As fears grow of global food shortages, a 300-year-old religious prophecy has resurfaced, over claims that this means the coming of the Messiah.
In November last year, the United Nations World Food Programme reported some 690 million people were undernourished, with 130 million additional people at risk of being pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of the year.
Gro Intelligence founder and chief executive Sara Menker has warned that as soon as 2023, humans will reach the landmark stage of being unable to feed our growing population.
Now, some have pointed to a bizarre prophecy by an 18th-century Rabbi as a sign that the predicted international food crisis is a sign that the end of the world is coming.
Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, a Jewish scholar and leader also known as the "Alter Rebbe", had a vision 300 years ago that the Messia would come after the year 5775 in the Hebrew calendar, or 2015.
This vision was based on the Jewish tradition that the world was given a general amount of sustenance to last 4,000 years from creation.
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When that sustenance ends, the Messiah would come.
Alter Rebbe's vision came while he was reading passage Numbers 1:46 from the Torah, which deals with the half-shekels from the 600,000 Jews in the desert.
An impending global food crisis was also predicted by Rabbi Yekutiel Fish in March, based on his interpretation of the Torah.
Israel365News reports that Rabbi Fish believes a great snowstorm causing widespread global famine will herald the arrival of the Messiah.
This winter saw highly unusual snowfall in Israel, as well as a massive and devastating polar vortex which brought chaos to much of the US.
Next year is a Sabbatical year in the Hebrew calendar. Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David's tomb on Mount Zion, cited a verse in Leviticus as promising a bountiful harvest in the year before the Sabbatical year.
"The Shemittah (Sabbatical) has a special significance relating to the Messiah," Israel365News reports.
"There is a possibility, perhaps even a probability, the Messiah will come the year after the Shemittah."
It also quotes religious scholars as predicting that the "son of David" will come in the first year at the end of the "seven-year cycle".
"The Talmud is saying explicitly that the Messiah will come in the first year after the Shemitah," it adds.
"It should be noted that the Talmud describes the days before the Messiah in-depth, and they are especially difficult times."
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