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Many Christians believe the "Man of Sorrows" or the "Suffering Servant" to be a reference to the prophecy of the Ministry of Jesus, which became a common theme in medieval and later Christian art. The passage of 'Isaiah 53' is known for its interpretation and use by Christian Theologians and Missionaries, many of whom identify the servant to be Christ Jesus. Many Christians view the entire chapter, and particularly this passage to refer to the Passion of Christ as well as the absolution of sins believed to be made possible by his sacrificial death.
- “He was taken from prison and from judgment:…
- …and who shall declare his generation?…
- … for he was cut off out of the land of the living:…
- … for the transgression of my people was he stricken.…” (53:8 KJV)
Jewish scripture in Isaiah 52:13 through Isaiah 53:12 describes the servant of the Lord as the Nation of Israel itself: “My Servant…” (Isaiah 53:11), “…a man of pains and accustomed to illness…” (Isaiah 53:3). "The theme of Isaiah is jubilation, a song of celebration at the imminent end of the Babylonian Captivity". Judaism sees this passage, especially "God's Suffering Servant", being written over 2500 years before nowadays, without a reference to the king Mashiach. Jewish teaching also does take note of the historical context in which God's Suffering Servant appears, particularly because it speaks in the past tense. The Jewish nation has borne unspeakable injustices, under Assyria, Babylonia, Ancient Greece, ancient Rome, Nazi Germany, which are all gone, and bears persecution and targeted mission to this day. Jewish scripture in Isaiah speaks in the light, when it says:
- “Israel is my Servant…” (41:8)
- “You are My witnesses says the Lord, and My Servant whom I have chosen…” (43:10)
- “For he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the transgression of My people, a plague befell them.…” (53:8)
- “My servant would vindicate the just for many, and their iniquities he would bear…”(53:11)
Fourth servant song
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The servant songs were first identified by Bernhard Duhm in his 1892 commentary on Isaiah. The songs are four poems taken from the Book of Isaiah written about a certain "servant of YHWH." God calls the servant to lead the nations, but the servant is horribly repressed. In the end, he is rewarded.
The fourth of the "servant songs" begins at Isaiah 52:13, continuing through 53:12 where it continues the discussion of the suffering servant. There is also a rather clear identification for the "servant" within this song. In the context of its surrounding verses, Isaiah 52 and Isaiah 54, one can deduce that the song refers to the Nation of Israel, rather not to an individual. Although, as Franz Delitzsch has noted in his commentary on Isaiah, there is not a consensus even amongst the Midrashim on whether The Servant is a reference to the Messiah or to Israel.
It is argued that the "servant" represents the nation of Israel, which would bear excessive iniquities, pogroms, blood libels, anti-judaism, antisemitism and continue to suffer without cause (Isaiah 52:4) on behalf of others (Isaiah 53:7,11-12). Early on, the servant of the Lord is promised to prosper and "be very high". The following evaluation of the Servant by the "many nations, kings", and "we" Isaiah 52:15 is quite negative, though, and bridges over to their self-accusation and repentance after verse 4 ("our"). Then, the Servant is vindicated by God, "because he bared his soul unto death". On the other hand, it is argued that the "servant" in this song might be an individual. And because of the references to sufferings, many Christians believe this song, along with the rest of the servant songs, to be among the Christian-messianic prophecies of Jesus. The anti-missionary rabbi Tovia Singer argues, by textual analysis, that the "suffering servant" of Isaiah 52:13 through 53:12 is not referencing an individual Christ Jesus.
- “For he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the transgression of my people, a plague befell them.…” (53:8 Judaica Press Complete Tanach)
- “For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.…” (53:8 King James Version)
The word servant is used 23 times in the book. 19 in chapters 41 to 53. Israel/Jacob is called the servant at least 11 times: the first 2 in chapter 41. Servant is used 4 times in the previous 40 chapters referring to Isaiah, Eliakim, servants in general, and David. Many of these verses such as 43:10 You are My witnesses, said the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, 44:21 You are My servant Israel, 49:3 You are My servant Israel, and others, clearly show the nation referred to by the singular "servant". The word messiah ("anointed one") is found twice, referring to Cyrus Isaiah 45:1, and in chapter Isaiah 61. The word "servants" is used 9 times in chapters 54 to 66. Prior to ch 54 it is last used in ch 37. All 9 references in ch. 54 to 66 are to Israel.
