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(Last updated 5/25/01)

As mentioned in an earlier section there was and are many ideas within Judaism regarding the characteristics and functions of the Messiah. (i.e., the "two messiah theory" of Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David, being one branch of thought.) The reason for this wide variety of  opinion is that the Bible does not give a simple, definitive explanation of who Messiah is.

Although the word mashiach, (simply meaning "anointed"), appears many times in the Tenakh, the actual term "The Messiah" (haMashiach), referring to one particular and significant individual, does not appear anywhere in the Tenakh. Yet, Jewish tradition as well as Yeshua Himself, make clear that the Torah and Prophets all testify to "the Messiah."

In this section we will examine several ideas concerning attributes of the Messiah, as well as specific individuals (aside from Yeshua) who have been given some type of Messianic identity.


In Matthew chapter 16, we see Peter as the recipient of blessing, for understanding something about Yeshua that seemingly was not apparent to that point. This revelation is said to have been given to Peter from God Himself:

Matthew 16:13-17 - When Yeshua came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Yeshua answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

The above text mentions three aspects of Yeshua:

  1. Yeshua refers to Himself as "the Son of Man"
  2. Peter says He is "the Messiah"
  3. Peter says He "the Son of the Living God."

The concepts of "Son of Man" and "Messiah" were linked in Judaism by time of Yeshua. It would seem that Peter and the others believed Yeshua to be Messiah in some sense:

John 1:40-41 - One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah."

As Peter's words receive praise for revealing something not readily seen, it would seem that the latter part of his statement, referring to Messiah Yeshua as "the Son of the Living God" is signficant.

Later in the same discussion, we see Peter chastised, for making the following comments:

Matthew 16:20-23 - Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Yeshua the Messiah.  From that time Yeshua began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."

This second part of the coversation begins with Yeshua curiously telling his disciples not to reveal that He is the Messiah (more on this below), and revealing to them His role of a suffering, dying and resurrecting tzaddik. As we have discussed earlier in this sudy, the concept of Messiah ben Joseph is closely related to the idea of the Tzaddik (and thus the Sephirah of Yesod). Further, the term used by Peter, "Living God" (El Hai) is also associated with Yesod, the foundation of the lower seven Sephirot.

Peter's later comment that he was rebuked for, shows that he had in mind a "kingly Messiah" of the the "Messiah ben David" type (who will triumphantly usher in the Kingdom and restore Israel to greatness).  As seen by the words and actions of his disciples, the prevalent view of the Messiah among them was one of a conquerer, and not humble, suffering tzaddik:

Acts 1:6 - So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"

Returning to the original comment that he was praised for, Peter had linked the (kingly) Messiah with the Tzaddik, "Son of the Living God," who is a "Messiah ben Joseph," that suffers for the sake of atonement for his brethren. Thus, we might say that Peter was right about what he previously said about the Messiah, but he did not truly know what he was saying.


From what the Bible and extra-Biblical sources tell of John the Baptist, he seems to have been from an Essene background as opposed to Pharisaic. Interestingly, Andrew, the brother of Peter, was one of John's disciples:

John 1:35-41 - Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, "What do you seek?" They said to Him, "Rabbi" (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), "where are You staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah."

Note John's early comments about his cousin Yeshua:

John 1:29 - The next day John saw Yeshua coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1:35-36 - Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Yeshua as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!"

It would seem that John held a different image of Messiah than did Peter (and most of the people - see below). John's chief concern is with the forgivensss of sin, not the restoration of the Kingdom.

As we have discussed, the theme of "forgiveness of sin" is associated with the Passover theme (i.e., the "Lamb of God"), and victory over the demonic realm. This is reflected in one of Yeshua's own comments in John's account, which ties victory over haSatan to the idea of the Tzaddik being "lifted up from the earth," as mentioned in an earlier study. Note the people's expressed view of a Messiah who does not die (i.e., Messiah ben David), and how this causes confusion in their minds regarding the "Son of Man":

John 12:30-34 - Yeshua answered and said, "This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." This He said, signifying by what death He would die. The people answered Him, "We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever; and how can You say, "The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?"

