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war upon each other. But there comes a previously determined time, when Ahriman, after having brought hunger and pestilence upon the world, will be destroyed and utterly annihilated. The earth will then be all one plain, and all its inhabitants, being perfectly happy and speaking one language, will be one in their mode of life, and united in one constitution. But Theopompus says that, according to the teaching of the Magi, each of these gods will be alternately victorious and defeated for three thousand years; after this, the two will contend together for three thousand years more, when the one will defeat the other, and destroy all the works that he has brought to completion. But the god of the lower world will eventually be utterly deprived of his power; and then men will be happy, and will no longer stand in need of nourishment, or throw a shadow." A similar picture of the happiness of men, after the renewal of the earth, is to be found in the books of the Zend and the Bundehesh, in which the entire period of the world's duration up to that time is fixed at twelve thousand years. "There will then be neither night, nor cold nor hot winds, nor decay, nor fear of death, nor evils caused by Dews; and the enemy, this ambitious prince, will never rise again" (vid. Anquetil du Perron in Kleuker's Zendavesta, Anhang 1 p. 138). These hopes are associated in the minds. of the Persians with the appearance of one who is endowed with superhuman power and dignity. In the Vendidat xix. (according to Spiegel's translation: Avesta vol. i. der Vendidat p. 244) we read, "I will smite the Pari, whom men worship, until Caoshyanc (i.e. the useful one) the victor is born from the water of Kancavya. From the eastern country; from the eastern countries." Spiegel remarks on this passage, "Caoshyanc: the useful one, the helper. This is the title of the Saviour King, whom the Persians expected at the consummation of all things to bring to pass the resurrection, and then establish a dominion full of undisturbed prosperity." An elaborate description of this Saviour we find in the Bundehesch. It is stated there, among other things, that "Sosiosh will then bring the dead to life. The dead will be
The introduction of two other Saviours into this passage, along with Caoshyanc, has been pronounced by Spiegel an interpolation, which had no existence when the Huzvaresh version was made, and which he has therefore erased; see p. 242.
brought to life by that which passes from the bull and from the white horn. Sosiosh will give to all men to drink of these liquids; and they will be great and incorruptible as long as beings last. All the dead who have ever died, whether great or small, will drink thereof and come to life. At length Sosiosh, by command of the just judge Ormuzd, from an exalted place, will render to all men as their works deserve. The dwellingplace of the pure will be the splendid Gorotmann. Ormuzd himself will take up their bodies to himself on high." To this deliverer two others are subsequently added, Oshedarbami and Oshedarmah. "The earliest reference," says Spiegel, p. 32, "is in a Huzvaresh gloss to the Yaçna, chap. xxviii. But, in this case, the first is simply called Hoshedar, the second Hoshedarmah." Shahistani says (Hyde de rel. vet. P'ers. p. 388, ed. 2) "Zoroaster (Zaradusht) teaches in his book Zendavesta, that in the last days a man will appear, named Oshanderberga, i.e., man of the world, who will adorn the world with religion and righteousness. Pentiareh will then appear, and oppress his kingdom and his affairs for twenty years. After this Osider bega will appear to the inhabitants of the world, and will give new life to righteousness, put to death unrighteousness, and reinstate the order of things which has been destroyed. Kings will obey him, and everything prosper in his hands. He will make true religion victorious; rest and peace will reign in his day, all contentions will cease, and all grievances disappear." Tavernier reports the same thing, as heard from a Persian priest (Reisebeschreibung iv. 8, vol. i. p. 181, also given in an appendix to Hyde). In this case the restoration is attributed to three persons, begotten in a miraculous manner, the last of whom is the most glorious, and will effect the conversion of all men. He will bring about a general resurrection, and the judgment will immediately follow. The kingdom of darkness is then to be entirely destroyed, the mountains to be levelled, and so forth.
Formerly this striking agreement between the Persian hopes of the future, and those entertained by the Jews, was explained
The rendering of this passage given by Haarbrücker, in Schahrastani's Religionsparteien und Philosophenschulen, corresponds in all essential points to that of Hyde. But instead of Oshanderbega and Osiderbega, he writes in both instances Ashidsarbaka, which he renders "the knowing one."
on the simple hypothesis that the Persians borrowed from the Jews. Thus Hyde, for example, says, "the so-called prophecy of Zerdusht evidently points to the Messiah, the announcement of whose coming he had learned from the Old Testament, with which he was well acquainted." The blind enthusiasm in favour of the religious books of the Persians, which prevailed after their publication by Anquetil du Perron, along with the depreciation of the Old Testament by the rationalists, caused this explanation to be given up, and led to the hypothesis that the Messianic anticipations of the Persians were traceable to the same source as those of the Jews. But there is at present a manifest disposition to return to the earlier view.
