What is the source in Jewish writings (Pre-Rambam) that there is a concept of a Moshiach, and his nature?

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    Closed for confrontational tone. – Isaac Moses Sep 2 '11 at 12:38
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    @IsaacMoses, This seems like a perfectly valid and interesting question, especially in light of R' Hillel's famous comment in the Talmud Bavli and its various interpretations. The confrontational tone is something that can be easily fixed if Collin is willing to reword his question. – jake Sep 2 '11 at 15:37
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    Does the Kuzari count as 'pre Rambam'? (it's written about 20-40 years before the Rambam) Or are you really looking for sources in the Geonim/Gemorah? – avi Sep 4 '11 at 8:11
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    Cast 5th reopen vote, as @ShmuelBrill's edit makes it acceptable, imo. – Hod - Monica's Army Feb 28 '12 at 19:57
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    I won't post this as an answer, but as far as Scriptural sources go, here is a list of all prophecies (and psalms) that Abarbanel considered to convincingly show the existence of, as well as describe the nature of, the Messiah and the Messianic age. – jake Feb 28 '12 at 21:47

There are many sources from Tanach, Midrash, and Gemara. The Amidah prayer that a Jew says 3 times a day written by the men of the great assembly (era ending 70C.E. aprox.) speaks of Moshiach in blessing 15. Request for Moshiach (scion of David) and salvation.

In the beginning G-d created the heavens and the earth... and the spirit of G-d hovered over the waters...

-Genesis 1:1-2

("The spirit of G-d hovered" -- this is the spirit of Moshiach - Midrash Rabbah).

It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mount of the house of G-d shall be established atop the mountains, and be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall stream to it.

And many nations will go, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of G-d, to the house of the G-d of Jacob; and he (Moshiach) will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths." For from Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem.

And he (Moshiach) will judge between nations, and decide among the peoples.

And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword upon nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

-Isaiah 2:2-4

On the day that the Holy Temple was destroyed, a Jew was plowing his field when his cow suddenly called out. An Arab was passing by and heard the call of the cow. Said the Arab to the Jew: "Son of Judah! Unyoke your cow, free the stake of your plow, for your Holy Temple has now been destroyed." The cow then called a second time. Said the Arab to the Jew: "Son of Judah! Yoke your cow, reset the stake of your plow, for Moshiach has now been born."

Said Rabbi Bon: "Do we need to learn this from an Arab? The Torah itself says so. The verse predicts "The great tree shall be felled by the mighty one." And what is written immediately following? "There shall come forth a shoot out of the stem of Yishai..."

Source - Jerusalem Talmud, Brachot 2:4

In the future era of Moshiach G-d will slaughter the inclination for evil.

-Talmud, Sukah 52a

All deadlines for the coming of Moshiach have come and gone - the thing depends solely on our returning to G-d.

-Talmud, Sanhedrin 97b

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    The quote from Isaiah is clearly referring to God judging between nations, not a human savior. Indeed, all references in Tanach are (at least on the pshat level) referring to God as saving the Jewish people, not a human redeemer. – Curiouser Feb 28 '12 at 20:53
  • The question was find sources for Moshaich in Torah. Pshat or Sod was not specificed. What is your source that is referring exclusively to Hashem? This article also backs up my findings. Source: jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm – user1292 Feb 28 '12 at 21:42
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    @ mochin: Just read the psukim. There is no hint whatsoever that it is referring to a human redeemer. – Curiouser Feb 28 '12 at 23:55
  • Since when are the Jewish people limited to the literal and simple understanding of the Torah? By that logic we should be sitting in the dark on Shabbos eating cold food like the Karites. The source for this pasuk in Isaiah referring to Moshiach is in Mikrah Gedolos on the word ושפט The Ibn Ezra, the Radak, the M'Tzudas Dovida all say this pasuk refers to Melech HaMashiach. Revealing Moshiach in the pasuk does not make Hashem any less present in the pasuk. – user1292 Feb 29 '12 at 16:20
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    @ mochin: Then you should cite the Ibn Ezra, the Radak, etc. as your source. But the posuk itself, on its pshat level, is referring to God. There is nothing wrong with non-pshat understanding; I just meant that you should cite the drasha or darshan, and not act like the meaning of that posuk is obviously referring to a human redeemer. – Curiouser Feb 29 '12 at 18:16

Succah 52 mentions Moshiach.

Sanhedrin 98-99 mentions Moshiach.

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    Please consider quoting and/or summarizing those links in your answer. – Hod - Monica's Army Feb 28 '12 at 20:32

My source sheet on the topic http://www.scribd.com/doc/61324678/Mashiach-Source-Sheet

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  • Okay, but he asked for sources and I have provided a handy link to a number of sources. If he were to ask for what the views are, I would gladly provide them – Aqibha Y. Weisinger Etc Mar 1 '12 at 3:44
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    He asked fora pre-Rambam source, and you linked to a scribd.com document. Scribd didn't exist pre-Rambam. If you summarize that document, that'd be providing the sources sought by the asker. – msh210 Mar 1 '12 at 4:08
  • Said scribd.com document contained pre-Rambam sources. Unfortunately, I have no pre-Rambam manuscripts that I can hand deliver to the asker of this question. – Aqibha Y. Weisinger Etc Mar 6 '12 at 18:15
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    My point is that if you list the pre-Rambam sources here instead of linking to a document containing (perhaps inter alia) a list of them, that'd make for a better answer: people would see the answer here instead of having to click through to it, and to a page that might go 404 at some point. – msh210 Mar 6 '12 at 21:45

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