The passage survives in three versions, from three autonomous and parallel manuscript traditions: the Masoretic text that is the most familiar one, the Septuagint text, and the Qumran community's Great Isaiah Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, dated to the 2nd century BCE
Much of the meaningfulness of Joseph of Arimathea's role (q.v. for discussion) hinges upon the words of Isaiah 53:9, "He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth."
Jewish and Christian scholars both agree that Isaiah 52:13 is the natural beginning of the section, which is reasonable when one considers that the original Hebrew does not have the modern chapter breaks. The speaker from Isaiah 52:13 to the end of chapter 52 is God himself, whereas from the beginning of 53:1 through 53:9 the gentile kings of nations are speaking in their numbed astonishment. This narrative expressed by the surprised leaders of the surrounding gentile nations is referred to in 52:15. This alternation in speakers is evident in that verses Isaiah 52:13 and Isaiah 53:11 speak of "My [i.e. God's] servant," while the intervening verses refer to "our transgressions" (i.e., in the Jewish view of this chapter, the transgressions committed by the gentile nations against God's servant, Israel, or, in the Christian view of this chapter, the sins of individuals against God).
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- The first book of the Talmud - Berachot 5a applies Isaiah 53 to the people of Israel and those who study Torah - "If the Holy One, blessed be He, is pleased with Israel or man, He crushes him with painful sufferings. For it is said: And the Lord was pleased with [him, hence] He crushed him by disease (Isa. 53:10). Now, you might think that this is so even if he did not accept them with love. Therefore it is said: "To see if his soul would offer itself in restitution"(Ibid). Even as the trespass-offering must be brought by consent, so also the sufferings must be endured with consent. And if he did accept them, what is his reward? "He will see his seed, prolong his days"(Ibid). And more than that, his knowledge [of the Torah] will endure with him. For it is said: "The purpose of the Lord will prosper in his hand"(Ibid). It has been taught: R. Simeon b. Yohai says: The Holy One, blessed be He, gave Israel three precious gifts, and all of them were given only through sufferings.. These are: The Torah, the Land of Israel and the World To Come."
- Sotah 14a in the Babylonian Talmud associates Isaiah 53:12 to Moses and Shekalim 5:1 in the Jerusalem Talmud to Rabbi Akiva, because they were amongst the transgressors and both stood up for the nation of Israel.
- Sanhedrin 98b in the Babylonian Talmud speculates rather ironically about the undisclosed name of the unrevealed Jewish Messiah to come, so as to say it could be anyone: leper of the school (a hint on rabbinical disciples cast out of their seminary/school) based on Isaiah 53:4, Rabbi Nachman based on Jeremiah 30:21, Shiloh based on Genesis 49:10, Yinon based on Psalm 72:17, Rabbi Hanina reckons it is him, based on Jeremiah 16:13, Menachem ben Hizkija based on Lamentations 1:16.
- Jerusalem Talmud Shekalim 5:1 applies Isaiah 53:12 to Rabbi Akiva
Both the Talmud and Midrash apply Is 53 to the sick -
Talmud - Berachoth 57b Six things are a good sign for a sick person, namely, sneezing, perspiration, open bowels, seminal emission, sleep and a dream. Sneezing, as it is written: His sneezings flash forth light.15 Perspiration, as it is written, In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.16 Open bowels, as it is written: If lie that is bent down hasteneth to be loosed, he shall not go down dying to the pit.17 Seminal emission, as it is written: Seeing seed, he will prolong his days.18 Sleep, as it is written: I should have slept, then should I have been at rest.19 A dream, as it is written: Thou didst cause me to dream and make me to live.20 (15) Job XLI, 10. (16) Gen. III, 19. (17) Isa. LI, 14. E.V. He that is bent down shall speedily, etc.. (18) Ibid. LIII, 10. (19) Job. III, 13. (20) Isa. XXXVIII, 16. V. p. 335, n. 10.
Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XX:10 five things which are a favourable omen for an invalid, viz.: sneezing, perspiring, sleep, a dream, and semen. Sneezing, as it is written, His sneezings flash forth light (Job XLI, 10); sweat: IN THE SWEAT OF THY FACE SHALT THOU EAT BREAD3; sleep: I had slept: then it were well with me (Job III, 13)4; a dream: Wherefore make me dream [E.V. ‘recover Thou me’]and make me live (Isa. XXXVIII, 16); semen: He shall see seed [i.e. semen], and prolong his days (ib. LIII,10)
The midrashic method of biblical exegesis, is “…going more deeply than the mere literal sense, attempts to penetrate into the spirit of the Scriptures, to examine the text from all sides, and thereby to derive interpretations which are not immediately obvious”:
- The exegetical Midrash Ruth Rabbah, which expounds the Book of Ruth chapter by chapter, verse by verse, and, sometimes, word by word, states that the Messiah is coming to descend from Ruth through King David. Ruth Rabbah relates to events within the narrative reality of the Book of Ruth (Rut 1) as allegorical allusions to the future of her descendants. Ruth’s modesty, her great beauty, her uprightness narrate the positive picture of her as a righteous gentile woman in the bible. Her acts of kindness toward Naomi (Ruth Rabbah 2:14) was associated with Isaiah 53:5. In Ruth Rabbah 2:14, Rabbi Ze'ira's classic midrashic statement: “R. Zei'ra said: This scroll [of Ruth] tells us nothing either of cleanliness or of uncleanliness, either of prohibition or permission. For what purpose then was it written? To teach how great is the reward of those who do deeds of kindness…”.
- Numbers Rabbah 13:2 applies Is 53:12 to Israel in exile - "There can be almost no doubt that the redactor of Numbers Rabbah had before him an ancient Midrash on Numbers, and perhaps on other books as well, which has not come down to us and which we do not know of today. From the nature of the passages that were incorporated from this work and that remain in the Numbers Rabbah that we have today, one may conclude that this Midrash belonged to the group of Tanhuma-style Midrashim."
- The Midrash Rabba on Deuteronomy says, "The Israelites poured out their soul to die in the captivity, as it is said, 'Because he poured out his soul to die.' (Isaiah 53:12)"
- Eliyahu Rabbah, which scholars agree was written in the end of the tenth century, has 3 citations referenced to Isaiah 53 in the Midrash known as Tana Devei Eliyahu, applying them to the righteous of Israel (chapters 6, 13, 27).
- Another Midrash, Aleph Beitot (final chapter) quotes Isaiah 53 in reference to the nation of Israel as a whole.
- Midrash Psalms 94:2 applies Isaiah 53:10 to the righteous in general (also in other earlier writings - Mechilta De Rabbi Ishmael)
Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XIX:6 In this world, when Israel ate the paschal lamb in Egypt, they did so in haste, as it is said: And thus shall ye eat it, etc. (Ex. XII, 11), For in haste didst thou come forth out of the land of Egypt (Deut. XVI, 3), but in the Messianic era, we are told: For ye shall not go out in haste, neither shall ye go by flight (Isa. LII, 12).
Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XIII:2 Israel exposed (he'eru) their souls to death in exile-as you read, Because he bared (he'era) his soul unto death (Isa. LIII, 12)- and busied themselves with the Torah which is sweeter than honey, the Holy One, blessed be He, will therefore in the hereafter give them to drink of the wine that is preserved in its grapes since the six days of Creation, and will let them bathe in rivers of milk.
Midrash Rabbah - Ruth V:6 6. AND BOAZ SAID UNTO HER AT MEAL TIME: COME HITHER, AND EAT OF THE BREAD, AND DIP THY MORSEL IN THE VINEGAR. AND SHE SAT BESIDE THE REAPERS; AND THEY REACHED HER PARCHED CORN, AND SHE DID EAT AND WAS SATISFIED AND LEFT THEREOF (II, 14). R. Jonathan interpreted this verse in six ways. The first refers it to David,….The fifth interpretation makes it refer to the Messiah. COME HITHER: approach to royal state. AND EAT OF THE BREAD refers to the bread of royalty; AND DIP THY MORSEL IN THE VINEGAR refers to his sufferings, as it is said, But he was wounded because of our transgressions (Isa. LIII, 5).
