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John Hagee said this on a recent program and in his book The 4 Blood Moons (chapter 16):

Rabbi Judah heHasid – “In the ninth jubilee Jerusalem will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation – which will signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.”

I (a non-Jewish Christian), recently heard about this incredible Rabbi of the 12th Century who correctly interpreted(or prophesied--I'm not sure which) the rise and fall of the Ottomon Empire, which lasted 400 years. Keep in mind that he predicted both its rise and fall.

First of all, is this quotation accurate?

My main question regards his hermeneutic: in interpreting Jubilees, is he using Gemetria, citing some source I'm not aware of, or is this pure prophecy?

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migrated from Dec 25 '13 at 13:55

This question came from our site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts.

@All-After further examination, I found my "hunch" proved correct: Rabbi Judah ben Samuel is mentioned and quoted extensively in Chapter 16 of his "4 Blood Moons" book. It is said he used 'gemetria', have not others used the same when interpreting "666"? Since I don't read Hebrew, all I have to go on is what others have quoted him to say. The incidence of the "4 Blood Moons"-one of them occuring on Passover 2014 has been verified by NASA, so what Rabbi Judah ben Samuel had to say, or more relevant(to me) is how he said it(what context he used). – user2479 Dec 23 '13 at 2:21
Hi, Can you explain what exactly you want to know? Do you want to understand why he picked 8/9 Jubilees? What a Jubilee is? Why he counted in Jubilees and not years? If he got the idea from some other source? I'm not clear on what you want to know. – avi Dec 25 '13 at 14:24
I feel the need to point out however that from 1917 - 1967 Jerusalem was not a no-man's land. From 1917-1948 it was controlled by the British, and Jews were living in Jerusalem. From 1948-1967 it was occupied by Jordan. There was a noman's land created in 1948, but it only lasted until 1967, not from 1917. – avi Dec 25 '13 at 14:29
@SethJ, how is this off-topic? The question is about understanding the methodology of one of our sages. The stated motivation for wanting to understand this methodology is due to his being quoted outside Judaism, but that doesn't change the inherent topicality of what's being asked. – Isaac Moses Dec 26 '13 at 15:31

1 Answer 1

First, I think there is a misunderstanding in the question. The Book of Jubilees is not recognized at all in Rabbinic Judaism (although Wikipedia records some speculation that as late as the 12th century some authors of Medrashim had access to it), rather the reference, if it exists, is to the concept of a Jubiliee year (meaning a 49 or 50 year period of time).

Second, the 12th century Rabbi Yehuda HaChasid himself writes in his work Sefer HaChassidim (206) that anyone who prophesies a specific time of Moshiach is, at best, using Kabbalistic* techniques which will yield him the wrong answer and embarrass him and all who follow him. Although this may have been in reaction to a specific astrologer that he didn't want to name so that no one would think that he credits him in any area, this is still a fairly strong indication that prophecy was not involved.

If the quote is accurate, it is probably in a book written by a student of his, quoting his teachings, called Sefer Gematriot, which as the title indicates is a book about Gematria. I don't have access to it to check.

* Today we would call that Kabbalistic, although it is a bit anachronistic in this context, I'm using the word for clarity, it literally means using G-d's name to communicate with angels. He says the angels will deliberately mislead.

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Thank you for your response! As I was admiring the Blood Red Moon, occurring exactly on the Feast of Passover(2014), I was wondering, "Will this question ever be answered ?" Of course, it is a very audacious prophecy, but then to accurately predict the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire was equally audacious. Yes, the Book of Jubilees(like the Book of Enoch) contains some 'impossibilities', yet lays out understandings(like Jubilees) to which the uninitiated(like myself) can grasp and see the cycles and patterns which Ancient Israel was privy to. – user2479 Jan 6 at 18:30

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