Isaiah Chapter 53
(This article last updated and/or revised: 4-2-2013)
Judaism and Christianity are still separated and at odds because their clergy are in conflict over the meaning of prophecies, especially in the book of Isaiah.
Christians, of course, have been led to believe the book of Isaiah was in large part about Jesus of Nazareth. However, that claim simply ignores all the things the author (or authors) or the book of Isaiah wrote that prove otherwise.
Educated religious Jews know that Jesus did not fulfill the most crucial prophecies, and Messianic Jews know that the life of Jesus did not fit or fulfill Isaiah's prophecies about the Mashiach or Messiah. But, Jews have differing beliefs about it, and today some Jews even claim that the book of Isaiah is not even about a Messiah.
Some Jews today believe that there will be no literal Messiah and that the Hebrew Torah and Tanakh (Old Testament) are entirely and exclusively about the collective body of Jews and the nation of Israel. They believe that Isaiah wrote of God’s "servant Israel" not as an individual, but collectively, meaning Israel as a nation and as the "House of Jacob."
However, Jews who arrive at that conclusion also ignore the full book of Isaiah in context --- such as in Isaiah 49:1-5 where the Messiah is referred to as the "servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified," and is clearly an individual man who was "formed from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him."
That is one of many pieces of evidence that reveal that both Christians and Jews have been misled as to who and what the Messiah is, and what he goes through and does to fulfill prophecies.
However, the servant of God who fulfills prophecy understands that the Lord Our God is the God of the world, of all peoples, and all nations. He understands that being a "branch of David" does not necessarily refer to his genealogy, but to his spiritual calling and mission to liberate humanity from sanctimonious theocratic forces and partisan political forces of greed and self-interest. And the true servant-messenger of God is called, chosen and sent by God, not by Man, nor by biological legacy.
Furthermore, while the "House of Jacob" does signify Israel in a sense, the servant that Isaiah speaks of is the modern servant-messenger of God, the modern son of man and Messiah, who "brings Jacob again" (per Isaiah 49:2-5, because like Jacob he wrestles with God). And he is sent not to rule, but to liberate and empower all humanity, so that we may actually have governments of, by, and for the people.
That is why Isaiah wrote that "they shall fear the name of the Lord from the West" (Isaiah 59:19). For many people in the world, including Jews in Israel, "know not the ways of peace," and have instead caused much violence, death and destruction. Therefore, they are judged by the Messiah-Prophet who is in the West, and he serves in the name of the Lord of Lords, our God in heaven, and also in the name of the Ancient One who is in heaven with God, who has a "new name" according to Isaiah 62:2 and Revelation 2:17 and 3:12.
Some modern scholars have speculated that the book of Isaiah was written by three different authors at different times. But what matters is the truth it expresses. It even contains some history and speaks of some other important figures, like Cyrus: An "Anointed One" of God (the ancient Persian leader who liberated the Jews who were held captive in Babylon).
However, Isaiah wrote mainly about the Messiah who fulfills ultimate prophecies -- and even before Jesus of Nazareth was born the Jewish Sanhedrin 98 confirmed that fact. The Rabbis of the Sanhedrin did not actually understand how prophecy would be fulfilled, and they were wrong about some things, but they did understand that Isaiah was one of the key prophets who prophesied about the Messiah (click here and here to read about Sandhedrin 98).
Christians during the first century knew that, which is why they referred to Isaiah and other Jewish prophets to try to make their case that Jesus was "The" Messiah as they wrote their letters, epistles and books, some of which made it into official Christian canon and bible.
However, while much of the book of Isaiah is indeed about the Messiah, it is not about Jesus. For the prophecies of Jesus of Nazareth were an expansion and elaboration of the prophecies of prophets like Isaiah, not their fulfillment. But many of the followers of Jesus apparently did not know that. In fact, they thought "the end" and "second coming" was imminent, and would occur before their generation passed.
The prophecies of Jesus, like the messianic prophecies in the book of Isaiah, are about the modern son of man who comes at the end of the age Jesus ushered in, who would first be rejected by his generation, who would not be recognized as a prophet, and would first be stricken and afflicted and suffer many things before the message he sends before him is finally accepted.
