7But the House of Israel will refuse to listen to you, for they refuse to listen to Me; for the whole House of Israel are brazen of forehead and stubborn of heart. 8But I will make your face as hard as theirs, and your forehead as brazen as theirs. 9I will make your forehead like adamant (shamir), harder than flint. Do not fear them, and do not be dismayed by them, though they are a rebellious breed.” Ezekiel 3/7-9 Tanakh JPS 1985.
14A spirit seized me and carried me away. I went in bitterness, in the fury of my spirit, while the hand of the Lord was strong upon me. Ezekiel 3/14 Tanakh JPS 1985.
24And a spirit entered into me and set me upon my feet. And He spoke to me, and said to me: “Go, shut yourself up in your house. Ezekiel 3/24 Tanakh JPS 1985.
25As for you, O mortal, cords have been placed upon you, and you have been bound with them, and you shall not go out among them. Ezekiel 3/25 Tanakh JPS 1985.
4“Then lie on your left side, and let it bear the punishment of the House of Israel; for as many days as you lie on it you shall bear their punishment. 5For I impose upon you three hundred and ninety days, corresponding to the number of the years of their punishment; and so you shall bear the punishment for the House of Israel. 6When you have completed these, you shall lie another forty days on your right side, and bear the punishment of the House of Judah. I impose on you one day for each year. Ezekiel 4/4 Tanakh JPS 1985.
8Now I put cords upon you, so that you cannot turn from side to side until you complete your days of siege. Ezekiel 4/8 Tanakh JPS 1985.
31See, a time is coming—declares the Lord—when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers, when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, though I espoused them—declares the Lord. 33But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days—declares the Lord: I will put My Teaching into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, “Heed the Lord“; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Me—declares the Lord.
For I will forgive their iniquities,
And remember their sins no more. Jeremiah 31/34 Tanakh JPS 1985.
5But he was wounded because of our sins, Crushed because of our iniquities. He bore the chastisement that made us whole, And by his bruises we were healed. Isaiah 53/5 Tanakh JPS 1985.
6We all went astray like sheep, Each going his own way; And the Lord visited upon him The guilt of all of us.” Isaiah 53/6 Tanakh JPS 1985.
8By oppressive judgment he was taken away, Who could describe his abode? For he was cut off from the land of the living Through the sin of my people, who deserved the punishment. Isaiah 53/8 Tanakh JPS 1985.
10But the Lord chose to crush him by disease, That, if he made himself an offering for guilt, He might see offspring and have long life, And that through him the Lord’s purpose might prosper. Isaiah 53/10 Tanakh JPS 1985.
11Out of his anguish he shall see it; He shall enjoy it to the full through his devotion. My righteous servant makes the many righteous, It is their punishment that he bears; Isaiah 53/11 Tanakh JPS 1985.
1Behold, I am sending My messenger to clear the way before Me, and the Lord whom you seek shall come to His Temple suddenly. As for the angel of the covenant that you desire, he is already coming. Malachi 3/1 Tanakh JPS 1985.
18I will raise up a prophet for them from among their own people, like yourself: I will put My words in his mouth and he will speak to them all that I command him; 19and if anybody fails to heed the words he speaks in My name, I myself will call him to account. Deuteronomy 18-19 Tanakh JPS 1985.
1But a shoot shall grow out of the stump of Jesse,
A twig shall sprout from his stock.
2The spirit of the Lord shall alight upon him:
A spirit of wisdom and insight,
A spirit of counsel and valor,
A spirit of devotion and reverence for the Lord. Isaiah 11/1-2 Tanakh JPS 1985.
The early Sages expected a personal Messiah to fulfill the Isaiah prophecy. No alternative interpretation was applied to this passage until the Middle Ages. And then, a completely different view was presented. This view was popularized by Jewish commentator Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Itzchaki), who lived one thousand years after Jesus.
Rashi held the position that the servant passages of Isaiah referred to the collective fate of the nation of Israel rather than a personal Messiah. Some rabbis, such as Ibn Ezra and Kimchi, agreed. However, many other rabbinic sages during this same period and later—including Maimonides—realized the inconsistencies of Rashi’s views and would not abandon the original messianic interpretations.
