Nazarene Space

Proof that Yeshua is the Messiah
By James Trimm

Yeshua MUST be Messiah (regardless of whether or not any other "Messianic Prophecies" are validly speaking of Yeshua)

Isaiah 29 ties the apostasy of Judah to a sealed book (29:10-12) but with the revealing of that sealed book comes an enlightenment and restoration (29:18).

Now it is very important to realize that according to Isaiah 29 our people (Judah) are in a state of general blindness/slumber until the sealed book is revealed (29:10-14, 18).

Now Isaiah does not tell us what the book is or when it is revealed. However that information is given elswhere in the Tanak. Daniel writes of his own book:

But you, O Daniel, shut up the words,
and seal the book to the time of the end...

...Go your way Daniel: for the words are closed up
and sealed till the time of the end.
(Dan. 12:4, 10)

So this "sealed book" would seem to be at least in part, the Book of Daniel and it seems to be come unsealed in the last days. Remember Daniel wrote after the days of Isaiah so Daniel knew about the sealed book of Is. 29:10-12, 18 when he wrote Dan. 12:4, 10.

So lets bring together Is. 29:10-14, 18 with Daniel 12:4, 10. What do we learn from these two sections of the Tanak taken together? We learn that our people Judah are in an apostasy until some information hidden in the
Book of Daniel (and perhaps some other books) is revealed in the last days and the revealing of that information opens their eyes.

This means that mainline Judaism is in apostasy but in the last days there is a restoration of Judah when certain hidden (sealed) information in Daniel is revealed.

So what information is sealed in Daniel? The restoration of our people is usually tied to Messiah... could this hidden information in Daniel relate to the identity of Messiah?

Interesting the Talmud states:

The Targum of the Prophets was composed by Jonathon
ben Uzziel under the guidance of Haggai, Zechariah and
Malachi... and a Bat Kol (voice from heaven) came forth
and exclaimed, "Who is this that has revealed My secrets
to mankind?"... He further sought to reveal by a Targum
the inner meaning of the Ketuvim, but a bat kol went forth
and said, "Enough!". What was the reason?-- Because the
date of the Messiah is foretold in it.
(Babylonian Talmud; b.Megillah 3a)

Now the only prophetic book of the Ketuvim is Daniel and this is also a book of the Ketuvim for which no Targum was evr made. The following quote from Josephus also supports the theory that Daniel is the book in question:

We believe that Daniel conversed with God; for he did not
only prophecy of future events, as did the other prophets,
but also determined the time of their accomplishment.
(Josephus; Antiquities 10:11:7)

Now the Qumran community found just this information (the time of the Messiah) in the Book of Daniel:

The visitation is the Day of Salvation that He has decreed
through Isaiah the prophet concerning all the captives,
inasmuch as Scripture says, "How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news, who announces salvation,
who says to Zion "Your ELOHIM reigns"." (Isa. 52;7)
This scriptures interpretation : "the mountains" are the prophets,
they who were sent to proclaim God`s truth and to prophesy
to all Israel. "The messengers" is the Anointed of the spirit,
of whom Daniel spoke; "After the sixty-two weeks,
a Messiah shall be cut off" (Dan. 9;26)
(From 11Q13)

So now we have learned that there is good reason to believe that the sealed information in the Book of Daniel which opens the eyes of Judah when it is revealed in the last days is the time of Messiah sealed up in Daniel 9:24-27.

Now lets recap:

Anyone can see from Is. 29 that the apostasy of Judah ends with the revealing of a sealed book.

Anyone can see from Daniel 12 that this sealed book is (at least in part) the Book of Daniel.

Anyone can see that the information sealed up in Daniel is (at least in part) the time of Messiah.

Anyone can see that this information is to be found in Daniel 9.

Now here is Daniel 9 unsealed:

DAN 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

DAN 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

Daniel has been doing some Tanak study. He has been reading Jer. 25:11-12; 29:10. He has read about the 70 year exile.

The reason for a 70 year captivity had been that YHWH was punishing us for having forsaken the Torah. He punished us with the curses of Deut 28-29 and Lev. 26 as the Torah had warned us. The key issue here was that of the violation of the Sabbath of the Land (Ex. 21:2; 23:11; Lev. 25:2, 20; 26:2, 34; Deut. 15:1)

According to the Torah, if we as a people did not keep the sabbath of the land every seven years we would be cursed (Lev. 26 esp. verse 34)

DAN 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

DAN 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

DAN 9:5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:

DAN 9:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

DAN 9:7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

DAN 9:8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.

