The suffering servant in Isaiah 53

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The suffering servant in Isaiah 53

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Thread: The suffering servant in Isaiah 53

  1. #1
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    Default The suffering servant in Isaiah 53

    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
    الحمدلله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

    Christians always claim that Isaiah 53 prophsizes the crucifixion of Prophet Jesus for our sins
    Let's see how do the Jews answer them and how do they understand it
    ?
    ( يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة )
    ثم وصف تعالى ذكره نفسه بأنه المتوحد بخلق جميع الأنام من شخص واحد ، معرفا عباده كيف كان مبتدأ إنشائه ذلك من النفس الواحدة ، ومنبههم بذلك على أن جميعهم بنو رجل واحد وأم واحدة وأن بعضهم من بعض ، وأن حق بعضهم على بعض واجب وجوب حق الأخ على أخيه ، لاجتماعهم في النسب إلى أب واحد وأم واحدة وأن الذي يلزمهم من رعاية بعضهم حق بعض ، وإن بعد التلاقي في النسب إلى الأب الجامع بينهم ، مثل الذي يلزمهم من ذلك في النسب الأدنى وعاطفا بذلك بعضهم على بعض ، ليتناصفوا ولا يتظالموا ، وليبذل القوي من نفسه للضعيف حقه بالمعروف على ما ألزمه الله له (تفسير الطبرى)

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    Did Israel suffer primarily because of its own sins
    ?


    The Jewish interpretation of Isaiah 53 maintains that the
    suffering servant of Israel suffered because of the persecutions by the Gentile nations. I understand that the nations overdid it when persecuting Israel but didn't Israel suffer primarily because of its own sins? Please explain.


    Answer: It is true that the Jewish Scriptures show that there are times when the nation of Israel undergoes suffering as divine retribution for sin. But, it also shows that suffering is not always an indication of sin. Attributing sin to the sufferer is often a glib generalization by those who do not understand the biblical message. The centuries of Jewish martyrdom and suffering alluded to in Isaiah 53 cannot be explained simply as divine judgment for sin. Certainly there is suffering because of sins (Deuteronomy 31:17-18), but not all suffering can be strictly attributed to divine punishment for sin. In a world where there is much evil, suffering is very often the fate of the innocent person. There is suffering that ensues, not from divine judgment, but from the evil committed by man. "My people went down at first into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause" (Isaiah 52:4). We see that the sufferings of the Jewish people are not a reflection of its failures, but of the failures of humankind. One may be faithful to God and still suffer persecution. Of this the psalmist writes:

    All this came upon us yet we have not forgotten You, and we have not been false to Your covenant. Our heart has not turned back, nor has our footstep strayed from Your path. Even when You crushed us in the place of serpents, and covered us with the shadow of death. Have we forgotten the Name of our God, or spread out our hands to a strange god? Is it not so that God can examine this, for He knows the secrets of the heart. Because for Your sake we are killed all the time, we are considered as sheep for the slaughter. Awake, why do You sleep, O my Lord? Arouse Yourself, forsake not forever. Why do You conceal Your face, do You forget our affliction and our oppression? (Psalms 44:17-24)

    Isaiah 53 provides a model: Israel suffers not only for its own sins but also as a result of the sins of those nations among whom they dwell. The fact is that Jews, because they are elect, suffer. Election carries responsibilities, some of which are not pleasant, but, in the end, faithful Israel will be rewarded.
    ( يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة )
    ثم وصف تعالى ذكره نفسه بأنه المتوحد بخلق جميع الأنام من شخص واحد ، معرفا عباده كيف كان مبتدأ إنشائه ذلك من النفس الواحدة ، ومنبههم بذلك على أن جميعهم بنو رجل واحد وأم واحدة وأن بعضهم من بعض ، وأن حق بعضهم على بعض واجب وجوب حق الأخ على أخيه ، لاجتماعهم في النسب إلى أب واحد وأم واحدة وأن الذي يلزمهم من رعاية بعضهم حق بعض ، وإن بعد التلاقي في النسب إلى الأب الجامع بينهم ، مثل الذي يلزمهم من ذلك في النسب الأدنى وعاطفا بذلك بعضهم على بعض ، ليتناصفوا ولا يتظالموا ، وليبذل القوي من نفسه للضعيف حقه بالمعروف على ما ألزمه الله له (تفسير الطبرى)

