is the prophecy in Isaiah 52:13-53;12, a major focus of the Christian
faith? The Christians will claim this verse is evidence for their faith
in Jesus Christ, as the Messiah. Because the words in this prophecy, in
a “Literal” sense, talk about a person, who dies for the sins humanity
it vividly seems to picture the life of Jesus. For this very same
reason, many Jewish interpreters counter this Christian interpretation.
history and interpretation of this verse goes back to the time of
Jesus. What did the rabbi’s think these verses meant? Has their
understanding of these verses changed over the years? These are
important questions today, when we discuss the issue of Messiah. Since
the importance of these verses cannot be understated, it is very
important in any discussion to know the history behind the
examining the history of interpretation on these verses, it would be
good to review the sources of rabbinical interpretation. There are
several sources of interpretation, which can used to understand how
Jewish interpreters over the last two thousand years understood Isaiah
53’s meaning. These rabbinical sources include the Mishna, the
Talmuds (Palestinian and Babylonian), The
Targums, the Midrash, the Zohar and more. In addition
to these well-known sources, authoritative rabbis such as the Ramban,
and others have commented extensively on this section in Isaiah.
examine the views of these varied sources of rabbinic interpretation, we
see they are not uniform in the fifty-third chapter. Currently, many
Jewish interpreters leave an impression, the interpretation of Isaiah
53, is the “nation”
suffering, and that this has long been the interpretation.
earliest “authoritative” rabbinical interpretations on Israel, “the
nation”, being the servant of Isaiah 53 can be traced to Rashi, Ibn Ezra
and Radak dating from the 11th to the 13th
century. While, earlier commentators such as 9th century
Babylonian Rabbi, Sa’adiah Gaon (A.D. 882-942) saw the figure in
Isaiah 53, as a person. Gaon saw the prophet Jeremiah as fulfillment of
these verses. This is in an important point, since he predates these
those who saw Isaiah fulfilled in the nation of Israel. Maimonides was
inclined to see the nation in Isaiah, but choose to follow ancient
tradition, and embrace the individual view of Messiah here. Michael
Brown sums up these diverse views on Isaiah.
it is true that Rashi, Ibn Ezra and Radak all interpreted the passage
with reference to Israel, other equally prominent leaders, such as Moses
ben Nachman (called Nachmanides or the Ramban) felt compelled to follow
the weight of ancient tradition and embrace the individual, Messianic
interpretation of the Talmudic rabbis (found in the Midrash, despite his
belief that the plain sense of the text supported the national
interpretation). Noteworthy also is the oft-quoted comment of Rabbi
Moshe Alshech, writing in the sixteenth century, “ Our rabbis with one
voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the
Messiah, and we shall ourselves also adhere to the same view.” This too
is highly significant, since Alshech claims that all his contemporaries
agreed with the Messianic reading of the text, despite the fact that
Rashi, Ibn Ezra and Radak had all come out against that reading.
followers of Menachem Schneerson (1902-1994), the Grand Rabbi of
the Lubavitcher Hasidic movement, apply Isaiah 53 to him as an
individual, believing him to the Messiah who suffered.
This is important
in answering the following objections about the Messianic (Christian)
understanding of Isaiah 53, as being fulfilled by Yeshua ha Messiah
(Jesus the Messiah).
The Rabbis have always interpreted Isaiah 52:12-53 as applying to the
nation and not to an individual!
to Objection 1.
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 from the earliest times, has been viewed as
Messianic, and not as the nation of “Israel”,
by rabbis with “Authority”. The national interpretation is more recent,
then the oldest rabbinic views. See the chart below to illustrate this
Servant the Messiah shall prosper.”
("Targum Jonathan") to Isaiah 52:13, various editions (such as
Samson H. Levey, The Messiah: An Aramaic Interpretation; the
Messianic Exegesis of the Targum."
Hebrew Union College, 1974, p. 63).
In the early
cycle of synagogue readings
that messianic homilies based on Joseph's career (his saving
role preceded by suffering), and using Isaiah 53 as the
prophetic portion, were preached in certain old synagogues which
used the triennial cycle...”
