“David King of Israel lives!”
Rosh Hashanah 25b

Parashat Chayyei Sarah (Genesis 23:1–25:18), opens with the death of Sarah Immeinu, Sarah our Mother. It is paradoxical that this portion is named the Life of Sarah when the passage speaks of her death and details her burial in Cave of Machpelah in Chevron. Through this, the Torah teaches us an important principle: The righteous never die. The Midrash says,

“The righteous are called living even in their death, but the dead know not refers to the wicked who, even in their lifetime, are called dead.
Ecclesiastes Rabbah 9:4, Soncino Press Edition, cf. John 11:25-26

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BYT DWD – the House of David, highlighted on the Tel Dan Stele. Photo by יעל י, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Like the Torah portion, the haftarah speaks of the death of an important figure in the history of Israel: King David. David is a larger than life character whose ‘stories’, such as his famous battle with Goliath, have permeated the world of popular imagination. Because of this ‘legendary’ status, some have doubted the historicity of King David, relegating the Biblical accounts to mere myth.

Yet, on August 4, 2005, a third-generation Israeli archaeologist, Eilat Mazar, discovered what may have been the palace of King David. [1] In 1994, the Tel Dan Stele was discovered, with a clear reference to the “House of David.”[2] Who was this man, mentioned in both ancient stone and parchment, who would be the progenitor of the Geulah, the Redemption and Restoration of Israel and the world?

Our haftarah passage reveals that David died at the age of 70 years old. The number 70 itself is significant, as it is equivalent in gematria to the word sod or secret.

70 = סוד
Sod/Secret = 70

The life of King David is a mystery waiting to be unraveled. The Talmud says,

“The Holy One, blessed be He, will raise up another David for us, as it is written, But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them: not ‘I raised up’, but ‘I will raise up’ is said. R. Papa said to Abaye: But it is written, And my servant David shall be their prince [nasi] for ever? E.g., an emperor and a viceroy.”
Sanhedrin 98b, Soncino Press Edition

According to Jewish tradition, one of the “names” of the Messiah will be “David” which means “beloved.” The Midrash Tehillim echoes this idea,

“R. Huna said: The Messiah has been given seven names, and these are: Yinnon, Our Righteousness, Shoot, Comforter, David, Shiloh, Elijah.”
Midrash Tehillim, Chapter 19, translated by Burton L. Visotzky, Yale University Press, page 90

When looking into the lives of David HaMelech, Adam HaRishon, Noach, Avraham Avinu, Yitzhak, Yaakov, Yosef HaTzaddik, Moshe Rabbeinu, Yehoshua bin Nun, Ruth, Yonah HaNaviEsther HaMalka, etc. we must understand that we are dealing with the keys of Redemption. If we were to assemble these puzzle pieces, we would be looking at a portrait of face of King Messiah. The Zohar lays down a fundamental principle in understanding this concept,

“Woe to the sinners who consider the Torah as mere worldly tales, who only see its outer garment; happy are the righteous who fix their gaze on the Torah proper. Wine cannot be kept save in a jar; so the Torah needs an outer garment. These are the stories and narratives, but it behooves us to penetrate beneath them.”
Zohar III:152a, Soncino Press Edition

While it is beyond the scope of this article to fully explore each facet, by studying the life of David, we are not merely looking at the past but studying the blueprint for the future, the Redemption and the person of the Mashiach.

ADAM AND DAVID

According to Pirkei de-Rebbi Eliezer 19, Adam was shown all the generations of mankind, and saw that David was destined to die shortly after birth. After his sin, Adam was supposed to live for 1,000 years [3]. Yet he asked HaShem if he may give some of his own life to David, eventually gifting him 70 years. Thus Adam, the world’s first king, died at the age of 930 (Gen. 5:5). He is therefore connected to David. The book of 2nd Samuel says,

“David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.”
2 Samuel 5:4

Like Yosef HaTzaddik, who began to rule over Egypt at the age of 30 (Gen 41:46), David began to reign over Israel in Chevron (the burial place of Sarah) at the same age. This is no coincidence. The parallels between Yosef and David will form dual threads, like interwoven DNA strands, encoding the secret of the two Messianic functions. R’ Yissocher Frand comments on the gift to Adam to David,

“The Rokeach cites an even more startling version of this Medrash: When Adam originally agreed to give over 70 years of his life to the future Dovid HaMelech, he signed a document to that effect. The document was “co-signed”, so to speak, by the Master of the Universe and by the Angel Matat. In the Rokeach’s version of the Medrash, when Adam turned 930, he tried to deny that he ever made such an agreement. At that point, the Almighty pulled out the document proving that he had made the deal!”
Rabbi Yissocher Frand, Adam Regrets His Gift to Dovid, Torah.org [4]