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    Default Why do Jews reject the Christian claim that "And his grave was set with the wicked, a

    What is the meaning of "And his grave was set with the wicked, and with the rich in his deaths" (Isaiah 53:9)?
    Answer: The suffering servant's "deaths" as well as the description of his subsequent revival are metaphors for the fortunes of Israel. The phrases "for he was cut off out of the land of the living" (verse 8), "his grave was set" (verse 9), and "in his deaths" (verse 9) are not to be taken literally. The metaphor "his grave was set" describing an event in the life of God's suffering servant, is similar to the statement, "for he was cut off out of the land of the living" (verse 8). Metaphors of this type, used to describe deep anguish and subjection to enemies, are part of the biblical idiom. Similar metaphorical language is used, for example, in Ezekiel 37 to express the condition preceding relief and rejuvenation following the end of exile. Ezekiel provides the clues needed for understanding the phraseology used by Isaiah. The metaphorical images employed by Isaiah-"cut off out of the land of the living" and "grave"-are used in Ezekiel's description of the valley of the dry bones, where the bones symbolize the exiled Jewish people. Lost in apparently hopeless exile, the Jewish people exclaim: "we are clean cut off" (Ezekiel 37:11). In reply, God promises: "And I will put My spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land" (Ezekiel 37:14). It is now clear that Isaiah's phrase, "for he was cut off out of the land of the living," refers to the deadly condition of exile. Similarly, the term "grave" in Isaiah-"And his grave was set with the wicked"-refers to life in exile as used in Ezekiel: "I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves" (Ezekiel 37:12), where "graves" is a metaphor for the lands of exile.

    The messages of these two prophets are addressed to God's suffering servant. The sovereign national entity was destroyed but the Jewish people survive, albeit in exile from which God will restore them to their land. Although "cut off out of the land of the living" and now living in the lands of exile, the "grave set with the wicked," God will free the servant from this fate and restore him to the "land of the living," the Land of Israel. That Isaiah speaks in the singular and Ezekiel in the plural is of no consequence, for the people of Israel may be spoken of in both forms (for example, Exodus 14:31, Psalms 81:12-14).

    Paralleling "grave set with the wicked" is the phrase "with the rich in his deaths." "Rich" here refers to the powerful men and institutions of the Gentile nations among whom the personified people of Israel are exiled.

    "And his grave was set with the wicked" describes an imposed fate and not something accepted voluntarily by the servant. Furthermore, this was not a literal death, as the servant was alive when "his grave was set" (cf. Genesis 30:1; Exodus 10:17; Numbers 12:12; 2 Samuel 9:8, 16:9; Jonah 4:9 for examples of figurative death). This verse informs us that despite the imposed fate of exile, Israel continued to be faithful to God. Accordingly, Israel is to afterwards enjoy the fruits of his sacrifice. The phrase "in his deaths" signifies that the suffering servant of the Lord experienced figuratively many "deaths" in exile. His anguish was multiplied exceedingly by the constant harassment of his enemies. Jewish history shows us how often Israel, hounded by its enemies, seemed to be in its last throes only to rise again.
    ( يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة )
    ثم وصف تعالى ذكره نفسه بأنه المتوحد بخلق جميع الأنام من شخص واحد ، معرفا عباده كيف كان مبتدأ إنشائه ذلك من النفس الواحدة ، ومنبههم بذلك على أن جميعهم بنو رجل واحد وأم واحدة وأن بعضهم من بعض ، وأن حق بعضهم على بعض واجب وجوب حق الأخ على أخيه ، لاجتماعهم في النسب إلى أب واحد وأم واحدة وأن الذي يلزمهم من رعاية بعضهم حق بعض ، وإن بعد التلاقي في النسب إلى الأب الجامع بينهم ، مثل الذي يلزمهم من ذلك في النسب الأدنى وعاطفا بذلك بعضهم على بعض ، ليتناصفوا ولا يتظالموا ، وليبذل القوي من نفسه للضعيف حقه بالمعروف على ما ألزمه الله له (تفسير الطبرى)