DAN 9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;

DAN 9:10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

DAN 9:11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

DAN 9:12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.

DAN 9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.

DAN 9:14 Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

DAN 9:15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

DAN 9:16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

DAN 9:17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.

DAN 9:18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

DAN 9:19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

Daniel is very concerned. It has been 70 years and he wants to go home! He is a very old man by now. But he has worried because he knows his Torah. He knows that the Torah warns that if Israel still does not repent after the curse is inacted that Israel will have the punishment multiplied by seven (Lev. 26:18) Daniel is hoping that YHWH will not be enacting the next level punishment. For that would mean 70 * 7 or another 490 years!

DAN 9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;

DAN 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

DAN 9:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

DAN 9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

DAN 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Daniel learns that there will indeed be at least another 490 years of curses for Israel. The "weeks" here are not seven DAYS but seven YEARS. In fact the Hebrew word here actually just means "seven [somethings]"

DAN 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

7 "weeks" here would be 49 years (a Jubilee cycle) plus theeescore and two weeks (3*20+2=62) is 69 "weeks" or 483 years.

But remember we are not counting years here but actual sabbath year cycles which are specific seven year blocks. In other words this is actually a count of how many sabbath year cycle blocks fall between these two points.

Our starting point is "the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" which is Ezra 7:11-16 and gives us a start date of 457 BCE. Between that date and the Messiah 69 sabbath year cycle blocks would fall.

DAN 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Messiah is cut off after ther 62 "weeks" which follow the 7 weeks. This elaboration allows us to see that the division of these two blocks (the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks) was to show that after the 7 weeks "the street shall be built again, and the wall" but the Messiah would not come until after the 62 week block following that.

The Messiah would be "cut off" at that time. This is an idiom meaning that he would be executed. He would not be executed for himself, but for others. Then the people of a prince destroy Jerusalem after that time.

DAN 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Remember there were 490 years or 70 "weeks" but we have so far covered only 483 (or 69 "weeks").

This is because the big test of our trust in YHWH is the Sabbath of the land. This is where Israel SHOWS our trust in YHWH by trusting him to provide. The curse would not end until we reinstitute the sabbath of the land (2Chr. 36:21).

So YHWH in his infinite mercy would send the Messiah seven years BEFORE the 490 years would end to call us to repent and return to Torah in time to reinstitute the sabbath of the land BEFORE the 490 years are over. (See my paper THE KINGDOM OFFER)

The curse will not end until we as a people repent and show that by reinstituting the sabbath of the land. When we do that we will finally kick off the last seven years of the curse we have lived with all of this time.

There is so much to learn from this chapter. Including the nature of the Kingdom offer and the layout of the last seven years. But most importantly is the time that the Messiah would come and be "cut off".

Now if our start point is 457 BCE and 69 "weeks" must fall between this point and the death of Messiah, then Messiah would have to be executed sometime in a window from 26 C.E. to 40 C.E. (depending on how the sabbath year cycles fall.

So if Yeshua was NOT the Messiah that would be "cut off, but not for himself" during that window... then who was?

Messaih would be executed in a window of time somewhere between 26 and 44 C.E.. And he would arive in accordance to the completion of a series of sabbath-year-cycles and jubilee cycles. Now these cycles indicate "the year of release". So lets look for more clues about this Messiah who is cut off at such a time.

Lets look at Isaiah 60:22-61:2

60:22 A little one shall become a thousand,
and a small one a strong nation:
I YHWH will hasten it in its time.

"A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation:" is the Kingdom represented by a stone in Dan. 2:34-35, 45 which "became a great mountain and filled the whole earth" (Dan. 3:35).

"I YHWH will hasten it in its time." refers to the "Kingdom offer"

61:1 The Spirit of Adonai YHWH is upon me;
because YHWH has anointed me to proclaim
good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to
bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty
to the captives, and the opening of the prison
to them that are bound.

61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of YHWH,
and the day of vengeance of our ELOHIM,
to comfrort all who mourn;

Here we have an anointed one, a "Messiah" who comes in accordance with the jubilee and seven year cycles to proclaim liberty to captives. It is also significant as we will soon find that he makes this proclomation to "Zion" (Is. 61:3). This Messiah comes to REDEEM.

