Source data for messianic titles

[Second installment/Nov12-2015; top-of-series at messy01.html]


Someone wanted me to give the source data for the chart of the Messiah's roles, given in this article (falsechrist.html) on the Tank.


Here's the list of functions/roles I mentioned there:


1.       He was to be a “second” Moses (prophet)

2.       He was to be a “second” David (Davidic king)

3.       He was to be a “second” Melchizedek (Kingly Priest)

4.       He was to be a faithful priest (as opposed to Eli)

5.       He was to be a Rejected Messiah

6.       He was to be a Betrayed Messiah

7.       He was to be a killed-and-resurrected Davidic king

8.       He was to come in power ‘on clouds’

9.       He was to come in weakness ‘on a donkey’

10.   He was to be a Teacher of the Gentiles

11.   He was to be a “Breaker” (Micah 2.12-13) of both external enemies and of internal power elites within Israel (and ‘stone of stumbling’)

12.   He was to be a Suffering Servant

13.   He was to be Ruler of All Nations (and destroyer of all wicked, so there could be peace in the world)

14.   He was to be Sacrifice for the sins of Israel

15.   He was to Redeem (Release) Israel from bondage to foreign powers

16.   He was to Save (in the future) all those who believed (in the present)


I will have to do this in sections, and this one will contain the items (5) Rejected Messiah, (6) Betrayed Messiah, and (12) Suffering servant.


When we get to the rejection and mistreatment motifs, we have a good bit more data to work with, than we had with the priestly functions. This is largely because of the history of "majority" biblical Israel's continual rejection of God's emissaries--mostly the prophets, but also including sporadic events against priests and kings. Although most of this occurs in pre-exilic Israel, the post-exilic rejections are none-the-less present, even though they no longer take on the form of idolatry.


Here's a 'basic' list of the 'circumstances and events related to Christ's death' from Elwell, W. A., & Buckwalter, D. (1996). Topical analysis of the Bible: with the New International Version (Vol. 5). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.


We will go through this list and select those that are more central to 'rejection, betrayal, mistreatment, and death':


1)      Christ Would Be Despised by Men

a)      Prophecy Ps. 22:6; Isa. 49:7; Isa. 53:2–3

b)      Fulfillment Luke 19:14; Luke 23:18; John 1:11

2)      People and Rulers Would Conspire against Christ

a)      Prophecy  Ps. 2:1–2

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 12:14

3)      Christ Would Suffer in This Life

a)      Prophecy Isa. 52:14; Isa. 53:3

b)      Fulfillment Luke 22:15; Luke 22:44; Heb. 4:15

4)      Christ Would Be Betrayed by a Friend

a)      Prophecy Ps. 41:9; Ps. 55:12–14

b)      Fulfillment Luke 22:3–4; John 6:64; John 6:70–71; John 13:18

5)      Christ Would Be Sold for Thirty Pieces  of Silver

a)      Prophecy Zech. 11:12

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 26:14–15

6)      The Silver Would Buy a Potter’s Field

a)      Prophecy Zech. 11:13

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:3–10

7)      Christ Would Be Forsaken

a)      Prophecy Zech. 13:7

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 26:31; John 16:32

8)      Christ Would Be Silent before His Accusers

a)      Prophecy Isa. 53:7

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:12; Luke 23:9

9)      Christ Would Be Beaten

a)      Prophecy Isa. 52:14

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:26

10)   Christ Would Be Spit Upon

a)      Prophecy Isa. 50:5–6

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 26:67; Matt. 27:30

11)   Christ Would Be Hit in the Face

a)      Prophecy Mic. 5:1

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 26:67; Matt. 27:30

12)   Christ Would Be Crucified

a)      Prophecy Ps. 22:16

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 26:2; John 3:14

13)   Christ Would Be Given Gall and Vinegar

a)      Prophecy Ps. 69:21

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:34; Matt. 27:48; Luke 23:36

