Messiah in Yom HaBikkurim Chapter 80

Miracle #9. Leper is healed.

  1. The Ninth Miracle of Messiah
  2. Opening-up questions and clues
  3. The exact location of where the Leper was healed is unknown
  4. The Messiah and Moses
  5. What is the procedure of Rabbeinu Moses for making a leper pure?
  6. We are His New Creation
  7. Moses the Leper
  8. Miryam the Leper
  9. Naaman the Leper
  10. The Leper Messiah
  11. The Leper Messiah came to save his nation and people of Israel
  12. The Leper Messiah’s sacrifice is also offered for the Salvation of the Gentiles
  13. Then will it be said, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of HaShem!”
  14. The Babylonian Talmud
  15. More questions and clues regarding the Leper Messiah

The Ninth Miracle of Messiah:

Mattai 8:1-4

{Classical & Mishnaic Hebrew}

וַיֵּרֶד מִן־הָהָר וַיֵּלֶךְ אַחֲרָיו הֲמוֹן עַם רָב׃ וְהִנֵּה אִישׁ מְצֹרָע בָּא וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ־לוֹ וַיֹּאמַר אֲדֹנִי אִם־תִּרְצֶה תּוּכַל לְטַהֲרֵנִי׃ וַיִּשְׁלַח יֵשׁוּעַ אֶת־יָדוֹ וַיִּגַּע־בּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר חָפֵץ אָנֹכִי טְהָר וּבְרֶגַע נִרְפְּאָה צָרַעְתּוֹ׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו יֵשׁוּעַ רְאֵה אַל־תְּסַפֵּר לְאִישׁ וְלֵךְ הֵרָאֵה אֶל־הַכֹּהֵן וְהִקְרַבְתָּ אֶת־הַקָּרְבָּן אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה משֶׁה לְעֵדוּת לָהֶם׃

{Modern Hebrew}

הוא ירד מן ההר והמון עם רב הלכו אחריו. אז התקרב איש מצורע, השתחוה לו ואמר: “אדוני, אם תרצה תוכל לטהר אותי.” הושיט ישוע את ידו, נגע בו ואמר: “רוצה אני! הטהר!” ומיד נרפאה צרעתו. אמר לו ישוע: “ראה, אל תספר לאיש, אבל לך הראה אל הכהן והקרב את הקרבן אשר צוה משה לעדות להם.”פ

He (the Messiah) descended from the mountain, and a great crowd of people followed Him. Then a man who was a metzora (מצורע-leper) came and bowed down to Him, saying, “Master, if you are willing, you are able to purify me!” Yeshua reached out His hand and touched him and said, “I desire. Be pure!” And in an instant, he was healed of his tzara’at (צרעת-leprosy). Yeshua said to him, “See to it that you do not relate this to anyone, but go show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifice that Mosheh commanded for testimony to them.”

Markos 1:40-45

וַיָּבוֹא אֵלָיו אִישׁ מְצֹרָע וַיִּתְחַנֵּן אֵלָיו וַיִכְרַע עַל־בִּרְכָּיו וַיּאֹמֶר לוֹ אִם־תִּרְצֶה תּוּכַל לְטַהֲרֵנִי׃ וַיְרַחֵם עָלָיו יֵשׁוּעַ וַיִּשְׁלַח יָדוֹ וַיִּגַּע־בּוֹ וַיֹּאמַר רֹצֶה אָנֹכִי טְהָר׃ עוֹדֶנּוּ מְדַבֵּר וְהַצָּרַעַת סָרָה מִמֶּנּוּ וַיִּטְהָר׃ וַיִּגְעַר־בּוֹ וַימַהֵר לְהוֹצִיאוֹ הַחוּצָה׃ וַיּאֹמֶר אֵלָיו רְאֵה אַל־תַּגִּיד לְאִישׁ דָּבָר וְלֵךְ הֵרָאֵה אֶל־הַכֹּהֵן וְהַקְרֵב לְטָהֳרָתְךָ אֵת אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה משֶׁה לְעֵדוּת לָהֶם׃ וְהוּא יָצָא וַיָּחֶל לִקְרֹא הַרְבֵּה וּלְהַשְׁמִיעַ הַדָּבָר עַד אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָכֹל לָבוֹא עוֹד אֶל־עִיר לְעֵינֵי הָעָם וַיֵּשֶׁב מִחוּץ לָעִיר בִּמְקֹמוֹת חָרְבָּה וַיָּבֹאוּ אֵלָיו מִכָּל־עֲבָרָיו מִסָּבִיב׃

