Jewish eschatology

Jewish eschatology is the area of Jewish philosophy and theology concerned with events that will happen in the end of days and related concepts, according to the Hebrew Bible and Jewish thought. This includes the ingathering of the exiled diaspora, the coming of a Jewish Messiah, afterlife, and the revival of the dead Tzadikim. In Judaism, the end times are usually called the "end of days" (aḥarit ha-yamim, אחרית הימים), a phrase that appears several times in the Tanakh.

Until the late modern era, the standard Jewish belief was that after one dies, one's immortal soul joins God in the world to come while one's body decomposes. At the end of days, God will recompose one's body, place within it one's immortal soul, and that person will stand before God in judgement. The idea of a messianic age has a prominent place in Jewish thought, and is incorporated as part of the end of days. Jewish philosophers from medieval times to the present day have emphasized the soul's immortality.[1]

Origins and development

In Judaism, the main textual source for the belief in the end of days and accompanying events is the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible. The roots of Jewish eschatology are to be found in the pre-exile Prophets, including Isaiah and Jeremiah, and the exile-prophets Ezekiel and Deutero-Isaiah.[web 1] The main tenets of Jewish eschatology are the following, in no particular order, elaborated in the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel:[2]

It is also believed that history will complete itself and the ultimate destination will be reached when all mankind returns to the Garden of Eden.[3]

Jewish messianism


The Hebrew word mashiach (or moshiach) refers to the Jewish idea of the messiah. Mashiach means anointed, a meaning preserved in the English word derived from it, messiah. The Messiah is to be a human leader, physically descended from the Davidic line, who will rule and unite the people of Israel[4] and will usher in the Messianic Age[5] of global and universal peace. While the name of Jewish Messiah is considered to be one of the things that precede creation,[6] he is not considered divine, in contrast to Christianity where Jesus is both divine and the Messiah.

In biblical times the title mashiach was awarded to someone in a high position of nobility and greatness. For example, Cohen ha-Mašíaḥ means High Priest. In the Talmudic era the title mashiach or מלך המשיח, Méleḫ ha-Mašíaḥ (in the Tiberian vocalization is pronounced Méleḵ haMMāšîªḥ) literally means "the anointed King". It is a reference to the Jewish leader and king that will redeem Israel in the end of days and usher in a messianic era of peace and prosperity for both the living and deceased.[7]

Early Second Temple period (516 BCE - c.220 BCE)

Early in the Second temple Period hopes for a better future are described in the Jewish scriptures.[web 2] After the return from the Babylonic exile, the Persian king Cyrus II was called "messiah" in Isiaiah, due to his role in the return of the Jews exiles.[web 2]

Later Second Temple Period (c.220 BCE - 70 CE)

A number of messianic ideas developed during the later Second Temple Period, ranging from this-worldy, political expectations, to apocalyptic expectations of an endtime in which the dead would be resurrected and the Kingdom of Heaven would be established on earth.[web 2] The Messiah might be a kingly "Son of David," or a more heavenly "Son of Man," but "Messianism became increasingly eschatological, and eschatology was decisively influenced by apocalypticism," while "messianic expectations became increasingly focused on the figure of an individual savior.[web 2] According to Zwi Werblowsky, "the Messiah no longer symbolized the coming of the new age, but he was somehow supposed to bring it about. The "Lord's anointed" thus became the "savior and redeemer" and the focus of more intense expectations and doctrines."[web 2] Messianic ideas developed both by new interpretations (pesher, midrash) of the Jewish scriptures, but also by visionary revelations.[web 2]


Talmud set
A full set of the Babylonian Talmud

The Babylonian Talmud (200-500 CE), tractate Sanhedrin, contains a long discussion of the events leading to the coming of the Messiah.[note 1] Throughout Jewish history Jews have compared these passages (and others) to contemporary events in search of signs of the Messiah's imminent arrival, continuing into present times.

The Talmud tells many stories about the Messiah, some of which represent famous Talmudic rabbis as receiving personal visitations from Elijah the Prophet and the Messiah.[note 2]

Rabbinic commentaries

Monument to Maimonides in Córdoba

In rabbinic literature, the rabbis elaborated and explained the prophecies that were found in the Hebrew Bible along with the oral law and rabbinic traditions about its meaning.[2]

Maimonides' commentary to tractate Sanhedrin stresses a relatively naturalistic interpretation of the Messiah, de-emphasizing miraculous elements. His commentary became widely (although not universally) accepted in the non- or less-mystical branches of Orthodox Judaism.[9][note 3]

Contemporary views

Orthodox Judaism

The belief in a human Messiah of the Davidic line is a universal tenet of faith among Orthodox Jews and one of Maimonides' thirteen principles of faith.

