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THE ANTICHRIST IN JEWISH LITERATURE


In Jewish literature, the Antichrist was sometimes referred to as Belial. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, "in Jewish circles in the pre-Christian period the expectation was prevalent of the appearance of Belial (one of Satan's lieutenants) if not of Satan himself; and that his activity was imagined as being almost identical with that expected of the Antichrist in Thessalonians."


In Jewish literature after the time of Jesus, the Antichrist is given a number of names, like Haramlet, Tarmila, and Armilus. "They call him Armilus...[he will] say to them, "I am your Messiah, I am your god!" And he will mislead them and they will instantly believe in him."


[T'fillat R. Shim'on ben Yohai, BhM [Bet haMidrash] 4:124-126]

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