Y’shua in prophecy – Part 3 – The Servant

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crown of thorns_smallWhen you, as a believer in Y’shua, read the passages written in Isaiah about the servant, it is easy to see that most of these are prophecies about the Messiah Y’shua. It is about Who He is and what He came to earth to do. However, when you have to defend your point of view to a Jewish brother or an anti-missionary, it may be a different story. Do you know your Scripture well enough to do that?

Even if you decide not to get involved in a discussion about this, which is wise, you will know the truth in your heart and will not get confused and doubt. Confusion and doubt are two of our greatest enemies. When we start doubting, it is easy for the enemy to sneak in and destroy our faith. We need to be equipped in order not to be deceived. As we said before, Y’shua warned us not to be deceived.

Matthew 24:4
4 And Y’shua answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.

It is our responsibility to ensure that we are not deceived. This study is to help equip us in this.

We started off writing this article about Isaiah 53, but there is just too much there. This is because Isaiah 53 is not merely a random prophecy; the book of Isaiah is a progressive revelation of the Messiah. It will thus be quite difficult to interpret Isaiah 53 in isolation. We will use scripture to define certain terms first, like who the Servant is. We shall also look at this from the anti-missionary point of view in order for you to understand where they are coming from and why they are wrong. Like with all deceptions, you will see that there is some truth in what they believe, but you will understand later.

So, who is the Servant according to Scripture?

Who is the Servant?

In answering this question, we already address the greatest point of contention in the mind of the anti-missionary, because they believe the term “the suffering servant” can only refer to the nation of Israel. Did you know they used to believe differently, but changed their interpretation? We shall go into more detail about this later in the article.

Let us first define the word servant.

What is a servant?

6269 I. עֶבֶד (ʿě·ḇěḏ): n.masc.; ≡ Str 5650; TWOT 1553a—1.
LN 87.76–87.86 slave, bond servant, i.e., one who is owned by another for service until sold to another, or worked his way out of slavery (Ge 39:17); also part of a compound name, Ebed-Melech, see 6283;
LN 35.19–35.30 servant, i.e., one who helps in the service to another, but not necessarily a possession of another (Ge 18:3);
LN 37.48–37.95 officer, official, i.e., one who has authority in government, yet referred as servant of the king (1Sa 18:5);
LN 53.53–53.64 worshiper, formally, servant, i.e., one who serves God as an act. of service to God (Isa 56:6)2

From this Lexicon and others, we learn that a servant could be a bond servant, a slave, one who renders service to another, or a worshiper (a servant of Elohim.) However, it is not necessarily a lowly position; a servant could also be an official to the king, thus a very important person. So how can we identify this servant?

The Servant Songs

In order to identify the Servant, we need to look at all the passages about the Servant.

There is no doubt that YHVH sometimes refer to Israel as His servant. Isaiah 41:8 is a good example.

Isaiah 41:8
8 “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend,

We find more references in Isaiah of Israel being called YHVH’s servant. Read through Is 42:19; Isa 43:10; Isa 44:1, 2, 21. Here, the servant can clearly be identified as being Israel.

However, there is another Servant…

Have you heard about the Servant Songs? The servant songs are four passages in the book of Isaiah which refer to the “suffering servant”

The Servant songs (also called the Servant poems or the Songs of the Suffering Servant) are songs in the Book of Isaiah. They were first identified by Bernhard Duhm in his 1892 commentary on Isaiah. The songs are four poems written about a certain “servant of YHWH.” God calls the servant to lead the nations, but the servant is horribly abused. The servant sacrifices himself, accepting the punishment due others. In the end, he is rewarded.

Some scholars regard Isaiah 61:1-3 as a fifth servant song, although the word “servant” is not mentioned in the passage.3

We shall look at each Servant Song in detail in order to identify the Suffering Servant. The first Servant Song is found in Isaiah 42:1-4.

The First Song

Isaiah 42:1–4
1 “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 “He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. 3 “A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 “He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”

What do we learn here? What was the servant like according to these prophecies and how was it fulfilled? Could this refer to the nation of Israel?

