In Isaiah 52/14-15 the Lord begins to describe His righteous servant of Chapter 53. Isaiah 52/14-15 should have been verses 1-2 of Chapter 53. When Scripture was originally written, there were no chapter and verse divisions. A Jewish rabbi by the name of Nathan divided the Hebrew Bible into verses in 1448.  Some of the chapter divisions of the Hebrew Bible are very arbitrary. It is commonly believed that Isaiah 53 starts in the final verses of Isaiah 52. Isaiah 52 actually concludes with verses 12 and 13:

“12For you will not depart in haste, Nor will you leave in flight; For the Lord is marching before you, The God of Israel is your rear guard. 13Indeed, My servant shall prosper, Be exalted and raised to great heights.”

The tribes of Reuben, Gad and the ½ tribe of Manasseh that settled outside of the promised land east of the river Jordan, and the tribes of the northern Kingdom of Samaria (also called the kingdom of Ephraim and the kingdom of Israel) were defeated by the Assyrians and deported to lands in Assyria north-west of Babylon (Iraq) and to the towns of Media (Iran). The Assyrians imported gentiles to the lands of the northern kingdom.

The Kingdom of Judah was defeated by the Babylonians and in stages deported to Babylon (Iraq). Jerusalem is within the lands of Benjamin which lands are considered part of the Kingdom of Judah since that is where the Kings of the lands of Judah ruled from.

The accounts of the return of the Jewish people by decree of Cyrus of Persia, the first gentile anointed one of God (HaMoshiach), who had defeated the Chaldeans (who had defeated the Babylonians) and formed the Persian Empire including their lands, are in the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 Chronicles. HaMoshiach Cyrus addresses all of the thirteen tribes in his decree:

“Thus said King Cyrus of Persia: The Lord God of Heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and has charged me with building Him a House in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Anyone of you of all His people, the Lord his God be with him and let him go up.” 2Chronicles 36/2

Remnants of all of the thirteen tribes of Israel returned to Jerusalem and Judah. The tribes with allotments of land in the northern kingdom could not return to those lands. Gentiles who had been imported to the lands of the northern kingdom were settled there, many of whom tried to stop the building of the second Temple.

“When the seventh month arrived—the Israelites being settled in their towns—the entire people assembled as one man in Jerusalem.” Ezra 3/1

When the people Israel gather as one man it is all twelve tribes and the Levites (the priestly tribe without an allotment of the promised lands).

“The  first  to  settle  in  their  towns,  on  their  property,  were  Israelites,  priests,   Levites,   and  temple servants, while some of the Judahites and some of the Benjaminites and some of the Ephraimites and Manassehites settled in Jerusalem.” 1 Chronicles Chapter 9/2-3

Ephraim and Manasseh were not lost tribes as many believe from writings outside of the Hebrew Bible. It is said in writings by Sages and Rabbi’s that ten of the twelve tribes of Israel became lost and did not return to Judah to build the second Temple. There never were lost tribes according to the Hebrew Bible. If there were lost tribes the many accounts of their return in Ezra, Nehemiah, and  1 Chronicles were not true and Isaiah wrote a prophecy of God that was not fulfilled.

“Fear not, for I am with you: I will bring your folk from the East, Will gather you out of the West; I will say to the North, “Give back!” And to the South, “Do not withhold! Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the end of the earth.” Isaiah 43/5-6

Isaiah’s prophesy is to all Assyrian/Babylonian exiles returning by the words of God. The return of the exiles to the land of Israel given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by covenant and partitioned among the twelve tribes of Israel by Moses and Joshua is not just the Babylon exiles of Judah and Benjamin. It includes all the tribes that were defeated, deported and exiled by the Assyrians before them.

The “Babylon exiles” are all thirteen tribes in Assyria/Babylonia/Chaldean/Persia. In Isaiah 43 God says:

“14Thus said the Lord, Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I send to Babylon; I will bring down all [her] bars, And the Chaldeans shall raise their voice in lamentation.”

“19I am about to do something new; Even now it shall come to pass, Suddenly you shall perceive it: I will make a road through the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”

“25It is I, I who—for My own sake—Wipe your transgressions away And remember your sins no more.”

This account in Isaiah is repeated in the book of Jeremiah for the Jewish people as the dispersal of the Roman/Jewish revolts who return and the land blooms again and the ruined cities and Jerusalem are rebuilt. God’s prophecy of a time to come that also includes sin forgiveness. The time to come when the third Temple will be built by a sin free Holy people for God’s Presence and the angel of His Presence to return to Jerusalem, just as the second Temple was by the Assyria/Babylon exiles. The Jewish people. A Holy seed. The time to come that began in 1948 when the state of Israel was created after the Holocaust. The time to come of the new covenant with sin forgiveness.

Isaiah 52 is an announcement of prophecy fulfilled in the return to Judah of all thirteen tribes. “My servant” exalted is the Jewish people of the Assyrian/Babylonian exile and the “Victory”, or revealed “arm of the Lord” in the sight of all the nations, was the second Temple. Verse 13 ends Chapter 52 and Chapter 53 begins with Isaiah as the speaker describing God’s righteous servant for the time to come.

The man described is God’s representation who brings before the Jewish people, by his actions and words, the will of God in the day of the Lord, as Moses did in the Exodus to the promised land. He is God’s teacher of righteousness; His messenger of the new covenant and reconciler of Jewish families, Elijah; His anointed one the shepherd He calls My servant David; and His veritable mouthpiece on earth and writer of His words, the Prophet like Moses.

Isaiah 52/14 and 15 begins the description of the man God calls “My righteous servant” in Isaiah 53/10:

“52/14Just as the many were appalled at him—So marred was his appearance, unlike that of man, His form, beyond human semblance—15Just so he shall startle many nations. Kings shall be silenced because of him, For they shall see what has not been told them, Shall behold what they never have heard.”

Isaiah 52/14 and continuing for all of Isaiah 53 is a description of God’s righteous servant who makes the many righteous by His knowledge with long life . It is not a song of the servant Israel as first identified by Bernhard Duhn in his 1892 commentary on Isaiah. Bernhard Duhn was a protestant Lutheran theologian of the Christian Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). It is not Israel speaking as a single man. It does not declare Israel to be the righteous servant. It is the only time the words “My righteous servant” are used by the Lord in the scripture.

Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, generally known today by the acronym Rashi (RAbbi SHlomo Itzhaki), was a medieval French rabbi and author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud and commentary on the Tanakh. He is often referred to as the first Rabbi to believe that the Jewish people as one man “Israel” are God’s righteous servant. The early Sages expected a personal Messiah to fulfill the Isaiah prophecy. No alternative interpretation was applied to this passage until the Middle Ages.

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 Moses ben Maimon, commonly known as Maimonides, and often referred to by the acronym Rambam, a medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages-realized the inconsistencies of Rashi’s views and would not abandon the original messianic interpretations.