Rav Asher Soloff, "The Fifty Third Chapter of Isaiah According
to the Jewish Commentators, to the Sixteenth Century" (Ph.D.
Thesis, Drew University,1967), p. 146.
addition of 53.4-5 [to the cycle of synagogue readings] was
evidently of a Messianic purport by reason of the theory of a
suffering Messiah. The earlier part of [the Haftarah] (52.7ff.)
dealt with the redemption of Israel, and in this connection the
tribulations of the Messiah were briefly alluded to by the
recital of the above 2 verses.”
Mann, The Bible as Read and Preached in the Old Synagogue (NY:
Ktav, 1971, © 1940), p. 298.
Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b
said: His name is "the leper scholar," as it is written, Surely
he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did
esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted. [Isaiah
interpretation [of Ruth 2:14] makes it refer to the Messiah.
Come hither: approach to royal state. And eat of the BREAD
refers to the bread of royalty;
DIP THY MORSEL IN THE VINEGAR refers to his sufferings, as it is
said, But he was wounded because of our transgressions. (Isa.
-- Soncino Midrash Rabbah (vol. 8, p. 64).
Yefeth ben Ali (10th c.)
Karaite Yefeth ben Ali (10th c.)
myself, I am inclined, with Benjamin of Nehawend, to regard it
as alluding to the Messiah, and as opening with a description of
his condition in exile, from the time of his birth to his
accession to the throne: for the prophet begins by speaking of
his being seated in a position of great honour, and then goes
back to relate all that will happen to him during the captivity.
He thus gives us to understand two things: In the first
instance, that the Messiah will only reach his highest degree of
honour after long and severe trials; and secondly, that these
trials will be sent upon him as a kind of sign, so that, if he
finds himself under the yoke of misfortunes whilst remaining
pure in his actions, he may know that he is the desired one...”.
-- S. R.
Driver and A. Neubauer, editors, The Fifty-third Chapter of
Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters (2 volumes;
Ktav, 1969), pp. 19-20. The English translations used here are
taken from volume 2. The original texts are in volume 1. Cf.
Soloff, pp. 107-09.
statement from Yefeth ben Ali:
words "surely he hath carried our sicknesses," they mean that
the pains and sickness which he fell into were merited by them,
but that he bore them instead. . . . And here I think it
necessary to pause for a few moments, in order to explain why
God caused these sicknesses to attach themselves to the Messiah
for the sake of Israel. . . . The nation deserved from God
greater punishment than that which actually came upon them, but
not being strong enough to bear it. . . God appoints his servant
to carry their sins, and by doing so lighten their punishment in
order that Israel might not be completely exterminated.”
Driver and Neubauer, pp. 23 ff.; Soloff pp. 108-109.
statement from Yefeth ben Ali:
"And the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all." The prophet
does not by avon mean iniquity, but punishment for iniquity, as
in the passage, "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Num.
-- Driver and
Neubauer, p. 26; Soloff p. 109.
R. Shim'on ben Yohai (midrash, date uncertain)
Armilaus will join battle with Messiah, the son of Ephraim, in
the East gate . . .; and Messiah, the son of Ephraim, will die
there, and Israel will mourn for him. And afterwards the Holy
One will reveal to them Messiah, the son of David, whom Israel
will desire to stone, saying, Thou speakest falsely; already is
the Messiah slain, and there is non other Messiah to stand up
(after him): and so they will despise him, as it is written,
"Despised and forlorn of men;" but he will turn and hide himself
from them, according to the words, "Like one hiding his face
Driver and Neubauer, p. 32, citing the edition of Jellinek, Beth
ha-Midrash (1855), part iii. p. 80.
(11th c. midrash)
"And let his
kingdom be exalted," in the days of the Messiah, of whom it is
said, "Behold my servant shall prosper; he will be high and
exalted, and lofty exceedingly."
Driver and Neubauer, p. 36.
Letter to Yemen (12th c.)
