Rambam Mishneh Torah Hilchos Melachim Umilchamos, Chapter 12: The times of the Messiah

Halacha 1: No change in nature

  • A person should not believe that there will be a change in the nature of the world in the future ever. Rather, the world will act in his natural order.
  • Those verses in Scripture which depict a supernatural order of the world are mere parables, and are not to be understood literally. In the times of the Messiah we will understand the meaning of each of these verses in Scripture.
  • The Jewish people will live in peace and people will no longer sin: For example, that which it says in Scripture that the wolf will live with the sheep means to say that the Jewish people will live securely amongst the evil Gentiles, as everyone will return to a moral lifestyle without stealing and destruction.

Halacha 2: The order of occurrences in the future era

  • No foreign sovereignty: The sages state that there is no difference between this world and the days of the Messiah with the exception to the fact that the Jewish people will no longer be under foreign sovereignty.
  • The war of Gog and Magog: In the days of the Messiah the war between Gog and Magog will take place. It will take place in the beginning of the days of the Messiah.
  • The timing of the arrival of Elijah the prophet: Elijah the prophet will arrive prior to the war of Gog and Magog, and some of the sages hold that he will arrive even prior to the coming of the Messiah.
  • The purpose of Elijah’s arrival: Elijah will appear to the world for the purpose of bringing peace to the world. His purpose does not involve verifying the lineage of people and separating the pure from the impure.
  • Don’t involve yourself in trying to discover what will happen in the future era: No one exactly knows when things will take place in the times of the Messiah until it actually happens. All the disputes amongst the sages regarding the various occurrences are based on conflicting verses of Scripture. All in all, knowing the exact details of what will happen and when it will happen in the future era, is not of great importance in our faith, and a person should not involve himself in this field and should not lengthen in its discussion making it his main focus as it leads to neither fear or love of God.
  • Not to calculate a time of the Messiah’s arrival: Likewise, one should not calculate as to when the Messiah is to arrive, as the sages state that the soul should leave those who calculate the end of days. Rather, one is to wait for his arrival and believe in the general matter, as explained.

Halacha 3: Re-establishing tribal lineage

  • In the days of the Messiah, after his monarchy will be established and all the Jewish people will be gathered by him, then he will establish the lineage of every Jew based on the divine spirit and based on the Urim Vetumim.
  • The tribe of Levi: The tribe of Levi will be the first to be verified. The Messiah will reveal who is a true Levite and who is a true Kohane, and push the rest of the individuals to the general populace of Israel.
  • The remaining tribes: He will likewise reveal the tribe that each Jew belongs to.
  • Will not reveal those of blemished lineage: However, he will not come to reveal who is of valid lineage and who is not, such as to reveal who is a bastard and who is a slave, as a family that has become assimilated is assimilated.

Halacha 4: Why we yearn for the Messiah

  • Not for physical gain: The sages and prophets did not desire the coming of the Messiah in order for them to control the world and the Gentile nations, and neither in order to be respected by them and looked up to, and not in order to eat and drink and rejoice.
  • To study Torah and merit the world to come: Rather, they desired the coming of the Messiah in order so they have the free time to study Torah, and have no one oppress them in their desire of gaining wisdom. This in itself they desired in order to then merit the world to come.

Halacha 5: The state of the world in the future era

  • No war and no famine: In the times of the Messiah there will be neither hunger nor war.
  • No jealousy and competition: There will also be no jealousy and competition amongst people.
  • An abundance of pleasure available for all: The reason for this is because all the pleasures of the world will be found like the dust of the earth and available for all.
  • Gaining knowledge of God: The entire involvement of the world populace in that time will be simply to gain knowledge of God and nothing more.
  • The state of the Jewish people: In that time, the Jewish people will be great sages and have knowledge of esoteric matters, and comprehend their creator as much as humanly possible, as the knowledge of God will fill the earth like water covers the sea.

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