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Armilus (Hebrew: ארמילוס) (also spelled Armilos and Armilius) is an anti-Messiah figure in medieval Jewish eschatology, comparable to medieval interpretations of the Christian Antichrist and Islamic Dajjal, who will conquer Jerusalem and persecute the Jews until his final defeat at the hands of God or the true Messiah. His inevitable destruction symbolizes the ultimate victory of good over evil in the Messianic age.
The Sefer Zerubbabel is probably from the 7th century. Armilus is thought to be a cryptogram for Heraclius. And that the events described in the Sefer Zerubbabel coincide with the Jewish revolt against Heraclius.
The Christian Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius is also a 7th-century apocalypse.
The 11th Century Midrash Vayosha was first published at Constantinople in 1519.
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Armilus is "a king who will arise at the end of time against the Messiah, and will be conquered by him after having brought much distress upon Israel", similar to Gog. He is spoken of in both Midrash Vayosha and Sefer Zerubbabel, in which he defeats the Messiah ben Joseph.
The origin of this figure, said to be the offspring of Satan and a virgin, or Satan and a statue (or "stone"), is as regarded as questionable by the Jewish Encyclopedia, due to the variation and clear relation (if not parody) to Christian doctrine, legend, and scripture.
Midrash Vayosha depicts Armilus as bald, partially deaf, partially maimed, and partially leprous.
- In the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius (Greek redactions), Armalaos and Armaleus: A.C. Lolos, Die Apokalypse des Ps.-Methodios. Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 83. Meisenheim am Glan: Hain, 1976. Chapter IX.
- Jewish Martyrs in the Pagan and Christian Worlds. Cambridge university press. Cambridge , New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, Sao Paulo. 2006. p. 108-109. Retrieved 2014-01-10.
- Armilus in the Jewish Encyclopedia
- Midrash Vayosha