Some authorities in Orthodox Judaism believe that this era will lead to supernatural events culminating in a bodily resurrection of the dead. Maimonides, on the other hand, holds that the events of the messianic era are not specifically connected with the resurrection. (See the Maimonides article.)

Conservative Judaism

Conservative Judaism varies in its teachings. While it retains traditional references to a personal redeemer and prayers for the restoration of the Davidic line in the liturgy, Conservative Jews are more inclined to accept the idea of a messianic era:

We do not know when the Messiah will come, nor whether he will be a charismatic human figure or is a symbol of the redemption of mankind from the evils of the world. Through the doctrine of a Messianic figure, Judaism teaches us that every individual human being must live as if he or she, individually, has the responsibility to bring about the messianic age. Beyond that, we echo the words of Maimonides based on the prophet Habakkuk (2:3) that though he may tarry, yet do we wait for him each day... (Emet ve-Emunah: Statement of Principles of Conservative Judaism)[11]

Reform Judaism

Reform Judaism generally concurs with the more liberal Conservative perspective of a future messianic era rather than a personal Messiah.[12]

Characteristics of the endtime

War of Gog and Magog

According to Ezekiel chapter 38, the "war of Gog and Magog", a climactic war, will take place at the end of the Jewish exile. According to Radak, this war will take place in Jerusalem.[13] However, a chassidic tradition holds that the war will not in fact occur, as the sufferings of exile have already made up for it.[14]

The world to come

Olam Ha-Ba

The hereafter is known as olam ha-ba the "world to come", עולם הבא in Hebrew,[15][16] and related to concepts of Gan Eden, the Heavenly "Garden in Eden", or paradise, and Gehinom.[17][18][note 4] The phrase olam ha-ba does not occur in the Hebrew Bible. The accepted halakha is that it is impossible for living human beings to know what the world to come is like.[20][note 5]

Second Temple Period

In the late Second Temple period, beliefs about the ultimate fate of the individual were diverse. The Essenes believed in the immortality of the soul, but the Pharisees and Sadducees, apparently, did not.[22] The Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish Pseudepigrapha and Jewish magical papyri reflect this diversity.

Medieval rabbinical views

While all classic rabbinic sources discuss the afterlife, the classic Medieval scholars dispute the nature of existence in the "End of Days" after the messianic period. While Maimonides describes an entirely spiritual existence for souls, which he calls "disembodied intellects," Nahmanides discusses an intensely spiritual existence on Earth, where spirituality and physicality are merged. Both agree that life after death is as Maimonides describes the "End of Days." This existence entails an extremely heightened understanding of and connection to the Divine Presence. This view is shared by all classic rabbinic scholars.[23]

According to Maimonides, any non-Jew who lives according to the Seven Laws of Noah is regarded as a righteous gentile, and is assured of a place in the world to come, the final reward of the righteous.[24][25]

There is much rabbinic material on what happens to the soul of the deceased after death, what it experiences, and where it goes. At various points in the afterlife journey, the soul may encounter: Hibbut ha-kever, the pains of the grave; Dumah, the angel of silence; Satan as the angel of death; the Kaf ha-Kela, the catapult of the soul; Gehinom (purgatory); and Gan Eden (heaven or paradise). All classic rabbinic scholars agree that these concepts are beyond typical human understanding. Therefore, these ideas are expressed throughout rabbinic literature through many varied parables and analogies.[23]

Gehinom is fairly well defined in rabbinic literature. It is sometimes translated as "hell", but is much closer to the Catholic view of purgatory than to the Christian view of hell, which differs from the classical Jewish view. Rabbinic thought maintains that souls are not tortured in gehinom forever; the longest that one can be there is said to be eleven months, with the exception of heretics, and unobservant Jews.[26] This is the reason that even when in mourning for near relatives, Jews will not recite mourner's kaddish for longer than an eleven-month period. Gehinom is considered a spiritual forge where the soul is purified for its eventual ascent to Gan Eden ("Garden of Eden").[27]

