What Happen Next?? Year 6000………
According to the Talmud, the Midrash, and the ancient Kabbalistic work, the Zohar, the ‘deadline’ by which the Messiah must appear is 6000 years from creation.
This tradition is founded upon a universalized application of the concept of Shabbat – the 7th day of the week – the ‘day of rest’.
The Ten Commandments state (Exodus 20:8):
Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it. Six days shall you work and perform all of your labors. And on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath day unto the Lord your God, you shall do no work… For in six days God made the heavens and the earth, the oceans and all therein, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore God hath blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.
This tradition maintains that just as the 7th day of the week is the sanctified ‘day of rest’ and peace, a time representing joyful satisfaction with the labors completed within the previous 6 days, so too the 7th millennium [Hebrew calendar years 6000 – 7000] will correspond to a universal ‘day of rest’ and peace, a time of ‘completeness’ of the ‘work’ performed in the previous six millennia – the Messianic Age.
The Talmud also draws parallels between the Shmita (Sabbatical) year and the seventh millennium: For six ‘years’, or millenia, the earth will be worked, whilst during the seventh ‘year’, or millennium, the world will remain ‘fallow’, in a state of ‘rest’ and universal peace.
According to tradition, the Hebrew calendar started at the time of Creation, at a moment 3,760 years and 3 months before the start of the Christian era.
The reconciliation between the traditional Judaic age of the world and the current scientifically-derived age of the world is beyond the scope of this article, with some taking a literal approach and others a more scientific conciliatory approach.
The Talmud comments:
R. Katina said, “Six thousand years the world will exist and one [thousand, the seventh], it shall be desolate (haruv), as it is written, ‘And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day’ (Isa. 2:11)… R. Katina also taught, “Just as the seventh year is the Shmita year, so too does the world have one thousand years out of seven that are fallow (mushmat), as it is written, ‘And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day’ (Isa. 2:11); and further it is written, ‘A psalm and song for the Shabbat day’ (Ps. 92:1) – meaning the day that is altogether Shabbat – and also it is said, ‘For one thousand years in Your [God’s] eyes are but a day that has passed.’ (Ps.90:4) (Sanhedrin 97a).”
The Midrash in Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer comments:
Six eons for going in and coming out, for war and peace. The seventh eon is entirely Shabbat and rest for life everlasting.
The Zohar states:
In the 600th year of the sixth thousand, the gates of wisdom on high and the wellsprings of lower wisdom will be opened. This will prepare the world to enter the seventh thousand, just as man prepares himself toward sunset on Friday for the Sabbath.
The Zohar explains further:
The redemption of Israel will come about through the mystic force of the letter “Vav” [which has the numerical value of six], namely, in the sixth millennium…. Happy are those who will be left alive at the end of the sixth millennium to enter the Shabbat, which is the seventh millennium; for that is a day set apart for the Holy One on which to effect the union of new souls with old souls in the world (Zohar, Vayera 119a).
There is a kabbalistic tradition that maintains that each of the 7 days of creation in Genesis chapter 1 correspond to seven millennia of the existence of natural creation. The tradition teaches that the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath day of rest, corresponds to the seventh millennium (Hebrew years 6000 – 7000), the age of universal ‘rest’ – the Messianic Era.
Millennium Hebrew Year Corresponding day of week
(In Hebrew and English)
1 0 – 1000 Rishon / Sunday
2 1000 – 2000 Sheini / Monday
3 2000 – 3000 Shlishi / Tuesday
4 3000 – 4000 Revii / Wednsesday
5 4000 – 5000 Chamishi / Thursday
6 5000 – 6000 Shishi / Friday
7 6000 – 7000 Shabbat (Sabbath) / Saturday
Rishonim and Acharonim
Elaborating on the theme of the seventh millennium representing the Messianic Age are numerous early and late Jewish scholars, including the Ramban, Isaac Abrabanel, Abraham Ibn Ezra, Rabbeinu Bachya, the Vilna Gaon, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Ramchal, Aryeh Kaplan, and Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis.
The acceptance of the idea of the seventh millennium representing the Messianic Age across the Ashkenazi – Sephardi divide, the Chassidim – Misnagdim divide, and across the rational Talmud and mystical Kabbalah perspectives, shows on the centrality of this idea in traditional Judaism.
In his Sha’ar Hagmul, Ramban writes that the sixth millennium will see the advent of the Messiah and the seventh millennium will be the Shabbat of the ‘World to Come’, wherein the righteous will be resurrected and rejoice.
Ramban further writes that the Scriptural verse, “And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it” (Gen. 2:3), refers to His blessing the World to Come which begins at the seventh millennium.
In his commentary to Genesis 2:3, Rabbeinu Bachya writes that the seventh millennium will follow the Messiah and the resurrection, and will be a time of “great eternal delight” for those who merit resurrection.
