Is Isaiah 53 about Israel or Jesus or both?


(Laura Salata) #1

First, thank you for all that you do. I am incredibly thankful to have such a trustworthy place to go and ask questions such as this one.

There are some folks who are saying that Isaiah 53 is not about Jesus but that Isreal is the suffering servant. This video from Tovia Singer has them convinced it is not Jesus.

Can you please help me understand? Being a Christian I have always learned and believed it is about Jesus.

Thanks in advance for your help.
God Bless.


(Laura Salata) #2

forgot to add the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/HWgrYrKBLnw


(SeanO) #3

@we3salatas Thank you for that question. I believe you asked a similar question a while back and it is addressed in the thread below. I also include two articles from the Gospel Coalition on how to understand NT use of the OT and one specifically for Isaiah 53. I also link Darrel Bock’s book. For additional study, I would recommend ‘The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic?’ by Michael Rydelnik. Darrell Bock argues that there is a movement in the passage from the nation of Israel to an individual, so the passage actual contains movement within it.

Does that answer your question? The Lord grant you wisdom as you interact with your friends and study this text.

“Evangelicals are also slow to see how the Servant moves from a picture of Israel to the picture of an individual as one moves through the various Servant passages. That movement is important to understand in light of Jewish claims that the text is about the nation, citing Isaiah 49:3. Failure to see this movement from nation to individual blocks a good conversation about who the servant is as we move through these texts and the picture narrows to an individual who is said to restore Israel. This is a reason several chapters in the book discuss Jewish views of this text, revealing how Judaism sees this text and how to address the interpretive issues Jewish people who know Isaiah often raise.”