14)   Christ’s Garments Would Be Divided Up

a)      Prophecy Ps. 22:18

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:35

15)   Christ Would Be Reviled and Mocked

a)      Prophecy Ps. 22:7–8; Ps. 22:12–13

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:39, 41–42; Mark 15:31–32; Luke 23:35–36

16)   Christ’s Body Would Die Surrounded by Criminals

a)      Prophecy Isa. 53:12

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:38; Mark 15:27; Luke 22:36–37

17)   Christ Would Die for the Sin of the World

a)      Prophecy Isa. 53:5, 8, 10, 12; Dan. 9:26

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:50; Acts 8:30–35; 1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 1:3; 1 Pet. 2:23–24

18)   None of Christ’s Bones Would Be Broken

a)      Prophecy Ps. 34:20

b)      Fulfillment John 19:32–33, 36

19)   Christ’s Body Would Be Pierced

a)      Prophecy Zech. 12:10

b)      Fulfillment John 19:34, 37

20)   Christ Would Be Buried with the Rich

a)      Prophecy Isa. 53:9

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:57–60



Let's pare this down a little (for this article):


1)      Christ Would Be Despised by Men

a)      Prophecy Ps. 22:6; Isa. 49:7; Isa. 53:2–3

b)      Fulfillment Luke 19:14; Luke 23:18; John 1:11

2)      People and Rulers Would Conspire against Christ

a)      Prophecy  Ps. 2:1–2

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 12:14

3)      Christ Would Suffer in This Life

a)      Prophecy Isa. 52:14; Isa. 53:3

b)      Fulfillment Luke 22:15; Luke 22:44; Heb. 4:15

4)      Christ Would Be Betrayed by a Friend

a)      Prophecy Ps. 41:9; Ps. 55:12–14

b)      Fulfillment Luke 22:3–4; John 6:64; John 6:70–71; John 13:18

5)      Christ Would Be Sold for Thirty Pieces  of Silver

a)      Prophecy Zech. 11:12

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 26:14–15

6)      Christ Would Be Forsaken

a)      Prophecy Zech. 13:7

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 26:31; John 16:32

7)      Christ Would Be Beaten

a)      Prophecy Isa. 52:14

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:26

8)      Christ Would Be Spit Upon

a)      Prophecy Isa. 50:5–6

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 26:67; Matt. 27:30

9)      Christ Would Be Hit in the Face

a)      Prophecy Mic. 5:1

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 26:67; Matt. 27:30

10)   Christ Would Be Crucified

a)      Prophecy Ps. 22:16

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 26:2; John 3:14

11)   Christ Would Be Reviled and Mocked

a)      Prophecy Ps. 22:7–8; Ps. 22:12–13

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:39, 41–42; Mark 15:31–32; Luke 23:35–36

12)   Christ Would Die for the Sin of the World

a)      Prophecy Isa. 53:5, 8, 10, 12; Dan. 9:26

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:50; Acts 8:30–35; 1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 1:3; 1 Pet. 2:23–24

13)   Christ Would Be Buried with the Rich

a)      Prophecy Isa. 53:9

b)      Fulfillment Matt. 27:57–60


To these we should add

14) Christ would be Pierced (to death--causing mourning by Israel)

a)      Prophecy Zech 12.10

b)      Fulfillment John 19.37

15) Christ would be rejected although chosen by God and a tool of judgment

a)      Prophecy Ps 118.22; Is 8:14f and Dan 2.34-35, 44-45.

b)      Fulfillment Mt 21.42; Mr 12:10; Lk 20:17; Act 4:11; Eph 2:20; 1 Pet 2:6-7

16) Christ would be rejected -- as king / royal-shepherd

a)      Prophecy Zech 11.12

b)      Fulfillment (the being sold for 30 pieces of silver)




Strictly speaking, these wouldn’t be 'roles' of a Messiah, but they would be 'marks' of the/an expected, messianic figure.


