Isaiah 53: Examined verse by verse

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<quote> Let's now examine this important prophecy verse by verse. I will compare the verses to many parallel prophecies in the Tenach and some examples of historical fulfillment. The main text here is from the KJV, with notes from the Darby and KJV between "(" and ")". My notes on the Hebrew language are between "{" and "}". When we look at the first verse we can see clearly that G-d is the one talking:

<quote> 52:13

<quote> Is. 52:13: Behold, my servant shall deal prudently (KJV: alt. shall prosper), {Heb: be successful or be wise} he shall be exalted and extolled (D: be lifted up) {alt: raised up}, and be very high.

<quote> In verse 52:13 and again in 53:11 the subject is called 'my servant'. Who is called 'my servant'? Who does Isaiah call the servant of G-d? Let us look at Isaiah 41:8-9: "But you, ISRAEL, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the SEED of Abraham My friend. Whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and from the nobles I called you, and I said to you, 'You are my servant', I chose you and I did not despise you." It is clear from this: ISRAEL IS THE SERVANT OF G-D!

In the quote from Isaiah 41:8,9 the servant is Israel. But that does not mean that the Servant in Isaiah 53 is also Israel. For we have showed above that there are many other texts about the Servant, where He is the Messiah. To conclude from one place, that the servant is Israel in another place, is unfounded.

<quote> This is repeated many times in Isaiah: Isaiah 44:1 "Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: 2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, [which] will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen."

Though the servant is Israel here, that does not make him Israel in Isaiah 53. Repeatedly Shulman falls in this same error. 

<quote> Isaiah 44:21 "Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou [art] my servant: I have formed thee; thou [art] my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me."

Also here the servant is Israel. But that does not mean that the Servant in Isaiah 53 is Israel also. Again the writer falls in this error. 

<quote> Isaiah 45:4 "For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me."

Also here the servant is Israel. When Shulman is going through the chapters of Isaiah, looking up servants, he wisely skips Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. Here the servant is the Messiah because of the context. This is explained above.

<quote> Isaiah 48:20 "Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it [even] to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob."

Also here the servant is Israel. This does not make the Servant in Isaiah 53 Israel. 

<quote> Isaiah 49:3 "And said unto me, Thou [art] my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified."

No, here the servant is the Messiah. This appears from the context, in particular from verse 5 and 6. See the explanation above

<quote> Not just here, but throughout the Tenach 'my servant' is commonly used for Israel. It is well known, in scholarly circles, that this passage Isaiah 53, is called the fourth of the servant songs. Each of which is about Israel and G-d's relationship to her.

He says that 'my servant" is commonly used for Israel. Note that it is not everywhere used for Israel, but in certain places of the Tanach. Though 'my servant' is in some places used for Israel, this does not mean that "my servant" in Isaiah 53 is also used for Israel.

When Isaiah 53 is called the fourth of the servant songs, then that does nothing say about who this servant is. Let's not rely on names such as "fourth of the servant songs". People are too inclined to press the Scriptures in the form they wish or have invented. Only the text of Isaiah 53 is decisive. Isaiah 53 will explain who the servant is.

<quote> One of the main objections to saying that the servant is Israël is that the passage is in the SINGULAR and not the plural. How can it refer to Israel in the singular?

All other texts, where the servant of the Lord means Israel, are also in the singular and not in the plural. So, this objection is not of much importance. 

<quote> (Actually, as we shall see, verses 8 and 9 have plural references so this is not such a strong question, but let us examine it anyway).

The writer says that verses 8 and 9 have plural references. We will look what how much true of this statement.

Verse 9 goes this way: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his deaths (bemotav). In his deaths is a Hebrew way of speaking and means in His violent death or something like that. That the word death is plural says nothing about the servant. For even though the plural death is used, the reference remains singular: his. There is no reference to a subject, or to a servant, in the plural form. That would be, in their deaths, bemotehem.

Let's now look to verse 8. There you read: for the transgression of my people was the plague on him (lamo). Literally this is, for the transgression of my people was the plague on them. This is the only plural reference to a subject. The question is, who are the "them", on whom the plague was? This cannot be answered well. The servant is referred to in the singular throughout the chapter, so who is this plural subject? Maybe it is the servant, but referred to in the plural form. Another explanation is that the form lamo can also stand for the singular lo, on him. This appears from the use of this form in other verses. Lamo is also found in Isaiah 44:15. Its explanation as plural would be extremely forced. Even then there would remain paneimo and kapeimo, Job 27:23, as well as 'aleimo, three times, Job 20:23, 27:23 (beside 'alaiw), and especially Job 22:2. In all these places the most extreme exegetical artifices can only be avoided by simply admitting a singular suffix. See Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, second English edition page 302 note 3.

<quote> To answer this we need only look at Is. 43:10: "You are my WITNESSES (plural) says the L-rd, and My SERVANT (singular) whom I have chosen..." Here we see that Isaiah refers to the witnesses, Israel, both in the singular and the plural IN THE SAME VERSE. In the passage just prior to Is. 53 (52:1-2) and just after Is. 53 (54:1) Israel is also referred to in the singular. I have previously mentioned a number of verses where Israel is referred to as G-d's servant, and they are ALL in the singular. The truth is that throughout the Tenach Israel is referred to more often in the singular than the plural. The TEN COMMANDMENTS themselves, were spoken to Israel in the singular!!! This objection is no problem at all!! In fact, the question shows an ignorance of the language used in the Tenach where Israel as a whole are continually referred to in the singular.

<quote> With regards to the prosperity and exaltation of the Jewish people in the Messianic times we need only look into the Tenach which is filled with prophecies on that subject. Just look at the following prophecies: Isaiah 48:15 "I, [even] I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous." Jeremiah 30:10 "Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make [him] afraid." Jeremiah 46:27 "But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make [him] afraid. 28 Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I [am] with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished." The exalted nature of Israel in the Messianic age is one of the clear messages of the Tenach.

From the above quoted prophecies appears that the way of Israel will be made prosperous, that Israel will be saved, shall return, shall be in rest and be quiet. God will not make a full end of Israel, but will correct it in measure and leave it not wholly unpunished. To conclude from this, as the writer does, that "the exalted nature of Israel in the Messianic age is one of the clear messages of the Tenach", that's a bit too much. The only thing the quoted prophecies say is, the way of Israel will be made prosperous. The writer overlooks that God will not make a full end of Israel, but correct it in measure and leave it not wholly unpunished. From the prosperous ways of Israel cannot be concluded that the Servant in Isaiah 53 is Israel. This Servant is exalted and would be very high. "Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high." (Isaiah 52:13) This is something else then having prosperous ways, as Israel has. The exaltation of Israel is not seen yet. Currently it is not very high. So this prophecy is not fulfilled in Israel. In the mean time Jesus has been highly exalted. Read now how highly He has been exalted.

Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus, being highly exalted, and having a name which is above every other name, has fulfilled this prophecy of Isaiah 52:13. He is so high that He sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven. 

<quote> 52:14

<quote> Isaiah 52:14: As many were astonied (D: were astonished) {alt: wondered} at thee {you}; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men (D: children of men):

<quote> Can this verse be said to apply to Israel? Unfortunately from history we have seen that it is true. Those who have hated Jews have always referred to them as if they were not human. The Evan Ezra points out that in Edom (Europe) and Ishmael (the Arab lands) many of the gentiles considered the features of Jews different from all other humans. In Der Struermer from Dec. 29, 1942 we read "The scholar Darwin said, in 1859, that man is descended from the ape. Whether this is correct or not, we do not wish to decide. Perhaps the reader will take the trouble to compare the features of the ape from the New York Zoo and the face of the Jewish old-clothes dealer from the New York ghetto and draw his own conclusions." The Nazis considered the Jews vermin to be exterminated. (The use of gas was compared to exterminating vermin) As Isaiah says here the nations wondered about Israel: "How marred his appearance from that of man, and his features from that of people." Isn't the prophet reminding us of that? The Islamic Jihad put out a pamphlet in Oct. 1988 that stated the Jews were 'the brothers of monkeys.' Arafat on Jan 30, 1992 called Jew, 'The dogs. Filth and Dirt.' Yes, this verse testifies about the righteous of Israel: "How marred his appearance from man and his features from that of people." In every generation anti-semites picture Jews in a sub-human form.

