Bible Discussion: Isaiah 53

Isaiah 53
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Alan Faircloth
2003-11-26 04:19:00 EST

Isaiah 53 does not prophesy Christ. The "he" refered to is Jerusaelem.

title: God
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Libertarius
2003-11-26 20:46:10 EST


Alan Faircloth wrote:

> Isaiah 53 does not prophesy Christ. The "he" refered to is Jerusaelem.

===>Whatever the referent, the events described are in the PAST,
not in Isaiah's future! To apply it to Jesus is just plain ignorant. -- L.


Weatherwax
2003-11-27 13:12:20 EST

"Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote in
message news:3FC55762.F5F92DC9@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net...
>
>
> Alan Faircloth wrote:
>
> > Isaiah 53 does not prophesy Christ. The "he" refered
> > to is Jerusaelem.
>
> ===>Whatever the referent, the events described are in
> the PAST, not in Isaiah's future! To apply it to Jesus is
> just plain ignorant. -- L.

You have to be careful when reading tense into Biblical Hebrew
because Biblical Hebrew has no future or past tense.

When Isaiah 53:3 says, "He was despised and rejected by people,"
it could mean, "He is despised and rejected by people," or "He
will be despised and rejected by people."

The translator has to look for clues as to what is meant, and
often those clues are not present.

--
Wax



Libertarius
2003-11-27 20:09:15 EST


Weatherwax wrote:

> "Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote in
> message news:3FC55762.F5F92DC9@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net...
> >
> >
> > Alan Faircloth wrote:
> >
> > > Isaiah 53 does not prophesy Christ. The "he" refered
> > > to is Jerusaelem.
> >
> > ===>Whatever the referent, the events described are in
> > the PAST, not in Isaiah's future! To apply it to Jesus is
> > just plain ignorant. -- L.
>
> You have to be careful when reading tense into Biblical Hebrew
> because Biblical Hebrew has no future or past tense.
>
> When Isaiah 53:3 says, "He was despised and rejected by people,"
> it could mean, "He is despised and rejected by people," or "He
> will be despised and rejected by people."
>
> The translator has to look for clues as to what is meant, and
> often those clues are not present.

===>Not exactly. There IS a 'past tense",
only it is a more generalized past tense than
the typical several past tenses of Indo-European
languages
As far as I know, the Hebrew verb has actually FOUR
"tenses", i.e.
present (hoveh) ('active participles')
past (avar) (the so-called 'perfect tense')
Future (atid) (the 'imperfect tense')
Imperative (tsivui) ("let be" form)
The 'past tense' (avar) in Hebrew
"refers to all past completed action. Therefore, DIBARTI means 'I
spoke', 'I
have spoken', 'I was speaking', 'I had spoken'....."
SEE e.g.: "Hebrew tenses (1)" at
http://www.errantyears.com/1997/sep97/000759.html

As for Isaiah 53, even the very "literal translation
of the YONG'S LITERAL Bible has verses such as:
Isaiah 53:4
"Surely our sicknesses he HATH BORNE,
And our pains -- he HATH CARRIED them,
And we -- we HAVE ESTEEMED him plagued,
Smitten of God, and afflicted." (My emphases). -- L.




Weatherwax
2003-11-27 22:47:17 EST

"Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote
> Weatherwax wrote:
> > "Libertarius" wrote
> > >
> > >
> > > Alan Faircloth wrote:
> > >
> > > > Isaiah 53 does not prophesy Christ. The "he" refered
> > > > to is Jerusaelem.
> > >
> > > ===>Whatever the referent, the events described are in
> > > the PAST, not in Isaiah's future! To apply it to Jesus is
> > > just plain ignorant. -- L.
> >
> > You have to be careful when reading tense into Biblical
> > Hebrew because Biblical Hebrew has no future or past
> > tense.
> >
> > When Isaiah 53:3 says, "He was despised and rejected
> > by people," it could mean, "He is despised and rejected
> > by people," or "He will be despised and rejected by
> > people."
> >
> > The translator has to look for clues as to what is meant, and
> > often those clues are not present.
>
> ===>Not exactly. There IS a 'past tense",
> only it is a more generalized past tense than
> the typical several past tenses of Indo-European
> languages
> As far as I know, the Hebrew verb has actually FOUR
> "tenses", i.e.
> present (hoveh) ('active participles')
> past (avar) (the so-called 'perfect tense')
> Future (atid) (the 'imperfect tense')
> Imperative (tsivui) ("let be" form)
> The 'past tense' (avar) in Hebrew
> "refers to all past completed action. Therefore,
> DIBARTI means 'I
> spoke', 'I
> have spoken', 'I was speaking', 'I had spoken'....."
> SEE e.g.: "Hebrew tenses (1)" at
> http://www.errantyears.com/1997/sep97/000759.html
>
> As for Isaiah 53, even the very "literal translation
> of the YONG'S LITERAL Bible has verses such as:
> Isaiah 53:4
> "Surely our sicknesses he HATH BORNE,
> And our pains -- he HATH CARRIED them,
> And we -- we HAVE ESTEEMED him plagued,
> Smitten of God, and afflicted." (My emphases). -- L.