The name Adam forms the notarikon, acrostic of A-D-M, Adam, David and Mashiach:

אדם = אדם – דוד – משיח
Adam = Adam, David, Mashiach

BIRTH OF A KING

According to the Midrash, the birth of King David in Beit-Lechem was shrouded in mystery and questionable circumstances. A hint of this is revealed by David himself, who wrote in the Psalms,

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity. In sin my mother conceived me.”
Psalms 51:5-6

This is a baffling statement. What were the circumstances of this “sin”? Why was he treated as an outcast among his own brothers, as he explains in Psalm 69,

“I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother’s children.”
Psalms 69:8-9

Chana Weisberg, of Chabad.org, fills in the background circumstances, utilizing the Midrash,

“What caused King David to face such an intense ignominy, to be shunned by his own brothers in his home (“I have become a stranger to my brothers”), by the Torah sages who sat in judgment at the gates (“those who sit by the gate talk about me”) and by the drunkards on the street corners (“I am the taunt of drunkards”)? … when David was born, this prominent family greeted his birth with utter derision and contempt…David was not permitted to eat with the rest of his family, but was assigned to a separate table in the corner. He was given the task of shepherd because “they hoped that a wild beast would come and kill him while he was performing his duties (Siftei Kohen, Vayeishev) and for this reason was sent to pasture in dangerous areas full of lions and bears.  Only one individual throughout David’s youth was pained by his unjustified plight, and felt a deep and unconditional bond of love for the child whom she alone knew was undoubtedly pure. This was King David’s mother, Nitzevet bat Adael, who felt the intensity of her youngest child’s pain and rejection as her own.”
Nitzevet, Mother of David, Chabad.org [5]

Yishai, the father of David, was a Torah scholar but tormented by a halachic question as to the legitimacy of his marriage to Nitzevet. The reason being is that he was descended from Ruth the Moabitess. The question surrounded the interpretation of Deuteronomy 23:3, that no Moabite should enter the Assembly of HaShem. While the halacha dictated that this verse only applied to a male Moabite, it was not widely known, hence the doubt of Yishai. Rashi comments on Micah 5:2,

“And you, Bethlehem Ephrathah: whence David emanated, as it is stated (I Sam. 17:58): “The son of your bondsman, Jesse the Bethlehemite.” And Bethlehem is called Ephrath, as it is said (Gen. 48:7): “On the road to Ephrath, that is Bethlehem.” you should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah: You should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah because of the stigma of Ruth the Moabitess in you. From you shall emerge for Me: the Messiah, son of David, and so Scripture says (Ps. 118:22): “The stone the builders had rejected became a cornerstone.”and his origin is from of old: “Before the sun his name is Yinnon” (Ps. 72:17).”
Rashi on Micah 5:2, cited at Chabad.org [6]

Thinking himself unfit to marry a Jewess, and intending to put Nitzevet away, he decided to marry a Canaanite servant. But like Rachel and Leah, Nitzevet and the servant switched places, and King David was conceived. When Nitzevet’s belly began to show, it was suspected that she committed adultery, and that David was a mamzer, an illegitimate child,

“After three months, Nitzevet’s pregnancy became obvious. Incensed, her sons wished to kill their apparently adulterous mother and the “illegitimate” fetus that she carried. Nitzevet, for her part, would not embarrass her husband by revealing the truth of what had occurred. Like her ancestress Tamar, who was prepared to be burned alive rather than embarrass Judah, Nitzevet chose a vow of silence. And like Tamar, Nitzevet would be rewarded for her silence with a child of greatness who would be the forebear of Moshiach.”
Nitzevet, Mother of David, Chana Weisberg, Chabad.org [7]

This same accusation was lodged against Yitzhak, who was born miraculously to Avraham and Sarah. The pattern of Redemption seems to be that the Redeemer’s lineage would be questioned and insulted. Yeshua of Nazareth, who was born miraculously, has faced these same charges. Regarding the family of the Messiah, the Rambam writes in Iggeret Teiman, the Letter to Yemen,

“The Messiah is not a person concerning whom it may be predicted that he will be the son of so and so, or of the family of so and so. On the contrary he will be unknown before his coming, but he will prove by means of miracles and wonders that he is the true Messiah. Scripture in allusion to his mysterious lineage says, “His name is the Shoot, and he will shoot up out of his place” (Zechariah 6:12). Similarly, Isaiah referring to the arrival of the Messiah implies that neither his father nor mother, nor his kith nor kin will be known, “For he will shoot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of the dry ground.” (53:2)”
Rambam, Iggeret Teiman, Chapter 17, translated by Boaz Cohen [12]

