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Author Topic: The Messiah, the Healer of Jerusalem  (Read 595 times) Average Rating: 0
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rakovsky
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« on: September 17, 2010, 05:33:24 PM »

The Messiah: The Great Physician and the Balm of Jerusalem

The Judaic scholars give at least two translations of Isaiah 53.

Quote
The newer one, the Judaica Press Tanakh, has Isaiah 53:3-4,10 (JPT) say:
3. Despised and rejected by men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness, and as one who hides his face from us, despised and we held him of no account.
4. Indeed, he bore our illnesses, and our pains-he carried them, yet we accounted him as plagued [The JPT translation is just inferring this word. It does not actually say "plagued"], smitten by God and oppressed.
10. And the Lord wished to crush him, He made him ill...

The older 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation, which some now consider "not kosher" has for Isaiah 53:3-4,10(JPS):
3. He was despised, and forsaken of men, a man of pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their face: he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  
4. Surely our diseases he did bear, and our pains he carried; whereas we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  
10. Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease...



In Deuteronomy 7:15, God says that when he brings Israel to the promised land, "the Lord will remove from you all illness, and all of the evil diseases of Egypt which you knew, He will not set upon you, but He will lay them upon all your enemies."
So God has the power to remove sicknesses. This sounds like the arm of the Lord removing sicknesses in Isaiah 53.

Deuteronomy 28:61(JPS) says that if Israel doesn't follow God's laws, "every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed."

Moses says in Exodus 15:26(JPS): "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His eyes, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon thee, which I have put upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD that healeth thee."

Since Isaiah describes Israel as treacherous, it appears that Isaiah would consider Israel to have diseases.

Ecclesiastes 5:16 says that if a rich person and his son toils for nothing, "all his days he eats in the dark, and he has much vexation and sickness and wrath."

Ecclesiastes 6:2 says: "2. A man whom God gives riches and property and honor, and his soul lacks nothing of all he desires, and God gives him no power to eat of it, but a strange man eats it; this is vanity and a grievous sickness."

In 2 Chronicles 21, God punishes Judah's king with a physical disease of the bowels for sinfulness.

2 Chronicles 16 suggests that the reason for Asa's physical disease was his sin.

In 1 Kings 17, Elijah revives a boy who died from sickness when he "stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said: 'O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come back into him.' 22 And the LORD hearkened unto the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back into him, and he revived."

Isaiah 1:1,4-6(JPS) proposes that Israel has illnesses because of its sins:
1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem...
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly; they have forsaken the LORD, they have contemned the Holy One of Israel, they are turned away backward.
5 On what part will ye yet be stricken, seeing ye stray away more and more? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;
6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and festering sores: they have not been pressed, neither bound up, neither mollified with oil.

Note that Isaiah speaks to the sick people, the people of Israel, in the plural, "ye." He is not talking about the country's illnesses, but the people's poetic or physical sicknesses.

Jeremiah 6:7-14(JPS) says:
7 As a cistern welleth with her waters, so she welleth with her wickedness; violence and spoil is heard in her; before Me continually is sickness and wounds.
8 Be thou corrected, O Jerusalem
13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is greedy for gain; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14 They have healed also the hurt of My people lightly, saying: 'Peace, peace', when there is no peace.


Jeremiah 10:19-20 (JPS) appears to continue in this sense, describing the prophet Jeremiah as sick in the sense of wounded and corrected, because his tent has been destroyed. He has a wound and says that "this [wound] is a sickness."
  17 Gather up thy wares from the ground, O thou that abidest in the siege. {S}  
18 For thus saith the LORD: Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and will distress them, that they may feel it. {S}  
 19 Woe is me for my hurt! My wound is grievous; but I said: 'This is but a sickness, and I must bear it.'  
 20 My tent is spoiled, and all my cords are broken; my children are gone forth of me, and they are not; there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.  
21 For the shepherds are become brutish, and have not inquired of the LORD; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flocks are scattered. {P}  
  22 Hark! a report, behold, it cometh, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, a dwelling-place of jackals. {S}  
  23 O LORD, I know that man's way is not his own; it is not in man to direct his steps as he walketh.  
  24 O LORD, correct me, but in measure; not in Thine anger, lest Thou diminish me.
25 Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that know Thee not, and upon the families that call not on Thy name; for they have devoured Jacob, yea, they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.


