Isaiah 53 – Suffering Servant Is Israel By paulwilliamsbloggingtheologycom on August 27, 2016 • ( 11 ) Share this:ShareFacebookEmailWhatsAppTumblrTwitterLike this:Like Loading...‹ What Is God Like Tawheed or Trinity? I Dr. Shabir Ally and Jonathan McLatchiePaul: the Walking Word should have saved his breath. ›Categories: Bible, Christianity, Judaism
Do people really pay you to just repeat the same things every six months or so?
yes they do – very handsomely in bundles of cash straight from the Saudi Embassy.
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Wow! Talk about someone who shamelessly repeats the same argument over and over again no matter how many times he gets refuted and owned!
Let’s try this again. How can Isaiah 53 not be about Jesus WHEN HE IS AN ISRAELITE, AND THEREFORE A MEMBER OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL? Do we really need to go through this again? I guess we must so here goes.
The following quotation is taken from the very article that you yourself posted here for all to read: https://bloggingtheology.net/2016/06/22/who-is-gods-suffering-servant-the-rabbinic-interpretation-of-isaiah-53/
According o your favorite anti-Christain rabbi, the Messianic interpretation of Isaiah 53 is the predominant view held by most of the rabbis.
RABBINIC COMMENTARIES THAT STATE ISAIAH 53 REFERS TO THE MESSIAH
In rabbinic thought, all of God’s faithful, gentiles included (Zechariah 13:8-9), endure suffering on behalf of God (Isaiah 40:2; Zechariah 1:15). Thus, Jewish leaders of the past, such as Moses12 and Jeremiah,13) Rabbi Akiva,14 as well as future eschatological figures, SUCH AS THE MESSIAH BEN JOSEPH AND THE MESSIAH BEN DAVID, are held up in rabbinic literature as individuals who exemplify the “servant” who willingly suffers on behalf of Heaven.
Therefore, when the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98a) describes the predicament of the messiah as he is waiting to be summoned by God, the rabbis cast him as:
“sitting among other paupers, all of them afflicted with disease. Yet, while all the rest of them tie and untie their bandages all at once, the messiah changes his bandages one at a time, lest he is summoned for the redemption at a moment’s notice.”
While this story may be understood allegorically, its jarring message is clear: THE MESSIAH, like other afflicted members of Israel, ENDURES THE AGONY AND TRIALS ASSIGNED TO THE FAITHFUL. However, unlike the other suffering saints who completely remove all their bandages before patiently replacing them with a fresh dressing, the messiah must methodically replace each bandage, one at a time. In other words, the messiah does not suffer more or less than other servants of God. Rather, according to the Talmud, the messiah is different from other men of God because he must be ready at a moment’s notice to usher in the deliverance of his beleaguered people. Because he is prepared to be summoned for the redemption at all times, he is never in a predicament where his bandages are fully removed.
When Isaiah speaks of the suffering remnant of Israel, THE MESSIANIC KING IS, THEREFORE, INCLUDED. THE FINAL HEIR OF DAVID’S THRONE IS AN INTEGRAL MEMBER OF THE PIOUS OF ISRAEL. This is, according to rabbinic interpretation, the pshat, or the plain meaning of the text in Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12. Therefore, when both ancient and modern rabbinic commentators expound on the clear meaning of the text, they ascribe the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel.
In order to shed much needed light on the famed Servant Songs, numerous rabbinic commentators hold up Jewish heroes as a paradigm of Isaiah 53’s “servant.” Accordingly, while on one hand the Talmud, Zohar, and other ancient rabbinic texts state explicitly that the “servant” of Isaiah 53 refers to the faithful of corporate Jewry,16 the same sources frequently point to renowned saints of Israel as an archetype of the Suffering Servant. These virtuous individuals include saints such as Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, THE MESSIAH SON OF JOSEPH AND DAVID – each of them embodies perfect examples of God’s servant, the righteous remnant of Israel.
