Christianity -- Christian Living/Isaiah- the suffering Servant
QUESTION: I have been exploring this verse via internet sources as I am no Bible scholar, I rely on looking at various "expert" opinions on the web. When I look at the Jewish take they say it is the Nation of Israel as earlier in the book it clearly is. But then they answer the fact that it is singular here when plural earlier by saying Israel is metaphorically singular in other parts of Bible ( all true)my Question to them was does this switch in metaphor plural/singular or male/female occur elsewhere in the bible in the same book when the book is primarily by one author. If not then why does Isaiah do it. I'm asking again here as you would be a good double check on their response.
The rabbis are correct, the Christians are not.
In the previous chapter the reference is clearly to People Israel as you note. This is to all the people individually. When it becomes singular its because of the shift to the restored hope of Israel (HaMoshiach). For Jews, while HaMoshiach (Messiah) will be a single individual his role is as part of the people (he wont be an incarnate god etc), and so the references usually focus more on the Messianic age when the people will embrace Torah than on the man himself. People Israel suffers for the world's transgressions etc., their punishment is on Israel as the holy nation of priests (Exodus 19:6). HaMoshiach will lead us into the Kingdom for the glory of HaShem (G-d).
I hope this helps clarify it.
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QUESTION: sorry you have missed the question; the question was can you show me where in another book which has a singular author does the author change metaphors for Israel from plural to singular or male to female because if it doesn't occur elsewhere then it is reasonable to ask why would Isaiah do this? as clear from above
"my Question to them was does this switch in metaphor plural/singular or male/female occur elsewhere in the bible in the same book when the book is primarily by one author. If not then why does Isaiah do it. I'm asking again here as you would be a good double check on their response."
Your response of ignoring the question is worrying.
ANSWER: Hi Anthony,
I did not ignore your question. I don't do that.
The important issue you raise here is what the prophet teaches in these verses and why he changes from plural to singular. I answered this for you in some detail. You ask: "If not then why does Isaiah do it." Since your first answer is that obviously this is done in many verses, your second takes priority according to the way you framed your question, hence I focused on it. I shared what and why the prophet teaches what he does here as requested. The answer is as I explained.
As for the obvious first part of the question, there are many examples, however even there wasn't it would not matter. The teachings of these two chapters is obvious when read as they are. At Exodus 19:6 we have: "You" (singular) will be a a kingdom of priests (plural), and an holy nation (inclusive).
Again, Isaiah 41:8 But thou (singular), Israel (plural in context), art my servant (singular), Jacob whom I have chosen ("Jacob" used as a plural inclusive of all of his descendents), the seed (singular meaning many) of Abraham my friend.
The context is clear when read without Christian preconceptions that the "Suffering Servant" refers to People Israel as the New Testament confirms. For instance Mary says: Luke 1:54 He [HaShem] has helped His servant Israel [People Israel as the single Servant as referenced by Isaiah), in remembrance of His mercy... "
What is also perfectly clear is that HaShem is echad: One and Indivisible:
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one [echad] LORD:
Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord;
And that Y'shua (Jesus) is not God: John 14:28 ...my Father is greater than I.
Our rabbis and sages are the leaders of People Israel (the Suffering Servant). They were given the Tanakh and they have the proper understanding of it. No one who denies the "First Commandment" (Deuteronomy 6:4) is teaching biblical doctrine. The Bible teaches strict monotheism not trinitarianism.
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QUESTION: OK its my fault as I have not made clear the primary question and as such you are answering the follow up. So, thank you for your patience but
Does this switch in metaphor plural/singular or male/female occur elsewhere in the bible in the same book when the book is primarily by one author ?
A simple yes with references or no would suffice for now and if you would like to discuss the implications of this after we can do it one question at a time. thank you for your time in this.
Again, yes: Isaiah 41:8 etc.
My answer stands.
Unless you are attempting to support the inaccurate understanding that the Christian Jesus is the Suffering Servant referenced by Isaiah despite what the text clearly says, I'm not clear what you are looking for.
The Bible must be understood in the context of the given section, and as a whole, and in harmony with the wisdom of the elders of our people (people Israel). Rav Paul calls this "rightly dividing the Word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15). Trying to support false doctrine with "proof texts" and ignoring context is both a waste of time and a recipe for heresy.
Israel (singular), i.e. the chosen people of G-d (plural) is the Suffering Servant of HaShem.
"No man has seen God at ANY time": Exodus 33:20 I John 4:12
Many people saw Rebbe Y'shua.