  • He is YHVH’s chosen one. We know from Scripture that Israel is also YHVH’s chosen people (Is 44:1)

Luke 9:35
35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!”

  • He is filled with YHVH’s Spirit (Isa 11:2; Isa 59:21;Isa Isa 61:1)Can we say Israel was filled with YHVH’s Spirit? We know of some individuals who were, but not collectively. However, we know that Y’shua was filled with YHVH’s Spirit.

Matthew 3:16
16 After being baptized, Y’shua came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of Elohim descending as a dove and lighting on Him,

  • He is gentle

Y’shua was seen eating with the sinners, He healed those who were sick and had compassion on all.

  • He will bring forth justice

Who will bring forth justice and who establishes justice? The nation of Israel was called to bring forth justice. Justice is fairness and kindness, justice is living righteously according to YHVH’s instructions. That is justice. When you read Isaiah 1-39, you see from Isaiah’s words that Israel has failed to do that. If they have failed, who will bring forth justice and who will establish it?

  • The coastlands will wait expectantly for His law, His rule will extend beyond Israel

Who’s law is referred to here?

The last two points are yet to be fulfilled, and Messiah Y’shua will do this when He comes again. The restoration process has already begun. When y’shua comes again, He will reveal all things, bring forth justice and rule over all the world. His law will go forth from Zion (Isa 2:3.)

Historical Interpretation

How was this passage in Isaiah interpreted in the time of Y’shua and before? You will be amazed to know that this passage was interpreted to be about the Messiah by the Jews, even before the Messiah. Some have since changed their interpretation.

We will present you with a quote from the Targum Jonathan. Before we look at the quote, here is a quote from the Jewish Encyclopedia to explain what a Targum is.

The Aramaic translation of the Bible. It forms a part of the Jewish traditional literature, and in its inception is as early as the time of the Second Temple.

As an intepretation of the Hebrew text of the Bible the Targum had its place both in the synagogal liturgy and in Biblical instruction, while the reading of the Bible text combined with the Targum in the presence of the congregation assembled for public worship was an ancient institution which dated from the time of the Second Temple, and was traced back to Ezra by Rab when he interpreted the word “meforash” (Neh. viii. 8) as referring to the Targum (Meg. 3a; Ned. 37b; comp. Yer. Meg. 74d, line 48, Gen. R. xxxvi., end).4

The Targums are the Aramaic translations–or rather paraphrases–of the books of the Old Testament, and, in their earliest form, date from the time when Aramaic superseded Hebrew as the spoken language of the Jews. In their origin they were designed to meet the needs of the unlearned among the people who had ceased to understand the Hebrew of the Old Testament.5

Now that we understand the importance of Targums, here is the quote from the Targum Jonathan:

Behold, My servant, the Messiah, whom I bring near, My chosen one, in whom My memra takes delight; I will place My holy spirit upon him, and he shall reveal My law to the nations. He shall not cry, nor shout, nor raise his voice on the outside. The humble, who are like the bruised reed, he shall not break, and the poor of My people, who are like candles, he shall not extinguish; he shall truly bring forth justice. He shall not faint and he shall not tire unto he establishes justice in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his Torah.6

From this, we see that this passage was understood to be about the Messiah and rightly so!

The Second Song

The second Servant song is in Isaiah 49. Here the Servant is speaking…

Isaiah 49:1–6
1 Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. YHVH called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me. 2 He has made My mouth like a sharp sword, In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me; And He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver. 3 He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel, In Whom I will show My glory.” 4 But I said, “I have toiled in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity; Yet surely the justice due to Me is with YHVH, And My reward with My Elohim.” 5 And now says YHVH, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of YHVH, And My Elohim is My strength), 6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

What do we learn from this song?

  • The call to listen is extended to the islands, to people from afar. (Isa 42:4)

Through Y’shua gentiles are also brought into the sheepfold.

Ephesians 2:13
13 But now in Messiah Y’shua you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah.