John's view is further demonstrated in Luke's account where we have what is often considered by critics to be a contradictory passage. Here we have John, who already testified to Yeshua being "the Messiah," asking his disciples to find out if Yeshua is the Messiah:

Matthew 11:2-3 - And when John had heard in prison about the works of Messiah, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"

Luke 7:18-21 - And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Yeshua, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

On the surface it would seem John's memory has failed him, but in reality, John knows perfectly well that Yeshua is the Messiah - that is the Messiah who comes to deal with sin. What he is seeking to find out is if Yeshua is also the Messiah coming to restore all things, as associated with the Yovel (Jubilee) year.

It would seem that John was considering whether there was one or two Messiahs to come. This is a very critical point, as it is in the writings of the Qumran community (the Dead Sea Scrolls) that we find hints at an understanding that there may be one Messiah who fulfills "both roles." (This idea is discussed further in this section.)

Also important is Yeshua's "coded response" to John. Rather than giving a straight yes/no answer, He replies in terms of the Yovel Year (Jubilee), as prophesied by Isaiah - a time of restoration:

Matthew 11:4-6 - Yeshua answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."

Luke 7:22-23 - And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Yeshua answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

What is interesting about Yeshua's reply lies in the details. The ideas of Messiah causing the lame to walk, lepers to be healed, deaf to hear, and the gospel to be preached was a common understanding taken from passages in the Tenakh, particularly Isaiah. What is unusual is the mention of the dead being raised. This was not such a familiar or accepted concept at that time. As we will see the missing piece to this puzzle may come from Qumran.

In summation, it could be said that the Pharisees, being the party of the "common man" were more concerned with a Kingly, conquering Messiah, who would bring back the Kingdom. This was found in the figure of Messiah ben David. This would also suggest a reason that the Pharisees wanted to kill Yeshua. If they could accomplish this, it would proved He was not the Messiah.

The Essenes (originating from the Saducees, who once held firm control over the Temple and Priesthood), did not "mingle" within society as the Pharisees did, and would most likely have been concerned with the atoning/priestly aspects of the Messiah.

Yeshua's reason for not telling His Jewish brethren that He was the "Messiah" may have had something to do with their view of who the Messiah was. The common people would most likely have held to the popular Pharisaic view (see notes to John 12:30-34 above), and when He did not establish the Kingdom, and was killed, they would have been let down.

To review, the following were the basic expectations of the "two Messiah" theory:

  • Messiah ben Joseph would suffer, fight and die, for His people. (Kabbalistically, He also brings tikkun.)
  • Messiah ben David would arrive to usher in the Kingdom and (possibly) resurrect the dead, but would not Himself die.


One of the peculiar aspects of Yeshua's ministry is His unwillingness to make clear who He was to His Jewish brethren (other than to His immediate followers):

Matthew 16:20-23 - Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Yeshua the Messiah.

It would seem that this tactic was effective:

John 10:24 - Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, "How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly."

This is not to say that Yeshua denied being the Messiah (as seen in his comments to Peter above). Despite cautioning His disciples and other Jews not to reveal that He was he Messiah, when speaking to a non-Jew, He made it very clear that He was just that:

John 4:25-26 - The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming". "When He comes, He will tell us all things." Yeshua said to her, "I who speak to you am He."

This woman was not the only non-Jew that He informed of His identity:

John 4:39-42 - And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did." So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Messiah, the Savior of the world."

Yeshua thus cloaked His Messiahship from His Jewish brethren, but not from those outside of the faith of Israel. This "double standard" would seem to be based on the idea that those of Israel had no excuse for not recognizing Him (if they were following Torah correctly), whereas to those who did not have the Torah, He made Himself more "obvious."

As He said to the leaders of the people:

Matthew 16:3 - You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

As mentioned earlier in this study, by the time Yeshua arrived, the lack of Torah study at the deeper (kabbalistic) levels, had cause this confusion and error within Judaism regarding the characteristics and complete role of Messiah.

This was something that only Messiah Himself could rectify, as is written:

Genesis Rabbah 98:9 - When he, about whom it is written, "Lowly and riding upon an ass" (Zechariah 9:9) will come ... he will elucidate for them the words of the Tora ... and elucidate for them their errors.


