Chapter 12י״ב
1 א

אַל יַעֲלֶה עַל הַלֵּב שֶׁבִּימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ יִבָּטֵל דּבָר מִמִּנְהָגוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם. אוֹ יִהְיֶה שָׁם חִדּוּשׁ בְּמַעֲשֵׂה בְּרֵאשִׁית. אֶלָּא עוֹלָם כְּמִנְהָגוֹ נוֹהֵג. וְזֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בִּישַׁעְיָה (ישעיה יא, ו) "וְגָר זְאֵב עִם כֶּבֶשׂ וְנָמֵר עִם גְּדִי יִרְבָּץ" מָשָׁל וְחִידָה. עִנְיַן הַדָּבָר שֶׁיִּהְיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל יוֹשְׁבִין לָבֶטַח עִם רִשְׁעֵי עַכּוּ''ם הַמְשׁוּלִים כִּזְאֵב וְנָמֵר. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ירמיה ה, ו) "זְאֵב עֲרָבוֹת יְשָׁדְדֵם וְנָמֵר שֹׁקֵד עַל עָרֵיהֶם". וְיַחְזְרוּ כֻּלָּם לְדַת הָאֱמֶת. וְלֹא יִגְזְלוּ וְלֹא יַשְׁחִיתוּ. אֶלָּא יֹאכְלוּ דָּבָר הַמֻּתָּר בְּנַחַת עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה יא, ז) "וְאַרְיֵה כַּבָּקָר יֹאכַל תֶּבֶן". וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים בְּעִנְיַן הַמָּשִׁיחַ הֵם מְשָׁלִים. וּבִימוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ יִוָּדַע לַכּל לְאֵי זֶה דָּבָר הָיָה מָשָׁל. וּמָה עִנְיָן רָמְזוּ בָּהֶן:

It should not occur to you that during the days of the Messiah a single thing from the “ways of the world”135I.e. Nature. will be canceled nor will there be something novel in the Creation. Rather, the world will continue in its customary way. Now, that which is said in Isaiah, “And the wolf will live with the sheep and the leopard shall lie down with the kid” (Isaiah 11:6) is a parable and riddle. The substance of the matter is that Israel will dwell in safety with the wicked of the world who are compared to wolves and tigers, as it says, “a wolf of the deserts spoil them, a leopard watches over their cities” (Jeremiah 5:6). But, they will all return to the true religion and they will not steal and not destroy. Rather, they will eat of the permissible foods comfortably136I.e. in peace. like Israel, as it says, “and the lion will eat straw as does the ox” (Isaiah 11:7). And so similar matters written about the Messiah are parables. In the days of the King Messiah everyone will understand these parables and to what these matters were compared and to what was hinted.

2 ב

אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים אֵין בֵּין הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה לִימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ אֶלָּא שִׁעְבּוּד מַלְכֻיּוֹת בִּלְבַד. יֵרָאֶה מִפְּשׁוּטָן שֶׁל דִּבְרֵי הַנְּבִיאִים. שֶׁבִּתְחִלַּת יְמוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ תִּהְיֶה מִלְחֶמֶת גּוֹג וּמָגוֹג. וְשֶׁקֹּדֶם מִלְחֶמֶת גּוֹג וּמָגוֹג יַעֲמֹד נָבִיא לְיַשֵּׁר יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְהָכִין לִבָּם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלאכי ג, כג) "הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי שׁלֵחַ לָכֶם אֵת אֵלִיָּה" וְגוֹ'. וְאֵינוֹ בָּא לֹא לְטַמֵּא הַטָּהוֹר. וְלֹא לְטַהֵר הַטָּמֵא. וְלֹא לִפְסל אֲנָשִׁים שֶׁהֵם בְּחֶזְקַת כַּשְׁרוּת. וְלֹא לְהַכְשִׁיר מִי שֶׁהֻחְזְקוּ פְּסוּלִין. אֶלָּא לָשׂוּם שָׁלוֹם בָּעוֹלָם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלאכי ג, כד) "וְהֵשִׁיב לֵב אָבוֹת עַל בָּנִים". וְיֵשׁ מִן הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁאוֹמְרִים שֶׁקֹּדֶם בִּיאַת הַמָּשִׁיחַ יָבוֹא אֵלִיָּהוּ. וְכָל אֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן לֹא יֵדַע אָדָם אֵיךְ יִהְיוּ עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ. שֶׁדְּבָרִים סְתוּמִין הֵן אֵצֶל הַנְּבִיאִים. גַּם הַחֲכָמִים אֵין לָהֶם קַבָּלָה בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ. אֶלָּא לְפִי הֶכְרֵעַ הַפְּסוּקִים. וּלְפִיכָךְ יֵשׁ לָהֶם מַחְלֹקֶת בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ. וְעַל כָּל פָּנִים אֵין סִדּוּר הֲוָיַת דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ וְלֹא דִּקְדּוּקֵיהֶן עִקָּר בַּדָּת. וּלְעוֹלָם לֹא יִתְעַסֵּק אָדָם בְּדִבְרֵי הַהַגָּדוֹת. וְלֹא יַאֲרִיךְ בַּמִּדְרָשׁוֹת הָאֲמוּרִים בְּעִנְיָנִים אֵלּוּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְלֹא יְשִׂימֵם עִקָּר. שֶׁאֵין מְבִיאִין לֹא לִידֵי יִרְאָה וְלֹא לִידֵי אַהֲבָה. וְכֵן לֹא יְחַשֵּׁב הַקִּצִּין. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים תִּפַּח רוּחָם שֶׁל מְחַשְּׁבֵי הַקִּצִּים. אֶלָּא יְחַכֶּה וְיַאֲמִין בִּכְלַל הַדָּבָר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

