Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy
How do Jews interpret Isaiah 53?
Curious to how you think Christians got it so wrong.
Here is a summarized version of a commentary we wrote some time ago:
The Jew suffered due to other people. He was the first victim, the eternal scape-goat for the faults and misfortunes of others. The Gentiles will admit that Judah was considered accursed yet his affliction was due to our imposing upon him the results of our own calamities (Isaiah 53:4). The Jew was punished for the sins of others (53:5). The Jew often succeeded in dedicating himself to the Law when he could. When he was forced (by outsiders) or seduced to abandon it he applied his energies in other directions: in jurisprudence, trade, science, philosophy, philanthropy. The Messiah shall come from Judah. The Jew has a natural instinct to reform things, to rectify the world. When the Jew is deprived of Torah this instinct can be misdirected. Sometimes it does good and on occasion it can do damage. Either way the Jew is hated by many Gentiles merely because he is active, is different and stands out. The sins of others are transposed onto the Jew (53:11). In the Last Days Judah shall be rich and powerful and a great nation, among the greatest that exist. AND HE SHALL DIVIDE THE SPOIL WITH THE STRONG: Judah shall be a military might, an old lion who must be dealt with carefully and with respect. AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS; Jews were accused and still are of all the sins under the sun and still more and of being criminals and controlling all the crime and mischief of the world. AND HE BARE THE SIN OF MANY, Not only was Judah made responsible for the sins of others but he also took upon himself to make retribution for the faults of others. AND MADE INTERCESSION FOR THE TRANSGRESSORS. Jews champion the oppressed and seek to help whoever needs help even when those who are in need were the cause of their own downfall (53:12).