19th century legends

In the 19th century book Legends of the Jews, Louis Ginzberg compiled Jewish legends found in rabbinic literature. Among the legends are ones about the world to come and the two Gardens of Eden. The world to come is called Paradise, and it is said to have a double gate made of carbuncle that is guarded by 600,000 shining angels.[28] Seven clouds of glory overshadow Paradise, and under them, in the center of Paradise, stands the tree of life. [29] The tree of life overshadows Paradise too, and it has fifteen thousand different tastes and aromas that winds blow all across Paradise.[30] Under the tree of life are many pairs of canopies, one of stars and the other of sun and moon, while a cloud of glory separates the two. In each pair of canopies sits a rabbinic scholar who explains the Torah to one.[31] When one enters Paradise one is proffered by Michael (archangel) to God on the altar of the temple of the heavenly Jerusalem,[32] whereupon one is transfigured into an angel (the ugliest person becomes as beautiful and shining as "the grains of a silver pomegranate upon which fall the rays of the sun").[33] The angels that guard Paradise's gate adorn one in seven clouds of glory, crown one with gems and pearls and gold, place eight myrtles in one's hand, and praise one for being righteous while leading one to a garden of eight hundred roses and myrtles that is watered by many rivers.[34] In the garden is one's canopy, its beauty according to one's merit, but each canopy has four rivers - milk, honey, wine, and balsam[35] - flowing out from it, and has a golden vine and thirty shining pearls hanging from it.[36] Under each canopy is a table of gems and pearls attended to by sixty angels.[37] The light of Paradise is the light of the righteous people therein.[38] Each day in Paradise one wakes up a child and goes to bed an elder to enjoy the pleasures of childhood, youth, adulthood, and old age.[39] In each corner of Paradise is a forest of 800,000 trees, the least among the trees greater than the best herbs and spices,[40] attended to by 800,000 sweetly singing angels.[41] Paradise is divided into seven paradises, each one 120,000 miles long and wide.[42] Depending on one's merit, one joins one of the paradises: the first is made of glass and cedar and is for converts to Judaism; the second is of silver and cedar and is for penitents; the third is of silver and gold, gems and pearls, and is for the patriarchs, Moses and Aaron, the Israelites that left Egypt and lived in the wilderness, and the kings of Israel; the fourth is of rubies and olive wood and is for the holy and steadfast in faith; the fifth is like the third, except a river flows through it and its bed was woven by Eve and angels, and it is for the Messiah and Elijah; and the sixth and seventh divisions are not described, except that they are respectively for those who died doing a pious act and for those who died from an illness in expiation for Israel's sins.[43]

Beyond Paradise, according to Legends of the Jews, is the higher Gan Eden, where God is enthroned and explains the Torah to its inhabitants.[44] The higher Gan Eden contains three hundred ten worlds and is divided into seven compartments.[45] The compartments are not described, though it is implied that each compartment is greater than the previous one and is joined based on one's merit.[46] The first compartment is for Jewish martyrs, the second for those who drowned, the third for "Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai and his disciples," the fourth for those whom the cloud of glory carried off, the fifth for penitents, the sixth for youths who have never sinned; and the seventh for the poor who lived decently and studied the Torah.[47]

In contemporary Judaism

Irving Greenberg

Irving Greenberg, representing a Modern Orthodox viewpoint, describes the afterlife as a central Jewish teaching, deriving from the belief in reward and punishment. According to Greenberg, suffering Medieval Jews emphasized the World to Come as a counterpoint to the difficulties of this life, while early Jewish modernizers portrayed Judaism as interested only in this world as a counterpoint to "otherworldly" Christianity. Greenberg sees each of these views as leading to an undesired extreme - overemphasizing the afterlife leads to asceticism, while devaluing the afterlife deprives Jews of the consolation of eternal life and justice - and calls for a synthesis, in which Jews can work to perfect this world, while also recognizing the immortality of the soul.[48]

Conservative Judaism both affirms belief in the world beyond (as referenced in the Amidah and Maimonides' Thirteen Precepts of Faith) while recognizing that human understanding is limited and we cannot know exactly what the world beyond consists of. Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism affirm belief in the afterlife, though they downplay the theological implications in favor of emphasizing the importance of the "here and now," as opposed to reward and punishment.

Resurrection of the dead

Resurrection of the Dead vision
Resurrection of the dead, fresco from the Dura-Europos synagogue

Several times, the Bible alludes to eternal life without specifying what form that life will take.[49]

The first explicit mention of resurrection is the Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones in the Book of Ezekiel. However, this narrative was intended as a metaphor for national rebirth, promising the Jews return to Israel and reconstruction of the Temple, not as a description of personal resurrection.[50]

The Book of Daniel promised literal resurrection to the Jews, in concrete detail. Daniel wrote that with the coming of the Archangel Michael, misery would beset the world, and only those whose names were in a divine book would be resurrected.[51] Moreover, Daniel's promise of resurrection was intended only for the most righteous and the most sinful because the afterlife was a place for the virtuous individuals to be rewarded and the sinful individuals to receive eternal punishment.[52]

Greek and Persian culture influenced Jewish sects to believe in an afterlife between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE as well.[53]

