Israel the suffering Servant Isaiah 53 Part 3:3

My thoughts on Isaiah 53 continues. Hopefully it will make you eager to search more into the Scriptures. I will continue with other topics whenever my inspiration hits me. Please enjoy.

And 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?
(Isaiah 53:2, Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

Israel is here depicted as tender and vulnerable, as a fragile flower in need of water and care. The Jews were heavily decimated during Shoah (Holocaust). They were close to extinction and many people saw and still see the Jews as weed or vermin that must be eradicated! The crimes during Second World War decreased the Jewish population, just as an endangered, fragile plant. It looked like Israel was dying, but promises from the Scriptures say that Israel will be strong in the end of days. Israel will not suffer and will not be vulnerable as now.

6 I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
7 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive-tree, and his fragrance as Lebanon.
8 They that dwell under his shadow shall again make corn to grow, and shall blossom as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
(Hosea 14:6-8, Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

3 And He said unto me: ‘Thou art My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’
4 But I said: ‘I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought and vanity; yet surely my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with my God.’
5 And now saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, and that Israel be gathered unto Him–for I am honourable in the eyes of the LORD, and my God is become my strength–
6 Yea, He saith: ‘It is too light a thing that thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the offspring of Israel; I will also give thee for a light of the nations, that My salvation may be unto the end of the earth.’
7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, to him who is despised of men, to him who is abhorred of nations, to a servant of rulers: kings shall see and arise, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD that is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, who hath chosen thee.
8 Thus saith the LORD: In an acceptable time have I answered thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
(Isaiah 49:3-8, Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

In this chapter we follow a conversation between two characters; G-d and the servant; the righteous Israel. Vers 3 identifies the servant and it is not Jesus! Vers 7; the Redeemer of Israel. Verse 8, One people, One covenant. G-d will have mercy on his afflicted. The servant in chapter 49 is Israel. Same words as seen in chapter 53. Zion who felt forgotten by G-d, did not feel loved by G-d but G-d answers as a parent answers a child, a mother nurcing her baby, will she abandone her child? Sometimes it happens a mother in life but G-d never do that! “I will never forget you.” G-d willl come into our lives, His love is altruistic. Chapter 53 is a parallell chapter but less ambiguous.

Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed. Neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and the reproach of thy widowhood shalt thou remember no more
For thy Maker is thy husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is thy Redeemer, the God of the whole earth shall He be called.
(Isaiah 54:4-5, Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

G-d talks to Israel as a husband to his wife. Great love, greater impact than the Christian interpretation!

7 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their due reward from Me, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 54:17, Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

Here is a talk about the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is from the Lord.

And the sons of them that afflicted you shall come bending unto you and all they that despised you shall bow down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee the city of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 60:14-15, Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

We see the enemies of the Jewish people come before them and they finally see who they have afflicted. G-d’s promises to the Jews are everlasting. What a love!

Objections; who say Israel suffered from its own sins?
– Israel suffered for the sins of the world!

Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. (Isaiah 40:1, Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

Christians say Israel will be saved through the blood of Jesus. But G-d says that Israel has received far more than she ever deserved, and G-d is very angry with the nations, because they have done much more harm to Israel than she deserve. That is why Israels iniquities have been set aside!

Bid Jerusalem take heart, and proclaim unto her, that her time of service is accomplished, that her guilt is paid off; that she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:2, Hebr/Eng Bible, JPS 1917)

© 2012 Jonathan Axelsson
אתר הבית של יונתן
Twitter @tzedaqyal

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About Meadow of Tzedaqyal

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1881-1955)
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