In Jeremiah 16, God says about the people living in the land of Israel:
"4 They shall die of grievous [literally, "diseased"] deaths; ...they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine


Isaiah 33:20-24 prophesies a future Day when God will save Israel, that sounds much like the future Messianic Age, and similar to the story of Isaiah 53, when Israel will be healed:
 20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemn gatherings; thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a peaceful habitation, a tent that shall not be removed, the stakes whereof shall never be plucked up, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
21 But there the LORD will be with us in majesty...
22. ...the LORD is our King; He will save us.
23 Thy tacklings are loosed; they do not hold the stand of their mast, they do not spread the sail; then is the prey of a great spoil divided...
24 And the inhabitant shall not say: 'I am sick'; the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.


Isaiah 21 seems to speak of war as a disease:
14 ...The inhabitants of the land of Tema did meet the fugitive with his bread. 15 For they fled away from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war.


Isaiah 3:11 seems to speak of illness as general badness:
11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him; for the work of his hands shall be done to him.


Isaiah 8:23 or 9:1 seems to talk about a grievous blow / blow of sickness, which sounds like a military attack, but it isn't clear to me what it means.

Definitions

In Isaiah 53:3, "choliy," the word that the King James version translates as "grief" means literally "disease".

The Hebrew words "grief" and "sorrows" are almost synonyms.

Grief: Choliy (Strong's Dictionary definition): Malady, anxiety, calamity:-disease, grief, (is) sick (-ness)

Sorrows: Makob : (Strong's definition): anguish or (fig.) affliction- grief, pain, sorrow.

"Choliy" means literally sickness, disease, anxiety, affliction

Bearing means lifted, shared, declared, forgave
Carrying means "to carry away" and suggests one serving another.

In 53:10, "him he hath put him to grief," "chalah (khaw-law')" means "to be rubbed or worn; hence (figuratively) to be weak, sick, afflicted; or (causatively) to grieve, make sick"

in Isaiah 53:4, stricken (nagua) and smitten (mukkay) can refer to stricken with disease or to stricken with something else like a sword. We know from Zechariah 11, where God smites the foolish shepherd's arm with a sword, causing the arm to shrivel that it can mean literally to strike, but figuratively to cause illness.



Matthew 8 describes Jesus' fulfillment of Isaiah 53:3-4 as healing of the sick: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."

This doesn't necessarily mean that by carrying the illness he became sick with them. After all, some insects that carry diseases are not necessarily ill from them. Rather, he took the illnesses himself, and carried them away. In a similar way, Isaiah 53 doesn't mean that the servant became a sinner by carrying the sins, rather, he carried them away, although he suffered the consequences of sin.

The scriptures don't record Jesus Christ becoming ill, but how do we know that he did not? He suffered death and floggings, might he also not experience our suffering of physical illnesses?

Modern Judaism considers the Servant to be Israel and therefore considers the illness to be only figurative. If it can be figurative for Israel, it can be figurative for the Messiah. It makes sense to understand the Bible as saying that Israel had sicknesses- either poetic or physical- and the Messiah bore them, and was crushed by them.

It is worth pointing out that because it talks about him being imprisoned, judged, cut off, and a sacrifical offering, the Servant of Isaiah 53 didn't die from the sickness, but was killed.



What are the Israelites healed of in this verse:“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our wellbeing fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.“
It's their “transgressions” and “iniquities.”

This is like Isaiah 33:24 saying
-“And no resident will say, “I am sick”; The people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity.”

And what is being borne away in these verses?
Isaiah 53:4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
53:10 and he shall bear their iniquities.
53:12: yet he bore the sin of many,
53:5 with his stripes we were healed.

It seems like the sins and/or the consequences of sin.



The CHRISTIAN MONTHLY STANDARD writes:
Quote
Calvinism has used the word “bore” to mean that Jesus took the sins into his body. That is, sin was on Jesus and Jesus was therefore punished by God in the cross. But that is not what is being taught in this verse. The servant will lift up our infirmities and carry our pains. The reason this is important is because of the way the New Testament handles this prophecy. If Calvinism is correct, we would expect this verse to be quoted when Jesus was on the cross, suffering for the sins of the people. However, that was not the fulfillment of this prophecy. Matthew quotes Isaiah in Matthew 8:16-17. [when jesus heals people].
http://www.christianmonthlystandard.com/index.php/the-suffering-servant-isaiah-534/

This author distinguishes (A) Jesus carrying people's illnesses away from them when he healed lepers during his ministry from (B) Jesus carrying sins on himself when he was crucified. The author's writing suggests to me that on the cross, Jesus did not bear sins, but rather the consequences of sin.

But is the author's suggestion to me really the Orthodox interpretation? Is this particular "Calvinist interpretation" really different from the rest of Christianity, and a heresy like those things that distinguish Calvinism from Christianity?