Bear in mind that the rabbinic commentary on Isaiah 53 is not dualistic or multilateral. Meaning, the sages of old did not suggest that Isaiah 53 refers to either the righteous remnant of Israel, Moses, Jeremiah, or an anointed leader. Rather, the servant in all four Servant Songs are the faithful descendants of Abraham. Isaiah 53 attests to an unprecedented worldwide repentance of all of mankind – a redemptive achievement accomplished by no other saint in history. THEREFORE, RABBINIC COMMENTATORS TEND TO LIFT UP THE MESSIAH’S NAME MORE FREQUENTLY THAN THE NAMES OF OTHER FAITHFUL SERVANTS OF GOD…
The Midrash, however, illuminates a most profound, yet often overlooked central theme of Isaiah 53; never before in history has any servant of God brought about the mass repentance of the gentiles. Whereas the patriarch Abraham redeemed only 70 souls in Haran, THE FUTURE SCION OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID WILL USHER IN AN UNPRECEDENTED EPOCH, where gentile kings of nations will repent, as vividly described in the fourth Servant Song. In other words, THE MESSIAH WILL BRING ABOUT AN AGE WHEN THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE OF ISAIAH 53 WILL MATERIALIZE – the worldwide repentance of the gentiles. Whereas Moses drew only a single nation from Egypt into the service of God, the messianic king will redeem the other nations as well…
Consequently, although various rabbinic literature highlights numerous Biblical saints whose lives exemplify the Suffering Servant of Israel in Isaiah 53, THE FUTURE MESSIAH IS HELD UP MORE FREQUENTLY AND PROMINENTLY THAN ANY OTHER PIOUS JEW IN THIS STARTLING CONTEXT; for the future anointed Davidic king will usher in this dramatic epoch in which the gentiles will repent, as outlined in Isaiah 53. In other words, the stunning narrative of the fourth Servant Song WILL BE MADE POSSIBLE BY THE REIGN OF THE MESSIAH, THE FOREMOST MEMBER OF GOD’S SUFFERING SERVANT, Israel. ONLY THE MESSIAH WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS GLOBAL ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FINAL REDEMPTION, WHICH NEITHER ABRAHAM, MOSES, OR JEREMIAH WERE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH. Only the messianic age will spawn worldwide repentance of the nations. Therefore, the rabbis teach,
“My servant shall be high, and lifted up, and lofty exceedingly – he will be higher than Abraham, more exalted than Moses, loftier than the angels.”17
In short, THE MESSIAH WILL IGNITE THE CONTRITION OF ISRAEL’S NEIGHBORS AS OUTLINED IN ISAIAH’S FOURTH SERVANT SONG.
With the foregoing in perspective we can now sum up the claims of the rabbi and the implications they have on the supposed prophethood of Muhammad:
1. The Messiah is included within (and in fact is the ultimate fulfillment of) Isaiah 53’s prophecy of Yahweh’s Servant suffering vicariously for the sins of others in order to bring about the redemption and healing of all the nations.
2. The rabbis upheld the Messianic interpretation of Isaiah 53 more frequently than any other interpretation.
3. Both Christianity and Islam teach that Jesus is the Messiah of God.
“So Joseph also departed from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to the City of David which is called Bethlehem, in Judea, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be taxed with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So while they were there, the day came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in strips of cloth, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And in the same area there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And then an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were very afraid. But the angel said to them, ‘Listen! Do not fear. For I bring you good news of great joy, which will be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find the Baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.’… Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, ‘Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel.’” Luke 2:7-12, 25-32
When the angels said, ‘Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God. S. 3:45 Arberry
4. The NT writings apply the prophecy of Isaiah 53 to the Lord Jesus to explain the atoning significance of his crucifixion and death.
Compare the following verses from Isaiah 53,
“Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?… Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?… Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand; he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
With the NT depiction of the earthly life, death, resurrection and heavenly ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, ‘He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.’” Matthew 8:16-17
“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” Matthew 26:26-28
“For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
“For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was reckoned with transgressors’; for what is written about me has its fulfilment.’” Luke 22:37
“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’… and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’” John 1:29, 36
“it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: ‘Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’” John 12:38
“And the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and join this chariot.’ So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless some one guides me?’ And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this: ‘As a sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before its shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth.’ And the eunuch said to Philip, ‘About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about some one else?’ Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus.” Acts 8:29-35
“so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:28
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:21-25
5. The Quran, on the other hand, denies the atoning death of the Lord Jesus.
6. The Quran, therefore, contradicts both the rabbinic and Christian understanding of the Messiah’s having to suffer vicariously in order to bring about the perfect fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 53.
