Donald Trump has been called a lot of things. “Messiah” probably isn’t one of them.
A Jewish rabbi from New Jersey, however, is making that claim, making clear in the process that he doesn’t see the GOP presidential nominee as the Messiah but rather a messiah.
Rabbi Mendel Kessin, during a lecture shared in late August, said Trump will play the role of a “messiah-like figure” leading America, which he sees as leader of Western Christianity, into its role as the rehabilitated biblical Esau – a righteous nation that repents of its past sins and becomes a helper of Israel.
Trump, the GOP nominee for president, will be a factor in the end of days in America by reflecting the “rehabilitation of biblical Esau,” said Kessin.
The rabbi’s lecture, which took place in Lakewood, New Jersey, begins with Esav, also called Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, who is portrayed in the Old Testament as a persecutor of the Jews.
Yet Kessin, speaking about the spiritual underpinnings of the 21st century, suggests that, at the last days, the biblical Esav [Western Christianity] will be rehabilitated with the United States leading the way.
Kessin connects Esav throughout history to Edom, Rome, Christianity, Western civilization and, ultimately, to the United States.
“At the end of days, the rabbi contends that the sins of Esav will be removed and Esav will become God-fearing,” writes Rivkah Lambert Adler for Breaking Israel News. “Esav has in Jewish tradition been associated with oppressing, persecuting and afflicting the Jews, but at the end of days he will undergo a fundamental change in his character.”
Rather than harming Jews, Esav will turn toward serving the Jews, assisting them in doing God’s will in the form of mitzvot (biblical commandments), Adler reports. “As a result, Esav will be rehabilitated and earn a place in the world to come.”
Kessin believes Trump has a critical role to play in purifying the U.S.
“What I believe is that the one who is going to switch from [Esav persecuting the Jews] to [Esav serving the Jews] is Donald Trump,” he says. “He’s going to purify Edom.”
At the 43-minute mark of the lecture, Kessin says the Hebrew numerical value of Donald Trump is the same as that of Moshiach ben David (Messiah son of David). He quickly assures his listeners that Trump is not the long-awaited Messiah of the Jewish people. At the same time, Kessin plainly asserts that Trump has the qualities of a messiah-like figure.
“Someone who will turn a nation completely, diametrically opposite is a messiah,” Kessin says. “He further contends that good times will return to the U.S. under the leadership of Trump because “Peace and prosperity must happen in order to rehabilitate the Jews in America, to prepare them for Moshiach (Messiah).”
‘Coming out of nowhere’
Using three biblical examples, he builds his case that Trump is a messiah-like figure.
First off, “A messianic figure is always despised,” he argues. He cites Joseph, who was imprisoned; Moses, who had to run away from Pharaoh to escape being killed; and King David, who was rejected many times in his lifetime.
“Many messianic figures, they come out of nowhere… Everybody is expecting the Moshiach to be this incredible (righteous individual), incredible gadol (great person), unbelievable talmid chacham (Torah scholar),” he said. “Yeah, eventually he will be. But he’s the guy that you don’t even look at twice. That’s who a Moshiach is. And you find all the (messianic figures) were always despised…
“That’s why there’s so much opposition to Trump. Because he’s about to start something which is a major reversal of the job of Esav from [oppression of the Jews] to [serving the Jews].”
But some aren’t buying it.
Joel Richardson, a Christian author and filmmaker whose books include “The Islamic Antichrist” and “When A Jew Rules the World,” said the rabbi’s view of Western Christianity fits right into the mainstream of Judaism even if his eye-popping views on Trump seem controversial.
“When one surveys the testimony of the biblical prophets, perhaps the most common names we find associated with the greatest end-time enemies of Israel are the children of Esau, Edom and Moab,” Richardson told WND.
- In Numbers 24, Balaam prophesied that when the Messiah, the King of Israel comes, he would crush the heads of Moab and Edom.