  • He was named from the body of His mother (Isa 7:14)

Matthew 1:21–23
21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Y’shua, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by YHVH through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “Elohim with us.”

  • His mouth was made like a sharp sword (Isa 11:4)

This is what we learn about Y’shua in the book of Revelation. This is repeated two more times in Revelation. (Rev 1:16, Rev 2:12, Rev 2:16)

Revelation 19:15
15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

  • Then, we find YHVH calling this Servant “Israel” in Isaiah 49:3. how do we reconcile this to what we have seen thus far? This could be confusing if you don’t understand what is meant here. Here is a stunning insight from the Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible:

3. Israel—applied to Messiah, according to the true import of the name, the Prince who had power with God in wrestling in behalf of man, and who prevails (Ge 32:28; Ho 12:3, 4). He is also the ideal Israel, the representative man of the nation (compare Mt 2:15 with Ho 11:1).7

Take note of Matt 2:15 and Hosea 11:1 mentioned in this commentary.

Matthew 2:15
15 He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by YHVH through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

Hosea 11:1
1 When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.

Y’shua is the ideal Israel, the representative man of the nation. For this reason He could take the sin of Israel upon Himself and take the death penalty on their behalf. He could redeem them.

What further proves this point is that this same servant will gather Jacob and Israel back to Him. Israel could not “raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel,” it is done to them. He will also be the light to the nations, and He will cause YHVH’s salvation to reach the ends of the earth.

Isaiah 49:6
6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

This brings us to the third song, Isaiah 50:4-9.

The Third Song

Here the Servant is speaking again.

Isaiah 50:4–9
4 YHVH Elohim has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. 5 YHVH Elohim has opened My ear; And I was not disobedient Nor did I turn back. 6 I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting. 7 For YHVH Elohim helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed. 8 He who vindicates Me is near; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; Who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me. 9 Behold, YHVH Elohim helps Me; Who is he who condemns Me? Behold, they will all wear out like a garment; The moth will eat them.

What do we learn from this song? It is about the Servant’s obedience unto death. He was tortured, scorned and spat upon, yet He obeyed. We shall look into this song in more detail later.

The forth song is Isa 52:13-53:12. This is a very well-known passage and refers to how the Messiah would suffer and for what reason. It expands on the third song and is written from YHVH’s perspective.

The Forth Song

Isaiah 52:13–53:12
13 Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men. 15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand.

1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of YHVH been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of Elohim, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But YHVH has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? 9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. 10 But YHVH was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of YHVH will prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.

For us as believers in Messiah Y’shua this is very clear that this prophecy is about the Suffering Servant, Messiah Y’shua, who bore our iniquities and sin; He rendered Himself a guilt offering. He poured himself out to death. He was in the grave; He bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors. We shall go into more detail about the fulfillment of these in a future article, but think about this…

Could this be said about Israel? Let us see what the historical Jewish interpretation of this passage was.

Historical Interpretation

Here are a couple of quotes from various Jewish sources on Isaiah 52:13-Isa 53:1-12. Each one of these commentators understood this passage to be about the Messiah.

The first quote is again from the Targum Jonathan.

Isaiah 52:13.

Targum Jonathan to the Prophets.

Behold, My servant the Messiah shall prosper; he shall be exalted and great and very powerful.6

The second quote is from the Babylonian Talmud, it is some commentary on Isaiah 53:4. Take note of the last part of the quote.

Isaiah 53:4.

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b.

… What is his [the Messiah’s] name?—“The School of R. Shila said: His name is Shiloh, for it is written, until Shiloh come. The School of R. Yannai said: His name is Yinnon, for it is written, His name shall endure forever: e’er the sun was, his name is Yinnon. The School of R. Haninah maintained: His name is Haninah, as it is written, Where I will not give you Haninah. Others say: His name is Menahem the son of Hezekiah, for it is written, Because Menahem [‘the comforter’], that would relieve my soul, is far. The Rabbis said: His name is ‘the leper scholar,’ as it is written, Surely he hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted.”6

The next quote is from the midrash Rabbah, a very old Jewish commentary.