 

Rashi’s commentary on Isaiah 53 translated from Hebrew to English in the translation of the Tanach by Artscroll, an imprint of translations, books and commentaries from an Orthodox Jewish perspective published by Mesorah Publications, Ltd., supporting this belief conflicts with his commentary on the book of Zechariah, Chapter 1 when he says:

“The prophecy: of Zechariah is extremely enigmatic, because it contains visions resembling a dream that requires an interpretation. We cannot ascertain the truth of its interpretation until the teacher of righteousness comes. Nonetheless, I will put my heart to reconciling the verses, one by one, according to the interpretations that resemble it and following the interpretation of Jonathan”.

The teacher of righteousness Rashi awaits is God’s righteous servant of Isaiah 53. He is referring to a particular man and not the people Israel, which would include himself. Rashi is known for inconsistencies in his interpretations.

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 2/14 in 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 transgression of the law; as it is written, “Surely our sicknesses he has carried.” (Zohar II, 212a)

The following is Rashi’s commentary on all the verses of Isaiah 52 by Artscroll in it’s translation of the Tanach and Rashi from Hebrew to English, and my commentary on the verses and Rashi’s interpretations:

 

1Awaken, awaken, put on your strength, O Zion; put on the garments of your beauty, Jerusalem the Holy City, for no longer shall the uncircumcised or the unclean continue to enter you.

 

2Shake yourselves from the dust, arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; free yourself of the bands of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

Rashi:

Shake yourself: Heb. הִתְנַעֲרִי, escourre in O.F., to shake strongly, like one who shakes out a garment.

arise: from the ground, from the decree (supra 3:26), “She shall sit on the ground.”

sit down: on a throne.

free yourself: Untie yourself [from Jonathan].

bands of: Heb. מוֹסְרֵי, cringatro umbriah in O.F., [strap].

captive: Heb. שְׁבִיָה, like שְׁבוּיָה, captive.

 

3For so said the Lord, “You were sold for nought, and you shall not be redeemed for money.”

Rashi:

You were sold for nought: Because of worthless matters, i.e., the evil inclination, which affords you no reward.

and you shall not be redeemed for money: but with repentance.

Keith:

You were sold for nought: The defeat of the tribes of Rueben, Gad, and the ½ tribe of Manasseh by the Assyrians; the defeat of the tribes of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians; and the defeat of Judah by the Babylonians and deportation of all thirteen tribes to the lands of Assyria/Babylon/Chaldean/Persia.

and you shall not be redeemed for money: God anoints Cyrus of Persia to build the second Temple in Jerusalem who defeats the Chaldeans and Babylonians and by decree frees the exiles to return to Jerusalem and build the Temple for him. God redeems His people using men as He used Moses, not money. And those forgiven of sin need not repent first.

 

4For so said the Lord God, “My people first went down to Egypt to sojourn there, but Assyria oppressed them for nothing.”

Rashi:

My people first went down to Egypt: The Egyptians had somewhat of a debt upon them, for they served for them as their hosts and sustained them, but Assyria oppressed them for nothing and without cause.

 

5″And now, what have I here,” says the Lord, “that My people has been taken for nothing. His rulers boast,” says the Lord, “and constantly all day My name is blasphemed.

Rashi:

And now, what have I here: Why do I stay and detain My children here?

boast: Heb. יְהֵילִילוּ, Boast saying, “Our hand was powerful.”

is blasphemed: Blasphemes itself, and this is an instance similar to (Num 7:89) “And he heard the voice speaking to him.”

Keith:

And now, what have I here: The thirteen tribes defeated, deported, in exile ruled by boastful gentiles who insult, mock, dishonor, and show contempt of Hashem, the God of the Jewish people and creator of mankind.

 

6Therefore, My people shall know My name; therefore, on that day, for I am He Who speaks, here I am.”

Rashi:

My people shall know: When I redeem them, they will recognize that My name is master, monarch, and ruler, as is its apparent meaning.

therefore, on that day: The day of their redemption, they will understand that I am He Who speaks, and behold, I have fulfilled the prophecy.

Keith:

Therefore, My people shall know My name: God will remind the exiles of who He is by freeing them of bondage, fulfilling His prophecy.

for I am He Who speaks,: God speaks to and anoints Cyrus of Persia to build the second Temple in Jerusalem and free the exiles. Just as He spoke to Moses in freeing the Israelites from bondage. Just as He will speak to His righteous servant to have the third Temple built. And the gentiles and His people will know He sanctifies Israel.

here I am: In His Temple on His Holy Mount Zion in Jerusalem (When the second Temple is built, and again when the third Temple is built.)

 

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.”

Keith:

the feet of the herald on the mountains: The remnant of the thirteen tribes returning from exile to the promised land. The herald is the people Israel.

Saying to Zion: Zion is the promised land, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount.

Your God has manifested His Kingdom: The God of Zion, who is the God of the Jewish people, announces to His land in general and to His city and Temple Mount specifically, that He once again chooses Jerusalem. The Jewish people returning make it evident and readily perceived by the eye in building the second Temple that God declares Israel as His kingdom, the land and His people.

 

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.

Rashi:

The voice of your watchmen: The watchmen who are stationed on the walls and the towers to report and to see (to see and to report [Parshandatha]) who comes to the city.

Keith:

The voice of your watchmen: The watchmen of Zion are the Jewish people, as God continues the symbolism of speaking to the lands of Abraham, Jerusalem, and His Temple Mount as though a living being named Israel, by the actions of His people called Israel.

for eye to eye they shall see when the Lord returns to Zion: In a vision of Ezekiel he says

“1Then he led me to a gate, the gate that faced east. 2And there, coming from the east with a roar like the roar of mighty waters, was the Presence of the God of Israel, and the earth was lit up by His Presence. Ezekiel 43/1-2

And:

“4The Presence of the Lord entered the Temple by the gate that faced eastward. 5A spirit carried me into the inner court, and lo, the Presence of the Lord filled the Temple; 6and I heard speech addressed to me from the Temple, though [the] man was standing beside me. 7It said to me: ‘O mortal, this is the place of My throne and the place for the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people Israel forever…’ “ Ezekiel 43/4-7

When the second temple is built and God returns to it the remnant that returned from exile see, that is they know, that God sanctifies Israel. When the third Temple is built the remnant of the Holocaust that returned and created the state of Israel will see that He is in His Temple and sanctifies Israel, as do the gentiles of the world.

This is God’s covenant of friendship that comes with His servant David, the anointed one of Isaiah 11/1-2:

“I will make a covenant of friendship with them—it shall be an everlasting covenant with them—I will establish them and multiply them, and I will place My Sanctuary among them forever. My Presence shall rest over them; I will be their God and they shall be My people. And when My Sanctuary abides among them forever, the nations shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel.” Ezekiel 37/26-28

 

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.

