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Isaiah 53 and the Jewish Synagogue

     David Baron is a Jew, who has come to be a believer in Jesus as the Messiah who fulfilled Old Testament prophecies.  He has written a book entitled The Servant of Jehovah, which is an exposition of Isaiah chapter 53.  In this book Baron points out that those Jews who refuse to believe that Jesus is the Messiah have a real problem with this passage from Isaiah.  In fact Barron asserts that in their public liturgy on the Sabbath, modern-day Jews skip around this chapter.

     A check of the internet page which explains the synagogue service reveals that each week a passage from the Torah, known as a “Parshah,” is read (or  actually chanted), and this is followed by a passage from the prophets, known as a “Haftarah.”  Following this explanation is a table listing what passages from the Torah and Haftarah are assigned for each week of the year.  There are almost 20 texts taken from the book of Isaiah.  Interestingly, among these is a reading from Isaiah 51:12 - 52:12 followed by one which begins with chapter 54, verse 1.

     Thus one of the clearest prophecies in all of the Old Testament concerning Jesus as the Messiah, the “Suffering Servant of Jehovah,” is completely ignored.

     It is not difficult to see why Baron refers to Isaiah 53 as “the bad conscience of the synagogue.”

-  Leonard White