The relationship between Messiah and the resurrection of the dead is unclear throughout Jewish writings. Some texts simply link the resurrection to the time of Messiah, while others indicate that he is directly involvoed. Later Jewish literature associates the figure of Messiah ben David with this theme.1

The following text clearly links Messiah directly to the resurrection, and presents him as a human, being of the children of the children of Adam:

Pirqe Mashiah, BhM 3:73-74 - In that hour, the Holy One blessed be He, will crown the Messiah and place a helmet of salvation on his head, and give him splendor and radiance, and adorn him with the clothes of honor, and stand him up on top of a high mountain in order to bring glad tidings toIsrael. And he will let it hear with his voice: "Salvation is near!" And Israel will say: Who are you?" And he will say: "I am Ephraim." And Israel will say: "Are you the one whom the Holy One blessed be He, called 'Ephraim, My firstborn, Ephraim is a darling son to me'?" And he will say, "Yes." And Israel will say to him: "Go and bring glad tidings to them that sleep in (the Cave of) Machpela, that they should rise first. In that hour he goes up and brings glad tidings to those who sleep in Machpela, and says t othem: "Abrhama, Isaac, and Jacob, rise! Enough have you slept!" And they reply and say: Who is this that removes the dust from over us?" And he says to them: "I am the Messiah of the Lord. Salvation is near. The hour is near." And they answer: "If it is really so, go and bring the tidings to Adam the first man, so that he should rise first." In the hour he says to Adam the first man: "Enough have you slept." And he says: "Who is this who drives the slumber from my eyes?" And he says: I am the Messiah of God from among the children of your children."

Of special interest in the above citation is the reference to Messiah being Ephraim, the "first born." In the Zohar we that Metatron is called "first begotten of all the creatures of Elohim" and is appointed to resurrect the dead:

Zohar, Genesis p.126, Amsterdam Edition - And Abraham said to his oldest servant of his house" (Gen. 24:2) Who is this of whom it said "his servant?" In what sense must this be understood? Who is this servant? R. Nehori answered: "It is in no other sense to be understood than expressed in the word "His servant," His servant, the servant of Elohim, the chief to His service. And who is he? Metatron, as said, He is appointed to glorify the bodies which are in the grave. This is the meaning of the words "Abraham said to His servant" that is to the servant of Elohim. The servant is Metatron, the eldest of His [YHWH's] House, who is the first-begotten of all creatures of Elohim, who is the ruler of all He has; because Elohim has committed to Him the government over all His hosts.

As mentioned earlier, Kabbalistic teaching associated the "First born" with the divine Sephirah of Yesod (i.e., Righteous One/Tzaddik - Foundation):

Several Kabbalistic traditions recognize "the Righteous One" as being the first "created being," and associate this with the primordial light made on the first day of creation, which was then "hidden away" for a later time. God saw that the world could not exist without this Foundation, which is called "light." 2

Messiah is also seen as having the power of resurrection in the following document:

Yemenite Apocalypse, pp. 326-327 - In the future, all the nations of the world will come to the Messiah and say to him,: Have we not heard about you that it is in your power to slay and to bring back to life?

Another text implies Messiah's role in the resurrection by making a connection between his arrival and this event. What is interesting here is the comment that, "all who have fallen asleep in hope of him shall rise again," - establishing a connection between eternal life and "faith in Messiah" himself. (See comments to John 11:20-27 below):

2 Baruch 30:1-5 - And it shall come to pass after these things, when the time of the advent of the Messiah is fulfilled, that he shall return in glory. Then all who have fallen asleep in hope of him shall rise again. And it shall come to pass at that time that the treasuries will be opened in which is preserved the number of the souls of the righteous, and they shall come forth, and a multitude of souls shall be seen together in one assemblage of one thought, and the first shall rejoice and the last shall not be greived.

The power of resurrection being in the hands of Messiah ben David is seen in the following text, which speaks of the end times where Messiah ben Joseph is killed by the anti-Messiah (known in Jewish legend as "Armilus"):

Hai Gaon, Responsum - When Messiah ben Joseph is killed, his body will remain cast out (in the streets) for forty days, but no unclean thing will touch him, until Messiah ben David comes and brings him back to life, as commanded by the Lord.

