What is the view of Jews and Christians about the subject of Imam Mahdi? Is there any reference to the savior of mankind in the end time in their books, the Torah and the Gospel?
There are many references to Imam Mahdi, peace be upon him, and the era of his government in the Torah and the Bible, and this is not surprising; because God Almighty revealed them as He revealed the Quran, and His words are in them, although some distortions has occurred in them by authors, translators, and interpreters. We list some of these references as follows:
1. It has been stated in Isaiah: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called ‘Wonderful Counselor’, ‘Mighty Lord’, ‘Everlasting Father’, ‘Prince of Peace’. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this”.
2. It has been stated in Isaiah: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples, of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious”.
3. It has been stated in Isaiah: “When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased, and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land, then a throne will be established in steadfast love, and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness”.
4. It has been stated in Isaiah: “Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will give attention. The heart of the hasty will understand and know, and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly. The fool will no more be called noble, nor the scoundrel said to be honorable... Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places”.
5. It has been stated in Isaiah: “Behold My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen, in whom My soul delights; I have put My Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: ‘I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is My name; My glory I give to no other, nor My praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them’”.
6. It has been stated in Daniel: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him”.
7. It has been stated in Jeremiah: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land”.
8. It has been stated in Malachi: “The Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap... ‘Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear Me’, says the Lord of hosts”.
9. It has been stated in Revelation: “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’. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, ‘Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great’. And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh”.
10. It has been stated in Revelation: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth... She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to His throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days”.
11. It has been stated in Isaiah: “Give attention to Me, My people, and give ear to Me, My nation; for a law will go out from Me, and I will set My justice for a light to the peoples. My righteousness draws near, My salvation has gone out, and My arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands hope for Me, and for My arm they wait. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will never be dismayed. Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool, but My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation to all generations”.
12. It has been stated in Isaiah: “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart: ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there”.
13. It has been stated in Isaiah: “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind... No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of My people be, and My chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity, for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord, and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food”.
14. It has been stated in Zabur (Psalms) of Dawud what God Almighty has informed about, where He has said: ﴿وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِنْ بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ﴾; “And Indeed, We wrote in Zabur after the Remembrance that My righteous servants shall inherit the earth”; as it has been stated in it: “The evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for He sees that his day is coming... for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land, but those cursed by Him shall be cut off... Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever. For the Lord loves justice; He will not forsake His saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever... Wait for the Lord and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off”.
15. It has been stated in Zabur of Dawud: “Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky. Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase”.
16. It has been stated in The Gospel of Matthew: “Seeing the crowds, he [Jesus] went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.
17. It has been stated in The Gospel of Matthew: “As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying: Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? And Jesus answered them: See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the Prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Lord only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.
In addition, there are texts in the Torah and the Bible that can be a reference to the one who prepares the ground for the advent of Imam Mahdi, peace be upon him, whom God sends from the East to pave the way for His government; as it has been stated in Isaiah:
“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all My purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the East, the man of My counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it”.
Considering that it announces he is a man like a bird of prey who comes from “a far country in the East” to accomplish the purpose of God, and this is the description of Mansoor that the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, has said that he will rise from Khorasan, invite toward the Caliph of God, Mahdi, and disgrace oppressive rulers; as it has been stated in Isaiah:
“I stirred up one from the north, and he shall come from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon My name; he shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay. Who declared it from the beginning, that We might know, and beforehand, that We might say, ‘He is right’? There was none who declared it, none who proclaimed, none who heard your words”.
Rather, this reference is no less than an assertion; because saying that “he shall come from the rising of the sun” is like saying that “he shall come from Khorasan”; considering that “Khorasan” in Persian means “the place where the sun rises”; because it is composed of “khor”, meaning the sun, and “asan”, meaning the place of sunrise, as many lexicographers have stated it. Therefore, if we wanted to translate this phrase into Persian, we should have said: “He shall come from Khorasan”; because they are synonymous in language. Rather, there are texts in the Torah that seem to be a reference to the title of the promised Khorasani; as it has been stated in Isaiah:
“Who stirred up one from the East whom victory meets at every step? He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod. Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am He”.
Considering that He describes the man who stirs up from the East as one “whom victory meets”, so with no doubt he is “victorious”, and if this is not a direct reference to his name, i.e. “Mansoor”, then at least it is the reason he is called by it in Islamic narrations; because God gives him victory over nations and kings, so that he may pave the way for His government; as it has been stated in Zabur of Dawud after the good tidings of the government of God Almighty:
“Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way”.
And it has been explicitly stated in Malachi:
“Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple”.
And it has been stated in Isaiah, describing the one who will prepare the way for the government of God:
“A voice cries: In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken”.
Also, it has been stated in it, referring to his sacred movement:
“And it shall be said, ‘Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from My people’s way’”.
Also, it has been stated in it, referring to his blessed banner, called “the banner of guidance” by the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family:
“Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations”.
And it has been stated in Ezekiel, referring to his arrival in Jerusalem:
“And behold, the glory of the God was coming from the East. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. As the glory of the Lord entered the temple (meaning Jerusalem) by the gate facing east, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple”.
Considering that it says: “the glory of the God was coming from the East”, and says: “the glory of the Lord entered the temple (meaning Jerusalem) by the gate facing east”, and this is in accordance with a Hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, in which it has been stated: «تَخْرُجُ رَايَاتٌ سُودٌ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ فَلَا يَرُدُّهَا شَيْءٌ حَتَّى تُنْصَبَ بِإِيلِيَاءَ»; “Black banners come from the East, nothing shall turn them back until they are raised in Iliya (meaning Jerusalem)”, and in another Hadith: «يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خُرَاسَانَ رَايَاتٌ سُودٌ، لَا يَرُدُّهَا شَيْءٌ حَتَّى تُنْصَبَ بِإِيلِيَاءَ»; “Black banners come from Khorasan, nothing shall turn them back until they are raised in Iliya”, and God Almighty knows best.