Yet to this day, many rabbis persist in citing Rashi as the definitive word on how to interpret the servant of the Lord in Isaiah 53. Others admit the weakness of this view and say that the passage applies to an individual. They usually cite the prophet Isaiah himself, King Cyrus, King Hezekiah, Josiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Moses, Job or even some anonymous contemporaries of Isaiah as the one spoken of by the prophet.
The Christian idea directly contradicts the basic Jewish teaching that God promises forgiveness to all who sincerely return to Him; thus there is no need for the Messiah to atone for others.
There is no vicarious suffering or atonement for others in Isaiah 53. There is no animal guilt sacrifice applied to humans. The man described is given long life. He is punished with chastisement by the words of G-d and wounded and bruised not killed or sacrificed. It does not describe Jesus or the Jewish people.
And I can explain the true meaning of the verses as none have before me for one simple reason. I am that man.
I have been wounded, crushed, chastised and bruised by the hand, words and power of G-d to make me suitable for His purpose since 2007 when His spirit and the person of His spirit alighted upon me in fulfillment of Isaiah 11/1-2. This purpose includes being the messenger and herald of the new covenant of sin forgiveness to the Jewish people G-d declared for a time to come in Jeremiah 31.
There is no vicarious atonement in Isaiah 53 by one man or a nation or a part thereof for others. When G-d forgives sins He declares it through His prophets in writing and in Malachi 3 He sends the prophet Elijah with the angel of the covenant of sin forgiveness previously declared in Jeremiah 31.
The chastisement, punishment, bruising and crushing is to make me stronger emotionally. To be more of a soldier to God’s purpose. To protect me emotionally from the haters and naysayers, to move to a country of a foreign language I have never known all alone, and to speak God’s words to the Jewish people. The same chastisement and punishment G-d laid on Ezekiel for the sins of the House of Israel and the House of Judah.
And much more. The constant interaction created my devotion to God and to the prosperity of His purpose, our communication when alone and when I am with others is perfect and on many levels, and I obey His every command with little emotional resistance. G-d has the power to stop any emotional response I may have to anything. We work on this all the time. But I have to be made ready for this power and it is through chastisement and punishment.
This is what G-d is referring to in Isaiah 53/11 when He says “Out of his anguish he shall see it; He shall enjoy it to the full through his devotion.” Out of the anguish of chastisement and punishment I will see the prosperity of His purpose and enjoy it to the full through my devotion to His purpose.
This same chastisement and punishment for the sins of others in Isaiah 53 is also in Ezekiel where God says:
“But I will make your face as hard as theirs, and your forehead as brazen as theirs. 9I will make your forehead like adamant (shamir), harder than flint.”
How will HaShem make Ezekiel suitable for His purpose, making him as hard and brazen as the House of Israel?
By crushing, punishing, bruising and chastising him just as he does with the righteous servant of Isaiah 53 to remove his will and refine and cleanse his soul and remove the fury of his spirit. All this makes Ezekiel more suitable for G-d’s purpose with him to prosper, so that Ezekiel will do and say whatever he is commanded to do and say by G-d without hesitation.
And G-d says to Ezekiel:
“As for you, O mortal, cords have been placed upon you, and you have been bound with them, and you shall not go out among them. And “Now I put cords upon you, so that you cannot turn from side to side until you complete your days of siege.”
These are not references to physical ropes. Ezekiel is being constrained by the power of G-d that envelops him from leaving his house. Just like the man described in Isaiah 53 Ezekiel is cut off from the world. And then he is enduring punishment for the House of Israel by having these cords of God’s power prevent him from turning from side to side. For 430 days pinned to the ground.
And the Jewish people were not vicariously relieved of their punishment. The complete fall of Jerusalem and final deportation occurs in Ezekiel’s lifetime. It is figurative speech. Just as in Isaiah 53 where the man has the sins and guilt of Israel laid on him that he is not guilty of so that G-d can pronounce an oppressive judgement of chastisement and punishment, bruising and crushing, after he offers himself for that guilt, is really just for the man to be made suitable for G-d’s purpose.
