It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
"And he said to me,'You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.'" Isaiah 49:3 (NRS)
The fact is that the identity of the servant has already been established by Isaiah in previously stated passages. In Isaiah 41 :8-9; 44:1-2, 21; 45:4; 48:20; 49:3 the prophet identifies Israel as the servant. Moreover, the history of Israel, down through the ages shows that the servant is, none other than Israel personified. Chapter 53 reiterates this fact by providing an historic overview of the tragedies and triumphs of the servant, Israel, throughout its history. Who would believe that this exiled nation, this humiliated loathsome Jewish people would be fated to survive the vicissitudes of its historical sufferings to once more have a future entailing prominence, hope, and joy.
Pilate said to them, Then what shall I do with Jesus Who is called Christ?
23They all replied, Let Him be crucified! And he said, Why? What has He done that is evil? But they shouted all the louder, Let Him be crucified!
24So when Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but rather that a riot was about to break out, he took water and washed his hands in the presence of the crowd, saying, I am not guilty of nor responsible for this righteous Man's blood; see to it yourselves.
25And all the people answered, Let His blood be on us and on our children!
To understand the extent and the manner in which the church tampered with the Jewish scriptures, let's examine the verse that you insist "proves" that Jesus is the messiah. Psalm 22:16 in the King James Version (KJV) reads, Dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. It isn't difficult to understand why Christians are so confident that this verse contains a clear reference to Jesus' crucifixion. Of whom, missionaries ask, other than Jesus, could the Psalmist be speaking? To which other individual in history, whose hands and feet were pierced, could the Bible be referring?
Apparently, you were so impressed by this argument that you wondered how a rabbi like myself could miss this obvious reference to Jesus' crucifixion. Paradoxically, well-educated Jews are utterly repelled by the manner in which the church rendered the words of Psalm 22:17.
Although in a Jewish Bible this verse appears as Psalm 22:17, in a Christian Bible it appears as 22:16. So as not to create confusion, I refer to this controversial verse as Psalm 22:17 throughout this article.
To understand how Christian translators rewrote the words of King David, let's examine the original Hebrew words of this verse with a proper translation. Dogs have encompassed me. A company of evildoers has enclosed me; like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet.
Notice that when the original words of the Psalmist are read, any allusion to a crucifixion disappears. The insertion of the word "pierced" into the last clause of this verse is a not-too-ingenious Christian interpolation that was created by deliberately mistranslating the Hebrew word kaari as "pierced." The word kaari, however, does not mean "pierced," it means "like a lion." The end of Psalm 22:17, therefore, properly reads "like a lion they are at my hands and my feet." Had King David wished to write the word "pierced," he would never use the Hebrew word kaari. Instead, he would have written either daqar or ratza, which are common Hebrew words in the Jewish scriptures. Needless to say, the phrase "they pierced my hands and my feet" is a Christian contrivance that appears nowhere in the Jewish scriptures. Bear in mind, this stunning mistranslation in the 22nd Psalm did not occur because Christian translators were unaware of the correct meaning of this Hebrew word. Clearly, this was not the case. The word kaari can be found in a number of other places in the Jewish scriptures. Yet predictably, the same Christian translators who rendered kaari as "pierced" in Psalm 22 correctly translated it "like a lion" in all other places in the Hebrew Bible where this word appears.
For example, the word kaari is also found in Isaiah 38:13. In the immediate context of this verse Hezekiah, the king of Judah, is singing a song for deliverance from his grave illness. In the midst of his supplication he exclaims in Hebrew Notice that the last word in this phrase (moving from right to left) is the same Hebrew word kaari that appears in Psalm 22:17. In this Isaiah text, the King James Version correctly translates these words "I reckoned till morning that, as a lion . . . ." As I mentioned above, Psalm 22:17 is the only place in all of the Jewish scriptures that any Christian Bible translates kaari as "pierced."
It must be noted that the authors of the New Testament were not responsible for inserting the word "pierced" into the text of Psalm 22:17. This verse was undoubtedly tampered with years after the Christian canon was completed. Bear in mind, during the latter half of the first century, when the New Testament writers were compiling their Greek manuscripts, Psalm 22:17 was still in pristine condition; thus, when the authors of the New Testament read this verse, they found nothing in the phrase "like a lion they are at my hands and my feet" that would advance their teachings. As a result, Psalm 22:17 is never quoted in the New Testament. Missionaries, who insist that the Christian translation of this verse reflects the original words of King David, must wonder why there was not one New Testament author who deemed this supposed allusion to the crucifixion worthy of being mentioned in his writings.
