Who has believed what he has heard from us?[a]
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected[b] by men;
a man of sorrows,[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[e]
and as one from whom men hide their faces[f]
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 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,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;[g]
when his soul makes[h] an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see[i] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,[j]
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,[k]
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53 might be the most quoted prophetical statement made of the Messiah, in Christianity’s case, Jesus Christ, and the parallels are very clear. Written in 700BC, it was a prophecy of the Jewish Messiah that would come and save the people. Scholars have commonly acknowledged the age of the text, but a startling discovery in the historicity of Judaism and Christianity was discovered about seventy years ago in Israel.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in Israel in caves southeast of the old city walls, and once they were revealed to the world they brought confirmation to many about the history of their faith. The Isaiah Scroll is actually the most complete text in the collection of about two dozen manuscripts found stuffed in pots to protect them, arguably during the Roman siege in 66AD. Now, there is certainly a difference in theological opinion of who the Messiah is in Isaiah, but to Christians the parallels are clear
Note, Isaiah 53 is often skipped in synagogues because of the controversial nature of the text of who the prophecy is referring to. I clearly take the position that the book is referencing a person, not Israel or the Jewish people themselves…I mean the theology is confusing enough. Why would the prophetic visions be about people that already exist…and how would they be referring to themselves as saving themselves from their own judgment from God? On a theological level, Jews believed the Messiah would be a person, then after Jesus was killed they reformed their teaching to conclude that the passage was referencing Israel itself. Read it for yourself and see what it means to you.
Here is an extended reading on the theology of Isaiah 53:
Here is the layout of the Isaiah Scroll:
The Isaiah Scroll is radio carbon dated 125 BC, which precedes Jesus’ birth by about 120 years!
Why is this significant? It is scientific and historical proof that the prophecies were not just implanted later on by Christian conspirators; they existed before the birth of Christ! How could anyone plant the story before the birth of Jesus if they did not know when He was going to be born?
Also, note that the area around Jerusalem is dotted with caves and archaeological excavations are going on as we speak, so who knows what else is going to be found?