From the text published in Adolph Jellinek, ed., Bet ha-Midrasch: Sammlung kleiner Midraschim und vermischter Abhandlungen aus der jüdischen Literatur (6 vols.; Leipzig, 1853-77; repr., Jerusalem: Bamberger & Wahrmann, 1938), 1:35-57; only 1:55-57 is translated here.  An annotated edition is available in Yehudah Even-Shemuel, Midreshey ge’ullah (2d ed.; Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1954), 93-98.  For further discussion of this midrash, see Leopold Zunz and Hanokh Albeck, Haderashot be-Yisrael (2d ed.; Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1954), 141-42; Moshe D. Herr, “Midrashim, Smaller,” EncJud 16:1517.


‘The Lord will reign …’ (Exod 15:18).  Moses said to Israel: ‘You have seen all the miracles, mighty feats, and marvels that the Lord has done for you.  Even more is he planning to do for you in the future age.  The world to come will not be like the present world: the present world has wars and troubles, as well as the evil impulse, Satan, and the Angel of Death who have authority to rule in (this) world.  But the world to come will be free of troubles and hatred, Satan and the Angel of Death will be absent, there will be no lamentations or subjugation, and the evil impulse will exist no more, as Scripture attests, “He will destroy death forever, and the Lord will wipe the tears from every face” (Isa 25:8), and it is written “on that day, behold, this is our God: we have waited for Him, and He will deliver us” (Isa 25:9).’

As the days of the Messiah draw near, Gog and Magog will come up against the land of Israel, for he will hear that Israel has no ruler and dwells unconcerned (about foreign attacks).  Immediately he will take with him seventy-one nation(s) and come up to Jerusalem, thinking: ‘Pharaoh was a fool when he gave the command to kill the (only the) males and leave the females.  Balaq was a simpleton, for he sought to curse them, but he did not realize that their God would (instead) bless them.  Haman was insane for he wanted to kill them, but he did not realize that their God would be able to deliver them.  However, I will not act thusly; (instead), I will go up and do battle with their God first, and only after that will I kill them, for Scripture says “the kings of the earth stand up together, and rulers take counsel together against the Lord and His anointed one” (Ps 2:2).’

The Holy One, blessed be He, will say to him: ‘Wicked one!  You wish to do battle with Me?  By your life, I will indeed do battle with you!’  Immediately the Holy One, blessed be He, will rain down on him stones of hail which are stored in the heavens and strike them a crushing blow, as Scripture states: ‘and this will be the blow which the Lord will strike the Gentiles when they amass armies against Jerusalem—his flesh will rot where he is standing, his eyes will decay in their sockets, and each one’s tongue will rot in their mouths’ (Zech 14:12).

After that another king will arise, a wicked one and ‘strong of face’ (‘az panim), and he will wage war with Israel for three months.  His name is Armilos, and these are his signs: he will be bald, with one of his eyes small and the other large.  His right arm is short, and his left arm is two and a half cubits long.  His forehead will be leprous, and his right ear will be closed up and the (other) one open.  Whenever a person comes to tell him good things, he turns his closed up ear toward him, but if a person wants to speak wickedly, he turns his open ear toward him.  He will come up to Jerusalem and kill the Messiah of the lineage of Joseph, as Scripture attests ‘and those who are pierced will behold him, and they shall mourn for him like one who mourns an only child’ (Zech 12:10).  After that the Messiah of the lineage of David will come, regarding which Scripture affirms ‘and behold with the clouds of heaven one like a mortal man’ (Dan 7:13), and it is written afterwards ‘he will have authority and royal dignity’ (Dan 7:14).  He will kill Armilos the wicked, as Scripture attests: ‘he will slay the wicked one with the breath of his lips’ (Isa 11:4).

Then the Holy One, blessed be He, will gather Israel—those who have been dispersed here and there—as Scripture says: ‘Let Me whistle for them and I will gather them, when I have redeemed them, and they will be as numerous as they formerly were’ (Zech 10:8).  In Jerusalem will be suspended seventy-two precious stones which will shine from one end of the world to the other, and the nations of the world will come to that light, as it is written: ‘the nations will come to your light, and rulers (will come) to the luster of your shine’ (Isa 60:3).  The Holy One, blessed be He, will lower the Temple from heaven—the same one which the Holy One, blessed be He, showed to Moses, as Scripture states: ‘You will bring them and plant them upon the mount of Your territory; a place for Your dwelling have You made, O Lord; a Temple, my Lord, Your hands have established’ (Exod 15:17).  Israel shall dwell there for two thousand years, and they will feast (upon the flesh of) Leviathan.

At the end of the two thousand years, the Holy One, blessed be He, will seat Himself upon a throne of judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.  Immediately the heavens and the earth will be displaced and the sun and the moon embarrassed, as Scripture states: ‘the moon will be ashamed, and the sun embarrassed’ (Isa 24:23).  From whence do we learn that (final) judgment will be pronounced on the third day?  Scripture attests: ‘He will revitalize us for two days; on the third day He will stand us up and we will live before Him’ (Hos 6:2)—this (verse) refers to the (final) judgment.  The Holy One, blessed be He, will bring (before Him) every nation and language-group and say: ‘What did you serve in the world that has departed, and whom did you worship?’  They will respond: ‘Idols of silver and gold.’  The Holy One, blessed be He, will say to them: ‘Pass through the fire there, and should your god(s) be able to rescue you, he will rescue!’  Immediately they will pass through and be immolated, as Scripture says: ‘the wicked will return to Sheol, all the nations who have forgotten God’ (Ps 9:18).  Then Israel shall come, and the Holy One, blessed be He, will say to them: ‘Whom have you worshipped?’  Immediately they will respond: ‘Indeed, You, our Father!  For Abraham did not know us, nor did Israel recognize us, but You, O Lord, are our Father; our Eternal Deliverer is Your name!’ (Isa 63:16).  Immediately the Holy One, blessed be He, will rescue them from the sentence of Gehinnom and they will dwell in the Garden of Eden and enjoy its fruits, as Scripture states: ‘and the poor will inherit the earth and enjoy abundant prosperity’ (Ps 37:11).  Then the Holy One, blessed be He, will renovate the heavens and the earth for them, as Scripture says: ‘for behold, I create new heavens and a new earth’ (Isa 25:17).

When the Holy One, blessed be He, renews the world, He will arrange the orders of the righteous and the orders of the pious, and He will do similarly for every generation, created entity, and breathing organism.  The earth which He is destined to renew will bring forth trees and all types of choice fruits, and everything will live forever and ever.  The One who has performed miracles and marvels during these (present) days and at this (present) time—He is the One who will perform miracles and marvels for us during these (future) days and at this (future) time!  He will gather us from the four ends of the earth and lead us to Jerusalem, where He will gladden us within it and we will say ‘Amen, Selah!’

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