Other Jewish writings reserve the resurrection of the dead to "the Holy One blessed be He," (i.e., Tipheret - see previous studies), and not the Messiah:

Pes. Hadta, BhM 6:58 - In the future, the Holy One blessed be He, will resurrect the dead.

Seder Eliyahu Rabba, 5, p. 22 - The resurrection of the dead will be brought about by the Holy One blessed be He, in this world in order to sanctify His great name in the days of the Messiah, and in order to give rewards to those who love Him and fear Him in the World to Come.

Midrash Alpha Beta diR. Akiba, BhM 3:31 - And how does the Holy One blessed be He, resuscitate the dead in the World to Come? We are taught that the Holy One blessed be He, takes in His hand a great shofar, which is a thousand cubits of the cubits of the Holy One blessed be He, and blows it, and its sound goes from one end of the world to the other.

What we therefore see in the Jewish writings is both the Messiah as Tzaddik (Yesod) as well as the Holy One blessed be He (Tipheret), being given credit/responsibility regarding the resurrection of the dead. As we have discussed previously in this study, the Sephirot of Yesod is in the image of Tipheret. The two are closely linked, as has also been mentioned regarding the role of Metatron, who is described in terms associated with both Yesod and Tipheret.

In John's account we see Martha displaying an understanding of the relationship between the Divine Tzaddik, God (i.e., Tipheret) and the resurrection of the dead. She links Messiah's power of resurrection as coming directly from His relationship with God. She further associates Messiah as the "Son of God" who "came into the world," establishing a Divine connection. (See previous studies on the descent of the Divine Tzaddik). Yeshua in turn links resurrection to "believing in Him" as seen in 2 Baruch 30:1-5 above:

John 11:20-27 - Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Yeshua was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Yeshua, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." Yeshua said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Yeshua said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

Martha's last comment is interesting as there was a great deal of mystery surrounding the Messiah's origins. This is seen elsewhere in John's account:

John 7:25-27 - Now some of them from Jerusalem said, "Is this not He whom they seek to kill? But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Messiah? However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one knows where He is from."

The idea of the Messiah's origins being shrouded in mystery is found in various Jewish writings, that states that several things preexisted our world, including; Torah, Repentance, the Garden of Eden, Gehenna, God's Throne of Glory, the Fathers, Israel, the Temple and the Messiah.

Of these concepts, the teachings surrounding Messiah are the oldest, with Messiah appearing preexistent in the Book of Enoch, dated around 150 BCE. Subsequent ideas include the name of Messiah preexisting as well as his spirit or soul, and even He Himself (along with His throne), being fashioned before the world was created.3


There was one expectation that the various views of Messiah shared -- the Messiah would come from the lineage of Judah. This of course creates conflict with regard to the idea of a "priestly aspect" to Messiah (as presented earlier in this study), as the priesthood comes via Levi and not Judah. To solve this "conflict" the writings of the Essenes (Dead Sea Scrolls) is invaluable, along with our prior teachings on the Supernal Torah and unity of things in the higher heavenly realms.

The Essenes were dedicated to living sanctified lives and studying the Torah. What we find in their writings is not only the idea of a priestly Messiah, but als the union of Priest and King in one Messiah. This is found in the figure of Melkizedek.

Perhaps the most important thing we know from Tenakh about Melkizedek (whose name means "righteous king"), is that he is associated with a type of priesthood:

Psalm 110:1-7 - The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool." The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! Your people shall be volunteers, In the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth. The LORD has sworn And will not relent, "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries. He shall drink of the brook by the wayside; Therefore He shall lift up the head.

Among the Dead Sea Scrolls is one document, commonly called "the Coming of Melkizedek," that gives great detail into the Essene's view of  the aspects and roles of this mystical figure.4

These include concepts such as:

  • The Yovel Year (Jubilee) having to do with more than just forgiveness of secular debt, but also the forgiveness of sin
  • God's agent of salvation is Melkizedek who performs actions associated directly with God, such as the atoning for sin and executing judgment upon the world
  • By the power of Melkizedek, haSatan's power is taken away
  • Melkizedek is presented as a divine figure, including substitution of his name for the divine name of YHWH in a citation of Isaiah 61:2