The Hebrew Bible, at least as seen through interpretation of Bavli Sanhedrin, contains frequent reference to resurrection of the dead.[54] The Mishnah (c. 200) lists belief in the resurrection of the dead as one of three essential beliefs necessary for a Jew to participate in it:

All Israel have a portion in the world to come, for it is written: 'Thy people are all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.' But the following have no portion therein: one who maintains that resurrection is not a biblical doctrine, the Torah was not divinely revealed, and an Apikoros ('heretic').[26]

In the late Second Temple period, the Pharisees believed in resurrection, while Essenes and Sadducees did not.[22] During the Rabbinic period, beginning in the late first century and carrying on to the present, the works of Daniel were included into the Hebrew Bible, signaling the adoption of Jewish resurrection into the officially sacred texts.[55][56]

Jewish liturgy, most notably the Amidah, contains references to the tenet of the bodily resurrection of the dead.[57] In contemporary Judaism, both Orthodox Judaism and Conservative Judaism maintain the traditional references to it in their liturgy.[58] However, many Conservative Jews interpret the tenet metaphorically rather than literally.[59] Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism have altered traditional references to the resurrection of the dead in the liturgy ("who gives life to the dead") to refer to "who gives life to all."

The last judgment

In Judaism, the day of judgment happens every year on Rosh Hashanah; therefore, the belief in a last day of judgment for all mankind is disputed. Some rabbis hold that there will be such a day following the resurrection of the dead. Others hold that there is no need for that because of Rosh Hashanah. Yet others hold that this accounting and judgment happens when one dies. Other rabbis hold that the last judgment only applies to the gentile nations and not the Jewish people.[60]


  1. ^ For example: "R. Johanan said: When you see a generation ever dwindling, hope for him [the Messiah], as it is written, and the afflicted people thou wilt save. R. Johanan said: When thou seest a generation overwhelmed by many troubles as by a river, await him, as it is written, when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him; which is followed by, and the Redeemer shall come to Zion.

    R. Johanan also said: The son of David will come only in a generation that is either altogether righteous or altogether wicked. 'In a generation that is altogether righteous,' — as it is written, Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever. 'Or altogether wicked,' — as it is written, And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor;31 and it is [elsewhere] written, For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it.[8]
  2. ^ For example: "R. Joshua b. Levi met Elijah standing by the entrance of R. Simeon b. Yohai's tomb. He asked him: 'Have I a portion in the world to come?' He replied, 'if this Master desires it.' R. Joshua b. Levi said, 'I saw two, but heard the voice of a third.' He then asked him, 'When will the Messiah come?' — 'Go and ask him himself,' was his reply. 'Where is he sitting?' — 'At the entrance.' And by what sign may I recognise him?' — 'He is sitting among the poor lepers: all of them untie [them] all at once, and rebandage them together, whereas he unties and rebandages each separately, [before treating the next], thinking, should I be wanted, [it being time for my appearance as the Messiah] I must not be delayed [through having to bandage a number of sores].' So he went to him and greeted him, saying, 'peace upon thee, Master and Teacher.' 'peace upon thee, O son of Levi,' he replied. 'When wilt thou come Master?' asked he, 'To-day', was his answer. On his returning to Elijah, the latter enquired, 'What did he say to thee?' — 'peace Upon thee, O son of Levi,' he answered. Thereupon he [Elijah] observed, 'He thereby assured thee and thy father of [a portion in] the world to come.' 'He spoke falsely to me,' he rejoined, 'stating that he would come to-day, but has not.' He [Elijah] answered him, 'This is what he said to thee, To-day, if ye will hear his voice (Psalms 95).'[8]
  3. ^ Maimonides: "The Messianic age is when the Jews will regain their independence and all return to the land of Israel. The Messiah will be a very great king, he will achieve great fame, and his reputation among the gentile nations will be even greater than that of King Solomon. His great righteousness and the wonders that he will bring about will cause all peoples to make peace with him and all lands to serve him [....] Nothing will change in the Messianic age, however, except that Jews will regain their independence. Rich and poor, strong and weak, will still exist. However it will be very easy for people to make a living, and with very little effort they will be able to accomplish very much [....] it will be a time when the number of wise men will increase [....] war shall not exist, and nation shall no longer lift up sword against nation.... The Messianic age will be highlighted by a community of the righteous and dominated by goodness and wisdom. It will be ruled by the Messiah, a righteous and honest king, outstanding in wisdom, and close to God. Do not think that the ways of the world or the laws of nature will change, this is not true. The world will continue as it is. The prophet Isaiah predicted "The wolf shall live with the sheep; the leopard shall lie down with the kid." This, however, is merely allegory, meaning that the Jews will live safely, even with the formerly wicked nations. All nations will return to the true religion and will no longer steal or oppress. Note that all prophecies regarding the Messiah are allegorical. Only in the Messianic age will we know the meaning of each allegory and what it comes to teach us. Our sages and prophets did not long for the Messianic age in order that they might rule the world and dominate the gentiles, the only thing they wanted was to be free for Jews to involve themselves with the Torah and its wisdom.[10]
  4. ^ They are told to live their life on earth to the full as their body will stay there but their soul live on.[19]
  5. ^ Rav, a rabbi quoted in the Talmud, describes it thusly: "In the World-to-Come there is no eating, no drinking, no procreation, no business negotiations, no jealousy, no hatred, and no competition. Rather, the righteous sit with their crowns upon their heads, enjoying the splendor of the Divine Presence."[21]