Like Yeshua, and Yosef, David was rejected by his own brothers,

“From the time of his birth onwards, then, Nitzevet’s son was treated by his brothers as an abominable outcast. Noting the conduct of his brothers, the rest of the community assumed that this youth was a treacherous sinner full of unspeakable guilt.”
Nitzevet, Mother of David, Chana Weisberg, Chabad.org [8]

This painful rejection of David lead his mother to say,

“Facing her other sons, Nitzevet exclaimed, “The stone that was reviled by the builders (bonim) has now become the cornerstone!”
Psalms 118:22 cited in Nitzevet, Mother of David, Chana Weisberg, Chabad.org [9]

In all of this drama, Chabad.org rhetorically asks,

“What a shady past for King David and all future kings of Israel, including King Mashiach! Is this the ancestry befitting royalty?!”
Jewish Royalty, Chabad.org [10]

Despite what appears on the outside to be a shady origin, the Midrash says,

“G‑d had three ‘finds’…one of them was David, as it says (in Psalms 89:21), ‘I found David, my servant.’ (Bereishit Rabba 29:3) – “[And] where did I find him? In Sodom!”
Bereishit Rabba 50:10, cited in Jewish Royalty, Chabad.org [11]

Why all of this intrigue? There is an idea that this concept of apparent scandal causes the Sitra Achra, the demonic realm, to be unaware of the greatness HaShem is bringing into the world, like a person who smuggles Bibles into a Communist Regime. This recurrent pattern is evident in the cases of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Batsheva, all of whom are present in the genealogy of Yeshua of Nazareth.

CLOAKED IN ESAV

Understanding this background, we may now understand why Yishai did not bring David out with his brothers to meet Samuel the Prophet,

“Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your children here?” He said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is keeping the sheep.”
1 Samuel 16:11-12

After seeing the older brothers of David, Samuel looking on the outward, the external, thought he had found the Chosen One, but HaShem told him to look at the pnimiyut, the internality,

“It happened, when they had come, that he looked at Eliav, and said, Surely the HaShem’s Mashiach is before him. But HaShem said to Samuel, “Do not look on his face, or on the height of his stature; because I have rejected him: for I see not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but HaShem looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:6-7

Finally David was brought before Samuel,

“He sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful face, and goodly to look on. The HaShem said, Arise, anoint him, for this is he.”
1 Samuel 16:12

Although David had the “beautiful eyes” of Leah, and the “good” looks of Yosef, David’s external characteristic of being admoni, ruddy, frightened Samuel, because this was linked to Esav,

“The first came out admoni, red all over, like a hairy garment. They named him Esau.”
Genesis 25:25

The Midrash explains,

“RUDDY. R. Abba b. Kahana said: AItogether a shedder of blood. And when Samuel saw that David was ruddy, as it is written, And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy (I Sam. 16:12), he was smitten with fear, thinking he too might be a murderer. But the Holy One, blessed be He, reassured him that he was of beautiful eyes [which meant], Esau slew by his own impulse, whereas he [David] would slay only on the sentence of the court.”
Genesis Rabbah 63:8, Soncino Press Edition

This is a great secret, according to the principle, “The hands are the hands of Esav, but the voice is the “voice of Yaakov.” Nevertheless, Samuel looked past the exterior, and anointed HaShem’s Mashiach (1 Samuel 16:13). The concept is that the King Messiah will be concealed in the midst of the enemies of Israel, just like redeemers of the past (Yosef and Moshe in Egypt, Esther in Persia). Where will Mashiach be concealed? The Talmud tells us in Edom, that is, Christianity. Like Shmuel HaNavi, we must look beyond the nigleh, the revealed, the external, to the nistar, the concealment, to find the Tzaddik. R’ Isaiah Horowitz comments,

“We see from the above that both Jacob and Joseph repaired damage caused by the “the ruddy one” since both hated Esau. What our sages said about Adam giving 70 years of his life to David is also true. The whole point of granting life to David was to repair the damage done to G‑d’s universe by Adam, without which a Messianic age and all its benefits to mankind would not be needed. Adam’s divine image, needed to be restored first and foremost through the constructive lives of the Patriarchs.”
R’ Isaiah Horowitz, Shney Luchot HaBrit, cited in Donations for David, Chabad.org [13]