Isaiah 53:5.

Midrash Rabbah, Ruth V, 6.

… The fifth interpretation makes it refer to the Messiah. COME HITHER: approach to royal state. AND EAT OF THE BREAD refers to the bread of royalty; AND DIP THY MORSEL IN THE VINEGAR refers to his sufferings, as it is said, But he was wounded because of our transgressions (Isa. LIII, 5).6

Here is a quote from the Targum Jonathan on Isaiah 53:10man kneeling_small

Isaiah 53:10.

Targum Jonathan to the Prophets.

It is the will of the Lord to purify and to acquit as innocent the remnant of His people, to cleanse their souls to sin, so that they may see the kingdom of their Messiah, have many sons and daughters, enjoy long life, and observe the Torah of the Lord, prospering according to His will. He shall save them from the servitude of the nations, they shall see the punishment of their enemies and be sated with the spoil of their kings. By his wisdom he shall vindicate the meritorious, in order to bring many to be subservient the meritorious, in order to bring many to be subservient the Torah, and he shall seek forgiveness for their sins. Then I will apportion unto him the spoil of great nations, and he shall divide as spoil the wealth of mighty cities, because he was ready to suffer martyrdom that the rebellious he might subjugate to the Torah. And he shall seek pardon for the sins of many and for his sake the rebellious shall be forgiven.6

From these Jewish writings, we learn that they were interpreting Isaiah 52:13 – Isa 53:1-12 in the same way we are, that it is a prophecy about the Messiah; the Suffering Servant. However, if you were to read the more modern commentaries, like the JPS Commentary, you would see that this interpretaion is different. They understand the servant to refer to israel, instead of the Messiah. Here are some more quotes:

The next quote is from Moses Maimonides, also known as the Rambam:

We first want to show you who he was, for those who don’t know. This is what is said about him:

“Our Rabbi/Teacher Moses Son [of] Maimon”), was a preeminent medieval Spanish, Sephardic Jewish philosopher, astronomer[5] and one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars and physicians[6][7] [8] of the Middle Ages.

Although his writings on Jewish law and ethics were met with acclaim and gratitude from most Jews, even as far off as Iraq and Yemen, and he rose to be the revered head of the Jewish community in Egypt, there were also vociferous critics of some of his writings, particularly in Spain. Nevertheless, he was posthumously acknowledged to be one of the foremost rabbinical arbiters and philosophers in Jewish history, his copious work comprising a cornerstone of Jewish scholarship. His fourteen-volume Mishneh Torah still carries significant canonical authority as a codification of Talmudic law. In the Yeshiva world he is called sometimes “haNesher haGadol” (the great eagle) in recognition of his outstanding status as a bona fide exponent of the Oral Torah.8

Rambam, was and still is a very respected scholar. Here is his commentary on Isaiah 53.

Rabbi Moses Maimonides: “What is the manner of Messiah’s advent….there shall rise up one of whom none have known before, and signs and wonders which they shall see performed by him will be the proofs of his true origin; for the Almighty, where he declares to us his mind upon this matter, says, `Behold a man whose name is the Branch, and he shall branch forth out of his place’ (Zech. 6:12). And Isaiah speaks similarly of the time when he shall appear, without father or mother or family being known, He came up as a sucker before him, and as a root out of dry earth, etc….in the words of Isaiah, when describing the manner in which kings will harken to him, At him kings will shut their mouth; for that which had not been told them have they seen, and that which they had not heard they have perceived.” 9

Here is a quote from Rabbi Mosheh Kohen Ibn Crispin. These are indeed very profound words. Not only the first bolded part, but also the second part explaining why we were given this prophecy.