- 52:13-14 is applied to the Angel Metatron in Zohar Volume I 182a.
- 53:5 is applied to Elijah the prophet in Zohar Volume II 115b.
- 53:5 is applied to Moshiach ben Yosef in Zohar Volume III 276b.
- 52:13 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume III page 153b.
- 52:13, 53:2,5 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume III 280a.
- 53:1 is applied to Moshe in Tekunei HaZohar page 43a.
- 53:5 is applied to Moshe in Tekunei HaZohar page 54b and 112a.
- 53:5,7 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume III 125b.
- 53:5,6,7 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume III 282b.
- 53:7 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume I 187a.
- 53:10 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume II 29b.
- 52:12 is applied to the Righteous of Israel in Zohar Chadash page 15a
- 52:13 is applied to the Righteous of Israel in Zohar Volume I 181a.
- 53:5 is applied to the Righteous of Israel in Zohar Volume III 218a, 231a, 247b
- 53:10 is applied to the Righteous of Israel in Zohar Volume I 140a; Volume II 244b; Volume III 57b
Soncino Zohar, Genesis/Bereshit, Section 1, Page 140a The Lord trieth the righteous (Ps. XI, 5). For what reason? Said R. Simeon: Because when God finds delight in the righteous, He brings upon them sufferings, as it is written: Yet it pleased the Lord to crush him by disease (Is. LIII, 10),as explained elsewhere. God finds delight in the soul but not in the body, as the soul resembles the supernal soul, whereas the body is not worthy to be allied to the supernal essences, although the image of the body is part of the supernal symbolism.
Soncino Zohar, Genesis/Bereshit, Section 1, Page 140b Observe that when God takes delight in the soul of a man, He afflicts the body in order that the soul may gain full freedom. For so long as the soul is together with the body it cannot exercise its full powers, but only when the body is broken and crushed. Again, “He trieth the righteous”, so as to make them firm like “a tried stone”, the “costly corner-stone” mentioned by the prophet (Is. XXVIII, 16).
Soncino Zohar, Genesis/Bereshit, Section 1, Page 181a R. Simeon further discoursed on the text: Behold, My servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high (Is. LII, 13). Happy is the portion of the righteous, he said, to whom the Holy One reveals the ways of the Torah that they may walk in them
Soncino Zohar, Genesis/Bereshit, Section 1, Page 187a Observe the Scriptural text: “And Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah” (Gen. xxv, 1). Herein is an allusion to the soul which after death comes to earth to be built up as before. Observe that of the body it is written: “And 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, and prolong his days, and that the purpose of the Lord might prosper by his hand.” (Is. LIII, 10). That is to say, if the soul desires to be rehabilitated then he must see seed, for the soul hovers round about and is ready to enter the seed of procreation, and thus “he will prolong his days, and the purpose of the Lord”, namely the Torah, “will prosper in his hand”. For although a man labours in the Torah day and night, yet if his source remains fruitless, he will find no place by which to enter within the Heavenly curtain.
