1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Why should one believe that something the TaNaKh predicts would actually literally occur?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Rakovsky, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Ratings:
    +28
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    The TaNaKh has inspiring, appealing predictions like the future Redemption and Resurrection. I would prefer for them to turn out to be factually true, but I would like to please ask why one would believe that they actually would? Let me explain what I mean.

    I. Jews and Christians generally agree that the TaNaKh predicts a future resurrection of the dead. See eg. Isaiah 26, as well as the Talmud's commentary on the passage. They also believe that a Davidic Messiah will come and bring Redemption and the era of this prophesied resurrection of the righteous. They typically agree that the Messiah would be mortal and die, and that he would be crushed in some sense:

    For example, Isaiah 42 says:
    א הֵן עַבְדִּי אֶתְמָךְ-בּוֹ, בְּחִירִי רָצְתָה נַפְשִׁי; נָתַתִּי רוּחִי עָלָיו, מִשְׁפָּט לַגּוֹיִם יוֹצִיא.
    ב לֹא יִצְעַק, וְלֹא יִשָּׂא; וְלֹא-יַשְׁמִיעַ בַּחוּץ, קוֹלוֹ.
    ג קָנֶה רָצוּץ לֹא יִשְׁבּוֹר, וּפִשְׁתָּה כֵהָה לֹא יְכַבֶּנָּה; לֶאֱמֶת, יוֹצִיא מִשְׁפָּט.
    ד לֹא יִכְהֶה וְלֹא יָרוּץ, עַד-יָשִׂים בָּאָרֶץ מִשְׁפָּט; וּלְתוֹרָתוֹ, אִיִּים יְיַחֵלוּ. {פ}.​

    The 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation puts it as:
    1. Behold My servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My spirit upon him, he shall make the right to go forth to the nations.
    2. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
    3. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the dimly burning wick shall he not quench; he shall make the right to go forth according to the truth.
    4. He shall not fail nor be crushed, till he have set the right in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his teaching.
    The verb here for "crushed" is ratsats, as the word is here here:
    Judges 9:53: "And a certain woman cast an upper millstone upon Abimelech's head, and broke his skull."
    Ezekiel 29:7: "When they take hold of thee with the hand, thou dost break, and rend all their shoulders; and when they lean upon thee, thou breakest, and makest all their loins to be at a stand."
    Psalm 74:14: "Thou didst crush the heads of leviathan, Thou gavest him to be food to the folk inhabiting the wilderness."
    Ecclesiastes 12:6: "Before the silver cord is snapped asunder, and the golden bowl is shattered, and the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel falleth shattered, into the pit"

    Maimonides described the Messiah and his era, and then noted:
    Menachem Kellner in the book Rethinking the Messianic Idea in Judaism notes about this statement by Maimonides:
    This idea about Messiah's death shows up elsewhere as R. Kaplan writes:
    I understand that the rabbis don't consider Jesus to be the Messiah. Rabbi Weiman says he doesn't because he considers Isaiah 42:4 Messianic:
    I also am aware of the kinds of explanations Christians would give. They could claim that Jesus set the right in the earth by giving the New Testament before he was crushed/broken by the crucifixion. They commonly see Isaiah 53: verses 8 and 10 as Messianic, which talks about the Lord's Servant being cut off from the land of the living and crushed/bruised:
    כִּי נִגְזַר מֵאֶרֶץ חַיִּים, מִפֶּשַׁע עַמִּי נֶגַע לָמוֹ. .. וַיהוָה חָפֵץ דַּכְּאוֹ, הֶחֱלִי--אִם-תָּשִׂים אָשָׁם נַפְשׁוֹ,

    However, my goal is not to debate Judaism's or Christianity's interpretations of Isaiah 42 and 53

    Rather, I am noting that they essentially agree on a major prophetic series of events - that a Davidic Messiah would come, bring in a spiritually blessed era that includes the resurrection of the dead, and then die, perhaps crushed/killed, after which life on earth would continue for a long time afterwards. In the rabbinical reading of Isaiah 42, his law is spread to the islands waiting for it, whereas in the Christian reading, it is spread by his followers to the ends of the earth.


