Q.   Do you have a passage clearly stating that Yahweh would send the Messiah to die for our sins? Isaiah 53 does not confirm this. I agree with Judaism that Isaiah is speaking about Israel, who is Yahweh’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22). You have to read Isaiah 51-53 to get the whole picture of whom Yahweh is speaking about. After reading several OT scholarly interpretations of ancient biblical Hebrew, it confirms that Isaiah is speaking of Israel as a nation (at least this is the consensus of those who understand biblical Hebrew and the analytical side of the language).

A.   To apply Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel is nonsensical! This passage is clearly speaking about a single individual that would atone for man’s sins. Below are several excerpts that confirm this passage is speaking about a person and not to a nation or collection of people:

Isaiah 53:2-3: “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. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

We see here the personal pronoun “he.” While it may be possible to apply this collectedly to a nation, it’s highly improbable that such conditions could be used to describe an entire nation. Although, considering the persecution of the Jewish people through history, especially during the Holocaust, it’s certainly possible to apply this perhaps to the majority, but not to the entirety.

Isaiah 53:5-6: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Yahweh hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

This passage cannot apply collectively to the Jewish nation. It’s not possible for a nation to be wounded for the transgressions of mankind. This must apply to a single person with the ability to atone for man’s sins.

Isaiah 53:8: “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.”

We again see the personal pronoun “he,” indicating a single individual. Also, this man was cut off from the land of the living, i.e., he died. If we apply to this the Jewish nation at large, we would need to conclude that the Jewish nation has died off. However, we know this is not the case. In His mercy, Yahweh has preserved the Jewish people and even restored them to their land.

Isaiah 53:9: “…because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.”

While we at this Ministry are slow to criticize the Jewish people and believe that they will always hold a special place with Yahweh, it would be dishonest to claim that the Jewish people have not done violence or are without deceit or sin.

Isaiah 53:11: “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”

As we saw earlier, Isaiah prophesies that this person would “bear their iniquity.” How is it possible that a nation bears the iniquity of anyone? This must refer to a single person with the position and moral authority to provide himself as a propitiation for sin.

Based on the above examination, it is far more reasonable to apply Isaiah 53 to a person and not to a nation. And the only person throughout the history of mankind who fits this description is Yahshua the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh.

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Posted in Q&A - Messiah, Q&A - Jewish - Hebrew Roots.

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Rohan

This is such an important truth and central to the faith

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