Messiah Son of Joseph and Messiah Son of David
“Rejoice with all your heart, daugther of Zion! Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem! Look! Your King is coming to you: He is righteous and victorious. He is lowly and rides on a donkey, on a colt, a young pack animal” (Zechariah 9:9, cf. BT Sanhedrin 98a).
“The sages of the Mishnah taught: Who is mighty? He that conquers his [evil] impulse [Ethics of the Fathers 4:1]. And there are those for whom it becomes a חֲמוֹר [ḥamor] donkey, that causes no trouble for its rider, and they are the ones who make efforts at exposition by קַל וְ) חוֹמֶר) [qal v’ḥomer], inference from minor to major. And this is why it is written about Abraham: and saddled his donkey [Genesis 22:3]. And this is also why it is said about Messiah: He is lowly, and rides on a donkey [Zechariah 9:9]” (Ra’aya Meheimna Pinḥas).
“He is עָנִי lowly, and rides on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9) – עָנִי lowly, stands for the Mishnah orders of עירובין Eruvin [‘mixture’ i.e. Sabbath borders], נידה Nidah [‘separated’ i.e. laws pertaining to the menstruate] and יבמות Yevamot [‘levirates’ i.e. laws of Levirate Marriage]. The rest of the orders of the Mishnah are comprised in these but one is not considered a king until he rides on a horse, which is the Assembly of Israel [cf. Song of Songs 1:9: My love, I dreamed of you as a mare, my very own, among Pharaoh’s chariots].
… And when the gulf is open, whoever falls there does not come up. And Messiah the son of David fell there together with Messiah the son of Joseph, of whom one is written: He is lowly, and rides on a donkey [Zechariah 9:9] and the other is, the firstling of his herd [Deuteronomy 33:17]. This is the meaning of: if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or a donkey fall into it [Exodus 21:33]. For that reason Messiah is called ‘the one who fell,’ and She [Shekhinah] fell with them, and of Her it says, the virgin of Israel has fallen; she shall no more rise [Amos 5:2]. And you are the owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money to the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his [Exodus 21:34]. The dead refers to Messiah the son of Joseph that will be killed… Joseph, the firstling of his herd, grandeur is his [Deuteronomy 33:17], of whom it says, And they…cast him into a pit [Genesis 37:24] – the evil female. And the pit was empty [ibid.] – the male which is empty, without Torah, but instead has snakes and scorpions in it. This is the fourth exile which is a generation of evil people, filled with snakes and scorpions that are scoundrels like snakes and who are עַקְרַבִּֽים [ahkrabim] scorpions, since they עָקוּר [ahkoor] uproot, the words of the sages and give false sentence. Of them it says: Her adversaries have become the chief [Lamentations 1:5]” (Ra’aya Meheimna Ki Tetze).
“It is well according to him who explains that the cause [of mourning] is the slaying of Messiah the son of Joseph, since that well agrees with: And they shall look upon Me because they have thrust him through, and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for his only son [Zechariah 12:10]… Our Rabbis taught, the blessed Holy One will say to the Messiah, son of David (May he reveal himself speedily in our days!), ‘Ask of me anything, and I will give it to you’, as it is said, Let me tell as is due of YHWH. He said to me: ‘You are My son. I Myself today did beget you. Ask of me, and I shall give nations as your estate [Psalms 2:7-8]. But when he will see that the Messiah son of Joseph is slain, he will say to Him, ‘Lord of the World, I ask of You only the gift of life.’ As to life, He would answer him, ‘Your father David has already prophesied this concerning you’, as it is said Life he asked You – You gave him, (length of days for time without end) [Psalms 21:4]” (BT Sukkah 52a).
