☰ MENU

WHAT SOME RABBIS SAY

While it is commonly taught that the Messiah’s role is to restore the Kingdom of God, there is also a basis for a suffering Messiah in Jewish thought. The basis for believing that Messiah would come humbly and suffer for the sins of the Jewish people is found in our chapter, Isaiah 53. Let’s look at the sources:

But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

Messiah Son of David who loves Jerusalem… Elijah takes him by the head… and says “You must bear the sufferings and wounds by which the Almighty chastises you for Israel’s sins” and so it is written, He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. (Midrash Konen; 11th century)

The children of the world are members one of another. When the Holy One desires to give healing to the world, he smites one just man amongst them, and for his sake heals all the rest. From where do we learn this? From the saying [Isaiah 53:5], “He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. (Zohar, Numbers, Pinchus 218a)

Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days, and that the purpose of the LORD might prosper by his hand (Isaiah 53:10)

The Messiah, in order to atone for them both [Adam and David], will make his soul a trespass offering [Isaiah 53:10] as it is written next to this parashah “Behold my servant” [Isaiah 52:13]. (Midrash Aseret Memrot)