[b-hebrew] Mashiax/Christos

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Wed Aug 30 19:26:36 EDT 2006

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Kirk" <peter at qaya.org>
. So perhaps we
> should restrict our discussions to what words like Mashiach and concepts
> like anointing mean in the Hebrew Bible as originally intended by its
> authors, and keep well away from discussing Christian and Rabbinic
> interpretations.

Excellent idea. So what DOES the Tanakh mean when it uses the word Mashiax. 
We have already established that the word derives from M$X, which in Aramaic 
is the regular word for "oil" - in Hebrew it seems to mean the act of 
smearing or pouring shemen (oil). This, as we know, was done as part of the 
"consecration" (I use the term lightly) of a high priest (cf. Leviticus 7-8 
etc.) and of a king. As such, the "mashiax", or "anointed one", is the 
acting high priest (Lev. 4:3, 5, 16 etc.) or the reigning king - including, 
as Liz has pointed out, Cyrus in Isaiah 45:1.

However NOWHERE in the Tanakh (with the possible exception of Daniel 
9:25-26), is the term "mashiax" used when clearly speaking of a FUTURE 
savior - Davidic, divine or otherwise. The prophets often speak of a future 
Davidic king, the "branch" of Jesse etc., but NOWHERE is this figure called 
"mashiax". The attachment of the title "mashiax" to the future savior is a 
late Second Temple concept, which was picked up on by the early followers of 
the "Teacher of Righteousness", of Jesus, of Bar-Kokhba and of others.

Yigal Levin 

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list