Rashi:

has revealed: Heb. חָשַׂף, has revealed.

Keith:

revealed His holy arm before the eyes of all the nations: God does this by having the second Temple built and will do it again with the third Temple.

 

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.

Rashi:

touch no unclean one: They shall be abominable to you to touch them.

get out of its midst: Out of the midst of the exile, for all these last consolations refer only to the last exile.

purify yourselves: Heb. הִבָּרוּ, purify yourselves.

you who bear the Lord’s vessels: You, the priests and the Levites, who carried the vessels of the Holy One, blessed be He, in the desert [from here is proof of the resurrection of the dead].

Keith:

you who bear the Lord’s vessels: Rashi says “You, the priests and the Levites, who carried the vessels of the Holy One, blessed be He, in the desert [from here is proof of the resurrection of the dead].”

The Rambam (Maimonides) compiled what he refers to as the Shloshah Asar Ikkarim, the “Thirteen Fundamental Principles” of the Jewish faith, as derived from the Torah. Maimonides refers to these thirteen principles of faith as “the fundamental truths of our religion and its very foundations.” Number 13 of the Thirteen Fundamental Principles is “The belief in the resurrection of the dead.”

Ezekiel 37 gives a vivid account of raising the dead to life into new bodies of flesh and bone. This was a common belief in the ancient age and middle ages. In this age of information with knowledge of science and the human body few people believe that a human body can or will be resurrected anew by God. It is a primitive and medieval concept that was good for a time through the middle ages. That is why God provided visions of heaven conforming to the beliefs and world of the Jewish people in the middle ages and before and of a spiritual heaven for a more enlightened time of reasoning and knowledge in Ezekiel 1 and 10.

The burden on Israel and the practicalities of such an event of millions of people suddenly appearing in the land from the time of Abraham to today is unimaginable. From the hundreds of thousands of Israelites that died in Egypt and in the Exodus to the six million murdered in the Holocaust alone. Many would be illiterate and savage and few would be trained to work in this society. All would have to be housed and fed and educated. It would be a prophecy that destroys the government and the State of Israel.

The resurrection of the dead in a human body to a heavenly earth (“the world to come”) is also said to be a sign that Moshiach has arrived or that it will happen in his lifetime. This is a teaching from the ancient age and middle ages that continues today. Judaism’s reliance on everything the Sages say in an era gone by in the Oral Tradition is important for the laws of the Torah.

The day of the Lord and the arrival of God’s servant David according to the prophets must be interpreted with the evolution of humanity from the ancient age to the age of information in mind, the eras in between, and in the eras to come.

 

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.

Rashi:

for… goes before you: Two things at the end of this verse explain two things in its beginning, [viz.] For not with haste shall you go forth. What is the reason? For the Lord goes before you to lead you on the way, and one whose agent advances before him to lead him on the way his departure is not in haste. And not in the flurry of flight shall you go, for your rear guard is the God of Israel. He will follow you to guard you from any pursuer. Comp. (Num. 10:25) “And the division of the camp of Dan shall travel, the rear guard of all the camps.” Whoever goes after the camp is called מְאַסֵּף, the rear guard, because he waits for the stragglers and the stumblers. Similarly, Scripture states in Joshua (6:13): “And the rear guard was going after the Ark.”

Keith:

for the Lord goes before you, and your rear guard is the God of Israel: In Isaiah 43 God says:

“14Thus said the Lord, Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I send to Babylon; I will bring down all [her] bars, And the Chaldeans shall raise their voice in lamentation.”

“19I am about to do something new; Even now it shall come to pass, Suddenly you shall perceive it: I will make a road through the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”

God accomplishes this by raising up the HaMoshiach Cyrus of Persia, a gentile, who defeats the Chaldeans and issues a decree that the Assyrian/Babylonian exiles are free to return to Jerusalem and Judah. This is not the Exodus where haste and flurry of flight was needed. They are free to go. Having Cyrus issue the decree is how God was before and the rear guard of the exiles.

 

13Behold My servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and he shall be very high.

Rashi:

Behold My servant shall prosper: Behold, at the end of days, My servant, Jacob, [i.e.,] the righteous among him, shall prosper.

Keith:

Behold My servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up: Isaiah 52/7-13 is poetry and an announcement of prophecy fulfilled in the return to Judah of a remnant of all thirteen tribes who had all been deported and exiled to Assyria/Babylon at one time or another. The prophecy fulfilled is:

“Fear not, for I am with you: I will bring your folk from the East, Will gather you out of the West; I will say to the North, “Give back!” And to the South, “Do not withhold! Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the end of the earth.” Isaiah 43/5-6

This was the beginning of the second Temple era which became a prosperous time for the former exiles. The second Temple took about 20 years to build.  God exalted and lifted up high the remnant that returned by having them build His Temple.

 

14As many wondered about you, “How marred his appearance is from that of a man, and his features from that of people!”

Rashi:

As many wondered: As many peoples wondered about them when they saw them in their humble state, and said to one another, How marred is his [Israel’s] appearance from that of a man! See how their features are darker than those of other people, so, as we see with our eyes.

Keith:

“How marred his appearance is from that of a man, and his features from that of people!”: This begins the description of God’s righteous servant of Isaiah 53. How could a man today fit the description of the Lord’s righteous servant in Isaiah 52/14 with his appearance and features marred from that of a man and people and then in verse 52/15 “kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for, what had not been told them they saw, and [at] what they had not heard they gazed. There is one way and still be alive to fulfill verse 52/15.

By way of example to describe such a man who comes when the land blooms again and Jerusalem has been rebuilt, which began about 70 years ago, 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 and features would be marred from that of a man and people. This is my history:

I was born prematurely in the seventh month without the muscles of my right breast and with a disfigured right shoulder and arm, which is thinner and weaker than my left arm. I would have a four-inch wound from surgery to remove tissue above the right breast when I was two years old. I was small and my parents were told I would not live to see the next day.

My feet would have third-degree burns from standing on the ashes of hot coals at a Fourth of July celebration when I was four. My right knee would be a gaping wound from being impaled upon a broken glass bottle after being tripped by my dog while running in a field when I was ten.

My left knee would be sliced open from broken glass I crawled over playing a game when I was eleven. My two front teeth would be gone, knocked out by a telephone receiver when I was twelve. Each foot would be pierced twice by nails I stepped on at a construction site when I was seventeen.

My torso would be opened from the top of my rib-cage vertically down to the pelvic bone from surgery to repair a .22 caliber gunshot to my abdomen on the front right side which pierced my bladder, colon, and intestines and exited through my back left side when I was eighteen.

My upper jaw (the teeth, gums, and bone) would be severed from my skull from orthodontic surgery with my face swollen to twice its normal size when I was thirty-eight.

