Isa. 42:3

Liz Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Fri Dec 15 16:54:41 EST 2000



 Dan Wagner wrote:

. So any argument
> attempting to identify the Servant with Cyrus (an old position
> held first by
> Servetus, i think) would have to be made on the basis of evidence not
> including an argument from the use of _HEN_.

I certainly hope that I have enough evidence that I can do without this.
Otherwise, I'm in deep do-do.
I would like to look at other writers who have linked Cyrus with the
Servant.
Commentators say it is an old position, which they then dismiss. I haven't
seen
any references to their work.
Can you give me the reference to Servetus?
Thanks.
Liz


>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Liz Fried [mailto:lizfried at umich.edu]
> Sent: Friday, December 15, 2000 08:59
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: RE: Isa. 42:3
>
>
> Dear All,
> I am working on an article which elaborates a paper
> I recently gave at SBL entitled "Cyrus the Messiah?
> The Historical Background of Isaiah 45:1."
> In it I address Isa 42:3, and the issue of the Servant.
> I don't agree that the servant disappears. I think Cyrus
> is the Servant in 42 and 49 -- and 61.
> He is not the servant in 50. I think he is referred to in
> Isaiah 52:13, but thereafter the poem refers I believe to the prophet,
>  who is the subject of 50 as well.
> I comment more below.
>
> I would like to vet the paper and obtain reactions if possible. It was
> very well received at SBL, but this is a longer version.
> Is anybody interested?
> What would be a good mechanism for this?
> Thanks,
> Liz
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: John Ronning [mailto:ronning at xsinet.co.za]

> > Sent: Friday, December 15, 2000 8:11 AM
> > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > Subject: Re: Isa. 42:3
> >
> >
> > John,
> >
> > In looking for the significance of the Servant not breaking
> > a bruised reed, etc., I think it's helpful to look at the
> > numerous and detailed parallels between Cyrus and the
> > Servant in this section of Isaiah.  In chapters 41-48, Cyrus
> > is prominent, but after 48 Cyrus disappears and the Servant
> > and his work become prominent.  Comparison of the two makes
> > it evident that the Servant is what we might call a
> > spiritual Cyrus, i.e. he is a world conquorer who delivers
> > God's people from spiritual bondage.  The first Servant song
> > (Isaiah 42:1-9) "intrudes" into the Cyrus section as if to
> > make this point in the beginning.  Note the following:
> >
> > Impact upon the nations:
> > 	Cyrus - God delivers up nations before him (41:2)
> > 	Servant - He will bring forth justice to the nations (42:1)
> > 	[note - mishpat perhaps in the general sense of justice
> > (elsewhere part of the messianic work), but in context, the
> > verdict of the preceeding courtroom proceedings, namely, the
> > verdict that the God speaking through Isaiah is the one true
> > God]
> >
> > Similarly, the coastlands:
> > 	Cyrus - The coastlands have seen and are afraid (41:5)
> > 	Servant - the coastlands will wait expectantly for his
> > 	teaching (42:4)
> > 	[here also a contrast between the military conqueror and
> > 	the spiritual conqueror]
> >
> > Called in righteousness:
> > 	Cyrus - whom God calls in righteousness to his feet
> > 	(i.e. as his personal servant) (41:2)
> > 	Servant - I have called you in righteousness (42:6)
> >
> > Taken by the hand:
> > 	Cyrus - Whom I have taken by the right hand (45:1)
> > 	Servant - I will also hold you by the hand (42:6)
> >
> > Mission - freedom for God's people:
> > 	Cyrus - He will ... let my exiles go free (45:13)
> > 	Servant - To bring out prisoners from the dungeon;
> > 	to those who dwell in darkness from the prison (42:7)
> >
> >
> > In this connection I think Isa 42:2-3 serves to emphasize
>
> > that the Servant is not simply like Cyrus, the military
> > conqueror who rolls over nations (41:2 he turns the nations
> > to dust with his sword, to windblown chaff with his bow).
> > In contrast to what Cyrus does to the best armies the
> > nations can throw against him, the Servant does not even
> > attack the most defenseless (does not break the already
> > bruised reed, or extinguish the already smoldering wick).
>
> I argue Isa. 42:3 also refers to Cyrus.
>
> Cyrus executes justice quietly and calmly, but effectively (42:2-4). This
> was evidently his reputation. I quote Herodotus:
> ...The Persians have a saying that Darius was a shopkeeper, Cambyses a
> master
> of slaves, and Cyrus a father.  What they mean is that Darius kept petty
> accounts for everything, that Cambyses was hard and contemptuous, and that
> Cyrus was gentle and contrived everything for their good. (III: 89).
>
> > In his first coming, his is a spiritual conquest.  The
> > citation in Matthew serves to refute the expectation that
> > the Messiah was going to come and simply provide military
> > victory and relief from physical suffering.
>
> The Christian authors allegorize everything. The Servant in Isaiah is not
> allegorical
> but political, actual, present.
>
> >
> > Quite a story Isaiah predicts - that through the work of the
> > Spirit of God (42:1) an obscure Jewish preacher would make
> > known to the whole world the one true God, who in his time
> > is only known in a tiny patch of land surrounded by hostile
> > powers. All this after being abhored, mistreated, even
> > killed by his own people.  Who would imagine it?  Who would
> > believe it?
> The use of the hen, behold, in 42:1 and everywhere else in the OT
> is used to intruduce the present tense.
> As my teacher, Prof. C. Krahmolkov would say: the word means:
> "Present tense coming up." He wouldn't let us translate it.
> The word means, right now, here, in the narrative present of the writer
> is the  Servant. He exists in the time of Deutero-Isaiah, in the time
> of Cyrus the Great. Indeed, he is Cyrus the Great.
>
> Best,
> Liz Fried
>
>
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