Islam And Judaism On Messiahs Descendant From Prophets Joseph And David – OpEd


The New Testament says Jesus was the Son of God. The Qur’an says Prophet Jesus was the son of Mary. The Hebrew Bible does not say anything about Jesus, but it does tell us that at least three anointed  agents of God will bring about an age of worldwide peace and justice for all. As God’s prophets Isaiah 2:4 and Michah 4:3:state “…they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift a sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more.” And Michah 4:4 continues: “Each person shall sit under a vine or under a fig-tree, and none shall make them afraid…”

And as Prophets Isaiah 2:2-3 and Michah 4:1-2: say: “…The mountain of God’s House shall be established at the top of the mountains and it shall be raised above the hills, and all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall go and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of God, to the House of the God of Jacob, and let him [the Mashiach] teach us of His ways and we shall go in His paths;’ for from Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of God from Jerusalem” 

Also Prophet Joel 3:1-2: says “…I shall pour out My spirit upon all flesh (Jewish and non-Jewish), and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your elders shall dream dreams, your young shall see visions. In those days I shall pour out My spirit also upon the servants and handmaids.”; and Prophets Hosea 2:20 states: “…I shall break from the earth the bow, the sword and warfare, and I shall make them lie down securely.” and Zechariah 9:10 states: “…the bow of war shall be cut off, and [Mashiach] shall speak peace unto the (non-Jewish) nations…”

In the Hebrew Bible the Messianic Age is more important than the son (descendant) of King David Messiah, who is only one of God’s agents. Malachi 4:5-6 states this prophecy: “See, I will send you Prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful (judgement) day of the Lord comes. He (Elijah) will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” To this day, Jewish Passover Seders mention in anticipation that Prophet Elijah will return to herald the coming of the Messiah, son of David.

According to Malachi 4:6, the reason for Elijah’s return will be to “turn the hearts” of fathers and their children to each other. So the goal is reconciliation. In the New Testament, Jesus says that John the Baptist was the fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy: “All the prophets and the (Torah)  law prophesied until (Prophet) John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come” (Matthew 11:13-14, Mark 1:2-4 and Luke 1:17; 7:27).

Specifically related to Malachi 4:5-6 is Matthew 17:10-13: “His disciples asked him (Jesus)  ‘Why then do the scribes (rabbis) say that Elijah must come first?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they (the government) did not know him but did to him (killed him) whatever they wished. . . .’ Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist.”

One of the most important signs of the coming Messianic Age is the return of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel which is promised by Prophets Isaiah 43:5-6: “Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your seed from the east and gather you from the west. I shall say to the north, ‘Give up,’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold back, bring My sons from far and My daughters from the end of the earth.’ ” and Prophet Amos 9:14-15 states: “I shall return the captivity of My people Israel and they shall rebuild the waste cities and settle… I shall plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be plucked out of their land that I have given them, says God, your God.”

Finally, there is Prophet Isaiah’s promise of world-wide peace when nature itself will be changed Isaiah 11:6-9: “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie with the kid, and a calf with a lion’s cub and a fatling together, and a small child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like cattle. An infant shall play over the hole of an asp, and the weaned child shall put out his hand over the eyeball of an adder. They will not harm or destroy on all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea.”

And Isaiah 65:25: “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like cattle, dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not harm nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says God.”

Although Prophet Jesus is not mentioned directly anywhere in the Hebrew Bible, he could have been the son (descendant) of one of the two Joseph tribes, and also the son of Joseph his human father and Marry his human mother.. 

A single page of the Talmud Sukot 52a (top), contains three of the earliest known references to the Messiah son of Joseph. The first passage: “And the land shall mourn (the death of the Messiah of Joseph) family by family apart (separately). The family of the house of David apart and their women apart” (Zechariah 12:12). 

They (the rabbis) said: “Is not this an a fortiori conclusion? In the age to come, when they (the Jewish People) are busy mourning (the death of the Messiah of Joseph) and no evil inclination rules them, the Torah says, “the men apart and the women apart.” How much more so now when they are busy rejoicing, and the evil inclination rules them. What is the cause of this mourning?”

Rabbi Dosa ben Harkinas, and the rabbis differed. One (Rabbi Dosa ben Harkinas) says: “For Messiah ben Joseph who is slain;” and the others say: “For the evil inclination which is slain.” According to him who says, “For Messiah ben Joseph who is slain,” it is written, “And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him like the mourning for an only son” (Zechariah 12:10); but according to those who say, “The evil inclination which is slain:” is this an occasion for mourning? Is it not an occasion for rejoicing (that evil is slain) rather than weeping?

But why would people mourn”The evil inclination which is slain”? in Zechariah 12:12. After all, they will be living in the messianic age, when there will be no evil, for Zechariah 13:1 tells us of a fountain opened to cleanse (everyone) from sin. Rabbi Dosa ben Harkinas, says that the mourning is for Messiah ben Joseph. Rabbi Dosa’s contemporaries disagree; they say the mourning is by those few people who still miss the thrills of  the evil inclination’s temptations.

Sukot 52a (middle) states that “Our rabbis taught: The Holy One, blessed be he, will say to Messiah ben David, “Ask of me anything and I will give it to you,” as it is said, “I will tell of the
decree [of your Lord],” etc. “This day I have begotten you. Ask of me and I will give you the nations for your inheritance” (Psalm 2). But when he (Messiah ben David) will see that Messiah ben Joseph is slain, he will say to him (God), “Lord of the universe, I ask of you only (to save my) life (by delaying my coming until the time is right) .” 

Here Messiah ben Joseph appears in the same prediction as the Messiah ben (descendant of) King David. Thus, Prophet Elijah and the two Messiahs are not part of rival eschatological events, but are part of the same long term ongoing redemptive drama. 

For when the Messiah ben Joseph was killed by the Romans, this event took place long (six centuries) before Prophet Muhammad filled the helpful comforter’s role (John 14: 1-14), which with the contribution of Messiah Jesus ben Joseph efforts, and with the Messiah of David’s descendant’s destiny will bring about world wide peace and justice. 

Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Allen Maller retired in 2006 after 39 years as Rabbi of Temple Akiba in Culver City, Calif. He is the author of an introduction to Jewish mysticism. God. Sex and Kabbalah and editor of the Tikun series of High Holy Day prayerbooks.

One thought on “Islam And Judaism On Messiahs Descendant From Prophets Joseph And David – OpEd

  • February 14, 2023 at 3:45 pm

    the old testament does metion jesus from genesis talks about Jesus


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