He is rejected because Jews and Christians are still being led to believe otherwise, and that is why their beliefs are so conflicting. And it’s part of the reasons why they are in conflict with Muslims too, as well as other religions like Hinduism and Buddhism.
The irony of this is that Christians must admit that Jesus of Nazareth did not fulfill most of the Jewish prophecies, but they cling to what have been led to believe, that the "Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" will fulfill them when he magically "comes again" from "out of the clouds." But they don’t understand the actual prophecies of Jesus or preceding prophets, nor do they understand the symbolism of scriptures.
However, part of the reason they do not understand is because the Christian Bible as we know it is based on the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, which was the translation the early Christians like Paul used -- which was translated yet again into all English versions of the Christian Bible. And, if we look at the Masoretic Jewish Text of the Hebrew Bible, also called the Aleppo Codex, that becomes even more obvious.
The Hebrew Bible vs the Greek Septuagint Translation
The Masoretic Text is regarded by most modern scholars as the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible, and it is widely accepted as the official version of the Torah and Tanakh (Old Testament). It defines not just the books of the Jewish canon, but also the precise letter-text of the biblical books in Judaism, as well as their vocalization and accentuation. Furthermore, the Dead Sea Scrolls demonstrate the relative stability of the Masoretic Text.
However, "fundamentalist" and "orthodox" Christians vehemently disagree with and try to discredit the Masoretic text because they do not like some of the words in it. For example, they particularly object to the words "young woman" rather than "virgin" in Isaiah 7:14, as is discussed in the article on The Virgin Birth Story. (That article reveals that the reference in the book of Matthew to Isaiah 7:14 are wrong not only because neither Immanuel nor Jesus was born of a virgin. It points out the contradictions in the Septuagint version of Isaiah 7, and the historical record, that shows why the child Immanuel lived and died long before Jesus was born.)
Another example of Christian objection is to the word "crushed" in Isaiah 53:5 and the word "disease" in Isaiah 53:3, 4 and 10 in the Masoretic Text which refer to the Messiah, because those words makes it even more clear that the book of Isaiah was not about Jesus of Nazareth but the modern son of man.
To counter that, some Christians resort to slandering and denigrating the Masoretic Jews, claiming that they were like the Pharisees who rejected Jesus, and that the Masoretic text deliberately "twists" the original Hebrew texts simply to refute Christian assertions. Some Christians have claimed that the Septuagint (the Greek Translation of the Hebrew Bible) is superior in every way to the Masoretic Text, which they say has been “Judaized.” They take an extreme position based on the apostle Paul’s distinction between Christianity and “the religion of the Jews” (as if Jesus of Nazareth was not a Jewish son of man whose actual mission was to expand and evolve Judaism). But, what they say about the Masoretic Text is not true. It is rationalization designed to maintain the doctrines and theology of Christian Apologetics that claims Jesus was "born of a virgin" as "God Himself" and will "come again."
More Modern Scholarship Gets Closer to the Truth
Thank God, modern religious scholarship and the revelation of the modern son of man has provided the truth. He is not alone, because many other modern scholars have followed the same Spirit of truth, and many have picked up where the most progressive leaders of the 18th Century "Enlightenment" left off.
That is why more and more people are realizing why Thomas Jefferson wrote the following:
"Among the sayings and discourses imputed to Jesus by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being." -- Thomas Jefferson
Other Founding Fathers like James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin agreed with Jefferson, and they were highly critical of the theocratic Fundamentalist Christians of their day. (See the article on Quotes From The Founding Fathers Regarding Religion.) But their intent regarding religion has been ignored, and in recent decades it has even been denied by leaders of the "Christian Right" in America.
Therefore, we must now take up the cause of the Founding Fathers, establish real freedom of religion, and free America of theocratic hypocrites who have been fighting to rule in the name of religion, because they violate not only the intent of the Founding Fathers, but the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth himself.
Now we need to understand that even though Jesus of Nazareth did not fulfill the ultimate prophecies, he was one in a long line of Jewish prophets. But he was far more than that. He was also an Avatar in the Hindu tradition and a Boddhisatva in the Buddhist tradition, and he was ultimately an inclusive, universal master teacher having many "other folds."
To reconcile Christians with Jews and other religions, it is now important to understand that the prophecies of Jesus, along with the prophecies of Isaiah, set the stage for the modern son of man, who is also a universal teacher who advances what Jesus taught, as Jesus prophesied.
