Project Genesis




Basics of Judaism

The Messiah

The Messiah and 6000 years

How do we know that the world will end in the year 6,000? There are many differing contexts of the coming of the Messiah has anyone sorted out the contexts so that we can gauge a clear view?

Here are some sources for the world lasting six thousand years:

Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin [97a]: “Rav Kattina said: ‘The world will exist for 6000 years and one (thousand) of destruction’ ... We have a teaching which is in agreement with Rav Kattina, as the seventh is the sabbatical year – one in seven years. Likewise the world will rest 1,000 in 7000 … ‘a thousand years in Your eyes are like yesterday which has passed …’ [Psalms 90:4].”

Talmud, Tractate Avodah Zarah [9a]: “The world will exist for six thousand years: two millennia of void (‘tohu’); Two millennia of Torah; and then two millennia of the age of Moshiach.”

Nachmanides, Commentary on the Torah (Genesis 2:3), quoting Kabbalistic sources: “Each of the Six Days of Creation corresponds to a 1,000 year period of future history.”

As for a clearer view of what it will be like when Moshiach comes, the basic answer is: a lot better than this.

From the Prophets, Talmud and Midrashim, we know what universal changes Moshiach will bring about. Among them: the whole world will return to God and His teachings; the entire Jewish People will be gathered back to the Land of Israel; the royal dynasty of King David will be restored; Jerusalem and the Third Temple will be rebuilt; the Temple service will be restored, along with the keeping of the Sabbatical Year (Shmitah) and the Jubilee Year (Yovel); the Sanhedrin, the religious supreme court of the Jewish people, will be reestablished.

No big deal, right?

In what order and in exactly what manner these events will occur, we do not know. G-d did not reveal the future that clearly to us. We do know certain ways that it cannot happen in any way which contradicts the Torah.

There are sources that do an excellent job of laying out clearly everything we do know about Moshiach. In English, the two best sources are The Handbook of Jewish Thought, Volume II, by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan and The Way of G-d (Derech Hashem) by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto.

1 Follow-up »

  1. Above, you write the following:

    “We know what universal changes Moshiach will bring about. Among them: the whole world will return to God and His teachings; the entire Jewish People will be gathered back to the Land of Israel; the royal dynasty of King David will be restored; Jerusalem and the Third Temple will be rebuilt; the Temple service will be restored, along with the keeping of the Sabbatical Year (Shmitah) and the Jubilee Year (Yovel); the Sanhedrin, the religious supreme court of the Jewish people, will be reestablished.”

    Where in the Torah does it say these things?

    Here are some of the sources for the above assertions:

      The whole world will return to God and His teachings—”God will be King over all the earth; on that day God will be One and His Name One: (Zechariah 14:9). “The earth will be full of the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). “It shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” (Joel 3:1). “I will place My Torah inside of them, and inscribe it upon their hearts… A person will no longer teach his friend and his brother saying, ‘Know God!’ For all of them will know Me, great and small alike” (Jeremiah 31:32-33).

      The entire Jewish People will be gathered back to the Land of Israel� See Deuteronomy chapter 30.

      The royal dynasty of King David will be restored—”My servant David will be king over them; they will all have one shepherd; they will also follow My ordinances and observe My laws” (Ezekiel 37:24).

      Jerusalem and the Third Temple will be rebuilt; the Temple service will be restored, along with the keeping of the Sabbatical Year (Shmitah) and the Jubilee Year (Yovel)—see Ezekiel chapter 40 through the end.

      The Sanhedrin, the religious supreme court of the Jewish people, will be reestablished—“I will restore your judges as at first, and your counselors as in the beginning; afterward, you will be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and those who return to her, with righteousness.” (Isaiah 1:26-27)

      There are other verses that relate similar themes. I have just listed some basic sources here. You would have to read through the entire Bible to find all of them. If you have any more specific questions, please let me know.

      By the way, see this excellent article by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, of blessed memory. In general, Rabbi Kaplan’s many books are all excellent sources for research.

      Keep asking questions!

      Best wishes,

      Shlomo Shulman

      Comment by ATR — December 17, 2007 @ 3:01 am

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