It can be seen in this discussion between God and Ezekiel, a Priestly man who followed the laws of a kosher diet who would be beside himself at such a seemingly unrighteous punishment. But that is the point. God treating you as you could never imagine is very humbling and causes great change to your spirit and soul:
“Then I said, “Ah, Lord God, my person was never defiled; nor have I eaten anything that died of itself or was torn by beasts from my youth until now, nor has foul flesh entered my mouth.” He answered me, “See, I allow you cow’s dung instead of human excrement; prepare your bread on that.”
I know what Ezekiel is going through in this punishment. I have experienced it. I cannot describe exactly what Ezekiel went through during those 430 days but I do know what 5 days was for me.
In the second year after the spirit and the person of the spirit of G-d alighted upon me and G-d first spoke to me in 2007 everything changed when G-d told me I was going to sacrifice for 5 days. I had not experienced any crushing, bruising, chastisement or punishment before this. And those are the very words from Isaiah 53.
As I lay in bed the cords of G-d’s power enveloped me. I simply could not move. G-d never stopped talking to me and was explaining to me everything that was happening. He showed me how His power could slowly crush my chest until I could not breath and He let the fear of that overwhelm me.
He used this example to teach and discuss with me Jonah on the bottom of the ocean. He also gave me tremendous visions related to death and was showing me that He could keep me alive without air.
This only took a few hours of the five days. G-d is very creative and there was very little let up in this method of teaching me of His power, the scripture, the Jewish people, fear of Him and the level of pain He would lay on me. I saw His goodness and I saw His backside. A side no man wants to see and hear much less feel. G-d is fearsome and to be feared.
It changed our relationship, how I thought of Him and took a lot of the fight out of my soul. And this process has continued in many ways and experiences over the years. It is how I learned about creation, the scripture and mysteries of heaven while being made suitable for the purposes of G-d.
Ezekiel is told that he is suffering the punishment of the Jewish people. G-d then tells Ezekiel that “I impose on you one day for each year” of their punishment which is armies G-d says he raised up against them, destruction of the first Temple and exile for their disobedience to Him.
You shall bear their punishment really means I am punishing you as they have been punished to make Ezekiel’s forehead like adamant (flint); meaning as hard and tough emotionally as they are and to calm his temperament. To reduce his personal affront to their laughter at him and disbelief that he is actually speaking the words of G-d. To prepare him to be a prophet to the Jewish people in exile.
And what G-d puts me through to learn the scripture and write His words and prepare to speak to the Jewish people as the man described in Isaiah 53 is very involved and emotionally and physically painful. A demanding and harsh teacher is HaShem. At least until I am suitable for His purpose. And out of my anguish I shall see His purpose prosper.
And that purpose which might prosper in Isaiah 53 is the same purpose in Malachi 3 that might prosper and if not utter destruction will come to the land. Re-counseling the Jewish families to each other through HaShem and Judaism.
This is done primarily by removing the idea that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and establishing who I am to those that heed, revere and fear HaShem. I am Elijah and it all begins with heralding that the covenant of sin forgiveness of the Jewish people by G-d for a time to come is here as G-d declared in Jeremiah 31 which causes Torah to be written on the hearts of those who revere and heed HaShem as further explained in Malachi 3 and being instrumental in the building of the third Temple for HaShem to return to “quickly”.
The knowledge that the prophecy of G-d in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Malachi are being fulfilled and G-d’s anointed king (leader) has arrived with sin forgiveness for all who revere and heed HaShem who has personal knowledge of the Heaven where the name Israel will endure forever just as the biblical Elijah would, and he is Elijah and the prophet like Moses who speaks to G-d face to face, should go far in reuniting the Jewish people with HaShem and each other.
After World War II, the Jewish Publication Society began to consider a new edition of the Bible and the concept of a completely new translation gradually took hold and the task was begun in 1955.
Harry M. Orlinsky, Professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (New York) was editor-in-chief along with H. L. Ginsberg, Professor of the Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Ephraim A. Speiser, Professor of Semitic and Oriental Languages at the University of Pennsylvania, as fellow editors.
Associated with them were three rabbis: Max Arzt, Bernard J. Bamberger, and Harry Freedman, representing the Conservative, Reform, and Orthodox branches of organized Jewish religious life.
Copyright @ 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society.