The Failed Messiah Crusades
A little something for our Saturnalian Celebrations . . .
By the first century A.D., the Jews were looking for strong, magnetic leaders who could deliver them from the wrath of the Roman Empire. The Essenes developed the idea of a messiah figure that would provide this. Several Jewish leaders were set to take over after the death of the Jewish King Herod, who primarily worked for the Romans. To qualify as a messiah, someone needed to be from the bloodline of King David. None of the descendants of King David and their misled disciples succeeded, and most were killed.
While these messiah figures drew support from the claim they descended from King David, wherein Judaic tradition did this claim that Davidic pedigree was necessary to become a Messiah come from? When King David ruled Israel (circa 10th century B.C.E.), the conviction arose that his progeny would “rule forever, not only over Israel but also over all the nations”.
One that stands out is a former slave of King Herod by the name of Simon of Perea. Simon was the first heretical Jew who managed to convince a large portion of the Jews that he was the King of Jews and Jehova’s Messiah. At first, Simon was successful, he defeated a Roman garrison and crowned himself Messiah but the Roman Empire dispatched military units to put an end to this claim. They would eventually corner and behead Simon in 4 B.C. Simon rose from the dead on the 3rd day. This idea would be picked up by Yeshua and his disciples decades later.
Anthronges was another deified Messiah who waged a serious war against the Roman Empire and also lost. Next came Yeshua the Nazarene. Proclaiming himself king of the Jews, Yeshua was eventually hunted down and crucified. Oddly enough, Yeshua was far from a warrior, would never be able to lead men in battle or control the logistics of a military campaign. Had King David met Yeshua, he would have been greatly disappointed with the gentle ideas of this self-proclaimed messiah.
New Testament scholar, Bart Ehrman, eloquently states:
“To call Jesus the messiah was for most Jews completely ludicrous. Jesus was not the powerful leader of the Jews. He was a weak and powerless nobody—executed in the most humiliating and painful way devised by the Romans, the ones with the real power.”
After Yeshua there came a dozen other Messianic campaigns, none of which are publicized by the Abrahamic faith, and all of which ultimately failed. Theudas in 58 C.E., Menachem ben Judah ben Hezekiah, Simon ben Kosevah, Moses of Crete, Abu Isa, Al-Ra’i” (“the shepherd of the flock of his people”), Saüra the Syrian, to name a few.
Ultimately, there has never been a true Jewish messiah because they all failed in their missions and were killed by the Romans. Yeshua (Jesus) failed as a messiah and stood in a long line of failed messiahs.