The Bible tampering that has occurred in this verse becomes especially obvious with only a cursory reading of the entire 22nd Psalm. Throughout this chapter, King David is using an animal motif to describe his enemies. His poignant references to the "dog" and "lion" are, therefore, not foreign to this author. In fact, David repeatedly makes reference to the "dog" and "lion" both before and after Psalm 22:17. For the Psalmist, these menacing beasts symbolize his bitter foes who continuously sought to destroy him. This metaphor, therefore, sets the stage for the moving theme of this chapter. Although David's predicament at times seems hopeless, this faithful king of the Jewish people relied on God for his deliverance. As the Psalmist eagerly looks to God for deliverance from his adversaries, he conveys the timeless message that it is the Almighty alone who can save man in times of tribulation. Let's examine a number of verses in this chapter that surround Psalm 22:17 as they appear in the King James Version.
As mentioned above, it is obvious when reading this larger section of the 22nd Psalm that King David is using an animal motif -- most commonly lions -- as an animated literary device, in order to describe his pursuers and tormentors. This striking style is pervasive in this section of the Bible. In fact, each and every time the word "lion" appears in the Book of Psalms, King David is referring to a metaphoric lion, rather than a literal animal.
For example, in the 17th Psalm King David appeals to the Almighty to rescue him from the hands of his enemies, the "lion." Bear in mind, an examination of the 17th Psalm is of great relevance to our study because in many respects Psalm 17 and 22 are identical, both with regard to their literary motif and driving theme. In the 17th Psalm, King David is looking for deliverance from his adversaries as in Psalm 22. In Psalm 17:8-12, the Psalmist pleads with God for deliverance from the "lion," as he cries out, Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about. They are enclosed in their own fat; with their mouths they speak proudly. They have now compassed us in our steps; they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth, like a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
Again, in Psalm 35:17, in a similar supplication, King David entreats the Almighty for salvation from "lions" as he exclaims, Lord, how long wilt thou look on? Rescue my soul from their destruction, my darling from the lions. Moreover, missionaries are confronted with another remarkable problem as they seek to project the words of this Psalm into a first century crucifixion story. In the simplest terms, this text that Christians eagerly quote is not a prophecy, nor does it speak of any future event. This entire Psalm, as well as the celebrated Psalm that follows it, contains a dramatic monologue in which King David cried out to God from the depths of his personal pain, anguish, and longing as he remained a fugitive from his enemies. Accordingly, the stirring monologue in this chapter is all in the first person. The author himself is crying out to God, and there is no doubt who the faithful speaker is in this Psalm; the very first verse in this chapter explicitly identifies this person as King David.
For nearly two millennia the church has insisted that the Hebrew word alma can only mean “virgin.” The church must hold this position because Matthew 1:22-23 translates alma in Isaiah 7:14 as “virgin.” The first Gospel quotes this well-known verse to provide the only “Old Testament” proof text for the supposed virgin birth of Jesus. The stakes are high for Christendom, because if the Hebrew word alma does not mean virgin, Matthew is misquoting the prophet Isaiah, and both a key tenet of Christianity and the credibility of the first Gospel collapses.
How accurate is this Christian claim? The place to explore this issue is in the Jewish scriptures. If the Hebrew word alma means virgin then each usage in the Bible must be either a clear reference to a virgin or at least be ambiguous. The word alma appears in the Jewish scriptures seven times. If even one reference clearly refers to a woman who is not a virgin, then Matthew’s rendition of Isaiah 7:14 becomes untenable.
One of the places where the uncommon Hebrew word alma appears in the Bible is in Proverbs 30:18-20 which reads, There are three things which are too wonderful for me, four which I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the middle of the sea, and the way of a man with a young woman [b’alma]. This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, “I have done no wrong.”
In the above three verses, King Solomon compares a man with an alma to three other things: an eagle in the sky, a serpent on a rock, and a ship in the sea. What do these three things all have in common? They leave no trace. After the eagle has flown across the sky, determining that the eagle had ever flown there is impossible. Once a snake has slithered over a rock, there is no way to discern that the snake had ever crossed there (as opposed to a snake slithering over sand or grass, where it leaves a trail). After a ship has moved across the sea, the water comes together behind it and there is no way to tell that a ship had ever passed through there. Similarly, King Solomon informs us that once a man has been with an alma there is also no trace of the fornication that had occurred between them. Therefore, in the following verse (verse 20) King Solomon explains that once this adulterous woman has eaten (a metaphor for her fornication), she removes the trace of her sexual activity by exclaiming, “I have done no wrong.” The word alma clearly does not mean virgin.
In the same way that in the English language the words “young woman” have no bearing on whether virginity is present or not, in the Hebrew language there is no relationship between the words alma and virgin. On the contrary, it is usually a young woman who bears children. Had Isaiah wished to speak about a virgin birth, he would have used the word betulah1 not alma. Betulah is a common word in the Jewish scriptures, and can only mean “virgin.”
1 In fact, although Isaiah used the Hebrew word alma only one time in his entire corpus (7:14), the prophet uses this word virgin (betulah) five times throughout the book of Isaiah (23:4; 23:12; 37:22; 47:1; 62:5).
You have to understand we do not follow the same scripture.
The rod of authority will not be taken from Judah, and he will not be without a law-giver, till he comes who has the right to it, and the peoples will put themselves under his rule.