    II. And this leads to my main question for the thread: Supposing that we agree that the TaNaKh makes this prediction, how do we know that it must turn out to be factually fulfilled in reality? The TaNaKh has many predictions, so how do we know that their prophecies will match the future physical reality, as opposed to simply being wonderful hopes and allegories?

    How would the Biblical writers living in 1100-100 BC know that these kinds of future events would in fact occur?

    One response could simply be that the Lord told them or that the Lord inspired them to write this. It's true that the Lord tells Moses things in the Torah, but the explanations about the Messiah are not really clear until at least the time of David his forefather. And I find the prophets' words to show deep moral inspiration and appeal, so I can easily attribute them to the Lord's prompting. But I don't know that just because someone has a moral prompting from the Lord's all-pervasive Spirit that it must mean that anything must occur that an inspiring faithful writer says will happen.

    Other than the ancient prophets, are there other examples we can give of inspired writers? I find Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Rabbis for Human Rights to be inspiring and to be prompted by the Lord working in them, but I don't think that if they make extreme global predictions that the predictions must definitely occur in the real word. I mean, were Abraham Lincoln to promise every freedman 10 acres and a mule, it's inspiring and I can see how the Lord prompted some of Lincoln's courage and generosity, but I don't know that any such prediction would automatically be fulfilled.
     
  2. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Ratings:
    +28
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    III. It seems that the TaNaKh has a certain premise that a real supernatural ability to predict the future exists as a matter of scientific fact. This in turn seems to rely on the idea of paranormal and supernatural abilities and talents. Some good examples are the ways the Lord gave Moses the power to change a snake into a staff and back, or to part the red sea by holding up his staff. Along with these stories are those where other people like pharaoh's magicians also do tricks like turning their staffs into snakes. In the story of the Witch of Endor, it looks like the witch had a real paranormal ability to communicate with the dead.

    Balaam was hardly a righteous faithful prophet, since he told King Balak how to get the Israelites to sin. But the TaNaKh presents him as nonetheless having a real supernatural ability to predict the future. An example is that the Lord gave Balaam the ability to speak genuine prophecies in Genesis 49, and Balaam made what might be a Messianic prediction:
    (I am not sure which city this is referring to.)

    So, as a matter of scientific objective fact, does a paranormal ability to predict the future exist? I think this is called precognition. A "psychic" phenomenon are "remote viewing" or "clairvoyance". Two famous figures in history claiming such abilities are Edgar Cayce and Nostradamus, but those aren't Jewish, and anyway numerous predictions they have made turn out to be very ambiguous or false.

    Wikipedia explains about Remote Viewing:
    Remote viewing (RV) is the practice of seeking impressions about a distant or unseen target, purportedly using extrasensory perception (ESP) or "sensing with mind".
    ...
    There is no credible evidence that remote viewing exists, and the topic of remote viewing is generally regarded as pseudoscience.

    Remote viewing - Wikipedia

    It says about clairvoyance:
    clairvoyance ... is the alleged ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through extrasensory perception.
    Claims for the existence of paranormal and psychic abilities such as clairvoyance have not been supported by scientific evidence published in high impact factor peer reviewed journals.[4] Parapsychology explores this possibility, but the existence of the paranormal is not accepted by the scientific community.

    According to scientific research, clairvoyance is generally explained as the result of confirmation bias, expectancy bias, fraud, hallucination, self-delusion, sensory leakage, subjective validation, wishful thinking or failures to appreciate the base rate of chance occurrences and not as a paranormal power.
    In 1988, the US National Research Council concluded "The committee finds no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years, for the existence of parapsychological phenomena."

