Mashiach: Hidden

 Hora’ah – הוראה – Teaching

The following Zohar passage, deeply esoteric in nature, speaks to the idea of Messiah being hidden for some period of time in a spiritual abode called “the bird’s nest” – both of which are taken up to the heavenly realm (i.e., the Throne of G-d in Beriah):

”If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, young ones or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young… thou shalt in no wise let the dam go” (Deuteronomy 22:6-7). ‘This passage’, he said, ‘we interpret as an esoteric commandment in the Law, containing mysteries of doctrine, paths and ways known to the Fellowship and belonging to the thirty-two paths of the Torah.’ Then, turning to R. Eleazar, his son, he said: ‘At the time when the Messiah shall arise, there will be great wonders in the world. See now, in the lower Paradise there is a secret and unknown spot, broidered with many colours, in which a thousand palaces of longing are concealed. No one may enter it, except the Messiah, whose abode is in Paradise. The Garden is encompassed with multitudes of saints who look to the Messiah as their leader, along with many hosts and bands of the souls of the righteous there. On New Moons, festivals, and Sabbaths, he enters that place, in order to find joyous delight in those secret palaces. Behind those palaces there is another place, entirely hidden and undiscoverable. It is called “Eden”, and no one may enter to behold it. Now the Messiah is hidden in its outskirts until a place is revealed to him which is called “the Bird’s Nest”. This is the place proclaimed by that Bird (the Shekinah) which flies about the Garden of Eden every day. In that place the effigies are woven of all the nations who band together against Israel. The Messiah enters that abode, lifts up his eyes and beholds the Fathers (Patriarchs) visiting the ruins of G-d’s Sanctuary. He perceives mother Rachel, with tears upon her face; the Holy One, blessed be He, tries to comfort her, but she refuses to be comforted (Jeremiah 31:14). Then the Messiah lifts up his voice and weeps, and the whole Garden of Eden quakes, and all the righteous and saints who are there break out in crying and lamentation with him. When the crying and weeping resound for the second time, the whole firmament above the Garden begins to shake, and the cry echoes from five hundred myriads of supernal hosts, until it reaches the highest Throne. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, beckons to that “Bird”, which then enters its nest and comes to the Messiah, and flits about, uttering strange cries. Then from the holy Throne the Bird’s Nest and the Messiah are summoned three times, and they both ascend into the heavenly places, and the Holy One swears to them to destroy the wicked kingdom (Rome) by the hand of the Messiah, to avenge Israel, and to give her all the good things which he has promised her. Then the Bird returns to her place. The Messiah, however, is hidden again in the same place as before.”
Zohar, Shemoth 8a 

The Book of Enoch mentions the idea of the “Son of Man” being “hidden”:

“For from the beginning the Son of Man was hidden, and the Most High kept him in the presence of his power.”
Book of Enoch, Chapter 62

The following text gives several examples of the idea of a messianic figure being hidden away for some time:

In both the Jerusalem and in Midrash Rabba we find the tale of Menachem son of Hezekiah who was born on the day that the Temple was destroyed and was named messiah. The infant was plucked from his mother’s arms by the wind and disappeared with no trace. The reader of this tale is left wondering whether the infant was snatched up to the heavens still alive – some day perhaps to return. …

The Book of Kings relates the story of Aviah the son of Jeroboam son of Nabat. Aviah grew sick, and came together with his mother to the prophet Achiya so that he would pray for his recovery. Achiya, however, decreed that the child would die and after his death he was eulogized by ‘all of Israel…for some good thing for G-d, the G-d of Israel, was found in him. … The good found in the dead Aviah was the messianic potential within him – the Josephian (father of Efraim) messiah. … The Talmud interprets this as referring to the ‘Josephian messiah who was killed.’ …

There is another messianic tradition based on the story from the book of Kings which tells of the prophet Elijah’s resurrection of the widow’s son. Concerning this child, a midrash states, ‘he was the Josephian messiah.” The analogy between this miraculously resurrected child and the Josephian messiah is strengthened even more when we take into account the tradition that foretells of this messiah’s own future resurrection after death.
The Scroll of Secrets: The Hidden Messianic Vision of R. Nachman of Breslav, Zvi Mark, pp. 130,131


“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.  When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:  about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness,because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.  But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.  He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” Yeshua went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”  At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” Yeshua saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”
John 16:7-22

“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.”
John 16:28

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born.  She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to G-d and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by G-d, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.”
Revelation 12:1-6