Lets see if Isaiah speaks any more about this figure who makes a proclomation of redemption to Zion. In Is. 52:7 we also read about a figure who also proclaims good tidings to Zion. This proclomation appears in Is. 53 and also involves one who comes to redeem (Is. 53:4-5, 11-12) and is cut off, but not for himself (53:8; 53:4-5, 11-12) just like the figure in Daniel. The figure must be the Messiah of Daniel 9 and Is. 61.

I wonder how this Messiah dies? Perhaps the prophets give me some clue.
Zechariah writes:

12:10 ...they shall look upon me whom they have pierced...

According to both the Talmud (b.Sukkot 52a) and the Targum, this "pierced one" is the Messiah. Now Zechariah 12:10 takes place at the coming of Messiah as king, but they notice that he was the same one whom they had "pierced" or "thrust through". Lets read on and see if Zechariah gives us any clues as to who this is and just how he was pierced. As we read further Zech 12:10-14 speaks of the people mourning over having pierced this guy. Zech 13: 1-4 takes place at the intiation of the Messianic age. The Messiah is judging idolaters and false prophets. No wonder they are now mourning over this pierced one! Then in verses 5-6 we get a detailed scene of one of these judgements:

5 And he shall say, "I am no prophet, I am a husbandman;
for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth."
6 And he [the defendant] shall say to him [Messiah],
"What are these wounds in your hands?"

Then he [the Messiah] shall answer: "Those with which
I was wounded in the house of my friends."

Zech 13:6 points us back to 12:10 regarding how they mourn when they see he is the pierced one.

So now we have a Messiah who would be "cut off" sometime between 26 and 44 C.E. not for himself but to redeem others. This execution would involve having his hands pierced.

Now lets look at Zech. 13:2. Notice that this guy will "cut off the names of the idols out of the land" (13:2). Sounds like the same guy about whom Micah 5:13 says "Your graven images also will I cut off". This guy is born in Beit-Lechem (Bethlehem) according to Micah 5:2 (and the Targum to Micah 5:2 says this is Messiah).

OK lets summarize:

* According to Isaiah 29 our people (Judah) are in a state of general blindness/slumber until the sealed book is revealed (29:10-14, 18).
* Daniel tells us that his book is sealed until the last days (Dan. 12)
* The sealed information in Daniel's book would appear to be the time of Messiah in Dan. 9.
* Daniel 9 unsealed reveals to us that Messiah would be "cut off" for others sometime between 26 and 44 CE.
* This passage points us to various other prophecies about this figure which also tell us that he is born in Beit-Lechem, and executed by having his hands pierced.

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Comment by Henri Orquera on August 17, 2009 at 5:32pm
You are only thinking about Mashiah Ben David, as Rabbinical Judaism does, and are forgetting the other one.

Our Hakhamim told us many centuries ago (mainly before Rashi): there are 2 distinct faces of Mashiah in the Torah, and in that time they used to think they should be 2 distinct people.
They named the first to come "Mashiah Ben Yosef". This one has been completely forgotten in Rabinnical Judaism, who only knows "Mashiah Ben David"
That is THE QUESTION between Rabinnical and Messianic Judaisms.

So, please you have to discover Mashiah Ben Yosef and learn everything the Tanakh writes about him.
After this, your understanding of all Ketuvim will completely change.

And you will eventually find that this man has come and performed all what was written about him.

I hope you accept the whole Torah, Nevihim and Ketuvim as they are written and not as they are taught by most rabbinical people.

Comment by James Trimm on August 17, 2009 at 9:54pm
Again from my commentary o Matthew at

11:1-3 are you he that is destined to come, or do we await another? - (see comments to Mt. 11:4-5) refers to the two Messiah theory. There are two basic versions of the two Messiah theory:

1. The "rabbinic" two Messiah theory which held to a Messiah the son
of Joseph, sometimes called "Ephraim." who would come and suffer to
redeem his brothers (like the patriarch Joseph); and a Messiah the
son of David who would come and rule from David's throne forever.

2. The "Qumran" two Messiah theory which held to a Priestly Aaronic
Messiah and a Kingly Messiah.

In order to understand the Messianic theory of the Nazarenes and Ebionites it is important to understand these two theories. I will first document each version of the two Messiah theory, then I will show evidence that both theories existed in the first century. I will also show that the two versions of the theory are related to each other. Finally I will show that the NT shows an awareness of the two Messiah theory and relates to it.

