This is the first instance recorded of an attempt to calculate the end by means of astrology. nro and nyv nns nmp nn nns 'ap-iaa where he speaks of the persecution of both Rome (ijp tot = boar) and Arab (ans =wild ass), and concludes with the phrase : "The end which is sealed added to the sorrow of my heart. " The same thought concerning the proximity of the day of Redemption is voiced in his Piyyut, nsnw n»«a nam ,nsw "Hearken now, hapless and pilloried one, hope and wait for me, for very soon will I send my angel to prepare my way." 23 Gabirol is undoubtedly caught up by the same hope which inspired the author of the Book of Zerubbabel, who announced that the Messiah would come in the year 1058.
I am also indebted to Professor Alexander Marx of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Mr. The ideal evolved into supernaturalism as the task of national redemption and universal conversion appeared progressively more difficult of accomplishment through human effort alone. eto H orfe THE MACMTLLAN COMPANY 1927 All rights reserved Copyright, 1927, By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. TO VI R G I N I A PREFACE The nucleus of this book is the doctorate thesis which I presented to the faculty of the Hebrew Union College in 1925. May, 1927 I FOREWORD Three factors contributed to the spread of the Messianic belief in Israel: the loss of national independence and the attendant deprivations, the will to live dominantly and triumphantly as a rehabilitated people in its national home, and the unfaltering faith in divine justice by whose eternal canons the national restoration was infallibly prescribed. ■^wuo}^ 5 1 hjivi Printed in the United States of America by THE FERRIS PRINTING COMPANY, NEW YORK. 37 (2) The Book of Elijah 42 (3) Chapters on the Messiah 43 (4) The Revelations of Simeon ben Yofcai 43 (5) Midrash of the Ten Kings 45 (6) The Prayer of Simeon ben Yofeai 46 (7) The Alphabet of Rabbi AMba (fragment) 48 (8) The Story of Daniel 48 (9) The Book of Zerubbabel 49 B. But only as a penitent sinner could Israel play a part in the drama. Also he never forgot the divine promise of Redemption! He knew his exile to be penance and atonement — a long and dreadful penance and an unprecedented atonement. Some of the pseudo- Messiahs in Israel were as much the creatures of these "literary" Messianic speculations of the people as the up-thrusts of the untoward political conditions of their times.
But he also knew that in a world of providential justice no penance can be everlasting. Too little attention has been paid to the role which the practice of "calculating the end" played in the successive Messianic movements from the first century onward.
3 He sets about to prove four things: (1) that the books of Moses and the later prophetic writings contain definite references to the final Redemption, as well as calculable and ascertainable dates; 4 (2) that Gematria is a legitimate and traditionally sanctioned method of discovering such dates; 5 (3) that the Messianic passages of Daniel refer to the final Redemption; 6 (4) that the Rabbinic injunction against calculating the end is no longer binding because we are so.