But this certainly was not the leading point of view with the mass of the Rabbins; 1 and at any rate it is quite certain that the synagogue is a post-exilic institution, and therefore that the Sabbath in old Israel must have been entirely different from the Sabbath of the Scribes.
Renan, Les rabbins francais, pp. 647 foil.; Perles, Salomo ben Abraham ben Adereth, pp. 15-54; Jewish Encyclopaedia, s.v.
9); and the exegesis of the Targums, which in its beginnings doubtless reaches back before the time of Christ, shows how it was fostered by the Rabbins and preached in the synagogues.
In its ultimate form the Messianic hope of the Jews is the centre of the whole eschatology, embracing the doctrine of the last troubles of Israel (called by the Rabbins the "birth pangs of the Messiah"), the appearing of the anointed king, the annihilation of the hostile enemy, the return of the dispersed of Israel, the glory and world-sovereignty of the elect, the new world, the resurrection of the dead and the last judgment.
It is, for example, an open question among the Rabbins whether the days of the Messiah belong to the old or to the new world (r t n' ?
The developed form of this idea is almost certainly a product of the polemic with Christianity, in which the Rabbins were hard pressed by arguments from passages (especially Isa.
23, shamayim (" heaven"), and makom (" place") among the Rabbins, are used of God.
Similarly the term Rabbins, or Rabbis, is applied to modern Jewish clergy.