Unfortunately enough these things are true. Jews are treated that way. But it should be added that not only the Jews are ill-treated. Also Christians are persecuted, according to the testimonies in histories of the martyrs. And also Jesus was misjudged, despised, persecuted, ridiculed, derided, and so on. Just picking out the Jews, and say that this prophecy is fulfilled in them, is no proof.

But there is a stronger reason why this prophecy is not fulfilled in the Jews. Isaiah says not that the men said that his visage was so marred more then any man, but that is actually was so. I don't think the Jews will admit that their visages were actually marred more then any man. That enemies are just saying so, does not count. Were their visages actually marred more then any man, or not? That's what counts. Their visages weren't. Therefore this prophecy is not fulfilled in them. 

How much of this verse did Shulman explain? The prophecy said:

Many were astonied at the servant

The writer didn't give any fulfillment.

His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men

The writer didn't give any fulfillment.

<quote> 52:15

<quote> Isaiah 52:15: So shall he sprinkle (D: astonish) {alt: cast down, see Isaiah 63:3} many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for [that] which had not been told them shall they see; and [that] which they had not heard shall they consider.

The King James Version translated: so shall he sprinkle many nations. Another translation has: so shall he astonish many nations. Yet another alternative is, so shall he cast down many nations. You see that there is difference enough in the translations. We choose for, so shall he sprinkle many nations. The Hebrew has: Ken yazeh goyim rabim. The word yazah is the Hiphil imperfectum of the verb nazah. What does it mean that the Servant will sprinkle many nations? To know that, study of the use of this word in the Scriptures is necessary. Here follow some verses that use the verb "to sprinkle", nazah in the Hiphil.

And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them, that he that sprinkleth the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean until even. (Numbers 19:21) This is about the unclean person, who becomes clean again after the sprinkling.

And thou shalt take of the blood that [is] upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle [it] upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him. (Exodus 29:21)

And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the sanctuary. (Leviticus 4:6)

And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall be wrung out at the bottom of the altar: it [is] a sin offering. (Leviticus 5:9)

And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them. (Leviticus 8:11)

And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which [was] upon the altar, and sprinkled [it] upon Aaron, [and] upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons' garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, [and] his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him. (Leviticus 8:30)

And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field. (Leviticus 14:7) This is about the purification of a leper.

And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle [it] with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. (Leviticus 16:14)

Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that [is] for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: (Leviticus 16:15)

And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. (Leviticus 16:19)

And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and [so] make themselves clean. (Numbers 8:7) This is about the purifying of the Levites.

And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip [it] in the water, and sprinkle [it] upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave. (Numbers 19:18) It's about purifying of somebody who was unclean.

And the clean [person] shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even. (Numbers 19:19) Purifying of the unclean person.

And the priest shall dip his finger [in some] of the blood, and sprinkle [it] seven times before the LORD, [even] before the vail. (Leviticus 4:17)

And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that [is] in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD: (Leviticus 14:16)

And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger [some] of the oil that [is] in his left hand seven times before the LORD: (Leviticus 14:27)

And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times. (Leviticus 14:51) It's about purifying a house from leprosy.

And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times. (Numbers 19:4)

In all these texts it is a priest who sprinkles. The sprinkling is used to purify an unclean person. It is used in the service of offerings for the reconciliation of sins. It is a special priestly activity, that sprinkling. So, the Servant of the LORD will be a priest, who busies himself with purifying the nations from their sins. This is the real meaning of "so shall he sprinkle many nations". The priests sprinkled in the service of offering. Likewise will also the Servant of the LORD through offering purify the nations.

The writer has not dealt with this point. Of course he did not, for it is never heard that Israel has sprinkled the nations. Israel never has purified the gentiles.

<quote> The gentiles never even considered it would be possible for Israel to be redeemed from their exile. I mentioned the verses of Micah 7:14-15 with regards to the kings reactions above. Consider Jeremiah 16:19-20: "O Lord, my strength and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction. The NATIONS shall come to you from the ends of the earth and shall say, 'SURELY OUR FATHERS HAVE INHERITED LIES, VANITY, AND THINGS WHEREIN THERE IS NO BENEFIT. Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?"

The verse of Jeremiah is about the coming of the gentiles to God; not to Israel. Therefore it is not clear what this verse has to do with Isaiah 53. The argument of Shulman is unclear. Anyway, it is invalid.

<quote> Isaiah 66:8 "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? [or] shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

This verse is not at all about astonishment of the gentiles. It contains the words of the prophet to the Jewish people. No gentiles are referred to in it. Shulman takes a verse out its context. 

When Israel will be gathered from the exile the NATIONS will come to recognize that for all these years THEY have made a mistake. All of what they have been taught was only LIES.

"Which had not been told them shall they see; and [that] which they had not heard shall they consider." That's what the text says. The examples of Shulman are about gentiles who refused to believe the things that were told them. But Isaiah 52:15 dealt with gentiles who will see and consider something that was never before told them. It is refusal against obedience. Shulman speaks about things that the gentiles did know, but believed not; Isaiah speaks about things that the gentiles did not know, but did believe. It is belief against disbelief. The explanation of Shulman is not valid.

Conclusion of 52:15. Shulman has given no example that Israel fulfills this verse.

<quote> This ends the words of G-d about Israel and how the nations will react when the Messianic age comes. The next verse goes to the plural and the NATIONS start to speak and give witness of their reactions to the coming Messianic age and the end of the exile of the Jewish people.

Not the nations start to speak, but the prophet and his fellow laborers. It is the prophecy of Isaiah, and therefore we should interpret these words as words of him. Nothing indicates that the nations start to speak. That the nations should give witness of their reactions is stated without proof.

<quote> 53:1

<quote> Isaiah 53:1: Who hath believed our report? (KJV: Heb. hearing) and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? (D: been revealed)

The prophet Isaiah and his colleagues say together: who has believed our report? That means, there is nearly none that has listened to us. What we told, have they rejected.

<quote> Now, what does it mean the 'arm of the Lord'? The 'arm of the Lord' refers to when G-d shows his power to redeem Israel from physical troubles and exile.

This is said too much. Leave that "to redeem Israel from physical troubles and exile" off. Then remains: "God shows His power". This is the meaning of "the arm of the Lord". God shows His power, regardless of Israel, or of redemption, or of enemies. And when it does mean a certain redemption, then that appears from the context. 

<quote> Exodus 14:31 "And Israel saw that great work {heb. great hand} which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses."

This proves my saying. God did it upon the Egyptians. So, when the arm or the hand of the Lord concern the redemption from the enemies, then it appears from the context.

Note that the great hand of God had this as its result: and the people ... believed the LORD. Faith and belief is the result of seeing the great hand of God. This matches with Isaiah 53:1. For there the prophet complains that nobody believed their report, and that the arm of the Lord was revealed to none. Because of lack of revelation they believed not. 

<quote> Exodus 15:6 "Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy." Deuteronomy 7:19 "The great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid."

In all these verses the term hand of the Lord is joined with some explanation of wherein that hand was revealed. God's hand has dashed in pieces the enemy. So the arm of the Lord does not mean some redemption, unless it is expressly written down. That the arm of the Lord was not revealed in Isaiah 53:1, has nothing to do with redemption from exile. Otherwise it would have been added to it. 