    Clairvoyance - Wikipedia

    Today there is a lot of skepticism about the reliability of remote viewing. Robert Baker in the Skeptical Inquirer humorously reviews a book called "Cosmic Voyages" about remote viewing. Baker sums up the book's claims that
    "the ETs helped write many of the Star Trek episodes, which are previews of what we will become in the future. [in the book] we meet Jesus, God, and Guru Dev and study Earth’s future environment. Following a delightful conversation with Buddha and a study of the Martian culture now present here on Earth, Brown urges us to make official diplomatic contact with the Martians".
    Scientific Remote Viewing - CSI

    Wikipedia's editors are skeptical about precognition in particular:
    precognition would violate the principle [of "Causality"] that an effect cannot occur before its cause.[10] There are established biases affecting human memory and judgment of probability that sometimes create convincing but false impressions of precognition.

    A 2013 study discovered that greater belief in precognition was held by those who feel low in control, and the belief can act as a psychological coping mechanism. ...
    The physicist John Taylor has written "since only positive energies are possible, particles going backward in time cannot exist. Any claim that they do is purely a fantasy in the mind of the parapsychologist. There is therefore no direct justification for precognition from physics... experimental evidence from high energy physics is strongly against it."[42]
    Neuroscientist Samuel Schwarzkopf has written that precognition contradicts "most of the neuroscience and psychology literature, from electrophysiology and neuroimaging to temporal effects found in psychophysical research."
    Various psychological processes have been offered to explain experiences of apparent precognition. These include:
    • Unconscious perception by which people unconsciously infer, from data they have unconsciously learned, that a certain event will probably happen in a certain context. As with cryptomnesia, when the event occurs, the former knowledge appears to have been acquired without the aid of recognized channels of information.
    • Self-fulfilling prophecy and Unconscious enactment in which people bring events that they have precognized to pass, but without their conscious knowledge.
    Precognition - Wikipedia
    Does this suggest that even if "precognition" is not a real paranormal ability, that prophets could still rely on "unconscious perception" to make inferences from unconscious data to actually predict things about the future like the Messiah's coming or the resurrection of the dead?
    Alternately, could they cause "self-fulfilling prophecies", whereby spreading the ancient prophecies itself somehow leads to their realization (like a Davidic descendant reading the TaNaKh, becoming personally inspired, and then becoming the Messiah)?
     
  3. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Ratings:
    +28
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    A related term is Divination.
    Divination (from Latin divinare "to foresee, to be inspired by a god",[2] related to divinus, divine) is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual.[3] Used in various forms throughout history, diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency.

    Divination can be seen as a systematic method with which to organize what appear to be disjointed, random facets of existence such that they provide insight into a problem at hand. If a distinction is to be made between divination and fortune-telling, divination has a more formal or ritualistic element and often contains a more social character, usually in a religious context, as seen in traditional African medicine. Fortune-telling, on the other hand, is a more everyday practice for personal purposes. Particular divination methods vary by culture and religion.

    Divination is dismissed by the scientific community and skeptics as being superstition
    Divination - Wikipedia

    The Chabad website's article "Divination: Forbidden and Permitted" is against regular people using the practice of paranormal divination today, but it doesn't say whether it is a real paranormal phenomenon:
    Divination: Forbidden and Permitted

    Please note: I am not suggesting that the prophets were using divination, remote viewing, or paranormal psychic powers, trying to promote those concepts, nor trying to debunk their ability to prophesy. Rather, I am asking how the gift of prophecy actually works and whether it is objectively reliable for predicting factual events in the real world. I am asking about this in order to better see whether ultimately they are reliable indicators that their predictions of the Messiah, his experiences, and the future resurrection are reliable.
     
  4. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    6,494
    Ratings:
    +4,325
    Religion:
    Jewish
    You should start by reviewing the Judaic notion of "prophecy" and see its distinction from the concept of "predicting."