My torso was opened again to remove an 8-inch malignant cancerous tumor that had burst through my colon. I survived the colon cancer with surgery and chemotherapy but subsequent tests revealed that cancer had spread to my lungs and it was too advanced to treat. I was told I would soon die. A stage four diagnosis. I have not seen a doctor for lung cancer from that day forward. It was when the terrorists hit New York 19 years ago and I was 44 years old. I would be very thin, about 145 pounds and almost six feet tall.

The skin of my chest would be opened from a six-inch circular cut to remove skin cancer when I was forty-three. My left hand would be broken from a fall on a tennis court when I was twenty-eight and broken again walking on stones in a creek when I was fifty-five.

My ankles would be bruised and swollen from severe sprains while playing basketball and running at various ages. My chin would be lacerated from striking a wall at the end of a foot race when I was twenty-one and I would be covered with the childhood diseases of measles and mumps.

That is how a man could fit the description of the Lord’s righteous servant in Isaiah 52/14 and still kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for, what had not been told them they saw, and [at] what they had not heard they gazed.

 

15So shall he cast down many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for, what had not been told them they saw, and [at] what they had not heard they gazed.

Rashi:

what had not been told them: concerning any man, they saw in him.

they gazed: Heb. הִתְבּוֹנָנוּ, they gazed.

So shall he cast down many nations: So now, even he his hand will become powerful, and he will cast down the horns of the nations who scattered him.

shall shut: Heb. יִקְפְּצוּ. They shall shut their mouths out of great bewilderment.

for: honor.

Keith:

kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for, what had not been told them they saw, and [at] what they had not heard they gazed: Leaders startled to silence by seeing and perceiving that God’s righteous servant arrives in the time to come of Jeremiah 31 and the day of the Lord; that God’s righteous servant is the only man to come who is described in the scripture and is inherently and implicitly the anointed one David, Elijah and the prophet like Moses, of whom there is no description for identification; that the Jewish people throughout the world will be forgiven by God of all their iniquities and sins by God’s written word in the day of the Lord; that Heaven is being created for only the Jewish people; that God’s righteous servant of Isaiah 53 is a gentile according to the scripture, in the beginning; that Jesus, being a Jew, cannot be God’s righteous servant; that God’s righteous servant is familiar with disease and crushed with disease, blemished, and could never be an offer for sacrifice; that a host of the Lord’s host is a man and divine beings; that the captain of the Lord’s host is a gentile host of the Lord and a harbinger of God’s righteous servant; that God’s righteous servant becomes a man and divine beings when God’s spirit, who is the angel of His Presence, alights upon him in Isaiah 11/1-2; that God would really redeem the Jewish people and in the same manner that He did in the Hebrew Bible, with one man; and that God’s righteous servant fulfills and completes the remaining six prophecies of God in the day of the Lord.

 

The following is Rashi’s commentary on all the verses of Isaiah 53 by Artscroll in it’s translation of the Tanach and Rashi from Hebrew to English, and my commentary on the verses and Rashi’s interpretations:

 

1Who would have believed our report, and to whom was the arm of the Lord revealed?

Rashi:

Who would have believed our report: So will the nations say to one another, Were we to hear from others what we see, it would be unbelievable.

the arm of the Lord: like this, with greatness and glory, to whom was it revealed until now?

Keith:

Who would have believed our report: The first speakers of Isaiah 53 are the witnesses of the righteous servant in verses 1 through 6. The many who are made righteous by God’s righteous servant. The witnesses ask who would believe it? That God redeemed the Jewish people by the new covenant with sin forgiveness and one man, and not by using His power to change the will and thinking of all of the Jewish people, all of the Christians, all of the Muslims and all the world of gentiles, so that they heed and revere the name of the Lord and are all knowledgeable in the Teachings and Laws of God that He gave to Moses.

Rambam says in Chapter Twelve of “The Laws Concerning King Moshiach” that “Moshiach will compel all of Israel to walk in the way of the Torah; perfect the entire world motivating all the nations to serve God together; there will be neither famine nor war, neither envy nor competition; the entire world will be solely to know God; 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.”

Yet, God simply says He will send down the rain in its season; the trees of the field shall yield their fruit and the land shall yield its produce; the Jewish people shall continue secure on their own soil and never be overthrown and uprooted again; they shall no longer be a spoil for the nations; He will establish for them a planting of renown; they shall no more be carried off by famine; they shall not have to bear again the taunts of the nations; He will establish them and multiply them; He will place His Sanctuary among them forever; His Presence shall rest over them; and when His Sanctuary abides among them forever, the nations will know that the Lord sanctifies Israel.

Who would believe that one man fulfills and completes the remaining prophecies of God in the day of the Lord?

The remaining prophecy to be fulfilled is the delivery of two specific covenants and the arrivals of God’s righteous servant who makes the many righteous; the anointed one God’s servant David; Elijah who was taken to Heaven and returns and reconciles the Jewish families one to the other through Judaism and righteousness; and the prophet like Moses who wrote the Torah at the command and direction of God. The Hebrew Bible has a description of only one man who has never come and that is God’s righteous servant of Isaiah 53. There is no description of David, Elijah and the prophet like Moses.

The arrival of the anointed one God calls My servant David brings God’s covenant of friendship He promised in Ezekiel 34 and Elijah the messenger delivers the new covenant for a time to come with sin forgiveness from Jeremiah 31.

The witnesses report, and who would believe it, that they had not been told by their Sages, wise men, Rabbi’s, Pastors, Priest’s, Pope’s and theologians that God’s righteous servant of Isaiah 53 is a gentile, according to the scripture, in the beginning. Isaiah 63 says God comes from Edom that is interpreted in Judaism to be Christianity and means He is coming from a Christian country and of the people (Jewish people) none are with Him. He comes with a gentile. Jesus was a Jewish man who came from Nazareth. The Jewish people did not come from Edom. They began in the promised land (today called Israel), returned from Egypt in the Exodus and were not allowed to pass through Edom, and returned from Europe after the Holocaust.

The witnesses report that they had never heard the captain of the Lord’s host is a gentile and a harbinger of God’s righteous servant who is also a gentile, and who becomes a host of the Lord’s host, a man and divine beings, when God’s spirit alights upon him in Isaiah 11/1 -2.

That the divine beings are the Holy spirit who is the angel of His Presence of Isaiah 63, an angel whose angelic body is not the form of a human with wings, but the very spirit of God. The very angel who went before the Israelites in the Exodus and God was in him:

“I am sending an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have made ready. Pay heed to him and obey him. Do not defy him, for he will not pardon your offenses, since My Name [God] is in him; but if you obey him and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.” Exodus 23/ 20-22

God created all things, including spirit, and He is in His spirit, and His spirit is the body of the Angel of His Presence, and as revealed in Zechariah 1 the angel of the Lord. This is how the angel of the Lord is in the burning bush and God speaks to Moses. How a man and divine beings wrestled with Jacob and God spoke to Jacob renaming him Israel. How the ground was Holy where Joshua fell to the ground before a gentile with drawn sword and asked:

“What does my lord command his servant?” The captain of the Lord’s host answered Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.” Joshua 5/14-15

How Elijah the Tishbite, an inhabitant of Ramoth- Gilead, an Arab/Assyrian town and land east of the river Jordan, is also a gentile host of the Lord’s host:

As they were crossing, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” Elisha answered, “Let a double portion* of your spirit pass on to me.” ll Kings 2/6

(Footnote in the Hebrew Bible) Let a double portion*: Translators note: Lit. “two-thirds”; of Zech. 13.8. 8Throughout the land—declares the Lord—Two-thirds shall perish, shall die, And one-third of it shall survive. Zech. 13/8.