After all, Jesus considered Moses' serpent bound around a stick in the desert to be a prefigurement. Could it be that Jesus was bearing or carrying other people's sins too when he was crucified?


The Head Covering

There are different translations of the phrase in Isaiah 53 that people will hide their faces from the Servant. I think I read a less likely one says he hides from them.

2 Samuel 15 (JPS) refers to head-covering in mourning:
13. And all the country wept with a loud voice, as all the people passed over; and as the king passed over the brook Kidron, all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.
30. And David went up by the ascent of the mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered, and went barefoot; and all the people that were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.  

And lepers cover their own faces in Leviticus 13:45 (JPS):
45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and the hair of his head shall go loose, and he shall cover his upper lip, and shall cry: 'Unclean, unclean.'

The Prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 50:6 that he, the prophet, didnt hide his face from shame, suggesting that people hid their faces from the shameful Servant of Isaiah 53: "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting."

In Isaiah 59:2(JPS), Isaiah tells Israel: "your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood."

So we know that Israel has sins, and that one turns their faces from another shamed by sin.

Isaiah 54:8 says: In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment

So when God is angry he hides his face.

This suggests that looking at the servant caused mourning, or was a shameful or sinful sight that people turned away from in wrath or dislike.



Please tell me what you the Messiah bearing others' diseases and being crushed by disease means.

What is the Orthodox interpretation?
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LBK
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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 06:23:43 AM »

Are you using the Septuagint (LXX) in your quotes, or another translation, particularly one based on the Masoretic OT?
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rakovsky
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2010, 03:51:33 PM »

Are you using the Septuagint (LXX) in your quotes, or another translation, particularly one based on the Masoretic OT?

LBK, I was using two modern Judaic translations, the Jewish Publication Society and the Judaica Press Tanakh, which are based on the Masoretic.

The reason is that Western Christian translations sometimes translate the diseases as "griefs". But grief is only a secondary meaning of the word "choliy." Isaiah 53 talks about the servant being struck by "choliy."

Of course, the Bible often talks about choliy (plagues) like a plague of war, etc.

So plague is the most explicit translation, I think, but the Bible also gives it another meaning.

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LBK
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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2010, 07:54:38 AM »

Are you using the Septuagint (LXX) in your quotes, or another translation, particularly one based on the Masoretic OT?

LBK, I was using two modern Judaic translations, the Jewish Publication Society and the Judaica Press Tanakh, which are based on the Masoretic.

The reason is that Western Christian translations sometimes translate the diseases as "griefs". But grief is only a secondary meaning of the word "choliy." Isaiah 53 talks about the servant being struck by "choliy."

Of course, the Bible often talks about choliy (plagues) like a plague of war, etc.

So plague is the most explicit translation, I think, but the Bible also gives it another meaning.

The reason I asked the question is because the Masoretic OT often differs greatly from the LXX in the wording of certain passages of Messianic prophecy.
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rakovsky
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2010, 02:03:56 AM »

Are you using the Septuagint (LXX) in your quotes, or another translation, particularly one based on the Masoretic OT?

LBK, I was using two modern Judaic translations, the Jewish Publication Society and the Judaica Press Tanakh, which are based on the Masoretic.

The reason is that Western Christian translations sometimes translate the diseases as "griefs". But grief is only a secondary meaning of the word "choliy." Isaiah 53 talks about the servant being struck by "choliy."

Of course, the Bible often talks about choliy (plagues) like a plague of war, etc.

So plague is the most explicit translation, I think, but the Bible also gives it another meaning.

The reason I asked the question is because the Masoretic OT often differs greatly from the LXX in the wording of certain passages of Messianic prophecy.

LBK,

Thanks for your discussion here, and with me on OC.net.

The LXX sometimes differs from the LXX, but I am not sure how often it differs greatly in the wording of certain passages of Messianic prophecy.

You make an important point. The Masoretic scribes had their own views about the Messiah, and if there was a question about how to transcribe a verse, it would seem likely that their views about the Messiah could have affected how they chose to transcribe some verses about him.

And I think one needs to consider the LXX to get a better understanding of some Messianic verses than what the Masoretic gives. So for example, when I was writing my article about understanding the scriptures (rakovskii.livejournal.com), I pointed out that Psalm 22 in all the versions I know of (Latin Vulgate, Peshitta, Dead Sea Scrolls, LXX), except for the Masoretic, mention the person's hands and feet being pierced. Since the Masoretic is alone in saying otherwise, by saying that the person's attackers were "like a lion" at the person's hands and feet, I think that the LXX is correct about the contradictory translations of the phrase, rather than the Masoretic.

Happy Nativity.
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