Soncino Zohar, Exodus/Shemot, Section 2, Page 29b R. Simeon quoted here the verse: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, because they were not” (Jer. XXXI, I5). ‘The Community of Israel is called “Rachel”, as it says, “As a sheep (rahel) before her shearers is dumb” (Isa. LIII, 7). Why dumb? Because when other nations rule over her the voice departs from her and she becomes dumb. “Ramah”
Soncino Zohar, Exodus/Shemot, Section 2, Page 212a When the Messiah hears of the great suffering of Israel in their dispersion, and of the wicked amongst them who seek not to know their Master, he weeps aloud on account of those wicked ones amongst them, as it is written: “But he was wounded because of our transgression, he was crushed because of our iniquities” (Ibid. LIII, 5). The souls then return to their place. The Messiah, on his part, enters a certain Hall in the Garden of Eden, called the Hall of the Afflicted. There he calls for all the diseases and pains and sufferings of Israel, bidding them settle on himself, which they do. And were it not that he thus eases the burden from Israel, taking it on himself, no one could endure the sufferings meted out to Israel in expiation on account of their neglect of the Torah. So Scripture says; “Surely our diseases he did bear”, etc. (Ibid. LIII, 4). A similar function was performed by R. Eleazar here on earth. For, indeed, beyond number are the chastisements awaiting every man daily for the neglect of the Torah, all of which descended into the world at the time when the Torah was given. As long as Israel were in the Holy Land, by means of the Temple service and sacrifices they averted all evil diseases and afflictions from the world. Now it is the Messiah who is the means of averting them from mankind until the time when a man quits this world and receives his punishment, as already said. When a man's sins are so numerous that he has to pass through the nethermost compartments of Gehinnom in order to receive heavier punishment corresponding to the contamination of his soul, a more intense fire is kindled in order to consume that contamination. The destroying angels make use for this purpose of fiery rods, so as to expel that contamination. Woe to the soul that is subjected to such punishment! Happy are those who guard the precepts of the Torah!
Soncino Zohar, Leviticus/Vayikra, Section 3, Page 57b It has been taught in the name of R. Jose that on this day of Atonement it has been instituted that this portion should be read to atone for Israel in captivity. Hence we learn that if the chastisements of the Lord come upon a man, they are an atonement for his sins, and whoever sorrows for the sufferings of the righteous obtains pardon for his sins. Therefore on this day we read the portion commencing “after the death of the two sons of Aaron”, that the people may hear and lament the loss of the righteous and obtain forgiveness for their sins. For whenever a man so laments and sheds tears for them, God proclaims of him, “thine iniquity is taken away and thy sin purged” (Isa. Vl, 7). Also he may be assured that his sons will not die in his lifetime, and of him it is written, “he shall see seed, he shall prolong days (Isa. LIII, 19).’
Soncino Zohar, Numbers/Bamidbar, Section 3, Page 218a When God desires to give healing to the world He smites one righteous man among them with disease and suffering, and through him gives healing to all, as it is written, But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities... and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. LIII, 5)
Soncino Zohar, Exodus/Shemot, Section 2, Page 16b Why is Israel subjected to all nations? In order that the world may be preserved through them
- The Mahari Kara (R' Yosef Kara, a contemporary of Rashi 11th century) on Isaiah Isaiah 52:13: Quote: "Behold My servant shall prosper: Israel My servant shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. And [according to] the teachings of our Rabbis: He shall be more exalted than Abraham, as it is written: "I have raised my hand toward the Lord…" [Gen 14:22]. He shall be more lifted up than Moses, as it is written: "…as the nurse lifts up the suckling…". And he [Israel] shall be higher than the ministering angels, as it is written: "And they had backs, and they were very high…" [Ezek 1:18].
One of the first claims in the New Testament that Isaiah 53 is a prophecy of Jesus comes from the Book of Acts, in which its author (who is also the author of Luke), describes a scene in which God commands Philip the Deacon to approach an Ethiopian eunuch who is sitting in a chariot, reading aloud to himself from the Book of Isaiah. The eunuch comments that he does not understand what he is reading (Isaiah 53) and Philip explains to him the teachings of Jesus. "And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus." This has been the standard Christian interpretation of the passage since Apostolic times.
Isaiah 53:4 is also quoted in Matthew 8:17, where it is used in context of Jesus' healing ministry:
- “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” Matthew 8:17
- “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.…” Isaiah 53:4
Citing a number of Biblical verses that refer to Israel as the "servant", many of them from the Book of Isaiah such as 49:3 He said to me, "You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will display My splendor." Jewish scholars, and several Christian scholarly books, like Revised Standard Version Oxford Study Edition Bible, The Revised Standard Version tell us that Isaiah 53 is about national Israel and the New English Bible echo this analysis. Judaism, teaches that the "servant" in question is actually the nation of Israel. These scholars also argue that verse 10 cannot be describing Jesus. The verse states:
- 10he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days
Taken literally, this description, is inconsistent with the short, childless life of Jesus. But there is interpretive room to argue that a resurrected Jesus has prolonged his days indefinitely and that his "seed" are those who become Christians.
