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Who Is The Servant In Isaiah?

1800 words - 7 pages

The book of Isaiah is full of many prophecies that have puzzled the minds of religions, today. Some of the most sought-out and determining views of faiths are being argued over some statements made in the book of Isaiah, as well. In this essay, the question of who the servant is in Isaiah is addressed. In this essay, it will be argued that Israel is the determined servant in Isaiah, not Jesus or Jacob or any other individual/nation. The HarperCollins Study Bible (NRSV) will provide the scripture on which will be the base of the evidence.To understand the prophecy of the servant in Isaiah, it is necessary to start in chapter forty-one to pick up the flow of where the prophecy will lead to. Isaiah 41:8-10 states:But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off"; do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.Clearly shown, as the book of Isaiah has written, Israel is mentioned in the text. However, many concerns can object to verses 8-10, because Israel is not the only "servant" mentioned. Jacob is another possibility. But to introduce rebuttal into that statement, it is known in Genesis after wrestling with an angel, Jacob is named Israel Genesis 32:27-28 reflects this:So he (Jacob) said to him (the angel), "What is your name?" and he said, "Jacob." Then the man said "You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.So, essentially, Jacob is Israel. Jacob ends up in slavery, just as the Israelites, to have their God-given land. Just as Jacob had 12 sons, they eventually became the 12 tribes of Israel. And it is no wonder why the book of Isaiah, when writing this passage, placed Jacob and Israel so close together - because Jacob is Israel. So as Jacob is being mentioned throughout the chapters 40-55 in Isaiah, it is important to remember that the interpretation of Jacob is all of Israel. Note that the words Israel and Jacob can be interchangeable in the next verses:Isaiah 45:4 - For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me.Isaiah 46:3 - Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb;Isaiah 48:1 - Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and who came forth from the loins of Judah; who swear by the name of the Lord,and invoke the God of Israel, but not the truth or right.It can be seen from these verses that the two names, Jacob and Israel, are closely related. Even 48:1 enforces the idea that Isaiah can be used under the name Jacob, since the verse self-explains Jacob as having a broader...

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