בא אליו איש מצורע והתחנן לפניו. הוא כרע על ברכיו ואמר לו: “אם תרצה תוכל לטהר אותי.” ברב רחמיו הושיט ישוע את ידו, נגע בו ואמר אליו: “רוצה אני! הטהר!” באותו רגע סרה ממנו הצרעת והוא נטהר. ישוע הזהיר אותו ומהר לשלח אותו. אמר אליו: “ראה, אל תגיד דבר לאיש. ברם לך הראה אל הכהן והקרב לטהרתך את אשר צוה משה לעדות להם.” אך הוא יצא והרבה להכריז ולהפיץ ברבים את הדבר, עד אשר ישוע לא היה יכול עוד לבוא אל עיר בגלוי אלא היה נשאר מחוץ לעיר במקומות שוממים; ומכל מקום באו אליו. פ

A man who was a metzora (מצורע-leper) came to Him, and he pleaded with Him and fell down on his knees and said to Him, “If you are willing, you are able to purify me!” Yeshua (lit. the Salvation of Adonai) had compassion on Him; He reached out His hand and touched him and said, “I am willing. Be pure!” At that moment the tzara’at (הצרעת) was removed from him and he became pure (והוא נטהר). Yeshua (the Messiah) warned him and quickly took him outside. He said to him, “See to it that you do not tell anything to anyone, but go show yourself to the priest, and make the sacrifice for your purification that Mosheh commanded as testimony to them. But he went out and began to proclaim profusely and make the matter heard, until He (the Mashiach) could no longer come to the city in the sight of the people. So He sat outside the city in desolate places, and they came to Him from all the surrounding regions.”

Lukas 5:12-16

וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתוֹ בְּאַחַת הֶעָרִים וְהִנֵּה־אִישׁ כֻּלּוֹ צָרוּעַ וַיַּרְא אֶת־יֵשׁוּעַ וַיִּפֹּל עַל־פָּנָיו וַיִּתְחַנֵּן אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר אֲדֹנִי אִם־תַּחְפֹּץ תּוּכַל לְטַהֲרֵנִי׃ וַיִּשְׁלַח אֶת־יָדוֹ וַיִּגַּע־בּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר חָפֵץ אָנֹכִי טְהָר וּפִתְאֹם סָרָה מִמֶּנּוּ הַצָּרָעַת׃ וַיְצַו עָלָיו לְבִלְתִּי סַפֵּר לְאִישׁ כִּי אִם־לֵךְ וְהֵרָאֵה אֶל־הַכֹּהֵן וְהַקְרֵב קָרְבָּן עַל־טָהֳרָתְךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה משֶׁה לְעֵדוּת לָהֶם׃ וְשָׁמְעוֹ הוֹלֵךְ הָלוֹךְ וְגָדֵל וַיִּקָּבְצוּ עַם רַב לִשְׁמוֹעַ וּלְהֵרָפֵא עַל־יָדוֹ מִתַּחֲלוּאֵיהֶם׃ וְהוּא סָר אֶל־הַמִּדְבָּרוֹת וּמִתְפַּלֵּל׃

בהיותו באחת הערים בא איש נגוע כלו בצרעת. כאשר ראה את ישוע, נפל על פניו והתחנן אליו: “אדוני, אם תרצה תוכל לטהר אותי.” ישוע הושיט את ידו ובנגעו בו אמר: “רוצה אני! הטהר!” ומיד נעלמה הצרעת. “אל תספר לאיש”, צוה עליו ישוע, כי אם לך הראה אל הכהן והקרב קרבן על טהרתך, כמו שצוה משה לעדות להם.” אולם השמועה על-אודותיו הלכה והתפשטה והמונים רבים נקבצו לשמע ולהרפא מתחלואיהם, אך הוא היה פורש אל מקומות שוממים ומתפלל. פ

When He was in one of the towns, there was a man who was entirely affected by tzara’at (בצרעת-with leprosy). He saw Yeshua and fell on his face pleading with HIm, saying, “My master, if you desire, you are able to purify me.” He reached out His hand and touched him and said, “I desire. Be pure!” Immediately (מיד), the tzara’at (הצרעת-the leprosy) disappeared. He commanded him not to tell this to anyone, but to go and be shown to the priest and to bring a sacrificial offering (קרבן) for your purification (טהרתך) just as Mosheh had commanded as testimony to them. News of Him spread quickly and increased, and a large group of people gathered to hear Him and be healed by Him  from their diseases. But He departed to the wilderness areas and prayed.

Opening-up questions and clues:

The following opening-up questions and clues are provided as an introduction to this study on the 9th Miracle of Messiah:

1. Look at the symbolism of the above sign and miracle narrative: At what location does the sign/miracle occur?

2.  Who among all of the great ones in the history of Israel is brought to mind in the descriptive phrase, “He descended from the mountain“? How are the Messiah and Moses alike? How are they different?

3.  What do we know about the leprosy that existed in biblical times? Clue: We know that the leprosy that existed during the times of the Tanakh and the Brit Chadashah included a wider range of skin disorders than just Hansens’s disease (modern leprosy). We also know that Hansen’s disease was the most serious of these diseases. How is Hansen’s disease helpful to our understanding of sin?