How is a double portion of spirit two-thirds of a spirit? That is a question and it is also the answer to how Elijah is a host of the Lord’s host. The spirit of the Holy God who is a person had alighted on and entered Elijah. It is the only way to reconcile a double portion with a two-thirds portion of the spirit of Elijah.

Where the person of the spirit is so is the person and His Presence of the Holy God, whose person is also of spirit when My Name is in His spirit. The angel of His Presence and God are always together. That would be two persons of spirit with the spirit of Elijah or three persons within and without one man, but all three are separate and distinct never forming a one.

How Ezekiel is a host of the Lord’s host, a man and divine beings:

Ezekiel says: “And He said to me, “O mortal, stand up on your feet that I may speak to you.” As He spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me upon my feet; and I heard what was being spoken to me.” Ezekiel 2/1-2

This is God speaking to a man (“O mortal”) who is Ezekiel, but he does not hear God speaking until at the same moment a spirit enters him and sets him upon his feet. A spirit of God entering a man and God speaking means the angel of God’s Presence who is spirit alighted upon him and that God is in him. Just as the spirit of God alights upon and enters the anointed one of Isaiah 11/1-2.

How the Lord is symbolized in the story where He appeared and spoke to Abraham by the terebinths of Mamre as three men standing near him. The three men represent a host of the Lord’s host. A man with divine beings. It is three persons. The Lord and the angel of His Presence with a man. Two of the men are described as angels in the next chapter of Genesis. They are only men in this chapter for the purpose of symbolizing a host of the Lord’s Host.

How all of the prophets who wrote God’s words were hosts of the Lord’s host.

 

the arm of the Lord: His vindication and redemption. From a sinful man whose life has been full of pain, suffering, and sorrows familiar with disease that the spirit of God, the Holy spirit, alights upon to the crown of God’s righteous servant who is David, Elijah and the prophet like Moses:

“The stock of Jesse that has remained standing Shall become a standard to peoples— Nations shall seek his counsel And his abode shall be honored.” Isaiah 11/10

The abode of the righteous servant is humble when the Lord cuts him off from the world of material things and society in Isaiah 53/8 and in the end the abode of the servant is one to be honored in Isaiah 11/10. From a poor man to a rich man with the many as his portion and the multitude as his spoil.

And God brings the redemption of the Jewish people through him with covenants and the third Temple:

“I will make a covenant of friendship with them—it shall be an everlasting covenant with them—I will establish them and multiply them, and I will place My Sanctuary among them forever. My Presence shall rest over them; I will be their God and they shall be My people. And when My Sanctuary abides among them forever, the nations shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel.” Ezekiel 37/26-28

And through His righteous servant God does not perfect the world, He has His vindication:

“Thus said the Lord, your Lord, Your God who champions His people: Herewith I take from your hand The cup of reeling, The bowl, the cup of My wrath; You shall never drink it again. “I will put it in the hands of your tormentors, Who have commanded you, “Get down, that we may walk over you—” So that you made your back like the ground, Like a street for passersby.” Isaiah 51/22-23

Jesus spoke a prophecy on more than one occasion that he would return in his generation and the eyes of those that pierced him with the spear would see it in the book of Revelation 1/7. It did not happen. His brazen oath to return quickly was not vindicated. Jesus called out on the cross to God “why have you forsaken me”. Forsaken means to abandon which is the opposite of vindication and redemption.

 

2And he came up like a sapling before it, and like a root from dry ground, he had neither form nor comeliness; and we saw him that he had no appearance. Now shall we desire him?

Rashi:

And he came up like a sapling before it: This people, before this greatness came to it, was a very humble people, and it came up by itself 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.

and we saw him that he had no appearance. Now shall we desire him?: And when we saw him from the beginning without an appearance, how could we desire him?

Now shall we desire him?: This is a question.

Keith:

Now shall we desire him?: If the dry land was a Christian country and his form was a gentile under the Jewish law, the Halacha (in the beginning), would he be attractive to the Jewish people. Not at all. But if he comes from a Christian country with God to Israel and converts orthodox to Judaism and becomes an Israeli citizen the answer is yes.

This could never describe Jesus. Jesus is thought of as perfect. A handsome and beautiful man. Everyone except for certain Jewish religious leaders found Jesus pleasing and charming.

 

3Despised and rejected by men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness, and as one who hides his face from us, despised and we held him of no account.

Despised and rejected by men: was he. So is the custom of this prophet: he mentions all Israel as one man, e.g., (44:2), “Fear not, My servant Jacob” ; (44:1) “And now, hearken, Jacob, My servant.” Here too (52:13), “Behold My servant shall prosper,” he said concerning the house of Jacob. יַשְׂכִּיל is an expression of prosperity. Comp. (I Sam. 18:14) “And David was successful (מַשְׂכִּיל) in all his ways.”

and as one who hides his face from us: Because of their intense shame and humility, they were as one who hides his face from us, with their faces bound up in concealment, in order that we not see them, like a plagued man who hides his face and is afraid to look.

Keith:

Despised and rejected by men: He will be despised and rejected and held of no account simply for declaring that he is the Lord’s righteous servant described in Isaiah 53. Christianity, with God’s wrath passed to them, and the Rabbis reckoned with and dismissed, “shall see what has not been told to them, shall behold what they never have heard” and they will not like him. Gentiles will reject and despise the man who startles gentiles and silences their leaders and the Jewish people will for the reason he is a gentile and the era of redemption they have been taught will not be occurring.

King David writes “More numerous than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without reason.” Psalm 69/5 David was God’s anointed of Jesse to be King of the Israelite’s but to others, he was David the lowly shepherd who “was said to be” God’s anointed King.

It is the nature of people to reject, despise  and  hold  of  no  account  a man who  has no visible proof to substantiate his claims that God speaks to him as God spoke to Moses; that he is a man prophesied to come in the Hebrew Bible; that he is a messenger and deliverer of covenants of God; that the spirit of the Holy God has alighted upon him; and that he offered himself for guilt to God.

