The Hebrew Bible vaguely introduces the concept of a messiah figure expected to manifest in the future. Messiah simply means “anointed one” and the Hebrew term “mashiach” has been used throughout the Hebrew Bible to describe many prophets, priests, and rulers, including a Gentile King. To learn more about the term “mashiach”, read my article “Not THE Messiah, But Many Messiahs“.
Many Jews and Christians alike believe a messiah or anointed ruler will manifest one fine day, but it should be noted not all Jews or Christians believe in such concepts. I have found the various branches of Judaism and their off-shoots have varying interpretations as to when this messiah will appear if they believe in a messiah figure at all. Christians obviously believe Jesus is the one and only messiah and that he will return at some point in the near future to rule and reign. In other words, Christians, specifically Evangelical Christians, believe in a “second-coming” of the messiah.
Throughout thousands of years, many have claimed to be the much anticipated “messiah” and many more will surely do the same, but none of them fit the profile of the final messiah. So how can a person know who is or isn’t the final messiah? To learn clues of what to look for in a messiah, we must study the book that made us even aware of such a concept, the Hebrew Bible.
- The Final Messiah must be a human born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
- The Final Messiah must be Jewish, specifically of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Deuteronomy 17:15).
- The Final Messiah must be a descendant of Jesse, King David’s father (Isaiah 11).
- The Final Messiah must more specifically be a descendant of David and his son, Solomon- note: David had many sons (2 Samuel 7:8-16; 1 Kings 8:15-22; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Psalm 132:12; Psalm 89:31-38).
- The Final Messiah will be made known to the world and reign after or near the time of the miraculous literal rescue of the Jews in Israel, the literal resurrection and regathering of House of Israel/Northern Kingdom, and the House of Judah/the Southern Kingdom, which collectively represent all twelve tribes of Israel. All twelve tribes will once again and permanently dwell as one kingdom in the land of Canaan/Israel (Isaiah 11:12; Ezekiel 36-37; Jeremiah 30-31; Zechariah 8-12; Isaiah 54-66; Joel 3; Amos 9:11-15).
- The Final Messiah will teach, uphold, and administer Torah to all nations from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2; Zechariah 14:16-21; Ezekiel 37:24).
- The Final Messiah will bring peace to the entire globe as he unites the world (Ezekiel 34:25; Isaiah 2:2-3; Micah 4:3).
- The Final Messiah will rule when the entire globe worships the One True God (Isaiah 2:18; 66:23; Zechariah 14:16-21).
- The Final Messiah will help build the third temple and facilitate worship. More specifically, he will make various offerings on behalf of the people including the sin offering and help the priests lead the people in worship of God (Ezekiel 37:26-27; 45:16-46:18; Amos 9:11).
- The Final Messiah will have sons (Ezekiel 46:16-18).
The Final Messiah could be David himself upon being resurrected, which would be a literal interpretation of the prophetic text (Ezekiel 34:23; 37:24-25; Jeremiah 30:8-9; Micah 5:2).
Now knowing the criteria or profile of the final messiah, let’s compare what the New Testament tells us about Jesus to see if he fits this profile.
- According to Matthew 2:2, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
- According to Matthew 1:3 and Luke 3:33, Joseph, Jesus’ father was from the tribe of Judah. And yet, Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father. Also, compare Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Both are said to be Joseph’s lineage, but they don’t match. Regardless, Joseph was not Jesus’ father, according to Matthew 1:18-19. According to Luke 1, Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, was of the tribe of Levi, so that would infer Mary also was of the tribe of Levi, not Judah. Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- According to Matthew 1:5-6 and Luke 3:32, Joseph is a descendant of Jesse. Regardless, Joseph was not Jesus’ father, according to Matthew 1:18-19. The New Testament does not tell us Mary’s specific lineage other than her cousin was a Levite (Luke 1). Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- According to Matthew 1:6-7, Joseph came from Solomon. According to Luke 3:31, Joseph is a descendant of not Solomon, but a different son of David, Nathan. Regardless, Joseph was not Jesus’ father, according to Matthew 1:18-19. Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- Obviously, there has not been literal salvation by rescuing Jews, nor a literal resurrection, or reuniting the House of Israel and the House of Judah to the land of Canaan/Israel, so Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- Obviously, Torah (the laws of God) are not being taught, upheld, and administered worldwide, so Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- Obviously, there is no worldwide peace. In fact, as I am typing this, there is a war going on between Ukraine and Russia. Moreover, Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34). Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- Obviously, the entire globe is not worshipping the One True God. Instead, many different religions and gods still exist. Jesus does not meet this criterion.
- Obviously, there is no third temple and sacrifices have not resumed much less a prince/ruler offering sacrifices. Also, if Jesus was the “final” sacrifice for the world’s sins as Hebrews 10:1-18 teaches, why will there be future sin-offerings? Jesus does not meet this criterion (and clearly Hebrews 10:1-18 is fake news).
- Jesus did not have any sons or atleast none that we know of according to the New Testament. Jesus does not meet this criterion.
Having been armed with this knowledge, I trust you will be better equipped to determine who is and is not the final anointed one.
To assist you with your studies, I attached a downloadable/printable version of this article.