Tag Archives: ISAIAH

Again on Isaiah 53 and about the use of the Word Zara(Seed)

Isaiah 53:10 talks of a servant who will “see seed”:

“Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see seed ( zara is Hebrew for seed) and prolong his days,and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. ”

It is the only time in the entire OT that this phrase appears.Today many say it 100% means biological descent and so it can NOT be about Jesus,who never had children.

I showed in another article that Jewish interpretation of Isaiah 53 said it was about Jeremiah(in the Talmud) and Rabbi Menahem Schneerson (head of the Lubavitcher Jews,a very Orthodox Jewish group,originally from Eastern Europe).

So?

But Jeremiah and Rabbi Schneerson had NO biological descendants.I had written about aspects of Isaiah 53 before,so the whole series is:

A) “Is Isaiah 53 about Jesus or about the Jewish PEOPLE?”

http://www.avraidire.com/2010/05/is-isaiah-53-about-jesus-or-about-the-jewish-people/

B) “More on Isaiah 53 and if it applies to Jesus”

http://www.avraidire.com/2010/06/more-on-isaiah-53-and-if-it-applies-to-jesus/

C) “About the Muslim Argument that Isaiah 9 and Isaiah 53 are NOT about Jesus because they are in the Past Tense”

http://www.antisharia.com/2010/06/14/about-the-muslim-argument-that-isaiah-9-and-53-are-not-about-jesus-because-they-are-in-the-past-tense/

THE WORD ZARA IN THE OT IS ALSO USED IN A METAPHORICAL(not BIOLOGICAL) SENSE:

We have three cases,and guess what,they are all from Isaiah.They refer to the Jewish PEOPLE as a seed.Here I give the literal words used,from Young’s Literal Translation:

Case 1:

Isaiah 1:4:

“Ah, sinning nation, a people heavy [with] iniquity, a seed of evildoers, sons — corrupters! They have forsaken Jehovah, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have gone away backward.”

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah%201:4&version=YLT

Case 2:

Isaiah 14:20:

“Thou art not united with them in burial, For thy land thou hast destroyed, Thy people thou hast slain, Not named to the age is the seed of evildoers.”

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah%2014:20&version=YLT

Case 3

Isaiah 57:4:

“Against whom do ye sport yourselves? Against whom enlarge ye the mouth? Prolong ye the tongue? Are not ye children of transgression? a false seed(also translated as seed of falsehood)?”

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah%2057:4&version=YLT

Conclusion

The word zara is used in a metaphorical sense so the seed in Isaiah 53 can just as well refer to a non-biological descendant,a SPIRITUAL one,a disciple,follower.

Two Interesting Debates

1)David Wood vs Bassam Zawadi

“Does the Evidence show that Islam is True?”,1st segment of the debate in youtube

2)David Wood vs Bassam

“Does the Evience show Christianity is True?”,1st segment of the debate in youtube

 

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Is Isaiah 53 about Jesus or about the Jewish People?

Isaiah 53 is about the Jewish people (the Jewish position):

In Isaiah the words ”my servant Israel/Jacob  mean the Jewish people, where Jacob was the name of the son of Isaac which was later changed to Israel. So they say Isaiah 53 which has ” my servant ” 2X is about the Jewish people.

Earliest Jewish Interpretations of Isaiah 53

1.But the earliest Jewish interpretation of Isaiah 53, and also of Isaiah 9, in the Aramaic Targum( 1st century AD ) says it is about the Messiah.

2.ALL the interpretations of Isaiah 53 in the Talmud ( 500 AD ), except for one, say it is about a man, not the Jewish people. One says it is about the Messiah, another about Jeremiah, and so on. And the exception says it is about a righteous remnant of the Jewish people, not all of them.

3.Even today, the Lubavitchers,an Orthodox group,founded in Eastern Europe,that speaks Yiddish,say Isaiah 53 is about the Messiah.

The contrary Jewish position

The modern Jewish argument is that the prophecy begins in Isaiah 52:13 and ends in Isaiah 53:12 ( which is the end of Isaiah 53 ). We have:

1. From Isaiah 52:13 to Isaiah 52:15 GOD speaks. ( I agree ).

2. From Isaiah 53:1-8 it is the Gentile Nations or non-Jews who are speaking.

3. From Isaiah 53:9-12 it is God again. But the speaker in Isaiah 53:9-12 is Isaiah in other Jewish interpretations.

Jewish interpretation says the servant is innocent and I agree, the text makes that very clear. The detail that ruins the Jewish interpretation is that of Isaiah 53:6,which can be given two different translations.

