Today, Jewish people have various concepts of the “Messiah.” Of those who believe in a literal Messiah, most hold that the Messiah will bring world peace. To this notion, some add that the Messiah will deliver Israel from her enemies, re-gather Israel from the Diaspora, and then rule over the earth. Some say that we will not be able to know who the Messiah is until he comes and does these particular things. In fact, most Jews are taught that this concept of a deliverer, peacemaker, and ruler constitute the traditional Jewish view.
However, the Jewish Bible (the Hebrew Scriptures) consistently and repeatedly teaches another aspect of the Messiah. This has always been part of the traditional Jewish view of the Messiah until very recently, but is seldom taught today. This is the concept of the Messiah suffering and dying. In addition, the Jewish Bible provides numerous details of the Messiah’s genealogy, birth, life, and even the time of his coming. Each of these aspects will be presented separately on this website.
The Jewish Bible Indicates That the Messiah Was to Suffer and Die as the Ultimate Atonement for the Sins of Israel and Others
Numerous passages in the Jewish Bible indicate that the Messiah would suffer and die. Brief descriptions of some of these passages follow. The first three listed below are described separately and in more detail on this website. That this was part of the traditional Jewish view is thoroughly demonstrated in a more detailed discussion of Isaiah 53.
1. Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (known as “Isaiah 53”)—The sufferings and death of Messiah are depicted in great detail, including his sufferings, his death as a sacrifice for the sins of Israel and others, as well as his death, burial, and resurrection. (For a more detailed explanation of this passage, see “What Rabbis Have Said About Isaiah 53”.)
2. Psalm 22 and Zechariah 12:10—Messiah’s death by crucifixion is depicted in great detail. This includes his ridicule (Psalm 22: 7-8), his being stripped of his clothing and his garments being gambled over (verse 18), his being deserted by G-d (verse 1), his agony with thirst (verse 15), and his hands and feet being pierced (verse 16 and Zechariah 12:10). These passages were written centuries before crucifixion was invented. (For more detail on these passages, see “Psalm 22.”)
3. Daniel 9:24-26—The Messiah would die before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. (For more detail on this passage, see “Messiah’s Birth According to the Jewish Bible.”)
4. Zechariah 9:9—The Messiah would be lowly.
5. Psalm 41:9, Psalm 55:12-14, and Zechariah 11:12-13—The Messiah would be betrayed by a friend and sold for 30 pieces of silver.
6. Psalm 35:11 and Psalm 109:2—The Messiah would be accused by false witnesses.
7. Isaiah 49:5-9 (especially verse 7)—The Messiah would be despised and abhorred by his people.
8. Isaiah 50:4-11 (especially verses 6-9), also Micah 5:1, and Zechariah 13:7—The Messiah would be smitten on his back and on his face, have his beard pulled out, and be shamed and spat upon.
9. Psalm 69:3, Psalm 69:21, and Psalm 22:15—The Messiah would agonize by thirst.
10. Psalm 16:10—The Messiah’s soul would be in hell, but would not be left there (i.e. he would be resurrected).Written by: Jonathan Sacks Sacks Messianic Ministries P.O. Box 51764 Bowling Green, KY 42102-6764