Ironically, fulfilling those prophecies, the modern son of man, the suffering servant of God, is rejected — not only because most Christians do not understand that Jesus of Nazareth was a prophet and served as the Avatar for the passing age. The modern son of man is also rejected because many Jews insist that the "suffering servant" in the book of Isaiah is the Nation of Israel, or the collective body of Jews.
The truth, however, is that Jews and Christians misunderstand the book of Isaiah, as well as other prophets. (And Muslims do not understand that Muhammad was not the "Seal of the Prophets," but an Arab prophet who wanted to bring Arabs into the Abrahamic Judeo-Christian family.)
Isaiah Chapter 53 According to the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh)*
1 Who would have believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he shot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of a dry ground. He had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him.
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.
5 But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed.
6 All we like sheep did go astray, we turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, though he humbled himself and opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb; yea, he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away, and with his generation who did reason? for he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due.
9 And they made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich his tomb; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days, and that the purpose of the Lord might prosper by his hand:
11 Of the travail of his soul he shall see to the full, even My servant, who by his knowledge did justify the Righteous One to the many, and their iniquities he did bear.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the mighty; because he bared his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession [pleading] for the transgressors.
Christian Apologetics Interpretation
The apostle Paul and some other early Christians believed that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the prophecies of Isaiah, but they ignored most of it and instead focused on certain words and phrases in it to reach that conclusion.
For example, the phrase about "lamb led to slaughter" and about taking "stripes" caught their eye, and they thought it could be considered applicable to Jesus. After all, he was a pacifist and willingly if not purposely allowed himself to be arrested knowing he would be crucified, and on the last day of his life before he was crucified he was whipped and received "stripes" (not understanding that Isaiah actually says nothing about a crucifixion or about a whipping or scourging, or that Isaiah’s word that was translated as “stripes” actually means wounds).
Of course, Paul and the other Christian gospel writers also believed that Jesus was the one who was wounded for the transgressions of the people, had the iniquity of the people laid upon him, and poured out his soul and was faithful even unto death. They even believed he was "numbered with the transgressors" because he was crucified along with criminals and malcontents who dared to protest against Roman occupation.
But, Paul and the other Christian gospel writers simply did not realize what Jesus had meant when he said the son of man to come would “first be rejected by his generation and suffer many things.” They did not realize that the son of man to come would actually be “stricken and afflicted,” that he would actually be “despised and forsaken of men, a man of pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their face.” They did not realize that Isaiah’s prophecies were therefore not about Jesus, but about the modern son of man who not only has suffered all that, but is also “hidden” (per Isaiah 49:1-5 and 49:2-5) and “cut off from the living” (per Isaiah 53:8).
As Jesus knew would happen, the error of Paul and the other canonized Christian gospel writers led to the establishment of a theology of Christian Apologetics and a doctrine a dogma as stated in the Christian canon and Bible and summed up in the Nicene Creed, which asserts that Jesus of Nazareth was and is (to paraphrase): "The only-begotten Son of God, God of God, being of one substance with the Father; who, for our salvation, came down from heaven and was made incarnate by the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified for us, and on the third day rose again and ascended into heaven, and shall come again."
Only one part of that is even partly true, because Jesus was crucified for us in the sense that he was the perfect example of a pacifist and martyr who willing gave his life to make a very strong but misunderstood point --- that it is better to be a peaceful pacifist, and better even to be a martyr and die at the hands of the beast-king, rather than to stoop to his level and live by the sword and kill.
Christian doctrine and dogma is quite different because during the first few decades after Jesus died, Paul and the writers of the gospels that made it into the Christian Bible were very busy. They knew that the Jewish council in Sanhedrin 98 had concluded that the book of Isaiah was in large part about the Mashiach (Messiah) who would serve God to fulfill the prophecies about establishing peace and justice in the world. And they were intent on trying to prove that Jesus fulfilled, or will fulfill, those prophecies.
The irony is that Jesus understood that prophecies would not be fulfilled until the end of the age that he ushered in. That’s why he prophesied about the coming of the son of man and Spirit of truth who would issue judgment, guide you unto truth and show you things to come (per Luke 17:20-25, John 8:28, 12:47, 16:7-15, and other passages).
