ISAIAH 53 HOW DO THE RABBIS INTERPRET THIS?

Rabbi MOSES Alschech(1508-1600) says:
"Our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the Messiah, and we shall ourselves also adhere to the same view."

Abrabanel (1437-1508) said earlier:
"This is also the opinion of our own learned men in the majority of their Midrashim."

Rabbi Yafeth Ben Ali ( second half of the 10th Century):
"As for myself, I am inclined to regard it as alluding to the Messiah."

Abraham Farissol ( 1451- 1526) says:
"In this chapter there seem to be considerable resemblances and allusions to the work of the Christian Messiah and to the events which are asserted to have happened to Him, so that no other prophecy is to be found the gist and subject of which can be so immediately applied to Him."

Targum Jonathan ( 4th Century ) gives the introduction on Isa. 52:13:
"Behold, my servant the Messiah..."

Gersonides (1288-1344) on Deut. 18:18:
"In fact Messiah is such a prophet, as it is stated in the Midrasch on the verse,'Behold, my servant shall prosper...' (Isa. 52:13)."

Midrash Tanchuma:
"He was more exalted than Abraham, more extolled than Mose, higher than the archangels" (Isa.52:13).

Yalkut Schimeon ( ascribed to Rabbi Simeon Kara, 12th Century ) says on Zech.4:7:
"He ( the king Messiah ) is greater than the patriarchs, as it is said, 'My servant shall be high, and lifted up, and lofty exceedingly' (Isa. 52:13)."

Maimonides (1135-12O4) wrote to Rabbi Jacob Alfajumi:
"Likewise said Isaiah that He (Messiah) would appear without acknowledging a father or mother: 'He grew up before him as a tender plant and as a root out of a dry ground' etc. (Isa.53:2)."

Tanchuma:
"Rabbi Nachman says: ,The Word MAN in the passage, 'Every man a head of the house of his father' (Num.1,4), refers to the Messiah, the son of David, as it is written, 'Behold the man whose name is Zemach'(the Branch) where Jonathan interprets,'Behold the man Messiah' (Zech.6:12); and so it is said,'A man of pains and known to sickness' (Isa.53:3)."

Talmud Sanhedrin (98b):
"Messiah ...what is his name? The Rabbis say,'The leprous one'; those of the house of the Rabbi (Jehuda Hanassi, the author of the Mishna, 135-200) say: 'Cholaja' (The sickly), for it says, 'Surely he has borne our sicknesses' etc. (Isa.53,4)."

Pesiqta Rabbati (ca.845)on Isa. 61,10:
"The world-fathers (patriarchs) will one day in the month of Nisan arise and say to (the Messiah): 'Ephraim, our righteous Anointed, although we are your grandparents, yet you are greater than we, for you have borne the sins of our children, as it says: 'But surely he has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But he was pierced because of our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was laid upon him and through his wounds we are healed'(Isa.53,4-5)."

Rabbi Simeon Ben Jochai (2.Century), Zohar,, part II, page 212a and III, page 218a, Amsterdam Ed.):
"There is in the garden of Eden a palace called : 'The palace of the sons of sickness, <, this palace the Messiah enters, and summons every sickness, every pain, and every chastisement of Israel: they all come and rest upon Him. And were it not that He had thus lightened them off Israel, and taken them upon Himself, there had been no man able to bear Israels chastisement for the transgression of the law; this is that which is written, 'Surely our sicknesses he has carried' Isa.53,4).- As they tell Him (the Messiah) of the misery of Israel in their captivity, and of those wicked ones among them who are not attentive to know their Lord, He lifts up His voice and weeps for their wickedness; and so it is written,'He was wounded for our transgressions' (Isa.53,5). Midrash (on Ruth 2,14): "He is speaking of the King Messiah - 'Come hither', i.e.">Draw near to the throne<; 'eat of the bread', i.e.>, The bread of the kingdom.' This refers to the chastisements<, as it is said, 'But he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities' (Isa.53,5). Rabbi Elijah de Vidas (16.Century) :
"The meaning of 'He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities' is, that since the Messiah bears our iniquities which produce the ef fect of His being bruised, it follows that whoever will not admit that Messiah thus suffers for our iniquities must endure and suffer for them himself."

Siphre:
"Rabbi Jose the Galilean said, 'Come and learn the merits of the King Messiah and the reward of the Just - from the first man who received but one commandment, a prohibition, and transgressed it. Consider how many deaths were inflicted upon himself, upon his own generation, and upon those who followed them, till the end of all generations. Which attribute is greater, the attribute of goodness, or the attribute of vengeance?'- He answered, 'The attribute of goodness is greater, and the attribute of vengeance is the less.' - 'How much more then, will the King Messiah, who endures affliction and pains for the transgressions (as it is written, 'He was wounded,'etc.), justify all generations. This is the meaning of the word, 'And the LORD made the iniquity of us all to meet upon Him' (Isa.53:6)."

Rabbi Eleazer Kalir (9.Century) wrote the following Musaf Prayer:
"Our righteous Messiah has departed from us. Horror has seized us and we have no one to justify us. He has borne our transgressions and the yoke of our iniquities, and is wounded because of our transgressions. He bore our sins upon His shoulders that we may find pardon for our iniquity. We shall be healed by His wounds, at the time when the Eternal will recreate Him a new creature. Oh bring Him up from the circle of the earth, raise Him up from Seir, that we may hear Him the second time."

Rabbi Moses, 'The Preacher'(11. Century) wrote in his commentary on Genesis (page 660):
"From the beginning God has made a covenant with the Messiah and told Him,'My righteous Messiah, those who are entrusted to you, their sins will bring you into a heavy yoke'..And He answered, 'I gladly accept all these agonies in order that not one of Israel should be lost.' Immediately, the Messiah accepted all agonies with love, as it is written: 'He was oppressed and he was afflicted'."

Pesiqta (on Isa. 61:10):
"Great oppressions were laid upon You, as it says: 'By oppression and judgement he was taken away; but who considered in his time, that he was cut off out of the land of the living, that he was stricken because of the sins of our children' (Isa.53:8), as it says:'But the LORD has laid on him the guild of us all'(Isa.53:6)."

Brith Hachadasha (The New Testament) gives the following references to Isaiah 53:

Isaiah 53:1
-"Even after he had done so many miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: 'LORD, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?'" (John 12:37&38).

Isaiah 53:1
-"But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "LORD, who has believed our message?" - Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of God" (Rom.10:16&17).

Isaiah 53:4
-"He healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 'He took our infirmities' and carried our diseases' (Matth. 8:16&17)."

Isaiah 53:5-6
-"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls" (1 Peter 2:24&25).

Isaiah 53:7-8
-"The passage of the Scripture which he reads was this: "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth<. The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus." (Acts 8,32-35). Isaiah 53:9
-"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth" (1 Peter 2:22).

Isaiah 53:7-8
-"The passage of the Scripture which he read was this: He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.' The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus" (Acts 8:32-35).

Isaiah 53:9
-"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth" (1 Peter 2:22).

Isaiah 53:12
-"It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching fulfillment" (Luke 22:37).

Isaiah 53:12
-"They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. And the Scripture was fulfilled, which says: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors<."(Mark 15,27+28). .'" (Mark 15:27&28)

Alexander N. Benner who contributed this information.