[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Fri May 14 08:26:20 EDT 2004

Dear Vadim,

I have not looked at your work on Isaiah 53 in depth, but it looked 
strange and far out and basically wrong.

				Harold Holmyard

>A few days ago, I posted a request for review of the article on Isaiah 53.
>Since I did not receive much replies, I realize that probably most
>participants are too busy to go through a long article. Therefore, let me
>posit here several most relevant questions on the chapter:
>1. Verse 1, reference to arm of God
>This is uniformly interpreted as some kind of divine revelation on the
>hero, a sign of power. However, universal Tanakhic usage of both iad and
>zroa, especially with preposition le, denotes crushing power of God, and
>is never beneficial to the object of application.
>Verse 4, nasa usually translated in the sense of took away or laid on himself
>To our knowledge, no other entry in Tanakh justifies such meaning, while
>nasa normally means lifted, with the sense took possession of, and in the
>case of sin - participated in.
>Verse 5, avonot, usually translated as sins
>Sins is too broad; avon is specifically a delusion, without connotation of
>expiable sin
>Verse 5, meholal, usually translated as killed or cut through
>However, the word's semantics points to emptied out, which is how this and
>related words are employed in Tanakh. This emptying is often contraposed
>(like in Ezek32) to killing, thus not the same.
>Verse 5, hevrah, usually translated as bruises
>To be sure, the word is in singular, as may refer to a single livid spot
>at the most. However, bruise (havurah) is grammatically impossible, since
>u cannot be short before reish, but must be written with vav. Therefore,
>probable reference is not to havurah (bruise), but to haverah, wife of the
>youth, a standard metaphor for religious orthodoxy.
>Verse 6, ifgia bo, usually translated as laid on him
>The word is never translated so anywhere else in Tanakh. Its root refers
>to clash, which produced different words from hit to demonstration. Its
>semantical meaning is, to clash with something, which is how it is
>approximated in Isaiah 59:16 with intercede.
>Moreover, preposition bo refers to the sin entering the man, not being
>laid on him, which would be denoted with preposition al.
>Verse 7, nigas, usually translated as oppressed
>Nowhere in Tanakh the word has this meaning.
>Verse 8, nega lamo, usually translated as he was punished
>The word nega is not punishment, but a disaster. But more importantly,
>lamo always refers to a collective (singular form of multitude, such as
>nation), never to a person.
>Verse 9, waiten, usually translated as was given or they gave
>The only two grammatically possible readings are, you (sing.masc.) gave,
>or he gave
>Verse 9, bemotaw, usually translated in his death
>However, the word is in plural, and thus may be interpreted only as the
>reference to his altars
>Verse 10, tasim, usually translated as you made [his life an offering for
>The word tasim means lay or bring, and is in future tense sing. either
>second-person masc, or third-person fem. A word nafsho (his soul), fem.,
>is perfectly relevant, thus, if his sould had brought an offering for his
>sin. In order to have something done to his soul, other interpreters have
>to presuppose a masc. object, such as the nation, who did this harm to the
>soul. However, nation is not mentioned anywhere close, and cannot be the
>Verse 11, meamal nafsho, usually translated out of his anguish
>The plain meaning is, from the work of his soul, that is, in the result of
>his repentance
>Verse 11, izdak zadik larabim, usually translated, the righteous one shall
>make many righteous
>This translation is made impossible by the preposition le: for or before
>many, thus justified the righteous before multitude (obviously, Jews
>before gentiles)
>Verse 12, lapsheim ifgia, usually translated as interceded for criminals
>Interceded is always encountered in Tanakh with preposition be, meaning
>before someone, and with a clear definition of the goal of intercession,
>such as not to burn the scroll. Preposition le, when employed with ifgia,
>means attached to. Therefore, he was attached to criminals, or, regarded
>as one of the criminals.
>There is no need to comment that this reading does not leave place for the
>Christian messianic interpretation.
>I would appreciate any comments or arguments to the contrary. Thank you
>for the time you may devote to this issue.
>Sincerely yours,
>Vadim Cherny
>P.S. The article is at http://www.anarcho.net/on_religion/Ieshayahu%2053.htm
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>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

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