The first of the two Messiah theories is the "Rabbinic" theory. The Rabbi's have always recognized an apparant conflict between certain Messianic passages. For example:

R. Alexandri said: Rabbi Joshua opposed two verses:
Is is writted:

And behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds
of heaven. (Dan. 7:13)

Whilst it is written:

[behold, your king comes to you...] lowely, and riding
upon an ass! (Zech. 9:9)
(b.San. 98a)

The Rabbinic "two Messiah" theory was one of several answers that the Rabbis found for these contradictions. It delegated the lowly, suffering servant passages to Messiah the son of Joseph (sometimes called Ephraim); and the Kingly passages to Messiah the son of David. A good example of the Ephraim Messiah in Rabbinic literature is a Midrash in which the Messiah is being warned by God of what awaits him:

Their sins will be upon you like a yoke of iron.
They will choke your spirit. Because of their sins,
Your toungue will cleave to the roof of your mouth.
Do you accept this? If not, I will remove the decree from you.

The Messiah replies:
"Master of the worlds, how long will this last?

God replies: "Ephraim, my true Messiah, ever since the six
days of creation you have taken this ordeal upon yourself. At
this moment, your pain is my pain"

Messiah replies: "Master of the worlds, I accept this with
gladness in my soul, and joy in my heart, so that not a single one of the House of Israel should perish. Not only for those alive, but also the dead. It is enough that the servant be like the Master.
(Midresh Pesqita Rabbah 36)

Rabbi Dosa (who lived around 250 CE) was a chief advocate of the two Messiah theory. The Talmud records that he taught regarding Zech. 12:10:

What is the cause of the mourning [of Zech. 12:12]--... It is
well according to him who explains that the cause is the
slaying of Messiah the son of Joseph, since that well agrees with the Scriptural verse:

And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced,
And they shall mourn for him as one mourns for his
only son. (Zech. 12:10)
(b.Sukkot 52a)

Now the Qumran community also believed in two Messiahs:

They shall govern themselves using the original precepts
by which the men of the YAHAD began to be instructed,
doing so until there come the Prophet and the Messiahs
of Aaron and Israel.
(Manual of Discipline 1Qs Col. 9 lines 10-11)

Two Messiahs are also evident in 1QSa, 1Q28a where the two Messiahs are pictured at a future Messianic banguet table.

Now it has been stated in recent years that the two Messiah theory did not exist in the first century. These theorists claim that a "suffering servent" Messiah who dies was invented to get Bar Kokhba off the hook. However the Talmud tells us that Bar Kokhba failed, not because he was a suffering servent Messiah, but because he was not a Messiah of any kind whatsoever. Moreover First century sources attest to both the idea of a suffering servent Messiah and the two Messiah theory.
The earliest sources for the two Messiah theory are the Dead Sea Scrolls and Targum Jonathan. Targum Jonathan identifies the pierced one of Zech. 12:10 as the "Messiah son of Ephraim." Targum Jonathan was supposed to have been written in the first century by Jonathan ben Uziel the student of Hillel.
Another question that arises is, can the priestly Messiah of the Qumran community be identified with the suffering servent Messiah? The answer is, I believe, yes. The critical clue lies in the way that the Dead Sea Scrolls use Is. 61:1-4.
One document among the scrolls (11Q13) aplies Is. 61:1-3 to a priestly eschatalogical figure who is called "Melchizadek" the document then speaks of a "Messiah" who is called the one "anointed of the spirit" (Is. 61:1) and to whom Is. 62:2 is also applied. This "Messiah" is identified as the figure spoken of in Is, 52:7 and as the Messiah who is "cut-off" in Dan. 9:26. This implies a connection to the suffering servent in Is. 53 who is also cut-off. A final clue is found in 4Q521 which also applies Is. 61:1 to the Messiah and which closely parallels Mt. 11:5 (which will become important later).
Finally, was there to be two Messiahs or one Messiah? There does seem to have been confusion on this issue. While 1QS 9:10-11 refers to the "Messiahs of Levi and Israel" The Damascus Document three times refers to the "Messiah of Levi and Israel" (12:23; 14:19; 19:10) was there a question as to whether these would be two Messiahs or one? A tradition found in Midrash Rabbah may provide the answer:

Like Moses, Messiah will be revealed, then hidden,
then revealed again.
(Bamidbar Rabbah 11:2)

11:4-5 …the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised, the poor are made happy

Aramaic (Old Syriac (s) and Peshitta) as well as Luke 7:22 have “the poor have the goodnews proclaimed to them”

This closely parallels the Messianic criteria given in 4Q521:

[the hea]vens and the earth will listen to His Messiah,
and none therein will stray from the commandments
of the holy ones. Seekers of the Lord, strengthen yourselves
in His service! All you hopeful in (your) heart, will you not
find the Lord in this?
For the Lord will consider the pious (hasidim)
and call the righteous by name. Over the poor His spirit will
hover and will renew the faithful with His power.
And He will glorify the pious on the throne of the eternal
Kingdom. He who liberates the captives, restores sight to the
blind, straightens the b[ent] And f[or] ever I will cleav[ve to
the h]opeful and in His mercy . . .

