Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Laws of Who is Moshiach - Rambam
Text of Maimonides' Laws of Kings (Moshiach) (Edited)
Vol. 14 (the last volume of the Mishnah Torah)- Chapters 11 and 12 (the last chapters of the volume).
Whoever does not believe in him, or does not await his coming, denies not only [the statements of] the other prophets, but also [those of] the Torah and of Moshe, our teacher.
For the Torah attests to his coming, stating (Deuteronomy 30:3-5.).
3. One should not entertain the notion, that the King Moshiach must work miracles and wonders, bring about new phenomena within the world, resurrect the dead, or perform other similar deeds. This is [definitely] not true.
4. If a king will arise from the House of David, who, like David his ancestor, delves deeply into the study of the Torah, and engages in the Mitzvahs as prescribed by the Written Law and the Oral Law; if he will compel all of Israel to walk in [the way of the Torah], and repair the breaches [in its observance]; and if he will fight the wars of G‑d;
we may, with assurance, consider him Moshiach.
If he succeeds in the above, defeats all the nations around him, builds the [Beis Ha]Mikdash on its site, and gathers in the dispersed remnant of Israel; he is definitely the Moshiach.
He will perfect the entire world, [motivating all the nations] to serve G‑d together, as it is written (Zephaniah 3:9), "For I shall then make the peoples pure of speech, so that they will all call upon the Name of G‑d, and serve Him with one purpose."
1. One should not entertain the notion, that in the Era of Moshiach, any element of the natural order will be nullified; or that there will be any innovation in the work of creation. Rather, the world will continue according to its pattern.
2. Our Sages taught (Talmud, Berachos 34b): "There will be no difference between the current age and the Era of Moshiach except, [our emancipation from] subjugation to the [gentile] kingdoms."
He will not come [in order] to declare the pure, impure, nor to declare the impure, pure; nor [will he come in order] to disqualify the lineage of those presumed to be of flawless descent, nor to validate lineage which is presumed to be blemished.
Rather, [he will come in order] to establish peace in the world; as [the above prophecy] continues (Malachi 3:24), "He will bring back the hearts of the fathers, to the children."
Some of the Sages say, that Eliyahu will appear [immediately] before the coming of Moshiach.
In any case, neither the sequence of these events, nor their precise details, are among the fundamental principles of the faith.
3. During the Era of the King Moshiach, once his kingdom has been established, and all of Israel has gathered around him, the entire [nation's] line of descent will be established on the basis of his words, through the prophetic spirit which will rest upon him.
As it is written (Malachi 3:3), "He shall sit, as a refiner and purifier."
4. The Sages and prophets did not yearn for the Messianic Era, in order that [the Jewish people] rule over the entire world, nor in order that they have dominion over the gentiles, nor that they be exalted by them, nor in order that they eat, drink and celebrate.
Rather, their aspiration was, that [the Jewish people] be free [to involve themselves] in the Torah and its wisdom, without anyone to oppress or disturb them.
And thus be found worthy of life in the World to Come, as we explained in Laws of Repentance (9:2).
5. In that Era, there will be neither famine nor war, neither envy nor competition; for good things will flow in abundance, and all the delicacies will be as freely available, as dust.
The occupation of the entire world, will be solely to know G‑d. The Jews will therefore be great sages, and know the hidden matters. And will attain an understanding of their Creator, to the [full] extent of mortal potential;
As it is written (Isaiah 11:9), "For the world will be filled with the knowledge of G‑d, as the waters cover the ocean bed."