4.  What does Hansen’s disease include that the other forms of tzara’at (Hebrew) and lepra (Greek) do not? Clue: “Necrosis” (νέκρωσις “death, the stage of dying, the act of killing” from νεκρός “dead”). What is necrosis? Clue: Necrosis is a form of cell injury which results in the premature death of cells in living tissue by “self-digestion” (autolysis).

5.  What is “autolysis?” How is this medical phenomenon of ‘death by self-digestion’ an apt description of the ultimate and most serious effect of the spiritual condition that is called sin? Is this death temporal or eternal? Clue: Read Messiah in Shavuot Chapter 15.

6.  After reporting to the priest and engaging in the healing process on what day is the leper able to associate with others in the community? After undergoing a second cleansing and providing the appropriate offerings on what day is the healed person pronounced free to fully participate in the corporate worship of HaShem?

7.  What biblical meanings are conveyed in the two terms: seven days and the eighth day?

8.  Over the eight days of examination and cleansing what eight different items are required to cleanse a leper? Clue: This required two birds, cedar wood, scarlet wool yarn, and hyssop on the first day (Leviticus 14:4-8); and on the eighth day two male lambs, a ewe lamb, flour, and oil (Leviticus 14:10).

9.  What are the spiritual meanings of all these various items? Clue: All of these items are a testimony to the redemptive ministry of the Mashiach, the Redeemer of Israel.

10. Why did G-d first make Moses’ hand as the hand of a leper?

The exact location of where the Leper is healed is unknown:

We do not know the exact location of the mountain that the Messiah descended from. What we do know is that this mountain was located in the region of Galilee. The mountain was likely located near Yam Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) and Kefar Nachum (Capernaum). The exact location of the mountain is deliberately not specified. The location is unspecified so that we might more easily associate the mountain of Rabbeinu Yeshua, the Messiah, with the mountain of the prophet—-Rabbeinu Moses.

Moses and the Messiah:

Moses gave this prophecy regarding the Messiah:

נביא מקרבך מאחיך כמני יקים לך ה’ אלהיך אליו תשמעון׃

“Adonai Eloheicha will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren, to whom you shall listen” (תשמעון-hear and obey).

The Messiah is like the prophet Moses in many ways:

1.  Like Moses – the Messiah is both a prophet and a lawgiver (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). The Presence of the Holy One was so great with His servants Moses and the Messiah that their faces shone with heavenly glory (1, 2, 3).

2.  Like Moses – the Messiah gave commandments for His followers to obey (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

3.  Like Moses – the Messiah administered a covenant between G-d and men—Moses, the Torah (1, 2) and the Messiah, the fulfillment of the Torah—the Brit HaChadashah (1, 2, 3):

הנה ימים באים נאם־ה’ וכרתי את־בית ישראל ואת־בית יהודה ברית חדשה׃

Behold, the days come, says HaShem, I shall make (כרתי-cut) a new covenant with the house of Israel, and the house of Judah.

4.  Both Moses and the Messiah were born in perilous times, and both narrowly escaped their rulers attempting to kill them when they were infants (1, 2).

5.  Both Moses and the Messiah were hidden for a time (3 months) in Egypt (1, 2).

6.  Both Moses and the Messiah were legally adopted: Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses; Joseph, son of Solomon, son of David adopted the Messiah. The Messiah is a king by right of both his adoption (father) and his birth (mother)

7.  Moses in the name of HaShem demanded that Pharaoh “Let the people of Israel go free.” The Messiah in the name of HaShem shall command that death give up its captives and the dead shall rise to eternal life.

8.  Moses gave us the written Torah on the first Shavuot and the Messiah gave us the Oral Torah on the second and final Shavuot. From the written Torah we learn that we are all sinners (transgressors of the Torah) who are in need of a Deliverer-Redeemer. In the Oral Torah of the Spirit we know that in the Messiah we are set free from the law of sin and death.

כי חק רוח החיים שבמשיח ישוע שחרר אותי מחק החטא והמות; שכן מה שלא יכלה התורה לעשות, מפני שלא יכלה להתגבר על הבשר, זאת עשה אלהים: הוא שלח את בנו לבוש בשר בדמות בשר החטא, להיות קרבן על חטא, וחרץ את דינו של החטא בבשר, כדי שחקת התורה תתקים בנו, המתהלכים לא לפי הבשר אלא לפי הרוח.פ

Therefore, the Spirit of Life (רוח החיים) in Messiah Yeshua has freed you (ישראל-Israel, Rule of G-d) from the law of sin and death (מחק החטא והמות). For what the Torah could not do, because it could not overcome the flesh (הבשר-our physical being), this is what G-d did: He sent His own Son in the form (בדמות) of sinful flesh (בשר החטא-our physical being that has the capacity to sin) to be a sacrifice for sin (להיות קרבן על חטא), He (G-d) condemned sin in the flesh (the human form of the Messiah), so that the Torah will be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but *according to the Spirit (אלא לפי הרוח).

