Rabbi Akiba was a famous Jewish rabbi of the 2nd century AD, a great authority in the matter of Jewish tradition who systematized the traditions that later became the Mishnah[1]. After Emperor Hadrian's decree banning Jews from Jerusalem, he proclaimed Simon bar-Kokhba as Messiah, saying, "This is the king Messiah!"[2] Bar Kokhba's revolt in 135 AD failed, and Akiba who was flayed alive by the Romans as punishment.[3] Many Jews considered him a martyr.


  2. y. Taʿan. 4:8/27; parallel at Lam. Rab. 2:2 §4:
    R. Shimon b. Yohai taught, “My teacher Akiba used to expound, A star [‫ ]כוכב‬goes out from Jacob [Num 24:17], ‘Koziba [‫ ]כוזבא‬goes out from Jacob.’” When R. Akiba saw Bar Koziba, he said, “This is the king messiah.” (‫דין הוא מלכא משיחא‬) R. Yohanan b. Torta said to him, “Akiba, grass will come up between your cheeks and still the son of David will not have come.”
  3. This article incorporates text from the public domain 1907 edition of The Nuttall Encyclopædia.

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