    Then read up on Rav Diskin's views on interpreting prophecy, summarized here.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11,720
    Ratings:
    +8,424
    Religion:
    Mega-Super-Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
    It looks like @rosends is getting lazy as he is usually the first one to point out that the JPS 1917 is basically just a Christian translation with the bad parts edited out.
    The Tanach also has predictions in one book that are later shown to be fulfilled, perhaps in another book. Maimonides also writes that in order to become accepted as a [long-term] prophet, the prospective prophet needs to be tested a number of times by prophesying events that are seen to have been fulfilled. So for instance, before Isaiah was accepted as a prophet by the nation, he had to stand in front of the court and give a prophecy which the judges then waited until it was fulfilled. After that happened a number of times, he becomes established as a prophet and we can trust his prophecies. The Talmud also teaches that there were over a million prophets. The only ones that were kept and written down were the ones that had national significance.

    So its clear that the nature of prophecy is to reveal events (when events are described therein).
    As explained above in order to become accepted as a Jewish prophet, one first had to establish that one's prophecies come true. According to Maimonides, after that is established, it doesn't matter if the prophecy is real or not as we are commanded to believe it unless it is proven false (at which point the prophet would be killed).
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  6. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    6,494
    Ratings:
    +4,325
    Religion:
    Jewish
    once the premises were false, it seemed silly to itemize the specific flaws.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Flankerl

    Flankerl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,179
    Ratings:
    +3,587
    Religion:
    Judaism
    Well at least it sounds better!

    2 And he said: the LORD roareth from Zion, and uttereth His voice from Jerusalem; and the pastures of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.

    And he said: The Lord shall roar from Zion, and He shall give forth His voice from Jerusalem, and the dwellings of the shepherds shall be cut off, and the choice of the fruitful land shall wither.

    *is a big fan of these weird old-english words*
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
  8. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Ratings:
    +28
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    Hello, Rosends!

    I read some basic information about prophecy, and how it is a gift and message from Adonai, such as the forms it can take. One way is through a divine voice, the Bat Kol, another is through dreams, another is visions, and another is divine prompting by the Lord on the prophet's mind and sense of reason.. In Isaiah's case it is said that an angel came down and put coal on his lips. It suggests that the prophecies were a divine prompting, like a divine burning impulse making him speak (hence the lips). I understand that this differs from predicting in that with prophecy, the Lord is considered prompting the person to speak, whereas with predicting, a regular person is just making a non-supernatural statement about the future.

    Isaiah 42 also mentions divine force by the Lord onto the passage's Servant: "My servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My spirit upon him". It brings to mind for me at least the divine promptings behind the prophets.

    Please let me know if there is a specific article you want me to read in addition to the one you cited, in order to evaluate the objective reliability of prophecy.

    I reviewed the article - thank you for sharing it - and it talks about resolving contradictions in scripture like how Isaiah could see the Lord if no one can see the Lord. It also talks about the importance of a prophet's own interpretation of his visions and prophecy.
     
  9. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Ratings:
    +28
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    Tumah!

    I understand. I was using it out of practical convenience. Here is the JPT translation, which is recent:
    1. Behold My servant, I will support him, My chosen one, whom My soul desires; I have placed My spirit upon him, he shall promulgate justice to the nations.
    2. He shall neither cry nor shall he raise [his voice]; and he shall not make his voice heard outside.
    3. A breaking reed he shall not break; and a flickering flaxen wick he shall not quench; with truth shall he execute justice.
    4. Neither shall he weaken nor shall he be broken, until he establishes justice in the land, and for his instruction, islands shall long
    Ultimately what is important is the Hebrew meaning, and I pasted the Hebrew int he OP to help you guide me in that. Also, I am not disputing Maimonides' interpretation of this passage for purposes of this thread.

    Peace.
     
  10. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Ratings:
    +28
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    I think this is a good explanation by you, Tumah. Thank you for your reply.

    The Israelite kings and elders would want reliable court prophets, and so they would want the prophets to prove their miraculous / inspired ability to make successful predictions. So if they predicted a miracle and then it happened soon afterwards, this would be a good proof of their ability. Plus, failures would result in death, so there was very good checking of their reliability.

