Scriptural Prophecy abounds with Divine Promises of a ‘Final Redemption’, after the return of the Exiles to the Promised Land. This Event will feature the building of the Temple in Jerusalem and the Return of the Shechinah and the establishment of the Universal Kingdom of the God of Israel. He will then rule over the nations with and through His elect.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are expecting their Messiah to come, who will then rule over the nations. This raises a bewildering scenario: WHO will this Messiah be? All 3 scenarios claim universal kingdom rule for their Messiah. In our study thus far we have presented Scriptural confirmations for the departure of the Shechinah of God from the Temple in Jerusalem and from the nation of Israel who the Bible claims to be His elected Sign Piece to the Nations, mandated by HaShem to be His Lawgivers (Mechoqeck – Gen. 49:10) – or Justice department.
Judaism refers to this Event as “The Coming of Messiah ben David”.
We return to our quotation from the writings of David Horowitz who presents some amazing insights based on the Hebrew Scriptures and Jewish sources with regards to this End Time Eevent. As an orthodox Jew, he reviews the claims of Christians and then relates it to the Hebrew Scriptures. As such, it should be informative for the re-awakening House of 10-Israel (Efraim) to guide them on the Way as defined by Scriptural Prophecy for the Final Redemption of which they must integrally be part. For Jews, this review by an orthodox Jew should serve as a vital insight into the True Identity of the expected Mashiach ben David about which there seems to be great disagreement and controversy in Juaism:
“For centuries millions of Christians have focused on the so-called “Second Coming of Christ” as the central event which ushers in the Kingdom of HaShem. As surprising as this may sound, the “coming of the Messiah” is definitely not the major eschatological emphasis of the Prophets. Less than a dozen texts speak of the role of the coming Davidic King. In contrast there are many hundreds of texts in the Hebrew Prophets which deal in the greatest detail with the end of the age, the great Day of Judgment, and the arrival of the Kingdom of HaShem. In text after text the role of a Messiah is not even mentioned, much less emphasized. This is not to minimize the Biblical doctrine of the Messiah. Rather, my point is this: a more basic teaching of Scripture has been totally ignored by millions–that of the Coming of HaShem Himself.
The Hebrew Prophets constantly emphasize the dramatic, awesome, earth-shaking, personal return of HaShem Himself to this planet. They clearly intend to convey an actual, literal, historical event in the future, something that will be experienced by all the inhabitants of the earth.
Zechariah 14 is perhaps the most basic chapter in the Scriptures on this subject. Please note the language carefully:
“Behold, a day is coming for HaShem when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then HaShem will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. And you will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then HaShem my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! And it will come about in that day that there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to HaShem, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. And it will come about in that day that living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. And HaShem will be King over all the earth; in that day HaShem will be the only One, and His name the only One. Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, HaShem of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, HaShem of hosts, there will be no rain on them.” (Zechariah 14:1-17, selected verses).
There are a number of remarkable features in this Prophecy. Despite what Christians so often assume, there is no mention whatsoever of the Messiah in this chapter. HaShem Himself appears, directly intervenes, and becomes King over all the earth. The entire focus of the text is upon HaShem. I emphasize this point, not to deny or even downplay the role of Messiah, but rather to stress that Zechariah is able to offer this rather detailed scenario of the “end of the age,” and the arrival of the Kingdom of HaShem without once mentioning the role of the Davidic King. Also, despite any use of symbolic or metaphorical language (i.e., His feet standing on the Mt. of Olives), the passage is full of historical and geographical details. The prophet obviously intends to describe an actual, literal, historical event in the future history of Israel and Jerusalem. The language itself resists allegorical interpretation.
Constantly the Prophets make this point: that God Himself will intervene, acting personally and directly, to punish the wicked and rule as King over all nations. HaShem constantly calls Himself the Savior, Redeemer, Shepherd, and King–beside Whom there is no other. Notice carefully the direct way these ideas are expressed in the following texts. Despite their number, these are still only a sample among many others which could be quoted. Again, I note, in none of these passages is the role of Messiah mentioned:
A voice is calling, “Clear the way for HaShem in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of HaShem will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of HaShem has spoken” (Isaiah 40:3-4).
“Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift it up, do not fear. say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God! Behold, HaShem will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. Like a Shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs, and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes” (Isaiah 40:9-11).
“I, even I, am HaShem; and there is no Savior besides Me.” (Isaiah 43:11).
“Thus says HaShem, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, HaShem of hosts: I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me”. (Isaiah 44:6).
“Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock? I know of none” (Isaiah 44:8).
“I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance”. (Isaiah 45:23).
“How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ” Your God reigns!” HaShem has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God’. (Isaiah 52:7, 10).
“And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no one to intercede. Then His own arm brought salvation to Him; and His righteousness upheld Him. And He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. According to their deeds, so He will repay, wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the coastlands He will make recompense. So they will fear the name of HaShem from the West And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream, Which the wind of HaShem drives .” (Isaiah 59:16-19).
