I know that Mashiach's name is mentioned in several sources, perhaps the majority of these sources are Midrashim (correct me if I'm wrong). But anyone know where I can find this subject commented among the meforshim? I am especially looking for such commentaries from Rishonim to Acharonim (So far I know there is Radak on Yechezkiel 37:24)

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    Sanhedrin 98b discusses the messiah's name. Definitely a good place to look.
    – Baby Seal
    May 30, 2014 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


First of all, the Gemara (Sanhedrin 98b) has an extensive discussion about this; I don't know if you'll call that midrash:

דבי רבי שילא אמרי שילה שמו שנאמר עד כי יבא שילה דבי רבי ינאי אמרי ינון שמו שנאמר יהי שמו לעולם לפני שמש ינון שמו דבי רבי חנינה אמר חנינה שמו שנאמר אשר לא אתן לכם חנינה ויש אומרים מנחם בן חזקיה שמו שנאמר כי רחק ממני מנחם משיב נפשי ורבנן אמרי חיוורא דבי רבי שמו שנאמר אכן חליינו הוא נשא ומכאובינו סבלם ואנחנו חשבנוהו נגוע מוכה אלהים ומעונה

What is his [the Messiah's] name? — The School of R. Shila said: His name is Shiloh, for it is written, until Shiloh come. The School of R. Yannai said: His name is Yinnon, for it is written, His name shall endure for ever: e'er the sun was, his name is Yinnon. The School of R. Haninah maintained: His name is Haninah, as it is written, Where I will not give you Haninah. Others say: His name is Menahem the son of Hezekiah,for it is written, Because Menahem [‘the comforter’], that would relieve my soul, is far. The Rabbis said: His name is ‘the leper scholar,’ as it is written, Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted. (Soncino translation)

There are a few more opinions in the Midrash Eicha (1:81)

ר' אבא בר כהנא אומר ה' שמו שנאמר (ירמיה כג, ו) 'וזה שמו אשר יקראו ה' צדקינו', ר' אבא זכי נהורא אמר נהורא שמו שנאמר (דניאל ב, כב) 'ונהורא עמו שרא', ריב"ל אמר צמח שמו שנאמר (זכריה ו, יב) 'הנה איש צמח שמו ומתחתיו יצמח

R. Abba bar Kahana says, 'HASHEM shemo', as it says, "and this is his name by which he will be called, Hashem, our just". R. Abba Zaki Zehora says that 'Nehora' (light) will be his name, as it says "Nehora will free his nation". R. Yehoshua ben Levi says "tzemach" (sprouting) will be his name, as is says, "behold, a man named Tzemach - from beneath him it will sprout"

The Abarbanel wrote a book on matters pertaining to Mashiach, called Yeshuas Meshicho. He discusses the question of Mashiach's name (2:1). He explains there that these Sages aren't actually arguing as to what will be Mashiach's proper name, but are all giving expression to what they believe will be essential to his character and role as the Mashiach - he will bring peace (Shiloh), be exalted (Yinonn), etc. The Maharal (Netzach Yisrael ch. 41) explains this discussion in the same manner.

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