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Messianic Hope.

Distinguished from hope for the Messiah* in this, that it refers to every type of Jewish thought which looked for God's deliverance and salvation. The OT offers hope of a messiah-king after the image of David (e.g., Ps 2; 18; 20; 21; 45). It also refers to Messiah in such terms as the coming Judge (e.g., Is 42:1–4), Ruler of Israel (e.g., 2 Sm 7:13; Zch 9:9; Ps 2:6; Dn 9:25), Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Is 9:6; cf. Ju 13:18). in the intertestamental* period, messianic hope developed and changed. By the time of Jesus' birth the average Jew had a messianic hope different from that sketched above. One form emphasized the messiah as the Son of Man, a heavenly, powerful figure in the spirit of Dn 7 (cf. pseudepigraphic Book of Enoch, esp. chs. 46 and 48). Another form pictured him as the mighty pol. king of Israel, in the image of David. Some looked for a messiah from the house of Aaron, others awaited him from the tribe of Judah. Some looked for 2 messiahs, 1 from the house of Aaron, I from Judah. Under Gk. and Persian influence the conviction grew that this world was totally evil and corrupt, beyond redemption. The function of the messiah then became that of announcing a new heaven and a new earth; or of serving as God's herald to announce the end of the present age; or of being the agent for ending the old and beginning the new age. For many the hope of the new age was nationalistic and materialistic: Jerusalem would be the cen. of the world; Palestine would yield fantastic crops. Intertestamental writers gen. excluded heathen from any share in the messianic age and do not speak of a messiah who would suffer and die in his mission. This probably explains the disciples' shock and confusion when Jesus announced that He was on the way to the cross (Mk 10:32–34; Lk 18:31–34). Is 53 was either changed in meaning or ignored. A personal messiah was not an essential part of the messianic hope for some. The age of the messiah would be preceded by great calamity, a cosmic struggle bet. forces of evil and of the messiah (some said at Armageddon). The intertestamental messianic hope might be expressed in summary form as the hone of restoring on a higher level the unity of nat. life broken at the exile.

O. Cullmann, The Christology of the New Testament, tr. S. C. Guthrie and C. A. M. Hall, 2d Eng. ed. (London, 1963): J. Klausner, The Messianic Idea in Israel, tr. W. F. Stinespring (New York, 1955): T. W. Manson, The Servant-Messiah (Cambridge. Eng., 1953): S. O. P. Mowinckel, He That Cometh, tr. G. W. Anderson (New York, [19569?]). HTM


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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