However, Paul and some others did not understand that. They believed that a "second coming" of Jesus and the "end of the world" were imminent and would come before their generation passed. But they were wrong about both of those ideas, which are now misleading myths, and they were wrong about most of their claims about Jesus fulfilling Jewish prophecies.
Isaiah is one of the books of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible or Tanakh) that Paul and other Christian writers pored over, especially during the first thirty years after Jesus died, and for many decades during the rest of the first century. Their goal was to develop and support their story that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah who fulfilled some of the prophecies of Isaiah and other Jewish prophets, and will fulfill the most important ones when he magically "comes from the clouds."
However, while you can see why they reached that conclusion and made up that story, that Christian theology ignores the meaning of the rest of Chapter 53 of Isaiah, and much of the book of Isaiah, which reveals the truth.
21st Century Interpretation
Isaiah Chapter 53 can be understood only when considered in context with the full book, and when you know how and why it is applicable to the life of the modern son of man.
"And it shall come to pass [when prophecy is fulfilled] that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come, let us go to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of the Lord." – Isaiah 2:2-5
Clearly, the world has not yet accepted the judgment, and most people have not even heard of it yet, which is why that prophecy has not yet been fulfilled.
"Listen, you peoples, from afar: the Lord has called me, and from the womb of my mother has He made mention of my name. And He has made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand has He hid me; and He hath made me a polished shaft. In His quiver has He concealed me. And He said unto me: 'Thou art My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’ But I said: 'I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught and vanity; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my compensation with my God. And now, the Lord that formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, and that Israel be gathered unto Him; for I am honorable in the eyes of the Lord, and my God is become my strength." – Isaiah 49:1-5
The modern son of man, the Messiah, is hidden while he has sent his work before him, which has been rejected so long that he thinks his work has been in vain. (And that’s why Jesus of Nazareth said the next son of man would “first be rejected by his generation, and suffer many things.”)
Notice that it says “Listen, you peoples, from afar” to God’s servant. That’s because Zion, the "mountain" mentioned in many references to the Messiah, is not literally a mountain in Jerusalem. (In fact, he is in the West per Isaiah 59:19, as mentioned above.)
The modern son of man has been "in the mountain of the Lord" (Isaiah 30:29), which also may mean he has been “on the Mount of Olives," because that may symbolizes "the high and holy mountain of peace where God inhabits eternity." (Isaiah 57:15).
However, even though his mission is rooted in and stems from the legacy and spiritual line of Jesse, David, Solomon and Jesus, he will not play the role of a king "ruling from a mountain top" and he is not what you would call a "holy man." For like Isaiah and Jesus, he knows that only the Lord Our God is the Holy One, the eternal Great Spirit-Parent of all, and the son of man is but like a blade of grass.
However, since throughout Jewish and Christian writings the "mountain" is mentioned, and since many Jews and Christians hold misguided beliefs about it, that issue is discussed in the article Where Is Zion?. For it is not a specific mountain or place, and not material, but is the high and holy spiritual place of spiritual awakening and then of spiritual rebirth, which comes from and is within. Moreover, it is the source out of which divine truth comes. And "the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" comes from "New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from God," as is stated in Revelation 3:12, 21:2, and 21:9-10. And, as Jesus said, it comes "not with observation in the world."
The modern son of man was carried away in spirit to that high and holy place, to the "mountain" of the Lord where he met the "Bride, New Jerusalem." Thus he fulfills Micah 4:1, which speaks of the "temple of the Lord," which is "built without hands," per Mark 14:58 and Jeremiah 7:3-7, and clarified in Revelation 3:12, which states that the true servant of God is as a "pillar of the temple of God."
Speaking of “the Bride, the holy city New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from God,” as John put it in the book of Revelation, it is not literally a city (see the article on The Bridegroom Lamb). That “bride” and “city” are symbols for the spiritual gift given to the son of man by and through revelation from within.
“All those that despised you shall bow to you, and they shall call you the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. ... and you shall know that I the Lord am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Isaiah 60:14-16)
That speaks not of the literal city of Jerusalem in the modern state of Israel. It speaks of he who Isaiah calls “the City not forsaken.” But that has been misunderstood because of somewhat confusing language in scripture, like the following:
“Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your salvation comes. Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord: and you shall be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” (Isaiah 62:11-12)
Clearly he who sends his work before him is the son of man, and the judgment he delivers will bring salvation to Israel if she repents so that her iniquity can be pardoned. And, clearly he who is or shall be “sought out” and be as a "city not forsaken” is not Jerusalem or the nation of Israel, because we know where that is and Jerusalem is certainly not forsaken, even though it is divided and in turmoil and will be until Israel repents and her iniquity is pardoned.