If we rearrange these, into the 3 themes of rejection, betrayal, and mistreatment (including death), we would have these:


1)      Rejection:

a)      Rejected messiah/king, though Chosen by God and a tool of judgment (the 'stone' and payment)

b)      Despised by Men

c)       People and Rulers would Conspire Against Christ

d)      Christ would be Forsaken

e)      Christ would be Reviled and Mocked

f)       Christ would be Spit Upon


2)      Betrayal:

a)      Christ would be Betrayed by a Friend

b)      Christ would be Sold for Thirty Pieces of Silver


3)      Mistreatment/Death:

a)      Christ would suffer in this Life (at the hands of others--not just 'calamity' type suffering)

b)      Christ would be Beaten

c)       Christ would be hit in the Face

d)      Christ would be Crucified

e)      Christ would die for the sin of the world (clearly includes a 'death')

f)       Christ would be Buried with the Rich (burial implies a 'death')

g)      Christ would be 'pierced' (unto death)



Many of these motifs are conflated in the fulfillment passages, and are conflated (in a different pattern) in the prediction passages.


I will deal with these in a different order thought: Rejection (being rejected, being despised), Suffering Servant, and then Betrayal (by friend, for 30 pieces of silver).





Rejected, rejected king/leader, though Chosen by God and a tool of judgment (Ps 118.22;  Is 8:14f--with 28.16;  and Dan 2.34-35, 44-45.; Zech 11.12f ; numerous NT refs: Mt 21.42; Mr 12:10; Lk 20:17; Act 4:11; Eph 2:20; 1 Pet 2:6-7).


This is one of the more prominent motifs in the New Testament--the rejected cornerstone. The Messiah is portrayed as a foundation stone (for building a secure and strong structure) and as a dense stone (that crushes with its weigh and that lacerates when someone falls upon it).


·         Ps 118:21f: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.


·         Is 8:14f: And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”


·         Is 28.14-16:  Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers,  who rule this people in Jerusalem! Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement,  when the overwhelming whip passes through it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;  therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation sin Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:  ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’ "


·         Dan 2.34-35, 44-45: As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth… And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure."

·         Zech 11.12f (Soncino): And I said to them, If it seems right to you, give me my wages; and if not, forbear. And they weighed for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, Cast it into the treasury, the good price at which I was paid by them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them into the treasury in the house of the Lord.



Commentators note that this motif is present all the various strands of non-Christian Judaism of the day. Some strands emphasize the 'rejection' motif and others emphasize the 'harmful density' aspect:


