Who is the Servant of the Lord Depicted in Isaiah 53?
- Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Isaiah 53:10 – “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”
Midrash Asseret Memrot – “The Messiah, in order to atone for them both [for Adam and David], will make his soul a trespass offering as it is written.”
A modern day interpretation:
Some Chabad Lubavitch publications refer all of Isaiah 53 to Messiah, and apply it to their late Rebbe Menachem Schneerson: “… the illness of the Moshiach is clearly foretold by the prophet Isaiah in chapter 53…” [footnote: Shmuel Butman of Chabad, Chairman of the International Campaign to Bring Moshiach, Jewish Press, April 22, 1993]
Commenting upon Rebbe Schneerson’s incapacitating illness a member of the Lubavitcher women's group stated, “It is written that the Messiah will endure intense suffering before being revealed.” [footnote: Interview with Michael Wherip in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, January 3, 1993]
Although the above may represent a “minority report” among Jewish scholars, it cannot be denied that Isaiah 53 has and is understood to be a Messianic passage for some.
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