25 But I know my living Redeemer,
and He will stand on the dust at last.
26 Even after my skin has been destroyed,
yet I will see God in my flesh.
27 I will see Him myself;
my eyes will look at Him, and not as a stranger.
My heart longs within me.
Analysis: Before the advent of the prophets Job posed an interesting question. Will the Lord actually stand upon the earth? Will those who have died be resurrected to see the Lord? It was clear from the prophetic books of the Tenakh [but not from Torah] that there would be a resurrection of the [“righteous”] dead in the Last Day, and that God would again be among the people as He was in Eden. The Pharisees accepted this, as do modern or rabbinical Orthodox Jews, though they often add to this the belief that only after the Jews “clean up the world” and become more faithful will Messiah come. [This is not too different from Muslim beliefs about the Mahdi, which are probably drawn from this.]
15 I, even I, have spoken;
yes, I have called him.
I will bring him,
and he will succeed in his mission.16 “Come near me and listen to this: “From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret;
at the time it happens, I am there.” And now the Sovereign Lord has sent me,
endowed with his Spirit.
Analysis: It is reasonably clear that He who is calling is the LORD, YHVH, but ALL of those He calls, whether prophet, king, or messiah, will succeed in their mission, because God will empower them, and He is sovereign. To rabbinical Jews and others it is quite reasonable to read this as it is God calling Isaiah, and saying that Isaiah, endowed with His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, has been sent [as in Isaiah 6], and will succeed. God tells Him that he will prophesy at length, but that most will reject his message. That is the mission — he succeeded by giving the prophecy even though Israel did not repent. So, the “I” is God, and the “him” and the “me” could very well be Isaiah. Another reading of this passage concludes if this were true then Isaiah had the power to call him and bring him who will succeed in his mission. Isaiah can call the Lord but cannot bring him so that he would succeed in his mission. So the “I” cannot be Isaiah. He who is called and brought is in human form because he will succeed in his mission. If the “I” is the Lord then He could call and bring him who will succeed in his mission. It’s ultimate fulfillment in the Messiah.
In verse 16 the Lord sets out to solve the mystery. The first announcement is the opening statement in the Hebrew Bible.
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Analysis: The Holy Spirit/Ruakh HaKodesh is a distinct persona or aspect from that of God Almighty/YHWH in Genesis. But the role of the Son distinct from the Father is not. There is no explicit indication of God’s triune nature in the Torah.
53 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.
Analysis: These verses point toward Jewish disbelief in what the Lord has revealed. What we know is He is in human form and not necessarily attractive.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Analysis: Does this describe Yeshua who was despised and rejected by His people? He suffered and was held in contempt by many of his own people. If it is not Yeshua then who is this person?
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Analysis: The rabbinical Jews assert that this refers to the Jews as a people who have suffered and been pierced, crushed, etc., and when they turn their hearts back to God [and live according to the “Oral Law” as defined by the rabbis], they will be restored. The key issue is that the Jews were never sinless; and the Redeemer here had to be sinless.
In the context of this chapter this person, who came from God, took on Himself our pain and suffering. When it happened those who rejected him considered him punished by God. Here it is obvious this person is an atoning sacrifice for his people. He was pierced and wounded for our benefit. We have all sinned and are not worthy yet the Lord laid all of our sin on Him. Through Him we are spiritually healed.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Analysis: He who was sent from the Lord was sent to slaughter after a trial. Only a few objected and then He was killed and punished for His people’s transgression. He was killed with others who were condemned yet a rich man would be a part of his death. The person that suffered has done no wrong.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Analysis: The event is the Lord’s will. The Lord makes Him the sin atonement. Yet He will see his offspring, His days will be prolonged and the Lord’s desire will prosper with Him. I thought he was dead? How can He live? After he suffers He will see life and live. He who died and yet lives will justify many and bear all sins. God will reward Him because He bled profusely. The crucified person suffocates or has a heart attack from stress. This same Jesus was considered as one of the transgressors, but he actually bore the sin of many and made sinners acceptable to God. Only the Lord, who is God, could do this.
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
Analysis: Without first demonstrating that God is triune, this would still pose a problem for Jewish readers. This would sound to them like God the Father taking a human Messiah, Moshiakh ben David, and GIVING him authority, glory and sovereignty worthy of worship. The term “son of man” fits with this. In this vision Daniel sees one who looks like a man coming out of the heavens. He will come like this at the end of days. He who looks like a man will not only be given authority over all but will be worshiped. Since only God can be worshiped the man who comes in the clouds of heaven is the Lord. When he comes on the clouds His dominion will last forever. Therefore, the rabbinical concept of Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David cannot be valid because both of these messiahs, the suffering one and the conquering one are both human and not the Lord so they could never have an everlasting dominion, receive worship and not fear being destroyed by the enemies of the Jewish people.
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
Analysis: Jews can read this as describing anyone of descent from the line of David, who is established in the Tenakh as having lineage back to the antiquity of the Patriarchs. But many Jews who can trace lineage back to David have lived in Bethlehem, not just Yeshua. Of course, in conjunction with all the other prophecies He alone fulfilled, makes the argument. This God-man was born in Bethlehem in Judah. He will rule in Israel because his origin goes back to the beginning of all creation.
9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Analysis: Those Jews who delve deeply into the subject would assert that Jesus knew the prophecy and intentionally acted with the apostles to fulfill it. They would also question how Jesus could be called victorious since he was soon to die on the cross. They have to understand and accept the triune nature of God, the full meaning of substitutionary atonement, and the divine virgin birth, before this prophecy would be relevant. If Zechariah 9:9 was the only scripture that Jesus fulfilled the rabbinical argument would be stronger. Given the other prophesies attributed to Jesus and not anyone else we can conclude the King of Israel, born in Bethlehem came to the Jewish people riding on a donkey.