The concept of the modern son of man being sought out is consistent with his being “hidden” (Isaiah 49:2-5). And, that he is a “city not forsaken” is consistent with the following:
"He that overcomes will I make as a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out. And I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God. And I will write upon him my new name." (Revelation 3:12)
Most Christians do not know that speaks of the modern son of man, because John wrote that Jesus said to write it to “the churches.” However, John wrote as witness to the heavenly realm that is beyond time and space, of both the present and future, of the end of the age which is passing. And notice that the Christ will have a “new name, written upon he that overcomes.” The person who overcomes is not the Christ, but serves both God and the Christ in the new name of the Christ.
That is confirmed in Revelation 21:5-7, where John wrote: “And he that sat upon the throne said: ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And he said to me: ‘Write: for these words are true and faithful. It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” For there again, Jesus was speaking as and for the Ancient One who was "before Abraham."
Therefore, Isaiah 62:11-12 speaks of and to the modern son of man, the one who is not forsaken by God, who will be sought out by the people. “Them, the holy people” are those that get his message in the work he has sent before him, and abide by the will of God.
Isaiah 28:16 also speaks of the modern son of man, saying: "The Lord God said, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation, so that he that believes shall not make haste."
The "foundation stone in Zion," is not literally a stone, just as Zion in that instance is not literally a mountain in Jerusalem (as the article Where Is Zion? explains). In the ancient esoteric symbolism of Kabbalah in Judaism, as in the later Qabalah of Christian mysticism, the stone is a symbol. In the Hebrew alphabet, the letters for ABN, Ehben or Abben, mean stone, and it symbolizes the renowned Philosophers' Stone, or Stone of the Wise. It is associated with the ninth Sephirah (or Sephirot of Sepheroth) on the Tree of Life diagram, which is Yesod, the Foundation. So the "foundation stone" is spiritual, not material.
The modern son of man also fulfills Zephaniah 3:9, which states that his "language" will help the people of earth to "call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent."
He establishes the New Covenant prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-33, which states: "‘The day will come,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah – not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
(That, by the way, hasn't happened yet, because the people of Israel, like the people in many other nations, claim to know God and yet still ignore God as they play god.)
He also fulfills Micah 4:3-4, which states that he will communicate to and reach the nations of the earth, rebuke many of their religious and political leaders, and ultimately influence them to make peace. That’s because he is also the "rod out of the stem of Jesse" per Isaiah 11:1, and a "righteous branch from David" per Jeremiah 23:5, which were not literal terms but speak more of the soul and spirit and mission of the son of man, who also "brings Jacob back again," as Isaiah put it.
See, in the book of Isaiah, the "House of Jacob" is mentioned seven times, and the name Jacob is mentioned 42 times. But it does not speak literally of Jacob, who lived and died long before Isaiah’s time. It speaks of the servant of God who fulfills prophecy, who brings Jacob "back again" in the sense that like the original Jacob, he has struggled with God and yet God still loves him.
However, in the full book of Isaiah, the "House of Jacob" is reprimanded, and corrected, and Jacob and his "house" goes through many trials and tribulations before he is redeemed in the sight of God.
Furthermore, the son of man who represents Jacob and Israel had to pass a test and show that he was willing to bare his soul even unto death, before God would grant him the right to be “heard” by all the nations. And he bares his soul through the work and message that he sends before him according to Isaiah 40:10 and 62:11, in both published writing and in recorded songs.
That is consistent with Isaiah 52:12-15, which states: "For he shall not go out in haste, neither shall he go by flight; for the Lord God says, Behold, My servant: he shall be exalted" (not by himself, but by the people when they finally recognize him as a prophet). But many will be "appalled at his appearance, so marred that he shall startle many nations." "Kings (and heads of state) shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them shall they see, and that which they had not heard shall they perceive."
