WHERE ARE YOU ON LIFE'S JOURNEY?
WHERE ARE YOU ON LIFE'S JOURNEY?

The Prophecy

Isaiah, as we know him in English, was a prophet from 8th century BCE. and many of his prophecies have already been fulfilled. One example is his prophecy concerning the Persian ruler, King Cyrus the Great, who two hundred years after Isaiah’s prophecy, paved the way for the Hebrew exiles to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple - the fulfilment of prophecy being the mark of a genuine prophet,

Amongst Isaiah’s prophecies, all contained in the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures), there are many concerning the coming Jewish Messiah. The following prophecy is one of the most famous, and can be found in Isaiah chapter 53. Who, in your opinion, is Isaiah describing? It has to be someone who is despised and has been rejected by men, who was pierced and who carried the iniquity of us all.

Yeshayah 53

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

53 Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the Zero’a Hashem [Yeshayah 52:10] revealed?

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a Shoresh (Root, Shoresh Yishai, Moshiach, Yeshayah 11:10, Sanhedrin93b) out of a dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire [Chaggai 2:7] him.

He is despised and chadal ishim (rejected by men); a man of sorrows, and acquainted with suffering; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our sufferings, and nasah (carried [Vayikra 16:22; Yeshayah 53:12)] our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, [i.e., like a leper is stricken] smitten of G-d, and afflicted [see verse 8 below].

But he was pierced [Yeshayah 51:9; Zecharyah 12:10 Sukkah 52a, Tehillim 22:17 Targum Hashivim] for our transgressions, he was bruised mei’avonoteinu (for our iniquities); the musar (chastisement) (that brought us shalom [Yeshayah 54:10] was upon him [Moshiach]; and at the cost of his (Moshiach’s) chaburah (stripes, lacerations) we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own derech (way; see Prov 16:25); and Hashem hath laid on him [Moshiach] the avon (iniquity, the guilt that separates from G-d) of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a seh (lamb; see Shemot 12:3) to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who of his generation declared? For he was cut off [Daniel 9:26; Vayikra 17:10] out of Eretz Chayyim [this refers to the mot of Moshiach Ben Dovid, see v.12] mipesha ami (for the transgression of my people [Yisroel]) nega (plague cf Ps 91:10) lamo ([fell] on him [i.e., Moshiach; in light of Ps 11:7 and Job 22:2 we are warranted in saying the suffix is a singular, "him," not "them". Cf Gen 9:26-27; Deut 33:2; Isa 44:15; also compare Divrey Hayamim Alef 21:17]).

And he made his kever (grave) with the resha’im, and with the oisher (rich man; see Mt 27:57-60) bemotayv (in his deaths, intensive plural should be translated singular, death); because he had done no chamas (violence), neither was any mirmah (deceit) in his mouth. T.N. We stray as sheep; we return in Moshiach as children (zera); the Techiyas HaMoshiach (Resurrection of Moshiach) predicted in v. 10 [Dead Sea Scrolls Isaiah Scroll says Moshiach "will see the light [of life];" see also the Targum HaShivim]

10 Yet it pleased Hashem to bruise him; He hath put him to suffering; when Thou shalt make his nefesh an asham offering for sin, he (Moshiach) shall see zera [see Psalm 16 and Yn 1:12 OJBC], He shall prolong his yamim (days) and the chefetz Hashem (pleasure, will of Hashem) shall prosper in his [Moshiach’s] hand.

11 He [Hashem] shall see of the travail of his [Moshiach’s] nefesh, and shall be satisfied; by knowledge of him [Moshiach] shall Tzadik Avdi ["My Righteous Servant," Moshiach, Zecharyah 3:8, Yirmeyah 23:5; Zecharyah 6:11-12, Ezra 3:8 Yehoshua, Yeshua shmo] justify many (Ro 5:1); for he [Moshiach] shall bear their avon (iniquities).

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his nefesh unto mavet (death); and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he nasah (Lv 16:22, carried) (like the Yom Kippur scapegoat) the sin of many, and made intercession [did the work of a mafgi’a, intercessor] for the transgressors [see Lk 23:34 OJBC].

This prophecy reflects the Jewish idea of substitutionary atonement, which is also found for example in Moses' account of the first Passover. It is a prophecy well worth meditating upon as it goes to the heart of the Divine plan to rescue mankind. What is this event that the prophet Isaiah is looking towards? Is it still to take place or has it already been fulfilled? What do you think? Check out: "Searching the Scroll".

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‘Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!'

 

(Isaiah 43:18-19)

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