Mashiach: Servant (Isaiah 53, etc.)

 Hora’ah – הוראה – Teaching

Isaiah 53 remains one of the more disputed areas. This is not so much due to its identification with Mashiach as it is with HOW Christianity interprets both Isaiah and the New Testament in accordance with its own doctrines.  Historically, Isaiah 53 and the ‘servant’ verses in the chapters leading up to it, are associated both with Mashiach and Israel.

“Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! (Zechariah 4:7)  This refers to Messiah the Son of David. And why is he called ‘The Great?” Because he is greater than the Patriarchs. As it is written, “Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.” (Isaiah 52;13) He shall be more exalted than Abraham of whom it is said, “I lift up my hand.” (Genesis 14:22) He shall be more extolled than Moses, of whom it is said, “As the nursing father beareth nursing child.” (Numbers 11:12) “And shall be very high,” that is higher than the ministering angels, of whom it is said, “As for their rims, they were so high.” (Ezekiel 1:18)
Midrash Tanhuna, Parsha Toldot 14

“Behold my servant shall have understanding…” in virtue of his comprehensive intelligence he will attain to an elevation above that even of the most perfect men in the world. He shall be high and exalted and lofty exceedingly.’ (Isaiah 52:13)
Moshe Cohen ibn Crispin, Drive & Neubauer, Vol 1, pp. 97.98

You must know also, that the soul of celestial splendour, no created being in the world has ever yet been worthy to obtain. the King Messiah however, will receive it: it is accordingly said of him:  ‘He shall be high and exalted.’ (Isaiah 52:13) etc., or as our rabbis say, ‘He shall be higher than Abraham, exceedingly above Adam.”
Rabbi Hayyim Vital, Sefer HaGilgulim, Vilna: Avraham Tsvi Katzinelinboigen, p. 57. 

“In the decree of the prophets it is written, “Behold My servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high, (Isaiah 52:13) and it is also written, “Behold My servant, whom I uphold,Mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth (Isaiah 42:1). In the decree of the writings it is written, “The Lord said unto my lord,”Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalm 110:1) … and it is written,”The Lord said to me, you are My son (Psalm 2:7) … R. Yudan said, “All these goodly promises are in the decree of the King, the King of Kings, who will fulfill them for the lord Messiah.”
Midrash on the Psalms, Rabbi William G. Braude, Book One, Psalm 2:9

“Behold My servant whom I support – and he is king Messiah.”
Metsudat David (Isaiah 42:1) from Mikraot Gedolot, A New Translation, Isaiah, AJ Rosenberg, Vol 2, p. 336

“Behold my Servant, king Messiah”
Redak, (Isaiah 42:1) from Mikraot Gedolot, A New Translation, Isaiah, AJ Rosenberg, Vol 2, p. 336

“The Messiah, in order to atone for them both, (for Adam and David) will ‘make his soul a trespass offering’ (Isaiah 53:10) as it is written next to this Parasha, ‘Behold My servant.” (Isaiah 52;13)
Midrash Aseret Memrot, Driver, p. 394

“The meaning of the words, ‘bruised for our iniquities’ (Isaiah 53:5) is, that since the Messiah bears our iniquities, which produce the effect of his being bruised, it follows that whoso will not admit that the Messiah thus suffers for our iniquities, must endure and suffer them for himself.”
Words of Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai as given by R. Elijah de Vidas, Driver, Introduction, p. xl

“Who art thou, O great Mountain?” (Zechariah 4:7) The great mountain means Messiah. And why does he speak of him thus? Because he is greater than the patriarchs, as it is said, “Behold, My servant shall prosper (Isaiah 52:13). I have learned it from the words of rabbi Moshe haDarshan: ‘The redeemer whom I shall raise up from among you, will have no father, as it is written, “Behold the man whose name is Zemah (branch) and he shall branch up from out of his place.’ (Zechariah 6:12). And so Isaiah says, ‘And he came up like a sucker.’ (Isaiah 53:2)”
Genesis Rabbah of Rabbi Moshe deDarshan

“The prophet says he shall be, ‘high, exalted and lofty’ expressing the idea under various forms, in order to indicate that his exaltation will be something extraordinary. It is a proof that the Parashah refers to our Messiah, that alluding to the future Deliverance, the prophet said before, ‘Break forth into joy, you waste places of Jerusalem (52:9) , and ‘How beautiful on the mountains,’ etc. (52:7). and immediately afterwards continues, ‘Behold My servant shall prosper,’ (52:13) etc.
Rabbi Naphtali Altschuler, Driver and Neubauer, p. 319

“I therefore in my humility am come after them (the commentators), not with any sense of the wisdom I am about to utter,but merely with the object of applying to its elucidation, a straightforward method, in accordance with the literal sense of the text … I may remark then, that our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion, that the prophet is speaking of the King Messiah, and we shall ourselves adhere to the same view.”
Rabbi Moshe Alsheich, Driver, p. 102


“When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”
Matthew 8:16-17

“For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”
Luke 22:37

“But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
John 12:37-38

“Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.  So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship,  was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.  Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.  The place in the Scripture which he read was this: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth.  In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Yeshua to him.”
Acts 8:26-35

“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward G-d one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before G-d. For to this you were called, because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:  “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;  who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;  who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.  For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
1 Peter 2:19-25