By: Eric • August 16, 2022
Sabbati Zevi: The False Messiah
He was born in 1626 in Smyrna, Turkey. He was Jewish, son of parents from Greece. By the age of 20, in 1646, he was considered both extraordinarily intelligent in scholastic work – more over in Rabbinical studies. He undertook study of the Talmud (principal book of Jewish Rabbinical Law), then Kabbalah.
In the Kabbalah, the year 1648 (translated to the Roman calendar) gave credence to the arrival of the Jewish Messiah.
In Hebrew, the word Sabbati means Saturn. In Jewish mysticism, Saturn is regarded as the highest planet and is attached to the concept of the long-awaited Messiah.
Zevi was known as highly ambitious and eccentric. He claimed to have defeated creatures (like wolves and serpents) in epic confrontations. In 1648, it was the news and momentum of massacres of Jews in Eastern Europe reached Turkey’s Jewish community. The collective sentiment was fear. Coinciding with the year 1648 messianic potential, a great many of these Jews turned to Zevi as the long awaited Messiah. He manipulated the circumstances to his favor.
He turned the Torah around by declaring that all sins were now considered “holy” and that the only way to “repair” God was to engage in acts of depravity.
He was excommunicated from Turkey in 1651 by the Rabbinical authorities, however, many of his followers now literally and figuratively, followed him. He went to Greece, to Albania, elsewhere in Turkey, most impactfully in Constantinople, where his following grew enormously. Now, his seven year ban was up, with which he returned to Symrata in 1662. He set out to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Symbolically, he first went to Egypt. When he reached Jerusalem, he met Nathan of Gaza.
Nathan of Gaza; served in the capacity of one who wrote a Gospel about Jesus. He believed Sabbatai Zevi was the messiah. He was a deeply religious man with strong core of believers behind him. They took his word for it, his writings were known as influential extreme. In 1665 Nathan of Gaza dedicated his life thru spreading the word of the Messiah.
In the mid 1600s, anticipation of the year 1666 was of high apocalyptic measure amongst certain prolific Calvinist scholars, specifically in England and the Netherlands, however, the sentiment was spread throughout the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. Regardless of faith, the knowledge of the implications of the year 1666 were obvious (666 – mark of the beast).
By 1666, given the circumstances, half of the known Jewish world were practicing Sabbatean-Judaism, or Sabbateanism.