How can the sin-bearer and the sinner be the same? Even if some parts of the book are true representations of the words of Isaiah, certainly major parts of the book are not. In 1922, the late David Baron, a British Jewish believer in Yeshua who was well-versed in rabbinics, wrote in the preface to his exposition of Isaiah chapter 53: …it is beyond even the wildest credulity to believe that the resemblance in every feature and minutest detail between this prophetic portaiture drawn centuries before his [Jesus'] advent and the story of his life, and death, and glorious resurrection as narrated in the gospels, can be mere accident or fortuitous coincidence.6. This can only be uncovered by looking back at the preceding ch… After all, the services from which it is omitted are not for Christian ears. This is incontrovertible evidence that Isaiah 53 was written before the time of Jesus. It is prophecy about the purpose of Messiah’s coming into the world. In Isaiah 53:3, the prophet said that the Messiah would be rejected and despised. grew up in Nazareth, a city with a very (, while on the cross, was mocked, blasphemed and reviled, even by those who were crucified with him (, would bear our sins and suffer in our place (, "…himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." Our righteous anointed is departed from us: horror hath seized us, and we have none to justify us. Is it truly evident that the Messiah has not come? That unfamiliarity in part stems from the fact that Isaiah 53 does not appear in the regular synagogue calendar readings. Most were unfamiliar with the passage and were asked to read it before answering. Luke 22:28 reminds us that Jesus was familiar with suffering, as Isaiah 53:3 noted. Why is the omission so striking? Is the Isaiah 53 you read in the Jewish Bible or Christian? Even the reasons for omitting it point to the uniqueness of this passage. Look it up for yourself! The Musaf (additional) Service for the Day of Atonement, Philips Machzor (20th c.)7. The Bible addresses all of these concerns – and others as well. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. The answer to this question is simple as well: the messiah is never mentioned in Isaiah 53. Scientific consensus, arrived at by analysis of the scroll itself, plus paleographic and scribal dating studies, place the scroll at 150-100 B.C. The last 26 chapters are thought to have been written by Isaiah in his later years. and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? This verse presents some difficulty to those who interpret this passage as referring to Israel. There is really no consensus based on personal knowledge of the passage. EU residents: Sorry but we can't take your info on this site. We ask hard questions about faith and the issues facing our Jewish people today. Isaiah 53 is not an isolated chapter and must be read in context to understand its true meaning. He hath no form nor comeliness. Because contrary to what those surveyed felt, many people have looked into the questions this passage poses and have found that the answers are extremely relevant to their own lives. The book was written in fluid format and therefore, must be read as a whole. For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (, did not defend himself to Herod, Pontius Pilate or the Sanhedrin (, was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man (, would not remain dead, but see his seed, prolong his days andbe exalted (, rose from the dead three days after the crucifixion and still lives today and millions of people see themselves as his spiritual seed (. Isaiah prophesized the coming of the Messiah Jesus Christ. 14, p. 1187, 6. And then, a completely different view was presented. Most scholars agree that the prophet Isaiah likely only wrote a portion of the book, but recent scholarship also argues that even the portions he didn’t physically write originated with him in some form. His coming had been preceded by hundreds of years of prophecies. It was written by Isaiah who was a prophet from 619-533 B.C.E. If this is so, then yes, it is impossible for Jesus to be the subject of Isaiah 53 (assuming that the subject of Isaiah 53 is the Messiah). “Behold, my servant shall prosper…” The term “servant” is supposed to connect back to sections earlier in the book that speak of “the Servant of the Lord” (for example, in chapters 42, 49 and 50, where the Messiah is described as a servant that suffers). The problem is not what Christians think of the passage. EU contact options ›. This had already been suggested by 12th century Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra, who pointed out that the prophesies in chapters 40 to 66, and in chapters 34 and 35, were written in a language very different from the rest of the book, and make no mention of Isaiah in them. "4, Yet to this day, many rabbis persist in citing Rashi as the definitive word on how to interpret the servant of the Lord in Isaiah 53. Rabbi Moshe Kohen Iben Crispin of Cordova, who lived in the fourteenth century, said of the Israel as servant interpretation, it "distorts the passage from its natural meaning" and that Isaiah 53 "was given of God as a description of the Messiah, whereby, when any should claim to be the Messiah, to judge by the resemblance or non-resemblance to it whether he were the Messiah or not. These are the issues we seek to probe, from within Jewish tradition and through the record of the New Testament. All of these inconsistencies troubled many rabbis and they expressed their opinions of Rashi's view in no uncertain terms. The Bible’s message of the Creator’s continuing relationship with humanity is no less relevant today than it was thousands of years ago. Because contrary to what those surveyed felt, many people have looked into the questions this passage poses and have found that the answers are extremely relevant to their own lives. If verse 8 refers to Israel, then are we to read that Israel is stricken for Israel because of Israel's sin? This portion of Scripture is highly controversial. Messianic Jewish talmudist, Rachmiel Frydland, recounts those early views:3. Clearly, there is no conspiracy to hide Isaiah 53. For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, … "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it … Isaiah 53 is a well-known passage of Scripture to the avid student of the Bible. The passage can also be found in, e.g., the 1937 edition. Baron, David, The Servant of Jehovah c. 2000, Jerusalem: Israel Keren Ahvah Meshihit, p. 13, 5. 