'" M'lachim uMilchamot - Chapter 11.
Some Christians believe that before Jesus returns (second coming) there will be an "anti" christ who will oppose Jesus. Some Christians believe this antichrist is the devil (who simply does not exist). . .
The term "antichrist" is found in the Christian bible. It is not found in the T'nach (Jewish bible).
This concept is totally foreign to Judaism -- there is no such concept.
Let me repeat that: there is no antichrist.
There is no devil in Judaism. There are no "demi-gods." There is only one G-d and He created good and evil. "Forming 'Light' and creating 'Darkness', making 'Peace' and creating 'Evil' - I am HaShem and I do ALL these things" Y'shayahu / Isaiah 45:7.
The Messianic era will mark the end of evil and sin: יְחֶזְקֵאל / Y'chezkel / Ezekiel 37:23: “They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and with their abominations and with all their transgressions…”
Not an "evil" anti-messiah. The end of evil and sin.
Other messianic prophecies include:
1. The rebuilding of the Temple. יְחֶזְקֵאל / Y'chezkel / Ezekiel 37:26-28: “I shall give My Sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling-place shall be over them… The nations shall know that I am G‑d who sanctifies Israel, when My Sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forever.”
2. In gathering of the Exiles of Israel aka the *return of all the Jews to Israel." יְחֶזְקֵאל / Y'chezkel / Ezekiel 39:25, 27-29: “…Now I shall bring back the captivity of Jacob and I shall have compassion on the whole House of Israel, and I shall be zealous for My holy Name… When I shall have returned them from the nations and gathered them from the lands of their enemies… They shall know that I am G‑d, their G‑d, in that I exiled them to the nations and gathered them unto their land, and I will not leave any one of them there. I will no more hide My face from them, as I will pour out My spirit upon the House of Israel…”
See also Y'shayahu / Isaiah 43:5-6.
3. Resurrection of the righteous dead. “Behold I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the Land of Israel. You shall know that I am G‑d when I open your graves and when I revive you from your graves, My people. I shall put My spirit into you and you will live, and I will place you upon your land, and you will know that I, G‑d, have spoken and done, says G‑d.” (יְחֶזְקֵאל / Y'chezkel / Ezekiel 37:12-14)
4. Blissful Utopia: End to Disease and Death. “I will call for the grain and increase it… and I will increase the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field…” ((יְחֶזְקֵאל / Y'chezkel / Ezekiel 36:29-30.
Where do Christians "point" in the T'nach to support the concept of the antichrist?
Usually the missionaries refer to Daniel 8 and Daniel 11.
The vision of Daniel in chapter 8 is one of what will happen to the Jews in the future. There is no antichrist -- simply the empires to which the Jewish people will be exiled until such time as they are returned from exile to the land of Israel (in the end of the time of exile).
Read the chapter to understand the vision.
In Daniel chapter 8 Daniel envisions a ram standing by a river. The ram has tall horns, but one is taller than the other -- and sprouted last.
The ram gores everything around it -- north, west, south and east.
In the vision a goat comes forward and hits the ram, breaking both of its horns. The ram is defeated and the goat gets huge and strong. But its great horn broke and four sprouted from it -- to the four directions.
One horn became great and took over many lands including Israel destroying the Temple -- removing the daily sacrifice and casting down the Temple.
Then, in his vision, Daniel hears an angel ask another how long the "goat" (idol worshiping destroyer) would be permitted to disrupt the holy land / Temple. The answer was “Until evening, morning, 2,300. Then the holiness will be corrected.”
"Then I heard one holy one speaking, and one holy one said לַפַּלְמוֹנִ֣י / TO THE ANONYMOUS ONE who was speaking, "How long will be the vision of the daily sacrifice and the mute abomination, permitting the Sanctuary and the host to be trampled?" Daniel 8:13.
What is the time frame? Daniel tells us that "until evening, morning, 2,300. Then the holiness will be corrected.”
The 2,300 comes AFTER the end of the sacrifices (68 CE) -- not at the end of the entire vision. The one ending the sacrifices (Antiochus per Ibn Ezra or Titus per Rashi) does so BEFORE the count begins.