  1. ^ Gillman, Neil. "Eschatology." Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary. Ed. David L. Lieber. The Jewish Publication Society, 2001. 1434-1439.
  2. ^ a b "Jewish Eschatology". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  3. ^ "End of Days". End of Days. Aish. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  4. ^ Megillah 17b-18a, Taanit 8b
  5. ^ Sotah 9a
  6. ^ The Personality of Mashiach; web-look-up: 18-11-2011.
  7. ^ What is the Jewish Belief About Moshiach?; web-look-up: 03-10-2010.
  8. ^ a b B. Talmud Sanhedrin 98a
  9. ^ "MOSES BEN MAIMON (RaMBaM; usually called MAIMONIDES):". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  10. ^ Maimonides, Commentary on Mishnah, Sanhedrin 10:1
  11. ^ Emet ve-Emunah: Statement of Principles of Conservative Judaism, The Rabbinical Assembly, NY, pp. 28–32
  12. ^ Ginsberg, Harold Louis, et al. (2007). "Messiah." In Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik (Eds.), Encyclopaedia Judaica. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. Vol. 14, pp. 110-115; here: section "In Modern Jewish Thought", by Louis Jacobs, p. 114. Retrieved via Gale Virtual Reference Library, 30 January 2018. Available online via Jewish Virtual Library.
  13. ^ Radak, commentary to Zechariah 14
  14. ^ "What is Gog and Magog?". What is Gog and Magog?. Ask Moses. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  15. ^ Blomberg, Craig L.; Chung, Sung Wook (2009). A case for historic premillennialism. In certain sources, Olam Ha-Ba is uniquely associated with teachings about collective redemption and resurrection, but in other places Olam Ha-Ba is conceived of as an afterlife realm for the individual.
  16. ^ Ginsburg, Elliot Kiba (1989). The Sabbath in the classical Kabbalah. p. 145. More frequently the Rabbis used 'olam ha-ba' with reference to the hereafter.
  17. ^ "Afterlife". Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  18. ^ "Olam Ha-Ba: The Afterlife at". Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  19. ^ "Jewish Afterlife Beliefs".
  20. ^ Steinsaltz, Adin Evan-Israel. Berakhot. Edited by Tvi Hersh Weinreb. Koren Publishers Jerusalem, 2012. Koren Talmud Bavli.
  21. ^ Koren Talmud Bavli: Berakhot 17a. Editor-in-chief, Tzvi Hersh Weinreb. Koren Publishers Jerusalem, 2012.
  22. ^ a b ed. Jacob Neusner, Alan Jeffery Avery-Peck Judaism in Late Antiquity: Part Four: Death, Life-After-Death," 2000 Page 187 III. THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS 8. DEATH, RESURRECTION, AND LIFE AFTER DEATH IN THE QUMRAN THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS. chapter by Philip R. Davies University of Sheffield. "In the late Second Temple Period, beliefs about the ultimate fate of the individual were diverse. It is well-known that Josephus, in his description of the four Jewish "sects" (and supported by Matt. ... in the resurrection while the Pharisees did, and the Essenes subscribed to the doctrine of the immortality of the soul (War 2.154: "...although bodies are corruptible and their matter unstable, souls are immortal and live forever...")"
  23. ^ a b Simcha Paull Raphael, Summary by Rabbi Dr. Barry Leff. "Summary of Jewish Views of the Afterlife" (PDF). The Neshamah Center. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  24. ^ Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot M'lakhim 8:14
  25. ^ Encyclopedia Talmudit (Hebrew edition, Israel, 5741/1981, entry Ben Noah, end of article); note the variant reading of Maimonides and the references in the footnote
  26. ^ a b Mishnah Sanhedrin 10:1, Talmud Sanhedrin 90a.
  27. ^ "soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Jewish Thought (6/12)". Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  28. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  29. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  30. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  31. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  32. ^ The Sacred Page: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  33. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  34. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  35. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  36. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  37. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  38. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  39. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  40. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  41. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  42. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  43. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  44. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  45. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  46. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  47. ^ The Sacred Texts: Legends of the Jews, Chapter 1
  48. ^
  49. ^ For example Isaiah 25:8, Psalms 125:1
  50. ^ Segal, Alan (2004). Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in the Religions of the West. New York: Doubleday. pp. 255–256. ISBN 0-385-42299-7.
  51. ^ Segal, Alan (2004). Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in the Religions of the West. New York: Doubleday. p. 262. ISBN 0-385-42299-7.
  52. ^ Segal, Alan (2004). Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in the Religions of the West. New York: Doubleday. p. 263. ISBN 0-385-42299-7.
  53. ^ Segal, Alan (2004). Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in the Religions of the West. New York: Doubleday. p. 281. ISBN 0-385-42299-7.
  54. ^ Jacob Neusner The Documentary History of Judaism and Its Recent Interpreters 2012 - Page 138 - "... tense in Scripture, proof of the resurrection is drawn from numerous passages: Exodus 15.1; Joshua 8.30; 1 Kings 11.7; Psalm 84.5; Isaiah 52.8; Deuteronomy 33.6; Daniel 12.2 and 12.13. The grave and womb in Proverbs 30.16 are likewise ...
  55. ^ Segal, Alan (2004). Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in the Religions of the West. New York: Doubleday. pp. 280–281. ISBN 0-385-42299-7.
  56. ^ Segal, Alan (2004). Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in the Religions of the West. New York: Doubleday. p. 281. ISBN 0-385-42299-7.
  57. ^ Sommer, Benjamin D. "Isaiah" Introduction and Annotations. The Jewish Study Bible. Ed. Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 780–916.
  58. ^ "What Orthodox Jews Believe". BeliefNet. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  59. ^ Emet Ve-Emunah: Statement of Principles of Conservative Judaism.
  60. ^ "Will there be trial and judgment after the Resurrection?". Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  1. ^ Jewish Virtual Library, Eschatology
  2. ^ a b c d e f R. J. Zwi Werblowsky (1987), Messianism: Jewish Messianism, Encyclopedia of Religion