<quote> If you examine Scripture you will find that it does not mean a small act but a great salvation or victory for the Jewish people: Isaiah 40:10 "Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong [hand], and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before him. 11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 63:11 "Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, [and] his people, [saying], Where [is] he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where [is] he that put his holy Spirit within him? 12 That led [them] by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?" Is. 52:9-12 (The introductory verses to Isaiah 53). "Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord has COMFORTED HIS PEOPLE, He has REDEEMED JERUSALEM. The Lord HAS MADE BARE HIS HOLY ARM IN THE EYES OF THE NATIONS and all the ends of the earth shall see the SALVATION OF ISRAEL." What is the 'arm of the Lord'? The prophet is telling us about the reaction of the gentiles to the redeeming of Israel from Exile.

According to the explanation of the arm of the Lord, that is means redemption, then 53:1 means simply this. The prophet and his colleagues say: "Whoever is there that believes our report? Nobody believes it! And to none is the arm of the Lord revealed". Seeing that the power of the Lord leads to redemption, as Shulman explains, it further means: "and nobody is redeemed through God from his enemies". In short: nobody believes our preaching, and nobody is redeemed.

<quote> Who sees it?

<quote> The NATIONS OF THE WORLD. Two verses later it starts, 'Behold My Servant shall prosper....' In this verse we see the reaction of the nations, G-d has redeemed His people from the exile and the Nations are shocked beyond belief. This is further stated in the prophet: Habakkuk 1:5 "Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for [I] will work a work in your days, [which] ye will not believe, though it be told [you]."

Just arbitrarily connecting a verse from Habakkuk 1 with Isaiah 53. This is nothing more then wishful explanation. From nothing appears that this explanation follows from the text. Everything is invented. It is just laying a thought into the text; not explaining the text. 

<quote> 53:2

<quote> Isaiah 53:2: For he shall grow up before him {alt. he came up} as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness (D: lordliness); and when we shall see (D: we see) him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.

Note the contents of the verse. What shall happen to the Servant? Shall He take root and blossom? No, He shall not blossom. He shall grow up as a tender plant. Instead of blossoming, He has neither form nor comeliness. Instead of having beauty, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. Shall He root? Yes, He shall. But how will he do it? He will come out of a dry ground.

<quote> Who is to sprout as a tree from dry land where it was never expected to? Israel. Look at what the prophet says: Isaiah 27:6 "He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit." Israel shall blossom!!

This is just the opposite from what Isaiah 53:2 has. Here Israel shall take root; that's the same as what 53:2 has. But then the difference appears. Israel shall blossom and bud, but the Servant in 53:2 shall have no form nor comeliness, and there is no beauty that we should desire Him. So, Isaiah 27:6 says something different from 53:2. It cannot be used to explain 53:2.

<quote> Hosea 14:6-7: "I will be as dew for ISRAEL; he shall grow as a lily, and CAST FORTH HIS ROOTS as Lebanon. HIS BRANCHES SHALL SPREAD, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree and his smell as Lebanon."

Here is the same problem. The Servant would have no beauty, but in Hosea 14 Israel shall grow as a lily and his beauty shall be as the olive tree. This is very different from 53:2. Also Hosea 14:6,7 cannot be used to explain Isaiah 53.

<quote> Isaiah 66:8 "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? [or] shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

Yes, this text would match. 

<quote> When the Messianic time comes Israel will sprout and grow as never before.

The writer has observed in some texts that Israel shall take root. He sees the same of the Servant in Isaiah 53. Therefore he concludes that the Servant must be Israel. Both take root, so they must be the same. But the writer loses a very important point out his sight. This important thing is that not only Israel shall take root, but also the Messiah will do so. See for example Isaiah 11:1. And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. This means that the Servant in Isaiah 53 can also be the Messiah. Also this Messiah shall come forth as a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and shall grow out his roots. Without sufficient proofs Shulman explains the passage in Isaish 53 of Israel, and he simply sets the Messiah offside. When Israel would be the only one who would come forth out dry ground, and would blossom, then matters would change. But Israel is not the only one. Also the Messiah would sprout out a dry ground, and be as a rod out of a stem. 

<quote> How was Israel treated by the nations? Here is what the prophet said: Isaiah 42:22 "But this [is] a people robbed and spoiled; [they are] all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore." What have the nations said about the 'form' Israel while she was in the exile? Voltaire said "the most imbecile people on the face of the earth", "most obtuse , cruel and absurd", "disgusting and abominable". As the prophet said. "he had neither form nor comeliness" Kant said "The euthanasia of Judaism can only be achieved by means of a pure and moral religion, and the abandonment of all its old legal regulations." Again the words of the prophet, "we saw him that he had no appearance that we should have desired him" St. Gregory of Nyssa referred to the Jews as, "haters of grace, enemies of their fathers religion, advocates of the devil, brood of vipers, slanderers, scoffers, men of darkened minds, leaven of the Pharisees, congregation of demons, sinners, wicked men, stoners, and haters of goodness." As the prophet said "he had no appearance that we should have desired him." That is the testimony of the Nations. "Who would have believed it?"

It is true that the Jews have been despised through the nations. Though this is so, yet they are not the only despised ones. In all times there have been oppressed people, also of the gentiles. Many fugitives are misjudged and persecuted. Not just the Jews. There always have been persecutions of the Christians. Moreover, how much is Jesus despised? The New Testament is full of that. They tried to kill Him. They despised and ridiculed Him. They laughed at Him. The crucified Him. "He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him." Surely, it refers to Jesus and not just to the Jews. According to Shulman's method, the Servant could be the gentiles, the fugitives, the Jews, the Christians, and so on. 

<quote> 53:3

<quote> Isaiah 53:3: He is despised and rejected of men (D: left alone of men) ; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him (D: like one from whom [men] hide their faces); he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

<quote> Who is the one who has been ashamed and despised? In the passage RIGHT AFTER THIS ONE: Is 54:4-17: 4. Fear not, for you shall not be ASHAMED and not EMBARRASSED, for you shall not be put to shame; for the SHAME OF YOUR YOUTH you shall forget; and for the humiliation of your widowhood you shall no longer remember. For your maker is your husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name... 6. For like a wife who was FORSAKEN AND AFFLICTED in spirit has the Lord called you, and a wife of one's youth who was REJECTED, said you G-d. 11. Oh thou AFFLICTED who was not consoled... 14. With righteousness shall you be established, for you will be far from oppression... 17. No weapon that is formed against you will prosper, and any tongue that raises against you in judgement, you shall not condemn; this is the heritage of the SERVANTS OF THE LORD and their righteousness is from me, says the Lord." Who has despised Israel, THE NATIONS. As the prophet says "despised and we esteemed him not."

The fact that a passage follows right after chapter 53, cannot be used as an argument to explain that chapter by it. Note also that 53 is about a man, but 54 about a woman. Chapter 53 is about a servant, singular, but 54 is about servants, plural. Israel has been despised, and has been not esteemed. This all is true. But also other groups of people have suffered the same lot. The way Shulman explains, the servant of Isaiah 53 could be every despised group. Therefore, until now the writer has not proved that the suffering Servant is Israel. 

<quote> Again from Isaiah 49:7-15: "For so said the Lord, the redeemer of ISRAEL, his Holy One about him who is DESPISED OF MEN, about him whom the nations ABHORS, about a SLAVE OF RULERS. Kings shall see and rise, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, (see Micah 7:15-17), for the sake of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, and He chose you. 13. Sing O Heavens and rejoice O earth, and mountains burst out in song for the Lord has consoled His people, and he shall have mercy on His AFFLICTED. 14. But Zion said 'The Lord has FORSAKEN ME, and the Lord has forgotten me.' 15. Shall a women forget her suckling child, from having mercy on the child of her womb? These too shall forget, but I will not forget you." A mother will forget her baby who she nurses. BUT G-d will not forget Israel!!!