This being the case, he explains, just as one prepares during the six days of the week for the Shabbat, so too one should prepare during the six thousand years for the seventh.
Don Abrabanel writes that similar to the structure of the week of Creation, so too the world will exist for six thousand years, with the seventh millennium being a Hefsek (break) and a Shvita (rest), like Shabbat, Shmita, and Yovel.
The Vilna Gaon writes:
Each day of Creation alludes to a thousand years of our existence, and every little detail that occurred on these days will have its corresponding event happen at the proportionate time during its millennium.
The Ramchal explains that the Shabbat Millennium will be a time of rest, which will be merited by the righteous.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson explains that upon having reached the Hebrew year 5750, the millennial ‘timeclock’ had reached the time of the ‘eve’ of Shabbat.
This is based on the teaching of the Talmud, which states that one thousand human years is equivalent to one ‘day’ in the eyes of the Creator, based on the verse in Psalms, “For one thousand years in Your eyes are but a day that has passed (Psalms 90:4).”
Given that the Jewish day begins at nightfall, the year 5750 represented 12:00pm midday on the millennial ‘Friday’, as per the table below.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, as others, maintains that the Messiah must arrive at, or before, the onset of the Shabbat, the year 6000.
Hebrew Year Millennial Time
5000 18:00 Thursday
5250 00:00 Friday
5500 06:00 Friday
5750 12:00 Friday / Shabbat eve
5770 12:30 Friday / Shabbat eve
6000 18:00 Entry of Shabbat
The English year 2010, corresponding to the Hebrew year 5770, thus marks 12:30pm on the Millennial Friday afternoon.
Kabbalist and grandfather of Rabbi Yosef Sholom Eliashiv, Rabbi Shlomo Elyashiv writes in Drushei Olam HaTohu:
…This is why so much time must transpire from the time of creation until the time of the Tikkun (lit. ‘correction’, Moshiach’s coming). All the forces of Gevurot (strict judgement) are rooted in the six Sefirot — Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod — which are the six days of creation… and also the 6,000 years of history that the world will exist.
And within [the six Sefirot] are the roots of all that will happen from the six days of creation until the Final Tikkun… We find that all that transpires is the result of the sparks from the time of Tohu, Chaos…
The Seven Millennia of natural existence according to the Kabbalah
Hebrew Year: 0 – 1000 1000 – 2000 2000 – 3000 3000 – 4000 4000 – 5000 5000 – 6000 6000 – 7000
Day of Creation:
Chesed – Love
Gevurah – Judgement
Tiferet – Beauty
Netzach – Victory
Hod – Splendour
Yesod – Foundation
7 Shabbat / (Saturday)
Malchut – Kingship
Aryeh Kaplan writes:
Never before has mankind been faced with such a wide range of possibilities. Never before has is had such tremendous power at its disposal, to use for good or evil… We need not belabor the point, but the past hundred years or so have brought about an increase in knowledge unsurpassed in all human history… The ultimate goal of the historic process is the perfection of society… is what we call the Messianic Age…
Almost 2000 years ago, the Zohar predicted, “In the 600th year of the sixth thousand, the gates of wisdom on high and the wellsprings of lower wisdom will be opened. This will prepare the world to enter the seventh thousand, just as man prepares himself toward sunset on Friday for the Sabbath. It is the same here. And a mnemonic for this is (Gen 7:11), ‘In the 600th year… all the foundations of the great deep were split’. Here we see a clear prediction that in the Jewish year 5600 (or 1840), the wellsprings of lower wisdom would be opened and there would be a sudden expansion of secular knowledge.
In an interview with Israel National Radio, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis said the following:
Listen carefully, friends, to what I’m telling you. Hashem, Elokei Yisrael, created this world that we are living in today in six days.
Every day was a thousand years. This world, as we know it today, cannot last beyond 6,000 years. Right now, we are in the year 5769, which means it’s Erev Shabbos of the world. By the year 6,000, Mashiach has to be here. He could come much earlier. But by the year 6,000, he has to be here. … the Vilna Gaon said that the last war, Milchemet Gog uMagog, is going to last only 12 minutes because they are going to have such weapons….
We know that the final redemption, the final Geula, it’s going to be like when you left Egypt – only one-fifth of our people left Egypt. Four-fifths perished… during the plague of darkness.
So I’m appealing to every Jew. Every negative prophecy can be changed. We can bring Mashiach today. Right now, we are living in a period called Erev [eve of] Shabbat.
It’s Erev Shabbat, because when Mashiach will come, it will be the day that will be all Shabbat, the seventh day….
Let’s bring Shabbos early, and let us to bring Shabbos with menucha [ease], with shalom [peace], with simchah [happiness] – Is it possible? Absolutely?! Every negative prophecy can be changed.