External links

2 Baruch

2 Baruch is a Jewish pseudepigraphical text thought to have been written in the late 1st century AD or early 2nd century AD, after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. It is attributed to the biblical Baruch and so is associated with the Old Testament, but not regarded as scripture by Jews or by most Christian groups. It is included in some editions of the Peshitta, and is part of the Bible in the Syriac Orthodox tradition. It has 87 sections (chapters).

2 Baruch is also known as the Apocalypse of Baruch or the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch (used to distinguish it from the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch). The Apocalypse proper occupies the first 77 chapters of the book. Chapters 78–87 are usually referred to as the Letter of Baruch to the Nine and a Half Tribes.

2 Esdras

2 Esdras (also called 4 Esdras, Latin Esdras, or Latin Ezra) is the name of an apocalyptic book in many English versions of the Bible (see Naming conventions below). Its authorship is ascribed to Ezra, a scribe and priest of the 5th century BCE, although modern scholarship places its composition between 70 and 218 CE. It is reckoned among the apocrypha by Roman Catholics, Protestants, and most Eastern Orthodox Christians. 2 Esdras was excluded by Jerome from his Vulgate version of the Old Testament, but from the 9th century onwards the Latin text is sporadically found as an appendix to the Vulgate, inclusion becoming more general after the 13th century.

3 Baruch

3 Baruch or the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch is a visionary, pseudepigraphic text written some time between the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 AD and the third century AD. Scholars disagree on whether it was written by a Jew or a Christian, or whether a clear distinction can be made in this era. It is one of the Pseudepigrapha, attributed to the 6th-century BC scribe of Jeremiah, Baruch ben Neriah, and does not form part of the biblical canon of either Jews or Christians. It survives in certain Greek manuscripts, and also in a few Old Church Slavonic ones.


Armilus (Hebrew: ארמילוס‎) (also spelled Armilos and Armilius) is an anti-messiah figure in medieval Jewish eschatology, comparable to medieval interpretations of the Christian Antichrist and Islamic Dajjal, who will conquer whole Earth and will centralize in Jerusalem and persecute the believers until his final defeat at the hands of Messenger of God or the true Messiah. His inevitable destruction symbolizes the ultimate victory of good over evil in the Messianic Age.