The Qumran text follows. Missing fragments are indicated by a (...):

11Q13 Col.2 - (...) And concerning what Scripture says, "In this year of Jubilee you shall return, everyone f you, to your property" (Lev. 25;13) And what is also written; "And this is the manner of the remission; every creditor shall remit the claim that is held against a neighbor, not exacting it of a neighbor who is a member of the community, because God`s remission has been proclaimed" (Deut.15;2) the interpretation is that it applies to the Last Days and concerns the captives, just as Isaiah said: "To proclaim the Jubilee to the captives" (Isa. 61;1) (...) just as (...) and from the inheritance of Melchizedek, for (... Melchizedek) , who will return them to what is rightfully theirs. He will proclaim to them the Jubilee, thereby releasing them from the debt of all their sins. He shall proclaim this decree in the first week of the jubilee period that follows nine jubilee periods. Then the "Day of Atonement" shall follow after the tenth jubilee period, when he shall atone for all the Sons of Light, and the people who are predestined to Melchizedek. (...) upon them (...) For this is the time decreed for the "Year of Melchizedek`s favour", and by his might he will judge God`s holy ones and so establish a righteous kingdom, as it is written about him in the Songs of David; "A godlike being has taken his place in the council of God; in the midst of divine beings he holds judgement" (ps. 82;1). Scripture also says about him ; "Over it take your seat in the highest heaven; A divine being will judge the peoples" (Ps. 7;7-8) Concerning what scripture says; "How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality with the wicked? Selah" (Ps. 82;2)  the interpretation applies to Belial and the spirits predestined to him, because all of them have rebelled, turning from God`s precepts and so becoming utterly wicked. Therefore Melchizedek will thoroughly prosecute the vengenance required by God`s statutes. Also, he will deliver all the captives from the power of Belial, and from the power of all the spirits destined to him. Allied with him will be all the "righteous divine beings"(Isa. 61;3). (The ...) is that whi(ch ...all) the divine beings. The visitation is the Day of Salvation that He has decreed through Isaiah the prophet concerning all the captives, inasmuch as Scripture says,  "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion "Your divine being reigns"." (Isa. 52;7) This scriptures interpretation : "the mountains" are the prophets, they who were sent to proclaim God`s truth and to prophesy to all Israel. "The messengers" is the Anointed of the spirit, of whom Daniel spoke;  "After the sixty-two weeks, an Anointed shall be cut off"(Dan. 9;26)  The "messenger who brings good news, who announces Salvation" is the one of whom it is written; "to proclaim the year of the LORD`s favour , the day of the vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn" (Isa. 61;2)  This scripture`s interpretation: he is to instruct them about all the periods of history for eternity (... and in the statutes) of the truth. (...) (.... dominion) that passes from Belial and returns to the Sons of Light (....) (...) by the judgment of God, just as t is written concerning him; "who says to Zion "Your divine being reigns" (Isa. 52;7) "Zion" is the congregation of all the sons of righteousness, who uphold the covenant and turn from walking in the way of the people. "Your divine being" is Melchizedek, who will deliver them from the power of Belial. Concerning what scripture says, "Then you shall have the trumpet sounded loud; in the seventh month ..." (Lev. 25;9)

Another important text from Qumran gives deeper insight into the statements made by Yeshua to the disciples of John the Baptist (Matthew 11:4-6 and Luke 7:22-23) as mentioned above. Here we have a single Messiah who will rule heaven and earth. The resurrection of the dead during the time of this Messiah is also key:

4Q521 - [the hea]vens and the earth will listen to His Messiah, and none therein will stray from the commandments of the holy ones. Seekers of the Lord, strengthen yourselves in His service! All you hopeful in (your) heart, will you not find the Lord in this? For the Lord will consider the pious (hasidim) and call the righteous by name. Over the poor His spirit will hover and will renew the faithful with His power. And He will glorify the pious on the throne of the eternal Kingdom. He who liberates the captives, restores sight to the blind, straightens the b[ent] And f[or] ever I will cleav[ve to the h]opeful and in His mercy ... And the fr[uit ...] will not be delayed for anyone. And the Lord will accomplish glorious things which have never been as [He ...] For He will heal the wounded, and revive the dead and bring good news  to the poor ... He will lead the uprooted and knowledge . . .

