52:13 Behold, My servant shall succeed; he will be exalted and become high and exceedingly lofty.
Jews for Judaism:
The success and exaltation of God’s servant is an event that the prophet sees as futuristic. The immediate context (52:7-12) tells us that this is part of the blessing that Israel will experience at the time of her restoration.
Isaiah 52/ 7-13 from Chabad.org reads “7How beautiful are the feet of the herald on the mountains, announcing peace, heralding good tidings, announcing salvation, saying to Zion, “Your God has manifested His kingdom.” 8The voice of your watchmen- they raised a voice, together they shall sing, for eye to eye they shall see when the Lord returns to Zion. 9Burst out in song, sing together, O ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has consoled his people; He has redeemed Jerusalem. 10The Lord has revealed His holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
11Turn away, turn away, get out of there, touch no unclean one; get out of its midst, purify yourselves, you who bear the Lord’s vessels. 12For not with haste shall you go forth and not in a flurry of flight shall you go, for the Lord goes before you, and your rear guard is the God of Israel. 13Behold My servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and he shall be very high.”
In Isaiah 52/13 G-d says “My servant shall prosper” in reference to His people who are the Jewish people. G-d does not say how this is accomplished. All of Isaiah 52 is describing the Assyrian/Babylon exiles and their return to rebuild the second Temple. G-d’s redemption of Jerusalem and His holy arm revealed to the world was through the gentile HaMoshiach Cyrus of Persia and his declaration for the exiles to be free to return to Jerusalem and build G-d’s Temple. According to the prophecy of Isaiah and the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah all twelve tribes and the priestly tribe of the Levites returned.
It is G-d’s way to use men for His purposes and He says in Isaiah 11 that He will raise up a man from the line of David and poetically bring on a time of peace. This did not happen in the second Temple era.
G-d has never changed the will of men or how they think of the Jewish people in His power. Any exaltation the Jewish people receive from the world will come through G-d’s efforts with His prophet described in Isaiah 53 who G-d calls “My righteous servant”. G-d is not creating a new world of all men loving and exalting and holding in high esteem the Jewish people and practicing Judaism but He is creating a new Heaven for only the Jewish people where the name of Israel shall endure forever.
This is what G-d says about the coming of HaMoshiach who heralds the covenant of friendship as part of the blessing that Israel will experience in the day of the L-rd:
“10Thus said the Lord God: I am going to deal with the shepherds! I will demand a reckoning of them for My flock, and I will dismiss them from tending the flock. The shepherds shall not tend themselves any more; for I will rescue My flock from their mouths, and it shall not be their prey. ” Ezekiel 34/10 Tanakh JPS 1985
“23Then I will appoint a single shepherd over them to tend them—My servant David. He shall tend them, he shall be a shepherd to them. 24I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David shall be a ruler among them—I the Lord have spoken. 25And I will grant them a covenant of friendship. I will banish vicious beasts from their land, and they shall live secure in the wasteland, they shall even sleep in the woodland. 26I will make these and the environs of My hill a blessing: I will send down the rain in its season, rains that bring blessing. 27The trees of the field shall yield their fruit and the land shall yield its produce. [My people] shall continue secure on its own soil. They shall know that I am the Lord when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from those who enslave them. 28They shall no longer be a spoil for the nations, and the beasts of the earth shall not devour them; they shall dwell secure and untroubled. 29I shall establish for them a planting of renown; they shall no more be carried off by famine, and they shall not have to bear again the taunts of the nations. 30They shall know that I the Lord their God am with them and they, the House of Israel, are My people—declares the Lord God.” Ezekiel 34/23-30 Tanakh JPS 1985
The description of the Jewish people as “My servant” ends a chapter and the new chapter describing “My righteous servant” leading into Isaiah 53 begins.
The man described is G-d’s anointed king upon whom the spirit of G-d and the person of the spirit of the Holy G-d alights upon in Isaiah 11 and he is the teacher of righteousness who is Elijah.
Elijah arrives with the angel of the covenant of sin forgiveness and reconciles the sons to the fathers and the fathers to the sons through the teachings of the L-rd given to Moses at Horeb.
Those who heed and revere the name of the L-rd and those who are reconciled to G-d and the practice of Judaism and written into the scroll of remembrance of Malachi 3 are part of the “many” that G-d’s righteous servant makes righteous in Isaiah 53/11.
The angel of the covenant is the angel of G-d’s Presence who is the person of the spirit of the Holy G-d. He alighted upon me in 2007 and never leaves me. He is a guiding angel and speaks to me the words of the L-rd and we converse as friends throughout the day. And as G-d was in the angel sent before the Israelites in the Exodus and G-d was in the angel of the L-rd in the burning bush G-d is in the angel of His Presence who is the person of the spirit of the Holy G-d. G-d speaks to me indirectly through the angel of His Presence and directly to me face to face as one friend converses with another. His Presence never leaves me.