Atchalta De'Geulah

In the Jewish classical texts, Atchalta De'Geulah (Aramaic: אתחלתא דגאולה; Hebrew: התחלת הגאולה, Hatchalat ha-Geulah, lit. "the beginning of the redemption") is the period of time in which a new stage of revival in the process of the redemption and the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Hence, a pivotal point in time, since it is the initial stage of the salvation process that constitutes a different period in time, in many senses, and especially different from all previous periods. It is the core idea of the Religious Zionism movement.

Ezekiel 38

Ezekiel 38 is the thirty-eighth chapter of the Book of Ezekiel in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Ezekiel, and is a part of the Books of the Prophets. This chapter and the next form a section dealing with "Gog, of the land of Magog."

Futurism (Judaism)

Jewish Futurism is used in three different contexts: religious, artistic and futures studies (foresight, futurology etc.)

Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden (Hebrew: גַּן־עֵדֶן – gan-ʿḖḏen), also called Paradise, is the biblical "garden of God" described in the Book of Genesis and the Book of Ezekiel. Genesis 13:10 refers to the "garden of God", and the "trees of the garden" are mentioned in Ezekiel 31. The Book of Zechariah and the Book of Psalms also refer to trees and water without explicitly mentioning Eden.The name derives from the Akkadian edinnu, from a Sumerian word edin meaning "plain" or "steppe", closely related to an Aramaic root word meaning "fruitful, well-watered". Another interpretation associates the name with a Hebrew word for "pleasure"; thus the Douay-Rheims Bible in Genesis 2:8 has the wording

"And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure" rather than "a garden in Eden". The Hebrew term is translated "pleasure" in Sarah's secret saying in Genesis 18:12.Like the Genesis flood narrative, the Genesis creation narrative and the account of the Tower of Babel, the story of Eden echoes the Mesopotamian myth of a king, as a primordial man, who is placed in a divine garden to guard the Tree of Life. The Hebrew Bible depicts Adam and Eve as walking around the Garden of Eden naked due to their innocence.The location of Eden is described in the Book of Genesis as the source of four tributaries. The Garden of Eden is considered to be mythological by most scholars. Among those that consider it to have been real, there have been various suggestions for its location: at the head of the Persian Gulf, in southern Mesopotamia (now Iraq) where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers run into the sea; and in Armenia.

Gathering of Israel

The Gathering of Israel (Hebrew: קיבוץ גלויות, Kibbutz Galuyot (Biblical: Qibbuṣ Galuyoth), lit. Ingathering of the Exiles, also known as Ingathering of the Jewish diaspora) is the biblical promise of Deuteronomy 30:1-5 given by Moses to the people of Israel prior to their entrance into the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael).

During the days of the Babylonian exile, writings of the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel encouraged the people of Israel with a promise of a future gathering of the exiles to the land of Israel. The continual hope for a return of the Israelite exiles to the land has been in the hearts of Jews ever since the destruction of the Second Temple. Maimonides connected its materialization with the coming of the Messiah.

The gathering of the exiles in the land of Israel, became the core idea of the Zionist Movement and the core idea of Israel's Scroll of Independence (Megilat Ha'atzmaut), embodied by the idea of going up, Aliyah, since the Holy Land is considered to be spiritually higher than all other land. The immigration of Jews to the land and the State of Israel, the "mass" wave of Aliyot (plural form), has been likened to the Exodus from Egypt.


Gehenna is a small valley in Jerusalem. In the Hebrew Bible, Gehenna was initially where some of the kings of Judah sacrificed their children by fire. Thereafter, it was deemed to be cursed (Jer. 7:31, 19:2-6).In rabbinic literature Gehenna is a destination of the wicked. This is different from the more neutral Sheol/Hades, the abode of the dead, although the King James Version of the Bible usually translates both with the Anglo-Saxon word Hell.

In the King James Version of the Bible, the term appears 13 times in 11 different verses as Valley of Hinnom, Valley of the son of Hinnom or Valley of the children of Hinnom.

The Valley of Hinnom is the modern name for the valley surrounding Jerusalem's Old City, including Mount Zion, from the west and south. It meets and merges with the Kidron Valley, the other principal valley around the Old City, near the southeastern corner of the city.

Kingship and kingdom of God

The concept of the kingship of God appears in all Abrahamic religions, where in some cases the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are also used. The notion of God's kingship goes back to the Hebrew Bible, which refers to "his kingdom" but does not include the term "Kingdom of God".The "Kingdom of God" and its equivalent form "Kingdom of Heaven" in the Gospel of Matthew is one of the key elements of the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. The Gospel of Mark indicates that the gospel is the good news about the Kingdom of God. The term pertains to the kingship of Christ over all creation. Kingdom of "heaven" appears in Matthew's gospel due primarily to Jewish sensibilities about uttering the "name" (God). Jesus did not teach the kingdom of God per se so much as the return of that kingdom. The notion of God's kingdom (as it had been under Moses) returning became an agitation in Palestine 60 years before Jesus was born, and continued to be a force for nearly a hundred years after his death. Drawing on Old Testament teachings, the Christian characterization of the relationship between God and humanity inherently involves the notion of the "Kingship of God".Bahá'í writings also use the term "kingdom of God". The Quran does not include the term "kingdom of God", but refers to Abraham seeing the "Kingdom of the heavens".