In other words, what he has communicated in the message he has sent before him (according to Isaiah 40:10 and 62:11) is news to all, which they have not heard before, but in due time they shall finally recognize it and get it.
Why don’t most people know that? Because God's servant-messenger is "hidden" according to Isaiah 49:2 and his work is rejected by his generation and he suffers many things according to the prophecies of both Isaiah and Jesus.
You see, Isaiah was using a metaphor in Chapter 53 by comparing the "silent" son of man to a sheep being shorn or a lamb about to be sacrificed, and referring to his suffering as taking "stripes" that were for the healing of his people.
However, Isaiah 53:5 does not say, “He was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities,” which is what Christians have written to ascribe the prophecy to Jesus. Rather, the proper translation is: “He was wounded because of our transgressions, and crushed because of our iniquities.”
That means that part of the suffering of the Servant of God is as a result of the sinfulness and iniquity of others, not that he suffered to atone for the sins and iniquity of others.
In fact, the Messiah is sent as a counselor who delivers judgment and guidance, and the misguided theology of Christian Apologetics directly contradicts the basic Jewish teaching that forgiveness is promised to all who sincerely return to God. Therefore, there is no need for the Messiah to atone for others (Isaiah 55:6-7, Jeremiah 36:3, Ezekiel chapters 18 and 33, Hoseah 14:1-3, Jonah 3:6-10, Proverbs 16:6, Daniel 4:27, 2-Chronicles 7:14).
His "silence" goes with his being “hidden” and merely delivering the message before him, without bringing attention to himself, without exalting himself, without rising up and seeking the limelight as a famous politician or preacher (as Isaiah prophesied). And it goes with his willingness to "offer his soul in restitution."
It is more than his "soul," however, that is offered. What must be offered is the separate-self ego, which is why he willingly suffers so many afflictions. He knows that suffering can ultimately bring about the "death" of the ego, the "old self," in order to complete the process of spiritual rebirth. For even though he was called from the womb and spiritually awakened or "initiated" by the Spirit of truth in 1971 at age 30, like any other person seeking to serve and please God, he must endure the "labor" pains of his mortal self being spiritually reborn.
However, it is not literally true that "it pleased the Lord to crush him by disease." Remember, Isaiah was writing in the context of the Torah, which describes the Lord God as One who would test Abraham’s faith by ordering him to kill his own son. But the world now needs a more realistic concept of God. (See the article on The Nature of God.)
However, it could be said that the modern son of man was "tested" by God to "see if his soul would offer itself in restitution" – to see if he was willing to keep trying to deliver the message even though it was literally killing him.
You see, the afflictions and diseases of the son of man were and are, in a way, tests. He didn’t understand that when he was severely stricken and afflicted with the disease that left him a paraplegic in 1977, because that was two years before he began to learn of the prophecies of Isaiah and Jesus. But, as the list of diseases and maladies grew over the years ever since, and as he bore them willingly and made it clear to God that he was willing to offer his body and soul, and would bare his soul even unto death, God has kept his heart ticking and enabled him to do the work for which he was called. (See The Story of the Modern Son of Man.)
Further proof is in the Hebrew version of Isaiah 53:10, speaking of the Messiah (who comes at the end of the age Jesus ushered in). It states: “Yet it pleased the Lord to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days, and that the purpose of the Lord might prosper by his hand.”
You can notice that this makes it even more clear that it does not speak of Jesus. It speaks of the modern son of man who is tested to the extreme to see if he was willing to give his life to his work for the Lord, that he might see his work come to fruition, so that his spirit may be revived.
When you know the story you can see that Isaiah Chapter 53 speaks of the modern son of man, as does most of the rest of the book of Isaiah. He is also described in Chapters 48 and 57 as the one who is stricken and afflicted not only for the iniquity of his people, but also for the iniquity of his own covetousness and willfulness (Isaiah 57:15-21, and Isaiah 48:10-11). Furthermore, Isaiah says he is like Jacob in Isaiah 49:2-5, because Jacob was renamed Israel because he "wrestled with God."
In fact, the modern son of man is the one referred to in Isaiah 42:1-4, which says that God’s servant, the son of man, "shall make the right to go forth to the nations. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street." That’s the Masoretic text, which is consistent with Isaiah’s prophecy which says God’s "arm" (which is made known only to the son of man per Isaiah 53:1) will deliver his work in a strong message and thus "make the right" for the message to be heard in all nations.