52:14 Just as many were astonished over you, [saying] his appearance is too marred to be that of man and his visage to be human.
Jews for Judaism:
The prophet is talking to the servant in the first person, another indication that the servant is Israel. In the previous verses (52:7-12), the prophet speaks to Israel in the first person several times.
The prophet identifies the servant as one who was considered by many to be subhuman. The onlookers judged the servant to be subhuman because of the way he appeared to them.
Beginning with Isaiah 52/14 and continuing for all of Isaiah 53 is a description of G-d’s righteous servant. It is not a song. It is not Israel speaking as a single man. It does not declare Israel to be the servant. It is the only time the words “My righteous servant” are used by the L-rd in the scripture.
How could a man today fit the description of the L-rd’s righteous servant in the Book of Isaiah 52/14 with his visage or appearance marred and his form beyond human semblance. Using the ideas of Judaism and Christianity for their descriptions of the righteous servant as Israel or Jesus if I were to be seen with all of my injuries from accidents and surgical operations at one time, before healing, together with my congenital disfigurement, my appearance would be marred and my form beyond human semblance.
52:15 So shall he overthrow many nations, kings will shut their mouths, for that which they had never been told they will [now] see and that which they had never heard they will [now] perceive.
Jews for Judaism:
The servant is depicted as one who overcomes nations. (It is through the overpowering of nations that the servant “divides spoils” as the prophet foretells in 53:12. See also Micah 4:13; 5:7; Isaiah 41:15,16.) The prophet is telling us that just as many were astonished by the servant’s lowliness so will many witness the servant’s victory and exaltation.
The kings of nations will know the servant and his exaltation will take them by surprise. They had heard various teachings about the servant but they had never been told about the exaltation that they are now witnessing. (See Micah 7:16).
“They” had not been told by their Sages, wise men, Rabbi’s, Pastors, Priest’s, Pope’s and theologians that G-d’s righteous servant of Isaiah 53 was Elijah. “They” had never heard such a thing.
That Elijah is the HaMoshiach who like Cyrus of Persia is given this name and that Elijah is the descendant of King David of the tribe of Judah (Elijah of the Bible is not an Israelite. He is a Tishbite from Gilead east of the river Jordan).
53:1 Who would have believed our report, and upon whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed.
These are the words of the surprised kings described in the previous verse. (The same grammatical pattern is found in Isaiah 14:16 where the verb for “perception” is followed by the words of those “perceiving” without a direct introduction.) These kings have known the servant throughout his period of lowliness and in all of that time they were never told how the servant will one day be exalted by God to the degree that they now witness. The report that they now hear (and perceive) is something that they would have never believed in the time of the servant’s lowliness.
The revelation of the arm of the Lord has already been described in 52:10 where we clearly see how the arm of the Lord is revealed on behalf of Israel. (See Psalm 98:1-3).
The speakers of verses 1-6 of Isaiah 53 are the witnesses of the righteous servant and are included among those who are made righteous.
The arm of the L-rd is His arm of redemption. The redemption of the Jewish people begins with the arrival of Elijah with the angel of the covenant of the forgiveness of the sins of the Jewish people. The witnesses ask who can believe it? That G-d would redeem the Jewish people but even more so that G-d is doing it in the same manner that He did things in the Jewish Bible. With one man and not by using His power to change the will and thinking of all people so that they heed and revere the name of the L-rd and are all knowledgeable in the teachings of G-d that He gave to Moses.
And who can believe that G-d said He would send Elijah with the covenant of sin forgiveness when Jerusalem was rebuilt as it is today and he is really here? That the prophecy of G-d of the arrival of Elijah to reconcile the families of the Jewish people to G-d and showing that the only true religion of Abraham is Judaism is really happening?
53:2 He grew like a sapling before Him and like a root from arid ground, he had neither form nor grandeur; we saw him, but without such visage that we should desire him.
Jews for Judaism:
The kings speak of the former state of the servant (before his exaltation). They describe his existence as an impossibility; like a root in an arid and dry land. The kings describe the servant as one who was not attractive or majestic in any way.
Some of the first written interpretations or targums (ancient paraphrases on biblical texts) see Isaiah 53 as referring to an individual servant, the Messiah, who would suffer. Messianic Jewish talmudist, Rachmiel Frydland, recounts those early views:
“Our ancient commentators with one accord noted that the context clearly speaks of God’s Anointed One, the Messiah. The Aramaic translation of this chapter, ascribed to Rabbi Jonathan ben Uzziel, a disciple of Hillel who lived early in the second century c.e., begins with the simple and worthy words:
‘Behold my servant Messiah shall prosper; he shall be high, and increase, and be exceeding strong: as the house of Israel looked to him through many days, because their countenance was darkened among the peoples, and their complexion beyond the sons of men (Targum Jonathan on Isaiah 53, ad locum).’”