10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, 14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.
Analysis: He who was pierced in Isaiah 53 will be seen alive by His people and they will grieve bitterly. Notice I will pour out; They will look on Me and they will mourn for Him. One God described in three ways.
3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. 6 On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. 7 It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light. 8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. 9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. 10 The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up high from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses, and will remain in its place. 11 It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure. 12 This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13 On that day people will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another. 14 Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected—great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. 15 A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps. 16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain.
Analysis: This prophecy is considered by rabbinical Jews as foretelling the “only” coming of Messiah to save & restore Israel and establish His kingdom over the whole earth, with Israel as his capital. This is what some Jews in Yeshua’s day were expecting and were deeply disappointed when it didn’t happen. Instead, Yeshua was crucified and buried. The rabbis have always denied the resurrection, insisting that the body of Yeshua was stolen by his disciples to establish the claim that he was resurrected. Of course, this disregards the seal on the tomb and the guards’ testimony. In Biblical Christianity the Lord goes out to fight and His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. God has become man…again. The Lord comes with holy ones—those who died yet live with him. The Lord who comes will not just be King of Israel, the Lord who comes as man will be King of the world. After He comes Jerusalem it will be forever secure. Verse 16 states the Lord Almighty is the King who is worthy of worship. Once again it states the Lord Almighty who comes to earth is the King.
3 ‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? 4 But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 5 ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’ 6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
Analysis: Haggai is speaking of the pre-Herodian second Temple, which was a far plainer structure than the original Solomonic Temple destroyed by the Babylonians. Long after Haggai’s time but before Yeshua’s, Herod I built it up into a much grander structure — it was really a totally new & much larger building except for the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. Herod’s Temple was destroyed in 70AD. To the rabbinical Jews, the Temple described here is a Third Temple to be built when Messiah comes.
According to Biblical Christianity, in Zechariah the Lord Almighty will come in human form. This Lord is the same one who made the covenant. This is the same Lord who bestows the Holy Spirit to His people. This is the same Lord Almighty who came into the second Temple. This is why the second Temple had greater glory than Solomon’s Temple.
3 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former year.
Analysis: According to the rabbis this can be read as indicating something to come in the Last Days, when Messiah comes and the offerings are brought by God-fearing Jews in a new Temple before Messiah. Biblical Christianity sees Malachi’s prophesy as putting it all together. One will come before the Lord to prepare his way. The Lord, who the Jewish people seek, came to His Temple. This is the same Lord who made the original covenant is the messenger of the covenant. This same Lord will come in the end to ascend His throne where the Jews will recognize him and bring him acceptable offerings. It will be like it was in the times of the original covenant.
Conclusion: Despite the clear evidence from the Torah and the rest of the Tenakh, it is very hard for Jewish people to accept what most of their rabbis have rejected for various reasons, including the desire to maintain the national identity and uniqueness of the Jews as the Chosen People. Not only did the Lord become man multiple times in the Tenakh but He came to the Jewish people 2000 years ago claiming exactly what is contained in the Hebrew Bible. He was rejected as predicted in that same Bible. The Jewish religious leaders rejected what he claimed and demanded His death. They desperately wanted Messiah to come, but they wanted him to come as a mortal man, an inspired hero like Moses, Gideon, David, or most recently Judah HaMakabee who had liberated them from the Hellenist Greeks and established the Hasmonean dynasty. They wanted a liberator-king who would leave the Priesthood and the Pharisaical rabbis with their traditional authorities, privileges and status. They did not want Messiah on God’s terms — His own Son, who would establish His own spiritual kingdom, and share it with all nations. What they did not understand was this all worked to God’s divine purpose to cleanse us from sin and make us acceptable to His salvation. What He did, as Atonement, paved the way to eternal life for those who accept it.
Unfortunately the rabbis who are the descendants of the Pharisees have been very successful convincing Jewish people to reject Yeshua, because this became a primary article of faith — those accepting Yeshua as Messiah would forfeit their Jewish identity and be banished from their community. They instructed the Jewish people to only trust the interpretation of the Jewish scriptures they devised in the Talmud [the so-called “Oral Law,” which they claimed YHVH provided to Moses on Sinai]. They never explain why the LORD would only provide PART of His perfect Law in writing, but the rest only verbally. Neither Moses nor the later prophets nor the priesthood are recorded in the Tenakh as referencing or even alluding to an “Oral Law.” The “Oral Law” in fact had its origins not at Mt. Sinai along with the Torah, but centuries later, during the Babylonian captivity, as rabbinical exegesis on the Torah to establish ways to continue Jewish faith and practice in exile and without an Ark, Altar, or Levitical sacrifices. Most of it was developed AFTER Jesus’ ministry and the destruction of the Second Temple. As one can plainly see when one follows the Holy Scriptures with the guidance of the Holy Spirit it reveals mysteries previously hidden. Rabbinical Judaism elevates the rabbi’s and Jewishness above one’s personal relationship with the God so vividly portrayed in the Scriptures as the key to the power and joy of heroes of faith like the Patriarchs, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and David. Where Rabbinical Judaism embraces legalism, Biblical Judaism points towards the coming Messiah and points prophetically towards eternal life because it accurately identifies the LORD God Almighty and what He has accomplished throughout Jewish history despite Jewish sinfulness. That LORD is specifically made known in the New Covenant Scriptures. Israel — come to your Messiah. Come to the LORD God Almighty and be saved.