They both go contrary to Judaism if you accept that Isaiah 53:1-8 is the GENTILES SPEAKING.

IT IS BECAUSE OF THE PHRASE ” TRANSGRESSION OF MY PEOPLE ” THAT OBLIGATORILY ISAIAH 53:1-8 HAS TO BE THE GENTILES SPEAKING IF ONE ACCEPTS THAT THE SERVANT=JEWISH PEOPLE:

I agree that Isaiah 53:1-8 are the words of a man since it has words like:

” Surely he ( Note: the servant ) took our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him…the punishment that brought us peace was upon him….we all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us turned his own way. ”

GOD would NOT say ” we all have gone astray. “

Then if it is by Isaiah ( according to Christians ) we have that ” transgression of my people “ in Isaiah 53:8 means ” transgression of my people, of me Isaiah, who are the Jews. “

So that would eliminate the idea that in Isaiah 53 servant= Jewish people since in Isaiah 53 we have ” he had done no violence nor was any deceit in his mouth ” making the servant innocent of transgression.

So that is why they have to say that Isaiah 53:8 is the Gentiles and not Isaiah who is speaking. There the Gentiles say ” trangression of my people” meaning ” trangression of my people, of the non-Jews ( like in the Spanish Inquisition, Russian pogroms, Holocaust, etc ) against the innocent servant ( Jewish people ). ”

The 2 Texts of Isaiah 53:6 in the Jewish Translations

Translation 1

” We all went astray like sheep, we have turned, each one on his way:

1.And the LORD ” inflicted upon him “( Note: the servant= innocent Jewish people )

2.The iniquity of us all. ” ( Note: the persecution of the Jews by us, non-Jews ).

Translation 2

” We all went astray like sheep, we have turned, each one on his way, and the LORD:

1.Accepted his prayers ( Note: the prayers of the servant=Jewish people )

2.For the iniquity of all of us. ”

Option 1:

” THE LORD INFLICTED UPON HIM ( servant= Jewish people ) THE INIQUITIES ( sins, crimes ) OF US ALL. ”

Rabbis it talks at length about the unjust persecution of the Jews by the non-Jews. And they say the servant in Isaiah 53 means the Jewish people and that the servant is innocent ( I agree with the second part ).

The theological problem

The phrase ” the Lord inflicted “ means God punishes the servant even though he is innocent. That is theologically contrary to Judaic theology. In the OT God punishes the Jews when they have been evil, NEVER when they are innocent.

The phrase ” the iniquities of us all “ means, accepting it is the Gentiles speaking, that here the Gentiles are referring to crimes that they commited against the Jews ( the Spanish Inquisition, Russian pogroms, the Holocaust, etc ).

Then, why would God punish the servant ( Jewish people ) for crimes commited by the non-Jews? In Judaic theology he is supposed to punish the non-Jews, the sinners, for their sins, not the innocent part.

Can it apply to Jesus?Where the Servant=Jesus

If one says ” the Lord inflicted upon Jesus the iniquities of us all “ then it is in concord with the atonement, where an innocent man bore the sins of the whole world.

Option 2:

” THE LORD ACCEPTED HIS PRAYER ( the prayer of the servant, Jewish people ) FOR THE INIQUITIES ( sins, crimes ) OF US ALL. ”

Isaiah 53 is a prophecy and it is supposed to obligatorily come true since it is the past tense. There in Isaiah 53:6 we have the passage just quote and in the end of Isaiah 53, Isaiah 53:12 it has ” by his knowledge my SERVANT will justify many and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion with the great….for he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors. ”

Reality Check

So we have the servant=Jewish people. In the past the Jews have been persecuted and attacked: by the Spanish Inquisition, Russian Tsars, German Nazis, Soviet Communists and now by the Islamic terrorists. Never have they as a people directed prayers to God in favor of their persecutors. Never as a people have they ” made intercession for the transgressors “.