What is important to note in the above text is the idea of resurrection of the dead, being one of the roles of the Messiah. This is not explicitly mentioned in the Tenakh, yet both the scroll at Qumran and the "New Testament" accounts of Matthew and Luke, add this to His function. This would show a definite Qumranian influence in the teachings of Yeshua and His disciples.


A key theme we have discussed throughout this study is the mystery of the relationship between Yesod and Tipheret. This may be compared to the affinity between Messiah ben Joseph (the suffering tzaddik type) and Messiah ben David (the "heavenly" type, who arrives to "crown" the tikkun performed by the former (and resurrects him), followd by ushering in the Kingdom.

As we have seen, Melchizedek plays the dual role of priestly-tzaddik and judgmental Messiah. Our analysis of the figure of Metatron also plays an important role here, as we have seen that he has aspects of both Tipheret and Yesod in his function. Metatron so closely resembles God Himself that he is even called "the Lesser YHWH," much as Melchizedek is substituted for God in the above Qumran text.

As might be expected, there is also an association between Metatron and Melchizedek in Jewish tradition:

Metatron, legend says, has manifested throughout history as various great teachers, one of whom may have been Melchizedek, the king without father or mother, who initiated Abraham into the line. 5

It is in the "New Testament" book of Hebrews (where he is mentioned nine times), Melchizedek is given a very mysterious countenance. It is said of him that he has no parental lineage. The priesthood mentioned in Psalm 110 is said to be the Supernal Priesthood (as discussed earlier).

Speaking of Yeshua, the book of Hebrews says:

Hebrews 5:5-11 - So also Messiah did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You." As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever, According to the order of Melchizedek"; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek," of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

Note that the understanding of these (kabbalistic) mysteries concerning Melchizedek had been lost to the recipients of this letter. This results in a rebuke from the author as seen in the last sentence.

Hebrews associates Melchizedek with aspects of High Priest and the Tzaddik, who effects the tikkun of the heavenly Holy of Holies and whose characteristics we have already discussed in detail:

Hebrews 6:19-20 - This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Yeshua, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

In the next series of verse, Hebrews clearly links the ideas of kingly and priestly Messiah, tying these to "the Son of God" (i.e., Tipheret). Here we also see the theme of "levels of Torah" (as discussed in an earlier section), whereby the priesthood of Levi (as part of the historical Torah of Sinai) is subordinate to the Supernal priesthood of Melchizedek.

The idea of a "change in the Priesthood" as presented in the book of Hebrews, cannot be viewed as an "abrogation of the Torah." Nothing in Yeshua's work does away with one jot or tittle of the Torah (Matthew 5:17-21), yet Scripture clearly presents a radically different priesthood in the Millennial Temple as discussed in a previous section of our study.

The following text intensely combines Kabbalistic principles with Qumranian concepts:

Hebrews 7:1-28 - For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated "king of righteousness," and then also king of Salem, meaning "king of peace," without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. For He testifies: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek." For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: "The LORD has sworn and will not relent, "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek"), by so much more Yeshua has become a surety of a better covenant. Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.


Another "Messianic figure" in Jewish literature is found in the Zohar. Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai, along with his associates (who lived about 100 years after Yeshua), is said to have brought about a tikkun of the world. This process, stemming from the efforts of benYohai and his companions, effected the highest realm of the heavenlies (Arikh Anpin) from which then flowed blessings, which decended throught the Godhead back down to man. (This principle was discussed in the previous section.)

The idea that a flaw in the "Divine world" could be rectified by a tzaddik such as Rabbi benYohai, is addressed in the Zohar by associating him with the Sephirah of Yesod itself, as he is also said to have been called by God from the first day of creation (i.e., the "foundation" of the world). This would therefore give a measure of divinity to ben Yohai:

