G‑d builds Jerusalem, He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.”1

The Sequence of Events

Describing the advent of Mashiach, Rambam writes:2 “If a king will arise from the House of David who, like David his ancestor, delves deeply into the study of the Torah and observes its mitzvos as prescribed by the Written law and the Oral law; if he will compel all of Israel to walk in [the way of the Torah] and repair the breaches [in its observance]; and if he will fight the wars of G‑d; — we may, with assurance, consider him Mashiach. If he succeeds in the above, builds the [Beis Ha]Mikdash on its site, and gathers in the dispersed remnant of Israel, he is definitely the Mashiach.”

We see from this ruling that Rambam holds that the Ingathering of the Exiles will follow the building of the Third Temple. This view is based on the verse,3 “G‑d builds Jerusalem, He gathers together the outcasts of Israel,” and is supported by numerous Talmudic and Midrashic sources.4

Continuing this theme, the Zohar5 quotes the verse in Tehillim that follows the above verse,6 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds,” and writes that the Resurrection will take place forty years7 after the Ingathering of the Exiles.

The order of events will thus be as follows:

1. The arrival of Mashiach.

2. The rebuilding8 of the Beis HaMikdash.

3. The Ingathering of the Exiles.

4. Forty years later,9 the Resurrection.10

According to one view, the Resurrection will take place in the month of Nissan.11

Early Resurrection

There is an opinion that certain righteous individuals will be resurrected at the outset with the arrival of Mashiach.12 As a reward for their lifelong divine service, they will thus be privileged to participate in the universal rejoicing that will accompany his arrival, and to witness the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash.

Similarly, there is an opinion that Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon and his sons will be resurrected before Mashiach comes, so that they will be able to instruct the people as they did at the time of the Exodus.13

A related question: Can Mashiach himself be resurrected from the dead or does he have to be a man now alive?

Rambam14 describes the revelation of Mashiach as a gradual process in the course of which a righteous and learned leader of his generation will fight the wars of G‑d, become a potential Mashiach, and then go on to build the Beis HaMikdash and gather in the exiles.

However, there are indications that Mashiach could possibly be a righteous individual who has already lived and died and will then be resurrected as Mashiach.15 Discussing the personality of Mashiach, the Sages state:16 “If he is one of the living, then an example would be Rabbeinu HaKadosh [i.e., R. Yehudah HaNasi]; if he is someone from among the dead, then he is someone like Daniel.”17 Abarbanel, in his authoritative classic entitled Yeshuos Meshicho,18 clearly raises the possibility that Mashiach may be among those resurrected. He cites a passage from Tractate Derech Eretz Zuta: “Nine people entered the Garden of Eden alive ...Mashiach.” He explains that according to this view, a righteous individual deemed to be the Mashiach will live, then die on account of the sins of his generation, but will eventually be resurrected. In his encyclopedic work entitled Sdei Chemed,19 R. Chizkiyah Medini states that if Israel is exceedingly meritorious, Mashiach will be resurrected from the dead in a miraculous manner.