No doubt there are some groups of religious Jews who ask for God to make the enemies of the Jews change and see the light but they are a small group, not enough to actually say the constitute ” the people.” On the contrary the prayers have been for justice for the Jewish people, for punishment of the persecutors. In fact during the time of the Nazis, Communists and now the Islamic terrorists, the majority of Jews have been non-religious, and when they do petition God it certainly was not as intercession for their persecutors.

Can it apply to Jesus?

Where the Servant=Jesus

The death of Jesus, for a Christian, was foretold. A just God is NOT going to blame those who took part in it when their judgement comes. It was foretold he would be rejected. God would only judge them on how they reacted to Jesus after the death: did they reconsider his Messianic claims? He would not consider as punishable what Judas, Caiaphas, Pilate, the Jewish crowd that asked for his crucifixion, what the Roman soldiers did. On their judgement he would only consider how they reacted afterwards.

Here what one has in Isaiah 53:6 ( ” the Lord accepted his prayers ( Note: of Jesus ) for the iniquities of us all ” ) and in Isaiah 53:12 ( ” for he ( Note: Jesus )bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors ” ) would apply to Jesus. Why? Because on the cross he said in Luke 23:34: ” Father, forgive them,for they do not know what they are doing. ”

The Jewish Interpretation f Isaiah 53:10

The Jewish translation of Isaiah 53:10 is:

” And the Lord wished to crush HIM, ( My note: where crush the servant= crush the Jewish people )

He made him ill; if his soul would acknowledge guilt,( My Note: if the servant=Jewish people would admit having sinned and repent ) he shall have descendants [or, he shall see progeny], he shall prolong his days, and God’s purpose shall prosper in his hand. ”

The King James Translation

Isaiah 53:10( KJV ):

” Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise HIM ( My Note: meaning the Messiah ); he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an OFFERING for SIN, ( My Note: the Messiah will be a GUILT OFFERING or Offering for Sin ) he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. ”

The analysis of Messiahtruth(a Jewish website) concerning Isaiah 53:10:

” Significant discrepancies exist between the Jewish rendition and that of the KJV.

The portion of the verse that follows the initial declaration about G-d punishing the servant is constructed as a conditional statement, namely, IF (A) THEN (B). In other words, if Condition A is satisfied, then Outcome B will occur. The first significant discrepancy encountered between the two renditions of this verse is in the phrase “… if his soul would acknowledge guilt …” from the Jewish translation, and “… when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin …” from the KJV rendition. The statement in this phrase represents Condition A.

The KJV translation casts the phrase in such a way as to continue with its message of a VICARIOUS ATONEMENT by the SERVANT – a CONCEPT that is ANATHEMIC with respect to the TEACHINGS of the HEBREW BIBLE, wherein it is strictly forbidden. ”

The problem stems from the KJV translation of the Hebrew term ASHAM as an OFFERING for SIN, a word that has TWO distinct applications in the Hebrew Bible.

First, it is used to refer to a GUILT OFFERING brought by a SINNER for the atonement of any one of a number of sins committed with intent (Lev 5:15; Num 6:12).

Second, it is used to refer to a SIN or an INIQUITY committed with INTENT (e.g., Jer 51:5; Pr 14:9). In the correct context of the Hebrew phrase, and being consistent with the teachings of the Hebrew Bible, it is impossible for someone to bring himself or herself as a guilt offering. ”

The Dilemma of saying the Servant=JEWISH PEOPLE HAS TO ACKNOWLEDGE GUILT:

The word asham which means 2 things ” guilt offering “ and ” sin commited with intent “. So Messiahtruth says it has to be the second. To say ” his soul would be a GUILT OFFERING ” is against the OT is true in the sense that humans were never offered ( sacrified ) for guilt or sin. Only sheep and goats.

But that contradicts the idea in Isaiah 53 that the servant is INNOCENT. If that is so, then why acknowledge guilt? Guilty of WHAT? If the servant=Jewish people, according to their interpretation, is being PERSECUTED by the Gentiles. What sins did the servant=Jewish people do to merit it? And if they did and have to repent, then did they not bring punishment upon themselves by the Gentiles? But then that goes against the idea in Isaiah 53 that he is innocent.

It could have been other Sins of which they were Guilty,Minor Sins

I don’t have anything against that idea. It could very well mean that the servant ( Jewish people ) has to repent of sins that in no way merit persecution by the non-Jews ( by the Nazis and Communists for example ). But that still does not solve the problem posed in Isaiah 53:6 by making Isaiah 53:1-8 means it is the Gentiles speaking.

