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When did the 'coming of Moshiach' become a thing in Judaism? When was it first discussed in Jewish literature?

Did people in the times of the first or second Beis Hamikdash think that life as they know it and live it everyday is the ultimate purpose of creation? That the world would continue forever as it was going then?

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    Based on the fact that Rabbi Akiva held that Bar Kochbah IS the Messiah, apparently not much. – Al Berko Jul 12 at 10:56
  • Interestingly the Torah says nothing explicit about it, the Messianic interpretations appeared long after the destruction of the Second Temple. The Messianic prophecies scattered all over Na"ch are also unfortunately too vague to be the source of knowledge (as opposed to beliefs). It appears that the "final redemption" was not a subject in Judaism up until it emerged in other religion(s). – Al Berko Jul 12 at 11:04
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    THis is the time when the sages took a clear cut, declaring the belief in the Messiah a [one of] principle of Judaism. Personally, I suspect that the main reason for that was to differentiate the Pharisees (the Rabbinical Judaism) from other Jewish sects. – Al Berko Jul 12 at 11:17

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