Wandering Jew

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The Wandering Jew is a figure from medieval Christian folklore whose legend began to spread in Europe in the 13th century. The original legend concerns a Jew who taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion and was then cursed to walk the earth until the Second Coming. The exact nature of the wanderer's indiscretion varies in different versions of the tale, as do aspects of his character; sometimes he is said to be a shoemaker or other tradesman, sometimes he is the doorman at Pontius Pilate's estate.

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Origin of the legend

The origins of the legend are debatable; perhaps one element is the story in Genesis of Cain, who is issued with a similar punishment — to wander over the earth, never reaping a harvest again, but scavenging. According to some sources, the legend stems from Jesus's words given in Matthew 16:28:

A belief that the disciple whom Jesus loved would not die before the Second Coming was apparently popular enough in the early Christian world to be denounced in the Gospel of John:

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