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    Default What is meant in Isaiah 53:8 by: "For he was cut off out of the land of the living"?

    What is meant in Isaiah 53:8 by: "For he was cut off out of the land of the living"?


    Answer: "For he was cut off out of the land of the living" is not to be taken as a literal description of the death of an individual. Metaphors of this type, used to describe deep anguish and subjection to enemies, are part of the biblical idiom. Similar metaphorical language is used, for example, in Ezekiel 37 to express the condition preceding relief and rejuvenation following the end of exile. Ezekiel provides the clues needed for understanding the phraseology used by Elijah. The metaphorical images employed by Isaiah are also used in Ezekiel's description of the valley of the dry bones, where the bones symbolize the exiled Jewish people. Lost in an apparently hopeless exile, the Jewish people claim: "we are clean cut off" (Ezekiel 37:11). In reply, God promises: "And I will put My spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land" (Ezekiel 37:14). It is now clear that Isaiah's phrase, "for he was cut off out of the land of the living," refers to the deadly condition of exile. God will free the servant from this fate and restore him to the "land of the living," the Land if Israel.

    Within the context of Isaiah 53 and specifically within the context of verse 8, the phrase "for he was cut off out of the land of the living," has no special literal or metaphorical application to Jesus.
    ( يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة )
    ثم وصف تعالى ذكره نفسه بأنه المتوحد بخلق جميع الأنام من شخص واحد ، معرفا عباده كيف كان مبتدأ إنشائه ذلك من النفس الواحدة ، ومنبههم بذلك على أن جميعهم بنو رجل واحد وأم واحدة وأن بعضهم من بعض ، وأن حق بعضهم على بعض واجب وجوب حق الأخ على أخيه ، لاجتماعهم في النسب إلى أب واحد وأم واحدة وأن الذي يلزمهم من رعاية بعضهم حق بعض ، وإن بعد التلاقي في النسب إلى الأب الجامع بينهم ، مثل الذي يلزمهم من ذلك في النسب الأدنى وعاطفا بذلك بعضهم على بعض ، ليتناصفوا ولا يتظالموا ، وليبذل القوي من نفسه للضعيف حقه بالمعروف على ما ألزمه الله له (تفسير الطبرى)

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    Default What is meant in Isaiah 53:8 by: "And his life's history who is able to relate?"

    What is meant in Isaiah 53:8 by: "And his life's history who is able to relate?"


    Answer: The translation of dor, which is generally rendered as "generation" is to be understood here as meaning "life's history" or "life's cycle." What is involved here is not just the suffering servant's life-span but the entire spectrum of events contained within those years. This is similar to the use of dor in Isaiah 38:12, where Hezekiah speaks of how he felt about what was believed to be his imminent passing: "My life's cycle [dori] is pulled up and carried from me as a shepherd's tent." He bewails not just his expected loss of life but all that he could still accomplish if allowed to live. Isaiah 53:8 quotes the repentant Gentles as asking, in effect, the rhetorical Question: Who is able to properly relate all the trials and tribulations suffered by the servant during his passage through history?
    ( يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة )
    ثم وصف تعالى ذكره نفسه بأنه المتوحد بخلق جميع الأنام من شخص واحد ، معرفا عباده كيف كان مبتدأ إنشائه ذلك من النفس الواحدة ، ومنبههم بذلك على أن جميعهم بنو رجل واحد وأم واحدة وأن بعضهم من بعض ، وأن حق بعضهم على بعض واجب وجوب حق الأخ على أخيه ، لاجتماعهم في النسب إلى أب واحد وأم واحدة وأن الذي يلزمهم من رعاية بعضهم حق بعض ، وإن بعد التلاقي في النسب إلى الأب الجامع بينهم ، مثل الذي يلزمهم من ذلك في النسب الأدنى وعاطفا بذلك بعضهم على بعض ، ليتناصفوا ولا يتظالموا ، وليبذل القوي من نفسه للضعيف حقه بالمعروف على ما ألزمه الله له (تفسير الطبرى)