“We find the same interpretation in the Babylonian Talmud:
What is his [the Messiah’s] name? The Rabbis said: His name is “the leper scholar,” as it is written, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Sanhedrin 98b)
“Similarly, in an explanation of Ruth 2/14in the Midrash Rabbah it states:
He is speaking of the King Messiah: “Come hither” draw near to the throne “and dip thy morsel in the vinegar,” this refers to the chastisements, as it is said, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities.”
“The Zohar, in its interpretation of Isaiah 53, points to the Messiah as well:
There is in the Garden of Eden a palace named the Palace of the Sons of Sickness. This palace the Messiah enters, and He summons every pain and every chastisement of Israel. All of these come and rest upon Him. And had He not thus lightened them upon Himself, there had been no man able to bear Israel’s chastisements for the trangression of the law; as it is written, “Surely our sicknesses he has carried.” (Zohar II, 212a)
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 righteous 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.
No one cites the obvious individual that I have seen and the correlation between the purpose of G-d’s righteous servant and the purpose of Elijah in the book of Malachi. The man who comes with the angel of the covenant of sin forgiveness of the Jewish people G-d declared for a time to come in Jeremiah 31. Elijah. He brings the redemption. He is the HaMoshiach. He has to be described. Just as the twig of the stump of Jesse of Isaiah 11/2 has to be described.
Rashi’s commentary on verse 2, in his contrary opinion that the righteous servant is Israel the people, for my interpretation of the righteous servant being the descendant of David from Chapter 11, would read: “This man, before this greatness came to him, was a very humble man, and he came up by himself like a sapling of the saplings of the trees, and like a root: he came up from dry land, neither form: had he in the beginning, nor comeliness. Now shall we desire him?: This is a question.”
Shall we desire him? If the dry land were atheism and his form was a gentile (like Cyrus of Persia) under the Jewish law, the Halacha (in the beginning), would he be attractive to the Jewish people. No. And that is a description of me Keith Ellis McCarty and I am a descendant of King David through King Solomon of the tribe of Judah by virtue of the spirit of G-d alighting upon me in 2007 in fulfillment of Isaiah 11/1-2. I will convert orthodox when I reach Jerusalem.
53:3 Scorned and isolated from men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness, as one from whom we would hide our faces; he was scorned and we had no regard for him.
Jews for Judaism:
The prophet continues with the words of the kings who had shunned the servant throughout his time of lowliness. The general state of the servant throughout this period was that he was separated from the rest of humanity. The kings describe him as a figure that was so visibly stricken by suffering that it was difficult for people to look at him.
This verse fits me today. And there will be many more who scorn, shun and hold me of no regard simply for declaring this truth: I am the Lord’s righteous servant described in this chapter who is Elijah.
I am a man of suffering, familiar with disease as a colon and skin cancer survivor with over twenty-two surgical scars from many different accidents including a gun shot to the abdomen, emotional scars from a dysfunctional home as a child and 20 years of head and jaw pain from nightmares and grinding my teeth.
None of which prepared me for the suffering I have endured by the hand, words and power of G-d after I offered myself for guilt to Him to receive long life after He crushed me with disease. The very same ordeal that G-d put Ezekiel through to make his forehead like flint to be a prophet to the Jewish people in the Assyrian/Babylon exile (though G-d removed the nightmares and constant head pain).
53:4 But in truth, it was our ills that he bore and our pains that he carried; but we had regarded him diseased, stricken by God and afflicted.
Jews for Judaism:
The kings now realize that their spiritual assessment of the servant was completely backward. During the time of the servant’s lowliness those who knew him believed that his constant affliction proves that he is spiritually deformed. Otherwise, why would this nation be singled out for God’s wrath over any other?
But now, with the servant’s exaltation, they realize that the servant was not more wicked than them but more righteous. Their assessment of the servant is reversed because they come to a true understanding of God’s plan throughout history. With the restoration of Israel and God’s glory coming to dwell in the Jerusalem Temple the nations of the world will experience true sanctity and a real connection to God. They will realize that many of their activities were actively preventing God’s presence from being manifest in this world, even though they had considered many of these activities to be righteous and Godly.
In order for God’s presence to be revealed in this world there needs to be obedience and humility toward God. This obedience does not have to be perfect because God doesn’t demand from His creations that which they cannot deliver, but it needs to be accepting of God’s sovereignty to the degree that humans are capable.
Since all of mankind benefits from God’s presence being manifest in this world it would be appropriate that all of mankind participate in the work of preparing a resting place for God’s presence. The way that this sanctuary for God would be prepared would necessitate that mankind purify its collective heart. In order to build this dwelling place for God mankind would need to strive to achieve humility toward God and to accept God’s sovereignty.