According to verse 5, these verses are about the Servant of the LORD, Who will gather Israel. Verse 5 reads: "And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him." Would the Servant here be Israel, then the text would read: "to be His Israel, to bring Israel again to Him". Israel bringing Israel back, that gives no sense. Therefore the Servant is the Messiah here.

Read now the seventh verse of Isaiah 49.

Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. 

It is said of this Servant the Messiah that He is despised by man, and abhorred by the nations, and that He is a servant of Rulers. This remarkably agrees with 53:3. In both passages the Servant is despised and rejected of men; He was despised and we esteemed Him not.

<quote> Isaiah 60:14 "The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 15. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through [thee], I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations."

Here I agree that it is Israel who has been despised. Yet, as already proved, also the Messiah has been despised, together with many fugitives and Christians. Therefore there is no reason to single out Israel, and explain chapter 53 of one of the many despised groups. 

<quote> Isaiah 62:4 "Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married."

The previous comment applies also here. There is no reason to single out despised Israel of the many despised groups. The writer still hasn't proved that Isaiah 53 is about Israel. 

<quote> How have the nations reacted to the Jewish people? St. John Chrysostam referred to the Jews as: "most miserable of all men." "debauchery and drunkenness have given them the manners of the pig and the lusty goat." "They have surpassed the ferocity of wild beasts, for they murder their offspring and immolate them to the devil." Just as Isaiah said would happen: "He is despised and rejected of men" St. Thomas Aquinas: 'It would be licit, according to custom, to hold Jews , because of their crime, in perpetual SERVITUDE, and the princes may regard the possessions of Jews as belonging to the State.' As Isaiah said, "a SLAVE OF RULERS" and "despised and we esteemed him not."

Really, Israel has suffered very much. Also the black have suffered much from the whites. And the slaves have suffered much from their masters. The poor suffer from the rich. The persecuted suffered from the persecutors. Jesus suffered much on earth, even until death. So Israel is not only in his suffering. That's Israel's suffering matches this text, does not prove that it is the only possible interpretation. 

<quote> ***

<quote> The next verses are the hardest ones for Christians to understand and to see their relationship to Israel. To understand them we must consider: If you ask a Christian why are the Jews suffering so much in their exile? What would he answer? He would say, 'the Jews are punished because they rejected their Messiah'. (I have heard this myself many times). As I quoted above from Thomas Aquinas, it was the reason that Jews could be kept as serfs of the state, and all their possessions held by the crown. Because of their crime, all of the persecution was justified. This has been the theology of the Church from the start.

There have been excesses enough. It also is true that many Christians believe that the Jews are punished because of their rejection of Jesus Christ the Messiah. But this does not justify any persecution! What Shulman writes, "because of their crime, all of the persecution was justified" is not true at all. Murderers and the like bandits should be persecuted. But there is no reason for any person to persecute any Jew because he rejects the Messiah. There simply isn't justification for that. This we leave to the Lord. Neither any person nor any government may justify any Jewish persecution for religion's sake. 

<quote> BUT NOW when the Messiah comes and he is not J. but the true royal descendant of David, and the Jewish people are returned to their kingdom. When all the nations see that the Jews were right in rejecting J, what are the nations going to say about their persecution of the Jews? What are they going to say about all the suffering they caused Israel?

This is pure speculation and wishful thinking. The Messiah the Jews are expecting still never has come. So, to say the least, the above observation is too soon.

Further the writer intimates that Jesus is not the true royal descendant of David. This is false however. Jesus is from the seed of David, and a royal descendant of him. 

<quote> If J. isn't the Messiah, the actions of the nations toward the Jews are SINS.

The actions of the nations towards the Jews are always sins. No matter that Jesus is the Messiah. Even if He were not (but He is), then the actions of the nations towards Israel are still sins. 

The nations are going to see they were wrong, and all these years the Jews suffered from their sins.

The explanation if wrong. It's against the text. The writer says, "the Jews suffered from their sins". But Isaiah does not say from but for. The Servant suffers for their sins. His suffering is for payment for their sins, and not because they sin in persecuting of Him.

<quote> Look at Genesis 31:36, after Laban had persecuted Jacob, Jacob asked him, "What is my trespass, what is my sin". He asked , 'how have I sinned against you?' When a person treats another incorrectly it is called sinning against him. The nations are going to say 'we have sinned against Israel by persecuting them all these years'. This concept was clearly acknowledged by Pope John XXIII when he said: "We realize now that many, many centuries of blindness have dimmed our eyes, so that we no longer see the beauty of Thy Chosen People and no longer recognize in their faces the features of our firstborn brother. We realize that our brows are branded with mark of Cain..." The mark of Cain. The sign of evil and sin! The gentile nations will see that THEY were truly sinners in all their persecutions of the Jewish people.

All right. The earlier the nations go to see this, the better it is. But what have Laban en Jacob to do with the explanation of Isaiah 53? 

<quote> ***

<quote> 53:4-5

<quote> Isaiah 53:4-5: Surely he hath borne our griefs {alt: illnesses}, and carried our sorrows {alt: pains}: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he [was] wounded {alt: pained} for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace {alt: welfare} [was] upon him; and with his stripes (KJV: Heb: bruise) {alt: wounds} we are {alt: were} healed.

This is the translation of the verse, but without the notes. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

This means: The Servant has borne our illnesses. But we thought that He bore those illnesses because He was smitten of God. We thought that He was smitten because of His Own sins. However we were wrong. For He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him. We were sick, but are healed through His stripes.

1. He bore the illnesses and sorrows of us.

2. We esteemed Him stricken of God.

3. We were wrong in our opinion.

4. He was stricken for us.

5. By His stripes are we healed.

Now the question is whether all these five points do appear in the explanation of Shulman. We'll have a look.

<quote> Who did the gentiles think were smitten of G-d? Israel: Jeremiah 50:7 "All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers."

The gentiles thought, we offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, and therefore are justly punished in this way. And this punishment is no other than what the Lord threatened the Jews with in the case they rejected God. He foretold by His prophets that this should come upon them. This they said. Not that they feared the Lord, or had any regard to his honor and glory, but to excuse themselves, which would not do. For though the Jews sinned against the Lord, they had not sinned against the gentiles. And the gentiles had no right to destroy the Jews, and plunder them of their substance. And so it is now. Many think it no crime to injure the Jews in their persons and property, because they have sinned against Christ, and rejected him as the Messiah.

The difference between Jeremiah 50:7 and Isaiah 53 is very great. In Jeremiah the gentiles justly say, we esteemed the Jews stricken of God. But in Isaiah 53 you read something else. Though they said, "we esteemed Him stricken of God", yet they afterward confess that they were wrong in thinking that: "surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows". In both places they esteemed the people stricken of God. In Jeremiah they were right in thinking so, but in Isaiah they were wrong and changed their opinion. Therefore Jeremiah 50:7 cannot be used to interpret Isaiah 53:4,5.

<quote> The nations will look at what they have done to the Jews and say, they have suffered because we have sinned in not recognizing who they really were. We have sinned and acted shamefully. Israel has suffered the shameful and sinful actions of the nations.

This interpretation the prophet does not give. There are two reasons for it.

  1. Isaiah says that the Servant was smitten for us, not by us, as Shulman changes it.
  2. The prophet says that the Servant bore the illnesses and sorrows of us. He says not that He suffered the violence, which we perpetrated against Him, as Shulman changes it. 

<quote> This is echoed in the words of the prophet: Ezekiel 36: 6-7,15 6 "In My jealousy and in my anger I have spoken, because the shame of the nations you have borne. 7. Therefore, thus says my Lord, G-d: I have lifted My hand in an oath. Surely the nations which surround you will bear their shame. 15. And I shall no longer cause the ridicule of nations to be heard about you, and the shame of the nations you shall no longer bear...." The nations will admit their sin.