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    Great research as always
    May Allah bless you
    من هنا نبدأ ... وفي الجنة نلتقي
    إن شاء الله

    نقره لتكبير أو تصغير الصورة ونقرتين لعرض الصورة في صفحة مستقلة بحجمها الطبيعي

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    Thanks dear brother
    God bless you too
    ( يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة )
    ثم وصف تعالى ذكره نفسه بأنه المتوحد بخلق جميع الأنام من شخص واحد ، معرفا عباده كيف كان مبتدأ إنشائه ذلك من النفس الواحدة ، ومنبههم بذلك على أن جميعهم بنو رجل واحد وأم واحدة وأن بعضهم من بعض ، وأن حق بعضهم على بعض واجب وجوب حق الأخ على أخيه ، لاجتماعهم في النسب إلى أب واحد وأم واحدة وأن الذي يلزمهم من رعاية بعضهم حق بعض ، وإن بعد التلاقي في النسب إلى الأب الجامع بينهم ، مثل الذي يلزمهم من ذلك في النسب الأدنى وعاطفا بذلك بعضهم على بعض ، ليتناصفوا ولا يتظالموا ، وليبذل القوي من نفسه للضعيف حقه بالمعروف على ما ألزمه الله له (تفسير الطبرى)

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    Default Does "By oppression and judgment he was taken away," refer to Jesus?

    Why do Jews reject the Christian claim that the beginning of Isaiah 53:8, generally rendered, "By oppression and judgment he was taken away," refers to Jesus?


    Answer: Generally, the beginning of this verse is rendered: "By oppression and judgment he was taken away." When explained in this way, the verse is meant to indicate that, by means of persecution and judicial decision, the servant was exiled, not only from his own homeland but from the lands of his dispersion as well. But, at best, the prophet's words have no particular application to Jesus, since they could, in actuality, be applied generally to many people who suffered persecution.

    However, the general context of this verse indicates that the word may-'otser should not be translated as "by oppression" but in accordance with its derivation from 'etser, denoting "domination," "sovereignty," and thus the beginning of the verse should read: "From dominion and judgment. . . ." Accordingly, the verse does not refer to how the servant was taken away but refers, rather, to what he was taken away from. Can this be applied to Jesus? From what dominion and judgment was Jesus taken away? He never had any power as a ruler to lose. He was never deprived of any office.

    According to the New Testament, Jesus' "first coming" was not as a ruler or judge, but as one who would bring salvation. The New Testament further claims that Jesus will be coming back a second time and it is only then that he will reign as king and judge of the world. Jesus is quoted as saying: ". . . the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28) and "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). It is further stated in the Gospel of John: "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him" (John 3:17). The preceding quotations illustrate that Jesus did not lose any dominion or right to judge during his lifetime, since he never had these rights in the first place.

    Considering verse 8 in its entirety, within the context of the entire chapter, it becomes clear that Isaiah did not refer to Jesus. "From dominion and judgment" reflects critical events in Jewish history: Taken from "dominion and judgment, that is, rulership and the right to judge, who can relate Israel's history which followed after "he was cut off out of the land of the living," that is, the Land of Israel? Israel's life was filled with innumerable sufferings because of the misdeeds of the Gentiles who afflicted him unjustly. Driven into exile, the servant was deprived of his right to rule and judge.