Jesus was not despised and rejected by men. Multitudes followed him everywhere he went. Twelve men left their way of life to follow and care for him.  He was loved and highly esteemed. He did have religious enemies and infuriated religious leaders at synagogues and merchants at the Temple.  But they could not attack him because of his legion of followers.

a man of pains and accustomed to illness [disease]: Rashi does not address how this could be the Jewish people.  Jesus wept one time. He is never portrayed as a man of pains accustomed to illness (disease). He suffered at death as did many others in his time but he was not a man of pains accustomed to illness [disease].  God’s righteous servant will be a man who has a life full of injuries and wounds, accustomed to illness and disease.

and as one who hides his face from us: A man who is despised, rejected and held of no account is not going to go out among the people until the perception of him changes and he is asked to. Jesus had a legion of followers, was always out in public, and never hid his face from the people.

Rashi says: “Because of their intense shame and humility, they were as one who hides his face from us, with their faces bound up in concealment, in order that we not see them, like a plagued man who hides his face and is afraid to look.”

When have the Jewish people been intensely ashamed of being Jews? When have they bound (covered) their faces in concealment that the people not see them? The world often secluded them in ghettos, but that is the shame of the gentiles, not God’s people.

 

4Indeed, he bore our illnesses, and our pains-he carried them, yet we accounted him as plagued, smitten by God and oppressed.

Rashi:

Indeed, he bore our illnesses: Heb. אָכֵן, an expression of ‘but’ in all places. But now we see that this came to him not because of his low state, but that he was chastised with pains so that all the nations be atoned for with Israel’s suffering. The illness that should rightfully have come upon us, he bore.

yet we accounted him: We thought that he was hated by the Omnipresent, but he was not so, but he was pained because of our transgressions and crushed because of our iniquities.

5But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were healed.

the chastisement of our welfare was upon him: The chastisement due to the welfare that we enjoyed, came upon him, for he was chastised so that there be peace for the entire world.

Keith:

Indeed, he bore our illnesses, and our pains-he carried them: The illness is not being righteous. The witnesses suffer the sickness of not being righteous and not being in right standing with God. God’s righteous servant suffers by the chastisement, punishment, bruising, crushing and maltreatment laid on him by the words and power of God to make him suitable for His purpose that might prosper. A purpose that includes making the many righteous by his knowledge with long life. The righteous servant bearing up to this fire of refinement is bearing the illness and pain of unrighteousness of the Jewish people to be a recognized prophet of God, that in and of itself will draw the Jewish people back to Judaism, reconcile the families one to the other, and make the many righteous.

The book of Ezekiel is the key to understanding Isaiah 53. The purpose of Ezekiel was to be a prophet to the exiles of Assyria/Babylon and to prepare him God said He would make Ezekiel’s forehead like adamant, as hard as flint, because the exiles would not listen to him for they did not listen to God. And God maltreats and punishes him for the punishment of the houses of Israel and Judah for their sins. For 430 days he is pinned to the ground, crushed and bruised, eating nothing but bread, chastised by the words and hand of God. A fire of refinement similar to what a cadet goes through to become a marine or navy seal.

Rashi says “Indeed, he bore our illnesses: Heb. אָכֵן, an expression of ‘but’ in all places. But now we see that this came to him not because of his low state, but that he was chastised with pains so that all the nations be atoned for with Israel’s suffering. The illness that should rightfully have come upon us, he bore.”

This says that God chastised, which means to discipline, especially by corporal punishment all of the Jewish people, so that all of the gentiles will be atoned for Israel’s suffering. This is similar to the ideology of Christians. The suffering of one man for the wrongs of another is contrary to God’s Teachings.  I cannot make any sense of Rashi’s last sentence. The illness that should have come upon the Jewish people Israel bore, is what I believe he is saying.

Jesus did not bear the illness or endure the pains of the Jewish people. God does not accept or commit human sacrifice and by His Teachings no man bears the sins of another man. In the days after the crucifixion of Jesus people still bore their own sickness, disease and pains in a time of great brutality and oppression by the Romans.

we accounted him as plagued, smitten by God and oppressed: This describes a man that God does not like, a sinner whose life is full of bad events, sickness, and suffering. God’s righteous servant will have had persistent hardships and troubles; severely injured; and have been grievously affected especially by disease. None of which describe all of the Jewish people or Jesus.

These are the “qualities” that identify him as God’s righteous servant who makes the many righteous. It is this life that has prepared him to be the teacher of righteousness and those who  listen to and heed him and repent of their sins and iniquities are made whole and healed.

 

6We all went astray like sheep, we have turned, each one on his way, and the Lord accepted his prayers for the iniquity of all of us.

Rashi:

We all went astray like sheep: Now it is revealed that all the heathens (nations [mss.]) had erred.

accepted his prayers: He accepted his prayers and was appeased concerning the iniquity of all of us, that He did not destroy His world.

accepted… prayers: Heb. הִפְגִּיעַ, espriad in O.F., an expression of supplication.

Keith:

We all went astray like sheep: The Jewish people, who are the witnesses and the speakers of verse’s 1-6, stopped following the laws of God in one manner or another.

And the Lord accepted his prayers for the iniquity of all of us: This would occur in the day of the Lord when God requires a man to be His visible representation and speak His words (as Moses did). In the day of the Lord the righteous servant arrives with the new covenant of Jeremiah 31 with forgiveness of the iniquities and sins of the Jewish people.

 

This is the last of the verses by the witnesses of God’s righteous servant. The second speaker of Isaiah 53 is Isaiah in verses 7 through 10.

 

7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he would not open his mouth; like a lamb to the slaughter he would be brought, and like a ewe that is mute before her shearers, and he would not open his mouth.

Rashi:

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted: Behold he was oppressed by taskmasters and people who exert pressure.

and he was afflicted: with verbal taunts, sorparlec in O.F.

yet he would not open his mouth: He would suffer and remain silent like the lamb that is brought to the slaughter, and like the ewe that is mute before her shearers.

and he would not open his mouth: This refers to the lamb brought to the slaughter.

Keith:

7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted: This verse can be identified in the book of Ezekiel. God oppresses and maltreats him, not man. Oppression and maltreatment is a part of being chastised and punished by the words and power of God to be made suitable for His purpose. With God you are always submissive.

It is necessary to break the will of a man and to temper and calm his soul and emotions.  Ezekiel was oppressed and maltreated but remained submissive bearing the punishment of others for 430 days. Ezekiel was not crushed with disease and did not offer himself for guilt as the righteous servant does. God just seized him and made him suitable to be a prophet of God for the Assyrian/Babylonian exiles. Ezekiel said he went in bitterness and the fury of his spirit in the hand of God. He was told the exiles would not listen to him for they did not listen to God. Not only did they not listen to him they laughed at him. He was rejected and held of no account.

yet he would not open his mouth: Ezekiel was sent to his house and God bound him with the cords of His power so that he could not go out among the people. To the people, Ezekiel was silent as a lamb. The man who is described and becomes God’s righteous servant will be cut off from the land of the living and be silent as a lamb to all that know him while God prepares him to be suitable for His purpose that might prosper. Just as He did with Ezekiel.

