The signs of the Messiah (‘Otot Hamashiach) and Jewish apocalypticism
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During the Second Temple period several Jewish writings refer to the oral tradition of the 'otot hamashiach, the signs that would accompany the coming of the Messiah. The subject is utilized by the author of the Gospel of John in his deliberate and calculated references to 'signs' as a way of authorizing Jesus as the expected and promised Messiah. The signs enumerated in Near Eastern apocalypses range from natural disasters and cataclysms, to social and political upheavals and preternatural occurrences. The 'Otot Hamashiach is a Jewish apocalypse of uncertain date, from around the third to the sixth centuries C.E., describing ten signs or portents that would transpire before the end comes. The Apocalypse opens important perspectives on Jewish medieval expectations of the Messiah and the end of times, as well as the enemy of Israel, Armilus.
- Faculty of Theology