Rabbi Dosa and the Rabbis Differ: Messiah ben Joseph in the Babylonian Talmud

In: Review of Rabbinic Judaism
Author: David Mitchell
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© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2005 Review of Rabbinic Judaism 8.1 RABBI DOSA AND THE RABBIS DIFFER: MESSIAH BEN JOSEPH IN THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD David C. Mitchell One of the most compelling fi gures in Rabbinic literature is Messiah ben Joseph, the latter-day Ephraimite king who dies in eschatologi- cal warfare with monstrous foes. There are references to him—by name or pseudonym—in a host of texts from the fi rst and second millennia C.E. But the three references in the Babylonian Talmud are particularly important because of their antiquity. A single page of the Talmud, B. Suk. 52, has the

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