To use an example, many passages in Isaiah are explained in Christianity to have been fulfilled almost immediately (with the then-current struggles of Judah against Israel, Assyria, etc.) and also later a second time with the arrival of Jesus.

I was wondering if there are any similar sorts of reading of Biblical prophecy in Judaism, with regard to double fulfillment. That is, where a prophecy had an immediate or near-immediate fulfillment, but then also a later fulfillment of the same prophecy (or is believed that a second fulfillment will occur sometime in the future).

EDIT: Specifically, I'm looking for the views of modern mainstream Judaism, if possible.

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya TVann! Thanks for sharing the question. Consider learning more about the site from this short Beginners' Guide.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 21:50
  • Your Q is too diff to answer. Im not sure if u'll find exact phrase "dual fulfillment" in rabbinic literature and scholars writings; though every single messianic interpretation of prophecy is a subject of dual implication; coz there are just couple of passages that only meant as messianic; all rest have dual implication allusions. Search for Typology and midrash hermeneutics for prophecies in rabbinic writings.
    – Michael16
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 11:15
  • Why the downvote?
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 15:55
  • Cf judaism.stackexchange.com/q/15215
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


They weren't "mainstream" Jews, but the sect that lived at Qumran that wrote some of the Dead Sea Scrolls sure did, writing a series of "Peshers"/commentaries on the Prophets, relating prophesies already fulfilled, usually by the first Exile, to events in their own time(approximately 130BCE-70CE), as well as to future/messianic times. The most complete and well known one is the Habbakuk Pesher, but fragments were found of Peshers on Nachum, Isaiah, Zephaniah, Micah, and some Psalms. These all are full of references to their Teacher of Righteousness and their sect, sometimes referred to as "the Poor" or "the Simple" or "Council of the Community" and their struggles against their enemies -the "Scoffers in Jerusalem", the "Wicked Priest", the "Spouter of Lies", the "Furious Young Lion", "those who seek smooth things", and assorted others. These can all be found in Vermes' Complete Dead Sea Scrolls In English. Since none of these terms had proper names attached to them, they've provided a lot of food for thought, articles, and dissertations for Dead Sea Scroll scholars as to who/what all these people(as Vermes wrote "there was no shortage of Wicked Priests" in that era) and groups and events actually were. There are a few exceptions, as when the Nachum Pesher mentions two Seleucid kings, Demetrius and Antiochus, and describes a known event when Demetrius III tried to enter Jerusalem after defeating Alexander Janneus, but didn't succeed. But these Peshers indicate that yes, there were people reading the Prophets' already fulfilled prophesies and Psalms as relating to their own times, as well as Messianic times.

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    We also read some prophecies as only coming true in the future in messianic times. That would not satisfactorily answer the question. Where in your sources do you find that a certain passage was said to have been fulfilled, and then fulfilled again? That would answer the question.
    – user6591
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 2:49
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    Okay, just briefly looking at the Isaiah fragment, there's some commentary on Isaiah 5:10-15, which refers to Jerusalem's nobles' good material conditions, but their disregard of HaShem will drive them into exile. This was fulfilled by Nebuchanezzar's exiles of 597 and 586BCE, but the Qumran writer regards it as BOTH referring "to the last days" AND the then current "Scoffers in Jerusalem". That makes three uses, past,present, and future, of the same prophesy.
    – Gary
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 3:00
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    That sounds more to the point
    – user6591
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 11:08
  • @user6591 - well, the whole phenomena seems to be based on the universal nature of the prophecies---as elsewhere (liberally)quoted on this site "only the prophecies relevant to all times were written down". The Jews/Judeans living over 500 years after the books were written made use of them with all sorts of interpretations, sometimes leading to disaster, especially in Bar Kosiba's case. I'm sure the Talmud experts here could list other instances where the texts were applied to then-current or recently past events, but my studies only brought the Qumran folks' relevant activities to mind.
    – Gary
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 13:51
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    That's not a fulfillment. Fulfillment would be an anemy from the north=Assyria. To go take that prophecy now and apply it to, say, Turkey would be a double dipping prophecy fulfillment. To say all generations should learn to listen to God because one time a warning about an enemy from the north was fulfilled is very diffident. I think.
    – user6591
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 18:16

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