“What is to
be the manner of Messiah's advent, and where will be the place
of his appearance? . . . And Isaiah speaks similarly of the time
when he will appear, without his father or mother of family
being known, He came up as a sucker before him, and as a root
out of the dry earth, etc. But the unique phenomenon attending
his manifestation is, that all the kings of the earth will be
thrown into terror at the fame of him -- their kingdoms will be
in consternation, and they themselves will be devising whether
to oppose him with arms, or to adopt some different course,
confessing, in fact, their inability to contend with him or
ignore his presence, and so confounded at the wonders which they
will see him work, that they will lay their hands upon their
mouth; in the words of Isaiah, when describing the manner in
which the kings will hearken to him, At him kings will shut
their mouth; for that which had not been told them have they
seen, and that which they had not heard they have perceived.”
Driver and Neubauer vol 1: p. 322. Edition is Abraham S. Halkin,
ed., Igeret Teman (NY: American Academy for Jewish Research,
1952). See Soloff pp. 127-128.
“There is in
the Garden of Eden a palace named the Palace of the Sons of
Sickness. This palace the Messiah enters, and He summons every
pain and every chastisement of
All of these come and rest upon Him. And had He not thus
lightened them upon Himself, there had been no man able to bear
chastisements for the transgressions of the law; as it is
written, "Surely our sicknesses he has carried."
Cited in Driver and Neubauer, pp. 14-15 from section
"va-yiqqahel". Translation from Frydland, Rachmiel, What the
Rabbis Know About the Messiah (Cincinnati: Messianic Literature
Outreach, 1991), p. 56, n. 27. Note that this section is not
found in the Soncino edition which says that it was an
(R. Moshe ben Nachman) (13th c.)
view respecting this Parashah is to suppose that by the phrase
"my servant" the whole of Israel is meant. . . .As a different
opinion, however, is adopted by the Midrash, which refers it to
the Messiah, it is necessary for us to explain it in conformity
with the view there maintained. The prophet says, The Messiah,
the son of David of whom the text speaks, will never be
conquered or perish by the hands of his enemies. And, in fact
the text teaches this clearly. . . . And by his stripes we were
healed -- because the stripes by which he is vexed and
distressed will heal us; God will pardon us for his
righteousness, and we shall be healed both from our own
transgressions and from the iniquities of our fathers.”
-- Driver and
Neubauer, pp. 78 ff.
571 (13th c.)
thou, O great mountain (Zech. iv. 7.) This refers to the King
Messiah. And why does he call him "the great mountain?" Because
he is greater than the patriarchs, as it is said, "My servant
shall be high, and lifted up, and lofty exceedingly" -- he will
be higher than Abraham, . . . lifted up above Moses, . . .
loftier than the ministering angels.”
Driver and Neubauer, p. 9.The same passage is found in Midrash
Tanhuma to Genesis (perhaps 9th c.), ed. John T. Townsend
(Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1989), p. 166.
620 (13th c.), in regard to Psalm 2:6
have drawn him out of the chastisements. . . .The chastisements
are divided into three parts: one for David and the fathers, one
for our own generation, and one for the King Messiah; and this
is that which is written, "He was wounded for our
Driver and Neubauer, p. 10.
Kohen ibn Crispin (14th c.)
Parashah the commentators agree in explaining of the Captivity
of Israel, although the singular number is used in it
throughout. . . .As there is no cause constraining us to do so,
why should we here interpret the word collectively, and thereby
distort the passage from its natural sense?. . . As then it
seemed to me that the doors of the literal interpretation of the
Parashah were shut in their face, and that "they wearied
themselves to find the entrance," having forsaken the knowledge
of our Teachers, and inclined after the "stubbornness of their
own hearts," and of their own opinion, I am pleased to interpret
it, in accordance with the teaching of our Rabbis, of the King
Messiah, and will be careful, so far as I am able, to adhere to
the literal sense.”
Driver and Neubauer, pp. 99-100.
comment from R. Mosheh Kohen ibn Crispin
“If his soul
makes itself into a trespass-offering, implying that his soul
will treat itself as guilty, and so receive punishment for our
trespasses and transgressions.”
Driver and Neubauer, p. 112.
Astruc (14th c.)
shall prosper, or be truly intelligent, because by intelligence
man is really man -- it is intelligence which makes a man what
he is. And the prophet calls the King Messiah my servant,
speaking as one who sent him. Or he may call the whole people my
servant, as he says above my people (lii. 6): when he speaks of
the people, the King Messiah is included in it; and when he
speaks of the King Messiah, the people is comprehended with him.