And the fr[uit . . .] will not be delayed for anyone.
And the L-rd will accomplish glorious things
which have never been as [He . . .]
For He will heal the wounded, and revive the dead
and bring good news to the poor. . . He will lead the
uprooted and knowledge . . . and smoke (?)
(Michael O. Wise, translation)

A similar statement appears in Midrash Talpios:

In the time of revealing Mashiach,
one will go to the cemeteries and resurrect the dead,
another will heal the blind
and another will cure the lame.
(Midrash Talpios)

(See comments to Mt. 11:1-3) Yeshua responds by quoting from Is. 35:5-6; 26:14 and (get this) Is. 61:1. This statement (In Mt. 11:5) paralles 4Q521 so closely that both contain "raise the dead" which is not in Isaiah. Yeshua is clearly refering to a key known list of criteria for the Kingly Messiah (John already knew Yeshua was the suffering one) and which cited Is. 61:1 the critical material which ties all of the Messiah's together in the Qumran literature (remember, very good evidence indicates that John had broken off from the Qumran community; see notes to Mt. 3:1f.)
Comment by James Trimm on August 18, 2009 at 9:23pm
Is. 52:7-53:12 is the fourth of four "servant songs" in Isaiah. These four servant songs are to be found in 42:1-9; 49:1-12; 50:4-11; 52:7-53:12).

Now before we look at Is. 52:7-53:12 lets look at the others. Let us first look at Is. 42:1-9

Is. 42:1 says:

Behold my servant, whom I uphold;
my elect in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles.

This is a close parallel to another passage in Isaiah:

And the Spirit of YHWH shall rest upon him...
with righteousness shall he judge...
(Is. 11:2, 4)

Now EVERYONE agrees that Is. 11:1f speaks of the Messiah and it is clear that Is. 42:1 speaks of the same individual. Also Is, 61:1 is parallel.

Ok now lets look at Is. 49:1-12

It is the claim of the anti missionaries that 49:3 closes the case and clearly identifies the Servant as Israel. However in context that identification must be alegorical. In Is. 49:1-12 the servant is clearly NOT literaly Israel because in verses 5 & 6 the servant brings Jacob (Israel) back to YHWH; raises up the tribes of Israel and restore the preserved of Israel. Clearly then the next two verses reveal that the servant is NOT Israel. So why does Is. 49:3 make that identification? Because their is an allegorical relationship Between Messiah and Israel. Both for example are the Son of Elohim. Both had
miraculous births. Both were taken into Egypt to save them in their youth. Both were called out of Egypt. Rome tried to kill both of them. etc.

In verse 7 most translations state that a "nation" abhors the servant. However some Rabbinic translations (JPS and Sonicio) state that the "nations" abhor the servant. This makes a big difference. If the word is singular "nation" then by context the "nation" would be Israel. Thus proving once again that the servant is not Israel because Israel cannot abhor Israel. However if the reading is "nations" then this fits with the Rabbinic interpretation that the servant is Israel and that in Is. 53 Israel is being opressed by the nations. So one must ask: who is being honest? This is pivitol. Is the word "nation(s)" in Is. 49:7 plural or singular? The word is in the Hebrew SINGULAR thus proving
Once again that the servant is NOT Israel. The Rabbinics have actually CHANGED the text of Is. 49:7 so as to make it fit with their theory.

OK now lets look at Is. 52:7-53:12

The key questions are:

Who is the speaker?

Who is the servant?

Who is "we"?

Who is "he"?

OK who is the speaker?

Three answers have been proposed:

1. Isaiah


3. The Gentile Kings of the Earth

We will examine number 1 last.

First: Is the speaker YHWH?

The speaker cannot be YHWH because the speaker has sins (53:6)

Second: Is the speaker The Gentile Kings of the Earth?