But instead of putting this task on the shoulders of all mankind, God placed this task on the shoulders of His servant. Instead of purifying the collective heart of all mankind, God chose to purify the collective heart of His servant Israel and His servant will then shine the truth toward the rest of mankind. The nations will walk by that light and partake of the goodness of God (Isaiah 60:3). And the way that God chose to purify the heart of His servant is through suffering (Isaiah 48:10).
With the exaltation of the servant the nations will realize that it was through the servant that God was accomplishing His purpose in the world for the benefit of all mankind. The suffering that the servant bore should have been borne by all mankind, and if anything, the nations should have carried the brunt of the suffering, because it was their wickedness that was more directly standing in the way of God’s purpose for the world.
Rambam in “The Laws Concerning King Moshiach.” says the natural order of the world will not change and will continue according to its pattern and that Moshiach will not work miracles and wonders, bring about new phenomena within the world, resurrect the dead, or perform other similar deeds.
The nations will never see the Jewish people in the light discussed by Jews for Judaism and the kings (of nations) will never come to realize that their spiritual assessment of the servant was completely backward or that in truth “it was our ills that he bore and our pains that he carried; but we had regarded him diseased, stricken by God and afflicted.”
Diseased, stricken and afflicted does not describe the Jewish people in any way. Isaiah 53 is describing a man not a spiritual concept of what might happen in the world in a selective interpretation of the Jewish Bible in what G-d means when He says His servant will be exalted.
Rambam says Moshiach will compel all of Israel to walk in the way of the Torah; perfect the entire world motivating all the nations to serve G-d together; there will be neither famine nor war, neither envy nor competition; the entire world will be solely to know G-d; and the Jews will therefore be great sages and know the hidden matters with an understanding of their Creator to the full extent of human potential.
Rambam and the Sages and Jews for Judaism are religious leaders and as such interpret the scripture to create a world wide religious utopia of Judaism as the one true religion and peace throughout the world.
And yet these are G-d’s words on the days of the HaMoshiach that are not poetic ideals that can never happen in the real world as found in Isaiah 60 written not as prophecy but as a song for hope and joy and better times to come that have nothing to do with the world only Israel to flourish and be secure and the Jewish people to no longer be a spoil for the nations and not to have to bear the taunts of the nations from Ezekiel 34/23-31:
“23Then I will appoint a single shepherd over them to tend them—My servant David. He shall tend them, he shall be a shepherd to them. 24I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David shall be a ruler among them—I the Lord have spoken. 25And I will grant them a covenant of friendship. I will banish vicious beasts from their land, and they shall live secure in the wasteland, they shall even sleep in the woodland. 26I will make these and the environs of My hill a blessing: I will send down the rain in its season, rains that bring blessing. 27The trees of the field shall yield their fruit and the land shall yield its produce. [My people] shall continue secure on its own soil. They shall know that I am the Lord when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from those who enslave them. 28They shall no longer be a spoil for the nations, and the beasts of the earth shall not devour them; they shall dwell secure and untroubled. 29I shall establish for them a planting of renown; they shall no more be carried off by famine, and they shall not have to bear again the taunts of the nations. 30They shall know that I the Lord their God am with them and they, the House of Israel, are My people—declares the Lord God. 31For you, My flock, flock that I tend, are men; and I am your God—declares the Lord God.”
And the last words of G-d on the end times and the day of the L-rd is to be mindful of His teachings and that Elijah will reconcile families to one another by these teachings. Many of whom will return to the L-rd and be written into the scroll of remembrance and many who will not.
The witnesses who say in truth it was our ills that he bore and our pains that he carried are suffering the sickness of not being righteous. I have suffered by the chastisement and punishment laid on me by the hand, words and power of G-d to make me suitable for His purpose (just as G-d does with Ezekiel).
A purpose that includes making the many righteous which includes the witnesses. Just as Ezekiel bore the punishment for the Houses of Israel and Judah it was only to prepare him to be a prophet to the Jewish people in exile. I offered to bear the guilt of those who are not righteous to make the many righteous by my knowledge through the teachings of G-d given to me during my punishment to prepare me to be a prophet.
The witnesses will regard me as diseased, stricken by God and afflicted because I have been throughout my life by the hand of G-d in order to fulfill this verse as the man familiar with disease and crushed with disease so that I would desire long life and offer myself for the guilt of many others to be made righteous by my knowledge and received an oppressive judgement of chastisement, bruising, crushing and punishment until suitable for G-d’s purpose.
