[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53 read within the book as a whole

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Wed May 26 15:40:16 EDT 2004


Dear Vadim -- and Harold,
I don't see "anointed" in Isaiah 47.
I see moshia), savior, not moshiah, anointed one.
There is a crucial difference. The anointed king
is not necessarily a savior, tho he can be.
It is the confounding of these terms (occasioned by
a Christological theology)that prevents one from understanding
Cyrus as YHWH's Messiah = LEGITIMATE KING OF JUDAH.
If you would forget Jesus for a minute (if possible)
you could understand what it means to be an anointed king.
(AN not THE).
Please read my article to know where I'm coming from.
Liz

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-hebrew-
> bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of UUC
> Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 2:54 PM
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Isaiah 53 read within the book as a whole
> 
> See, Harold, now we are in the same boat  :) How curious
> 
> Liz, look at Is47:15; even Chaldeans may have a messiah. The term anointed
> was pretty basic, no problem applying it to Cyrus, no special meaning.
> 
> 
> Best regards,
> 
> Vadim
> 
> > Dear Vadim, Harold,
> > There is only one anointed mentioned in Isaiah.
> > The term is used only in 45:1 and in 61:1.
> > That one is explicitly named as Cyrus, yet
> > you don't like it. It disagrees with all your
> > suppositions, your long held cherished beliefs
> > that a foreigner, a non-Jew, a non Davidide would
> > be labeled Messiah. But yet he is.
> > Best,
> > Liz
> >
> > > Dear Harold,
> > >
> > > While agreeing that not everywhere an anointed is mentioned in Isaiah,
> it
> > > is
> > > Cyrus, I cannot agree with your argument:
> > >
> > > >HH: There is prophecy elsewhere that speaks
> > > either in the first or second person of the
> > > Messiah as if he is present, even though he is
> > > not yet so:
> > >
> > > Psa. 110:1 ¶ The LORD says to my Lord:  "Sit at
> > > my right hand until I make your enemies a
> > > footstool for your feet."<
> > >
> > > Psalms are not prophecies. Zaddukis didn't regard them. Essenes took
> them
> > > for pesher. Only late Pharisees - and therefore Christians - attach
> any
> > > prophetical value to them.
> > >
> > >
> > > Sincerely,
> > >
> > > Vadim Cherny
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > >  > HH: But I believe that the Servant passages
> > > > >>  describe the coming Messiah.
> > > > >You're right!
> > > > >But the Messiah in Isaiah is Cyrus!
> > > >
> > > > HH: Cyrus is anointed, not the Messiah. The
> > > > Messiah is a technical term for a particular
> > > > individual. A lot of people are anointed.
> > > >
> > > > >There are quite a
> > > > >>  number of these passages, and some short texts
> > > > >>  may belong to this grouping despite lacking the
> > > > >>  word "servant" (e.g., Isa 48:16).
> > > > Cyrus.
> > > >
> > > > HH: I don't think so, Liz. Cyrus did not really
> > > > know the Lord, and these verses show a person who
> > > > did.
> > > >
> > > > >  Some of these
> > > > >>  passages have the Servant speak in the first
> > > > >>  person. In other places the Lord addresses the
> > > > >>  Servant as present. Yet I believe he is a figure
> > > > >>  of prophecy.
> > > > >He speaks to him as if he were present because he is
> > > > >present.
> > > >
> > > > HH: There is prophecy elsewhere that speaks
> > > > either in the first or second person of the
> > > > Messiah as if he is present, even though he is
> > > > not yet so:
> > > >
> > > > Psa. 110:1 ¶ The LORD says to my Lord:  "Sit at
> > > > my right hand until I make your enemies a
> > > > footstool for your feet."
> > > > Psa. 110:2 The LORD will extend your mighty
> > > > scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of
> > > > your enemies.
> > > > Psa. 110:3 Your troops will be willing on your
> > > > day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the
> > > > womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your
> > > > youth.