This text does not at all match with Isaiah's words. In Ezekiel 36:7 God says: "Surely the nations, which surround you, will bear their shame". But Isaiah speaks about illnesses and sorrows. This is something else then shame. Further Isaiah says that the Servant bore our illnesses and sorrows. But Shulman changes this and says that not the Servant but the gentiles will bear that. "The nations [...] will bear their shame". Verses 6 and 15 say that Israel bore the shame of the nations. This is inverted in verse 7. But this inversion is not found in Isaiah 53.

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows", says the verse of Isaiah. How is this possible? When we explain this of the Jewish people, that they have borne our illnesses, then we are wrong. Then they are not "smitten of God and afflicted" Then they did not go into the Diaspora because of their own sins, but because of the sins of the nations. But the Jews themselves confess that the Diaspora was a punishment of God because of their sins, as Moses had foretold. Why is here then said that they are smitten because of the sins of the gentiles? But they are smitten because of their own sins. Therefore this verse of Isaiah 53 cannot refer to the Jews.

<quote> How have the nations acted toward Israel? Look what it says in the Koran (Sura 2.61) "And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah. That was because they disbelieved in Allah's revelations and slew the prophets wrongfully. That was for their disobedience and transgression."

What the Koran says matters me not so much. But what do the Scriptures say about the wrath of God because of the sins of the Jewish people? Listen to the complaints of Eliah in 1 Kings 19.

14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. 18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. 

You see that the wrath of God over the Jewish people is very heavy. Because they have thrown down God's altars and slain His prophets with the sword, God wrath over them is great. "Him that escapes the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay." So heavy is God's wrath.

The text that the writer quotes from the Koran, and 1 Kings 19:14-17 cannot be used to explain and interpret Isaiah 53. In 1 Kings 19 it appears that God justly punishes the Jews for their own sins. But in Isaiah 53 it appears that the Servant is punished for the sins of other people; not for Himself.

<quote> As the prophet says, 'we accounted him as plagued, smitten by G-d'. Luther asked, "What shall we do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews" His program included: Burning synagogues and houses, confiscating Jewish Holy books, forbidding Rabbis to teach, Jews to travel or give loans at interest, forcing Jews to do hard labor, and expelling them from Christian countries. 'He was pained because of OUR transgression, crushed because of OUR iniquities.' In the fall of 1944 when the deportations from Slovakia to Auschwitz were going on, Rabbi Weissmandel approached the papal nuncio on a Sunday and asked him to intervene with President Tiso (a Catholic priest). He was told, "This, being a Sunday, is a holy day for us. Neither I nor Father Tiso occupy ourselves with profane matters on this day". When the Rabbi reminded him that there were innocent women and children being sent to Auschwitz, he replied, "There is no innocent blood of Jewish children in the world. All Jewish blood is guilty. You have to die. This is the punishment that has been awaiting you because of that sin (the death of J)." "we accounted him plagued, smitten of G-d and oppressed. ...crushed because of OUR iniquities..."

Having arrived at the end of the explanation of Shulman of this part, it is good to look whether he sees both verses being fulfilled in the history of Israel. Above we have written down five main points from those two verses. Are all five main points fulfilled in Israel's history?

1. He bore the illnesses and sorrows of us.

2. We esteemed Him stricken of God.

3. We were wrong in our opinion.

4. He was stricken for us.

5. By His stripes are we healed.

From these five points he has explained only the second point: we esteemed him stricken of God. The writer explains the "he" in we esteemed him stricken of Israel. So this second point becomes, we esteemed Israel stricken of God.

1. How does he explain that "Israel bore the illnesses and sorrows of us"?

3. How does he explain that "we were wrong in our opinion" that Israel was stricken of God? For even Israel itself regards the Diaspora as God's punishment. If we then have the same opinion as the Jews have, how can this be wrong? Also this punishment is foretold by Moses, in the case the Jews would forsake God.

4. How does he explain that "Israel was stricken for us"?

5. How does he explain that "we were healed by Israel's stripes"? Israel has received many stripes throughout history. How and when did that then heal the gentiles?

It should be concluded that the explanation of Shulman does not at all suffice. Only one of the five points he has explained.

If Isaiah's saying, "we were healed by His stripes", is sound Biblical doctrine, why is this doctrine not found in the present Jewish doctrine? For they reject the doctrine that the Messiah suffers for other's sins. They reject the Messiah's offering and mediatorship.

<quote> 53:6-7

<quote> Isaiah 53:6-7: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all {alt. Heb. the Lord accepted his prayer for our iniquities. The Hebrew word Hifgiah the root of which means also to entreat or intercede as in verse 12}. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (D: led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and [D: was] as a sheep before her shearers is dumb {alt: mute}, so (D: and) he openeth not his mouth.

Here is the text without notes, for the sake of clarity. Isaiah 53:6-7: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

<quote> We have already seen from Jeremiah 16:19 how the nations will admit that they have been going in a false way. O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and [things] wherein [there is] no profit. (Jeremiah 16:19)

And we also have seen the wrong explanation Shulman gives of this verse. He explained it as if the gentiles would come unto the Jews confessing their vanities and lies. But the words of Jeremiah say something else. The gentiles will come - not to the Jews but to the LORD. To Him will they confess their inherited lies, vanities and useless things. 

<quote> Remember Psalms 44: 12. "You have delivered US like SHEEP TO THE SLAUGHTER, and among the GENTILES you have scattered us. 14. You have made us a disgrace to our neighbors, the mockery and scorn of those around us. 22. Because for your sake we are KILLED ALL DAY LONG, we are considered as SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER."

Note well why they were killed all day long. Why were they killed always? "Yea, for Thy sake are we killed all the day long". They were killed for God's sake. But Isaiah writes in 53:4,5,6 that the Servant was killed, not for God's sake, but for our sake. Ps. 44 speaks about being killed for God's sake, and Isaiah 53 about being killed for our sake. Note the difference. This difference means that the quote from Ps. 44 has not much to do with Isaiah 53. It cannot be used to explain who the Servant is.

<quote> Jeremiah 50:17 "Israel [is] a scattered sheep; the lions have driven [him] away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones." The Jewish people are slaughtered in every generation, quietly going to their deaths, for the sake of G-d's name.

Wrong again. God sent the enemies into the land, not because Israel lived so much for His Name, but because they had so terribly sinned against His Name. They are not quietly going to their deaths for the sake of God's Name, according to Jeremiah 50:17. For in Jeremiah 50:20 you read: "In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve." This means that they did have iniquity, though God forgave it. Not for the sake of God's Name are they driven from their country, but because of their own sins. God forgave these sins in His great mercy.

This whole history of Assyria and Babylon has nothing to do with Isaiah 53. For in Isaiah 53 the Servant does not suffer the punishment for the sake of God's Name (explanation of Shulman), and also not because He has sinned against God (Jeremiah 50), but for our iniquities. Jeremiah 50 has nothing to do with the explanation of Shulman, and both of them have nothing to do with Isaiah 53. The Israel of Jeremiah 50:17 (which is different from the Israel of Shulman), has not much to do with the Servant in Isaiah 53.

"He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth", says Isaiah. Were the Jews brought as a lamb to the slaughter? No, they defended themselves. Everybody would do this.

<quote> 53:8

<quote> Isaiah 53:8: He was taken from prison (D: oppression) and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living {lit: the living land}: for the transgression of my people was he stricken {Heb. Lawmo. KJV mistranslates 'was HE stricken', instead of the correct THEY.}

For the sake of clarity here follows the verse again, but without notes. 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. 

<quote> Before explaining this, let me show the mistranslation. The Hebrew word is Lawmo and in it's other appearances in Tenach the KJV is CORRECTLY translated to 'them'. For example in Isaiah 44:7 (unto them) 16:4 (to them). (There are no examples of exceptions where a plural prepositional pronoun is used referring to other than a plural noun). The translation is just made to distort the true meaning.