(At Mark 12.10ff)  "In addition to the more common Davidic interpretation, the “stone” was understood also as Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and Israel (Midr. Ps. 118:20; see survey in Berder 1996: 170–241), and “builders” is often used of “scholars” or “religious leaders” (CD-A IV, 19–20; VIII, 12, 18; CD-B XIX, 31; b. Šabb. 114a; b. Ber. 64a; Midr. Song 1:5; cf. Acts 4:11; 1 Cor. 3:10; see Derrett 1978). Psalm 118:22 is alluded to in T. Sol. 22:3 and cited in T. Sol. 24:3 where it literally describes the stone that completes Solomon’s temple. There is also a tradition that associated the dwelling of the divine presence with a stone named “Foundation,” upon which the ark sat, so called because the world was founded upon and centered on it (t. Yoma 3:6 [2:14]; y. Yoma 5:4 [42c]; b. Yoma 54b; Num. Rab. 12:4; Tanḥ. Lev. 6:4; 7:10). --- Of particular interest is the Targum’s explicit and thoroughgoing identification of the rejected stone with David (cf. Tg. Zech. 10:4, where this is associated with return from exile; b. Pesaḥ. 119a; Exod. Rab. 37:1). In 118:22 “the stone” becomes “the child” who “was among the sons of Jesse” and who “was worthy to be appointed king and ruler.” Additional references to Jesse, his family, David, and even Samuel and his sacrifice (118:23–29) suggest that the Targum interpreted the second half of the psalm in light of 1 Sam. 16:1–13, where David, although initially rejected, is ultimately appointed king first over the tribes of Judah (2 Sam. 2:1–4 [Tg. Ps. 118:27b]) and then Israel (2 Sam. 5:1–9 [Tg. Ps. 118:29]). Psalm 118 thus becomes a celebration of David’s inexorable accession to the throne, and that with prophetic attestation (cf. the “servants” in Jesus’ parable). --- Similarly, in the context of Zech. 4’s oracle concerning the building of the temple, in which a “foolish kingdom”-mountain “becomes” a plain, Tg. Zech. 4:7 translates the top-stone (hāʾeben hārōʾŝa) as “his [the Lord’s] anointed one,” probably due to a messianic interpretation of Ps. 118 (cf. Tg. Isa. 28:16). In Tg. Zech. 6:12–13a it is the Messiah who rebuilds the temple (cf. Tg. Isa. 53:5). In Tanḥ. Gen. 6:20, the stone of Zech. 4:7 is Dan. 2:34–35’s stone that smites the image to become a great mountain. This stone in linked in Esther Rab. 7:10 with Ps. 118:22’s rejected stone and in Num. Rab. 13:14 with the one like a son of man, Dan. 7:13 (C. A. Evans 2001a: 507–10). Several Jewish traditions anticipated the Messiah’s rebuilding of the temple (Zech. 6:12; cf. Tg. Zech. 6:12). --- A second feature in the Targum of Ps. 118 is the repeated references to “the builders” who, having earlier rejected the child, now confess that this is from “the presence” of the Lord, and that the day is God’s doing, and who now anticipate the Lord’s deliverance and bless the one who comes in his name (118:22–26)." [Beale, G. K., & Carson, D. A. (2007). Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (p. 213). Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos.]


(at Mark) "For examples of “builders” referring to religious leaders, see CD 4.19; 8.12, 18; Acts 4:11; 1 Cor. 3:10; b. Ber. 64a; b. Šabb. 114a." [Stein, R. H. (2008). Mark. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.]



(at Matt) "In T. Sol. 23:1–4, Solomon asks a wind demon to move an unspecified stone and place it into the corner of the building at the entrance of the temple, and then he quotes this OT verse (see also 22:6–8). In the Cairo Geniza Songs of David A 18, Ps. 118:22 is quoted and applied to David, suggesting an emerging pre-Christian messianic interpretation. The Targum to this verse renders “stone” as “child,” probably also alluding to David and adopting a messianic perspective (for both of these points, see de Moor 1998: 77–78). The Targum to Zech. 4:7 takes the cornerstone in that passage as explicitly referring to the Messiah. Given Jesus’ (and Matthew’s) use of Zechariah throughout this last week of his life, it is quite possible that Jesus and his first followers were aware of this interpretive tradition (S. Kim 1987). … At Qumran, on the other hand, the Dead Sea sect interpreted the passage metaphorically to refer to the entire community. It would be “the tested rampart, the precious cornerstone … the most holy dwelling for Aaron with eternal knowledge of the covenant of justice … a house of protection and truth in Israel” (1QS VIII, 7–9). One recalls Qumran’s communal interpretation of Isa 40:3 (…), which both the original OT and subsequent NT usage took in an individual sense. In the later rabbinic literature, the text came to be used as thanksgiving for the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt (Davidson 1998: 387). Individualistic interpretations continued, however, focused on David (and hence the Messiah) and also at times on Abraham (e.g., Pirqe R. El. 24; see Lane 1974: 420)." [Beale, G. K., & Carson, D. A. (2007). Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (p. 74). Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos.]