> > > > Psa. 110:4 The LORD has sworn and will not change
> > > > his mind:  "You are a priest forever, in the
> > > > order of Melchizedek."
> > > > Psa. 110:5 The Lord is at your right hand; he
> > > > will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
> > > >
> > > > Psa. 2:7 ¶ I will proclaim the decree of the
> > > > LORD: He said to me,  "You are my Son; today I
> > > > have become your Father.
> > > > Psa. 2:8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations
> > > > your inheritance, the ends of the earth your
> > > > possession.
> > > > Psa. 2:9 You will rule them with an iron scepter;
> > > > you will dash them to pieces like pottery."
> > > >
> > > > >  > >  >> HH: A second possibility for Isaiah 55:5 might be that
> the
> > > second
> > > > >>  >>  person masculine singular addressee is the nation Israel.
> > > > >>  >
> > > > >>  >What would the point of that be? That a nation that Israel
> doesn't
> > > > >>  >know comes running to it? This is royal imagery, as we see
> > > > >>  >in the psalm.
> > > > >>
> > > > >>  HH: Well, if israel were the ruling nation, then
> > > > >  > this would seem to be a meaningful assertion:
> > > >
> > > > >Not unless Israel is the Servant and redeems itself.
> > > > >Then you don't have a redeemer or a messiah, just
> > > > >Israel.
> > > >
> > > > HH: But no one is called the Servant in this
> > > > passage (Isa 55:5), and there are other passages
> > > > talking about the Servant. So you wouldn't lose
> > > > the Servant or the Messiah. You could be right
> > > > that it must be an individual (the two "beholds"
> > > > could point that way), but I haven't looked at
> > > > the passage closely enough to decide between the
> > > > two possibilities ("you" in verse 5 as either
> > > > Israel or the Servant). Herbert M. Wolf
> > > > (translator of Isaiah for the NIV) in his
> > > > commentary seems to take the "you" as Israel. So
> > > > does Delitzsch in his commentary on Isaiah. John
> > > > Oswalt gives both views but sees the "you" in
> > > > verse 5 as the Davidic Messiah. Oswalt says that
> > > > most recent commentators have taken the view that
> > > > the "you" is Israel (e.g., Muilenburg, Whybray,
> > > > Eissfeldt), but he sides with the older
> > > > commentaries, most of which took the "you" as the
> > > > Messiah.
> > > >
> > > > Is. 55:5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that
> > > > thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee
> > > > shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God,
> > > > and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath
> > > > glorified thee.
> > > >
> > > > HH: Oswalt, Delitzsch, and Wolf all hold the Servant to be the
> Davidic
> > > Messiah.
> > > >
> > > > >But it was Cyrus who rescued the Jews, returned them
> > > > >to YHWH physically by returning them to the temple
> > > > >and YHWH to the temple.
> > > > >This is the task of the Messiah, of the redeemer.
> > > > >We await another one to do the same as Cyrus did.
> > > >
> > > > HH: It's interesting that you hold this view,
> > > > since that is the position I took in my
> > > > dissertation. Yesterday I quoted a couple of
> > > > sentences from it comparing the Servant and
> > > > Cyrus. Here is the next sentence after those:
> > > >
> > > > Isaiah used Cyrus to point ahead to the Servant,
> > > > whose glory comes at the final restoration of
> > > > Israel from Babylonian enslavement (Isa
> > > > 52:4-54:10).
> > > >
> > > > HH: My dissertation assumes that God and Isaiah
> > > > use the Babylonian Captivity of 587 B.C. as a
> > > > type of another "Babylonian Captivity" of God's
> > > > people that will occur at the end of the age. Of
> > > > course, in the New Testament the Book of
> > > > Revelation describes the ruling city at the end
> > > > of the age as Babylon. Isaiah's prophecies
> > > > clearly extend to the end of the age, to a new
> > > > heavens and earth where things are different and
> > > > far better.
> > > >
> > > > Yours,
> > > > Harold Holmyard
> > > >
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