Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared,
a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah
God has gone up with a shout,
the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with a maskil!
God reigns over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted!
–Psalm 47 (ESV)
The Messiah will come and reign over all the earth. He will return as ben David the conqueror and will establish Israel above all the nations. He will proclaim good news to the poor, release the captive, and give freedom to the oppressed (Luke 4:19; Isaiah 61:1,2; (see Septuagint); Isaiah 58:6). But who is our King?
You may think that’s a silly question, but depending on who you ask, you’ll get different answers. Ask a Christian, and you’ll get the immediate answer, “Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.” Not a bad answer. But if you ask a religious Jew, the answer certainly won’t be “Jesus.” Instead, it will be, “the Moshiach, son of David.” Technically, at least from my point of view, both the Christian and the Jew are talking about the same person, but my hypothetical Christian would probably chafe at the obvious “Jewishness” of the hypothetical Jew’s answer. On the other hand, my hypothetical Jew will certainly be insulted at the hypothetical Christian’s suggestion that the goyishe Jesus could possibly be the Moshiach (Messiah).
The Jew may have a point. Here’s why.
“Appoint a king upon yourselves”—Deuteronomy 17:15.
We are commanded to appoint a king, who will unite and rule over our nation. This is one of the three mitzvot the Jews were commanded upon entering the Land—the other two were building the Holy Temple and eradicating Amalek.
The king whom we appoint must command our awe. We must have the ultimate respect, reverence and estimation for the monarch—greater even than that we have for prophets. Any decree that the king issues must be obeyed—provided that it doesn’t countermand a Torah law. And the Torah-sanctioned king has the right to have executed anyone who disregards his orders.
Crowning a King
Positive Commandment 173
Sefer Hamitzvot in English
“You may not set a stranger over you who is not your brother”—Deuteronomy 17:15.
We are forbidden to appoint a king who is not from Jewish ancestry, even if he is a righteous convert. To be eligible for the position, the individual must have been born to a Jewish mother.
The same is true with regards to all appointments – whether governmental or Torah-related – only one with Jewish ancestry may be appointed.
This all applied until King David became king. From that point and onwards, only a descendant of King David (specifically through his son Solomon) is eligible to be king. Anyone other than a descendant of David is considered a “stranger” with regards to kingship, as is anyone not of Aaron’s seed with relation to priesthood.
Appointing a Foreigner
Negative Commandment 362
Sefer Hamitzvot in English
Judaism formally recognizes 613 commandments all found in the written Torah which directs the behavior and lifestyle of every religious Jew. These are also the laws that are used to govern the nation of Israel in Messianic days. As you can see from the two examples I quoted above, the requirements for a Jewish king, based on the commands of God, are very specific. No non-Jewish person may be a King over Israel, even a “righteous convert” from among the Goyim…the Gentiles. The King of Israel must be Jewish and further, he must be from the line of David through Solomon. The King can never be goyishe.
I received communion there and looked up from where I was kneeling to see the enormous stained glass window and its image of Jesus, Jesus as a pale-faced, European. It occurred to me that this church, like many others, was on a journey to at last understand the “Christ” in the word “Christian” in a way that penetrated the veil of Anglo Jesus.
“From Anglo Jesus to Yeshua”
Messianic Jewish Musings
Depending on who you ask, how we imagine what Jesus looks like is very different, with some images of the Christ seeming extremely Caucasian European, and other impressions of him being focused on the Semitic appearance of “Yeshua ben Yosef of Natzaret.” I could write a great deal about these two different men, but hopefully you get the point. If you believe somehow that the Jewish Jesus was “transmogrified” to something else upon his resurrection and that he will attain a Gentile identity in his second coming, then it is extremely unlikely that he will be recognized as the prophesied Messiah and King of Israel.
The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” –Luke 23:36-38 (ESV)
What the Romans said to mock him, I say in truth, Jesus is the King of the Jews, at his death, his resurrection, at his ascension to the right hand of God, and it is who he is and will be when he comes again.
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. –Revelation 19:11-16 (ESV)
Israel can never have a goyishe King for this would be disobeying God. Israel’s King is himself a Son of Israel and a descendant of David. He will rule over Israel forever and all the nations of the earth will submit to him. This is a Jesus most Christians don’t want to contemplate and perhaps after so many centuries of uncomfortable distance between the synagogue and the church, it’s understandable. But the Christ of Christianity is the Jewish Moshiach of Israel and we all had better get used to the idea that when he returns, we will be paying homage to a Jewish King, and the throne of David’s heir will be in Jerusalem.
It also wouldn’t hurt to read this new article at JewishJournal.com called, Jews Must Demand a Relationship of Full Equality with Christianity. He who curses Israel will be cursed.