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Please forgive me if that are some stupid questions. I have so far heard and read about a variety of references to the concept of messiah and what is expected to happen once he comes. To summarize my fragmentary knowledge so far (and please correct me if I got something wrong):

- there has not been a messiah yet
- if he comes, the world will enter a state of peace and people will live in harmony

and (according to one hassidic jew, so I'm not sure if that's a specific hassidic belief or universal to Judaism) the world will recognize the teachings of Judaism as the ultimate truth and all non-jews will too support the cause (with varying interpretations of what exactly that entails).

Also, the messiah is not g-d and can have flaws, but it will be known that he has arrived because of the effects that are accompanying him. 

So, I was wondering, is it specifically said that the messiah will be ONE person? Or could it also be several people, a collective? Or several people at the same time? And even, is it specified that it will be one PERSON? Could the messianic age also be started by, let's say, a revolutionary innovation or something like this? Maybe far fetched, but what about AI (Artificial Intelligence, not suggesting this, just as a hypothetic question)? 


How open are such statements for interpretation in front of our modern world and the technologies and societal developments that this entails? And, independently, how "set" are those statements (for example, if it is written about a male messiah because of the reference to a gramatically male gender, would it still be possible to have a female person being the messiah?)?
First, Wikipedia is your friend.

Second, I personally believe that Messiah is a post-Torah development and an unfortunate one at that.
Sarah,

First, I would like to thank you for asking questions, for this is how we learn. Yes, I said "we" because the one who answers questions also learns from the ones who ask them!

So no, your questions are not stupid, they are genuine!

There are many passages in the Hebrew bible that refer to a coming age that a certain person will "usher in". Although there is no specific reference to "The" messiah, there is a reference to a person who is a messiah (which generally just means one who is anointed with a special oil).

The Hebrew bible doesn't focus on who this person is specifically, but how the world will change when he arrives.

Attached is a pretty thorough explanation of what, who and when.

Please note this was written as an anti-missionary article but it explains things, in my opinion, from a biblical standpoint very well.

The first part of the article provides the qualifications with back up reference from biblical passages. The second part explains why one who claims to be a messiah has not met those qualifications.

Hope that helps!
(04-08-2019, 09:35 PM)searchinmyroots wrote: [ -> ]... The first part of the article provides the qualifications with back up reference from biblical passages. The second part explains why one who claims to be a messiah has not met those qualifications.

It appears that the earliest referenced text of note is likely 1 Chronicles.
(04-08-2019, 08:37 PM)a_Sarah wrote: [ -> ]Please forgive me if that are some stupid questions. I have so far heard and read about a variety of references to the concept of messiah and what is expected to happen once he comes. To summarize my fragmentary knowledge so far....

You might enjoy There Is No Messiah and You're It  by Rabbi Robert N. Levine.
The Moshiach is a person which descends from Dovid haMelech, he is referred to as a 'he'.

I quote from the website of Chabad:

''The generic term, Messiah, means "anointed one." Kings and priests were anointed in ancient times to set them apart as specially designated leaders of society. The anointed one will bring redemption to this world. It will be a time of true bliss, unparalleled in our own existence. It will not be a new world, a qualitatively different world, rather will it be this world brought to perfection. Universal peace, tranquility, lawfulness, and goodness will prevail, and all will acknowledge the unity and lordship of God.
Will the Messiah be a specific person, or will he only represent an era of perfection—the "days of Messiah?" Traditional Judaism believes, without equivocation, in the coming of an inconceivably great hero, anointed for leadership—a descendant of the House of David, who will lead the world out of chaos. He will be of flesh and blood, a mortal sent expressly by God to fulfill the glory of His people. The traditional belief is that man must work to better the world and help bring on the Messiah. It believes the idea that mankind by itself will inevitably progress to such an era to be unfounded optimism. A supernatural gift to mankind, in the person of the Messiah, will be required to bring the world to this pinnacle of glory. God will directly intervene to prevent the world from rushing headlong into darkness, and will bring the redemption through a human personality.''

But there is more to say about this subject;
The Moshiach will be greater than the avot and than the angels which serve haShem. According to Hasidic thought in every generation there is someone who could become Moshiach, think about Noach, Avrohom, Moshe who acted as proto-types, but THE Moshiach is the go'el of Yisroel.

In Midrash Tanchuma there is made a connection between Zacharyah 4:1-7 and Ps.121. Here is spoken about a mountain and according to the Midrash this mountain is Moshiach and he is higher than the proto-types mentioned before. In Yalkut Shimoni remez nr. 2:571 we read the same conclusion, but there is also a connection made with Yeshayahu 52:13. To summarize; the Moshiach will be higher than the avot, but also than the malachei hasharet.Zacharyah 4:1-7
Rabbi Don Itzhak Abarbanel says that the Moshiach becomes a plain according to Zacharyah 47, this is because he will lead the nations in rightheousness and he makes them straight, as written in Yesayahu 2:4.
Thanks for the quote from the Chabad website Ronnie!
(04-10-2019, 09:19 PM)searchinmyroots wrote: [ -> ]Thanks for the quote from the Chabad website Ronnie!

You're welcome
Thank you all for your answers and explanations! I'm glad you helped me with some and also different starting points to learn more about that question (and now, my already high reading pile has one more addition, thank you RabbiO Wink ).
Glad we were able to help Sarah!

Please let us know if you have any more questions.

Remember, that is at the heart of Judaism, to ask questions and to learn. The answers may not always be the same but that is part of Judaism as well.

They say if you ask 2 Jews a question you'll receive 3 answers!
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