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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/247

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MESSIAS


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MESSIAS


not pass from Juda until he comes to whom it be- longs" — taking npE' as standing for1^lE>K), and of David (II Kings, vii, 11-16). It is sufficiently estab- lished that this last passage refers at least typically to the Messias. His kingdom shall be eternal (II Kings, vii, 13), His sway boundless (Ps. Ixxi, S) ; all nations shall serve Him (Ps. Ixxi, 11). In the type of proph- ecy we are considering, the emphasis is on His posi- tion as a national hero. It is to Israel and Juda that He will bring salvation (Jer., xxiii, 6), triumphing over their enemies by force of arms (cf. the warrior- king of Ps. xlv). Even in the latter part of Isaias there are passages (e. g. Ixi, 5-S) in which other na- tions are regarded as sharing in the kingdom rather as servants than as heirs, while the function of the Mes- sias is to lift up Jerusalem to its glory and lay the foundations of an Israelitic theocracy.

But in this part of Lsaias also occurs the splendid conception of the Messias as the Servant of Jahveh. He is a chosen arrow, His mouth like a sharp sword. The Spirit of the Lord is poured out upon Him, and His word is put into His mouth (xlii, 1; xlix, 1 sq.). The instrument of His power is the revelation of Jah- veh. The nations wait on His teaching; He is the light of the Gentiles (xlii, 6). He establishes His Kingdom not by manifestation of material power, but by meekness and suffering, by obedience to the com- mand of God in laying down His life for the salvation of many. "If he shall lay dowTi hLs life for sin, he shall see a posterity and prolong his days" (liii, 10; cf. Knabenbauer, in loc.) ; "Therefore will I distribute to him very many, and he shall divide the spoils of the strong, because he hath delivered his soul unto death, and was reputed with the wicked" (liii, 12). His Kingdom shall consist of the multitude redeemed by His vicarious satisfaction, a satisfaction confined to no race or time but offered for the redemption of all alike. (For the Messianic application of these pas- sages, especially Is., Hi, 13-liii, cf. Condamin or Knabenbauer, in loc.) In spite, however, of Justin's use of the last-mentioned passage in "Dial, cum Try- phone", Ixxxix, it would be rash to affirm that its reference to the Messias was at all widely realized among the Jews. In virtue of his prophetic and priestly offices the title of " the Anointed " naturally belonged to the promised one. The Messianic priest Ls described by David in Ps. cLx, with reference to Gen., xiv, 14-20. That this psalm was generally under- stood in a Messianic sense is not disputed, while the universal consent of the Fathers puts the matter be- yond (juestion for Catholics. As regartls its Davidic authorship, the arguments impugning it afford no war- rant for an abandonment of the traditional view. That by the prophet described in Deut., xviii, 1.5-22, was also understood, at least at the beginning of our era, the Messias is clear from the appeal to his gift of prophecy made by the pseudo-Messias Theudas (cf. Josephus, "Antiq.", XX, v, 1) and the use made of the passage by St. Peter in Acts, iii, 22-23.

Special importance attaches to the prophetic de- scription of the Messias contained in Daniel, vii, the great work of later Judaism, on account of its para- mount influence \ipon one line of the later develop- ment of Messianic doctrine. In it the Messias is de- scribed as "like to a Son of Man", appearing at the right hand of Jahveh in the clouds of heaven, inaugu- rating the new age, not by a national victory or by vicarious satisfaction, but by exercising the Divine right of judging the whole world. Thus, the empha- sis is upon the personal responsibility of the individual. The consummation is not an earth-won ascendancy of the chosen people, whether shared with other nations or not, but a vindication of the holy by the solemn judgment of Jahveh and his Anointed One. Upon this prophecy were mainly liased the various apoca- lyptic works which played so prominent a part in the religious life of the Jews during the last two centuries


before Christ. Side by side with all these prophecies speaking of the establishment of a kingdom under the sway of a Divinely-appointed legate, was the series foretelling the future rule of Jahveh himself. Of these Is., xl, may be taken as an example: "Lift up thy voice with strength thovi that bringest good tid- ings to Sion : lift it up, fear not. Say to the cities of Juda: Behold your God. Behold the Lord your God himself shall come with strength and his arm shall rule." The reconciliation of these two series of proph- ecies was before the Jews in the passages — notably Ps. ii and Is., vii-xi — which clearly foretold the Divinity of the promised legate. " His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace " — titles all used elsewhere of Jaliveh Himself (cf. David- son, "O. T. Prophecy", p. 307). But there seems to have been little realization of the relation lietween these two series of prophecy until the full light of the Christian dispensation revealed their reconciliation in the mystery of the Incarnation.

II. Messianic Doctrine in Later Judaism (see Apocrypha). — Two quite distinct and parallel lines are discernible in the later development of Messianic <loctrine among the Jews, according as the writers clung to a national ideal, based on the literal interpre- tation of the earlier prophecies, or an apocalyptic ideal, based principally on Daniel. The national ideal looked to the establishment on earth of the King- tlom of God under the Son of David, the conquest and subjugation of the heathen, the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple, and the gathering in of the Dispensed. The apocalyptic ideal drew a sharp distinction be- tween atdiv oCtos and atmf /x^XAuv. The future age was to be ushered in by the Divine judgment of mankind preceded by the resurrection of the dead. The Mes- sias, existing from the beginning of the world, should appear at the consummation, and then should be also manifested the heavenly Jerusalem which was to be the abode of the blessed.

National Ideal. — The national ideal is that of offi- cial Pharisaism. Thus, the Talmud has no trace of the apocalyptic ideal. The scribes were mainly busied with the Law, but side by side with this was the development of the hope of the ultimate manifesta- tion of God's Kingtlom on earth. Pharisaic influence is clearly visible in vv. .37.'3-SO.S of Sibyl. Ill, describ- ing the national hopes of the Jews. A last judgment, future happiness, or reward are not mentioned. Many marvels are foretold of the Messianic wars which bring in the consunmiation — lighted torches falling from heaven, the darkening of the sun, the falling of meteors — but all have for entl a state of earthly pros- perity. The Messias, coming from the East, domi- nates the whole, a triimiphant national hero. Similar to this is the work called the Psalms of Solomon, writ- ten probably about 40 B. c. It is really the protest of Pharisaism against its enemies, the later Asmoneans. The Pharisees saw that the observance of the law was not of itself a sufficient bulwark against the enemies of Israel, and, as their principles would not allow them to recognize in the secularized hierarchy the promised issue of their troubles, they looked forward to the miraculous intervention of God through the agency of a Davidic Messias. The seventeenth Psalm descriljes his rule: He is to conquer the heathen, to drive them from their land, to allow no injustice in their midst; His trust is not to be in armies but in God; with the word of his mouth he is to slay the wicked. Of earlier flate we have the description of the final glories of the holy city in Tobias (c. xiv), where, as well as in Ec- clesiasticus, there is evidence of the constant hope in the future gathering in of the Diaspora. These same nationalist ideas reappear along with a highly devel- oped system of eschatology in the apocalyptic works written after tlie destruction of Jerusalem, which are referred to below.