7. As such, the Quran cannot be the word of God and Muhammad could not have been a true prophet of God.
In other words, Williams has no choice but to accept that, according to the very rabbi that he appealed to in order to undermine the Christian exegesis of Isaiah 53, Muhammad stands condemned as a false prophet and an antichrist for denying the atoning and salvific death of the Messiah as announced beforehand by God’s true prophet Isaiah!
BAM, BAM AND BAM!
Hopefully this will teach you to be honest and consistent.
with that logic there are thousands of Jews living today that suffured through life that qualify for the “messiahship”. you don’t have to go fech a failed messiah from 2000 years ago. that is neither a direct decendant of Joseph nor David…
Mozer I know it’s hard for you to think critically due to the effects of reading the words of your rabbis, but’s let try this again . ACCORDING TO YOUR VIEW Isaiah 53 refers to the ENTIRE NATION OF ISRAEL. THEREFORE since Jesus is an ISRAELITE this means that the prophecy APPLIES TO HIM AS WELL. There is nothing you can go about that and your straw man argument does nothing to refute this fact.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, the Quran testifies that Jesus is the Messiah, whether you like it or not, and even condemns you unbelieving Jews for slandering his blessed mother and boasting about murdering Jesus. See Quran 4:155-159. THEREFORE, since Williams believes this he must join me in refuting and exposing you and accept the fact that, if your rabbis are right about Isaiah 53 being a prophecy about the Messiah, then Jesus perfectly fulfills this prophecy.
Now Mozer are you saying Muhammad was a false prophet for believing Jesus is the Messiah?
i actually think that jesus is the only jew that cannot be described as undesired… he’s the most desired Jew in history… which person in the world would be shocked if he’s the messsiah???? he has the greatest fanclub ever??? i think the jews that were slaughtered in his name fit the undesired thing better than he does… I’m not a muslim so Mohammad is not my turf.
BTW you starting to sound like Luther… and like him you’ll fail to convince jews away from God to worship a mere man…
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Sam that is a VERY weak argument. Isaiah 53 refers to the Jews living in exile in Babylon 539 BC but Jesus lived centuries later in Palestine, so obviously he is not of their number.
By your bizarre logic even todays Jews in the state of Israel would be included with Jesus in Isaiah 53!
Sam you really need to up the intellectual calibre of your responses. I almost feel embarrassed for you.
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The New Testament does not teach Christian to go out and kill people especially Jews, in the name of Christ! Sadly, Christians historically have committed atrocities against the Jewish people and they will have to answer for that my friend! You would probably be interested to know that there are a lot of things Jesus taught that Christans have managed to muck up and distort that are so foreign from the clear biblical teaching your head would spin in confusement and shock!
Any Christian who could hate or harbor resentment toward the Jews is by all accounts a complete tool! I realize that doesn’t undue the injustices that have been done in the name of Christ, but just know that you may be surprised that many of us Christian have a special affection for the Jewish people, especially us Unitarians.
Take care/ stay blessed
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i’m actually not surprised at all. i’ve met a lot of nice christians all over the place.
I think [hope] most people are nice and accepting. every now and then, you bump into a lunatic…
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Isaiah 53 was originally about the nation of Israel, that is the dominant reading, but the meanings differ depending on the English translation, holding unto some minor rabbinic opinions that Isaiah 53 refers to the Messiah is not scholarly. Those particular rabbis suggested Isaiah 53 is about both Israel and the Messiah, the problem is the vast majority of Jews rejected the concept of a suffering Messiah. For them a crucified Messiah was a contradiction in terms, if the Messiah was killed (or crucified, incurring God’s curse, Deut. 21:23) then he cannot be the Messiah. The Quran saves Jesus from false Messiahship and accursed death by denying his death on the cross, as God has no reasons to raise an ACCURSED person from the dead. How could God dishonor and disgrace Jesus before honoring him? How could God humiliate His own prophet before honoring him? The resurrection itself is very problematic:
The MAJORITY view is that Isaiah 53 is about Israel, only a MINORITY said it includes the Messiah too, whom the Jews believed would suffer persecution (not for atonement) as a Human Being. The reason why those rabbis identified Isaiah 53 as being inclusive to the Messiah was because they didn’t believe the Messiah to be invincible, he would suffer (not redemptively or making atonement) like any other prophet because he’s a human being. But they rejected the concept of a killed (or crucified) Messiah, he could suffer BUT NOT DIE because God always protects him. That is what those rabbis meant, it was minority opinion, they DID NOT believe the Messiah would die for humanity’s sins, likewise the AUTHENTIC meaning of Isaiah 53:5 (as found in the Hebrew manuscripts of the Tanakh or the Jewish reading) is not “…for our sins” but rather “BECAUSE of our sins”
But he was wounded because of our transgressions, He was crushed BECAUSE of our iniquities: The chastisement of our welfare was upon him, And with his stripes we were healed. (JPS Tanakh 1917, Bible Hub site)
But He was pierced BECAUSE of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds. (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
He was wounded BECAUSE of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. (NET BIBLE)
The original reading was “wounded because of our transgressions” and Christians changed the reading to “FOR our transgressions” to support the vicarious atonement doctrine. The Jews only believed in lamb sacrifices (only purging Unintentional sins), not HUMAN pagan sacrifices, which embodied Christianity, corrupted by pagan concepts and practices.
