Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim Umilchamos, Chapter 11: The King Messiah

Chapter 11: The King Messiah

Halacha 1: The actions to be performed by the Messiah

  • Re-instilling the Davidic dynasty: The Messiah will re-instill the monarchy of David to its original state of power.
  • Building the temple: The Messiah will rebuild the Temple.
  • Gathering the dispersed of Israel: The Messiah will gather the dispersed of Israel.
  • Re-instilling Torah law: The Messiah will re-instill the laws of the Torah to their original biblical state, which includes the offering of sacrifices, the sabbatical and Jubilee years, as well as all the other commands written in the Torah.
  • Denying his coming is heresy: One who does not believe in the coming of the Messiah is considered to have rejected not only the later prophets but even the Torah of Moses himself, as the Torah itself testifies to his coming in numerous verses in Scripture.
  • Not awaiting his coming is heresy: Likewise, one who does not await his arrival is considered to have rejected the Torah and the prophets as stated above.

Halacha 2: The mitzvah of establishing cities of refuge will only be complete with the Messiah

  • A further proof from Scripture for the coming of the Messiah is from the command that a further three cities of refuge should be established once G-d expands our borders of land. Now, this has never yet occurred and certainly G-d did not command us regarding something that will never take place.
  • A proof from Tanach: There is no need to bring any proof from Tanach for the coming of the Messiah, as all of the books of Tanach are filled with this information

Halacha 3: The Messiah does not have to perform miracles

  • One should not mistakenly believe that the Messiah must perform miracles and wonders and change the natural order of the world and resurrect the dead, as in truth this is completely unnecessary for him to be deemed the Messiah.
  • A proof for this concept can be gleaned from the fact the Rabbi Akiva, who was the weapon carrier of Ben Koziva, believed Ben Koziva to be the Messiah even though he performed no miracles. This belief was likewise shared by all the other sages of that generation, despite the fact that we do not find a request from him to perform miracles.
  • His death proved otherwise: The eventual murder of Ben Koziva put the above belief to rest, as when he was killed due to his sins it proved that he was not the Messiah.
  • The Torah and mitzvahs are eternal: The Torah and all of its commands are eternal and one may not add to it or subtract from it.

Halacha 4: Identifying the Messiah

  • Chezkas Moshiach-the presumed Messiah: A Jewish leader can be presumed to be the Messiah if he fulfills the following criteria:
    • His lineage goes back to the house of David.
    • He assiduously studies the Torah and fulfills mitzvahs like David his ancestor.
    • He influences and imposes upon all of the Jewish people to go in the ways of the Torah and he strengthens its points of weakness.
    • He fights the wars of G-d.
  • Moshiach Vadaiy-the definite Messiah: The presumed Messiah becomes the definite Messiah if he fulfills the following criteria:
    • He is successful in fighting the wars of G-d.
    • He builds the temple in its place.
    • He gathers the scattered multitude of Israel.
    • He establishes for the entire world to serve G-d together, including the Gentile nations.
  • If the presumed Messiah is not successful in the above: If the presumed Messiah was not successful in all the above, or if he was killed, then he is definitely not the Messiah, and is rather considered like all of the other righteous kings of the monarchy of David who have died.
  • The reason G-d sends presumed messiahs: The reason G-d sent this presumed Messiah, despite him not reaching the criteria of the definite Messiah, is in order to challenge the masses and refine the people until the true kind of redemption arrives.
  • The negation of Yoshka as the Messiah: Yoshka who believed himself to be the Messiah and was killed by the Jewish court was the exact opposite of the Messiah. All the prophets speak of the Messiah as an individual who redeems the Jewish people and gathers those scattered amongst the nations and strengthens their mitzvahs. This individual however did the exact opposite, as he caused the Jewish people to be killed and caused them to be exiled throughout the world, and to be viewed with disdain, and to switch the Torah with a false religion, and to fool the majority of the world to serve a deity that isn’t G-d.
  • The divine purpose of Yoshka and Mohammed: The creator of the world had His calculations for allowing this man Yoshka to be successful, as through him and the Ishmalite who came after him, the path for the coming of King Messiah became paved, and the world progressed towards serving G-d in unity, and having even the Gentiles serve G-d together.
  • How this is so: As a result of the above two individuals, the world became filled with the knowledge of the Messiah as well as knowledge of Torah and mitzvahs, and reached even the furthest of islands, and many of the uncircumcised nations. These people now are involved in discussion of the Torah and mitzvahs, although denying its current necessity, either due to believing that they were not meant to be eternal or due to believing that they have a higher and more spiritual nonliteral intent. Now, when the true King Messiah will arrive and be successful, it will be revealed to them that they have inherited a lie from their ancestors, and have been drawn astray by them from the truth of the Torah and mitzvahs.

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