*People who live by their physical nature seek to do what pleases their own physical nature (הבשר), but people who live by their G-d given spiritual nature (רוח החיים-the Spirit of Life) seek to live according to what pleases the Spirit of the Holy One (רוח הקודש).

9.  Both Moses and the Messiah have been humble, meek, and selfless (1, 2). They both were willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the people of Israel (1, 2, 3, 4).

10.  Like Moses – the Messiah performed miracles. The miracles of Moses bear witness to the signs/miracles of the Messiah (1, 2). Therefore, it is written:

ראו האנשים את האות שעשה ואמרו: “זהו באמת הנביא שבא אל העולם.”פ

“After the people saw the sign Yeshua performed, they began to say, ‘Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world!’”

What is the procedure of Rabbeinu Moses for making a leper pure?

Throughout the purification process prescribed by Moses the degree of impurity of the leper is cleansed in three stages, over an *eight day period of time.

*In Judaism the number eight speaks of new beginnings and eternity (the infinite).

Stage #1 (Days 1-6). The initial procedure for making a leper pure includes seven actions: killing a bird; dipping a live bird and certain other things into the blood of the killed bird; sprinkling the “back of the leper’s hand” with the blood of the dead bird seven times; freeing the live bird; the priest then shaves all of the visible hair from the leper’s body; thereafter, the leper washes his clothes; and last of all the leper immerses himself.

What initial spiritual regenerative process and developmental stage is communicated here?

How does the high priest Aaron and the historian Josephus describe the condition of a leper before his healing and cleansing? (Cf. Numbers 12:12a; Antiquities of the Jews 3:261-9).

Stage #2 (Day 7).  On the seventh day the priest once again shaves the leper’s body and as before (in the first stage), the leper washes his clothes, immersed himself and waited until sunset.

What secondary spiritual developmental process and stage is communicated here?

Seven days have gone by. The seventh day indicates a process that has culminated in “completion” and “perfection.”

Stage #3 (Day 8). At the beginning of the eighth day, at sunset, the leper brings three lambs (two male, one female) as his offering to the Temple (in Jerusalem). The Temple priests smear the blood of the sacrificed lambs on the leper in the specified manner (upon the back of his hand) and perform additional appropriate rituals.

What final mature spiritual developmental stage is in view in the Eighth Day?

After what day of the week did the Mashiach resurrect from the dead? What is another number that is assigned to the first day of the week? If the Seventh Day (Shabbat) represents the “Rest,” when the final work of the Spirit corporately brings our lives to a state of completion and perfection, what does the Eighth Day represent? What kind of Life follows completion and perfection?

We are His New Creation:

Why did the Messiah lay His hands on the leper when He healed him?

What are the hands a symbol of? In the ancient Hebrew alphabet that Moses wrote the Torah in the tenth letter “yud” is configured in the shape of an extended arm and back of the hand. This tenth letter indicates a work or deed that is completed (closed).

Furthermore, in ancient Hebrew the eleventh letter “kaf” is depicted in the shape of a hand that is “open” and faced out presenting both the palm and all five fingers. This eleventh letter indicates a work that is begun but not yet completed or an “ongoing” process that may continue on indefinitely.

How do these symbols of the open and closed hand positions apply to Moses’ own experience of affliction and cleansing?

What happened to the entirety of Moses’ hand in Exodus 4:6-7? On what festival day do we gently strike our breast with our hand as a sign of our sincere regret for our past sins? How does this expression on Yom Kippur relate to our present study of the healing of Moses’ leprosy and His procedures for healing-cleansing a leper?

Moses the Leper:

Why did HaShem first make Moses’ hand as the hand of a leper? (cf. Exodus 4:6-7 below) Based on our study of leprosy thus far what spiritual state does the leprous hand of Moses symbolize?

וַיֹּאמֶר ה’ לֹו עֹוד הָֽבֵא־נָא יָֽדְךָ בְּחֵיקֶךָ וַיָּבֵא יָדֹו בְּחֵיקֹו וַיֹּוצִאָהּ וְהִנֵּה יָדֹו מְצֹרַעַת כַּשָּֽׁלֶג׃וַיֹּאמֶר הָשֵׁב יָֽדְךָ אֶל־חֵיקֶךָ וַיָּשֶׁב יָדֹו אֶל־חֵיקֹו וַיֹּֽוצִאָהּ מֵֽחֵיקֹו וְהִנֵּה־שָׁבָה כִּבְשָׂרֹֽו׃

“Adonai furthermore said to him, “Now put your hand into your bosom.” So he put his hand into his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow. Then He said, “Put your hand into your bosom again.” So he put his hand into his bosom again, and when he took it out of his bosom, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh.”

Two times Moses was instructed to touch the part of his body that is located just over the heart.

