Skip to comments.A Jewish response: Three Old Testament Biblical Passages Misinterpreted as Referencing Jesus
Posted on 05/10/2018 9:32:56 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Recently, PJ Media published a piece purporting to demonstrate that three Biblical passages refer to the crucifixion of the Messiah. The piece erroneously refers to all three of these passages as prophecies, and wrenches them out of context in the attempt to make the point. I have been asked to offer a response indicating what these passages really mean.
The first, which is not a prophecy, is Psalms XXII, 16-18. The salient passage is actually at the end of verse 17, which the author renders as follows: They have pierced my hands and my feet. On the basis of this reading, he concludes that the Psalmist (who is unambiguously identified in verse 2 of the Psalm as King David; we need no vague ascription in either Jewish or Christian tradition since it is part of the text) is predicting an event said to have occurred some 900 years in the future from his time.
The problem is that the original text says nothing of the sort. This is how verse 17 reads in the original (in transliteration, for those who dont read Hebrew): Ki sevavuni kelavim, adath meraim heqifuni, kaari yadai veraglai. An accurate English translation is: For dogs have surrounded me, a community of evil-doers has hemmed me in, like a lion, my hands and feet.
The verb pierce doesnt occur anywhere in the passage; the reader will also note the verb tense, which is perfective, referring to a situation which has already occurred and is a current fact.
Putting this into the context of the rest of the Psalm, it is a lament by King David who feels G-d-forsaken and abandoned, beset by his enemies on all sides -- E-li E-li lamma azavtani (My G-d, my G-d, why have you abandoned me?) -- and goes on to discuss his trials. He then prays: Veatta Ha-Shem al tirchaq eyaluthi leezrathi chisha. Hatzila mecherev nafshi, miyad kelev yechidathi. Hoshieni mipi arye, umiqarnei remim anithani (And You, Ha-Shem, my strength, be not distant, hasten to my aid. Rescue from the sword my life, from the hand of a dog my soul. Save me from the mouth of the lion, You have answered me from the horns of remim [the rem was a large, horned beast, now extinct, which was apparently still around in Davids day].) It goes on in this vein until the end.
We cant know for certain, but this Psalm was probably composed about the time King Shaul was hunting David down, or perhaps during the revolt of his son Avshalom, when he was also being pursued. In this vein, it is similar to other Psalms which David composed at times of great stress, when it seemed his prayers werent being answered; see Psalms CXVIII, 10-12: Kol goyim sevavuni, beshem Ha-Shem ki amilam. Sabbuni gam sevavuni, beshem Ha-Shem ki amilam. Sabbuni kidvorim doachu keesh qotzim, beshem Ha-Shem ki amilam (All nations have surrounded me, for in the name of Ha-Shem I will destroy them. They enveloped me, also surrounded me, for in the name of Ha-Shem I will destroy them. They enveloped me like bees, thorns stung like fire, in the name of Ha-Shem I will destroy them.)
Sorry, doesn’t fly.
RE: Sorry, doesnt fly.
Please elaborate instead of giving a one phrase response. This is why I post this thread.
Isn’t it interesting that the so much of the Old Testament is perfectly reflective of Jesus’s time on earth while still being relevant to its original time and place?
I’m Noahide and so have no axe to grind, though Christianity is a predominant force for Good in the world, and the United States could not have been founded without it.
Dont want Jesus? Do the Law. All of it.
There is double fulfillment of many prophecies but ultimately to OT points us to Jesus. His is the greater fulfillment. It is all about Jesus.
Not really going to take a Jews interpretation of the holy bible seriously (no offense of course).
John 1:11: He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Isaiah 53:3: He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
One really has to twist themselves into a pretzel to avoid Yeshua in the Holy Scriptures.
This is the problem with Martin Luther’s version of “sola scripture”: which version shall we follow?
The Septuagint was created by Jews and was utterly unambiguous. It is this version (or perhaps a related Hebrew version that the Septuagint was translated from) that Jesus cited.
The differences were pointed out to St. Jerome, who largely went with the Hebrew version he had been given by Jews, instead of the Septuagint, even pointing out the total absence of seven entire books. He was accused of denying the scriptural authority of those books, a charge he bitterly resented.
The Catholic church used the translation created by St. Jerome, but continued to use the seven books absent from St. Jerome’s Hebrew source, and continued to use the New Testament’s Greek verbatim, even where doing so created pretty big contradictions between the New Testament and the Old Testament passages it cites.
So which version should Christians follow
The important things to note:
1) The Septuagint was NOT a poor translation, as St. Jerome had been led to believe. We can read Hebrew texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls which corroborate that the Septuagint was a good translation, just from a slightly different source than the Jews now use.
2) The Septuagint was made by Jews for use by Jews before Christ. As such, any foretelling in the Septuagint was still prophetic.
3) The Septuagint, or perhaps the Hebrew text on which it was based, was the version cited by Christ, so it should be regarded as authoritative for Christians, wherever the Septuagint and the Masoretic text differ. (How does a woman giving birth outside wedlock prove the majesty of God? The Septuagint tells us that the sign of the coming of the messiah will be a virgin giving birth!)
Therefore, no Christian should be troubled in their faith by claims that the New Testament’s prophecy fulfillments were mere a misunderstanding or deliberate misreading of the Tanakh (”Old Testament”).
Since Jews do not recognize the authority of the Septuagint, it is useless to attempt to persuade Jews to convert to Christianity based on portions of the Tanakh found only in the Septuagint, or using wordings unique to the Septuagint.
THIS is what many historical Church leaders were stating when they argued against basing doctrinal arguments solely on the books “missing” from the Jewish Tanakh. They were NOT advocating that Christians should regard them as inferior books for their own spiritual growth, nor that they be removed from the bible (they weren’t removed), nor from the mass (again, they weren’t removed).
“An accurate English translation is: “... like a lion, my hands and feet.
The older Jewish texts and even translations (Greek, Syriac, etc.) have a verb here, not “like a lion”. The evidence for a verb (usually “dug”, ie,”pierced”) here is overwhelming.
Psalm 22 is of course the Psalm quoted by Jesus on the Cross. The despondent beginning is quoted but the Psalm has a positive conclusion. So the connection to the Crucifixion was drawn Jesus Himself. And this bit about “pierced” versus dug has been known for many centuries, nothing new here.
To say Isaiah 53 is about Israel renders meanings that make no sense. Can Israel die for her own sins...see versus 8 and 11. This passage speaks singular, meaning a specific person. Israel is always referee to in the plural, us, them, my people. None of the attributes in this passage match Israel. Did Israel bear the sins of the gentiles so that they won’t have to? Have the gentiles been considered innocent after their mistreatment of Israel?
I have never heard of the rem and cannot find a reference to it. Does it have another name?
This is the problem with Martin Luthers version of sola scripture: which version shall we follow?
Not a problem at all with Sola Scriptura. The Scriptures contain all necessary for salvation and godliness.
The best translation of Gods Word is the one you read and exercise faith in its promises.
Thank you for that posting. Very good information there.
This chapter was such a problem to the Ashkenazi Rabbi's that they removed it from Scripture. (While the Sephardic Jews kept it in.) Luckily the dead sea scroll's answer the question of who is right. A full text of Isaiah was found and is on prominent display in Israel... and yes Isaiah 53 is right there.
As far as I can tell, the Jews faithfully copied the scripture with extreme precision and faithfulness, except for here...why?
God loves word play and multiple meanings.