Who is the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53? Part II
In the article Who is the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53? Part I we studied the controversy of two different interpretations of the mysterious servant who suffered for the sins of his people. Shlomo Yitzchaki aka Rashi in his comprehensive commentary on the prophecy in Isaiah 53 taught that the prophecy concerning the suffering servant was not about the Messiah but about Israel.
But we studied that he made his controversial arguments on the premises that the “he” is the nation of Israel, not the Messiah. And we were asking, verse by verse, the question, “If the “he” is the nation of Israel, who are the “we”?”
However, before Rashi, the common interpretation among the ancient Sages of blessed memory was that the suffering servant of YHVH was indeed the Messiah. These interpretations are supported by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, in his Commentary on Isa 53, Gutnic Edition Chamash, Vol. 3, p. 111, where he said that the Messiah was “the tsarah sufferer for us”.
So, who of them is right and can we be certain about the identity of the suffering servant of YHVH?
In order to answer these questions, we need to turn to the literal word of the Creator. And according to the Sages, this is the Bible Code.
Bible Code in Isaiah 53 vs. Rashi
In Hebrew the Bible Code is hachurak oht shalav or the latticework of the equidistant-letter sequence. Simply put, the Bible Code is a word or few words, embedded by the Author of the Scripture into the Hebrew text, which when read in an equidistant-letter sequence gives a hidden massage.
The sages consider the Bible Codes to be the literal word of the Creator, because it is humanly impossible to write it. The odds of a certain Bible code to occur randomly is astronomical. Therefore, the only one who can possibly write these hidden messages is the Omniscient One.
Let us examine the text below from Isaiah 53 and see if we can find a Bible code in it regarding the one who had taken upon himself our sins and iniquities and thus made himself representatively guilty, to endure the chastisement which those sins deserved:
(Isa 53:5) But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our crookedness. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
(Isa 53:6) We all, like sheep, went astray, each one of us has turned to his own way. And Yehovah has laid on Him the crookedness of us all.
(Isa 53:7) He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, but He did not open His mouth. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, but He did not open His mouth.
In the Hebrew text we read: in verse 5, starting with the 7th letter in the 5th word and counting every 20th letter from right to left spells in red ner YHVH, or “lamp of YHVH.” נֵר literally or figuratively means light. Or we may recall that a certain person claimed to be the light of the world.
(Isa 53:5) והוא מחלל מפשׁענו מדכא מעונתינו מוסר שׁלומנו עליו ובחברתו נרפא־לנו׃
(Isa 53:6) כלנו כצאן תעינו אישׁ לדרכו פנינו ויהוה הפגיע בו את עון כלנו׃
(Isa 53:7) נגשׂ והוא נענה ולא יפתח־פיו כשׂה לטבח יובל וכרחל לפני גזזיה נאלמה ולא יפתח פיו׃
However, this is not all. The following four verses are even more revealing as to the identity of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53. We read thus,
He was taken from prison and from judgment. And as for His generation, who considered that He shall be cut off from the land of the living? For the transgression of My people, He was stricken. (Isa 53:8)
And He was appointed a burial-site with the wrong, and with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was deceit in His mouth. (Isa 53:9)
But Yehovah was pleased to crush Him, He laid sickness on Him, that when He made Himself an offering for guilt, He would see a seed, He would prolong His days and the pleasure of Yehovah prosper in His hand. (Isa 53:10)
He would see the result of the suffering of His life and be satisfied. Through His knowledge My righteous Servant makes many righteous, and He bears their crookedness. (Isa 53:11)
What does the Bible Code in Isaiah 53 say? In verse 9, starting with the 2nd letter in the 11th word and counting every 54th letter from right to left spells Shiloh (in light blue), which according to the Sages is another name of the Messiah. The School of R. Shila said: “His name is Shiloh, for it is written, ‘until Shiloh come’.”
In verse 10, starting with letter yud in the 11th word and counting every 28th letter from left to right spells (in blue) Yochanan: Yeshua’s cousin, but also one of His disciples.
In verse 10 starting with 3rd letter in the 7th word and counting every 6th letter from right to left spells Miriam (in pink): Yeshua’s mother, but also one of His disciples.
In verse 11, starting from the 4th word, and counting every 19th letter from left to right spells Shaddai: meaning Almighty (in green).
In verse 11, starting with mem in the 9th word, the last letter of the word, and counting every 20th letter from left to right spells in red Yeshua Shmi, or in the context of Isa 53:9-12 this is the one whom Ezekiel saw sitting on the throne in the heaven: a likeness as the appearance of a man (Eze 1:26-28). This One states: Yeshua is my name.
In the Hebrew text we read and think of the impossible odds: what would be the mathematical probability of six codes to overlap in such a tiny space:
(Isa 53:8) מעצר וממשׁפט לקח ואת־דורו מי ישׂוחח כי נגזר מארץ חיים מפשׁע עמי נגע למו׃
(Isa 53:9) ויתן את־רשׁעים קברו ואת־עשׁיר במתיו על לא־חמס עשׂה ולא מרמה בפיו׃
(Isa 53:10) ויהוה חפץ דכאו החלי אם־תשׂים אשׁם נפשׁו יראה זרע יאריך ימים וחפץ יהוה בידו יצלח׃
(Isa 53:11) מעמל נפשׁו יראה ישׂבע בדעתו יצדיק צדיק עבדי לרבים ועונתם הוא יסבל׃
This suffering servant is the same One about whom Philip witnessed:
And running up, Philip heard him reading the prophet Yeshayahu, and said, “Do you know what you are reading?” And he said, “How am I able, unless someone guides me?” And he called Philip near, to come up and sit with him. And the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this, “He was led as a sheep to slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so He opened not His mouth. “In His humiliation He was deprived of right-ruling. And who shall declare His generation? Because His life was taken from the earth.” And the eunuch, answering Philip, said, “I ask you, about whom does the prophet say this, about himself or about some other?” And Philip opening his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached to him [about] Yeshua! (Act 8:30-35)
The Bible Code undoubtedly reveals the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 and His Name.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.