The writer says, "the translation is just made to distort the true meaning". We'll see below what is true of this bold statement. Before we will see that, we will look to the use of the Hebrew word lawmo. The writer stated that this word in its other appearances in the Tanach is translated to them. Further he says that there are no examples of exceptions when the plural lawmo refers to a singular noun. On basis of examples I dispute this statement. Here below you will find them. The plural lamo or 'aleimo refers to a singular noun.

Genesis 9:26.27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his (lamo) servant. 27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his (lamo) servant.

Job 20:23 When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him ('aleimo) while he is eating.

Job 20:2 Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself ('aleimo)?

Psalms 11:77 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance (phaneimo) doth behold the upright.

Isaiah 44:15 Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto (lamo).

See for lamo also Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar page 302. From the number of exceptions it appears that the word lamo can also means for him. This much better fits in the context of Isaiah 53. That chapter is about the Servant, in the singular. In the same verse as where the word lamo is found, you find also "He was taken from prison"; "his generation" "he was cut off". Everything is in the singular. When it then suddenly should be "they were stricken", then it does not so well fit in the context.

The writer said that the translation of the Authorized Version was "just made to distort the true meaning". The above made remarks refute this. Besides, it seems that the writer knows the intention of the translators, namely that wish "to distort the true meaning". Ever heard something more arrogant?

<quote> Next the verse uses the expression 'the land of the living' (Heb. Eretz Chaim). This always denotes the land of Israel.

The expression the land of the living literally means just what it says. It is the land of the living; that means the land wherein the living beings live. Somebody that lives in the land of the living lives. The writer makes the statement that this expression "always denotes the land of Israel". He does that without sufficient proofs. When it means Israel, then that is not because of the expression, but because the history happened in that country.

Let we look at some examples of the expression "the land of the living".

Job 28:12,13 But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.

This is in general about men and about the land of the living. There is no connection with Israel. When there would be a country with which the expression would be connected, then the land of Uz, where Job lived, Job 1:1, would be the first country we could think of. The expression the land of the living simply means the land where the living people live. Another example follows.

Psalms 27:13 [I had fainted], unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Also here it is in general the land of the living people. There is no special connection with any country. Another example follows.

Isaiah 38:9-11 The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness: 10 I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years. 11 I said, I shall not see the LORD, [even] the LORD, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.

In these verses the king clearly speaks about the life, as opposed to the death. The expression "the land of the living" parallels with the expression "the inhabitants of the world". There is no special connection with Israel. Instead of that he speaks about the world; which is more extensive. Another example follows.

Jeremiah 11:19 But I was like a lamb [or] an ox [that] is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, [saying], Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.

Here we have nearly the same expression as in Isaiah 53: "cut off from the land of the living". This clearly means to be killed. In Isaiah 53 the word "gazar" (to cut off) is used, and in Jeremiah11:19 the word "karat" (to cut off).

<quote> The words cut off from the land of the living refers to the exile from Israel.

Stated without proof. There are many examples of people living in Israel, who say that they are cut off from the land of the living, or nearly cut off. None of these people fear to go into exile from Israel. Being cut off from the land of living means to be killed. It has nothing to do with exile. There is also no example of one living in exile that uses the term "cut off from the land of the living". 

<quote> Ezekiel 32:23 "Whose graves are set in the sides of the pit, and her company is round about her grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living." (See the full text of Ez. 32:23-27 where the prophet describes the punishment for those who terrorized Israel and calls the land of Israel 'the land of the living').

This is wrong. Read better. It is about Asshur, verse 22, about Elam (Persia), verse 24, about Meshech and Tubal, verse 26. It is not known that they all have been in Israel. Of all these countries is said that they "caused terror in the land of the living". We know that Asshur and Elam gave their terror in large parts of the world, among which was also Israel. It is arrogant to relate "the land of the living" only to Israel. The verse is simply speaking about all countries where the enemies caused their terror.

<quote> Likewise Ezekiel 26:20 "When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living; 21 I will make thee a terror, and thou [shalt be] no [more]: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD."

All right. Here at least the expression "the land of the living" means Israel. 

<quote> This verse tells us that the Jewish people are being sent into exile from the land of Israel (as everyone knows).

Absolutely not. There is no proof for that. It simply means that the Servant of the LORD is cut off from the land of the living. That is, He is violently brought to death. 

Let we fill in the interpretation of Shulman into the text, to see what we get. We read: "for the transgression of my people was he stricken". This would become according to the writer: "for the transgression of the gentiles was Israel stricken". "My people" becomes then "the gentiles". This would mean that the gentiles are "my people", that is, the gentiles would be the people of the prophet Isaiah. Assuming that Isaiah and his colleagues are the speakers here (and there is nothing against it and it is the most literal interpretation), this would mean that the gentiles are the people of Isaiah. But this cannot be. For we know that Isaiah was from the Jews, and not from the gentiles. 

Here's the text again. 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. Let we list all the points the prophet is making. How many of them has Shulman explained?

  1. The servant is taken from prison.
  2. Shulman did not explain this.

  3. The servant is taken from judgement.
  4. Shulman did not explain this.

  5. Who shall declare his generation?
  6. Not explained.

  7. The servant was cut off out of the land of the living.
  8. Wrongly explained. The land of the living does not mean Israel, but the land where the living beings live.

  9. The servant was stricken for the transgression of my people.

Not explained.

<quote> 53:9

<quote> Isaiah 53:9: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death (KJV: Heb. deaths) {Heb. BeMosav 'in his deaths' plural and not BeMoso 'in his death' singular} ; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth.

For the sake of clarity here follows the verse again, but without notes. Isaiah 53:9: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his deaths; because he had done no violence, neither was deceit in his mouth. 

<quote> Here again we see that the KJV used singular where there is a plural in the Hebrew. This signifies the many persecutions and deaths that have followed the righteous of Israel throughout the many generations. It is not just once or twice that evil men have stood up against the Jewish people and oppressed them. But every generation finds someone ready to kill Jews.

The verse has, "in his deaths". The word "deaths" is in the plural. The Hebrew plural form "deaths" can also mean violent death. Then the translation would be: "And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his violent death." This gives a good sense.

What the writer says about the many persecutions and deaths that have follows Israel, that is not proving the point. He still hasn't proved that the suffering servant is Israel.

<quote> A parallel to this is Zeph. 3:12-20 12. "And I will leave over in your midst a humble and poor people, and they shall take shelter in the name of the Lord. 13. The remnant of ISRAEL shall neither commit injustice nor SPEAK LIES, NEITHER SHALL DECEITFUL SPEECH BE FOUND IN THEIR MOUTH... 15. The Lord has removed your AFFLICTIONS; He has cast out your enemy... 19 Behold, I wreak destruction upon all those who have AFFLICTED you at that time. And I will save the one who LIMPS, and I will gather the stray one, and I will make them a praise and a name throughout all the land where they SUFFERED SHAME. 20. At that time I will bring them, and at that time I will gather you, for I will make you a name and a praise among all the peoples of the earth when I RESTORE your captivity before your eyes, said the Lord." The people who are not deceitful, this is G-d's holy remnant.

I agree that "the people who are not deceitful", are "God's holy remnant". But what has this ever to do with Isaiah 53? Moreover, the writer tries to explain the suffering servant of Israel in its entirety. And now suddenly he focuses on the remnant of Israel. What is it: Israel as a whole, or as a remnant? We know that it could not be said of Israel in its entirety, that "he had done no violence, neither was deceit in his mouth." 

<quote> Some have tried to say that this prophecy is ONLY of a future generation, but looking at verse 19 and comparing it to the many other verses I have brought above which tell the same story of the suffering of Israel in the exile, makes it impossible to consider this about a future remnant, but of the holy remnant of the Jewish people that has suffered in the exile and held fast to the Torah of G-d.