Kingship of God (Judaism)

For an overview see Kingship and kingdom of GodThe concept of kingship of God appears in the Hebrew Bible with references to "his Kingdom" and "your Kingdom" while the term "kingdom of God" is not directly used. "Yours is the kingdom, O Lord" is used in 1Chronicles 29:10-12 and "His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom" in Daniel 4:3, for example. It is tied to Jewish understanding that through the messiah, God will restore the Kingdom of Israel, following the Davidic covenant.

The "enthronement psalms" (Psalms 45, 93, 96, 97-99) provide a background for this view with the exclamation "The Lord is King". However, in later Judaism (after the destruction of the First Temple) a more "national" view was assigned to God's kingship in which the awaited messiah may be seen as a liberator and the founder of a new state of Israel.1 Kings 22:19, Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1 and Daniel 7:9 all speak of the Throne of God, although some philosophers such as Saadia Gaon and Maimonides interpreted such mention of a "throne" as allegory.

Messiah in Judaism

The Messiah in Judaism (Hebrew: מָשִׁיחַ‎, romanized: māšîaḥ; Greek: χριστός, romanized: khristós, lit. 'anointed, covered in oil') is a savior and liberator figure in Jewish eschatology, who is believed to be the future redeemer of the Jewish people. The concept of messianism originated in Judaism, and in the Hebrew Bible, a messiah is a king or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil. However, messiahs were not exclusively Jewish, as the Hebrew Bible refers to Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, as a messiah for his decree to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple.

In Jewish eschatology, the Messiah is a future Jewish king from the Davidic line, who is expected to be anointed with holy anointing oil and rule the Jewish people during the Messianic Age and world to come. The Messiah is often referred to as "King Messiah" (Hebrew: מלך משיח‎, romanized: melekh mashiach) or malka meshiḥa in Aramaic.Jewish messianism gave birth to Christianity, which started as a Second Temple Period messianic Jewish sect.

Messianic Age

In Abrahamic religions, the Messianic Age is the future period of time on Earth in which the messiah will reign and bring universal peace and brotherhood, without any evil. Many believe that there will be such an age; some refer to it as the consummate "kingdom of God" or the "world to come".

Second death

The second death is an eschatological concept in Judaism and Christianity, related to punishment after a first, natural death.

The Day of the Lord

This is about the eschatological term; see Lord's Day for the Christian term for "Sunday".

"The Day of the Lord" is a biblical term and theme used in both the Hebrew Bible (יֹום יְהוָה) and the New Testament (ἡμέρα κυρίου), as in "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come" (Joel 2:31, cited in Acts 2:20).

In the Hebrew Bible, the meaning of the phrases refers to temporal events such as the invasion of a foreign army, the capture of a city and the suffering that befalls the inhabitants. This appears much in the second chapter of Isaiah.

In the New Testament, the "day of the Lord" may also refer to the writer's own times, or it may refer to predicted events in a later age of earth's history including the final judgment and the World to Come.

The expression may also have an extended meaning in referring to both the first and second comings of Jesus Christ.

The Messiah at the Gates of Rome

"The Messiah at the Gates of Rome" is a traditional story, Mashal or parable in the Jewish tradition, from the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98a.

Tzoah Rotachat

Tzoah Rotachat (Hebrew: צוֹאָה רוֹתֵחַת, tsoah rothachath — "boiling excrement") in the Talmud and Zohar is a location in Gehenna (Gehinnom) where the souls of Jews who committed certain sins are sent for punishment. This form of punishment is cited as being of extreme nature, if not the most extreme, in the sense that those individuals sentenced there are not given relief even on Shabbat, and are not released after the standard twelve-month period.

World to come

The world to come, age to come, and heaven on Earth are eschatological phrases reflecting the belief that the current world or current age is flawed or cursed and will be replaced in the future by a better world, age, or paradise. The concept is related to but differs from the concepts of heaven, the afterlife, and the Kingdom of God in that heaven is another place or state generally seen as above the world, the afterlife is generally an individual's life after death, and the Kingdom of God could be in the present (such as realized eschatology) or the future.

Jewish eschatology

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.