The confusion is between Biblical Hebrew, and modern Hebrew.
While modern Hebrew does have tense, Biblical Hebrew does not.

See:
http://www.theology.edu/hebrew/hb07.htm
Aspect vs. Tense

Biblical Hebrew does not have past, present and future
tenses like English (modern Hebrew is another story
altogether, however). Instead, action is regarded as
either complete or incomplete. Incomplete action is
referred to as perfect and incomplete action is referred
to as imperfect. Generally speaking, the perfect aspect
will be translated into English with the English past tense
and the imperfect will be translated into English with the
English future tense. However, this is only an
approximation of the situation, and so there will be
times when altogether different tenses will be better in
certain circumstances

As I understand it, the perfect does not necessarily refer to the
past. The perfect action could refer to an event which happened
in the past, the present, or will be completed in the future
(e.g. the same line may mean, "He was despised," "He is
despised," or "He will be despised.") while imperfect action
would refer to an event which is continuing (e.g. "He is being
despised.")

But before you take my word for it, we should get somebody who
knows Biblical Hebrew.

--
Wax



Libertarius
2003-11-28 13:33:40 EST


Weatherwax wrote:

> "Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote
> > Weatherwax wrote:
> > > "Libertarius" wrote
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Alan Faircloth wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Isaiah 53 does not prophesy Christ. The "he" refered
> > > > > to is Jerusaelem.
> > > >
> > > > ===>Whatever the referent, the events described are in
> > > > the PAST, not in Isaiah's future! To apply it to Jesus is
> > > > just plain ignorant. -- L.
> > >
> > > You have to be careful when reading tense into Biblical
> > > Hebrew because Biblical Hebrew has no future or past
> > > tense.
> > >
> > > When Isaiah 53:3 says, "He was despised and rejected
> > > by people," it could mean, "He is despised and rejected
> > > by people," or "He will be despised and rejected by
> > > people."
> > >
> > > The translator has to look for clues as to what is meant, and
> > > often those clues are not present.
> >
> > ===>Not exactly. There IS a 'past tense",
> > only it is a more generalized past tense than
> > the typical several past tenses of Indo-European
> > languages
> > As far as I know, the Hebrew verb has actually FOUR
> > "tenses", i.e.
> > present (hoveh) ('active participles')
> > past (avar) (the so-called 'perfect tense')
> > Future (atid) (the 'imperfect tense')
> > Imperative (tsivui) ("let be" form)
> > The 'past tense' (avar) in Hebrew
> > "refers to all past completed action. Therefore,
> > DIBARTI means 'I
> > spoke', 'I
> > have spoken', 'I was speaking', 'I had spoken'....."
> > SEE e.g.: "Hebrew tenses (1)" at
> > http://www.errantyears.com/1997/sep97/000759.html
> >
> > As for Isaiah 53, even the very "literal translation
> > of the YONG'S LITERAL Bible has verses such as:
> > Isaiah 53:4
> > "Surely our sicknesses he HATH BORNE,
> > And our pains -- he HATH CARRIED them,
> > And we -- we HAVE ESTEEMED him plagued,
> > Smitten of God, and afflicted." (My emphases). -- L.
>
> The confusion is between Biblical Hebrew, and modern Hebrew.
> While modern Hebrew does have tense, Biblical Hebrew does not.
>
> See:
> http://www.theology.edu/hebrew/hb07.htm
> Aspect vs. Tense
>
> Biblical Hebrew does not have past, present and future
> tenses like English (modern Hebrew is another story
> altogether, however). Instead, action is regarded as
> either complete or incomplete. Incomplete action is
> referred to as perfect and incomplete action is referred
> to as imperfect. Generally speaking, the perfect aspect
> will be translated into English with the English past tense
> and the imperfect will be translated into English with the
> English future tense. However, this is only an
> approximation of the situation, and so there will be
> times when altogether different tenses will be better in
> certain circumstances
>
> As I understand it, the perfect does not necessarily refer to the
> past. The perfect action could refer to an event which happened
> in the past, the present, or will be completed in the future
> (e.g. the same line may mean, "He was despised," "He is
> despised," or "He will be despised.") while imperfect action
> would refer to an event which is continuing (e.g. "He is being
> despised.")