The ultimate tikkun of Adam’s sin would be through the mission of Mashiach, who will restore the world. Like David who played the Harp, the Kli Yakar says the Harp, or ‘Lyre’, of Mashiach will have eight strings,

“The number seven represents the cycle of creation; the number eight represents the “circumference“ – that which lies beyond the perimeter of time and space. This is why the Divine Presence came to dwell in the Israelite camp on the eighth day. This is also alluded to in the saying of our sages (Talmud, Erchin 13b) that “The lyre of Moshiach has eight strings.”
Kli Yakar citing Arachin 13b, cf. Shaloh, Cited in Chabad.org [14]

YESHUA BEN DAVID

“All the multitudes were amazed, and said, “Can this be the son of David?”
Matthew 12:23

The people of Israel asked this question about Yeshua of Nazareth. Yeshua is referred to as the “son of David” in the New Testament as follows,

Matthew 1:1, 9:27, 15:22, 20:30-31, 21:9, 15; Mark 10:47-48,  11:10 ; Luke 1:32, 18:38-39 ; Romans 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:8, Revelation 22:16

There is no doubt that the early believers saw Yeshua as not only descended from David, but also the fulfillment of the expectations of Mashiach ben Yosef, and Mashiach ben David to come. The very first line of the New Testament states,

“A record of the genealogy of Yeshua the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
Matthew 1:1

Using roshei teivot (heads of letters) in reverse, in the words Abraham, David and Messiah, we have an acrostic for ADaM. While the Gospels portray Yeshua in terms of mission of Mashiach ben Yosef, it explains specifically that he will return as Mashiach ben David. This concept of the unification of the missions of the Meshichim exists in Judaism. The Alter Rebbe stated,

“Following the birth of Moshiach ben David [by receiving the soul of Moshiach], he will still contain within himself the soul of Moshiach ben Yosef.”
Maamarim of the Alter Rebbe, 5568, pg. 283, cited in And He Will Redeem Us, Mendelsohn Press, pg. 135

This concept is echoed by Rebbe Nachman, who said “there is one zaddiq in whom these two messiahs are combined,”

“He presented that teaching at the morning meal. His eyes had the appearance of two moons as he said that there are seventy nations, divided between the domains of Esau and Ishmael [traditional designations for Christendom and Islam]. Each of these domains is composed of thirty-five kingdoms, and they will be conquered in the future by the two messiahs, Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David. And there is one zaddiq in whom these two messiahs are combined. He said several other things here, more than have been printed. At that point, the table broke, because so many people were pressing around him. He became harsh and said, ‘Are there gentiles sitting around my table? Are these then the messianic times, that gentiles should approach the zaddiqim as in “all the nations shall flow unto him” (Isaiah 2:2).”
Hayyey Moharan 1:6, cited in Tormented Master, The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav, Arthur Green, Jewish Lights Publishing, pg.190, cf. Parparot l’Chokmah 15a

The Ben Ish Chai, R’ Yosef Hayyim of Bagdad (1835 – 1909) writes of the connection between the two Meshichim,

“The Josephian Messiah suffers illnesses and afflictions to atone for the people of Israel and for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. He is called “the leper of the house of Rabbi,” meaning the one who suffers for Israel and Jerusalem. The Josephian Messiah sits near the Garden of Eden, suffering for the people of Israel. . . . the righteous person whom the spark of the Josephian Messiah would enter is from the seed of David. . . If we find a tzaddik from the seed of David suffering affliction, he probably contains a spark of the Josephian Messiah.”
Ben Ish Chai, Ben Yehoyada, cited in Days of Peace, Yeshivat Ahavat Shalom, pg. 130-131

The text Kol HaTor, the Voice of the Turtledove, written by R’ Hillel Shklover, a disciple of the Vilna Gaon, speaks of the unification of the two Meshichim,

…at the beginning of the Redemption, when the wood of Yosef and the wood of Judah are “pieces of wood in your hand, ” when they are still divided into two, on the level of the awakening from below. At the time of the complete redemption, however, when the two pieces of wood have become “one in My hand” (the hand of God), then the meshichim will be like two inseparable friends; they will have become one, they will have become the King Mashiach who is on the level of the trustworthy friend of the final redeemer, Moshe Rabbeinu, may he rest in peace.”
Kol HaTor, Chapter 2, Section 2, 1, translated by R’ Yechiel bar Lev and K. Skaist, pg. 70

According to the Rambam, R’ Moshe ben Maimon, in his monumental Mishneh Torah, the mission of Mashiach ben David is as follows:

  1. Build the Temple
  2. Gather the exiles of Israel
  3. There will be world peace
  4. Israel’s enemies will be subdued

Critics of Yeshua’s Messiahship point out that none of the above has been accomplished, arguing that he is not the Messiah. Perhaps more specifically, Mashiach ben David. Some leave open the possibility saying, “When the Messiah comes, we’ll ask him if he has been here before.” The issue is much more complex than that. The Rambam does cautions,

“All these and similar matters cannot be definitely known by man until they occur for these matters are undefined in the prophets’ words and even the wise men have no established tradition regarding these matters except their own interpretation of the verses. Therefore, there is a controversy among them regarding these matters.”
Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Melachim, Chapter 12, Chabad.org [15]

R’ Chaim Vital, the disciple of R’ Yitzhak Luria, comments,

“Just as we find that Moshe Rabbeinu ascended to heaven, body and soul, and remained there for forty days…similarly, Moshiach will, through the help of the Almighty, merit to attain that lofty soul. He will then realize that he is in fact Moshiach, although no one else will be aware of this. This is the secret to which the Zohar alludes, ‘Moshiach will be revealed, yet no one will perceive him. Shortly afterwards, Moshiach will be hidden away, body and soul, in that Divine pillar [the spiritual incubation of this sublime soul]…Moshiach will thereupon rise up to heaven just as Moshe ascended the firmament, and will subsequently [return] and be revealed completely for all to see. The entire Jewish people will the perceive him and flock to him.”
R’ Chaim Vital, Arba Mei’os Shekel Kesef, pg. 68, cited in And He Will Redeem Us, Mendelsohn Press pg. 134, cf. Sha’ar Hagilgulim ch 13

Rabbi Shlomo Majeski states,

“The definition of Jewish belief is that which is written in Torah. That defines Jewish belief. This possibility – that Moshiach comes, and after his coming and revelation there’s an interruption, and then he completes the process – this is found in a number of places in Torah. Let me just mention a few. One is Midrash Rabba Shir HaShirim 2:22, on the pasukDomeh dodi l’tzvi.” And the Midrash says, just like a deer is revealed, and hidden, and again hidden. I guess it means that when it runs, it runs between the trees – you see it and then you don’t see it. That’s what happened with Moshe Rabbeinu in Egypt. He came, and then he was concealed for a few months – there are different opinions how many months – and then he was revealed again and took the Jews out of Mitzrayim. The Midrash concludes the same thing will be with Moshiach: He will be revealed, then he will be hidden, and then he will be revealed again. In fact, the Midrash says that when he will be hidden, it will be a very difficult time. There will be people who will stop believing in him because of that, and that ultimately he will come. This message is also in Rashi, in Daniel 12:12. The pasuk says, “Ashrei ha’m’chakim” (fortunate are those who will wait for Moshiach). Rashi says this is not just talking about people in general who wait for Moshiach…fortunate are those who will wait for Moshiach after he is revealed, and then he will be hidden, and then revealed again. In that in-between time: fortunate are those who persevere in their emuna. In fact, Rashi says this is brought down in the davening, in the siddur, the “Yotzer” for Parshas HaChodesh…It’s in the Rav Yaakov Emden Siddur. It says the same thing: Moshiach will come, be revealed, then he’ll be hidden, and revealed again. It’s also found in this week’s parsha, Parshas Shmos. Rabbeinu Bechaye, at the end of the parsha, says, “Moshe Rabbeinu came, then he was hidden, and then he came back to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim.” And he writes that the same will be with Moshiach, as it says, “Kimei tzeis’cha m’Eretz Mitzrayim ar’enu niflaos.” This redemption will be similar to the redemption in the times of Mitzrayim. The Chasam Sofer, one of the greatest masters of halacha in our recent generations, also wrote in his seifer, Toras Moshe, on this parsha, Shmos. At the end of the parsha, he says that the fact that Moshe was gone for six months was a very big test. The same will be b’yimei Moshiach Tzidkeinu, yinelam achar nisgaleh (in the days of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, he will be concealed after he is revealed), and we will need special assistance from Hashem to stand up to this test. As mentioned before, the Arizal in Seifer Shaar HaGilgulim also says the same thing – that he’ll come, and like Moshe Rabbeinu, he will disappear, go away, we won’t have him. Then he’ll come back and take all the Yidden out of Galus.”
Rabbi Shlomo Majeski, A Preface to Moshiach: Setting the Record Straight, Moshiach & Geula, BeisMoshiach.org [16]

Instead of the role of Mashiach ben David, David himself seems to fulfill the mission of the Mashiach ben Yosef of his generation. It is Solomon, his son, who seems to come the closest to being attaining the prototype status of Mashiach ben David. The parallels between David and Yeshua of Nazareth are numerous (see the bottom of this article for a detailed list).

