53:3 He was
despised and isolated from men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness. As
one from whom we would hide our faces; he was despised, and we had no regard
The Jewish people were so
despised by the nations that no one wanted to be near them - their company was
shunned by all. They were chased in exile from one place to another because
no one wanted them near. They were looked upon as less than human and on one
even wanted to behold them - they were avoided as if they were
plague-stricken. They Jewish people, indeed, became ill from maltreatment,
but received no mercy from their beholders, because they were so despised.
53:4 But in
truth, it was our ills that he bore, and our pains that he carried - but we
had regarded him diseased, stricken by G-d, and afflicted!
But when the nations will come to
realize that falsehoods they believed in, they will attribute Jewish suffering
to gentile sins and not to those of the Jewish people. Instead of seeing the
Jewish people as G-d-stricken, they will see them as their scapegoat.
Whereas they once saw them as
lacking in human qualities, in wisdom and ethics, they will now see that this
character "illness" was not inherent, but imposed by circumstances - the
circumstances which they imposed upon them. And whereas once they tortured
them "in G-d's Name," claiming that they are G-d-stricken, now they will admit
that the torture was, indeed, all gentile-imposed.
And the Jewish people, indeed,
suffer for the world as the heart suffers for the body - whatever illness
attacks the body is ultimately borne by the heart. And as the heart must be
kept in the very best shape in order to properly serve the body, the Jewish
people must be kept in the spiritually "best shape" - free of sin - so as to
properly serve the nations, because the Jewish people are the spiritual heart
of the world.
Thus the nations will realize
that THEY were the truly sick ones, but it was their heart, the Jewish people,
who bore their sins.
53:5 He was
pained because of our rebellious sins and oppressed through our iniquities;
the chastisement upon him was for our benefit, and through his wounds, we were
Yes, it was our sins, say the
nations - it was we who afflicted them. We were misled by our leaders who
told us that we must chastise them to bring ourselves peace.
53:6 We have all
strayed like sheep, each of us turning his own way, and Hashem inflicted upon
him the iniquity of us all.
All of the earth's nations will
then admit how they have strayed from the truth. Each of them may have gone
his own way - Western civilization, Eastern civilization, and within them,
each nation unique - but on persecuting the Jewish people they all agreed.
Each of them claimed their relgion was "The Truth," as did each of each
religion's countless sects. But whereas once they all invalidated Jewish
faith, they will all now proclaim the falsehood of their former beliefs. They
will proclaim how they all persecuted the Jewish people, following the
dictates of their leaders like sheep. Yet, this will not absolve them of
responsibility, for "each one went his own way," acting for his own
benefit - to loot the Jewish people of their possessions. The Jewish people
suffered dearly for the nations' sins.
The Mashiach, also, suffers
the sins of others, by those among our people who "go their own way" away from
Torah and following after the nations religions, which causes Mashiach to
tarry in his coming...this is how the "iniquity of us all" is
afflicted upon him.
53:7 He was
persecuted and afflicted, but he did not open his mouth; like a sheep being
led to the slaughter or a ewe that is silent before her shearers, he did not
open his mouth.
The Jewish were oppressed bodily,
like a lamb being taken to the slaughter. They were afflicted and fleeced
like a ewe by the confiscation of their belongings. But both things they
endured silently, as do the sheep and the ewe.
They also endured the gentiles'
religious torments - the "debates" sponsored in the "name of truth." But
whereas the gentiles were backed by government authority and power, the voice
of the Jew was silenced even when he proved himself right - who can argue with
authority? This, too, they accepted with silent endurance and went to the
stake with faith on their lips.
53:8 Now that he
has been released from captivity and judgment, who could have imagined such a
generation? For he had been removed from the land of the living, an
affliction upon him that was my people's sin.
Who can speak about what each
generation went through in the confinement and judgment of exile? They were
cut off from the "land of the living," the Land of Yisra'el, and tortured by
the nations. The nations claim that the "sins of my people," says
Yeshayahu, brought this plague upon them.
But the Jewish people will be
taken from the "confinement and judgment" imposed upon them by the kings, the
"confined" ones, and the judges: The kings authorized Jewish persecution and
the judges were its executors. And now they will admit that it was not
Jewish sin, but the sins of my nation, each one will say, which
brought the exile upon them.
53:9 He submitted
himself to his grave like wicked men; and the wealthy [submitted] to his
executions, for committing on crime and with no deceit in his mouth.
The Jewish people had always been
ready to give up their lives for G-d - to accept whatever devilish "deaths"
the powerful "rich and wicked" decreed upon them and to be buried wherever
they would be thrown. Accused of being wicked themselves and of amassing
wealth unscrupulously, they were slaughtered mercilessly as the wicked would
be slaughtered and their riches looted in their deaths. Even in death, their
graves were desecrated and dug up in search of buried treasures. But they had
done no violence to deserve such a fate, their only "sin" was that they
refused to apostatize and speak a faith of "deceit."
desired to oppress him and He afflicted him; if his soul would acknowledge
guilt, he would see offspring and live long days and the desire of Hashem
would succeed in his hand.
Although the Jewish people in
exile maintained their faith, they were not free of sin. So they suffered and
were "oppress[ed]" to atone for their sins - it was G-d Who made them
afflicted. Yet, G-d's intention was not to destroy them, only to make them
"afflicted." His intention was that they seek Him from their pain and merit to
hasten Redemption. But to do this they must confront their sins, to "consider
themselves culpable." They will then "see offspring" return to the Land and
remain there for a "long days" - they will never be exiled again. All
nations, then, will also serve G-d, when the Jewish people's mission, G-d's
purpose, will end in success - their mission to proclaim G-d on earth.
53:11 He would
see [the purpose] and be satisfied with his soul's distress. With his
knowledge My servant will vindicate the Righteous One to multitudes; it is
their iniquities that he will carry.
In the End, the Jewish people
will see the meaning of all that they went through - "[the purpose].....his
soul's distress." They will see how it all was for their refinement and this
knowledge will satisfy them. And with this knowledge, this wisdom, they will
teach many nations and bring them all back to G-d.
And the truly righteous among
them will see fruit in their misery even while still in exile: Their faith in
the Future allays all pain in the present and satisifies them even now.
But the greatest misery that they
suffer in exile is the burden of their own sins - this they "see" and realize
themselves. But despite their own sins, they remained faithful to G-d and
that very faith brought deep satisfaction, even though they were materially
wanting. It helped them remain righteous to G-d even when they were burdened
with the nations' "sins" - their torture.
The Mashiach, too, will become
wise from his suffering and will know the way to lead others to right. He
will show them that way which leads back to G-d and will rectify, "bear,"
Therefore I shall give him a portion with many and he shall split booty with
mighty ones. For he exposed himself to death and let himself be counted
among transgressors, whereas he bore the sins of many and prayed for the
Because the Jewish people were always ready for
martydom, to "expose themselves to death," because they bore the nations'
branding of them as "transgressors" when, in truth, they bore their sins
and prayed for them, G-d will return their Land to them, giving them rule
over "many" and the booty of "mighty" nations.