“Who is this who comes from Edom, with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, this One who is majestic in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? “I have trodden the wine trough alone, and from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger, and trampled them in My wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, and I stained all My raiment. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption has come. And I looked, and there was no one to help, and I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; so My own arm brought salvation to Me; And My wrath upheld Me. And I trod down the peoples in My anger, And made them drunk in My wrath, And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth” (Isaiah 63:1-6).
“For behold, HaShem will come in fire And His chariots like the whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For HaShem will execute judgment by fire And by His sword on all flesh, And those slain by HaShem will be many.” (Isaiah 66:15-16).
Enter the rock and hide in the dust from the terror of HaShem and from the splendor of His majesty. The proud look of man will be abased, and the loftiness of man will be humbled, and HaShem alone will be exalted in that day. For HaShem of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty, and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased … And men will go into caves of the rocks, and into holes of the ground before the terror of HaShem, and before the splendor of His majesty, when He arises to make the earth tremble. In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, in order to go into the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, before the terror of HaShem and the splendor of His majesty, when He arises to make the earth tremble.” (Isaiah 2:10-12, 19-21).
Behold, HaShem lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface, and scatters its inhabitants … They raise their voices, they shout for joy. They cry out from the west concerning the majesty of HaShem. Therefore glorify HaShem in the east, The name of HaShem, the God of Israel In the coastlands of the sea … So it will happen in that day, That HaShem will punish the host of heaven, on high, and the kings of the earth, on earth … Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, For HaShem of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, And His glory will be before His elders … For behold, HaShem is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; and the earth will reveal her bloodshed, and will no longer cover her slain.” (Isaiah 24, selected verses).
For thus says the Lord HaShem, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down in good grazing ground, and they will feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord HaShem.” (Ezekiel 34:11-15).
Too often Christians allow themselves to hastily run through such texts, all the while assuming that when the Prophets speak of HaShem Himself acting in such decisive ways they actually refer to His Messiah. How often I have heard preachers say that “When Jesus returns, his feet will stand on the Mt. of Olives.” This is unfortunate and careless exegesis. As one can plainly see, through a careful reading of both sets of texts, the Prophets always maintain a clear distinction between dramatic appearance of the LORD HaShem and Davidic rule of the Messiah.
The Prophets understand this dramatic, personal, intervention of HaShem in history as a return or “second Coming.” HaShem declares, according to Haggai, “Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land” (2:6). Isaiah yearns for this time to arrive:
“Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your Presence–As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil–To make Your name known to Thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your Presence! When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You did come down, the mountains quaked at Thy presence. For from of old they have not heard nor perceived by ear, neither has the eye seen a HaShem besides You, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.” (Isaiah 64:1-4).
They are thinking back to the unprecedented events at Mt. Sinai in the time of Moses when HaShem dramatically judged Egypt and freed the entire nation of Israel from slavery. There all Israel experienced he awesome, visible, dramatic, manifestation of the Presence (literally “face”) and Glory of HaShem. The Torah is most explicit regarding this unprecedented experience. Nothing like this had ever happened before, or has happened since. HaShem Himself appeared to the people in a fiery cloud-like pillar; they actually heard His voice and saw His Glory (Exodus 19:18-19; 20:18-21; 40:34-38; Numbers 14:14). The very purpose of the Tabernacle (literally “dwelling place”) was to provide a locus for this extraordinary manifestation of HaShem.
Ezekiel reports that this Presence (“Glory”) of HaShem departed shortly before the Exile. He understands this in the most literal way, actually describing the Cloud-like “Glory” moving through the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem, up the Mount of Olives, and away (Ezekiel 10:18-19; 11:22-23). This “departure” is known as the “hiding of the Face of HaShem ” (see Deuteronomy 31:17; compare Ezekiel 39:29). To understand this teaching of Scripture one has to make a distinction between the general presence of HaShem, which is always with His creation, and this very specific, literal, awesome, visible, manifestation of the Divine Glory. In that sense HaShem departed from this planet, and in that sense the Prophets all tell of His return. In other words, they clearly predict a visible, awesome, literal, manifestation of the Glory of HaShem once again. For the wicked this will cause trembling terror and fear of judgment, for the righteous it will bring great rejoicing. The Prophets describe this arrival of HaShem in the most specific terms:
“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of HaShem has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but HaShem will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1-2).
“HaShem comes from Teman, And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendor covers the heavens, And the earth is full of His praise. His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the secret of His power. Before Him goes pestilence, And plague comes after Him. He stood and surveyed the earth; He looked and startled the nations. Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered, The ancient hills collapsed. His ways are everlasting.” (Habakkuh 3:3-6).
“Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing toward the east; and behold, the glory of the HaShem of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory … And the glory of HaShem came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east. And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever.” (Ezekiel 43:1-4).
“And I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. And the nations will know that I am HaShem who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.” (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
There is a definite focus in these Scriptures on the East. On the east side of Jerusalem is the eastern Gate of the Temple Mount, and east of that Gate, the Mount of Olives. From this sacred area the Glory of HaShem departed, and it is here that the radiance will reappear. This seems connected to the statement in Zechariah 14:4 that “on that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives.”