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. They hide the plain and obvious meaning of Isaiah 53 by reading it out of context and by misinterpreting important words to fit Jesus into the chapter. Bible passage: Isaiah 53:4-6 Prophet: Isaiah Written: Between 701-681 BC. What do I think? Actually, it’s in both. As you go through the proposed list of people this passage describes, ask yourself: which one was totally blameless throughout his life? Opening it to the passage in question, she made two astounding discoveries. Baron, The Servant of Jehovah c. 2000, p. viii. But most people are not avid Bible students and have not read this controversial passage. Because when we finish the cycle of readings for the year, we haven't really finished it. © Copyright 2020 - Chosen People Ministries. The 53 rd Chapter of Isaiah, written 700 years before the birth of Jesus describes in great detail the ministry of Jesus and his rejection by the nation of Israel. Bible passage: Isaiah 53:1-3 Prophet: Isaiah Written: Between 701-681 BC. The early sages expected a personal Messiah to fulfill the Isaiah prophecy. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Ask yourself, if you have the courage to believe it. For example, one Jewish scholar, Claude Montefiore, explained: "Because of the christological interpretation given to the chapter by Christians it is omitted from the series of prophetical lessons for the Deuteronomy Sabbaths…the omission is deliberate and striking."2. Others admit the weakness of this view and say that the passage applies to an individual. A. Th. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. There are numerous challenges in the Book of Isaiah that lead scholars to speculate about which parts were written by Isaiah himself, and what else was added and by whom. First, the passage really did sound like it was describing Jesus. Isaiah 53 begins with a reference to an unidentified group, denoted by the question, “who has believed our message”. And who can speak of his descendants? The Jewish Bible is composed of the Torah (Law), Nevi’im (Prophets) and the Ketuv’im (Writings). Within two weeks, she acknowledged that Jesus fit the description of the suffering servant. He called his insurance company from the hospital, but they refused to cover his injury. In the original text there were no chapters and breaks. The book is about two basic questions. Isaiah 53:2. The omission is striking because of what Montefiore does not quite say. This view was popularized by Jewish commentator Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Itzchaki), who lived one thousand years after Jesus. See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. The description of the “Righteous” Servant rejected by the nation begins in … Also, Driver and Neubauer, p.399. A recent informal survey illustrates this point.1 One hundred Jews on the streets of Tel Aviv were asked, Who do you think the 53rd chapter of Isaiah describes?" For what they were not told, they will see, and what they had not heard, they will understand. Yet many people who read them today find that the words seem to jump off the page. The Aramaic translation of this chapter, ascribed to Rabbi Jonathan ben Uzziel, a disciple of Hillel who lived early in the second century c.e., begins with the simple and worthy words: Behold my servant Messiah shall prosper; he shall be high, and increase, and be exceeding strong: as the house of Israel looked to him through many days, because their countenance was darkened among the peoples, and their complexion beyond the sons of men (Targum Jonathan on Isaiah 53, ad locum). ", When challenged to read Isaiah 53, Leah found her dad's old, faded Tanakh. It was a convincing passage, indeed, and even her father had not been able to dismiss it. Likewise, it is impossible to say that "for the transgression of my people he was stricken" since "my people" clearly means the Jewish people. The Rabbis said: His name is "the leper scholar," as it is written, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted." Isaiah's calling as a prophet was primarily to the nation of Judah (the southern kingdom) and to Jerusalem, urging the people to repent from their sins and return to God. Isaiah 53:10 Hebrew though you make; Isaiah 53:11 Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text does not have the light of life. 53 Who hath believed our report? Author: Isaiah 1:1 identifies the author of the book of Isaiah as the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 53 Lyrics: Isaiah 53 / Words and music by Ray Boltz and Steve Millikan / All we like sheep have gone astray / We've turned everyone to his own way / And God laid all our iniquity on Him He hath borne the yoke of our iniquities, and our transgression, and is wounded because of our transgression. This page is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi) Some claim that Isaiah 53 doesn’t point to the future Messiah.They base their assumption