The speaker cannot be the Gentile Kings because:

1. The chiastic structure in 52:7, 10; 53:1 reveals the speaker is the
same as the individual on the mountains in 52:7 which NO ONE claims is the Gentile Kings.

Is. 52:7
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him
that brings goodnews,
that publishes peace;
that brings goodnews of good,
that publishes salvation,
that says to Zion: "Your God reigns!"

Is. 52:10
B. has made bare his holy arm
C. in the eyes of all the nations
C. and all the ends of the earth
B. shall see the salvation
A. of our God.

Is. 53:1
Who has believed our report?
And to whom is the arm of YHWH revealed?

Clearly the "arm of YHWH" in 53:1 is the "report" of 53:1
Clearly the "arm of YHWH" in 53:1 is "his holy arm" in 52:10
Clearly "see the salvation" of 52:10 is "bare his holy arm" of 52:10
Clearly the "publishes salvation" of 52:7 = "see the salvation" of 52:10

Therefore the "report" of 53:1f is being given by the figure on the mountains who is certainly NOT the Gentile Kings.

2. The text of 52:15 specificly tells us that the Gentile kings are silent they have nothing to say, they are NOT delivering a report. If it was important that we think that the speaker was the Gentile kings of 2:15 then why would YHWH have the text tell us they are silent. in fact the Targum actually states that the kings "shall be silent because of him"

The speaker is Isaiah. In fact there is no reason not to believe that the speaker is Isaiah.

Now who is the servant?

Is the servant Israel?

The sevant cannot be Israel because:

1. The servant is a voluntary sufferer (Is. 53:7, 12b)

2. The servant is contrasted with the speaker who counts
himself with a group (Israel) saying "we" throughout.
(Is. 53:6) If "we" is Israel and "we" is being contrasted
with "he" then "he" the servant cannot be Israel.

3. The servant is an innocent sufferer (53:6, 9) but Israel
has guilt. Israel suffers BECAUSE we have sinned
(see Deut. 28-29 and Lev. 26)

53:10 says "he shall see his seed" and nati-missionaries make much of this. They say that zera cannot be used allegorically. Infact the word zera (seed) is used allegorically in Jewish literatiure to refer to the scattered tribes. In fact the Targum on this passage understands "seed" allegorically and paraphrases it "the Kingdom of their Messiah". In
fact then term seed is used allegorically in the very next chapter (Is. 54:1-3)

In the Hebrew of the Masoretic Text Isaiah 53:11 has a serious grammatical problem. The Hebrew of the Masoretic Text reads literally:

From the travail of his soul he shall see ________
shall be satisfied in his understanding.
My Righteous servant shall justify many
and their iniquities he bears.

There is very clearly a missing word in the Hebrew resulting in two verbs in a row "shall see" and "shall be satisfied". What shall he see? Now the missing word "light" DOES appear in the Septuagint and has also now turned up in two Hebrew copies of Isaiah found at Qumran.

The passage SHOULD read (as it does in the HRV):

From the travail of his soul he shall see light
and shall be satisfied in his understanding.
My Righteous servant shall justify many
and their iniquities he bears.
(Is. 53:11 HRV translation)

So the "servant" of Is. 52:7-53:12 is the Messiah.

Isaiah 52:7-53:12 is also understood to refer to Messiah in the Targums, Talmuds, Midrashim and Zohar.

On Is. 52:7

Rabbi Jose the Galilean says: Great is peace-for at the hour the King Messiah reveals himself unto Israel, he will begin in no other way than with "peace" as it is written: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of goodnews, that announces peace." (Is. 52:7)
(Perek HaShalom in some Talmud editions and Numbers Rabbah XI, 16-20)

On Is. 52:13

Behold, My Servant the Messiah shall prosper;
he shall be exalted and great and very powerful.
(Targum Jonathan on Is. 52:13)

On. Is. 52:15-53:2

Regarding the mission by which Messiah will present himself
Isaiah states, "He grew like a tender plant and as a root out of dry
landŠ At him will kings shut their mouths, for what had not been
told unto them shall they see, and what they never heard shall they
understand." (Is. 52:15-53:2)

On. Is. 53:3

"man" in the passage [Is. 53:3] refers to the Messiah,
the Son of David
(Midrash Thanhumi, Rabbi Nahman)

On Is. 53:4-5

The Rabanan say that that Messiah's name is
the Suffering Scholar of Rabbi's House
(or the Leper Scholar) for it is written, "Surely
he has born our grief and carried our sorrows,
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of
God and afflicted." (Is. 53:4)
(b.San. 98a)

