A messiah is a savior or liberator of a people in the Jewish, Christian, Islamic or other religions.
In the Hebrew Bible a messiah (or mashiach) is a king or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil. However, messiahs were not exclusively Jewish kings, and the Hebrew Bible refers to Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, as a messiah. Following the death of Simon bar Kokhba, a messiah came to be a Jewish king who would rule at the end of history. In later Jewish messianic tradition and eschatology, a messiah is a leader anointed by God, and in some cases, a future King of Israel, physically descended from the Davidic line, who will rule the united tribes of Israel and herald the Messianic Age of global peace.
The translation of the Hebrew word Mašíaḥ as Χριστός (Khristós) in the Greek Septuagint became the accepted Christian designation and title of Jesus of Nazareth. Christians believe that prophecies in the Hebrew Bible (especially Isaiah) refer to a spiritual savior and believe Jesus to be that Messiah (Christ).
Islamic tradition holds the view that Isa, son of Maryam (aka Jesus, son of Mary), was the promised nabi (Prophet) and masih (Messiah) sent to the Israelites, and that he will again return to Earth in the end times, along with al-Mahdi, and they will defeat Masih ad-Dajjal (lit. "false Messiah"; cf. antichrist).
Famous quotes containing the word messiah:
“I take such men to be inspired. I fancy that this moment Shakespeare in heaven ranks with Gabriel Raphael and Michael. And if another Messiah ever comes twill be in Shakespeares person.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“If another Messiah was born he could hardly do so much good as the printing-press.”
—G.C. (Georg Christoph)
“The Old Testament teems with prophecies of the Messiah, but nowhere is it intimated that that Messiah is to stand as a God to be worshipped. He is to bring peace on earth, to build up the waste placesto comfort the broken-hearted, but nowhere is he spoken of as a deity.”
—Olympia Brown (18351900)