Of course, the Christian book of Matthew claims that Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 42:1-4, but that is not true because the servant of God in Isaiah 42:1-4 does not "lift up" or "cause his voice to be heard in the streets." Jesus did lift up or rise up, and he did speak in the streets. In fact, great multitudes followed Jesus on foot in Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan, and he spoke to the multitudes in a voice loud enough for all to hear.
Jesus knew and said it would not be until the end of the age he ushered in until the modern son of man, as principle messenger for the Spirit of truth, would issue the judgment to all nations. And Jesus knew because he knew the prophecies of Isaiah, even though the authors of the official Christian church scriptures and canon did not.
Isaiah tells much of the story. And as both Isaiah and Jesus foretold, at first the son of man has not been recognized as a servant of God. He has first been rejected by his generation and suffered many things. Because his message has been rejected for so long, he has sometimes feared that all his work has been in vain and for naught. And it is as if he is hidden in the shadow of God’s hand. (Isaiah 42:1-4, Isaiah 49:2-5, Luke 17:24-25, Isaiah 49:4; Isaiah 53:4, Isaiah 57:15-21, Isaiah 62:11-12)
Even Isaiah 9:6-7 is about the modern son of man, but Christians have been led to believe otherwise because the Christian Bible calls the son of man who shall reform government the "Wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
That was written to make it seem that Jesus of Nazareth was both the "Everlasting Father" and the "Prince of Peace" in the same person. But in Isaiah 9:67 the Hebrew Masoretic text uses the words "Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom" which has been translated by Hebrew scholars as "Wondrous Adviser, Mighty Hero, Eternal Patron, Arbitrator of Peace."
That makes more sense and it is consistent with the entire book of Isaiah when understood in context. For example, Isaiah wrote that we should “not liken God to any man; nor compare the likeness of God to any man; nor regard any man equal to God; nor worship any idol or image of any man; nor consider any man alike with God.”
That’s what Isaiah says in 40:18, 40:25, 42:8, and 46:5, and in many other instances Isaiah clearly speaks of God’s “servant” fulfilling prophecy.
These facts and many others cited in other articles show that Isaiah speaks not of a son of man who is God "Himself" or "born of a virgin" or supernatural in any way. It speaks of a son of man glorifies the Lord Our God who is the Eternal Patron and the Great Spirit-Parent of all, and he is indeed an arbitrator of peace who makes intercession to intervene in the horrendous conflict that egocentric men have wrought, and the son of man is but a messenger for God.
The son of man serves in the name of the Eternal Holy One, but is a servant of the Holy One. And, while Jesus of Nazareth realized his oneness with God and is to be glorified as the sacrificial lamb and christed (anointed) Avatar for the passing age, Jesus was not "God Himself."
Jesus understood Isaiah, which is why he said to his disciples: "The Father is greater than I," and "You have not heard the voice of God or seen God’s shape at any time." (John 14:28 and John 5:37)
Orthodox, Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christians believe otherwise, of course, but they’ve been misled. They believe that faith in God means nothing unless they believe that Jesus was "born of a virgin, died for their sins, and was physically resurrected by defeating death." They feel that they need that belief and must worship Jesus as God "Himself," not understanding that they worship an idol rather than God.
Now, of course, many Jews and Christians are convinced they know why Isaiah 41:8, 44:1, 44:21, 45:4 and 49:3 speak of God’s chosen servant being called "Jacob" and "Israel." Many Jews insist that the "servant Israel" speaks of the Jewish people collectively, or the nation of Israel. And many Christians insist that Jesus of Nazareth was the servant spoken of in Isaiah. However, they have all been misguided.
The modern son of man serves in the name of Jacob in that he "brings Jacob again." He serves in the name of Israel in that he represents Israel in a humanitarian sense. During his lifetime many Jews have been able to come from all corners of the globe to the modern state of Israel, and he has come to gather the people of Israel into the greater family of humanity and the greater family of religions and races and nations, because the Lord our God is the Great Spirit-Parent of all, and wants us all to love one another, work together, share with one another, and use the common wealth for the common good.
(Continued at Isaiah, Part 2, which discusses the essential meaning of the book of Isaiah, how the modern son of man fulfills Isaiah's prophecies, and about the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible.)