“Look Not Forward Any More for Another Messiah”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

The anticipation of a Messiah continued in Judaism, and hopes were raised but then shattered in the rise of such personalities as Bar Cochba (ca. A.D. 135-137), in noted rabbis, and as late as in Sabbatai Sevi (1626-76). Today many Jews no longer look for a literal Messiah, but have metaphorized the doctrine: they look forward to the coming of a great messianic age.

“And Look Not Forward Any More for Another Messiah”

During the time of the Babylonian captivity there was a marked shift in emphasis—an accentuation of the work of the scribe and a de-emphasis upon the prophetic oracle; the knowledge of the worldly wise, those denominated by men as worthy of emulation, actually came to be valued by large numbers more than the inspired declarations of those called of God.

Many and varied are the doctrines which were lost and the understandings which were clouded during this period of Jewish apostasy.

Chief among doctrinal distortions was the Jewish concept of the Messiah—the condescension of the great God so dearly taught on the brass plates and among the Nephites—which was veiled in mystery and obscured in symbolism and metaphor.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1