    For purposes of the OP, to check if this makes the Tanakh's written prophecies reliable, I would consider alternative explanations for how they passed this test. Perhaps they:
    • Had inside information of the event they were predicting
    • Were using a trick (like someone secretly lighting a fire to make it look like a miraculous spark)
    • Were relying on real secular wisdom
    • Were making educated guesses
    • Were making predictions that were ambiguous or distant enough in the future that they couldn't be disproven in their lifetimes.
    • succeeded according to the literature, but their feats of prophecy were themselves later accounts or "Postdiction"
    In Isaiah's case, one thing that proves his reliability is that he predicted that the shadows would move in reverse on Hezekiah's stairs in Jerusalem (IIRC). So today we might ask whether there was some unstated magic trick involved, or if the event itself was a Postdiction by the book's writer. I am not actually arguing that the kings' and elders' ancient testing of their prophets is not a reliable method or proof, rather I would want to evaluate this proof's own reliability by asking alternative explanations might exist.
     
  11. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Ratings:
    +28
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    Hello, Rosends!

    May I please ask what you found to be the biggest flaws in my OP
    Thank you.
     
  12. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Ratings:
    +28
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    I know what you mean about the weird old words being fun, Flankerl. It's a little bit like Shakespeare.

    Like the 1917 JPS, the Tanakh itself in its language has a bit of an ancient, poetic, allegorical, high-sounding feel. Even as far as Hebrew goes, the Tanakh has a very old form of speech. I guess it would be like putting the English Bible into Chaucer's English to create a full analogy.
    In case you know Biblical and modern Hebrew, maybe you can pick up on any differences in Isaiah 42 in the OP? ( I am just saying that for a fun exercise)
     
    #12 Rakovsky, Jan 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
  13. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11,720
    Ratings:
    +8,424
    Religion:
    Mega-Super-Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
    I don't think the prophecies that are recorded were the prophecies that were used to establish Isaiah (or any of the prophets) as prophets. In order for the prophecies we are familiar with to be accepted by the Jews of the time, the prophet would have had to first been tested to establish his prophecy. Only afterwards, would these prophecies be accepted. The Sanhedrin had to be familiar with all manners of secular knowledge and impure arts (in general)
    We appoint to a Sanhedrin - both to the Supreme Sanhedrin and to a minor Sanhedrin - only men of wisdom and understanding, of unique distinction in their knowledge of the Torah and who possess a broad intellectual potential. They should also have some knowledge concerning other intellectual disciplines, e.g., medicine, mathematics, the fixation of the calendar, astronomy, astrology, and also the practices of fortune-telling, magic, sorcery, and the hollow teachings of idolatry, so that they will know how to judge them.
    -Maimonides​
    So although it may be possible to trick the Sanhedrin, I don't think a simple parlor trick would work.

    Also according to Maimonides, it doesn't matter if the prophet in question is actually using tricks. Once he satisfies the courts testing (and fulfills other requirements such as not telling us to stop performing G-d's commandments, etc.) we are Biblically required to believe him.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    6,494
    Ratings:
    +4,325
    Religion:
    Jewish
    When you wrote, regarding Christians and Jews "They typically agree that the Messiah would be mortal and die, and that he would be crushed in some sense:"
     
  15. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Ratings:
    +28
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    Hello, Tumah!
    I sympathize with what you are saying, and it's reasonable. The prophets would have needed some credible basis to prove to the elders that they were legitimate prophets, and the elders would have continued to evaluate their reliability and make sure that they didn't make false prophecies. So there could have been strong evidence back in 1500-100 BC that these wise speakers' predictions were legitimate.

    What I am really getting at is what one's basis would be today 2100 years + later in order to find their prophecies reliable. I do think you have provided a good one - their elders were wise and judged them reliable.
    A difficulty with this is that you noted "I don't think the prophecies that are recorded were the prophecies that were used to establish Isaiah (or any of the prophets) as prophets." So it's hard for me to know exactly what their basis was in order to evaluate it.