    The fact is that there is nothing in any part of this verse that points to Jesus as the "suffering servant of the Lord."
    ( يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة )
    ثم وصف تعالى ذكره نفسه بأنه المتوحد بخلق جميع الأنام من شخص واحد ، معرفا عباده كيف كان مبتدأ إنشائه ذلك من النفس الواحدة ، ومنبههم بذلك على أن جميعهم بنو رجل واحد وأم واحدة وأن بعضهم من بعض ، وأن حق بعضهم على بعض واجب وجوب حق الأخ على أخيه ، لاجتماعهم في النسب إلى أب واحد وأم واحدة وأن الذي يلزمهم من رعاية بعضهم حق بعض ، وإن بعد التلاقي في النسب إلى الأب الجامع بينهم ، مثل الذي يلزمهم من ذلك في النسب الأدنى وعاطفا بذلك بعضهم على بعض ، ليتناصفوا ولا يتظالموا ، وليبذل القوي من نفسه للضعيف حقه بالمعروف على ما ألزمه الله له (تفسير الطبرى)

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    Default Did Jews believe the suffering servant was the messiah?

    Is it true (as Christians claim) that Jews at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple believed that Isaiah 53 spoke of a suffering messiah who was to die as an atonement for the sins of others and then be resurrected?


    Answer: A number of interpretations as to the identity of the "suffering servant" and what he was to accomplish may have been current during the Second Temple period. However, there is no evidence to support the Christian contention that the interpretation of the servant as the suffering messiah later adopted by the followers of Jesus was one of them.

    The Gospels themselves provide evidence that no such understanding of the passage existed prior to the crucifixion. For example, what did Jesus' disciples believe? After Peter acknowledges Jesus as the Messiah (Matthew 16:16), he is informed that Jesus will be killed (Matthew 16:21). Rather than acknowledging this as the prophetic fate of the Messiah he responds: "God forbid it, lord! This shall never happen to you." He would never have said this if he thought Jesus was the fulfillment of a supposedly centuries old prophetic interpretation of Isaiah 53 that coincides with that now found in Christianity.

    As for Jesus himself, he requests that God "remove the cup from me" (Mark 14:36), that is, the humiliation, suffering, and death he is about to undergo? Obviously he didn't know that this is why he supposedly came to earth and that the travail he is about to undertake is allegedly the fulfillment of Isaiah 53. It is clear that a removal of "the cup" would destroy what Christian's would later claim is God's plan for mankind's redemption. Did Jesus offer a prayer that he knew to be nothing but an empty gesture on his part?

    Jesus supposedly taught the disciples to understand the Scriptures as referring to himself as the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, who was to arise from the dead after dying as an atonement for mankind's sins. Teaching about a suffering messianic figure who dies for other people's sins some Christian's claim was standard Jewish interpretation until the rabbis supposedly corrupted the true teaching to hide that Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 53.

    However, when Jesus "was teaching his disciples and telling them, 'The Son of Man is to be delivered up into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he has been killed, he will rise again three days later" (Mark 9:31) we are told "they did not understand this statement" (Mark 9:32). This was obviously a concept that was unfamiliar to them.

    The news of Jesus' death brings a reaction of "mourning and weeping" (Mark 16:10) from Jesus' disciples. "And when they heard that he was alive . . . they refused to believe it" (Mark 16:11). John explains, "For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise again from the dead" (John 20:9). The disciples reaction is not what would be expected if they saw events as fulfillment of Isaiah 53.

    One would expect that if there were any first century C.E. Jews who were familiar with the interpretation of Isaiah 53 espoused by present-day Christians, that it would have been Jesus and his followers. Yes, there are New Testament anachronisms that attribute such teachings to Jesus. Yet, we find instances where Jesus and/or his followers express themselves in a manner that runs counter to this new Christian interpretation.

