Rabbi Akiba was a famous Jewish rabbi of the 2nd century AD, a great authority in the matter of Jewish tradition who systematized the traditions that later became the Mishnah. After Emperor Hadrian's decree banning Jews from Jerusalem, he proclaimed Simon bar-Kokhba as Messiah, saying, "This is the king Messiah!" Bar Kokhba's revolt in 135 AD failed, and Akiba who was flayed alive by the Romans as punishment. Many Jews considered him a martyr.
- y. Taʿan. 4:8/27; parallel at Lam. Rab. 2:2 §4:
R. Shimon b. Yohai taught, “My teacher Akiba used to expound, A star [ ]כוכבgoes out from Jacob [Num 24:17], ‘Koziba [ ]כוזבאgoes out from Jacob.’” When R. Akiba saw Bar Koziba, he said, “This is the king messiah.” (דין הוא מלכא משיחא) R. Yohanan b. Torta said to him, “Akiba, grass will come up between your cheeks and still the son of David will not have come.”
- Nuttall Encyclopedia of General Knowledge, article on Akiba, Ben Joseph originally published in 1907 written by Reverend James Wood