Rabbi Mosheh Kohen Ibn Crispin: This rabbi described those who interpret Isaiah 53 as referring to Israel as those: “having forsaken the knowledge of our Teachers, and inclined after the `stubbornness of their own hearts,’ and of their own opinion, I am pleased to interpret it, in accordance with the teaching of our Rabbis, of the King Messiah….This prophecy was delivered by Isaiah at the divine command for the purpose of making known to us something about the nature of the future Messiah, who is to come and deliver Israel, and his life from the day when he arrives at discretion until his advent as a redeemer, in order that if anyone should arise claiming to be himself the Messiah, we may reflect, and look to see whether we can observe in him any resemblance to the traits described here; if there is any such resemblance, then we may believe that he is the Messiah our righteousness; but if not, we cannot do so.” 10

You may wonder what we are trying to prove here? We want to show you how those who are considered scholars, interpreted these passages. Why have the modern-day rabbis departed from the knowledge of their teachers? Interesting question to consider…

We just want to focus on a few more point to show you firstly that the servant, spoken of here, could not be Israel, and secondly how this prophecy about the servant was fulfilled.

He, the Servant will sprinkle many Nations

Isaiah 52:15
15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand.

This Hebrew word “nazah” is translated as sprinkle. Here is how the Strongs Lexicon renders the word:

5137 נָזָה, נָזָה [nazah /naw·zaw/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 1335, 1336; GK 5684 and 5685; 24 occurrences; AV translates as “sprinkle” 24 times. 1 to spurt, spatter, sprinkle. 1A (Qal) to spurt, spatter. 1B (Hiphil) to cause to spurt, sprinkle upon. 2 to spring, leap. 2A (Hiphil) to cause to leap, startle.11

This word “nazah” is used 24 times in Scripture and always t in the context of sacrifices or purification. As we see in the above quote, this word can also mean “to cause to leap” or “startle.” Even if this word is translated as startle, the passage still has a messianic overtone.

Who has the authority to sprinkle?

15. sprinkle many—GESENIUS, for the antithesis to “be astonished,” translates, “shall cause … to exult.” But the word universally in the Old Testament means either to sprinkle with blood, as the high priest makes an expiation (Le 4:6); or with water, to purify (Ez 36:25; compare as to the Spirit, Ac 2:33), both appropriate to Messiah (Jn 13:8; Heb 9:13, 14; 10:22; 12:24; 1 Pe 1:2). The antithesis is sufficient without any forced rendering. Many were astonished; so many (not merely men, but) nations shall be sprinkled. They were amazed at such an abject person claiming to be Messiah; yet it is He who shall justify and purify. Men were dumb with the amazement of scorn at one marred more than the lowest of men, yet the highest: even kings (Is 49:7, 23) shall be dumb with awe and veneration (“shut … mouths”; Job 29:9, 10; Mic 7:16). 7

From Scripture we learn that YHVH or the high Priest can sprinkle the people for purification purposes.

Ezekiel 36:24–25
24 “For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

1 Peter 1:2
2 according to the foreknowledge of Elohim the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Y’shua Messiah and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Israel could not sprinkle the nations in this way. They do not have the authority to do so, only a High priest or YHVH Himself can do this. We know from previous study that Y’shua is YHVH manifested in the flesh. He is Immanual “Elohim with us.”

Another point to ponder on is the appearance of the Servant.

The Apprearance of the Servant

The appearrance of the Servant is described in three of the four Servant songs.

Isaiah 50:6
6 I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.

Isaiah 52:14
14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men.

In the second part of Isaiah 53:2, we learn more about the servant.

Isaiah 53:2–3
2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

We see the above prophecies literally fulfilled in Matt 26:67; 27:30; Mark 14:65; 15:19; Luke 22:63

Matthew 26:67
67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,

Wiersbe wrote the following commentary on the statement in Isaiah 52:14:

Startled at the Servant’s appearance (Isa. 52:14). “They shall see My Servant beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know it was a person standing there” (TLB). “So disfigured did He look that He seemed no longer human” (JB). When you consider all that Y’shua endured physically between the time of His arrest and His crucifixion, it is no wonder He no longer looked like a man. Not only were His legal rights taken from Him, including the right of a fair trial, but His human rights were taken from Him, so that He was not even treated like a person, let alone a Jewish citizen.

