To this John Hyrcanus, in whom had culminated all the glories and gifts of this great family, our author addresses two Messianic hymns.
Though the individual might perish amid the disorders of this world, he would not fail, apocalyptic taught, to attain through resurrection the recompense that was his due in the Messianic kingdom or in heaven itself.
According to the early disciples Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, and had significance only in relation to the expected Messianic kingdom.
The orthodox were at first cool because they had always dreamed of a nationalism inspired by messianic ideals, while the liberals had long come to dissociate those universalistic ideals from all national limitations.
Their broad culture (reinforced, perhaps, by the political conditions of the time) made them comparatively indifferent to Messianic hopes and to that conception of a final judgment of the nations that was closely connected with these hopes: a Messiah is not mentioned in their writings (not in Prov.
The Messianic prophecies of Isaiah, the prophet of faith and deliverance, were destined to reverberate through all subsequent centuries.
The presence and power of His Spirit, the spread of His Gospel, the progress of His kingdom have been as much a fulfilment of the eschatological teaching of the New Testament as His life and work on earth were a fulfilment of Messianic prophecy, for fulfilment always transcends prophecy.
His cheery optimism was at the basis of this attitude, and strongly coloured his belief in the Messianic ideals.
As for the author, he was no Essene, for he recognizes animal sacrifices and cherishes the Messianic hope; he was not a Sadducee, for he looks forward to the establishment of the Messianic kingdom (x.); nor a Zealot, for the quietistic ideal is upheld (ix.), and the kingdom is established by God Himself (x.).
He believes, with the Jews, in a restoration and extension of the city of Jerusalem; he assumes that this city will be the seat of the Messianic kingdom, and he takes it as a matter of course that there all believers (here he is at one with Barnabas) along with patriarchs and prophets will enjoy perfect felicity for one thousand years.