Both David and Yeshua were born in Bethlehem. Like Yitzhak, the paternity of both were questioned. Like Yosef, they both were rejected by their brothers, experiencing sinat chinam, baseless hatred. The Spirit of HaShem rested upon both of them. Both were betrayed by a close friend who eventually hung themselves (Ahitophel, Yehuda). Both were distressed upon the Mount of Olives (2 Samuel 15:30, Luke 22:39). Like Moshe Rabbeinu, some in Israel wanted to stone both David and Yeshua (1 Sam 30:6, 2 Sam 16:6, John 10:31). There is a text called Nistarot ben Shimon bar Yochai that speaks of the idea of Mashiach ben David being rejected by Israel to the point of stoning,

“The Messiah of the lineage of Ephraim shall die there, and Israel shall mourn for him.  After this the Holy One blessed be He will reveal to them the Messiah of the lineage of David, but Israel will wish to stone him, and they will say to him: ‘You speak a lie, for the Messiah has already been slain, and there is no other Messiah destined to arise.’  They will scorn him, as Scripture says: ‘despised and abandoned (by) men’ (Isa 53:3).  He shall withdraw and be hidden from them, as Scripture continues: ‘like one hiding faces from us’ (ibid.).  But in Israel’s great distress, they will turn and cry out from (their) hunger and thirst, and the Holy One, blessed be He, will be revealed to them in His glory, as Scripture promises: ‘together all flesh will see’ (Isa 40:5). And the King Messiah will sprout up there, as Scripture says: ‘and behold with the clouds of heaven etc.’ (Dan 7:13), and it is written after it ‘and authority was given to him’ (Dan 7:14).”
Nistarot ben Shimon bar Yochai, translated by John C. Reeves [17]

Each of these parallels break out into deeper studies linking both David and Yeshua. We look forward to the day when the words of Isaiah will be fulfilled,

“And though HaShem give you sparing bread and water of affliction, yet your Teacher shall not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.”
Isaiah 30:20

TZEMACH DAVID

In the Amidah, also called the Shemoneh Esreh, there is a prayer for the Messianic Kingdom. Incredibly, in this paragraph, the word yeshu’ah, salvation, occurs four times in two sentences. The prayer is as follows,

אֶת צֶמַח דָּוִד עַבְדְּךָ מְהֵרָה תַצְמִיחַ וְקַרְנו תָּרוּם בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ
(כִּי לִישׁוּעָתְךָ קִוִּינוּ כָּל הַיּום (ומצפים לישועה
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, מַצְמִיחַ קֶרֶן יְשׁוּעָה

Et Tzemach David avdecha, meheira tatzmiach, v’qarno tarum bishuatecha, ki lishutecha qivinu kol hayom (um’tzapim lishua). Baruch atah HaShem, matzmiach qeren yeshuah. 

“The Branch of David your servant, speedily cause it to sprout, and raise up his horn through your salvation, we hope for your salvation all day (and look for salvation). Blessed are you HaShem, who makes the horn of salvation to sprout.”

According to Jewish scholar Yehuda Liebes, this prayer is very ancient. In the Gospel of Luke, it appears that Zechariah, the father of Yochanan HaMatbil, John the Immerser, quotes this prayer,

 ויצמח לנו קרן ישועה בבית דוד עבדו

v’yatzmach lanu qeren yeshu’ah be’veit David avdo

“Blessed be HaShem, the God of Israel, for he has visited and worked redemption for his people; and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David…”
Luke 1:68-69

Yehuda Liebes also made a controversial claim that this prayer was influenced by early believers in Yeshua:

“…the formula mazmiah qeren le-David was replaced by mazmiah qeren yeshu’ah. A theory has been suggested by various scholars, noting that the earliest Christians did not separate themselves from the community of Israel, but worshiped in the same synagogues, and even served as prayer leaders…”
Yehuda Liebes, Who Makes the Horn of Jesus to Flourish [18]

This theory is far from conclusive. However, it is no doubt design from Above that the prayer for the Mashiach includes the word yeshu’ah, salvation, so many times in such a small space. Incredibly, the name of Yeshua is equivalent to David ben Yishai, David the son of Jesse, in gematria,