When He was questioned before Annas, Y’shua was slapped by an officer (John 18:22). At the hearing before Caiaphas, He was spat upon, slapped, and beaten on the head with fists (Matt. 26:67; Mark 14:65; Luke 22:63). Pilate scourged Him (John 19:1; Matt. 27:26; Mark 15:15), and his soldiers beat Him (John 19:3). Scourging was so terrible that prisoners were known to die from the ordeal. “I gave My back to the smiters,” said God’s Servant, “and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not My face from shame and spitting” (Isa. 50:6). And they were doing this to the very Son of God!12

The Servant would render Himself as a guilt offering…

A Guilt Offering

What is a guilt offering? Why specifically a guilt offering? We will go into much more detail in the next article, as this is very significant. Please subscribe to make sure you don’t miss this.


So how are we to view this now? Israel is YHVH’s chosen people, they have been and always will be. They were called to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. We have seen that Israel is, as a nation, YHVH’s servant.

Exodus 19:5–6
5 ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”

Israel were chosen to be witnesses of YHVH’s existance.

Isaiah 44:8
8 ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any Elohim besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’ ”

They were also chosen to be a blessing to the world.

Genesis 12:3
3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

YHVH would not go back on his word. However Israel chose to go the way of the nations, they fell into sin. Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy 32:1-43 that this would happen. However, He also gave them the promise of the Messiah in this prophecy. Here is how verse 36 is interpreted from the Babylonian Talmud.

Deuteronomy 32:36.

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 97a.

… Our Rabbis taught: For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself of his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left: the son of David will not come until denunciators are in abundance.

A footnote in the Talmud to: ’When he seeth that their power is gone’ is interpreted as meaning that they will be at the mercy of informers; then God will judge his people—redeem them through the Messiah.6

Israel fell into sin; they followed after other gods. They couldn’t save themselves; they were on a downward spiral towards eternal spiritual death. They could not fulfill their purpose in the state they were in.

Israel needed a redeemer!

YHVH in his great mercy provided a Redeemer to save them from this eternal death. This redeemer would be a Kinsman Redeemer, paying the full price for their transgression and sin in order for them to fulfill their purpose. Their purpose being to be a light to the nations, to be a witness for YHVH. YHVH told them about this Redeemer, the Suffering Servant long before He sent Him. He revealed Him through the prophet Isaiah and other prophets, in order that they would recognize Him. Some did, but some rejected Him.

What happened to Israel is a pattern of our lives as well. We also fall into sin, so deep that we cannot get ourselves out of it. So deeply that the only hope for us is death, and yet through His great mercy, He provided for us. He sent His Son to Redeem us from our harlotry, rebellion and sin. When Y’shua gave His life, He gave it for all, he provided redemption not only for the Jews, but for the Gentiles also. Through Him we get salvation, for He is salvation. Anyone who chooses to believe in Him becomes a part of Israel, His chosen people and shares the same purpose as Israel, to be a light to the nations and a witness for YHVH.

Have you made that choice yet? Your eternity depends upon your choice. If you choose to repent of your transgressions and sin and believe in Messiah Y’shua, our Redeemer, you too would have salvation and eternal life. It is a free gift to all!

Choose wisely, choose life!

Deuteronomy 30:19
19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,

In the next article, we shall use Scripture to define the branch, in order to show you how this term is also used prophetically to point to Y’shua Messiah.


    1. All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD and Y’shua for Jesus.
    2. Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servant_songs
    4. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14248-targum
    5. http://www.bible-researcher.com/aramaic3.html
    6. Huckel, T. (1998). The Rabbinic Messiah. Philadelphia, PA: Hananeel House.
    7. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Is 49:3). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
    8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maimonides
    9. From the Letter to the South (Yemen), quoted in The Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters, Ktav Publishing House, 1969, Volume 2, pages 374-5
    10. The Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters, Ktav Publishing House, 1969, Volume 2, pages 99-114.
    11. Strong, J. (2001). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
    12. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Comforted (pp. 132–133). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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