What does the heart symbolize? What is the spiritual meaning of the “Bosom of Moses?” How is the “Bosom of Moses” both a testimony to HaShem’s judgment of sin and a testimony to His forgiveness of sin? How does this testimony apply specifically to the chosen people and nation of Israel? Who is the “Moses to Come?” How does the One Who Comes (Hu Haba’) bring regenerative cleansing, perfect healing, and eternal life to the people of Israel? What is the messianic meaning of the prophet Moses placing his hand in his bosom and ‘first’ drawing out leprosy and then placing his leprosy into his bosom a ‘second’ time and drawing out a purified hand that has been cleansed of leprosy?

Miryam the Leper:

וַיֹּאמֶר אַהֲרֹן אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בִּי אֲדֹנִי אַל־נָא תָשֵׁת עָלֵינוּ חַטָּאת אֲשֶׁר נֹואַלְנוּ וַאֲשֶׁר חָטָֽאנוּ׃

But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miryam was leprous, as white as snow. As Aaron turned toward Miryam, behold, she was leprous. (Numbers 12:11)

וַתִּסָּגֵר מִרְיָם מִחוּץ לַֽמַּחֲנֶה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וְהָעָם לֹא נָסַע עַד־הֵאָסֵף מִרְיָֽם׃

So Miryam was shut up outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was received again. (Numbers 12:15)

Who were the parents and brothers of Miryam? What are their names; including the name of their tribe? What do these names mean and how do these meanings relate to this study on leprosy? What special spiritual gift did Miryam possess?

What sin did Miryam the prophetess commit that caused her to contract leprosy? Who gave her the leprosy?

Who first asked for Miryam to be healed? What office did Aaron hold? Who did Aaron ask to pray for his sister’s healing? Was she healed? Over what period of time did Miryam remain a leper? If the Moses to come is the one who heals the people and nation of Israel—of all of our diseases—“How does He accomplish this?” How does the sin and leprosy of the prophetess Miryam and her seven-day healing apply to our present messianic study?

Naaman the Leper:

There is only one instance of a Gentile being healed of leprosy in the Tanakh. What connection does this healing of the Syrian General Naaman have with the healing of the prophetess Miryam?

וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו אֱלִישָׁע מַלְאָךְ לֵאמֹר הָלֹוךְ וְרָחַצְתָּ שֶֽׁבַע־פְּעָמִים בַּיַּרְדֵּן וְיָשֹׁב בְּשָׂרְךָ לְךָ וּטְהָֽר׃

Elisha sent a messenger to him (Naaman), saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean.” (2 Kings 5:10)

וַיֵּרֶד וַיִּטְבֹּל בַּיַּרְדֵּן שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים כִּדְבַר אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים וַיָּשָׁב בְּשָׂרֹו כִּבְשַׂר נַעַר קָטֹן וַיִּטְהָֽר׃

“So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of the Almighty One (Ha-Elohim-הָאֱלֹהִים); and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean” (2 KIngs 5:14).

Elisha followed after the ministry of Elijah. What two administrations of prophetic ministry do these men represent?  What are the meanings of the names of the two men? What tribes do the two prophets belong to? What Message do these meanings convey to those of us who are Yehudim? What Message of redemption, therefore, are those of us who are the people and nation of Israel obligated to convey to the Gentile nations and peoples of the world?

At what location was Naaman instructed to immerse himself?

How many times was Naaman required to immerse himself? What is the meaning of Naaman’s name? What is the meaning of his immersion in the Jordan? How is this healing and cleansing of a Gentile related to Elijah, Elisha and the Mashiach?

The Leper Messiah:

The prophet Isaiah consciously anticipated the Leper Messiah. He knew the difference between Israel, the national-Servant of HaShem (THE NAME) and the Leper Messiah, the Individual Servant of HaShem. In short, these differences are quite simple:

The Individula (Leper) Messiah succeeded where the rest of the nation and people of Israel failed.

Isaiah (יְשַֽׁעְיָ֣הוּ-Salvation of Adonai) draws on texts that picture a sacrifice for sin. His prophetic narrative portrays an Individual Servant – the Leper Messiah – who suffers for sin by making reference to a guilt offering. This must be done because HaShem insists on the need for ritual purity. The nation and the people must be cleansed from sin. So, What is the guilt offering that Adonai both requires and provides Himself? and What is the cost to the Holy One? The cost of this cleansing and its consequent purification is graphically illustrated in the tragic image of the Individual Servant who is treated like a leper. In this picture of Isaiah:

All of the leprosy of the nation and people of Israel are put on the Individual (Suffering) Servant.

In the prophetic narrative of Isaiah: The Individual Servant – the Leper Messiah – voluntarily agrees to be a guilt offering for His nation and people even though the nation and the people have already rejected Him. It is this Suffering One who becomes the sin bearer. For the sake of the nation and people of Israel the Suffering One becomes “The Leper.”

The leprous disease of the sin of the nation and the people of Israel is transferred off of us onto him. The Leper is sacrificed so that what is now his horrible disease is sent far away from the people of Israel, out of the land of the living—-into the land of death (Isaiah 52:14; 53:810).

