It’s really quite comical to watch Jewish counter-missionaries knock themselves out to twist Isaiah 53 into “proving” that Yeshua and the New Testament are myths:
Isaiah 53:10 reads: "...yet it pleased Adonai to crush him with illness, to see if he would present himself as a guilt offering. If he does, he will see his offspring; and he will prolong his days; and at his hand Adonai's desire will be accomplished." (CJB)
Even in the anti-Messiah JPS the verse reads: "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."
The two interpretations are actually pretty similar. But what does the verse actually say in the few words presented?
First, who was Isaiah talking about? This should be the first question. It can't be a "guess" or an "assumption". The verse says: "It pleased the LORD to crush him." Who is "him"? Let’s go back to 53:1 to find out: "Who would have believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed?" (JPS)
So the "him" in 53:10 is, very clearly, "the arm of the LORD" identified in verse 1. Verses 53:2 to 53:9 go on to describe in some detail, though still quite general - after all, it is a prophecy, the suffering the 'arm of the LORD' would face. The word "he" in all these verses refer to “the arm of the LORD.”
What or who could “the arm of the LORD” be if not the prophesied Messiah? Yet, the counter-missionaries conveniently SKIP these verses and look ONLY at 53:10; and then somehow conclude the Messiah was to live a long life and have children, and deny him because clearly, Yeshua did not live a long physical life, nor have physical children….
So, let's discuss this. Here's Isaiah 53:10, phrase by phrase:
"Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease." Simple enough. The “arm of the LORD” would be metaphorically crushed by disease. (I say metaphorically, because Isaiah does not provide enough information to assess what disease or what kind of disease would be present here.) The “arm of the LORD” is described in verses 2-9 as suffering as the victim of HUMANS and suffering imposed by humans! So, it is not a leap to understand Isaiah as saying that the “arm of the LORD” would be “crushed” by “the disease” of his fellow humans!
"...to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution". Combining this phrase with the first phrase, important for context, we can readily see that the “arm of the LORD” would face pains, from humans, to see if he (“the arm of the LORD”) would still offer himself to save those very same humans who tortured him! What is too hard to understand about this verse so far?
"...that he might see his seed, prolong his days." Now here we have the revelation that the counter-missionaries can't seem to comprehend English. This phrase, again when read in context with the phrases which precede it, clearly states: "The 'arm of the LORD' suffers by humans as a test to see if “the arm of the LORD” would actually offer himself to redeem the very people who tormented him; so that, IF the “arm of the LORD” actually offers himself … ONLY THEN would “the arm of the LORD” see his seed and prolong his days.”
Please let THAT sink in!
It says “the arm of the LORD” must die (offer himself) and only then see his offspring and prolong his days! The verse does NOT say the Messiah would have children and live a long life! Given that the actual, clear meaning is that “the arm of the LORD” will see his seed and prolong his days AFTER he offers/martyrs himself (against which there is NO Torah command!), it means that the remainder of the phase cannot be talking about him having physical children and living a long life! A dead “man” can do neither!
So his "seed" is not physical children; rather, his "seed" must be the many people who will come to him, (the “arm of the LORD”) after he offers himself. And to "prolong his days" simply does not mean to "live a long, physical life"; it clearly means that his purpose, his gift, his message would "live on" after he offers himself!
If you are having trouble with this concept, consider the earthly analogy: A college professor teaches mathematics or whatever. His students then go on to use what he taught them. The professor dies, but his students "go on" to repeat what he taught them. The students are "his seed" in this case. They are not his physical, biological children; nevertheless, "he" lives on in them. In fact, he lives "long" because what he taught gets taught to generation after generation.
So, by now, we can all admit that "the arm of the LORD", whom we know as Messiah Yeshua, HAS lived long as he is STILL, to this day, well-known and talked about, and that many millions are his "seed". And since he "lives" (YHWH resurrected him), he most definitely has "seen his seed!"
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