===>That just is not correct.

> But before you take my word for it, we should get somebody who
> knows Biblical Hebrew.

===>I think MOST translators of Isaiah 53 DID know
Biblical Hebrew, and they see it as PAST TENSE.
I prefer to take THEIR word for it.

SEE:
NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION:
"He was despised and rejected by people,
one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness;
people hid their faces from him;
he was despised, and we considered him insignificant."

NEW AMERICAN STANDARD:
"He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him."

WORLD ENGLISH BIBLE:
"He was despised, and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and as one from whom men hide their face
he was despised; and we didn't respect him."

JPS TANAKH:
"He was despised, shunned by men,
A man of suffering, familiar with disease.
As one who hid his face from us,
He was despised; we held him of no account."

Do you think perhaps SOME of the above translations
were made by scholars who knew Biblical Hebrew? -- L.



>
>
> --
> Wax


Weatherwax
2003-11-29 20:47:13 EST

"Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote
> Weatherwax wrote:
> > "Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net>
> > > Weatherwax wrote:
> > > > "Libertarius" wrote
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > Alan Faircloth wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > Isaiah 53 does not prophesy Christ. The "he"
> > > > > > refered to is Jerusaelem.
> > > > >
> > > > > ===>Whatever the referent, the events described
> > > > > are in the PAST, not in Isaiah's future! To apply
> > > > > it to Jesus is just plain ignorant. -- L.
> > > >
> > > > You have to be careful when reading tense into Biblical
> > > > Hebrew because Biblical Hebrew has no future or past
> > > > tense.
> > > >
> > > > When Isaiah 53:3 says, "He was despised and rejected
> > > > by people," it could mean, "He is despised and rejected
> > > > by people," or "He will be despised and rejected by
> > > > people."
> > > >
> > > > The translator has to look for clues as to what is
> > > > meant, and often those clues are not present.
> > >
> > > ===>Not exactly. There IS a 'past tense",
> > > only it is a more generalized past tense than
> > > the typical several past tenses of Indo-European
> > > languages
> > > As far as I know, the Hebrew verb has actually FOUR
> > > "tenses", i.e.
> > > present (hoveh) ('active participles')
> > > past (avar) (the so-called 'perfect tense')
> > > Future (atid) (the 'imperfect tense')
> > > Imperative (tsivui) ("let be" form)
> > > The 'past tense' (avar) in Hebrew
> > > "refers to all past completed action. Therefore,
> > > DIBARTI means 'I
> > > spoke', 'I
> > > have spoken', 'I was speaking', 'I had spoken'....."
> > > SEE e.g.: "Hebrew tenses (1)" at
> > > http://www.errantyears.com/1997/sep97/000759.html
> > >
> > > As for Isaiah 53, even the very "literal translation
> > > of the YONG'S LITERAL Bible has verses such as:
> > > Isaiah 53:4
> > > "Surely our sicknesses he HATH BORNE,
> > > And our pains -- he HATH CARRIED them,
> > > And we -- we HAVE ESTEEMED him plagued,
> > > Smitten of God, and afflicted." (My emphases). -- L.
> >
> > The confusion is between Biblical Hebrew, and modern
> > Hebrew. While modern Hebrew does have tense,
> > Biblical Hebrew does not.
> >
> > See:
> > http://www.theology.edu/hebrew/hb07.htm
> > Aspect vs. Tense
> >
> > Biblical Hebrew does not have past, present and future
> > tenses like English (modern Hebrew is another story
> > altogether, however). Instead, action is regarded as
> > either complete or incomplete. Incomplete action is
> > referred to as perfect and incomplete action is referred
> > to as imperfect. Generally speaking, the perfect aspect
> > will be translated into English with the English past
tense
> > and the imperfect will be translated into English with
the
> > English future tense. However, this is only an
> > approximation of the situation, and so there will be
> > times when altogether different tenses will be better in
> > certain circumstances
> >
> > As I understand it, the perfect does not necessarily refer
> > to the past. The perfect action could refer to an event
> > which happened in the past, the present, or will be
> > completed in the future (e.g. the same line may mean,
> > "He was despised," "He is despised," or "He will be
> > despised.") while imperfect action would refer to an
> > event which is continuing (e.g. "He is being despised.")
>
> ===>That just is not correct.
>
> > But before you take my word for it, we should get
> > somebody who knows Biblical Hebrew.
>
> ===>I think MOST translators of Isaiah 53 DID know
> Biblical Hebrew, and they see it as PAST TENSE.
> I prefer to take THEIR word for it.
>
> SEE:
> NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION:
> "He was despised and rejected by people,
> one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness;
> people hid their faces from him;
> he was despised, and we considered him insignificant."
>
> NEW AMERICAN STANDARD:
> "He was despised and forsaken of men,
> A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
> And like one from whom men hide their face
> He was despised, and we did not esteem Him."
>
> WORLD ENGLISH BIBLE:
> "He was despised, and rejected of men;
> a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
> and as one from whom men hide their face
> he was despised; and we didn't respect him."
>
> JPS TANAKH:
> "He was despised, shunned by men,
> A man of suffering, familiar with disease.
> As one who hid his face from us,
> He was despised; we held him of no account."
>
> Do you think perhaps SOME of the above translations
> were made by scholars who knew Biblical Hebrew? -- L.