This is the period of time from the end of sacrifices to their beginning again.
Not when some mythical antichrist appears.
Gabriel explains it all to Daniel.
Daniel didn't understand the meaning of the vision -- so the angel Gabriel explained it to him. Gabriel says "Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end. . . The ram that you saw, the one with the horns, represents the kings of Media and Persia. And the he-goat is the king of Greece, and the great horn that is between his eyes-that is the first king. And the broken one, in whose stead stood four, represents four kingdoms [that] will rise from a nation, but not with its strength. And at the end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have been destroyed, there will arise a brazen-faced king who understands riddles.
"And through his intellect, he will cause the deceit in his hand to prosper, and in his heart he will become proud, and in tranquility he will destroy many, and over the Prince of princes he will stand, and without strength he will be broken." Daniel 8:17 - 25..
Who is this last arrogant ruler?
It is not the antichrist -- it is a human king, just as the first kings were human (the kings of Media and Persia and the king of Greece).
Rashi says this evil ruler is Titus of Rome, who destroyed the second Temple.
Ibn Ezra says that it is Antiochus of the Chanukah story, who desecrated the Temple and suspended the sacrifices.
The “stars” in the vision who are the Jewish people who are thrown to the ground and stomped. . .. . the Temple desecrated. . .
Both Titus and Antiochus desecrated the Temple. Titus destroyed the second Temple.
No antichrist, no Jesus and no horrible war of destruction. . .
Speaking of wars of destruction: whenever the T'nach (bible) speaks of bad things that may happen (not WILL happen, but MAY happen) the vision is given as a warning. Bad visions may always be avoided by following the mitzvot of G-d.
The 2,300 comes AFTER the end of the sacrifices -- not at the end of the entire vision. The one ending the sacrifices (Antiochus per Ibn Ezra or Titus per Rashi) does so BEFORE the count begins -- not after it.
This is the period of time from the end of sacrifices to their beginning again.
Which means it did not "fit" Jesus at all since the Temple existed, as did sacrifices, in his lifetime. They did not stop until about 40 years after his death. They have not yet resumed.
Skipping lines 14 - 16 and 17 - 25 is lifting things completely out of context -- and distorting Daniel's vision. Let's read them:
"I heard a holy one speaking; and the holy one said to the anonymous one who was speaking, 'Until when, this vision concerning the daily offering (sacrifice) and the mute abomination, allowing the trampling of the holy one and the host?'
14 "And he said to me, 'Until nightfall, morning, two thousand and three hundred; and then the holy one will be rectified (the sanctuary will be cleansed and sacrifices will resume).'
"15 When I, Daniel, saw the vision I sought understanding, then, behold! there stood before me the likeness of a man. 16 I heard a human voice in the middle of the Ulai; he called out and said, 'Gabriel explain the vision to that [man].
"17 So he came to where I was standing. When he came I was terrified, and I fell face down. He said to me, 'Understand, son of man, that the vision concerns the time of the End.' Artscroll Stone Edition translation.
The vision tells Daniel that vision is about various kingdoms -- four kingdoms will be carved out of Alexander the Great's kingdom. With that final king (Titus says Rashi and Antiochus says Ibn Ezra he Temple services will be interrupted, the Temple degraded (which means the Temple WILL EXIST) and eventually the sacrifices will be suspended.
The sacrifices did cease under Antiochus who built an altar to Zeus in the Temple. Judas Maccabee (of the Chanukah story) removed the idols and cleansed the Temple. This was around 167 BCE.
Titus ordered the destruction of the second Temple circa 68 CE.
Daniel's vision says that the period of time without sacrifices will be 2,300. Daniel 8:14 "And he said to me, 'Until nightfall, morning, two thousand and three hundred; and then the holy one will be rectified (the sanctuary will be cleansed and sacrifices will resume).'
Again -- this doesn't "fit" Jesus. There were sacrifices in his lifetime and nearly 40 years after his death. . .
The 2,300 refers to a time when the holy one will be rectified (not to the time of the end).
Context and chronology are your friend. Try reading things for what they actually say and it will be clearer.
And remember the words of Gabriel: "As for you, obscure the vision, for it [belongs\ to many days hence."
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.