כַּאֲשֶׁר שָׁמְמוּ עָלֶיךָ רַבִּים כֵּן־מִשְׁחַת מֵאִישׁ מַרְאֵהוּ וְתֹאֲרֹו מִבְּנֵי אָדָֽם׃

Just as many were astonished, so His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men.

מעצר וממשפט לקח ואת־דורו מי ישוחח כי נגזר מארץ חיים מפשע עמי נגע למו׃ ויתן את־רשעים קברו ואת־עשיר במתיו על לא־חמס עשה ולא מרמה בפיו׃ וה’ חפץ דכאו החלי אם־תשים אשם נפשו יראה זרע יאריך ימים וחפץ ה’ בידו יצלח׃

מֵעֹ֤צֶר וּמִמִּשְׁפָּט֙ לֻקָּ֔ח וְאֶת־דֹּורֹ֖ו מִ֣י יְשֹׂוחֵ֑חַ כִּ֤י נִגְזַר֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ חַיִּ֔ים מִפֶּ֥שַׁע עַמִּ֖י נֶ֥גַע לָֽמֹו׃ וַיִּתֵּ֤ן אֶת־רְשָׁעִים֙ קִבְרֹ֔ו וְאֶת־עָשִׁ֖יר בְּמֹתָ֑יו עַ֚ל לֹא־חָמָ֣ס עָשָׂ֔ה וְלֹ֥א מִרְמָ֖ה בְּפִֽיו׃ וה’ חָפֵץ דַּכְּאֹו הֶֽחֱלִי אִם־תָּשִׂים אָשָׁם נַפְשֹׁו יִרְאֶה זֶרַע יַאֲרִיךְ יָמִים וְחֵפֶץ ה’ בְּיָדֹו יִצְלָֽח׃

“By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living. For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men. Yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But HaShem was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of HaShem will prosper in His hand.”

The Leper Messiah came to save his nation and people of Israel:

The nation and people of Israel have never been without sin, at any time (cf. Isaiah 58). This means that it has always been impossible for us to save ourselves. For this reason the Deliverer cannot be a nation or a people. This is so for there has never been a nation or people on earth who have been without sin (Isaiah 53:6).

כלנו כצאן תעינו איש לדרכו פנינו וה’ הפגיע בו את עון כלנו׃

כֻּלָּנוּ כַּצֹּאן תָּעִינוּ אִישׁ לְדַרְכֹּו פָּנִינוּ וה’ הִפְגִּיעַ בֹּו אֵת עֲוֹן כֻּלָּֽנוּ׃

“All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;
But Adonai has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”

נגש והוא נענה ולא יפתח־פיו כשה לטבח יובל וכרחל לפני גזזיה נאלמה ולא יפתח פיו׃

נִגַּשׂ וְהוּא נַעֲנֶה וְלֹא יִפְתַּח־פִּיו כַּשֶּׂה לַטֶּבַח יוּבָל וּכְרָחֵל לִפְנֵי גֹזְזֶיהָ נֶאֱלָמָה וְלֹא יִפְתַּח פִּֽיו׃

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep (רָחֵ֕ל-rachel, ewe, female sheep) that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7).

Therefore, the Individual (Suffering) Servant, The Leper, is the Messiah who HaShem sent to save us. Among all Israel and humankind the Messiah is the one and only sinless one. He alone is our sin-bearer. He alone has died for our sins and iniquities (Isaiah 53:5,11).

והוא מחלל מפשענו מדכא מעונתינו מוסר שלומנו עליו ובחברתו נרפא־לנו׃

וְהוּא מְחֹלָל מִפְּשָׁעֵנוּ מְדֻכָּא מֵעֲוֹנֹתֵינוּ מוּסַר שְׁלֹומֵנוּ עָלָיו וּבַחֲבֻרָתֹו נִרְפָּא־לָֽנוּ׃

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

מעמל נפשו יראה ישבע בדעתו יצדיק צדיק עבדי לרבים ועונתם הוא יסבל׃

מֵעֲמַל נַפְשֹׁו יִרְאֶה יִשְׂבָּע בְּדַעְתֹּו יַצְדִּיק צַדִּיק עַבְדִּי לָֽרַבִּים וַעֲוֹנֹתָם הוּא יִסְבֹּֽל׃

As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.

The Messiah is the innocent one who died an unjust death in our place.

The Individual Messiah died in our (Israel’s) place. This is why He did not speak a word in His own defense (Isaiah 53:7). Not because He was guilty. There was no defense because we are all guilty! He had no defense because He was standing up to the righteous judgment of HaShem in our place.

נבזה וחדל אישים איש מכאבות וידוע חלי וכמסתר פנים ממנו נבזה ולא חשבנהו׃

נִבְזֶה וַחֲדַל אִישִׁים אִישׁ מַכְאֹבֹות וִידוּעַ חֹלִי וּכְמַסְתֵּר פָּנִים מִמֶּנּוּ נִבְזֶה וְלֹא חֲשַׁבְנֻֽהוּ׃

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.”