(at Matt 21) "Vs 42–44 work out the implications of the story. V 42 (quoting Ps. 118:22) illustrates the divine reversal which was soon to happen, when the one rejected by Israel’s leaders was to be proved to be the one chosen for the place of highest honour. V 44 takes up the same metaphor with allusions to the destructive stones of Is. 8:14–15 and Dn. 2:34–35, 44–45. V 43 is more direct: the kingdom symbolized by the vineyard belongs to God not to them, and he will entrust it to someone more responsible" [Carson, D. A., France, R. T., Motyer, J. A., & Wenham, G. J. (Eds.). (1994). New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 932). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.]


(at Matt 21) "Parts of Psalm 118 have already been cited in 21:9, 15, and Ps 118:22 also appears in Acts 4:11 and 1 Pet 2:7 (cf. Isa 8:14; 28:16). In light of the Psalms Targum, an ancient translation of the original Heb. into Aramaic, the citation of this verse probably involves a play on words “son” (ben [TH1121, ZH1202]) and “stone” (ʾeben [TH68, ZH74]). The rejection of the son (ben) in the parable (21:37–39) answers to the rejection of the stone (ʾeben) in Ps 118:22. It is also noteworthy that the Isaiah Targum interprets the “fertile hill” of Isa 5:1 as the Temple mount (Evans 1995:397–405; Snodgrass 1983:95–118). The architectural function of the stone that becomes the cornerstone (lit. “the head of the corner”) is unclear. It may be a typical foundational cornerstone, the keystone of an arch, or the capstone at the top of a corner." [Turner, D., & Bock, D. L. (2005). Cornerstone biblical commentary, Vol 11: Matthew and Mark (p. 276). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.]


(for Is 8.14f) "Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 38a. … When the wine took effect, they began by saying: The son of David cannot appear ere the two ruling houses in Israel shall have come to an end, viz., the Exilarchate in Babylon and the Patriarchate in Palestine, for it is written, And he shall be for a Sanctuary, for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both houses of Israel.' … A footnote after the words ‘son of David’ in the Soncino edition of the Talmud reads: ‘I.e., the Messiah’." [Huckel, T. (1998). The Rabbinic Messiah (Is 8:14). Philadelphia, PA: Hananeel House.]


(at Is 8) "Vs 12b–13a are quoted in 1 Pet. 3:14–15 [sic], which strikingly identifies Christ with the LORD Almighty, as indeed Jesus himself had already implied in his allusion to Is. 8:14–15 in Lk. 20:18a (cf. Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:7–8)… The sure foundation and the refuge of lies. As in 8:11–15, but now in a setting of reckless confidence, covenant and cornerstone are in contrast. The covenant with death and with the grave (lit. Sheol) could perhaps allude to an invocation of gods of the underworld, e.g. in necromancy (cf. 8:19) or in a treaty with Egypt. It is, however, more probably to be understood like the boast in v 15b of a lie and falsehood, i.e. as God’s estimate of their hope, put into their mouths. Their version would have been, no doubt, ‘Nothing can touch us; our alliances are watertight.’ God knew their real enemy and their professed friends. …The cornerstone promise, with that of 8:14, is quoted in Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:6; cf. Ps. 118:22. In 8:14 it explicitly signifies the Lord, but here the Lord lays the stone; the two statements meet in Christ, as the NT makes clear. Rom. 9:32–33 expounds the implications of the faith clause (cf. 7:9), the one who trusts will never be dismayed. The Heb. is lit. ‘will not be in haste’—since haste implies anxiety and confusion." [Carson, D. A., France, R. T., Motyer, J. A., & Wenham, G. J. (Eds.). (1994). New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 640). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.]


"Ps. 118:22; Isa. 8:14–15; Dan. 2:34, 44–45 in Judaism. In the later rabbinic text Esther Rab. 7:10 (on Esther 3:6), which is evidently messianic (Lachs 1987: 355), the author cites Ps. 118:22 along with a saying that corresponds to Luke’s saying in 20:18: “(The Israelites) are compared to stones, as it says, ‘From thence the shepherd of the stone (i.e., the Messiah) of Israel’ (Gen. 49:24); ‘The stone which the builders rejected’ (Ps. 118:22). But the other nations are likened to potsherds, as it says, ‘And he shall break it as a potter’s vessel is broken’ (Isa. 30:14). If a stone falls on a pot, woe to the pot! If a pot falls on a stone, woe to the pot! In either case, woe to the pot! So whoever ventures to attack [the Israelites] receives his desserts on their account” (Str-B 1:877; C. A. Evans 1990: 303). Strikingly, this midrash also quotes Dan. 2:34." [Beale, G. K., & Carson, D. A. (2007). Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (p. 363). Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos.]


