[b-hebrew] Mashiach

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Thu Aug 31 18:36:13 EDT 2006

On 31/08/2006 23:12, Yonah Mishael wrote:
> One of the phrases that sticks out to me in Isaiah 53 is ידוע חלי in
> verse 3. חולי means "sickness," just as we say that someone is חולה
> "sick." When was Jesus ever sick so that he should be "familiar with
> sickness"? ...

Does this phrase actually necessarily mean that the servant was sick 
himself? After all, a doctor is "familiar with sickness" without being 
sick himself. And in the same way Jesus, the healer, was "familiar with 

> ... There are plenty of things in the text that do not support
> the Christian notion of Jesus.
I think the Christian notion of Jesus is something for Christian 
theologians to judge, and not on this list. Suffice it to say that that 
this passage has been central to the development of that notion since 
while the New Testament was being written, see for example Acts 8:30-35 
and 1 Peter 2:21-25.

> This text is a metaphor for the nations looking at Israel (or at least
> at the righteous remnant of Israel) and being surprised at how they
> were mistreated in their innocence. A clear indicator of this comes in
> verse 8:
> מעצר וממשפט לקח    ואת דורו מי ישוחח
> כי נגזר מארץ חיים    מפשע עמי נגע למו
> It says that he was "cut off from the land of the living," which is a
> clear reference to being forced out of the land of promise — Erets
> Yisra'el.
Is Erets Yisra'el anywhere else called "the land of the living"? I would 
have thought the interpretation "he was put to death" makes much more 
sense of the Hebrew, without prejudice to who might be referred to. But 
I would agree that the Babylonian exile could be seen as metaphorical 
death and so could be referred to here.

> The victim here is that righteous remnant that has always existed in
> Israel and who did not deserve to be forced into exile, but they
> suffered because of the sin of others — not in atonement for it, but
> because they were there. The speaker is either Isaiah speaking on
> behalf of the nation of Israel in general, or it is the kings of the
> nations (gentile kings) who are astonished at the transformation they
> see in Israel as he goes from despised to "high, lifted up, and
> exalted exceedingly" (רום ונישא וגבהּ מאוד).
> This seems to be the natural reading, IMHO.
I can accept that this may be something like what the prophecy meant to 
the original prophet. But I would hold that, like Psalm 2 for example, 
the passage has a prophetic significance beyond this surface meaning, as 
looking forward to a greater fulfilment in the Messianic age. I 
understand that this was an originally Jewish way of looking at such 
passages which was taken over by Christians. Would this accord at all 
with current Jewish interpretations?

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://speakertruth.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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