In a number of places chazal describe someone, for our purposes we will dub the 'seer' as seeing the future descendants of certain people, such as Moshe before he killed the Egyptian or Elisha before he caused the bears to kill the youths who were mocking him (Sota 42?). Each time it describes the seer seeing all the future generations and finding them to be without any redeeming merit and then the seer kills the person(s) who's future the he had just seen.

Logically there is something of a paradox here. Since the seer killed the person the future he saw could never have come to be.

What is the nature of those visions the seer saw? Are they possible alternative realities? Projections from God meant just to confirm the seer's decision?

  • Really interesting question. Perhaps, these are merely prophetic visions and nothing more. Maybe, as you have implied (I think?) that within this prophetic vision, there may have been a command from G-d to kill these people so that they don't do damage to others or to the world. IIRC, Rash"i regarding Moshe's vision says that Moshe saw that nothing would come of the Egyptian, not his future generations. If it were only the latter, it seems a bit strange that that person should be killed, as he didn't do anything wrong. – DanF Mar 29 '18 at 21:58
  • Maybe at that point in time, were it not for the righteous’ intervention, that’s what the future held, and his intervention changed the timeline? Ultimately Hashem knows which timeline will be chosen, but until it happens any future is possible. (Wow, that got really deep really quickly.) – DonielF Mar 30 '18 at 1:40

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