This verse describes a man that G-d does not like. A sinner whose life is full of bad events, sickness and sorrows and a person with flawed features. I was born disfigured with no right breast with a smaller right shoulder and withered arm and G-d crushed me with cancer. Colon cancer that spread to my lungs and skin cancer.
53:5 He was violated because of our sins and crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his company, we were healed.
Jews for Judaism:
With the servant’s exaltation, the kings will finally realize that the ultimate goal toward which God was leading all of mankind was not the exaltation of the object of their own devotion, but that it was the exaltation of the object of Israel’s devotion that all of history was leading to. They will realize that much of what they considered Godly was directly opposing God’s plan. And they will realize that the servant’s activities were pleasing to God all along. They will recognize that any blessing that they merited was because of their association with the servant. The purification process that the servant had to undergo was more for the general benefit of mankind than for his own benefit.
The last phrase in this verse can also be translated as: “and with his wounds we were healed.” The point remains the same. With the exaltation of the servant the nations realize that the merit of the servant had protected them all along and the servant’s merit and righteousness was achieved through his suffering.
By agreement between myself and G-d based on my offer of my soul to G-d with the consideration being the acceptance of the guilt of others and becoming a prophet of G-d with long life to serve G-d with devotion I have been wounded, crushed, chastised and bruised by the hand, words and power of G-d to make me suitable for His purpose.
That purpose includes being the messenger and herald of the new covenant of sin forgiveness for the Jewish people and making the many righteous by reconciling the children to the parents and the parents to the children through the teachings of G-d as Elijah.
“By his bruises [or stripes] we are healed” in some translations of the Hebrew means that the marks of the fire of refinement the L-rd has put me through have prepared me to be the teacher of righteousness and those who listen are healed of their sinful ways. It does not mean my bruises and scars (stripes) bore the sins of others.
53:6 We have all strayed like sheep, each of us turning his own way, and the Lord inflicted upon him the iniquity of us all.
Jews for Judaism:
With the exaltation of the servant the nations come to the realization that while they believed that they were “following God,” in truth they were following their own way because God had never commanded them to walk in those paths. The nations thought that they were achieving atonement for their own sins, each according to their own respective theologies on the subject. But they now see that they were doing nothing to move God’s purpose forward. It was the despised servant who was moving God’s purpose forward. It was in the heart of the servant that God was preparing a corner of humility and obedience that would serve as God’s dwelling place for the benefit of all mankind. And it was in the heart of the servant that the refining process of purging the world of rebellion against God was taking place.
I offered my soul and self to G-d for guilt in return for long life and to serve His purpose. I accepted the guilt of the Jewish people as my own and G-d sentenced me to suffering chastisement and punishment by His hand, words and power until I was suitable for His purpose to make intercession for the many sinners through the teaching of righteousness and to be the messenger of the new covenant of sin forgiveness for the Jewish people. And much more.
53:7 He was persecuted and afflicted, but he did not open his mouth; like a sheep being led to the slaughter or like a ewe that is silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth.
Jews for Judaism:
The prophet continues to describe the suffering of the servant. We are given to understand that the persecutors of the servant saw him as an animal. The attitude of the servant’s enemies was that suffering is the God-ordained lot of the servant just as sheep were put in this world by God to be shorn and slaughtered. And anything that the servant might have said in self-defense was as meaningless to his persecutors as the bleating of sheep before those who sheer them.
The prophet uses the metaphors of slaughtering and sheering to indicate that the servant suffered through his enemies in two different ways. Sometimes his enemies would slaughter him as people would slaughter sheep. And even when his enemies would not kill him they would still fleece him of his possessions just as people shear the wool off their sheep.
The speaker of verses 7-10 is the prophet Isaiah.
Persecution and being afflicted by G-d is a part of being chastised and punished by the hand, words and power of G-d. It is necessary to break the will of a man and to cleanse, temper and calm his soul. It is a tedious slow process full of maltreatment.
G-d is the one who maltreated me not man. So I was submissive and did all I was told to do day in and day out. It is the same process as breaking a wild horse for riding, making a convict in prison obey the rules and making a recruit into a soldier in boot camp. The maltreatment is harsh physically and mentally and an emotional roller-coaster. Your soul screams. It is G-d’s way of tempering and cleansing the spirit and soul. It is a removal of self will to be made suitable for G-d’s purpose.
When G-d revealed himself to me in 2007 He took me from the world, the land of the living and material things. Alone, no more working, no phone, no car, no computer, no law license’s, no bank account, no credit cards, and no money without explanation to friends and family, silent as a lamb.
53:8 Through government and judgment was he deprived, and who could describe his generation, for he was cut off from the land of the living, it was for the sin of my nation that they were afflicted.
Jews for Judaism:
The prophet explains that the persecutors of the servant were not criminals and outcasts from society; it was the governments and the court-systems of the nations that persecuted the servant. Persecution of the servant was not only legalized, but was elevated to the status of religious virtue and patriotic duty.
