THE MESSIAH: MERE MORTAL?

The Synagogue has always held to the opinion that the Messiah is to be a man like any other man – exceptionally righteous and holy, yes – but still only mere flesh and blood.

However, Scripture depicts a far more exalted portrait of the Messiah:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6

Midrash Rabbah supports that this passage refers to the Messiah: (Devarim) 1.20, Mid. Rab. Bemidbar 2 10-11 (Mah.) In Perek Shalom p. 101 we find “R. Yose the Galilean said, “Great is Peace, for in the hour in which King Messiah is revealed to Israel, he begins with peace… The name of the Messiah is Peace (Isa. 9:5) Also in Mid. Rab. Lam. 1.51 we find “What is the name of King Messiah? R. Abba bar Kahana said, “Lord Adonai is his name” for it is written, “I will raise unto David a righteous shoot… In his days Judah shall be saved… And this is the name whereby he shall be called “The Lord is our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:5-6)

In Zechariah 13:7 Hashem refers to the Messiah as his “equal”! “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man who is my fellow (equal), smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered.” That this shepherd who is God’s equal is the Messiah is verified by the Abarbanel and the Radak.

We see clearly, upon close examination of the Hebrew Grammatical construction in Zech. 12:10, that God and the Messiah are actually one and the same. “And they shall look upon ME whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one who mourns for his only son”. It is undisputed that “ME” here refers to God. The Talmud (Sukkah 52a) verifies that the one “pierced” is none other than the Messiah.

In Psalm 2:7, the Messiah is appelated God’s son. “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my SON, this day I have begotten thee”. The Talmud (Sukkah 52a) verifies that this “SON” is the Messiah Ben David.

In “In `Yannah Shel Toras Hachassidus” (On the Essence of Chassidus) by R. Menachem M. Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, we find the following observations on the nature of the Messiah. (Pg. 23, English Ed.)

“The essential idea of Moshiach is – (Yechida). As it is known, David possessed the level of (Nefesh), Eliyahu of (Ruach), Moshe of (Neshama), Adam of (Chaya) and the Moshiach will possess the level of Yechida. These five names are the five levels of the soul. Nefesh (vitality) is the lowest frame and life-force of the body, the natural soul and simple life of man. Ruach (spirit) is the spiritual faculty vivifying man’s emotional attributes. Neshama (soul) is the divine force vivifying the intellect. Chaya (living) is an even more refined Godly level. Yechida is the divine spark itself enclothed in the most refined spark of the soul, “United and one with God”. It represents total bittul (self-nullification)…..Yechida in this sense is expressed in Mesiras Nefesh (literal self-sacrifice) martyrdom…”

The Messiah – Mere Mortal ??

For additional study on this topic:

Psalm 45:6, where the Messiah is called God.

Isaiah 7:14 Where the Messiah is referred to as

Immanuel (God with us).