One of our readers wrote and asked if the Bile predict the future arrival of a godly messiah. The following was my response.
I agree with Maimonides that there is no clear explicit statement in the entire Hebrew Bible about a miraculous messiah coming to save the Jews or, better stated, the world. While some (even highly-respected rabbis) who need to believe (for many psychological reasons) that there are statements that can suggest the coming of a miraculous messiah, these statements refer to the future when there will be a human leader who will aid the people and lead them to a better life. The prophets are saying that the people should not despair. The future will be bright. But this future, says Maimonides in his Mishneh Torah, Law of Kings, chapters 11 and 12, will be a human and the messianic age will be a natural affair. The human leader will die like all humans. Life at the time will be like life now except that Jews who are now despairing will live in peace.
A good example of what I am saying is an act by Maimonides. The Jewish people of Yemen were suffering greatly from how the country and its citizens treated them. They wrote to Maimonides for help. Upon receiving the letter, Maimonides worried greatly about the Yemenite Jews. He wrote back telling them a lie, what he elsewhere called an “essential truth,” what the Greek philosopher Plato called a “noble lie,” one that the people needed to believe to be able to live without fear. While he did not believe in a miraculous messiah and even wrote so explicitly, he told them that one will appear and that he even knew the date of the arrival. The Yemenite Jews felt good about his reply, so much so that they inserted into their kaddish prayer a prayer for Maimonides, which the Yemenite Jews still remember today. There were many ancient rabbis who acted as “The Great Eagle” Maimonides (and used the noble lie as Plato and ibn Tufayl and many other philosophers) did, and told their co-religionists that someone will come and save them from their despair; it will be “miraculous,” and they will thereafter live a wonderful life.