Saturday, November 22, 2014

The "suffering servant" of Isaiah 53 cannot possibly be about "Israel"

I recently saw a meme that read:  “Israel’s identity hijacked and given to Yeshua/Jesus” - and it brazenly went on to claim that Isaiah 53 is all about Israel. The originator of the meme  suggested  that “the suffering servant” of Isaiah 53 is a synecdoche (a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, as in Cleveland won by six runs - meaning “Cleveland's baseball team”).  So, according to the meme, “the suffering servant”  HAD to refer to Israel, and NOT to Messiah Y'shua.  As "proof" they used the following verses that show that Israel is God's servant:

Isaiah 41:8 "But you, Isra'el, my servant; Ya'akov, whom I have chosen, descendants of Avraham my friend, 9 I have taken you from the ends of the earth, summoned you from its most distant parts and said to you, 'You are my servant' - I have chosen you, not rejected you.

Isaiah 43:10 "You are my witnesses," says ADONAI, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you can know and trust me and understand that I am he no god was produced before me, nor will any be after me. 11 I, yes I, am ADONAI; besides me there is no deliverer.

Isaiah 44:1 "Now listen, Ya'akov my servant, Isra'el whom I have chosen: 2 Thus says ADONAI, who made you, formed you in the womb, and will help you: Don't be afraid, Ya'akov my servant, Yeshurun, whom I have chosen.

Isaiah 44:21 "Keep these matters in mind, Ya'akov, for you, Isra'el, are my servant. I formed you, you are my own servant; Isra'el, don't forget me

Isaiah 45:4 It is for the sake of Ya'akov my servant, yes, for Isra'el my elect, that I call you by your name and give you a title, although you don't know me.

Isaiah 48: 20 Get out of Bavel! Flee the Kasdim! With shouts of joy announce it, proclaim it! Send the news out to the ends of the earth! Say, "ADONAI has redeemed his servant Ya'akov."

Isaiah 49:3 He said to me, "You are my servant, Isra'el, through whom I will show my glory."

There is no doubt that the above passages refer to “Israel”; but there is not one shred of evidence to suggest that these passages prove that the "suffering servant" of Isaiah 53 is about Israel!  “Israel” is not mentioned once in Isaiah 53!  Parts of Isaiah 53 cannot possibly be about Israel! 

Ask yourself this: 
  • Can Israel DIE for Israel?  (No, but Y’shua did! See Matthew 27.)  
  • Can Israel be wounded for our transgressions?  (No, but Y’shua was! See Matthew 27.) 
  • Can people take Israel's garments and divide them?  (No, but that certainly happened in Y’shua’s case!  See John 19:23.)
  • WHEN was “Israel” wounded for our transgressions?  Crushed because of our iniquities?  Has the world been HEALED by “Israel”?  Not hardly!  Y'shua has filled myriads of Tanach prophecies - and people can reject it all they want, but they cannot CHANGE those facts!

First of all, Isaiah 53:1-2 cannot possibly be about "Israel" because Israel is often referred to YHWH’s “servant”; never the “arm”.  An ARM is connected to a BODY [whether physically or allegorically], which - for those trying to force "Israel" into Isaiah 53 - are erroneously suggesting that “Israel” as "an arm" of YHWH is“divine” .... which cannot be because Israel consists of land and human beings!  Check out this passage:

Isaiah 50: 1 ADONAI says: "Where is your mother's divorce document which I gave her when I divorced her? Or: to which of my creditors did I sell you? You were sold because of your sins; because of your crimes was your mother divorced. 2 Why was no one here when I came? Why, when I called, did nobody answer? Is my arm too short to redeem? Have I too little power to save? With my rebuke I dry up the sea; I turn rivers into desert, their fish rot for lack of water and they die of thirst; 3 I dress the heavens in black to mourn and make their covering sackcloth."

Now - ponder the following: 

Isaiah 53: 3 He was despised, and forsaken of men, a man of pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their face: he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely our diseases he did bear, and our pains he carried; whereas we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed. 6 All we like sheep did go astray, we turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath made to light on him the iniquity of us all. 

Isaiah 53: 7 He was oppressed, though he humbled himself and opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb; yea, he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away, and with his generation who did reason? for he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due. 9 And they made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich his tomb; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.' 

Those things all happened to Y’shua; they did NOT happen to “Israel” – See Matthew 27, John 19, etc.  And take a look at just these FEW items discussed in Isaiah 53:

Darkness: Exodus 10:22; Matthew 27:45
Male: Exodus 12:5; Matthew 1:16
Firstborn: Exodus 13:15; Luke 2:7
Lamb: Leviticus 23:12; John 1:29
Unbroken: Exodus 12:5; John 19:33
Sacrificed: Exodus 12:21; John 19:34
Death at 3:00 p.m.: Exodus 12:6; Mark 15:34
Hyssop: Exodus 12:22; John 19:29
Outstretched Arm: Exodus 6:6; Matthew 27:35

And finally,ask yourself: WHEN DID “ISRAEL EVER make “intercession for the transgressors???  And what you are going to do with verse 11?

Isaiah 53: 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days, and that the purpose of the LORD might prosper by his hand: 11 Of the travail of his soul he shall see to the full, even My servant, who by his knowledge did justify the Righteous One to the many, and their iniquities he did bear. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the mighty; because he bared his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.  

Those who are trying to prove that Isaiah 53 is about “Israel” are grasping at straws!

There are plenty of Messianic references in the Tanach, and Y'shua has certainly fulfilled MANY prophecies!  No one else in history has ever done so, and no one besides Y'shua ever will!  Even the early rabbis taught that Isaiah 53 was about the Jewish Messiah.  Please check out our indepth article:  Isaiah 53 is not about Israel 

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