I was curious about where Karaite Jews sit on the topic of Mashiach considering they reject Rabbinical Judaism and only accept the original Five Books as their standard.

The vast majority of the writings and beliefs on Mashiach came after Torah. The full "fleshed out" concept can be argued as being established by the Rabbis and in Oral tradition after the fact. We only really see this being discussed in detail in prophets.

This leads me to assume that Karaite Jews may not actually endorse Mashiach as a concept since the vast majority of the writings on the topic exist outside of the original five books.

I was curious if there is a clear answer as to whether they endorse Mashiach as a concept or not?

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    Karaites do not "only accept the original Five Books as their standard". They accept the entire Tanakh. May 17, 2020 at 13:30
  • That was a misunderstanding on my part. I was under the impression that holding the five books as their standard meant they rejected the latter additions. My mistake.
    – user20915
    May 17, 2020 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


Karaites do indeed believe in the coming of the Messiah. In 15th-century Turkey, their Sage Eliahu ben Moshe Bashyazi laid down ten "principles of faith" which look remarkably like the Rambam's 13 principles, the ikkarim. The tenth is:

God does not despise those living in exile. On the contrary, He desires to purify them through their sufferings, and they may hope for His help every day and for redemption by Him through the Messiah of the seed of David.

The Messiah is foretold in the Torah, when Balaam said:

A star will go forth from Jacob, a staff will arise from Israel... [Num. 24:17-18]

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    Googling the first sentence of your first quote yields three results that (a) attribute the quoted principle of faith (and 9 others) to Elijah Bashyazi (15th century), and (b) add, in parentheses, that in some earlier Karaite creeds, e.g. Judah Hadassi's, the doctrine of the Messiah is omitted.
    – Tamir Evan
    May 17, 2020 at 5:40
  • If the verses you cite are separate from the principle of faith you quoted (as seems from what I could find online), then you should (a) quote the words that specifically reference the Messiah, (b) show that Karaites accept they talk about the Messiah, and (c) show Karaites accept this prophecy is still relevant today.
    – Tamir Evan
    May 17, 2020 at 5:42
  • @TamirEvan -- You are right in that the Karaites' 10 principles were laid down by Eliahu ben Moshe Bashyazi, not Aharon ben Eliahu of Nicomedia. I edited. May 17, 2020 at 12:54

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