The reason that the Servant is referred to in the third person may be that these verses are written from the point of view of Gentile nations amazed at Israel's restoration, or it may simply be a method of figurative description. Supporters of this theory argue that the reason for the use of past tense is based on the differences between Proto-Isaiah and Deutero-Isaiah. Chapters 40-55 of Isaiah are referred to as "Deutero-Isaiah" because the themes and language are different from the rest of the book, leading some scholars to believe it was written by another author. Deutero-Isaiah differs from Proto-Isaiah in that it refers to Israel as already restored, which could account for the past-tense of the passage.
The Servant passages in Isaiah, and especially Isaiah 53, has to be compared with Psalm 44. Psalm 44 directly parallels the Servant Songs, it is probably the best defense for reading Isaiah 53 as applicable to the nation of Israel.
The earliest known example of a Jew and a Christian debating the meaning of Isaiah 53 is the example from 248 cited by Origen. In Christian church father Origen's Contra Celsus, written in 248, he writes of Isaiah 53:
- Now 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.
The discourse between Origen and his Jewish counterpart does not seem to have had any consequences for either party. This was not the case for the majority of centuries that have passed since that time. In Ecclesiastes Rabbah 1:24, written in the 700s, a debate about a much less controversial topic results in the arrest of the Jew engaging in the debate.
In 1263 at the Disputation of Barcelona, Nahmanides expressed the Jewish viewpoint of Isaiah 53 and other matters regarding Christian belief about Jesus's role in Hebrew Scripture. The disputation was awarded in his favor by James I of Aragon, and as a result the Dominican Order compelled him to flee from his home country for the remainder of his life. Passages of Talmud were also censored. In a number of other disputations, debate about this passage resulted in forced conversions, deportations, and the burning of Jewish religious texts.
The use of Isaiah 53 in debates between Jews and Christians still often occurs in the context of Christian missionary work among Jews, and the topic is a source of frequent discussion that is often repetitive and heated. Some devout Christians view the use of the Christian interpretation of Isaiah 53 in targeted conversion of Jews as a special act of Christian love. The unchanged common view among Jews today still is that Jews are threatened by fundamentalist Christian organizations which aggressively target Jews for conversion.
Jewish counter-missionary work
International Jewish counter-missionary organizations, like Outreach Judaism, founded by Rabbi Tovia Singer, or Jews for Judaism, respond directly to the issues raised by missionaries and cults, by exploring Judaism in contradistinction to fundamentalist Christianity and establishing lasting connections between Jewish families and Judaism. Hence, many Jewish lectures, speeches and debates, concerning Isaiah 53, are freely available online.
- Christianity and Judaism
- Jewish messianism
- Messianic prophecies of Jesus
- New Covenant, Replacement theology
Notes and references
- "Christian viewpoint 2". grebeweb. Retrieved 2006-07-06.
- Isaiah 53:8
- Blumenthal, Yisroel C. "Isaiah 53, Micah 7 and Isaiah 62". 1000 Verses. yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- "Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53) is the nation of Israel itself, not The Messiah = Jewish viewpoint #1". Jews for Judaism. Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2006-07-05.
- Singer, Rabbi Tovia. "Let's Get Biblical! Why Doesn't Judaism Accept the Christian Messiah?". outreachjudaism.org and Tovia Singer. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- "ISAIAH 53… IN 53 SECONDS". Jewish Isaiah 53. jewsforjudaism.org. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- Isaiah 53:11 - Judaica Press Complete Tanach
- Coogan, Michael D. (2008). "The Return from Exile". A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in Its Context. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199740291.
- Singer, Rabbi Tovia. "The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 - Part 1". SimpleToRemember.com. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- Singer, Rabbi Tovia. "The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 - Part 2". SimpleToRemember.com. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- Radiocarbon Dating of Scrolls and Linen Fragments from the Judean Desert in Radiocarbon, Vol. 37, No. 1, 1995, p. 14.
