Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A Messianic prophecy for 1840.

Here is a most unusual Messianic prophecy in the name of Rabbi Shimon of Ostropoli, predicting 1840 as the year. As you can see this prophecy, commenting on Numbers 24:24, apparently predicts the French Revolution, some might see Napoleon, and some other stuff, including a free Jewish kingdom in Russia, and finally the Messiah, in the year 1840-41. This was printed in 1829, when "the fulfilment, being fixed for A. M. 5601, occurs in eleven years from this time." The author errs when he writes that Rabbi Shimshon lived 300 years earlier (ca. 1529), as he was killed in 1648.

I transcribe it for posterity:

ומדינת צרפת יהרגו מלכם מאד יצליחו דרכם כתר תפארתם יגדל מאד ועמדו עליהם נצחם ויהריבם אשכנז שפני ומלכות רוסי ואז עני נקרא וימלוך על בני רוסי ואז גמר מלכותם 5601 עברים דרור יקראו אז בא דויד

This was printed in The Morning watch: or, Quarterly journal on prophecy December 1829.

For more on Jewish messianic expectations for the year 5601/ 1840-41 see Hastening Redemption by Arie Morgenstern.


  1. I don't have the book - Mishichai Sheker Umisnagdahem - in front of me at the moment , but I am reasonably sure that it quotes Rav Gesundheit, the Rav of Warsaw, before Kol Nidrei as saying from the Bimah that Moshiach was not coming that year. The books premise was that unrealized messianic fervor could lead to Shmad


  2. Naturally there were many dissenters. I'm not even sure how widespread the belief was.

  3. R' Shimshon of Ostropolia5:56 PM, September 06, 2011

    Didn't I once post a comment on your blog under this name?

  4. what does he mean that each word begins with a letter from the word o top of it? I dont see that.

  5. DF, just that the pasuk in Bamidbar can be read as rashei tevot.

    I'm sure you could create your own version too, but presumably you're not a great Cabalist so it wouldn't be quite the same.

  6. The Vilner Gaon also predicted this date. His chassidim went to Israel in anticipation. when the date came and went, some entered the monastery to convert to Christianity.



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