"He had done no violence". The Jews apply this on themselves, namely that they were innocently oppressed in the Diaspora. But this Diaspora itself refutes that. Why did they go into exile, according to Moses? Did they go because they were guilty or because they were innocent? The Word says in Leviticus 26:33 "And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste." And why is this devastation? When will that happen? "If ye will not for all this hearken unto Me, but walk contrary unto Me", says the Lord, verse 27.

How much has the writer explained of this verse? Isaiah 53:9: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was deceit in his mouth.

  1. He made his grave with the wicked.
  2. Not explained.

  3. He was with the rich in his death.
  4. Not explained.

  5. He had done no violence.
  6. Explained of the righteous remnant of Israel.

  7. There was no deceit in his mouth.

Explained of the righteous remnant of Israel.

You see that the explanation of the writer is deficient. He explains only a part.

<quote> 53:10

<quote> Isaiah 53:10: Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put (D: subjected) [him] to grief: when {Heb. Im means 'if' not 'when' as the KJV translates} thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed {Heb. zarah}, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

For clarity the text follows here again without the notes. Isaiah 53:10: Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: if thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

<quote> Who was given the promise of a long live with abundant children and prosperity? The people of Israel. Look at the words of the prophets: Isaiah 65:20 "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them." In the Torah itself we see that at the end of times this is to occur: Deuteronomy 30:5 "And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers."

The prophet Isaiah says that the seed of the Servant will multiply. But this will not happen independent of a condition. It will happen "if thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin". This condition does not occur in the verses Shulman has cited. The way the writer explains it, everybody who "sees seed" can be filled in. But that's not the way to explain a prophecy. 

<quote> Throughout the Tenach, again and again we see prophecies of the wondrous things that will happen when Israel leaves the exile. Isaiah 66:22 "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain."

Here is no matter of multiplication of seed. Also the condition of Isaiah 53:10 is lacking here.

<quote> Ezekiel 36:37 "Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet [for] this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do [it] for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. 38 As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD." Zechariah 10:8 "I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. 9 And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again."

Also here the condition "if thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin" is lacking.

<quote> We have seen that in this verse the speaker changing again.

We have not seen the speaker changing. There is no indication for that.

<quote> The prophet is continuing and saying what the purpose is of the exile. Everything was done so that Israel should be able to have her reward. The promises here are a restatement of the promises in the Torah. Deut 30:19-20: 19. "I call Heaven and earth as witnesses. Before you I have placed life and death, the blessing and the curse. You must choose life, so that YOU AND YOUR SEED WILL SURVIVE. 20. If you choose to love the lord your G-d, to obey Him, and to attach yourself to Him. That is your life and the LENGTH OF YOUR DAYS, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." The choice is given to Israel, if they accept then they will have long life and many descendants.

If the choice is given to Israel, then the question arises what choice they did made. Why were they driven into exile? Was it because of their good choice or their bad one? It is because of their sins that they are in the Diaspora. So, that story of Shulman has not much to do with Isaiah 53.

There is a difference between Isaiah 53 and Deuteronomy 30. In Deut. 30:19 Moses says that they shall live when they shall choose life and obedience. When they will do that they will have length of days, and their seed. But the prophet Isaiah says the opposite. The suffering Servant will not live if He is obedient, but after "his soul shall be made an offering for sin". Deut. 30 promised life on obedience, but Isaiah 53 did that after a sin offering. Obviously that obedience of Israel didn't work. An offering for sin was necessary to see seed and to lengthen the days. This is a good example of the result of the law, and of the result of an offering for sin.

How much of the verse has Shulman explained?

1. It pleased the LORD to bruise him.

Not explained. When this servant is Israel, then it pleased God to bruise the Jews.

2. He has put him to grief.

Not explained.

3. His soul shall make itself an offering for sin.

Not explained.

4. After that he will see seed.

Explained.

5. And he shall prolong days.

Explained, but with invalid verses.

6. The pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Explained, but with invalid verses.

The conclusion is that he did an attempt to explain 2/6 part of the verses. This attempt failed.

<quote> 53:11-12

<quote> Isaiah 53:11-12: He shall see of the (D: [the fruit of]) travail of his soul {alt: From the toil of his soul he would see}, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many (D: instruct many in righteousness); for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him (D: assign him) [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil {alt: Heb: plunder} with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered (D: reckoned) with the transgressors; and he bare (D: bore) the sin of many, and made intercession {alt: interceded} for the transgressors.

Here is the text without notes. Isaiah 53:11-12: 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. 12 Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

<quote> Here we see that G-d has again speaks about His servant, and the servant's reward. Much of this has been mentioned before. Let me just add those things not previously cited. First is the point of Israel's purpose in the world, to teach righteousness.

Surely Israel should teach righteousness. But it isn't yet proved that the suffering Servant is Israel. Moreover, Isaiah does not speak about "teaching righteousness". 

In the first sentence it is difficult to determine who is the subject. Who is that one that justifies? And who is being made righteous, or justified? Grammar allows for many possibilities. Here follows the Hebrew text. 

Beda'to yatzdik tzadik 'avdi larabim. We'awonotam hu yisbol.

Possible translations are:

- By his knowledge will [the] righteous one, My servant, make many righteous.

- By his knowledge will My servant the righteous one, make righteous to the many.

- By his knowledge will My servant the righteous one, justify to the many.

- By his knowledge will a righteous one make My servant righteous to the many.

To determine who is the subject, we should look further. Who are being justified? "He shall bear their iniquities", says verse 11. It is not his iniquities, but their iniquities; the iniquities of more persons. So there appears to be more persons who were unrighteous, and whose iniquities were borne by the Servant. These several persons were unrighteous, but are now justified or made righteous. Who are those several persons? They are the "rabim" in the previous sentence. So now we know who is being made righteous: the many. We know a little more now. Here again the Hebrew sentence follows:

Beda'to yatzdik tzadik 'avdi larabim. We'awonotam hu yisbol.

Certain is this: By his knowledge will <somebody> make many righteous. Who is that <somebody>? Is it the tzadik (righteous one) or the 'avdi (servant)? That is no longer difficult now. The entire chapter was about the servant, the 'avdi. This servant will make righteous, or justify. Now we have the sense: By his knowledge will My servant justify many. What is the sense of that word tzadik (righteous one) there? It cannot be otherwise, or this righteous one must be the same as the 'avdi, the servant. The final sentence then becomes, By the knowledge of him will the righteous one, My servant, justify many. Note that the word "the" in "the righteous one" is put there because "My servant" is determined. "My servant" being specific, also the righteous one is determined.

<quote> Is 60:3 "AND THE NATIONS SHALL GO BY YOUR LIGHT and kings by the brilliance of you shine."

And will Israel justify the nations, and bear their iniquities? This is not found in the explanation of Shulman. He just takes a part of the verse and applies it wherever the words Israel and nation occur together. And he passes by the rest. 

<quote> Isaiah 42:6 "I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;"

All right. But let we have a look at the text. Here it follows. Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. (Isaiah 42:1) So this verse is about the Servant of the LORD. Is this Servant the Messiah or Israel? The answer is the sixth verse. I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people ('am), for a light of the Gentiles (goyim) (Isaiah 42:6). This 'am is Israel, and the goyim are the gentiles. So it reads: "I will give thee for a covenant of Israel en for a light of the gentiles". Who is the "he" that is given? It is the Servant, verse one. The Servant is given for a covenant of Israel. When that Servant would be Israel, then it would read: "I will give Israel for a covenant of Israel". This is no good sentence and it has no sense. Therefore the Servant is here the Messiah. Then it becomes "I will give the Messiah for a covenant of Israel and for a light of the gentiles".

Shulman quotes a text and wrongly puts Israel in it. The text is about the Messiah.