Our Sages have said that there is no difference between This World and the Days of the Messiah except (our) subservience to the kingdoms of the world alone. From the plain meaning of the words of the prophets we understand that at the beginning of the days of the Messiah there will be the War of Gog and Magog. Before the War of Gog and Magog, a prophet will arise to correct Israel and prepare their hearts137I.e. Direct them to G-d., as it says, “Behold, I will send you Elijah” (Malachi 3:23). He will not come to make the pure impure, nor purify the impure, nor disqualify people who are presumed to have legitimate lineage138Or, family pedigree., nor qualify those who are disqualified. He will only come to bring peace to the world139Between Israel and the other nations., as it says, “And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers on the children” (Malachi 3:24). Some of the Sages say that Elijah will come140Either to announce his coming or “authorize rabbis” (for the Sanhedrin?). before the coming of the Messiah. But regarding all these matters and similar, no one knows how it will be until it will be. For these matters were unclear to the Prophets. Even the Sages themselves did not have a Tradition regarding these matters and only could attempt to understand the verses. Thus, there were disagreements in these matters. Nevertheless, neither the order that these events will occur nor their details are fundamental to the religion. Thus, a person must never busy himself with the Aggadohs and not dwell on the Midrashim regarding these matters or similar issues. He must not make them dogma141Or, the essence, a tenet.. For these do not result in either love (for G-d) nor fear (of sin). Similarly, one should not calculate the Ends142Of a) the Exile, and b) when the Messiah will come.. Our Sages have said that the spirit of those who calculate the Ends will expire143I.e. They will die.. Rather, one is to (simply) wait and believe in the principle144And not contemplate the details. of this matter, as we have explained.

3 ג

בִּימֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ. כְּשֶׁתִּתְיַשֵּׁב מַמְלַכְתּוֹ וְיִתְקַבְּצוּ אֵלָיו כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל. יִתְיַחֲסוּ כֻּלָּם עַל פִּיו בְּרוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ שֶׁתָּנוּחַ עָלָיו. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלאכי ג, ג) "וְיָשַׁב מְצָרֵף וּמְטַהֵר" וְגוֹ'. וּבְנֵי לֵוִי מְטַהֵר תְּחִלָּה וְאוֹמֵר זֶה מְיֻחָס כֹּהֵן וְזֶה מְיֻחָס לֵוִי. וְדוֹחֶה אֶת שֶׁאֵינָן מְיֻחָסִין לְיִשְׂרָאֵל. הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (עזרא ב, סג) "וַיֹּאמֶר הַתִּרְשָׁתָא לָהֶם" וְגוֹ' (עזרא ב, סג) "עַד עֲמֹד כֹּהֵן לְאוּרִים וּלְתֻמִּים". הִנֵּה לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁבְּרוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ מְיַחֲסִין הַמֻּחְזָקִין וּמוֹדִיעִין הַמְיֻחָס. וְאֵינוֹ מְיַחֵס יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶלָּא לְשִׁבְטֵיהֶם. שֶׁמּוֹדִיעַ שֶׁזֶּה מִשֵּׁבֶט פְּלוֹנִי וְזֶה מִשֵּׁבֶט פְּלוֹנִי. אֲבָל אֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר עַל שֶׁהֵן בְּחֶזְקַת כַּשְׁרוּת זֶה מַמְזֵר וְזֶה עֶבֶד. שֶׁהַדִּין הוּא שֶׁמִּשְׁפָּחָה שֶׁנִּטְמְעָה נִטְמְעָה:

During the days of King Messiah, when he will be secure in his monarchy, and all of Israel will gather about him, everyone’s genealogy will be clarified by him by means of the Holy Spirit which will rest upon him, as it says, “And he shall sit as a purifier and refiner…” (Malachi 3:3). The Sons of Levi will be the first to be purified145Their lineage will be determined first., and he will say, “this one has the pedigree of a Kohen, and this one has the pedigree of a Levite”. He will reject those who have no (true) lineage146As Levites and Kohanim. and make them Israelites, as it says, “And the Tirashoso said to them…until a Kohen will arise with the Urim and Tumim” (Ezra 2:63). You have now learned that those with a pedigree will be confirmed, and lineage will be made known, by means of the Holy Spirit. He will not ascertain the ancestry of Israel except regarding which tribe they are from, and inform us that this one is from such and such a tribe and that one is from such and such a tribe. But, he will not tell us whether someone presumed of legitimate pedigree is a bastard or a slave. For the Law is that the family which had someone assimilate within it, assimilates him147Lit., “the family which became assimilated, assimilates.” The commentary in the Rambam La’am says “remains in its presumption of legitimate lineage”..

4 ד

לֹא נִתְאַוּוּ הַחֲכָמִים וְהַנְּבִיאִים יְמוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ. לֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּשְׁלְטוּ עַל כָּל הָעוֹלָם. וְלֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּרְדּוּ בָּעַכּוּ''ם. וְלֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּנַשְּׂאוּ אוֹתָם הָעַמִּים. וְלֹא כְּדֵי לֶאֱכל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת וְלִשְׂמֹחַ. אֶלָּא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ פְּנוּיִין בַּתּוֹרָה וְחָכְמָתָהּ. וְלֹא יִהְיֶה לָהֶם נוֹגֵשׂ וּמְבַטֵּל. כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּזְכּוּ לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה:

The Sages and the Prophets did not long for the days of the Messiah because they wanted to rule the world or because they wanted to have dominion over the non-Jews or because they wanted the nations to exalt them or because they wanted to eat, drink and be merry. Rather, they desired this so that they would have time for Torah and its Wisdom. And there would be no one who would oppress them or force them to be idle (from Torah). This, in order that they may merit the World to Come, as we have explained regarding the Laws of Repentance.

5 ה

וּבְאוֹתוֹ הַזְּמַן לֹא יִהְיֶה שָׁם לֹא רָעָב וְלֹא מִלְחָמָה. וְלֹא קִנְאָה וְתַחֲרוּת. שֶׁהַטּוֹבָה תִּהְיֶה מֻשְׁפַּעַת הַרְבֵּה. וְכָל הַמַּעֲדַנִּים מְצוּיִין כֶּעָפָר. וְלֹא יִהְיֶה עֵסֶק כָּל הָעוֹלָם אֶלָּא לָדַעַת אֶת ה' בִּלְבַד. וּלְפִיכָךְ יִהְיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲכָמִים גְּדוֹלִים וְיוֹדְעִים דְּבָרִים הַסְּתוּמִים וְיַשִּׂיגוּ דַּעַת בּוֹרְאָם כְּפִי כֹּחַ הָאָדָם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה יא, ט) "כִּי מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ דֵּעָה אֶת ה' כַּמַּיִם לַיָּם מְכַסִּים":

At that time there will be no famines and no wars, no envy and no competition. For the Good will be very pervasive148Or, inspiring, affecting, influencing.. All the delicacies will be as readily available as is dust. The world will only be engaged in knowing G-d149Compare with Rabbi S. R. Hirsch in his Nineteen Letters.. Then, there will be very wise people150Some editions have, “Israel will be very wise”. who will understand the deep, sealed matters. They will then achieve knowledge of the Creator to as high a degree as humanly possible, as it says, “For the Earth shall be filled of knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).
Blessed be Hashem who helped me.