The Messiah- what is his name?
The House of Rabbi Judah the Holy One says:
The Sick One "Surely he has born our sicknesses" (Is. 53:4)
(b.San. 98b)

Rabbi Joshua came upon the prophet Elijah as he was standing at the entrance of Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai's cave. He asked him: "When is the Messiah coming?" The other replied: "Go and ask him yourself." "Where shall I find him?" "Before the gates of Rome." "By what sign shall I know him?" "He is sitting among the poor people and covered with wounds."(see Is. 53:5)
(b.San. 98a)

The Holy One gave Messiah the opportunity to save
souls but to be severely chastised Messiah accepted the
chastisement of love "He was oppressed, and he was
afflicted." And when Israel is sinful, the Messiah
seeks mercy on them "By his stripes we were healed"
and "He carried the sins of many"
(Rabbi Moshe Hadershan; Midrash Rabbah; Bereshit Rabbah)

In the Garden of Eden there is a hall that is called the "hall of the afflicted." Now it is into this hall that the Messiah goes and
summons all the afflictions and pains and sufferings of Israel to come upon him. And so they all come upon him. And had he not eased the children of Israel of their sorrow, and taken their burden upon himself, there would be none who could endure the suffering of Israel in penalty of neglecting the Torah. Thus it is written: "Surely our diseases he did bear and our pains he carried." (Is. 53:5) As long as the children of Israel dwelt in the Holy Land, they averted all afflictions and sufferings from the world by the service of the sanctuary and by sacrifice. But now it is the Messiah who is averting them from the habitants of the world.
(Zohar; Ex. fol. 212a)

Is. 53:10

It is the will of the Lord to purify and to acquit as innocent the
remnant of His people, to cleanse their souls of 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.
(Targum Jonathan on Is. 53:10)
Comment by James Trimm on August 18, 2009 at 9:25pm
Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, as the prophet Micah wrote:

But you, Beit-Lechem Ephrathah,
which are little to be among the thousands of Y’hudah,
out of you shall one come forth unto Me
that is to be ruler in Yisra’el;
whose goings forth are from before,
from days.of eternity.
(Micah 5:1 (5:2))

The Targum Jonathan to this passage paraphrases:

And you, O Bethlehem Ephrath,
you who were too small to be numbered
among the thousands of the house of Judah,
from you shall come forth before Me the Messiah,
to exercise dominion over Israel,
he whose name was mentioned from before,
from the days of creation.
(Targum Jonathan; Micah 5:1)

Messiah was also to be born of a virgin:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin [ALMA] shall conceive, and bear a son,
And call his name Immanuel.
(Is. 7:14)

Now there are three issues I want to look at here. The first is the meaning of the Hebrew word ALMA and why it would be used here. The second is the reading of the other ancient versions of Isaiah 7:14. And the third is the overall context of this passage.

Now great controversy surrounds the Hebrew word ALMA in Isaiah 7:14.

It has been suggested that the Hebrew word "ALMA" simply means "young woman" and that if Isaiah had intended to refer to a "virgin" he would have used the Hebrew word BETULAH. SO the question arises, what is an ALMA? What is a BETULAH and why would Isaiah use the word ALMA rather than BETULAH if it were to be a virgin birth?

The word ALMA refers to a young unmarried woman one of whose characteristics is virginity. There is no instance where the word ALMA is used to refer to a non-virgin. In such passages as Gen. 24:43 (compare Gen. 24:43 with 24:16 where BETULAH appears) and Song 1:3; 6:8 ALMA clearly refers to virgins. In fact the Hebrew Publishing Company Translation of 1916 translates ALMA as "virgin" in Gen. 24:43 and in Song 1:3; 6:8. Moreover an ancient Ugaritic tablet was discovered which uses ALMA in synonymous poetic parallelism as the synonymous parallel to the cognate of BETULAH. For this reason one of the worlds leading Semitists, the late Dr. Cyrus Gordon who was Jewish and did NOT believe in the virgin birth of Yeshua maintains that Is. 7:14 may be translated as "virgin" (Almah in Isaiah 7:14; Gordon, Cyrus H.; JBR 21:106). So why would Isaiah have used ALMA rather than BETULAH? Because a BETULAH can be a young married woman who is not a virgin, but pure because she is married (as in Joel 1:8).

Now it has been suggested that Isaiah 7:14 refers not to a birth to a "virgin" but to a birth to a "young woman".