<quote> Isaiah 49:6 "And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth."

Also here the Servant is not Israel. Hear how bad the sentence runs when the Servant would be Israel: "It is a light thing that Israel should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel". Or shorter: "It is a light thing that Israel should restore Israel". This gives no sense. Also here it does appear from the context that the Servant is the Messiah.

Again Shulman unjustly quotes a text.

<quote> Zechariah 8:13,23 13. "And it shall come to pass that as you were a CURSE among the gentiles, O house of Judah and House of Israel, so will I save you and you shall be a blessing. 23. So said the Lord of Hosts: In those days, ten men of all the languages of the gentiles shall take hold of the skirt of a Jewish man saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that G-d is with you."

All right. There is only one problem. The verses say nothing about justifying many and bearing iniquities. Therefore the text does not match with Isaiah 53.

How much did Shulman explain of the eleventh verse? Here follows the text. 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 (Isaiah 53:11).

1. He shall see of the travail of his soul.

Not explained

2. He will be satisfied.

Not explained.

3. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many.

Shulman tried to explain this of Israel, but with wrong texts. So it is not explained.

4. He will bear their iniquities.

Not explained.

<quote> The strangest part about this prophecy is the last verse 12.

Here is that 12th verse of Isaiah 53.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

<quote> Here the prophet talks about sharing portions and plunder. What is this plunder. The word here, 'shalal' means physical wealth wherever it is used. What does it refer to? It is a promise that G-d has made to HIS people of what will happen in the end of days after the great war of Gog and Magog. Zechariah 14:14 "And the wealth of all the nations round about shall be gathered together, gold and silver and apparel in great abundance." What is to happen to this wealth that was gathered around Jerusalem? Ezekiel 39:10: '"And they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them," said the Lord' All the wealth that was stolen from the Jewish people, by all the nations, all the special taxes, all the houses, all the land, everything will be returned. This is the plunder of Is 53:12.

This is totally wrong. Note the context, in particular verse 11.

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.

12. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

You read there: "He shall bear their iniquities; therefore will I divide him a portion with the many (lachen 'achalek-lo varabim)". So the reason of the division is given: therefore. Why? It is because He has borne their iniquities. All texts Shulman brings up are different from this context; they don't fit therein. In Zachariah 14 Israel does not bear the iniquities of their enemies; far from that. It's just the other way round. The enemies will perish because of their own iniquities, and then Israel will spoil them. Also in Ezekiel 39 Israel does not bear the iniquities of the enemies, but they plunder them. That is something totally different.

<quote> What is the meaning of 'their iniquities he would bear'? Examine Is. 61:6. "And you shall be called 'The Priests of the Lord', 'Servants of Our G-d' shall be said of you...."

All right, that will happen. But where does this verse speak about bearing their iniquities? There simply isn't any connection between this verse and Isaiah 53:12. 

<quote> This mirrors what was said in Exodus 19:5-6 "You will be a kingdom of priests".

Certainly, Isaiah 61:6 says the same as Exodus 19:5,6. But where is the connection with bearing their iniquities? Or has that yet to come in a roundabout manner? 

<quote> Now if the Jews are the priests, who are the laity? The gentile nations who we have seen will eventually join the Jews in worshipping the true G-d. What was the role of the priests? It is described in Numbers 18:1 "And G-d said to Aaron, 'You and your sons, and your father's house with you, you must BEAR THE INIQUITY against the sanctuary, and you and your sons must BEAR THE INIQUITY against you priesthood.'"

This is perfectly taken out of context. Isaiah says that the Servant will bear their iniquities, but in Numbers 18 they will bear the iniquities, not of them, but against the sanctuary and priesthood. And that simply means that, when the priests have sinned against the rules of the sanctuary, or against the regulations of their priesthood, they will bear their iniquity. That is, they will be guilty. 

<quote> That is the role of the priesthood - to bear iniquity.

Still worse represented. Just as if it is the task of the priest always to sin against the sanctuary and their office, and always to bear that iniquity. The truth is something totally different. Moses warns them not to sin. This is something totally different from what Shulman makes of it, that it is their role to bear iniquity.

How far can one come when one must needs pervert all Scriptures to lay his own wrong idea into so clear a text like Isaiah 53!

<quote> They are the vessel through which the laity/gentiles will correct themselves.

The writer has invented that term "laity" in this context. His statement is without Scriptural proof. He also connects laity with the gentiles; yet another invention. Moreover, that "the gentiles will correct themselves" is not only without scriptural proof, but it is clearly against Isaiah. This prophet says in verse 11 that the Servant will make many righteous; not that they will correct themselves, or make themselves righteous.

When any person wishes to be priest, let him also do the priestly work. This would include offering, praying and teaching. 

Let we now study what it means, "to bear iniquity". We will go through the verses where this term is used. What does Scripture teach us by these verses?

Exodus 28:38 And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

Exodus 28:43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy [place]; that they bear not iniquity, and die: [it shall be] a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.

Leviticus 5:1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and [is] a witness, whether he hath seen or known [of it]; if he do not utter [it], then he shall bear his iniquity.

Leviticus 5:17 And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist [it] not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.

Leviticus 7:18 And if [any] of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity.

Leviticus 10:17 Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it [is] most holy, and [God] hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?

Leviticus 17:16 But if he wash [them] not, nor bathe his flesh; then he shall bear his iniquity.

Leviticus 19:8 Therefore [every one] that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Leviticus 20:17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it [is] a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.

Leviticus 20:19 And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister, nor of thy father's sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity.

Leviticus 22:16 Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, when they eat their holy things: for I the LORD do sanctify them.

Numbers 5:31 Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.

Numbers 14:34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.

Numbers 18:1 And the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

Numbers 18:23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: [it shall be] a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.

Numbers 30:15 But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard [them]; then he shall bear her iniquity.

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.

Lamentations 5:7 Our fathers have sinned, [and are] not; and we have borne their iniquities.

Ezekiel 4:4-6. 4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: [according] to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. 5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

Ezekiel 14:10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh [unto him].

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

Ezekiel 44:10 And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity.

Ezekiel 44:12 Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity.

From these texts the following conclusions may be drawn. To bear iniquity means that the bearer is guilty. Aaron for example bore the iniquity of Israel. That is, he bore the iniquity they committed by their sins. This is a proof for the fact that somebody can bear the iniquity of another. This not always is the case, see the quoted texts, but sometimes. The Servant in Isaiah 53 will bear their iniquities, that is, he will be judged guilty because of their sins.

<quote> Next the idea of interceding for the nations ...

Correction: for the transgressors; not specially the nations. 

<quote>... (mentioned above in verse 6) appears openly in a prophecy by Jeremiah 29:7: "And seek the peace of the city where I have exiled you and PRAY FOR IT TO THE LORD, for in its peace you shall have peace."

Correction: it does not say that it concerns transgressors. Just: "pray for it to the Lord". 

<quote> A clear indication that Israel intercedes for the nations while in exile. In fact, there is a prayer said in many synagogues, TO THIS DAY, for the well being of the government.

It is of course a good thing, to pray for the nations. But that is not all what is said in verse 12. This verse goes much farther. There the Servant of the LORD intercedes for the transgressors in general; both Jews and gentiles.

<quote> The following prophecy summarizes the words of Isaiah and his message to us and the whole world:

<quote> Joel 2:25-3:2

<quote> "25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

What's the connection with Isaiah 53? 

<quote> Joel 2:26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

Explain what this ever has to do with Isaiah 53? 

<quote> Joel 2:27-3:2 And ye shall know that I [am] in the midst of Israel, and [that] I [am] the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 1. For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."

First the writer said that Israel had interceded for the nations, and now he goes to say that God will plead with those same nations, or better: judge them. It seems that Shulman catches at every text that sounds nice to him. 

 

 

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