386 = דוד בן ישי = ישוע
David ben Yishai = Yeshua = 386

Ezekiel speaks of the Mashiach ben David, who like the shepherds Yosef and David before him, will be the ultimate Shepherd,

“I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David. He shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. I, HaShem, will be their G-d, and my servant David prince among them. I, HaShem, have spoken it.”
Ezekiel 34:23-24

Yeshua, the ultimate embodiment of the missions of Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David says,

“I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
Revelation 22:16

There is a verse in Matthew 28 encapsulates the Besorah, the Gospel, the Good News, which says,

“He is not here, for he has risen.”
Matthew 28:6

Yeshua the Messiah is alive. As Mashiach ben Yosef died for the sins of Israel and the world. And as Mashiach ben David, he resurrected from the dead, like a Phoenix rising out of the ashes. And in this mission he will return. Interestingly, the name Yeshua is known in Israel today, “Yeshu,” has the gematria of Od Yosef b’ni Chai, “Yosef my son is still alive!”

ישו = עוד יוסף בני חי
Od Yosef b’ni Chai = Yeshu = 316
My son Yosef is still alive

The book Kol HaTor emphasizes this phrase Od Yosef Chai, Yosef is still alive,

“The two meshichim cooperate and help one another: Mashiach ben Yosef, as revealed in the words “Yosef still lives” and Mashiach ben David, as revealed in the words “David, King of Israel is alive and exists.” They are alive and exist in every generation, carry out their missions, and affect one another with their powers and special attributes.  Thus they need one another.  Without the abundance of their strength, their might, and their endowments, Israel could not exist for even one moment, God forbid.  However, they–their powers, images, and endowments–are hidden as long as our many sins cause Israel and the Shechina to remain in exile.  We must know that these two great powers can operate and their strength can affect, even totally affect events, only when no one disturbs or separates them.”
Kol HaTor 2.1, translated by R’ Yechiel bar Lev and K. Skaist, pg. 27

This is the message of Kol HaTor: Messiah ben Yosef is alive. Messiah ben David is alive. And the two are one. It says,

“Yosef is still alive. Alive still is Yosef. The son of David is alive and exists. A righteous person lives by his faith. The tree of Yosef and the tree of Judah will become one in the hand of the L-rd…”
Kol HaTor 5, translated by R’ Yechiel bar Lev and K. Skaist, pg. 118

This is captured in the beautiful song of Israel, which is an echo of the Redemption.

דוד מלך ישראל, חי, חי וקיים
David Melech, Melech Yisrael,
David Melech, Melech Yisrael,
Melech Yisrael, chai v’kayam!
(David, King of Israel, lives and endures!)

 


REFERENCES

  1. Did I Find King David’s Palace? Eilat Mazar, Biblical Archaeology Review
  2. Tel Dan Stele, Wikipedia.com. See also the Merneptah Stele, the Mesha Stele, and the Kurkh Monolith.
  3. “…for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.”(Genesis 2:17). 1 day to HaShem is 1000 years (Psalm 90:4).
  4. Rabbi Yissocher Frand, Adam Regrets His Gift to Dovid, Torah.org
  5. Nitzevet, Mother of David, Chana Weisberg, Chabad.org
  6. Rashi on Micah 5:2, cited at Chabad.org
  7. Nitzevet, Mother of David, Chana Weisberg, Chabad.org
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Jewish Royalty, Rena S. Goldzweig, Chabad.org
  11. Ibid.
  12. Rambam, Iggeret Teiman, Chapter 17, translated by Boaz Cohen
  13. R’ Isaiah Horowitz, Donations for David, Chabad.org
  14. Kli Yakar, citing Arachin 13b, Shaloh, Cited in Chabad.org
  15. Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Melachim, Chapter 12, Chabad.org
  16. Rabbi Shlomo Majeski, Preface to Moshiach: Setting the Record Straight, Moshiach & Geula, BeisMoshiach.org
  17. Nistarot ben Shimon bar Yochai, translated by John C. Reeves
  18. Yehuda Liebes, Who Makes the Horn of Jesus to Flourish 