Soncino Zohar, Vayikra, Section 3, Page 61b-62a - We have learnt that all the truly virtuous before they come into the world are prepared above and called by their names. And R. Simeon ben Yohai from the first day of Creation was stationed before the Holy One, blessed be He, and God called him by his name, happy is his portion above and below!’ R. Abba took as his text the verse: "While the king sat at his table, my spikenard sent forth its fragrance" (S.S. I, 12). ‘This has been applied by the Companions to the children of Israel when at the giving of the Law they sent forth a sweet fragrance which will bestead them in all generations by saying "we will do and we will hear". Or we may translate "my spikenard forsook its fragrance", applying the words to the making of the calf. There is, however, also an esoteric allusion in this verse. It says "A river went forth from Eden to water the garden" (Gen. II, 10). This stream first issues in a path which none knoweth. Then Eden joins with it in perfect union, and then fountains and streams issue and crown the holy Son, who thereupon assumes the inheritance of his Father and Mother, and the supernal King regales himself with royal delights. Then "my spikenard gives forth its fragrance": this is Yesod, who sends forth blessings at the union of the Holy King and the Matrona, and so blessings are dispensed to all worlds and upper and lower are blessed. And now the Sacred Lamp is crowned with the crowns of that grade, and he and the Companions send up praises from earth to heaven wherewith She is crowned. Now blessings must be brought down from heaven on to the Companions through that grade.

Interestingly, Rabbi Simeon refers to himself as a "first-born" in support of his role:

For it is written, "With the loss of his first-born he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son shall he set up its gates." (Joshua 6:26).6

As seen in the above section of this study (re: Pirqe Mashiah, BhM 3:73-74 and Zohar, Genesis p.126, Amsterdam Edition), the title of "first born" or "first begotten" is associated with Messiah and/or Metatron.

Yehuda Liebes states that the Zohar goes as far as suggesting that the death of Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai effected a tikkun upon the Shekinah itself, as his soul arrived in Paradise (which is the Shekinah), and through a mystical union (devekut) effected the tikkun. Liebes states that the idea exists in Kabbalistic teaching, that when there is a "great flaw" in the Godhead, the surrender of the soul on the part of the tzaddik is not enough, in such as case, his actual death is necessary to bring tikkun above. He further points out that the "surrender of the soul" to the Shekinah, atones for man's spiritual sins in the same fashion as his death does, something Malkut (the Shekinah) "derives pleasure from." This devotional surrender of the soul to the Shekinah, first brings about tikkun to the supernal world of the Sephirot, and through this, the terrestrial world.7

This is reminiscent of David's words in Psalm 116, who was servant to the "handmaid" of God:

Psalm 116:15-16 - Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.

The aspect of divinity being present "within a human being" is perhaps the single biggest issue concerning the Messiah, and specifically Yeshua. Outside of a Kabbalistic understanding of the Scriptures, such an idea has no valid justification. However, with the knowledge of God as revealed through the Sephirot, and the associated Kabbalistic teachings, one can make an argument (as the Zohar does with Simeon ben Yohai), of a divine presence within a person.

In the book of 2 Chronicles, we see Solomon contemplating the idea of "God existing" within a the Temple:

2 Chronicles 6:18 - But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!

Solomon's question is a valid one. After all, how could "God" be "contained in any "structure," especially one made by sinful humans (as opposed to being "built" by God Himself)?

Yet, Solomon and the people of Israel believed this to be possible and dedicated the Temple, where indeed "God did reside" in a form that could be "seen and heard." Jews and others today, believe this to have occured. This is foundational to their faith.

The decisive question comes to this: If God, (not Eyn Sof, but as we can know Him through the Sephirot) can "exist" in a physical form in this world within a structure made my man (the Temple), how possible is it for Him to "exist" in a structure that He Himself "fashioned," in the form of a "human tabernacle?"

1. The following citations regarding Messiah and resurrection in Jewish literature, are taken directly from, The Messiah Texts, Raphael Patai, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1979.

2. On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah, Gershom Scholem, Schocken Books, New York, 1991, p. 100-101.

3. The Messiah Texts, Raphael Patai, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1979, p. 16.

4. Dead Sea Scrolls, A New Translation, Wise, Abegg & Cook, HarperSanFrancisco, 1996, p. 455.

5 The Way of Kabbalah, Z'ev Ben Shimon Halevi, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine, 1976, p. 16.

6. Studies in the Zohar, Yehuda Liebes, SUNY Press, Albany, 1993, p. 52.

7. ibid, p. 52-54.