What he says then is, that my servant the King Messiah will
Driver and Neubauer, p. 129.
There are early records of
interpreted as the subject of Isaiah 53, so its not a recent
interpretation at all!
to Objection 2:
Yes, there are
some older views mentioned by Christian commentators dating to the 3rd
century, but these views were never carried forward within
“Authoritative” rabbinical Judaism. Secondly, the Talmud interprets the
suffering of “Righteous” individuals within
Israel, but not a
Brown writes on the point of a national interpretation in the more
ancient rabbinical writings.
Jonathan interprets Isaiah 52:13-53:12 with reference to the Messiah,
despite the fact the Targum virtually rewrites the entire passage,
changing the verses that speak clearly of the servant’s suffering so
they speak instead of the suffering of the nations…..
“The Talmud interprets various verses in this section with
reference to righteous individuals within
Israel (including the
Messiah) but never once with reference to the nation of Israel as a
“Midrash Rabbah interprets 53:5 with reference to the Messiah
2:14), while interpreting 53:12 with reference to
in exile (Numbers Rabbah 13;2). This last interpretation, offered in a
passing interpretation of Song of Solomon 5:1, is the one and only time
in the first thousand years of recorded Rabbinic literature that any
portion of any verse in Isaiah 53 is applied to Israel as a nation.”
Jonathan interprets Isaiah 53:3 in with the Messiah as subject of
“Then he (my servant Messiah) will become despised, and will cut off the
glory of all the Kingdoms; they will be prostrate and mourning, like a
man of pains, and like One destined for sickness; and as though the
presence of the Shekinah had been withdrawn from us, they will be
despised, and esteemed not.”
According to the
Targum, the nations are in pains and fall prostrate before the Messiah,
who they in turn despise, because their glory is “cut off”. The nation
of Israel is not the “despised” but the nations, who the Messiah will
despise and Messiah who will be despised by the nations, according to
reference in Christian writings to the “national” interpretation is from
a work of Origen (A.D. 185-254), a Second century writer. In his work
Origen disputes with Celsus, an opponent of Jews and Christians, and
makes mention of his discussion with Jews regarding their understanding
of Isaiah 53 and “national suffering”.
I remember that, on one occasion, at a disputation held with certain
Jews, who were reckoned wise men, I quoted these prophecies; to which my
Jewish opponent replied, that these predictions bore reference to the
whole people, regarded as one individual, and as being in a state of
dispersion and suffering, in order that many proselytes might be gained,
on account of the dispersion of the Jews among numerous heathen nations.
And in this way he explained the words, “Thy form shall be of no
reputation among men;” and then, “They to whom no message was sent
respecting him shall see;” and the expression, “A man under suffering.”
Many arguments were employed on that occasion during the discussion to
prove that these predictions regarding one particular person were not
rightly applied by them to the whole nation. And I asked to what
character the expression would be appropriate, “This man bears our sins,
and suffers pain on our behalf;” and this, “But He was wounded for our
sins, and bruised for our iniquities;” and to whom the expression
properly belonged, “By His stripes were we healed.” For it is manifest
that it is they who had been sinners, and had been healed by the
Savior’s sufferings (whether belonging to the Jewish nation or converts
from the Gentiles),who use such language in the writings of the prophet
who foresaw these events, and who, under the influence of the Holy
Spirit, applied these words to a person. But we seemed to press them
hardest with the expression, “Because of the iniquities of My people was
He led away unto death.” For if the people, according to them, are the
subject of the prophecy, how is the man said to be led away to death
because of the iniquities of the people of God, unless he be a different
person from that people of God? And who is this person save Jesus
Christ, by whose stripes they who believe on Him are healed, when “He
had spoiled the principalities and powers (that were over us), and had
made a show of them openly on His cross?” At another time we may explain
the several parts of the prophecy, leaving none of them unexamined. But
these matters have been treated at greater length, necessarily as I
think, on account of the language of the Jew, as quoted in the work of
Book 1, Chapter 55
Origen points out
the distinction between the “Servant” and those for whom he suffers.