FOR FURTHER READING

  1. Jewish Encyclopedia, David

MIRROR IMAGES

DAVID

YESHUA

Born in Bethlehem
1 Samuel 16:4, 17:12, Micah 5:2
Born in Bethlehem
Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1, Luke 2:7
Paternity was Questioned
Yalḳut, Makiri, ed. Buber, ii., Kele Yakar to I Sam 17
Paternity is Questioned
Concealed in Sodom
Ruth 4:15-22, Genesis Rabbah 50:10
Concealed in Edom (Christianity)
Sefer Zerubavel, Isaiah 63:1
Was a Shepherd
1 Samuel 16:11, 2 Samuel 2:8
Is the Good Shepherd
John 10
Called “Na’ar” (youth)
1 Samuel 17:33
Called “Na’ar” (youth, title for Metatron)
Luke 2:43
Has External Appearance of Esav (Christianity)
1 Samuel 16:12, 17:42
Is Cloaked in Esav Christianity
Anointed
1 Samuel 16:13
Anointed
Matthew 3:16
Spirit of HaShem rested on him
1 Samuel 16:13
Spirit of HaShem rested on him
Isaiah 11:1, Matthew 3:16
Drives away evil spirits
1 Samuel 16:23
Drives away evil spirits
Matthew 8:32
Is the Stone that the builder’s rejected
Psalm 118:22
Is the Stone that the builder’s rejected
Psalm 118:22, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:6-7
Killed a Lion
1 Samuel 17:34-35
Will Kill the Evil Lion (Satan)
1 Peter 5:8, Revelation 20:10
Man of War
1 Samuel 16:18
Man of War
Revelation 19:11
Experienced sinat chinam (baseless hatred)
Psalms 69:4
Experienced sinat chinam (baseless hatred)
Psalm 69:4, John 15:25
Rejected by his brothers
1 Samuel 17:28, Psalms 69:8
Rejected by his brothers
Kol HaTor
“They also gave me gall for my food. In my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink.”
Psalms 69:21
Given vinegar to drink
Matthew 27:48, Mark 15:36, Luke 23:36, John 19:29-30
Merited to marry the King’s Daughter (Michal)
1 Samuel 18:17-21
Merited to Marry the King’s “Daughter” (Israel)
Revelation 21:9
Those in power tried to kill him
1 Samuel 19:10, 20:33
Those in power tried to kill him
Matthew 26:4, Mark 14:1
“David was thirty years old when he began to reign…”
2 Samuel 5:4
“Yeshua himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old…”
Luke 3:23
Foreigners believed that Israel abhored him
1 Samuel 27:12
Foreigners believed that Israel abhored him
Foreigners eventually reject him
1 Samuel 29:9
Many of the nations will reject him
Psalm 2, Revelation 20:8
The people wanted to stone him
1 Samuel 30:6, 2 Samuel 16:6
The people wanted to stone him
John 10:31
As an angel of G-d
1 Samuel 29:9, 2 Samuel 19:27
Is the Angel of G-d
Exodus 23
Is like a Priest-King
1 Samuel 30:7, 2 Samuel 6:14, 2 Samuel 8:18
Is the Priest-King
Psalm 110, Hebrews 8
Wars against Amalek
2 Samuel 1:1
Wars against Amalek
David makes a covenant with Israel
2 Samuel 5:3
Yeshua makes a covenant with Israel
Matthew 26:28
Was Distressed Upon the Mount of Olives
2 Samuel 15:30
Was Distressed Upon the Mount of Olives
Luke 22:39
David does not retaliate when cursed
2 Samuel 16:12
Yeshua does not retaliate when cursed
Luke 22:63-64, Luke 23:34
Was betrayed by Achitophel
Psalm 41:9, 2 Samuel 16:23
Was betrayed by Yehudah of Kriot
Psalm 41:9, John 6:71, 13:26
Murder plotted by Avshalom and the illegal Council of the Elders of Israel
2 Samuel 17:4
Murder plotted by illegal Council of the Elders of Israel
Matthew 26:57
Achitophel hangs himself
2 Samuel 17:23
Yehudah hangs himself
Matthew 27:5
David rejected for Sheba, a false claimant to the throne of Israel
2 Samuel 20:1
Yeshua rejected for Barabba, and other False Messiahs
Matthew 27:21, Acts 5:36
Cords of Sheol wrapped around him, but he was delivered
2 Samuel 22:6
Resurrected from the Dead
2 Samuel 23
The nations serve David
2 Samuel 22:45-46
The nations serve Yeshua
Psalm 2:8, Psalm 82
“The man raised on high…”
2 Samuel 23:1
The Man Ascended to Atik
Daniel 7:13
 Light of the Morning
2 Samuel 23:4
Is the Primordial Light
John 1:4-9
Purchases the “Threshing Floor” (Temple Mount)
2 Samuel 24:24
Cleanses the “Threshing Floor” (Temple Mount)
Matthew 3:12
David had foreigners cut stones for the Temple
1 Chronicles 22:2
Today, Believers in Yeshua are funding the Temple’s rebuilding