An alternate interpretation of the opening phrase of this verse would have the prophet telling us that the servant had been deprived of his own government and justice system.
The second phrase in this verse teaches us that the suffering of the servant had been so extreme that no one could express it in words.
The third phrase in this verse teaches us that the servant wasn’t simply killed but that he was deemed unworthy to partake of life together with the rest of humanity. The persecutors of the servant saw him as a subhuman creature that has no rightful place in this world.
The fourth phrase in this verse is the expression of each of the gentile kings acknowledging that it was through the guilt of their own respective nations that the servant suffered. The persecution of the servant was directly proportionate to the evil in the hearts of his persecutors. Throughout history, when a society degenerated into cruelty and evil, they persecuted the Jew. The corrupt Catholic Church, the evil Czars and the brutal Nazis all showed their true colors with their treatment of the Jewish people.
I am not sure what Bible Jews for Judaism used for their commentary on Isaiah 53. This verse has not been translated correctly as few of them have. It seems to be very much like the Holy Bible Old Testament which was translated to Greek and then to English. For this verse I will comment on the Jewish Publication Society 1985 Tanakh which is a complete new translation of the Hebrew to English begun in 1955 by esteemed Editors of Jewish publications and Rabbi’s representing orthodox, conservative and reform branches of Judaism.
“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.”
The oppressive judgement is being guilty and receiving a sentence of maltreatment, chastisement, punishment, bruising and crushing until suitable for G-d’s purpose. A purpose for which I have been given long life. I had the sins and guilt of Israel laid on me that I am not guilty of so that G-d could pronounce an oppressive judgement of maltreatment, chastisement, punishment, bruising and crushing after I offered myself for that guilt, to be made suitable for G-d’s purpose.
My abode is room and board in return for care and assistance to my elderly parents in a town home in Houston, Texas. What is special about describing my abode is that where I dwell G-d dwells. His presence does not leave me. At least until the third Temple is built.
G-d took me away from society and the material things of the world cutting me off from those living their lives with cars and phones and computers and houses and bank accounts and credit cards and money and jobs.
Ezekiel also had the spirit of the Holy G-d who is the angel of His Presence alight upon him and was cut off from the land of the living as he went through this process of refinement of soul and self to be made suitable for G-d’s purpose of being a prophet to the Jewish people in the Assyrian/Babylon exile.
“A 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. “And 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. “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.” Ezekiel 3/25.
Through the sin of my people means the people of Isaiah who are the Jewish people who deserved the punishment. I have been punished by the hand, words and power of the G-d of Israel to make me suitable for His purpose. That purpose includes being the messenger and herald of the new covenant of sin forgiveness to the Jewish people. It is for His names sake and His promise to them that He remembers their sins no more and for the building of the third Temple for G-d’s return to Jerusalem. It will cause many to exalt the Jewish people but many more will be angry and refuse to believe the Jewish people are forgiven of all their sins.
G-d and the person of the spirit of the Holy G-d had also come to Ezekiel (Chapter 3/12-15 and 22-27) to prepare him to be a prophet to the Jewish people. The hand of the Lord of chastisement and punishment is infuriating his spirit. His power covering Ezekiel like cords. The Presence of G-d causes Ezekiel to fall to his face. His tongue is no longer his own for he speaks the words G-d would have him speak. All as punishment for the sins of the Houses of Judah and Israel.
53:9 And he placed his grave with the wicked and his deaths were with the rich for no violence that he had done nor for any deception that was in his mouth.
Jews for Judaism:
Here the prophet reveals how the persecutors of the servant justified and legalized their persecution. They believed as an article of faith that the servant was a violent criminal and that he had gained wealth through deception and the servant was innocent of both of these charges.
Throughout the history of the world, the enemies of the Jews believed that the Jewish people are murderers and liars. The Gospel of John elevates belief in this accusation to the status of religious dogma (John 8:44), and one of the world’s most popular books, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, ensures that people will still believe these lies until the ultimate exaltation of the servant.
The servant was well aware of these accusations. The servant was also aware of the consequences of these accusations. The righteous of Israel realized that their loyalty to God and their refusal to submit to the idols and ideologies of the nations around them will mean that they will be executed in the most gruesome ways and that their graves will be marked as the graves of criminals. And they willingly accepted this fate.
Being buried with the rich is the same thing as a sinner making his grave with the wicked. All men are sinners. This verse simply says the righteous servant of G-d was poor but dies a rich man. The righteous servant of G-d is taken from the world of material things while being prepared to be a prophet to the Jewish people and in the end is given the many as his portion and receives the multitude as his spoil. He will die a rich man and in Isaiah 11 he is said to have an abode to be honored.