    Even if the wise ancient Chinese, Romans, Greeks, or Egyptians demanded perfect precision from their prophets with the same high standard that the Tanakh claims to have used for their prophets, I think people today would be skeptical about Chinese or Egyptian prophecies. So I am not sure that claims of such standards alone are enough for us today. Granted, a big difference is that we accept the ancient Jews' orthodoxy and we reject paganism.

    It seems that in order to find those prophets reliable, we would have to rule out alternative explanations as highly unlikely, since as you said "it may be possible to trick the Sanhedrin".

    I accept your description of Maimonides' teaching on that. I also understand that Judaism definitely considers them to be real prophets, as they passed the evaluation.
     
  16. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Ratings:
    +28
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    Rosends,
    Thanks for replying.

    Is the issue that you don't see RAMBAM's teaching as representative of Judaism in general when he says of Messiah:
    Or is the issue that you don't accept that ratsats in Isaiah 42:4 means "crushed" or "broken" like the 1917 JPS and current JPT have it, and like it appears in the four other verses I cited in the OP?

    It seems Maimonides sees the word ratsats as referring to Messiah's death.
     
    #16 Rakovsky, Jan 22, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  17. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11,720
    Ratings:
    +8,424
    Religion:
    Mega-Super-Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
    We today (or back then probably) don't rely on our own judgment to establish the prophet-ness of those prophets. We rely on the job the Sanhedrin did back then as well as on the Men of the Great Assembly - many of whom were prophets themselves.

    We maintain belief in the existence of prophecy and not a far-fetched one. As such, someone who satisfies the character requirements Maimonides lays out and then goes on to fulfill the tests, prophecy would be highly likely.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    6,494
    Ratings:
    +4,325
    Religion:
    Jewish
    The problems or manifold:
    First, the JPS chooses "crushed" for yarutz (assuming it comes from the same root as ratzatz) but chooses "bruised" for ratzatz in the verse before.
    Second, the assumption then that "crushed" is some form of suffering - but since the text doesn't say "crushed" but yarutz, that's a false conclusion to draw. There are a number of different meanings for the r-tz-tz root including pressured, bent, broken and others. That the JPS chooses one in particular is not really useful.
    Third, That the conclusion drawn by Gill's exposition (and others) who see this as proof of the Messiah's death is right. This doesn't mean that the Messiah will not die -- the Rambam says that that might happen (משנה תורה - ספר שופטים - הלכות מלכים ומלחמות פרק יא) but, interestingly, he never cites Isaiah 42 in his discussion of the messiah. The section that the wiki page quotes (intro to Perek Chelek) has the language as "tire and be weary" but no mention of bruising or breaking.

    The problem with Gill's (and other's) conclusion is the timing. They see the verse as explaining the process, that there will be bending and tiring once the clause at the end is satisfied. (though Gill does also say, "but this does not signify that he should fail afterwards, but that he should continue always" with "continue always" directly contradicting the death claim). The Hebrew uses the word "ad" which means "until." However, the Hebrew construction does NOT mean "x until y and then no x anymore." Look in Gen 49:10: The scepter shall not depart from Judah nor a scholar from among his descendants, until (ad) Shiloh shall arrive.

    This does not mean that once Shiloh arrives, the scepter will depart. In the same way, Maimonides' understanding of the verse "he will not tire...until" does not mean that once the far islands hear his message he will, therefore, tire/bend/break.

    Gill's other conclusions are heavily influenced by his Christian agenda so they aren't even worth mentioning.
     
    #18 rosends, Jan 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Ratings:
    +28
    Religion:
    Eastern Orthodox
    rosends,
    Sorry, when I cited Maimonides the second time I left out the first time he mentioned Messiah's death:
     
  20. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    6,494
    Ratings:
    +4,325
    Religion:
    Jewish
    But since that isn't "crushed" nor is it directly after the end clause is accomplished, it doesn't prove your point.
     
Loading...