- In Isaiah 63 and 34, the Messiah is portrayed as crushing the people of Edom like grapes and slaughtering them like a ritual sacrifice.
- In Ezekiel 35, we are told Edom possesses an “everlasting hatred” toward the Jewish people.
“For this reason, Edom will be judged when Jesus returns,” Richardson said.
He noted that it’s very common in rabbinical Judaism to link Western Christianity with the Jew-hating Esau, although Messin seems to be saying that the U.S. represents the “good” in Esau.
“Most likely due to the historical mistreatment of the Jews throughout the Middle Ages forward, a tradition developed within rabbinic Judaism which holds that Edom represents Christendom, or perhaps the West in general,” Richardson said.
But Richardson sees this tradition as unbiblical because it overlooks the real modern-day Esau. He’s believes it’s Islam.
“The biblical prophets repeatedly point to the Muslim-majority nations that surround Israel as being her primary persecutor under the leadership of Gog/Antichrist,” Richardson said. “Thus when some rabbi comes along and makes claims such as this about Donald Trump, etc., I can only sigh and shrug my shoulders. I may be a foolish Gentile, but I know enough about the Bible to know that biblical prophecy says nothing about Donald Trump’s candidacy.”
Trump as a great reformer
Carl Gallups, a Baptist pastor in Florida, radio talk-show host and author of several Christian books including “Be Thou Prepared,” has a different take on the rabbi’s message.
“I think the main thrust of Rabbi Kessin’s message is that, somehow, Yahweh might be in the process of using Donald Trump to bring about some much-needed biblical reformation to the United States and, thus, the world,” Gallups said.
“I think he is also hoping and praying, along with much of the Jewish and Christian world, that Trump might be used of God to restore the United States to being a great friend and protector of Israel. This is especially true as we see the miraculously returned Israel now surrounded with nations on every side that are plotting its ultimate demise.”
Gallups told WND he thinks Kessin’s lecture is reflective of the spirit of the times.
“People all over the globe have a sense of urgency, expectancy, and trepidation about the future,” he said. “Even people who don’t claim to be ‘believers’ or Christians, even those who never go to church or read the Bible are asking, ‘What’s wrong with the world? Why is the Middle East the center of such huge international turmoil? Are we on the verge of World War III?’”
Gallups said he understands what Kessin is trying to say, viewing Trump in many ways as the antithesis of President Obama.
“He’s looking at it in the same way that a number of Christians and even biblical scholars have examined Obama’s journey, candidacy, and eight-year presidential legacy and point out his clearly ‘antichrist’ characteristics without ever believing him to be, or declaring him to be, the actual antichrist,” Gallups said. “I don’t think there is anything unbiblical about examining the times in which we live, and the world-impacting leaders of our times, and noting the biblical characteristics of those that Yahweh may be using for His ultimate purposes in our highly prophetic era.”
“I also find it remarkable,” Gallups added, “that Rabbi Kessin outlined the qualities of a messianic figure as being that of a powerful person, a great person, a biblical scholar, a righteous individual, and one who is at the same time also ubiquitously despised, while seemingly coming ‘out of nowhere.’ These very same things can be said of the real and ultimate Messiah, Yeshua/Jesus.”
“I feel for Rabbi Kessin. I know he understands that we are now living in profoundly prophetic times. I get that. I am continually writing about and speaking to this issue as well – all over the world. There certainly seems to be something very numinous about this year’s presidential election. It may be the most important one in the history of the United States and, thus, the world. And with that feeling – he is looking for answers, and possible biblical connections.”
Gallups lamented, “I so wish that Rabbi Kessin could see that Yeshua/Jesus is the soon-coming Messiah! I pray that perhaps through the prophetic revelations that continue to unfold before us that Rabbi Kessin, and people all over the world, might come to Yeshua Ha Mashiach as Lord and Savior and understand that the world is not ‘falling apart,’ in fact – everything is actually ‘coming together,’ just as the Bible declared it would.”