Both Sides regarding Isaiah 53:

Michael Brown,a Jewish believer in Jesus certainly knows the arguments concerning Isaiah 53, he has addressed them in his book Answering Jewish Objectons to Jesus, vol. 3. I just addressed the most important aspects. In his website he answers many details concerning Isaiah 53, though the book is more thorough. The general link to objections is:

http://realmessiah.askdrbrown.org/answers_to_objections

It is very, very interesting: it is divided into various Jewish objections to Jesus:

1.Theological

2.Messianic

3.Historical

4.General

5.New Testament

6.Traditional Objections

For Isaiah 53:

http://www.ilifetv.com/thinkitthru/OBJmessianicPF.htm

The homepage is:

http://www.icnministries.org/

 

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Isaiah 9 and Jesus


In Isaiah 9 we have a prophecy.The JEWISH interpretation is that it is about king HEZEKIAH,who was the greatest Jewish king after David and Solomon.When Solomon died the kingdom was split in two:the KINGDOM of ISRAEL in the north,with 10 tribes and Samaria as its capital,and the KINGDOM of JUDAH in the south,with Jerusalem as its capital.The Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrian Empire in 722 BC,while the other one was conquered by the Babylonians in 586 BC,and Jerusalem and the first Temple of Jerusalem were destroyed.

THe Kingdom of ISRAEL(not Judah) was made up of the region of GALILEE in the north,which is next to Lebanon,and the region later known as Samaria,where the Samaritans lived.

THE PROPHECY

Isaiah 9:1-7:

” Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,as when at first He lightly esteemed the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward more heavily oppressed her. By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in GALILEE of the Gentiles the people who walked in darkness HAVE SEEN a GREAT LIGHT;

Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a LIGHT has shined.

You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy;they rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, The rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle, and garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel of fire.

For to us a Child is born, to us a SON is given;and the government will be upon His shoulder and His name will be called:Wonderful Counselor,Mighty God,Everlasting Father,Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of HIS GOVERNMENT and PEACE there will be NO END, upon the THRONE of DAVID and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward FOREVER. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. ”

JEWISH POSITION:it’s about KING HEZEKIAH

HEZEKIAH was a great king and he ruled over the Kingdom of JUDAH as a man of God from 715 till 687 BC.Notice that when he BEGAN ruling the Kingdom of Israel(which included GALILEE) had already been conquered in 722 BC. Hezekiah NEVER ruled over GALILEE,he had no connection with it.Isaiah 9 talks of a great saint appearing in GALILEE.

HIS RULED ENDED

Also we have the phrases “no end” regarding his rule and peace,”throne of David” which means a Jewish king( like the Messiah is supposed to be) and “forever”. Hezekiah’s rule came to an end,it didn’t last forever.There is a rabbinic argument which is so-so that it does not really mean forever,but that is what the text says literally.The only Jewish king who is supposed to rule forever is the Messiah.

COULD IT BE ABOUT JESUS?

We know Jesus began his 3 year career,very short as prophets go,in GALILEE.He had lived most of his life in NAZARETH,which is in GALILEE.

MUSLIM OBJECTION

It says:” For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given;and the government will be upon His shoulder and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ”

They say Jesus has NEVER been given the title Eternal Father nor Wonderful Counselor,though he has been called God. He has been given the title “Prince of Peace”.It is true that in the OT God is given the title FATHER about 15 times,but Christians have never called Jesus that(Father).When a Christian says Father he means God the Father, the first person of the Trinity.So the Muslims say ISAIAH 9 can NOT refer to Jesus.

IT SEEMS TO MAKE REFERENCE TO THE TRINITY

Notice we have 4 titles:

1.Wonderful Counselor.

2.Mighty God.

3.Eternal Father.

4.Prince of Peace.

God the HOLY SPIRIT has the function of giving SPIRITUAL STRENGTH and WISDOM,so he would merit the title WONDERFUL COUNSELOR. And the we have God the Father(Eternal Father) and Jesus(Prince of Peace),plus the general title of Mighty God.