Asking the question, if the “Servant” suffering is Israel, who are the
people he suffers for? How is it he is led away because of the
iniquities of the “People of God”? Since, the servant is the “People of
other point is, the argument was available to Jews interpreters at the
time of Origen, those who wrote in the Mishna and Talmuds
but they choose not to include this view in the most authoritative
writings. In was not until the 10th century did the
“national interpretation” of Isaiah become accepted with the writings of
Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12 refers to the suffering of the nation of
Israel and not an
to Objection 3:
If you read the
text “Literally” , Isaiah is clearly speaking about a “righteous person”
and not a nation. The only way a “National” interpretation could be seen
is if you put words and meaning into Isaiah that are not there.
In the beginning of
Isaiah 52, the hopeless situation of Israel is presented. The Lord’s
people are captives in a foreign land and seem without hope. In verse
told to put on your “Beautiful garments” because a day is coming when
the “unclean” will no longer be part of the city. This is a day in the
Jerusalem and Israel are redeemed.
Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful
garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the
unclean Shall no longer come to you.2 Shake yourself from the dust,
arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your
neck, O captive daughter of
3 For thus says the
Lord: "You have sold yourselves for nothing, And you shall be redeemed
without money." 4 For thus says the Lord God: "My people went down at
first Into Egypt to dwell there; Then the Assyrian oppressed them
without cause. Isaiah 52: 1-4
The Lord sees the
helpless condition of his people and proclaims they will one day know
His “Name”. Because “salvation” will one day come and the Lord’s people
will know the Lord is the one speaking to them saying “Behold, it is
5 Now therefore, what have I here," says the Lord, "That My people are
taken away for nothing? Those who rule over them Make them wail," says
the Lord, "And My name is blasphemed continually every day. 6 Therefore
My people shall know My name; Therefore they shall know in that day That
I am He who speaks: 'Behold, it is I.'” Isaiah 52:5-6
The subject before
the reader is “Redemption” and relationship. The Lord will redeem his
people who do not yet know him, who are now captives. Isaiah looks to a
day of redemption and salvation, when the whole world will see the
Lord’s salvation and Jerusalem’s redemption, by “His holy arm”. What is
meant by this term, “Holy arm”?
9 Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of
Jerusalem! For the
Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed
10 The Lord
has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the
ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God. Isaiah 52:9-10
Is this term, “holy
arm” poetry is there more substance then at first glance. This “Arm” of
the Lord is again referenced in Isaiah 53:1 and again in Isaiah 59:16.
In each case, the there is an association of “Salvation” and
“Redemption” with the “Arm” of the Lord.
From the start of
the chapter, Israel is the one in need of “Redemption”, they are the
captives in a foreign land, they are helpless. The Lord is the one who
is coming to their aid. The captivity of his people and their redemption
is the Lord’s aim, His “Servant” is called forward to accomplish this
task of redemption. His servant, called the “Arm of the Lord” in the
very first verse is the one despised and rejected by men.
13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and
extolled and be very high. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, So
His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons
of men; 15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their
mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what
they had not heard they shall consider. Isaiah 52:13-15
examine the text, we can see Israel is the one who needs redemption,
Israel is captive, first by Egypt, then Assyria and now Babylon (Isaiah
52:4). So, “My Servant” the Lord’s servant, his “Holy Arm” (Isaiah
52:10, 53:1, 59:16), accomplishes Israel’s redemption.
evidence a “Man” and not a nation is the referent is very clear from the
words used here to describe the servant. The term, “His visage was
marred more then any man” is clearly making a comparison between the
servant and other men. The Hebrew word,
means, man and is used over 1000 times in the Tanakh, to mean just
that. The next term used to demonstrate his humanity is “Sons of men”,
clearly demonstrating the servant’s descent of Adam, being a “Son of
man” or literally, “Son of Adam”. The “Servant” is humiliated and
marred, before He is exalted.
humanity of this “Son of Man” is further demonstrated throughout Isaiah
53, using words, which clearly demonstrate “Humanity”. He is called a
“Man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3), again the word “Iysh” is used
here, reiterating his humanity.
