General Question

patg7590's avatar

Can someone explain the endgame for the OT Jew?

Asked by patg7590 (4608points) March 13th, 2009

Or even a modern day Jew
Or a Messianic Jew

I have a basic understanding of Sheol, a good side and a bad side seperated by a large chasm,

But…specifically…who goes where and why?
Good Jews>Bad Jews>Good Gentiles>Bad Gentiles?

And I understand there is some sort of resurrection? At least one? As mentioned here in John 11

“23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

She’s obviously not worried about Lazarus’s final destination.
Was this because he was a good God-fearing Jew?
or is there something bigger going on?

Thanks to all.

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10 Answers

steve6's avatar

The Messiah will come and conquer evil on earth, resurrect all the faithful Jews, provided they haven’t desecrated their bodies in the grave, and take those still living on to Heaven.

ponderinarf's avatar

I don’t understand the “endgame.” What does that mean, eschatology? I am interested in Matthew 22 because Jesus is approached over and over by different opponents. Never does he curl up in a ball; neither does he give an answer for others to use against him. I say this to point at how Jesus, according to Matthew, tackles the question of the resurrection. The Sadducees (spelling may be off) did not believe in resurrection.

Read: 23That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24“Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27Finally, the woman died. 28Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”
29Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32’I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[a]? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

33When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

John’s writing is dripping with theology, whereas Matthew’s is geared toward Jews. Luke is the Gentile’s book.
And Mark is mysterious. Others might mention other “left out books.” Be careful and test these answers in time.

—I am sure this passage will raise more questions

steve6's avatar

Ask Enoch

patg7590's avatar

I don’t mean eschatology, I mean the boundaries (if any) of salvation in the OT

SeventhSense's avatar

You’re assuming that the Jews accept the words of Jesus as Gospel.

fireside's avatar

this site had some interesting information

In Jesus’ day, the two most powerful sects (like denominations) in Judaism were the Pharisees and the Saducees. One of the major differences between the two groups was that the Pharisees believed that people would be raised from the dead on Judgment Day, and the Saducees did not. (Some people say that is why they were “Sad-you-see”) See Acts 23:8. The Sadducee sect died out after Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD, so most of what we have known as Judaism ever since is derived from what the Pharisees believed.

According to the Talmud and Midrash, the soul maintains a relationship with the body for one year after death, and this was considered a year of purgatory, at least for the wicked. After that, the righteous were supposed to gain entrance to Paradise (Gan Eden) and the wicked were cast into Geihinnom. (Gei Hinnom, which literally means “Hinnom Valley,” is the source of the Greek word “Gehenna” which is used in the New Testament and usually translated “Hell”. )

At the coming of Messiah, the soul was expected to return to the dust and the body reconstituted (resurrection). Opinions varied among the ancient rabbis as to what the state of the soul was in between. Some seem to have believed in “soul sleep” while others believed the soul would retain full consciousness even in the disembodied state. It is also disputed whether only the righteous are resurrected, or the evil also (in order to stand judgment).

SeventhSense's avatar

Maybe we need some Orthodox Jews to chime in.

gailcalled's avatar

All my Orthodox friends are walking home from Shul and wouldn’t read email or type on the Sabbath.

Qingu's avatar

I think Jewish ideas about “endgame” evolved over time. You can see a progression in the Old Testament.

I do not think there is any well-developed idea of an “afterlife” in Judaism (or, for that matter, even in early Christianity, but that’s another story.)

In the early books, there is really no end game, it’s just dust to dust. God presents you with carrots and sticks that deal solely with earthly rewards and punishments. My favorite example is Deuteronomy 28. If you follow God’s commandments, you’ll be rewarded with lots of crops and victory in warfare. If you don’t follow God’s commandments, you’ll be struck with disease, famine, sold into slavery, and be forced to eat your own children, and God will “take delight” in ruining and destroying you. Importantly, there are no afterlife rewards or punishments in this passage.

In the later books of the Prophets, we start to see some ideas about “salvation.” But this was not really a salvation of individuals, and it did not have to do with an afterlife. Instead, the “endgame” has to do with the end of a bad political situation. The Prophets books were written during the “Babylonian captivity” period. In short, things were not going very well for the Jews during this time, and it was frustrating. On one hand, their holy texts brag about how they’re supposed to have this perfect set of laws and a protective God who slays their enemies. On the other hand, in reality, they were badly beaten in warfare by an advanced civilization, their Temple was destroyed, and they were taken from their homeland.

As you can imagine, the Jews had a number of reactions to this situation. Some thought their troubles were punishment from God for not being holy enough. But others developed an idea that God was going to “save” them—that God would come down from heaven and destroy the Babylonians, free the Hebrews, and establish a golden age or a “kingdom of heaven” on earth In Ezekial and Daniel, you can see how the prophets fantasize about this happening.

So that was really the extent of a Jewish “endgame” in the OT. I don’t think there’s any evidence they thought you went to heaven if you were good and hell if you were bad. Heaven was a place in the sky, literally, where Yahweh lived with all his magical creatures. If you were a lucky prophet, you could get taken up there by one of Yahweh’s messengers and shown a vision of the future salvation of your tribe. Such “apocalypses” (i.e. “revelations”) eventually became a major form of literature. The Book of Revelation in the NT is one of many examples from late antiquity.

saranwrapper's avatar

My understanding is that the messiah comes, heaven and earth meet and all that were righteous in their life come back. Those that weren’t are just gone.

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