Should the Jewish People Have Expected a Divine Messiah?

It’s not uncommon for modern Orthodox Jews to assert that the idea of a Divine Messiah goes completely against Scripture.

But is there really no basis in Scripture for a Divine Messiah?

Let’s look at few passages and find out.


Perhaps a good place to start is with the Book of Daniel where, after describing the white-haired “Ancient of Days” it describes yet another Divine figure:

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed,” Daniel 7:13-14

The Rabbinic interpretation of this passage is that this “son of man” is the Messiah:

“Rabbi Alexandri said: Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi pointed out a contradiction. It is written, “in its time” [will the Messiah come], whilst it is also written, “I [the Lord] will hasten it”! – If they are worthy, I will hasten it: if not [he will come] at the due time… Rabbi Alexandri said: Rabbi Joshua opposed two verses: it is written, “And behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven” (Daniel 7:13); whilst [elsewhere] it is written, “[behold, thy king cometh unto thee…] lowly, riding upon an ass” (Zechariah 9:9)! – If they are meritorious, [he will come] “with the clouds of heaven”; if not, “lowly and riding upon an ass”” BT, Sanhedrin, 98a.
Now for the interesting part:  the Rabbinic interpretation also says that this “son of man” is a manifestation of HaShem.  In Mekhilta De-Rabbi Ishmael, Tractate Bahodesh (see note at bottom), it is explained that the plural “thrones” in Daniel 7:9 should not be construed as two powers in Heaven but rather as conveying the idea that the same G-d can have various manifestations (e.g. as a young man of war or as an old man).  The upshot:  there is a Rabbinic basis for viewing the “Son of Man” as both Messiah and G-d Himself.


The Messiah was to suffer and die:

“ I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.  I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.  They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture,” Psalm 22:14-18  (see also Isaiah 53)
And then be resurrected:

“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption,” Psalm 16:10
 Destined to be King of Israel because He is the “Son of God”:

“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.  I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee,” Psalm 2:6,7
This Kingly Messiah is called “the Mighty God”:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” Isaiah 9:6
And this term “Mighty God” is a title that applies only to G-d Himself:

“A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God,” Isaiah 10:21
This Kingly Messiah first had to come in humble fashion:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey,” Zech. 9:9
But will one day be recognized as G-d Himself:

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me [note: the speaker here is HaShem], the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son,” Zechariah 12:10

The evidence has been there all along!  Yeshua is present throughout the Torah!  : )



“I am the Lord, you God (ADONAI Elohekha)” (Ex. 20:2).
Why is this said?
     For this reason.  At the sea he [God] appeared (to them) as a mighty hero (gibbor) doing battle, as it is said:  ‘The Lord is a man of war” (Ex. 15:3).
     At Sinai he appeared (to them) as an old man (zaqen) full of mercy, as it is said:  “And they saw the God of Israel, etc.” (Ex. 24:10).  And of the time after they had been redeemed, what does it say?  “And the like of the very heaven for clearness” (ibid.).  Again it says:  “I beheld till thrones were placed” (Dan. 7:9).  And it also says:  “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him, etc.” (Dan. 7:10).
     (Scripture, therefore,) would not let the nations of the world have an excuse for saying that there are two powers (shetei rashuyyot), but declares:  “I am the Lord, your God” (Ex. 20:2) –
     I am he who was in Egypt and I am he who was at the sea.
     I am he who was at Sinai.
     I am he who was in the past and I am he who will be in the future.
     I am he who is in this world and I am he who will be in the world to come, as it is said:  “See now that I, even I, am he, etc.” (Deut. 32:39).  And it says:  “Even to old age I am the same”  (Isa. 46:4).  And it says:  “Thus said the Lord, the King of Israel, and his redeemer, the Lord of Hosts (ADONAI tzeva’ot):  I am the first, and I am the last” (Isa. 44:6).  And it says:  “Who has wrought and done it?  He that called the generations from the beginning.  I, the Lord, who am the first, etc. [and with the last I am as well]” (Isa. 41:4).
     R. Nathan says:  “From here one can give an answer to the heretics (minim) who say: ‘There are two powers (shetei rashuyyot).’  For when the Holy One, blessed be he, stood up and exclaimed:  ‘I am the Lord, your God’ (Ex. 20:2), was there any one who stood up to protest against him?
     If you should say that it was done in secret—has it not been said:  “I have not spoken in secret, etc.” (Isa. 45:19)?  “I said not to the seed of Jacob” (ibid.), (that is), to these (alone) will I give it.  Rather, “they sought me in the desert” (ibid.).  Did I not give it in broad daylight (pangas)?  And thus it says:  “I the Lord  speak righteousness, I declare things that are right” (ibid.),” Schafer, The Jewish Jesus, pg. 57, quoting from Mekhilta De-Rabbi Ishmael, Tractate Bahodesh

Source: Orthodox Messianic Judaism (