There are some in which at least the first line is given in the
present tense, rather than the past tense. As stated above, the
Hebrew perfect is normally translated in the past tense, but be
aware that it can often be translated in the present or future
tense if there is no indication for what tense is intended..

New King James Version

Isaiah 53:3
He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and
acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from
Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Third Millennium Bible
Isaiah 53:3
He is despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows,
and acquainted with grief. And we hid as it were our
faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed
Him not.

The Darby Translation
Isaiah 53:3
He is despised and left alone of men; a man of
sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and like one
from whom [men] hide their faces; -- despised,
and we esteemed him not.

Webster's Bible Translation
Isaiah 53:3
He is despised and rejected by men; a man of
sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as
it were [our] faces from him; he was despised,
and we esteemed him not.

The translation depends upon context, and the bias of the
translator.

Notice the variations in Isaiah 7:14: Is the young woman already
with child, or will she be with child:

New American Standard Version
Isaiah 7:14
"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:
Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son,
and she will call His name Immanuel.

New Revised Standard Version
Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look,
the young woman is with child and shall bear a son,
and shall name him Immanuel.

--
Wax





Abigail Holtz
2003-11-30 20:14:07 EST
In article <3FCA80CB.CF08DFB0@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net>,
L*s@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net says...

:===>Excellent explanation. Thanks for posting it.
:The only thing I question is the identification of
:"IMMANU-EL" with Hezekiah.
:I see 7:14 as a reference to one of the sons of
:Isaiah himself, along with SHEAR-JASHUB and
:MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ, as implied by
:8:18
:"Here stand I and the children the LORD has
:given me as signs and portents..."
:(JPS TANAKH - 1988 edition)
:It seems all three sons had significant names
:that indicates they were "signs and portents".

Yes, similar to Jeremiah who gave his children (whether or not they were
real or figurative) significant names.

Some commentary (including some Talmudic commentary, I believe) said that
the reference to the young woman is a reference to Isaiah's wife, and
"Immanuel" is his son. Most famously, this is Rashi's interpretation.

It's certainly possible. I went with what seems to me to be a more
cohesive explanation, but the Jewish interpretive tradition records many
different readings, and we're certainly not compelled to accept any
particular one of them...they're all kosher, even if some are minority
opinions. In fact, there are Talmudic readings that DO regard some parts
of Isaiah 53 as messianic (although not in the Christian sense) and later
Jewish mysticism (which, it must be admitted, was influenced by Christian
thought) read some of the passages as messianic.

