Bible passage: Isaiah 53:1-3
Written: Between 701-681 BC
In Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the prophet foreshadowed the life and mission of Jesus, who was born about 700 years later. In Isaiah 53:3, the prophet said that the Messiah would be rejected and despised. Jesus was indeed rejected by many people during the time of his ministry about 2000 years ago, before he was executed by the Romans.
It has been claimed by some writers that Isaiah 52:13-53:12 actually refers to Israel as a nation and not to an individual Messiah. But, there are several commentaries written by rabbis that show that even non-Christians widely acknowledged that the prophecy refers to a Messiah and not to a nation. Several examples of these writings are listed in the book, The Fifty-Third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters, edited by S.R. Driver and A.D. Neubauer. Here are two examples from that book:
"Our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the King Messiah, and we shall ourselves also adhere to the same view." - Rabbi Moshe Alshekh, 16th century.
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the meaning of which is that since the Messiah bears our iniquities which produce the effect of his being bruised, it follows that whoso will not admit that the Messiah thus suffers for our iniquities, must endure and suffer for them himself." - Rabbi Eliyyah de Vidas, who wrote during the 16th century.
- Research and commentary is based on the book 100 Prophecies. © Ray Konig and AboutBibleProphecy.com.
Here is Isaiah 53:1-3:
1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
(New International Version translation)