    It is apparent from the Gospels that before and for sometime after the crucifixion Jesus' own disciples didn't view Isaiah 53 as referring to a suffering messiah who would die for the sins of the people and then be resurrected. It was only in the post-crucifixion period that these notions developed among the followers of Jesus. There is simply no evidence that this was a Jewish interpretation of the passage. The Question remains as to who are the Jews contemporary with Jesus that supposedly held to what has become the present Christian understanding of the meaning of Isaiah 53? They simply cannot be identified because they never existed.
    ( يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة )
    ثم وصف تعالى ذكره نفسه بأنه المتوحد بخلق جميع الأنام من شخص واحد ، معرفا عباده كيف كان مبتدأ إنشائه ذلك من النفس الواحدة ، ومنبههم بذلك على أن جميعهم بنو رجل واحد وأم واحدة وأن بعضهم من بعض ، وأن حق بعضهم على بعض واجب وجوب حق الأخ على أخيه ، لاجتماعهم في النسب إلى أب واحد وأم واحدة وأن الذي يلزمهم من رعاية بعضهم حق بعض ، وإن بعد التلاقي في النسب إلى الأب الجامع بينهم ، مثل الذي يلزمهم من ذلك في النسب الأدنى وعاطفا بذلك بعضهم على بعض ، ليتناصفوا ولا يتظالموا ، وليبذل القوي من نفسه للضعيف حقه بالمعروف على ما ألزمه الله له (تفسير الطبرى)

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    Default How does Isaiah 53:8 show that the death of Jesus should not be considered as atoneme

    How does Isaiah 53:8 show that the death of Jesus should not be considered as atonement for the sins of humankind?


    Answer: Verse 8, a statement made by the enemies of the suffering servant of the Lord, shows that Jesus could not be the suffering servant.

    Christians allege that Jesus suffered as atonement for mankind's sins. It would appear from the New Testament that Jesus became flesh and blood, that is, a human being, in order to pay the ransom for sins and bring redemption through blood sacrifice as required by the Law of Moses. For example, Paul writes in Colossians, "we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (1:14) and "through the blood of his cross" (1:20) and "in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight" (1:22). He also states, "But now, in Christ Jesus, you who sometimes were far off are made close by the blood of' Christ" (Ephesians 1:13). Thus, it is alleged that "the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5) suffered as atonement for mankind's sins through the shedding of the human blood of his human flesh. It is not his alleged divinity that was supposedly sacrificed but his humanity.

    This presents a problem for Psalms 49:8 (verse 7 in some versions) declares, "No man can by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him." Yet, it is precisely through his humanity that Jesus would have to offer himself as a redemption or ransom. Are the psalmist's words "no man can by any means" confined solely to ordinary man? If Jesus was fully human while still allegedly being divine, then he was a man in every way understood within the context of the psalm. Then, in no way can he redeem mankind or give himself to God as a ransom for mankind through the means of his human nature or his supposed divine nature.
    ( يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفس واحدة )
    ثم وصف تعالى ذكره نفسه بأنه المتوحد بخلق جميع الأنام من شخص واحد ، معرفا عباده كيف كان مبتدأ إنشائه ذلك من النفس الواحدة ، ومنبههم بذلك على أن جميعهم بنو رجل واحد وأم واحدة وأن بعضهم من بعض ، وأن حق بعضهم على بعض واجب وجوب حق الأخ على أخيه ، لاجتماعهم في النسب إلى أب واحد وأم واحدة وأن الذي يلزمهم من رعاية بعضهم حق بعض ، وإن بعد التلاقي في النسب إلى الأب الجامع بينهم ، مثل الذي يلزمهم من ذلك في النسب الأدنى وعاطفا بذلك بعضهم على بعض ، ليتناصفوا ولا يتظالموا ، وليبذل القوي من نفسه للضعيف حقه بالمعروف على ما ألزمه الله له (تفسير الطبرى)

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The suffering servant in Isaiah 53

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The suffering servant in Isaiah 53

The suffering servant in Isaiah 53