53:10 And the Lord desired to crush and afflict him; if his soul would acknowledge guilt, he would see offspring and live long days and the purpose of God will succeed through his hand.
Jews for Judaism:
At this point, the prophetic narrator moves away from the voices of the shocked onlookers and gives us his own perspective of the suffering of the servant. The emphasis changes according to the spiritual needs of the respective speakers. There isn’t much spiritual benefit to be gained by focusing on the guilt of others. It is for this reason that the kings of nations focus on their own guilt as it relates to the suffering of the servant, and for this same reason, the focus shifts to the guilt of the servant when addressing the servant. After all, the audience of the prophet is the people of Israel.
The prophet tells us that God desired to afflict the servant. The purpose of Israel’s suffering, from Israel’s perspective, is to refine them. As a loving father rebukes his son so does God put Israel through the crucible of exile (Deuteronomy 8:5; Proverbs 3:11,12; Amos 3:2).
In order for the suffering to accomplish its purpose the servant needs to acknowledge and to recognize his own guilt. No created being is free of guilt and by acknowledging guilt we come closer to God’s truth. Isaiah, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah were all righteous people yet they all acknowledged their own guilt together with the sins of the nation (Isaiah 6:5; Daniel 9:20; Ezra 9:6; Nehemiah 1:6).
The prophet goes on to tell us the reward that the servant will experience as a result of acknowledging his guilt. The servant will see his physical progeny walking in his footsteps and his days will be lengthened. These two blessings are not unrelated. No individual saint is guaranteed long days. But through his progeny the servant perseveres and outlasts his persecutors. The might, the splendor and the power of those who persecuted the Jew have long faded away while the Jew still prays the same prayers and studies the same texts with freshness and vitality. It is the same Jew that stirred the fanatical hatred of the Church fathers, the mobs of Crusaders, the Moslem Almohads, the Inquisitors, the Ukrainian soldiers of Chemilnicki, the Russian Czars, the Communists and the Nazis. These and many like them have come and gone but the Jew is still here.
The greatest gift that God has granted His servant is the promise that God’s own purpose in this world will be accomplished through him. The righteous of Israel are called God’s armor bearers (Isaiah 52:11). God allowed them to join Him in bringing His light to the world.
I am not sure what Bible Jews for Judaism used for their commentary on Isaiah 53. This verse has not been translated correctly as few of them have. For this verse I will comment on the Jewish Publication Society 1985 Tanakh which is a complete new translation of the Hebrew to English begun in 1955. It is the Book G-d had me purchase to teach me the scripture and for this and many other writings He has had me type. I am typing all of these words at His command and direction. This is G-d’s commentary on Isaiah 53. I am just His prophet that He calls His righteous servant.
“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.”
The people Israel as one have never been crushed by disease at the L-rd’s choosing. I agree with the sage Maimonides (Rambam) that Israel as one man cannot be G-d’s righteous servant of Isaiah 53. This view has many inconsistencies. Foremost is the idea of a collective offering of the Jewish people to G-d for guilt.
The only time there was ever a collective agreement by the people of Israel was at Sinai when the Jewish people received the Torah and it did not include an offering of themselves for guilt. And there is no account that the Israelites were crushed with disease by G-d so that they would make such an offer.
G-d has shown me how he orchestrated my being shot in the abdomen. The bullet passed through my colon, bladder and intestines. I was eighteen and this is when the doctors said a tumor began growing in my colon based on its size when surgically removed when I was in my early forties shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York. It was G-d who caused the cancer according to G-d.
To say it crushed me and my life is an understatement and was one of the reasons I made my soul and self an offering for guilt to G-d. So I offered my soul and self for guilt to G-d and the offer was accepted. I did not know what an offering for guilt meant at the time G-d began speaking to me and revealing His power and the weight of His presence. G-d had to teach me the scripture first. One night G-d told me to read Isaiah 53 and when I finished He asked me who I thought that was. I said I did not know and G-d said “that is you”. From there we went back to the first verse and He began to show me how I fit the description.
I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been and I have been through many injuries and sorrowful times. I became guilty of sins that were not my own and G-d sentenced me to maltreatment, chastisement, crushing, bruising and punishment until suitable for His purpose.
Now my soul has been cleansed of sin and tempered in His power that envelops me always (the cords of His power). I was not born with the soul of the Moshiach. G-d took my sinful soul that I offered to Him and created the soul of the Moshiach while it rested in me. A soul G-d can dwell with and not be offended. His Presence and His power never leave me. Our communication is face to face and as one friend to another and we converse throughout the day and night constantly. All that I say and do is controlled by G-d.
My gunshot accident on a ranch in Texas that led to the cancer that crushed me also led to my marrying the girl who lived next door and we had three children.