Stuhr says in his Religions-systeme des Orientes, p. 371, seq., "the doctrine of the fire-worship recognises most distinctly the belief in an ultimate healing of the strife and discord which prevail in this life, in a complete annihilation of evil and misery at the end of time, and in a resurrection of the body to take place immediately afterwards. Sosiosh, the heroic conqueror, the restorer of holiness, who will render the whole world both great and happy, and purify all the bodies in the world, will then appear. He will abolish every kind of pain, and utterly destroy the germ of every sin and the tormentor of the pure.
If we bear in mind, now, the historical connexion in which the Persians stood to the Jews, and contrast the friendly bearing of Cyrus and Darius towards the latter, with the intolerance of the fire-worshippers towards those forms of heathenism which differed from their own, we cannot but feel inclined to resort to the conclusion that Jewish opinions, which were connected with the worship of Jehovah, exerted a considerable influence upon the development of the views referred to here, as forming part of the religious consciousness of the Persians. The similarity between the two names Sosiosh and Joshua is of no slight importance as bearing upon this opinion, seeing that Joshua, who led the Israelites into the promised land, most decidedly pointed to Jesus." To this we may also add that Zechariah, who prophesied at the time when the intercourse was closest between the Persians and the Jews, introduces Joshua the High Priest as a type of Christ. Spiegel (Avesta, 1 p. 37), also points to the intimate connexion between the Persian doctrines and those of
the Jews. The dependence of the former upon the Jewish christology will be rendered still more obvious by the remarks which we shall make in the following chapter, upon the period of Zoroaster's life, the recent date of the Zend books, the inclination of the Persians for synkretism, their readiness to adopt from foreigners, and most especially their dependence upon the Jews. Even for the doctrine of a plurality of saviours there are points of connexion to be found in revelation. Think, for example, simply of Elias the prophet, and Christ who appears in humiliation and sways the sceptre of the universe.
According to Abulfaraj (in the historia dynastiarum, p. 54), Zoroaster taught that in the last times a virgin would conceive without intercourse with a man, and at the period of the birth of her child a bright star would appear by day, with the sign of the virgin in the centre, and that on its appearance his disciples would arise to worship the child and bring him their presents. This is the word, which founded the heaven. It is possible that the subject is carried out rather clumsily here. But it is just as possible that some of the pupils of Zoroaster did actually go as far as this in the appropriation of the doctrines which they obtained from revelation.
That the Indian Krishnu, which is adduced by Stirm (Apologie des Christenthums, p. 181, ed. 2), as a heathen analogy to the Messianic anticipations, may probably be traced to Christian influence, so far as there is actually an agreement, has been pointed out by Wuttke (Geschichte des Heidenthums ii., p. 339).
THE DIVINITY OF THE MESSIAH IN THE OLD
No one will venture to deny that the Messiah was announced by the prophets, as one who was to be a partaker of human nature. He was not to manifest himself in a merely transient form, like Jehovah and his angel under the Old Testament, but to be born (Is. vii. 14; Micah v. 2), and to grow up by degrees to greatness and glory (Is. xi. 1, liii. 2). With reference to his human nature and descent, he is called a sprout of David (Jer. xxiii. 5, xxxiii. 15), the shoot from the root of Jesse (Is. xi. 1), the fruit of the land (Is. iv. 2). In the primary prophecy in Gen. xlix. he is referred to as the descendant of Judah, and on the ground of 2 Sam. vii., he is described in prophecy universally as a descendant of David.
There is less agreement as to the question, whether the doctrine of the divinity of the Messiah is contained in the Old Testament, particularly in the writings of the prophets. The early Church answered this question most decidedly in the affirmative; rationalism, on the other hand, has given in many ways a negative reply.
But it must be admitted at the very outset that this doctrine was found in the writings of the Old Testament by Christ himself. In Matt. xxii. 41-45 (Mark xii. 35-37; Luke xx. 41-44), he opposes the Pharisees, who expected merely a human Messiah, and adduces Ps. cx. to prove his divinity.
We are brought to the same result by an impartial examination of the Old Testament passages themselves. No doubt the early collection of materials requires to be sifted, but of the large number of passages, brought forward as bearing upon the divinity of the Messiah, there are not a few which will stand even the most rigid test.