In order to understand how this passage was understood anciently we should look at the other ancient versions of the book of Isaiah. The Aramaic Peshitta Tanak has:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin [B'TULTA] shall conceive, and bear a son,
And call his name Immanuel.
(Is. 7:14)

The Aramaic word B'TULTA clearly means "virgin" and not simply "young lady". Now lets look at the Greek Septuagint reading:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin [PARTHENOS] shall conceive, and bear a son, And call his name Immanuel.
(Is. 7:14)

The Greek PARTHENOS means "virgin" and not simply "young lady".

Thus both the ancient Aramaic and ancient Greek versions of Isaiah 7:14 understand ALMA here to refer to a virgin.

Finally I want to examine the context of Isaiah 7:14. First I will want to examine the immediate context of Isaiah 7 and then the broader context of this whole section of Isaiah.

Literal translation of Hebrew of Is. 7:14:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give to you(pl) a sign:
behold the ALMA will conceive and bear a son
and she will call his name Immanuel.

"you" in verse 14 is plural. By contrast King Achaz is singular you in verses 11 and 16-17. The sign to Achaz was that before a child should know how to choose good from bad, the siege would end (16-17). That child was NOT be the newborn child of verse 14 the child is Isaiah's son Sh'ar-Yashuv from Isaiah 7:3. The prophecy of Is. 7:14 is not addressed only to Achaz as is the rest of the prophecy.

The following literal translation clears things up: (s)=singular (pl)=plural

7:3a Then YHWH said to Isaiah, "Go out now to meet Achaz, you(s) and Shear-Jashub your(s) son...
7:10 ...YHWH spoke again to Achaz saying:
7:11 "Ask a sign for yourself(s) from YHWH your(s) God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above."
7:12 But Achaz said: "I will not ask, nor will I test YHWH"
7:13 Then he said: "Hear now, O House of David! Is it a small thing for you(pl) to weary men, but will you(pl) weary my God also?
7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give to you(pl) a sign: behold the ALMA will conceive and bear a son and she will call his name Immanuel.
7:15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.
7:16 For behold before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose
the good, the land that you(s) dread will be forsaken by both her kings.
7:17 YHWH will bring the King of Assyria upon you(s) and your(s) people and your(s) father's house...

Note the clear distinction to what is addressed to you(pl) and what is addressed to you(s) (Achaz) and how this creates a distinction between the newborn in verse 14 and the child in verse 16. Thus the birth in Is. 7:14 is not a sign to Achaz alone.

Now Isaiah 8:8-9:7 also speaks of this same "Immanuael" figure. Thus it is clear that the "Immanuel" of Is. 7:14 & 8:8 is also the child born in Isaiah 9:6-7.

Now the NT clearly applies these passages to Yeshua as Messiah. Rev. 21:3 alludes to Is. 7:14 & 8:8, 10. 1Kefa 3:14-15 cites Isaiah 8:12-13 in regards to Messiah. Romans 9:32 & 1Kefa 2: apply Is. 8:14 to Messiah. Hebrews 2:13 applies Isaiah 8:17-18 to Messiah. Finally Mt. 4:15-16 and Luke 1:79 apply Isaiah 8:23-9:1 (9:1-2) to Messiah.

Of the 5 surviving fragments of the ancient Netzarim Midrash on Isaiah, three of them fall in this section of Isaiah and all three apply the passages to Yeshua.

Moreover the Talmud applies Is. 8:14 to Messiah (b.San. 38a) and the Targum Jonathan on Isaiah applies Is. 9:6-7 to the Messiah as well.

Finally the figure in Isaiah 9:6-7 certainly seems to be the same as that in Is. 11:1f. This is important because EVEYONE agrees that Is. 11:1f refers to the Messiah.

Thus by examining the overall context of Isaiah 7:14 it becomes clear that Isaiah 7:14 is indeed a messianic prophecy. However this would not seem to be the case if it did not refer to a virgin birth.
Comment by Rudy on August 19, 2009 at 12:36pm
Dr Trimm,

Great teaching on the "Two Messiah" theories. I kinda knew about these theories, but you put forth pretty good evidence that these theories existed in the 1st century that it makes me wonder, what does modern Rabbinic Judaism has to say about this? They certainly can't deny that the rabbis of old had an idea of a suffering Messiah who would take upon Himself the sins of Israel. When confronted with this kind of evidence, what do they say?


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