on the fact that Isaiah wrote chapter 53 in the past tense. Purpose of Writing: The Prophet Isaiah was primarily called to prophesy to the Kingdom of Judah. And you would probably find that a large percentage of them found this passage extremely influential in their thinking. One of the most important archeological discoveries of all time is the Dead Sea Scrolls, which includes an almost intact scroll of the book of Isaiah. All of these come and rest upon Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Raise him up from Seir, to assemble us the second time on Mount Lebanon, by the hand of Yinnon. If nothing else, the chapter is packed with incredible drama, heroics and pathos. All seemed to think that whomever it referred to, it wouldn't make much difference in their daily lives. The Zohar, in its interpretation of Isaiah 53, points to the Messiah as well: There is in the Garden of Eden a palace named the Palace of the Sons of Sickness. Which one died for the sins of others? O bring him up from the circle of the earth. If it is because of the traditional belief that the coming of the Messiah will bring the “world to come,” then again, yes, it is impossible for Jesus to be the Messiah. He was believed to have written chapters 1-39 in The Book of Isaiah with the balance of the book authored by several other prophets. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. The objections these rabbis put forth to Rashi's view were threefold: First, they showed the consensus of ancient opinion. Date of Writing: The book of Isaiah was written between 739 and 681 B.C. For example, "He was despised and rejected…he was pierced for our transgressions…he was led like a lamb to the slaughter," and so on. If you open its pages, you might be surprised how contemporary an ancient text can be. Sign up for our monthly updates and special announcements. Rabbinic Anthology, C.G. Some of the first written interpretations or targums (ancient paraphrases on biblical texts) see this passage as referring to an individual servant, the Messiah, who would suffer. Third, they noted verse 8 of chapter 53. Actually, it’s in both. Some rabbis, such as Ibn Ezra and Kimchi, agreed. This palace the Messiah enters, and He summons every pain and every chastisement of Israel. But what if the role of the Messiah includes that of Suffering Servant? I like Mr. Neto’s answer. Some repeated what they had heard from Jews more religious than themselves: that it referred to the Jewish people or perhaps even the gentile nations. I loved him more than anyone else in this world—I can't do it. When faced with the question, Was Jesus who he claimed to be? Some Biblical scholars do not believe that Isaiah wrote the entire book bearing his … Judah was going through times of revival and times of rebellion. By oppression and judgment, he was taken away. If you don't see an email from us in the next few weeks, please check your spam or junk folder in your email account to make sure our messages have not been filtered. God promises that Israel will live forever: Only if these decrees [the sun to shine by day, the moon and stars to shine by night, etc.] As you will see armed with only a Bible and Rabbi Tovia Singer’s two-part audio program and written teachings on this chapter, originally this passage had nothing to do with a future messiah. Undoubtedly, this is a hint at the speaker of the passage, and so before we go any further, we need to determine who is “our”. But many people find a personal challenge in these words that is interwoven with the questions: who is this person and what in the world was he doing? Then ask yourself again, why is this passage omitted from the regular synagogue readings? It is not simply because of the Christian interpretation that the Isaiah passage is omitted. They are for Jews. The chart below offers more striking evidence about how Yeshua, and only Yeshua, could fulfill this very important part of the Jewish Scriptures. But what if he is? 1 Who hath a believed our report? (, voluntarily took our punishment upon himself (, said, "I am the good shepherd. 1. If so, what are the implications of this for Jewish people and others? 2. They usually cite the prophet Isaiah himself, King Cyrus, King Hezekiah, Josiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Moses, Job or even some anonymous contemporaries of Isaiah as the one spoken of by the prophet.5. Just as there were m… And had He not thus lightened them upon Himself, there had been no man able to bear Israel's chastisements for the trangression of the law; as it is written, "Surely our sicknesses he has carried." We've left out a portion from our own prophets, ostensibly because of what Christians think about it. This content was adapted from an earlier Jews for Jesus article. Key words: Isaiah 53 Suffering, servant, sorrows, despised, rejected SUFFERING SAVIOR CHAPTER ISAIAH 53:1-12 Isaiah 53 is HIStory – His Story - the story of the Messiah’s sufferings pre-written. It reads: By oppression and judgment, he was taken away. vanish from my sight," declares the Lord, "will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me. If there is a conspiracy, it is by missionaries. If you are willing to explore this "obscure" passage, here it is: Those words were written over 2700 years ago. But Israel is not unique when it comes to the Jewish response to Isaiah 53. When she understood that Yeshua is the Jewish way to say Jesus, it dawned on her. Chapter 53. A man went on a ski trip and was knocked unconscious by the chairlift. Frydland, Rachmiel, ISSUES: A Messianic Jewish Perspective, Vol. Jewish followers in Yeshua (Jesus) have come to believe in him after studying this very passage? 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