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We have a wide swath of prophecies and information regarding the messianic age and the events which are to happen both prior and during mashiach.

My question is whether the timelines of such events have been established or if it is an open ended timeline?

Examples of what I mean:

  • Mashiach will reign at a time where there is universal awareness and knowledge of God.
  • The ingathering of the exiles back to Haaretz Yisrael.
  • The world will be at eternal peace and harmony.
  • Ressurection of the dead.

These are just some of the examples of the events which are prophesized to happen.

Do these events have to all happen immediately around one another or can they occur over a much longer period of time?

Could for instance, the Jews ingather and remain in Israel for 200 years. Then the world enters a period of universal knowledge of God. Then 100 years after that we attain world peace and harmony.

I'm asking if the timeline of these events all need to correspond with one another or if there can be a much wider window of time for each to happen in its own way?

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    Rambam writes many have guessed but no one actually knows
    – Double AA
    Dec 7, 2023 at 20:15
  • @DoubleAA for ... some of it. I tried to narrow it down below; please let me know if I've jumped too far.
    – Shalom
    Dec 8, 2023 at 1:54
  • Rambam says that the prophecies about the redemption won’t be clearly understood until close to the time that they occur. In context, that means they will become clear now. Dec 8, 2023 at 3:37

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People often confuse a lot of different parts of the future. Here's what has to happen within one lifetime: Rambam, Laws of Kings and their Wars 11:5:

If a king will arise from the House of David who diligently contemplates the Torah and observes its mitzvot as prescribed by the Written Law and the Oral Law as David, his ancestor, will compel all of Israel to walk in (the way of the Torah) and rectify the breaches in its observance, and fight the wars of God, we may, with assurance, consider him Mashiach. If he succeeds in the above, builds the Temple in its place, and gathers the dispersed of Israel, he is definitely the Mashiach. He will then improve the entire world, motivating all the nations to serve God together, as Tzephaniah 3:9 states: 'I will transform the peoples to a purer language that they all will call upon the name of God and serve Him with one purpose. If he did not succeed to this degree or was killed, he surely is not the redeemer promised by the Torah. Rather, he should be considered as all the other proper and complete kings of the Davidic dynasty who died.

So we need one flesh-and-blood human who, before dying, does the following:

  • Gets Jews to keep the Torah
  • Fights wars of G-d
  • Builds the Temple
  • Gathers the dispersed Jews

The timeline after that is a lot more open-ended.

But somebody who got the first two bullet points and then died before any of the other ones, we can't say "well they hit the Messiah checklist, and other points will happen later." Someone's only the Messiah if they hit all four.

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  • To understand this, you need to focus on the precise details related to rebuilding the third Temple. What specifically does that rebuilding require? It is a categorically different structure that must be eternal on both a spiritual and physical, material level. How does Moshiach accomplish that essential detail? Dec 8, 2023 at 3:43
  • @YaacovDeane that depends on how "down-to-earth" you read the sources. Rambam foot-stomps that no suspension of laws of physics will be required of the Messiah, nor of the Messianic period. He does not list anything supernatural in his laws of how to construct a Temple. While I realize that many think otherwise, especially Hassidic and Kabbalistic thinkers ... I'd say leave the metaphysics to God.
    – Shalom
    Dec 8, 2023 at 4:29
  • Are you trying to suggest that the third Temple will not be eternal? I would be very interested to see any source you have that supports that. Regarding your comment about no suspension of the laws of physics, that is addressed by the Gaonim, prior to Rambam. The “natural state” is what existed prior to the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. The distortion of reality is what followed. That is neither kabbalistic or uniquely chassidic. Dec 8, 2023 at 5:12
  • Not saying it will be destroyed, G-d forbid. We can agree to disagree on Rambam's "this-worldly" understanding.
    – Shalom
    Dec 8, 2023 at 15:11
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    @Michael precisely. But the only events that need to happen in one lifetime are the ones listed here by Rambam. Others could come later.
    – Shalom
    Dec 11, 2023 at 9:50

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