"Targum Jonathan on Isa. 28:16 understands the stone to refer to a Davidic king. This is part of an extensive tradition in which various texts referring to a “stone” were applied to the Messiah and to the eschatological age (see Elliott 1966: 26–33). Of particular interest is 1QS VIII, 7–8, which may well depend on the Targum (so de Waard 1965: 54), and where the council of the eschatological community is the foundation. Almost certainly the LXX presupposes a messianic reading. Just as 1 Pet. 2:5–6 connects Christians as “living stones” to Christ, who is the stone of 2:6, thereby picturing the church as a temple (for discussion regarding those who think that this building is a house but not a temple, see Achtemeier 1996: 158–59), so also the community at Qumran could think of themselves as some kind of spiritual house—for example, “those in Israel who have freely pledged themselves to the House of Truth” (1QS V, 6); “a House of Holiness for Israel, an Assembly of Supreme Holiness for Aaron” (1QS VIII, 5–6); or passages where the Teacher of Righteous himself seems to constitute the house in which the Qumran community is built (1QHa XIV, 25–28; 4Q171 III, 15–16) (see Davids 1990: 87)." [Beale, G. K., & Carson, D. A. (2007). Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (p. 1025). Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos.]


(on the Daniel 'stone' passages) "Before bringing this discussion to a close, it will be worthwhile to consider a few examples of later rabbinic exegesis, including one that combines, as does 4 Ezra, the "son of man" with the "stone." First, we find in Midrash Tanhuma (Toledot §20) a remarkable exegesis based on the reference to mountains in Ps 121:1 and Zech 4:7. Who is this mountain? the Rabbis ask. It is "the King Messiah." Appeal is made to Isa 52:13, where the Lord's servant is said to be "lifted up" and "very high." Linkage with texts where "high" (or "tall," appears leads to quotation of the genealogy in 1 Chr 3:10-24, from Solomon to "Anani." Revocalization of this name provides linkage with Dan 7:13, the figure who comes "with the clouds" ('andne) who is also identified as the Messiah. More linked texts lead to the citation of Zech 4:7, which speaks of a "cornerstone," which in turn is linked to the stone of Dan 2:34-35. Forming an inclusio, the exegesis ends with quotations of Isa 52:7 and Ps 121:1-2. A similar exegesis is found later in Tanhuma (Terumah §7), in which the metals of the image and the stone are interpreted. The feet of the image are understood to be "Edom" (i.e. Rome), which will be shattered by the stone cut from the mountain: 'Now Daniel had seen the King Messiah, as stated: "You looked on until a stone was cut out without hands" (Dan 2:34). Resh Laqish said: "This stone is the King Messiah." "Then it struck the image on its feet" (Dan 2:34), that is, struck all the kingdoms, which were set in the image. Now by virtue of what is the King Messiah likened to a stone? By virtue of Jacob, (of whom) it is stated: "From there (comes) the shepherd, the stone of Israel" (Gen 49:24). "That stone was cut from the mountain," so that it consumes the whole world, as it is stated: "And he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth" (Isa 11:4). In that hour Israel shall dwell in tranquility and security, as it is stated: "And they shall dwell on (the land) in security" (Ezek 28:26).' --- A second, later midrash asks how we know that the King Messiah will rule the earth? According to Num. Rab. 13.14 (on Num 7:13): "Because it is stated, "All kings shall prostrate themselves before him; all nations shall serve him" (Ps 72:11). And it also says, "Behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like a son of man ... and there was given to him dominion ... that all peoples ... should serve him" (Dan 7:13-14); and "the stone that struck the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (Dan 2:35)." --- Finally, a third midrash links some of the passages already noticed, but without explicit reference to the stone of Daniel 2 as the Messiah. According to Esth. Rab. 7.10 (on Esth 3:6): "(Israelites) are compared to stones, as it says: "From there (comes) the shepherd, the stone of Israel" (Gen 49:24); and "the stone that the builders rejected" (Ps 118:22). But the other nations are likened to potsherds, as it says: "And He shall break it as a potter's vessel is broken" (Isa 30:14). If a stone falls on a pot, woe to the pot! If a pot falls on a stone, woe to the pot! In either case, woe to the pot! So whoever ventures to attack them receives his deserts on their account. And so it says in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, "You saw a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, and the clay" (Dan 2:45)." [“Daniel in the New Testament: Visions of God’s Kingdom.” Pages 490–527 in vol. 2 of The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception. Edited by J. J. Collins and P. W. Flint. VTSup 83/2. Leiden: Brill.; pp509-510]