Rashi does not explain how or when this happened to the Jewish people as the man Israel. Jesus talked until his last breath. In one Gospel Jesus is asked are you going to remain silent and Jesus talks verse after verse in answer to the question. He was not silent as a lamb.

 

8From imprisonment and from judgment he is taken, and his generation who shall tell? For he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the transgression of my people, a plague befell them.

From imprisonment and from judgment he is taken: The prophet reports and says that the heathens (nations [mss., K’li Paz]) will say this at the end of days, when they see that he was taken from the imprisonment that he was imprisoned in their hands and from the judgment of torments that he suffered until now.

and his generation: The years that passed over him.

who shall tell?: The tribulations that befell him, for from the beginning, he was cut off and exiled from the land of the living that is the land of Israel for because of the transgression of my people, this plague came to the righteous among them.

Keith:

From imprisonment and from judgment he is taken:  The oppressive judgment is being guilty and receiving a sentence of imprisonment in his home and of maltreatment, chastisement, punishment, bruising and crushing for the guilt of sins of the Jewish people, not the sins themselves as the Christians believe, until suitable for God’s purpose. A purpose that includes making the many righteous.

The judgment against Jesus by Pilate was “not guilty”. To wash his hands of the whole religious controversy Pilate asked the multitude that had gathered what they would have him do with Jesus. Release him or crucify him. The multitude said crucify him. This was not an oppressive judgment. It was not a judgment of being taken away. It was a sentence of death. He was executed by crucifixion. With a judgment of death, you do not receive the long life that is part of the covenant between God and His righteous servant.

For he was cut off from the land of the living: Cut off from the land of the living by a man given long life means cut off from society and material things of the world. Ezekiel was cut off from the land of the living bound by God’s power in his house as he went through a process of refinement of soul and self to be made suitable for God’s purpose of being a prophet to the Assyrian/Babylon exiles:

“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

because of the transgression of my people: Ezekiel suffers the punishment of the houses of Israel and Judah for 430 days. The houses of Judah and Israel did suffer their punishment in exile. This is just a part of the refinement of Ezekiel. It would have infuriated the spirit of the priestly man who spent his life trying to bring the Jewish people to repentance to be told he is suffering their punishment for their sins. A spirit that God was calming by infuriating it on purpose, over and over again.

Jesus was never confined to his abode away from everyone that he knew. Being cut off from the land of the living does not mean death. Jesus was not cut off from the land of the living. He was executed. Cut off means you cannot get to or have something.

 

9And he gave his grave to the wicked, and to the wealthy with his kinds of death, because he committed no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

And he gave his grave to the wicked: He subjected himself to be buried according to anything the wicked of the heathens (nations [mss., K’li Paz]) would decree upon him, for they would penalize him with death and the burial of donkeys in the intestines of the dogs.

to the wicked: According to the will of the wicked, he was willing to be buried, and he would not deny the living God.

and to the wealthy with his kinds of death: and to the will of the ruler he subjected himself to all kinds of death that he decreed upon him, because he did not wish to agree to (denial) [of the Torah] to commit evil and to rob like all the heathens (nations [mss., K’li Paz]) among whom he lived.

and there was no deceit in his mouth: to accept idolatry (to accept a pagan deity as God [Parshandatha]).

Keith:

And he gave his grave to the wicked, and to the wealthy with his kinds of death: This translation of the Hebrew text to English seems to say he gave his grave to the wicked and he also gave it to the wealthy, who either had his kind of death or were like him. The complete new translation of the Hebrew Bible by the Jewish Publication Society begun in 1955 and published in 1985 is “And his grave was set among the wicked, And with the rich, in his death— Though he had done no injustice And had spoken no falsehood.”

This verse says the righteous servant of God was poor but dies a rich man. The righteous servant of God becomes poor when God cuts him off from the world and then he is given the many as his portion and receives the multitude as his spoil. He will die a rich man.

Jesus taught that the rich man is almost always a sinner. Being buried with the rich is the same thing as a sinner making his grave with the wicked. The Gospels say Jesus was buried in a tomb purchased by a rich man. But even with his grave set among the rich he was still among the wicked and he was still poor.

 

10And the Lord wished to crush him, He made him ill; if his soul makes itself restitution, he shall see children, he shall prolong his days, and God’s purpose shall prosper in his hand.

Rashi:

And the Lord wished to crush him, He made him ill: The Holy One, blessed be He, wished to crush him and to cause him to repent; therefore, he made him ill.

If his soul makes itself restitution, etc.: Said the Holy One, blessed be He, “I will see, if his soul will be given and delivered with My holiness to return it to Me as restitution for all that he betrayed Me, I will pay him his recompense, and he will see children, etc.” This word אָשָׁם is an expression of ransom that one gives to the one against when he sinned, amende in O.F., to free from faults, similar to the matter mentioned in the episode of the Philistines (I Sam. 6:3), “Do not send it away empty, but you shall send back with it a guilt offering (אָשָׁם).”

Keith:

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 and published in 1985 directly from the original Hebrew text, the Leningrad Codex. The Leningrad Codex is the oldest complete edition of the Hebrew Bible in existence. It dates to around 1008-1010 A.D. However, the Leningrad Codex, although complete, is not the best quality Hebrew manuscript. Although carefully hand-written, it was corrected against the Aleppo Codex – and the Aleppo Codex remains the best quality manuscript. The Leningrad Codex is so reliable that it is the Hebrew text from which nearly all modern translations have been translated.

The translation of Isaiah 52 and 53 by Artscroll and Rashi’s commentary can be found online at Chabad.Org. They are identical. Chabad says their Tanakh is the “English translation of the entire Tanakh (Tanach) with Rashi’s commentary. This Hebrew Bible was edited by esteemed translator and scholar, Rabbi A.J. Rosenberg.”

I have been unable to find the source of the Artscroll translation. It is not directly from the Leningrad Codex or the Aleppo Codex. It is not from the Greek translation called the Septuagint later translated to English that is the source of the Christian Holy Bible. However, with the translation of Artscroll and Chabad, like the Christian Bible, two of the most important parts of the verse ten translation changes the meaning and purpose of this passage.

The primary purpose is to make certain that the animal sacrificial and atonement Laws of Leviticus cannot be used for the man described. It is the only reason God would crush a man with disease to make him be His servant. You cannot offer a blemished animal. First, no man will refuse God. Second, God does not need a man’s permission to make him a servant. He is God. In the book of Ezekiel God seized him and made him suitable for the purpose of being a prophet to the Assyria/Babylon exiles, making his forehead like flint (adament) and calming the fury of His spirit.

The translation of Artscroll, the Holy Bible (KJV), and the translation used by Jews for Judaism change the meaning of the verse with “if his soul makes itself restitution”, “when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin”, and “if his soul would acknowledge guilt”, respectively.