“And two Messiahs awaken before them. Messiah son of David parallels נֶצַח Netsaḥ, and is connected with the morning of Abraham [Ḥesed; on Abraham personifying morning see Zohar 1:182b on Genesis 22:3: Abraham arose early in the morning] which is: At Your right hand are pleasures for נֶצַח evermore [Psalms 16:11]. Hod to Gevurah, since to it is attached Messiah the son of Ephraim [synonymous with Messiah son of Joseph]. You [Moses the Faithful Shepherd], are in the center, and your level is Tif’eret, for the central pillar is connected with you, and also Yesod, the Vitality of the Worlds, is in your level. And Ḥokhmah is on the right; let him who wants to be wise turn south, and Binah is on the left; let him who wants to be rich turn to the north [BT Berakhot 30a]” (Ra’aya Meheimna Pinḥas).
“From the right of Abraham, whose level is Ḥesed, He takes vengeance on Ishmael and his official, and from the left of Isaac, whose level is פַּחַד Terror, He takes vengeance on Esau and his appointed official by means of two Messiahs, one of whom, Messiah son of David, is from the right, while the other, Messiah son of Joseph, is from the left. And the rung of Jacob that corresponds to them, in the mystery of changing his hands [Genesis 48:14] – the lion, to the left, and the ox to the right, to Ishmael. And since Judah was exiled in Esau, it follows that the right of holiness is with the left of Esau, and likewise the left of holiness is with the impure right of Ishmael. Until שִׁילֹה Shiloh, come [Genesis 49:10, cf. BT Sanhedrin 98b] – שִׁילֹה Shiloh, who is [מֹשֶׁה Moses] the Faithful Shepherd [since the gematria of שִׁילֹה Shiloh, is equal to מֹשֶׁה Moses], whose level is Tif’eret Israel [the central pillar]. He will take vengeance from the motley throng. In these three grades the priests, Levites, and Israel will be gathered from the Exile. And in them He takes vengeance upon Esau, Ishmael, and the motley throng; just as the motley throng is intermixed with Esau and Ishmael, so Jacob [in the center] is composed of Abraham and Isaac for he is a mixture of the two of them. So too, Shiloh [Moses the Faithful Shepherd] is intermixed with Messiah son of David and Messiah son of Joseph and he will be the link between the two of them, as at the time that Bilaam saw in his prophecy [see Genesis 49:10]. For thus the two Messiahs are connected with the Faithful Shepherd, like the three patriarchs, in the final exile” (Ra’aya Meheimna Pinḥas).
“Since they brought it on you and did good things for you, you have suffered for their sakes many troubles so that Messiah the son of Joseph shall not be killed, of whom it says, the face of an ox on the left side [Ezekiel 1:10], who is a descendant of Joseph, of whom it says, The firstling of his herd, grandeur is his [Deuteronomy 33:17]. That is because he and his descendants shall not be violated among the heathen nations because of the sin of Jeroboam who worshipped idols [cf. 1 Kings], for which he and his seed were to be violated among the idol worshiping nations. For Jeroboam the son of Nebat is a descendant of Joseph and it is because of him that it says of you: But he was wounded because of our transgressions…and by his injury we are healed [Isaiah 53:5]. And since Israel include right and left where Your ה and י are in a state of completion, it behooves You to unite with Her between them. Because he [Jeroboam] has brought out an evil name upon a virgin of Israel, it says of her, and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days [Deuteronomy 22:19], in exile he may not be away from her all his days” (Ra’aya Meheimna Ki Tetze).
“What is meant by, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie [Habakkuk 2:3]? — Rabbi Samuel ben Nahmani said in the name of Rabbi Yonathan: Blasted be the bones of those who calculate the end. For they would say, since the predetermined time has arrived, and yet he has not come, he will never come. But [even so], wait for him, as it is written, Though he tarry, wait for him [ibid.]. Should you say, ‘We look forward [to his coming] but He does not': therefore Scripture says, And therefore will YHWH wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: (for YHWH is a God of justice) [Isaiah 30:18]. But since we look forward to it, and He does likewise, what delays [his coming]? — The attribute of justice delays it [because we are not yet worthy]. But since the attribute of justice delays it, why do we await it? — To be rewarded [for hoping], as it is written, blessed are all they that wait for Him [Isaiah 30:18]” (BT Sanhedrin 97b).