(At Zech 11) "The reason for the calamity is the people's rejection of the messianic Shepherd-King. Just as the Servant in the Servant Songs (found basically in Isa 42; 49; 50; 53) is rejected, so here the Good Shepherd (a royal figure) is rejected.... In spite of the ideal ministry of the Good Shepherd, the flock as a whole detested him. Similarly, he grew weary of them (cf. Isa 1:13-14) and terminated his providential care of the sheep...Now comes the final, outright rejection of the Good Shepherd, including even "severance" pay (his death is predicted in 13:7). "Give me my pay" speaks of the termination of the relationship; "keep it" is a more emphatic way of terminating the relationship. The "flock" (v. 11) responds with thirty pieces of silver as the remuneration for the Shepherd's services. This sum was not only the price of a slave among the Israelites in ancient times (Ex 21:32) but also apparently a way of indicating a trifling amount. (EBCOT, in. loc.  Zech 11)


(Leader as shepherd): "As shepherd (king), Yahweh promises to seek out the lost sheep, to gather in those who have been scattered “from the peoples and from the countries,” to bind up the crippled, strengthen the weak and to judge “between sheep and sheep and between rams and goats” (Ezek 34:11–17). He will “feed his flock like a shepherd” (Isa 40:11), gather in exiles (Jer 31:10) and fight Israel’s enemies (Zech 14:1–3). This is to occur “on the Day of the Lord.” --- Nonetheless, at a number of places in the Prophets there is still a role for the king to play. As we saw above, in Ezek 34:23 it is said that the Davidic king will feed Yahweh’s people and be their shepherd. In Isa 11:4 the Davidic king, the shoot from the stock of Jesse (Isa 11:1), will judge the poor with righteousness and “decide with equity for the meek of the earth.” Cyrus, king of Persia, is named as Yahweh’s shepherd (Isa 44:28) and his anointed (Isa 45:1)54 and through him Yahweh says that he will rebuild Jerusalem and lay the foundations for the Temple (Isa 44:28) and make Yahweh’s salvation and name universally known (Isa 45:6)" [Lucass, S. (2011). The Concept of the Messiah in the Scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. (L. L. Grabbe, Ed.) (Vol. 78, p. 106). London; New York: T & T Clark International.]


Thus the identification of the 'stone' with the Messiah--and a rejected but nonetheless triumphant King/leader/shepherd--is fairly pervasive.



Despised by Men (Ps. 22:6; Isa. 49:7; Isa. 53:2–3; Mark 9.12; Luke 19:14; Luke 23:18; John 1:11)


·         Ps 22.6 reads "But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.


·         Is 49.7 reads "Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers:  “Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”


·         Is 53:2-3 reads "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. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."