- Is Isaiah 53: referring to Jesus ?
- Goldschmidt, nach der ersten zensurfreien Ausg. unter Berücksichtigung der neueren Ausg. und handschriftlichen Materials ins Dt. übers. von Lazarus (2007). Der babylonische Talmud Bd. VI (Limitierte Sonderausg. nach dem Nachdr. 1996 ed.). Frankfurt, M.: Jüdischer Verl. im Suhrkamp-Verl. p. 56. ISBN 3633542000.
- "MIDRASH (, from the root, "to study," "to investigate")". The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia. ewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "RUTH RABBAH". Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE). Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Meir, Tamar. "Ruth: Midrash and Aggadah". Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Jewish Women's Archive 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Mack, Dr. Hananel. "Parashat Bamidbar 5760/2000". Bar-Ilan University's Parashat Hashavua Study Center. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Lies Damned Lies and What the Missionaries Claim the Rabbis say part 2". Judaism's Answer. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- Tanna debe Eliyahu in the Jewish Encyclopedia
- Contra Brown - Answering Dr. Brown's Objections to Judaism - Rabbi Yisroel C. Blumenthal refutes untenable assertions of Missionary Dr. Michael Brown on Judaism
- Scholem, Gershom and Melila Hellner-Eshed. "Zohar." Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Vol. 21. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 647-664. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale.
- "The Zohar on Isaiah 53". Judaism's Answer. judaismsanswer.com. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Isaiah 53 - Who is the prophet talking about?
- Plummer, Alfred, A critical and exegetical commentary on the Gospel according to S. Luke , Continuum International Publishing Group, 1999, p. xi: quote: "[common authorship of Luke-Acts] is so generally admitted by critics of all schools, that not much time need be spent in discussing it."
- Acts 8:34-35
- Isaiah 41:8-9, Isaiah 44:1, Isaiah 44:21, and Isaiah 49:3
- as in Isaiah 52:15
- Origen, Contra Celsum, Book 1.Chapter 55
- Ecclesiastes Rabbah 1:24 translated by Christopher P. Benton "In Search of Kohelet" p 13
- "Disputations". JewishEncyclopedia. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "3) MISTRANSLATED VERSES "REFERRING" TO JESUS; C. SUFFERING SERVANT". Why Don’t Jews Believe In Jesus?. SimpleToRemember.com - Judaism Online. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- Singer, Rabbi Tovia. "Let's get biblical - audio". Outreach Judaism. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- "Suffering Servant". FAQ. Jews for Judaism. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- Jewish Isaiah 53 from a counter-missionary website
- Y'shayahu's "Suffering Servant" (Y'shayahu, ch.53 by Professor Mordochai ben Tziyyon, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel (retired)
- A complete analysis of Isaiah 53 by Rabbi Moshe Shulman from a counter-missionary website
- Targum on Isaiah 53 by Rabbi Moshe Shulman from a counter-missionary website
- Zohar on Isaiah 53 by Rabbi Moshe Shulman from a counter-missionary website
- Haftorah and Isaiah 53 by Rabbi Moshe Shulman from a counter-missionary website
- Mysteries of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and Isaiah 53 by Rabbi Moshe Shulman from a counter-missionary website
- Moshe Ibn Crispin and Isaiah 53 by Rabbi Moshe Shulman from a counter-missionary website
- Suffering Servant ( 24 Articles ) from Jews for Judaism, a counter-missionary website
- Jewish Interpretation of Isaiah 53
- Jewish Encyclopedia: Servant of God
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Messiah
- Isaiah 52:13-53:12
- Isaiah 53 by Rabbi Tovia Singer
- Audio Downloads of Judaism’s response to Isaiah 53 available at Outreach Judaism
- A Jewish refutation of Christian interpretation
- One Christian's interpretation of Isaiah 53
- A Christian examination of Isaiah 53
- A Jewish explanation of the text from Rabbi Dov
- Isaiah 53: The Jewish Perspective