מעמל נפשו יראה ישבע בדעתו יצדיק צדיק עבדי לרבים ועונתם הוא יסבל׃

מֵעֲמַל נַפְשֹׁו יִרְאֶה יִשְׂבָּע בְּדַעְתֹּו יַצְדִּיק צַדִּיק עַבְדִּי לָֽרַבִּים וַעֲוֹנֹתָם הוּא יִסְבֹּֽל׃

“As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge
The Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.”

Therefore, the Moses to come (הוא אשר נועד לבוא-He who is predestined to come) is the one who has secured for us our Salvation. Moses himself could not do this for us because he too was not without sin. However, the Moses to come is without sin. Ha-Mashiach has obtained for us the salvation that our fathers had so long pursued but could never obtain on their own.

The Leper Messiah’s sacrifice is also offered for the Salvation of the Gentiles:

The prophetic narrative of Isaiah clearly anticipates a Suffering Deliverer who sacrificially dies in our place and then is resurrected and exalted. The narrative about the Deliverer begins with the salvation of our nation and people and then necessarily ends with the “Salvation of Adonai” graciously being given to the Gentiles as well (Isaiah 52:13, 15).

הנה ישכיל עבדי ירום ונשא וגבה מאד׃ כן יזה גוים רבים עליו יקפצו מלכים פיהם כי אשר לא־ספר להם ראו ואשר לא־שמעו התבוננו׃

הִנֵּה יַשְׂכִּיל עַבְדִּי יָרוּם וְנִשָּׂא וְגָבַהּ מְאֹֽד׃ כֵּן יַזֶּה גֹּויִם רַבִּים עָלָיו יִקְפְּצוּ מְלָכִים פִּיהֶם כִּי אֲשֶׁר לֹֽא־סֻפַּר לָהֶם רָאוּ וַאֲשֶׁר לֹֽא־שָׁמְעוּ הִתְבֹּונָֽנוּ׃

“Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. Thus He will sprinkle (purify with His sacrificed life, symbolized in the sprinkling of blood) many nations, (גּוֹיִ֣ם-Goyim, the Gentile) Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; for what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand.”

In the end the national-Servant and the Individual Servant are both working together in harmony. It is only ‘after’ the nation and people of Israel have discovered who the Individual Savior really is that the elect nation and people of Israel can be the royal and priestly nation we are destined to be. For when the nation and people of Israel accept the Servant-King Messiah then we too will be called a Light of Salvation to all of the nations, peoples and families of the world (Isaiah 61:1-2):

רוח אדני ה’ עלי יען משח ה’ אתי לבשר ענוים שלחני לחבש לנשברי־לב לקרא לשבוים דרור ולאסורים פקח־קוח׃ לקרא שנת־רצון ל ה’ ויום נקם לאלהינו לנחם כל־אבלים׃

רוּחַ אֲדֹנָי ה’ עָלָי יַעַן מָשַׁח ה’ אֹתִי לְבַשֵּׂר עֲנָוִים שְׁלָחַנִי לַחֲבֹשׁ לְנִשְׁבְּרֵי־לֵב לִקְרֹא לִשְׁבוּיִם דְּרֹור וְלַאֲסוּרִים פְּקַח־קֹֽוחַ׃ לִקְרֹא שְׁנַת־רָצֹון ל ה’ וְיֹום נָקָם לֵאלֹהֵינוּ לְנַחֵם כָּל־אֲבֵלִֽים׃

“The Spirit of the Adonai is upon me; because HaShem hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. To proclaim the favorable year of HaShem and the day of vengeance of Eloheinu; to comfort all who mourn.”

Then will it be said, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of HaShem!”

Therefore, the sacrifice of Isaiah 53 is by no means the end of the prophecy. It is only the beginning. The narrative moves forward to the Joy that is ahead. For it is written:

יראה זרע יאריך ימים וחפץ ה’ בידו יצלח׃

יִרְאֶה זֶרַע יַאֲרִיךְ יָמִים וְחֵפֶץ ה’ בְּיָדֹו יִצְלָֽח׃

He will see His offspring (זֶ֖רַע-lit. His Seed), He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure (will) of Adonai will prosper in His hand.

This good news (בשורה-besorah) most certainly leads us to the forty-eighth mashal of the Messiah—-“The Seed that Multiplies by dying:”

אָמֵן אָמֵן אֲנִי אֹמֵר לָכֶם אִם לֹא־תִפֹּל הַחִטָּה אֶל־תּוֹךְ הָאֲדָמָה וּמֵתָה תִּשָּׁאֵר לְבַדָּה וְכַאֲשֶׁר מֵתָה תַּעֲשֶׂה פְּרִי הַרְבֵּה׃ הָאֹהֵב אֶת־נַפְשׁוֹ יְאַבְּדֶנָּה וְהַשׂנֵא אֶת־נַפְשׁוֹ בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה יִנְצְרֶהָ לְחַיֵּי נֶצַח׃

אמן אמן אני אומר לכם, אם לא ימות גרגיר החטה הנופל לתוך האדמה, הוא ישאר לבדו. אבל אם ימות, יעשה פרי הרבה. האוהב את נפשו מאבד אותה, והשונא את נפשו בעולם הזה ישמרנה לחיי עולם.פ

“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.”