Rashi’s commentary says Israel is God’s righteous servant. That cannot be. He is one of the people Israel. When did his soul make restitution along with every other Jew in the world? When did the Jewish people as one man become righteous? The Christians are to make the soul of Jesus an offering for sin. How is accepting Jesus as your Lord and savior an offering of his soul for your sin. Does Jesus die again every time a gentile believes in him?

Jews for Judaism in their commentary in “Jews For Judaism: Isaiah 53 Verse by Verse”: says that “In order for the suffering to accomplish its purpose the servant needs to acknowledge and to recognize his own guilt.” What Jews for Judaism does not tell us is when this happened. Or how it will happen. When will all the Jews of the world collectively acknowledge their guilt? Why do they need to? In the day of the Lord the new covenant with forgiveness of the iniquities and sin of all the Jewish people arrives with Elijah as the messenger.

The purpose and meaning of Isaiah 53 is completely changed if it is not fulfilled by a particular man in the day of the Lord by making himself an offering for guilt without any reference or association to the animal atonement and worship laws of Leviticus for the forgiveness of sin or guilt, with the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb (Jesus) or unblemished rams (the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust) according to Rabbi Tovia Singer of Outreach Judaism.

The translation of the Hebrew Bible by the Jewish Publication Society with learned academic professors selected for the task, who spent 30  years of their lives creating a completely new translation of the Hebrew, is the most current and best translation of the Hebrew Bible to English available today. My commentary on Isaiah 53/10 is based on their translation:

 

But 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 (Jewish Publication Society, 1985)

But the Lord chose to crush him by disease: God’s righteous servant will be familiar with disease and his life crushed because of disease that he is afflicted with by the hand and power of God.

That, if he made himself an offering for guilt: It is an offer; an offering of one’s self and soul to God for the guilt (of sinning) of the Jewish people as a covenant in return for long life, and to be God’s righteous servant who makes the many righteous by his knowledge, and by his devotion and reverence for the Lord. The offering is only a test of his devotion to God as was the binding of Isaac.

When the test of devotion is set before the righteous servant the new covenant has arrived, and all of the iniquities and sins of the Jewish people are forgiven and God remembers them no more. The guilt, an emotion, is from not following the Laws and Teachings of God by the Jewish people. The test of devotion is revealed in Malachi 3 and God’s final words on the day of the Lord. This is when God says He is coming:

“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.”

There are only two covenants that have not been delivered. The new covenant for a time to come in Jeremiah with sin forgiveness and the covenant of friendship. The covenant of friendship comes with the shepherd, servant, and anointed one of God whom He calls David. The angel of the covenant must be the angel of the “new” covenant. The phrase “he is already coming” means he arrives before God and the messenger, who is Elijah.

That, and the fact that God has to speak to the man to tell him that it was He that afflicted him with disease and crushed his life. It must be a life threatening disease for God must tell him that he “might” receive long life if he agrees to offer himself for guilt (of sinning by the Jewish people). God is not asking the man to give up his life as a sacrifice. That would be against His Teachings to the Israelites not to sacrifice their children through His prophet and the purpose of the offering of himself is to receive long life.

The reality is there is no guilt or sin for the man to bear. The new covenant with sin forgiveness of all the Jewish people on earth has arrived before the offering is made and no vicarious suffering for the sins of others has occurred. God knows this before He covenants with the man. A covenant that if he makes himself an offering for guilt God “might” not let him die of the disease. A test of devotion. Trusting that God will not let him die.

He might see offspring and have long life: God’s righteous servant has or will have children.

 

This is the last of the verses by Isaiah. The third and last speaker is the Lord in verses 11 and 12.

 

11From the toil of his soul he would see, he would be satisfied; with his knowledge My servant would vindicate the just for many, and their iniquities he would bear.

Rashi:

From the toil of his soul: he would eat and be satisfied, and he would not rob and plunder.

with his knowledge… would vindicate the just: My servant would judge justly all those who came to litigate before him.

and their iniquities he would bear: He would bear, in the manner of all the righteous, as it is said (Num. 18:1): “You and your sons shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary.”

Keith:

Out 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 (Jewish Publication Society, 1985)

Out of his anguish, he shall see it; He shall enjoy it to the full through his devotion: The anguish is the emotional and physical pain Ezekiel suffered by punishment in the power of God to be made suitable for His purpose. God’s righteous servant, when he comes out of God’s fire of refinement, and the anguish of it, is devoted to God and will enjoy being the teacher of righteousness by his knowledge with long life. This is also a reference to Isaiah 11/2 where one of the attributes of the spirit that alights upon the anointed one is “A spirit of devotion and reverence for the Lord.”

My righteous servant makes the many righteous, It is their punishment that he bears: God’s righteous servant, a man of pain, suffering, and wounds throughout his life, with persistent hardships and troubles, grievously affected especially by disease, and severely injured at one time or another, as though plagued, smitten and afflicted by God.

These are the “qualities” that identify him as God’s righteous servant who makes the many righteous. It is this life that has prepared him to be the teacher of righteousness and those who listen to and heed him and repent of their future sins (the new covenant having forgiven all past sins) in the practice of Judaism and returning to synagogue are made righteous. Entered into the scroll of remembrance of Malachi 3.

 

12Therefore, I will allot him a portion in public, and with the strong he shall share plunder, because he poured out his soul to death, and with transgressors he was counted; and he bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.

Rashi:

Therefore: Because he did this, I will allot him an inheritance and a lot in public with the Patriarchs.

he poured out his soul to death: Heb. הֶעֱרָה. An expression like (Gen. 24: 20), “And she emptied (וַתְּעַר) her pitcher.”

and with transgressors he was counted: He suffered torments as if he had sinned and transgressed, and this is because of others; he bore the sin of the many.

and interceded for the transgressors: through his sufferings, for good came to the world through him.

Keith:

“Assuredly, I will give him the many as his portion, He shall receive the multitude as his spoil. For he exposed himself to death And was numbered among the sinners, Whereas he bore the guilt of the many And made intercession for sinners.” Isaiah 53/12 (Jewish Publication Society, 1985)

For he exposed himself to death: God’s righteous servant is crushed with disease that exposes him to death but given long life. Rashi says the Jewish people as one man Israel “poured out their soul unto death”, but does not tell us when this happened. Jesus was not exposed to death. He died.

And was numbered among the sinners: God’s righteous servant will have been a sinner, not a religious man, in the beginning.

Jesus is said to be without sin. That he was crucified with a sinner to his right and a sinner to his left and counted as one of them in the story of Jesus as the Christians interpret and explain this verse does not fulfill this verse. Jesus may have looked and been thought of as a sinner for being among them, but he was still said to be sinless. Appearing to be a sinner is not the same as being a sinner.

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This verse, as with every verse of Isaiah 53, is descriptive for the identification of a man in the day of the Lord.