The Expansion of the Land of Israel is Critical for the Acceptance of the Entire Non-Jewish World of Religious Noahide Beliefs

posted in: English Divrei Torah | 0
of Middle East

The Suffering Servant Yishayahu / Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12

In the original Hebrew Biblical text the verses of Yishayahu / Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 appears as one long paragraph (see The Jerusalem Bible by Koren Publishers). The Hebrew web site Daat  of Michlelet Herzog claims the commonly used chapter divisions, were actually an innovation of the Christians that the Jews had the need to adopt because they were frequently coerced into entering debates with the Christians over the meaning of the Hebrew Bible. Usually these chapter divisions are logical, but sometimes they are based on a misunderstanding of the topic; and sometimes to make an ideological point, the Christians split sentences that logically belong in one chapter into two in order to make a Christian doctrine more believable to their followers. The Biblical description of the suffering servant might be an example, where the natural division of a chapter was tampered with to advance Christian doctrine. But to be intellectually honest I will not hide the fact that I saw in the Hebrew text used by Machon Mamre, there is a paragraph break between Yishayahu 52:15 and 53:1. However, in general I believe the paragraph division in the Jerusalem Bible by Koren Publishers is more reliable than Machon Mamre, but some will argue with me.
Metsudat Dovid in his interpretation of the Biblical book of Tzephaniah (Zephaniah) 3:9 predicts that even the Gentiles after the events of Tzephaniah (Zephaniah) 3:8 will in the future speak the holy language which will help draw them near to proper religious beliefs. The verse as understood by Metsudat Dovid is “For then I will make a change among the nations that they will speak a clear language (the Holy Language) that all will call out in the name of Hashem to serve him with one consent (and one ideology).
Among the many advantages of knowing Biblical Hebrew is that it enables the readers to get a more truthful understanding of the Biblical text.
Since most of my readers do not know, Biblical Hebrew, sufficiently, for the sake of ease, I will present the translation to Yishayahu / Isaiah 52: 13 – 53:12 in the footnote below .
For those who don’t have the patience to read through the entire quote, the summary of the verses is that there was a servant of G-d who was considered by many kings to be despised by G-d and man and who suffered greatly. The intense sufferings as well as the unexpected success of this servant will make the many righteous.

Who is the servant?

Rashi in his commentary to Yishayahu / Isaiah 52:13 identifies the servant as Yaakov (Jacob) and thus he states, “behold in the end of days my servant Yaakov (Jacob) will succeed, the righteous among him”.

Indeed at least three times the prophet, makes an explicit reference to “my servant, Yaakov (Jacob) in the Biblical book of Yishayahu / Isaiah (namely, Chapter 41 verse 8, Chapter 44 verse 2, and Chapter 45:4).

Chapter 54 of Yishayahu / Isaiah explains what type of success is needed by Hashem’s servant, Yaakov (Jacob) to change the ideological beliefs of the nations to be in accordance with Noahide beliefs. The success that is needed is connected to expansion.

To quote from the post Miracles of the Gulf War
The biblical prophet, Isaiah teaches [chapter 54 verse 2] “Expand the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations: do not hold back, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes”. The students of the Gaon of Vilna, (as explained in Rabbi Rivlin’s book, Kol Hator, chapter 5 ), believed there are 17 facets of expansion needed to fully fulfill this verse. All the activities that are contained within the commandment of expansion , it is obligatory to do them and strengthen them without stopping and without delay as the words of the prophecy there [in Isaiah] state, “Expand the place of your tent”, etc. “do not hold back”, meaning, don’t stop, and “strengthen your stakes”.

Yishayahu / Isaiah Verses 3 to 5 as understood by Radak

For right and left (South and North) you will advance and your seed shall evict Gentiles (including to the East and the West) and desolate cities you shall settle. Do not be afraid for you will not be ashamed; do not cringe for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the embarrassment of your widowhood (the troubles of the exile) you shall remember no more. For your master is your maker, the L-rd of Hosts is his name, and your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; the L-rd of the whole Earth He shall be called
(as he stated in Tzephaniah “to serve him with one consent”, for all the nations will then admit to him).

Post by the main editor of

1 “Indeed, My servant shall prosper,
Be exalted and raised to great heights.
Just as the many were appalled at him —
So marred was his appearance, unlike that of a person,
His form, beyond human semblance—
Just so he shall startle many nations.
Kings shall be silenced because of him,
For they shall see what has not been told them,
Shall behold what they never have heard.”
“Who can believe what we have heard?
Upon whom has the arm of GOD been revealed?
For he has grown, by God’s favor, like a tree crown,
Like a tree trunk out of arid ground.
He had no form or beauty, that we should look at him:
No charm, that we should find him pleasing.
He was despised, shunned by others,
A man of suffering, familiar with disease.
As one who hid his face from us,
He was despised, we held him of no account.
Yet it was our sickness that he was bearing,
Our suffering that he endured.
We accounted him plagued,
Smitten and afflicted by God;
But he was wounded because of our sins,
Crushed because of our iniquities.
He bore the chastisement that made us whole,
And by his bruises we were healed.
We all went astray like sheep,
Each of us going our own way;
And GOD visited upon him
The guilt of all of us.”
He was maltreated, yet he was submissive,
He did not open his mouth;
Like a sheep being led to slaughter,
Like a ewe, dumb before those who shear her,
He did not open his mouth.
By oppressive judgment he was taken away,
Who could describe his abode?
For he was cut off from the land of the living
Through the sin of my people, who deserved the punishment.
And his grave was set among the wicked,
And with the rich, in his death —
Though he had done no injustice
And had spoken no falsehood.
But GOD chose to crush him by disease,
That, if he made himself an offering for guilt,
He might see offspring and have long life,
And that through him GOD’s purpose might prosper.
Out of his anguish he shall see it;
He shall enjoy it to the full through his devotion.
“My righteous servant makes the many righteous,
It is their punishment that he bears;
Assuredly, I will give him the many as his portion,
He shall receive the multitude as his spoil.
For he exposed himself to death
And was numbered among the sinners,
Whereas he bore the guilt of the many
And made intercession for sinners.”

(Comment: The translation “intercession for sinners” might cause a stumbling block and Radak, translated the term: prayed and supplicated for mercy).