Throughout the flow of chapter 53, we see the humanity of the servant,
repeated over and over, for example, lets look at verse 8.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will
declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land
of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was
stricken. Isaiah 53:8
In this one verse
alone, we can count four, specific references to his humanity. In
addition, we read, “he was cut of from the land of the living”,
referring to the “human” state of living.
Verse 8, also makes a distinction between “My people” and
the “Servant”. The servant is wounded for “My people”. For this reason
its important to understand the context of this verse, the chapter is
talking about redemption of a “Captive” people who are in a hopeless
state, who need redemption. They need redemption because of their sin,
which resulted in their captivity. For this reason, was the “Man”, the
servant stricken, for the redemption of “My people”. Who are “My
people”? Why they are the Lord’s people, Israel and Judah, who the
nations have assaulted, they will see the salvation of the Lord, in this
Even if this verse talks about Messiah, the Christian belief,
"Messiah is God" is blasphemous and not supported here one iota!
Reply to Objection 4
Who is this person,
called the “Servant”? He is called the “Arm of the Lord” in the very
first verse of the 53rd chapter. Who is the “Arm of the
Lord”? Isaiah 59:16 tells us it’s the Lord Himself. The Lord Himself
will come to His people and the world will see the “Salvation” of God.
in the 10th verse, of Isaiah 52, Isaiah proclaims the coming
“Salvation”. We are told, the nations will see this salvation. What
is “the salvation”? It’s the Lord bearing his “Holy Arm” in the eyes of
the nations. What does this mean? It means this coming “Servant” who
is rejected and despised by the nations is the “Arm of the Lord” (Isaiah
53:1). The Lord Himself will save humanity and He will pay for their
sins of humanity in the person of the “Servant”, will suffer as the
“Lamb” of God’s sacrifice.
10 The Lord has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the
nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our
God. Isaiah 52:10
Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord
been revealed?6. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned,
every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity
of us all., Isaiah 53:1,6
same point of the “Arm of the Lord”, repeats in Isaiah 59. In the 59th
chapter, the hopeless condition of humanity is again, demonstrated, as
was the hopeless condition of
Israel in the 52nd
chapter. The first 15 verses of the 59th chapter focus on
man’s hopeless condition, then in the 15th verse, we see the
Lord takes notice of man’s need of redemption and his inability to
attain salvation. Therefore, the Lord has the solution in the 16th
No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in
empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth
iniquity.10. We grope for the wall like the blind, And we grope as if we
had no eyes; We stumble at noonday as at twilight; We are as dead men in
desolate places.15. So truth fails, And he who departs from evil makes
himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him That there
was no justice.
Isaiah 59: 4,10,15
The solution is the Lord’s “Own arm” will bring salvation to Him. The
Lord sees there is “no man” (“iysh”) or intercessor, someone to
come to the aid of humanity and their lost state. So what does the Lord
do? Why his own “Arm”, the “Servant” of Isaiah 52:13 comes to the aid
of “My people”,
Israel and the whole
world, through Israel.
16 He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no
intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His
own righteousness, it sustained Him. Isaiah 59:16
The Messiah is none other then the Lord Himself, who has bared His holy
“Arm” and entered humanity in the flesh of man. The Lord in the past has
taken human form when He appeared to Abraham, Moses and Ezekiel. In
Genesis, Abraham sees the Lord as a man, along with two angels who go on
(Genesis 19). Moses sees the form of God, as God himself declares.
Ezekiel describes the scene of God’s throne and a man sitting on the
throne, who is clearly God. This man on throne is called the “Glory of
the Lord” (Ezekiel 1:28, 3:12,23 10:4,18), God’s “Presence” manifest in
human form to interact with His creation. So, if God can appear
here in the Tanakh in the form of man, why is it so difficult to believe
the Messiah, can be the Lord in human flesh?
Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as
he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 So he lifted
his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him;
and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed
himself to the ground, Genesis 18:1-2
I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings;
And he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid To
speak against My servant Moses?" Numbers 12:8
And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne,
in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a
likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Ezekiel 1:26
This time, in the
person of Messiah, he enters the world and becomes a “Son of man” dying
for the sins of his people.