Rabbi Tovia Singer also explains in this video how “They” (Israel) was changed to “He” to make it support the Christian views:
IT IS CLEAR from the context that the Servant mentioned in Isaiah 53 is Israel (chapters 40-53)
The Jewish scholars have EXPOSED the Christian mistranslation:
(5) He was wounded as a result of our transgressions, and crushed as a result of our iniquities. The chastisement upon him was for our benefit; and through his wounds we were healed.
This verse describes how the humbled world leaders confess that Jewish suffering occurred as a direct result of “our iniquities” – i.e., depraved Jew-hatred, rather than, as previously claimed, the stubborn blindness of the Jews.
Isaiah 53:5 is a classic example of mistranslation: The verse does not say, “He was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities,” which could convey the vicarious suffering ascribed to Jesus. Rather, the proper translation is: “He was wounded because of our transgressions, and crushed because of our iniquities.” This conveys that the Servant suffered as a result of the sinfulness of others – not the opposite as Christians contend – that the Servant suffered to atone for the sins of others.
Indeed, the Christian idea directly contradicts the basic Jewish teaching that God promises forgiveness to all who sincerely return to Him; thus there is no need for the Messiah to atone for others (Isaiah 55:6-7, Jeremiah 36:3, Ezekiel chapters 18 and 33, Hoseah 14:1-3, Jonah 3:6-10, Proverbs 16:6, Daniel 4:27, 2-Chronicles 7:14)
The Messiah is only included because he would suffer GENERALLY as any other prophet (or righteous servant) because of the Gentiles, it has nothing to do with Israel (or the Messiah) suffering or dying as blood sacrifice and atonement for people’s sins. The Jews view the Christian concept of Jesus’ as a blood atoning sacrifice as a PAGAN human sacrifice. Yes, the Messiah can humanly suffer (just as Israel suffered because of the Gentiles) but he cannot BE CRUCIFIED and hanged ACCURSED under God (Deut. 21:23). The atoning messiah is unknown to Judaism, they didn’t expect the Messiah to suffer and DIE for their sins, let alone mankind (innovated by John 1:29). Most said he would be Warrior King, others said a spiritual teacher, nobody said the Messiah would be a SIN-SACRIFICE, which Gentile Christians invented. A crucified (or murdered) Messiah is a contradiction in terms, the later Christians redressed the cross in the clothes of atonement, but the Jews rejected Jesus because of his crucifixion. The Quran has the True Jesus, a prophet and SAVED Messiah (4:157). Christians had to dishonor Jesus before honoring him, Paul shockingly admitted Jesus became a curse (Gal. 3:13) and forged a connection between Deut 21:23 and Deut. 27:26 that had no previous connection. Let us keep in mind that God forgives based on MERCY AND JUSTICE (Prov. 16:6, Hos. 6:6, Mic. 7:18, Ez. 33:11), not human blood sacrifice. That is completely pagan.
1. The Messiah would suffer BECAUSE of the Gentiles
2. The Messiah would not die for anyone’s sins, otherwise the Jews would’ve accepted Jesus instead of taunting and attacking him. They would’ve celebrated his death as salvation from their own sins,
3. The Majority View is that Isaiah 53 is about Israel
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