Happy Birthday Shabbetai Zevi

I don’t normally wish antichrists a happy birthday, but Shabbetai Zevi is one of the more memorable false Messiahs in Jewish history. I first learned about him back in December 1999 while researching a message on the millennium in reference to Y2K.

Shabbetai Zevi was born in Smyrna in Asia Minor on July 23, 1626, and proclaimed himself Messiah in 1665. Excitement spread throughout the Jewish communities of Europe and the Middle East as he announced that on June 18, 1666, he would depose the Turkish Sultan and redeem the Jewish people. Shabbetai caused such a stir that even many Christians in Europe began to teach that Christ would return in 1666.

Shabbetai failed to deliver on his promises, however. When he arrived at the Sultan’s palace, the Sultan easily disarmed him and gave him a choice – convert to Islam or be executed. Shabbetai promptly converted, and the Sultan spared his life.

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