53:11 From the travail of his soul he will see and be satiated, with his knowledge will My righteous servant render many righteous and he will bear their sins.
Jews for Judaism:
The prophet continues to describe the reward that the servant will experience as a recompense for his suffering. The servant will see the good that was achieved through his suffering and he will be satiated with the knowledge that God’s purpose was brought to fruition through his suffering.
The servant will utilize his knowledge to render the many righteous. Israel will teach the truth that they carry in their heart (Isaiah 51:7) to the nations (Zechariah 8:23; Isaiah 42:4). And even after the exaltation will the servant take responsibility for the sins of the nations. Israel is called upon to be God’s priest (Isaiah 61:6). Just as the priests in the Temple bore the responsibility of Israel’s sins so does Israel bear the responsibility of the sins of the nations (Numbers 18:1). It is the priest’s responsibility to teach the people and guide them and if the people fail, the priests are held responsible (Malachi 2:8). In the Messianic age, the responsibility to teach mankind will fall on the shoulders of the righteous of Israel.
The speaker of verses 11-12 is the L-rd.
The travail of my soul was from the emotional and physical pain I have suffered by punishment in the power of the L-rd of Hosts to make me suitable for His purpose. Being suitable for His purpose includes knowledge of the scripture and perfect communication between myself and G-d and the person of His spirit. I am devoted to G-d and His purpose.
He has prepared me well through this process of refinement by punishment and teaching me the scripture to make the many righteous and to be the herald of the time to come of G-d’s forgiveness of the sins of the Jewish people G-d declared in Jeremiah 31. The time to come in Jeremiah 31 is the time to come when Jerusalem is rebuilt as it is today and the Jewish people will never be uprooted or overthrown again. That will be assured by the day of the L-rd.
53:12 Therefore, I will assign him a portion from the many and he will divide the mighty as spoils, in return for having poured out his soul for death and being counted among the wicked, for he bore the sin of the many, and he will pray for the wicked.
Jews for Judaism:
This verse continues with the description of the servant’s reward. The servant will be given the wealth of his persecutors. These will be granted to him as spoils of war (Isaiah 33:23; Ezekiel 39:10; Zechariah 14:14).
This reward is due to the servant for his willingness to die for God’s sake and for accepting the scorn of his persecutors who considered his faith to be criminal. The suffering that the righteous of Israel endured, a suffering that included being the outcast of humanity and oftentimes even death, brought all of mankind to experience the light of God (Isaiah 60:3). The men that God chose as His armor bearers fought a difficult battle but their task is never done. Even after their exaltation and vindication, they will still pray on behalf of all mankind.
I poured out my soul to death by a near fatal bullet wound and colon cancer which had spread to my lungs. I was told I was going to die. G-d has told me that by His power I survived and by His power I will have long life. During the refinement of my soul and spirit G-d has exposed me to death as a part of my offering myself for guilt in vision and in the real world similar to the account of Jonah at the bottom of the ocean. G-d always includes teachings of the scripture when He is chastising and punishing me.
I was numbered a sinner just like all men and was a sinner who did not know that G-d accepts repentance. I have been brought into righteousness with Him and now G-d is in charge of everything I do and say to make intercession for the many sinners through the teaching of righteousness and as the messenger of the new covenant of sin forgiveness for the Jewish people.
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.
Rabbi Tovia Singer of Outreach Judaism, Let’s Get Biblical and a member of SpiritualBabies takes the view that Isaiah 53 is the suffering servant Israel by human sacrifice as the Christians do of Jesus by analysis of the Holocaust and the offering of guilt being guilt offerings of the animal sacrificial and atonement laws of the Torah rather than the “exaltation” of Jews for Judaism. His written commentary on Isaiah 53/10 is in this writing:
Making One’s Self and Soul an Offering for Guilt to HaShem is Not a Ram or Lamb Sacrifice https://keithmccartymccarty.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/making-ones-self-and-soul-an-offering-for-guilt-to-hashem-is-not-a-ram-or-lamb-sacrifice/?fb_action_ids=1934902676785158&fb_action_types=news.publishes
For a more descriptive commentary on Isaiah 53 that shows how G-d’s righteous servant cannot be Jesus see:
My Midrash of Isaiah 53; Suffering Servant Jesus Christ, Suffering Servant Israel or G-d’s Righteous Servant Keith Ellis McCarty (Elijah) https://keithmccartymccarty.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/my-midrash-of-isaiah53-suffering-servant-jesus-christ-suffering-servant-israel-or-g-ds-righteous-servant-keith-ellis-mccarty-elijah/
And for a more descriptive interpretation of how G-d’s righteous servant and Ezekiel are put through the same process of refinement of soul and self to be suitable as prophets to the Jewish people see:
Through the Sin of My People https://keithmccartymccarty.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/through-the-sin-of-my-people/