Matthew 4:12:-16:

That’s why it says:

“Now when he heard that John had been arrested,he withdrew into Galilee.And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali,so that what was spoken by the prophet ISAIAH might be fulfilled:

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles,the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light,and for those dwelling in the region and(J) shadow of death,on them a light has dawned.”

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Is Muhammad in Isaiah?

MOHAMMED PROPHESIZED IN ISAIAH 23:13-17?

Muslims say here Mohammed is prophesized. I agree with them that it has to do with ARABIA, it mentions KEDAR,who was a son of ISHMAEL,son of ABRAHAM.Now here the mention of Kedar MEANS ONLY a person,since there is NO town or city in Arabia called Kedar.We know TEMA was a DESCENDANT of Ishamel,in fact there is even a TOWN named Tema and the REGION is called Tema.

Isaiah 21:13-17:

” Oracle on ARABIA: In the thicket in the nomad country spend the night, O caravans of Dedanites. Meet the thirsty, bring them water; you who dwell in the LAND of TEMA, greet the fugitives with bread.

They FLEE from the sword, from the whetted sword; From the taut bow, from the fury of battle. For thus says the Lord to me: In another year, like those of a hireling, all the glory of KEDAR will come to an end. Few of Kedar’s stalwart archers will remain, for the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken. ”

What does Tema mean?

We have the following information:

“Baker Encyclopedia of Bible Places:
Towns & Cities, Countries & States, Archaeology & Topography
Consulting Editor John J. Bimson, © Inter-Varsity Press, 1995
Published in the USA by Baker Books. ISBN 0-85110-657-9, pp. 296-7:

“TEMA.

The name (Hebrew tema’):

1.Of the son and descendants of Ishmael (Genesis 25:15; 1 Chronicles 1:30)

2.And of the district they inhabited (Job 6:19). It is mentioned, with Dedan and Buz, as a remote place (Jeremiah 25:23) and as an oasis in the desert on a main trade route through Arabia (Isaiah 21:14).

The modern site is Taima‘, about 400 kilometres north-north-west of Medina in north-western Arabia. It became an urban centre around 600 BC and excavations show that it reached its peak of prosperity in the 5th century BC. Several Aramaic inscriptions date from this period. ”

Why it can’t be about Muhammad

Mohammed first preached in MECCA for 10 years and then he had to flee to MEDINA. ISAIAH 21 can not refer to Mohammed fleeing from Mecca to Medina because at that time there was a town called Tema and the prophecy mentions the fugitives going to TEMA,NOT to MEDINA.Mohamme went to MEDINA,not Tema.

Land of Tema=Arabia?

The phrase “Land of Tema” can’t mean “Arabia” because it would mean Mohammed fled from MECCA to ARABIA?

That would be like someone saying ” I fled from NEW YORK to the UNITED STATES”. It means the city and area of Tema,and not Medina.

Another Reason why it is not Muhammad

Isaiah 21:13-17:

” Oracle on ARABIA: In the thicket in the nomad country spend the night, O caravans of Dedanites. Meet the thirsty, bring them water; you who dwell in the LAND of TEMA, greet the FUGITIVES ( NOTE:MOHAMMED and his group that fled from Mecca to Medina? ) with bread.

They FLEE ( NOTE: MOHAMMED fleeing from Mecca in 622 AD?) from the SWORD, from the whetted SWORD (NOTE:MOHAMMED fleeing from Mecca for his life?); From the taut bow, from the fury of battle. For thus says the Lord to me: In ANOTHER YEAR, like those of a hireling, all the glory of KEDAR ( NOTE: all the glory of the Arabs of MECCA?) will COME to an END. Few of Kedar’s stalwart archers will remain, for the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken. ”

The Reason why it can’t be Muhammad

Mohammed fled:

1.With his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622.

2.And two years later,not one year later, there was a battle between the Meccans and Muslims called the Battle of BADR, in 624.

3.So the idea that ISAIAH 21 applied to Mohammed is not true because to say that ” the glory of Kedar ( where Kedar would represent the Arabs of Mecca) will COME to an END” is false because notice the Battle of Badr took place TWO YEARS after the flight of Mohammed. But Isaiah 21 says “in another year”.

If you go to BIBLEGATEWAY.COM and you go to Isaiah 21 and choose YOUNG’S LITERAL translation you will see that in the original Hebrew it is ” WITHIN a year”.So it can not apply to Muhammad.

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