I'm not sure which wife (Isaiah's or Ahaz's) is the more common
interpretation. My Stone Edition (which tends to be favored by the
Orthodox because there is more commentary and it's from an Orthodox slant
-- I use it because my bilingual JPS was ruined when my basement flooded)
includes the following commentary:

"Either Isaiah's (Rashi) or Ahaz' (Radak) young wife will bear a son and,
through prophetic inspiration, will give him the name Immanuel, which
means 'God is with us,' thus in effect prophesying that Judah will be
saved from the threat of Rezin and Pekah."

: I truly enjoy reading your comments. -- L.

Oh, thank you. I tend to worry that they're too dry and boring. And I
enjoy your posts a great deal. Having an erudite non-Christian, non-
Jewish, non-atheist perspective is refreshing.

--
Shalom,

Abby

Jessica L. Price
2003-11-30 23:47:00 EST

"Abigail Holtz" <phaedra_amara@excite.com> wrote in message
news:MPG.1a3451c223f1bf1f989697@news-server.wi.rr.com...

| Oh, thank you. I tend to worry that they're too dry and boring. And I
| enjoy your posts a great deal. Having an erudite non-Christian, non-
| Jewish, non-atheist perspective is refreshing.

Well, well, well. Abby's discovered newsgrouping. Pretty soon you'll be
as addicted as I am. "Holtz," hmm?

Hello again, Libertarius. Been corresponding with my reprobate cousin?
:-)

Warm regards,

Jessica





Libertarius
2003-12-01 09:53:59 EST


Abigail Holtz wrote:

> In article <3FCA80CB.CF08DFB0@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net>,
> Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net says...
>
> :===>Excellent explanation. Thanks for posting it.
> :The only thing I question is the identification of
> :"IMMANU-EL" with Hezekiah.
> :I see 7:14 as a reference to one of the sons of
> :Isaiah himself, along with SHEAR-JASHUB and
> :MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ, as implied by
> :8:18
> :"Here stand I and the children the LORD has
> :given me as signs and portents..."
> :(JPS TANAKH - 1988 edition)
> :It seems all three sons had significant names
> :that indicates they were "signs and portents".
>
> Yes, similar to Jeremiah who gave his children (whether or not they were
> real or figurative) significant names.
>
> Some commentary (including some Talmudic commentary, I believe) said that
> the reference to the young woman is a reference to Isaiah's wife, and
> "Immanuel" is his son. Most famously, this is Rashi's interpretation.
>
> It's certainly possible. I went with what seems to me to be a more
> cohesive explanation, but the Jewish interpretive tradition records many
> different readings, and we're certainly not compelled to accept any
> particular one of them...they're all kosher, even if some are minority
> opinions. In fact, there are Talmudic readings that DO regard some parts
> of Isaiah 53 as messianic (although not in the Christian sense) and later
> Jewish mysticism (which, it must be admitted, was influenced by Christian
> thought) read some of the passages as messianic.
>
> I'm not sure which wife (Isaiah's or Ahaz's) is the more common
> interpretation. My Stone Edition (which tends to be favored by the
> Orthodox because there is more commentary and it's from an Orthodox slant
> -- I use it because my bilingual JPS was ruined when my basement flooded)
> includes the following commentary:
>
> "Either Isaiah's (Rashi) or Ahaz' (Radak) young wife will bear a son and,
> through prophetic inspiration, will give him the name Immanuel, which
> means 'God is with us,' thus in effect prophesying that Judah will be
> saved from the threat of Rezin and Pekah."
>
> : I truly enjoy reading your comments. -- L.
>
> Oh, thank you. I tend to worry that they're too dry and boring. And I
> enjoy your posts a great deal. Having an erudite non-Christian, non-
> Jewish, non-atheist perspective is refreshing.

===>You are very kind.
And thanks for the support of my conclusions.
Good to be in the company of the great Shlomo Yitzchaki.

BTW, have you read "The Messiah Texts"
by Raphael Patai? It is quite interesting, and does
include a chapter on the "Suffering Messiah".
As Rabbi Yonassan Gershom wrote in his review:
"All in all, this is an excellent source book
for teachings that range from the sublime
to the utterly bizarre. If you only buy one book
on Jewish Messiah texts, this is it!"

I bought it many years ago, perhaps it is no
longer in print, but well worth reading. He has a truly
beautiful definition(?) of the word "Messiah" in his
introduction.

Shalom to you as well.

Libertarius
==============

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