Therefore, it is written that we (Israel) shall bless the Messiah our Redeemer – He who comes in the name of HaShem:

ברוך הבא בשם ה’ ברכנוכם מבית ה’׃

בָּרוּךְ הַבָּא בְּשֵׁם ה’ בֵּרַֽכְנוּכֶם מִבֵּית ה’׃

Blessed is He who comes in the name of HaShem! We have blessed you from the House of HaShem!

The Babylonian Talmud:

The Babylonian Talmud is the oldest and earliest (written) evidence of what the original rabbinic interpretation was of Isaiah 53. This second century (CE) rabbinic writing supports the belief that the Suffering Servant (the Mashiach) was a perfect (sinless) individual. Not an imperfect national Messiah. In this ancient Aramaic interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures it is written:

“The world was created but only for the Messiah… The Messiah—What is his name?…The Rabbis say, The Leper Scholar, as it is said [in Isaiah 53:4], `surely he has borne our sicknesses and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of the Almighty and afflicted…'” (Sanhedrin 98b)

“All the prophets prophesied only of the days of the Messiah” (Sanhedrin 99a).

Do you agree with these ancient assertions regarding the Messiah? Or do you accept the more modern view that the Messiah is the nation of Israel? Are the nation and people of Israel without sin? Certainly not! Is it not then obvious that the Babylonian Talmud is correct in its assertion that the Mashiach is an Individual? Who in all of our history has never sinned? Who among us has ever been qualified and willing to sacrifice His life for the sake of all?

More questions and clues regarding the Leper Messiah:

אכן חלינו הוא נשא ומכאבינו סבלם ואנחנו חשבנהו נגוע מכה אלהים ומענה׃

אָכֵן חֳלָיֵנוּ הוּא נָשָׂא וּמַכְאֹבֵינוּ סְבָלָם וַאֲנַחְנוּ חֲשַׁבְנֻהוּ נָגוּעַ מֻכֵּה אֱלֹהִים וּמְעֻנֶּֽה׃

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of Elohim, and afflicted.

A word association between the Leper and the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 involves the Hebrew verb nagua’ (נָגוּעַ-from נָגַע ) which means to “touch,” “strike,” “reach, to extend,” to be “stricken.”

The Torah refers to the condition of leprosy with the noun form of the same word which means “stricken,” “affliction,”and “plague.” The Talmud quotes Isaiah 53:4 where Isaiah uses the same word to describe the affliction of the Suffering Servant: “Surely our sicknesses (nagua’, נָגוּעַ) He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of Elohim, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).

On the basis of these associations the ancient rabbis (sages) referred to the Suffering Messiah the son of Joseph as “The Leper.” In this depiction the Messiah Ben Yosef carries the suffering of the exile and the punishment of the Jewish people like a leper carries his affliction.

From the eighth century (BCE) to the third century (CE) the wise men and rabbis of Israel understood Isaiah 53:4 to mean that the Individual Messiah took on the nation’s leprosy. The title “Leper Messiah” appears to contradict the Tanakh’s other descriptions of the Messiah: “Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted” (Isaiah 52:13).

The scriptures indicate that the Messiah will be the wisest of all men, exalted above Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and even the angels. His stature will exceed that of all the great men and kings of the earth. So, how do we reconcile these two quite opposite descriptions? How do we reconcile the Justice of Adonai with the fact that He has allowed the Mashiach as the Redeemer of Israel to suffer for sins that He did not commit? How is it that the One can save the many through His substituting His life for ours? Is this not in fact exactly what is symbolized in the multiple sacrifices prescribed by Moses? Nationally we must ask then:

When will the Mashiach cease to be the Leper Messiah in exile from His own people, the people of Israel?

Or put another way: When will we the people of Israel cease to be exiled from HaShem and the Messiah?” Answer: When we the people of Israel no longer reject the Messiah then HaShem will no longer reject us. Therefore we must ask:

When is the promised day of Israel’s national purification and reconciliation with Avinu Shebashamayim?

The promised day of our (Israel’s) purification and reconciliation to Adonai Avinu (our father) refers to the moment of our national redemption when all the nation and people of Israel shall be saved. Then will the immortal-glorified Messiah reveal Himself to Israel in His unveiled righteousness and holiness, For He will gloriously reveal Himself to all Israel and to all of the peoples of the nations, people, and families of the world! (1, 2)

NEXT, PARALYTIC IS FORGIVEN AND HEALED…

Messiah in Yom HaBikkurim Chapter 81 >>