This motif is mostly bound up with the 'rejection' motif, even though 'rejection' would not necessarily require a 'despising' attitude. [E.g. someone could reject a political candidate as being relatively 'sub-optimal' without despising the candidate.]. But the passages we cited above often included such language (e.g., "but his citizens hated him…'), and popular calls to crucify someone (although conceivable that it could be done in a 'morally detached way') as in Luke 23.18 would generally imply despising.


Mark 9.12 makes the emotional attitude explicit: "And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt?"


But the Isaiah passages specifically have 'despise-type' words, so let's look at some comments on the identity of the 'despise-ee'.


·         (On Isaiah 49.7):  "Although a collective interpretation of this passage is not impossible and is naturally suggested by a consideration of v.3, a straightforward application to Israel is ruled out by vv.5–7. The (probable intended) result is that the reader is forced by the material itself to face the question Who is this? --- If—as we suggested in the introduction to chapter 42—the first song can be viewed as contemplating the ministry of Jesus the Servant in prospect from the perspective of his baptism, this second song seems to be looking back on that ministry from its close. The distant nations are to benefit from his work; so he calls them to listen (v.1). This itself harmonizes with the prophetic ministry he was predestined to (cf. Jer 1:4–5). Isaiah’s illustrative gift can be seen in v.2, where the penetrating character of the Servant’s message is likened to two sharp weapons, while the implications of the second are developed to bring out a further point. Concealment in the quiver suggests, as does v.1 more literally, an eternal purpose manifest at the appropriate time (cf. 1 Peter 1:20). --- Isaiah 42:18–20 presented Israel as the deaf and blind servant of the Lord, and 44:21–23 assures us that nevertheless God intends to display his glory in Israel his servant. Here (v.3) that promise is reiterated. Matthew saw Jesus as the expression of God’s mind for Israel, as his quotation of Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15 makes clear and the Gospel of John asserts that God’s glory is revealed in him (e.g., John 1:14, 2:11). Jesus, even more than Nathaniel, is “a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false” (John 1:47). --- The close of the ministry of Jesus saw the great crowds of Galilean days no longer thronging him, the official religious leaders plotting his death, and the disciples forsaking him in the face of danger; but God would reward him (v.4; cf. Heb 12:2). --- Verse 5 makes it clear that the Servant is not Israel per se, for he has a ministry to Israel. The people may despise him (v.7), but God honors him. Honor is shown in the range of his ministry, for through it he will in fact be brought to great honor before the world’s kings and princes. The phrase “and now” suggests the transition from the limited ministry of the Gospels to the more extensive proclamation of his gospel through the apostles in Acts. The words of v.6—“it is too small a thing”—suggest an estimate of his person or of his work or of perhaps both. The restoration of the remnant—mentioned often in Isaiah (e.g., 11:10–16)—is to be expounded later in this chapter. Israel has light but needs restoration, while the Gentiles need both light and salvation. The church’s mission to the Gentiles is to be viewed in the context of the mission of Jesus himself (cf. John 20:21) and is to the uttermost parts of the earth (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8). --- Accordingly Paul and Barnabas could apply the words of v.6 to themselves (Acts 13:46–47). The Nunc Dimittis, on the other hand, applies this verse to Jesus himself (Luke 2:32). This means that we have NT warrant for interpreting this second song both individually and collectively, with the second emerging out of the first. --- Verse 7 prepares for the third and fourth songs. The unique servant’s ministry was in fact rejected by the nation (cf., e.g., Rom 9–11). Great as he was, he came as a subject, not only of God himself, but of earthly rulers such as Augustus, Tiberius, and Herod. As a result of his work, the highest of men and women would not only stand in respect and perhaps amazement but, even more appropriately, would bow low in worship and submission." [Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, pp. 284–285). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.]


·         (On Isaiah 49.7): "After ch. 42, with its mutually incompatible portraits of ‘my servant’ (42:1–4, 18–21), the question of Israel’s unfitness has become more and more acute. The coming chapters will resolve the tension, not by this servant’s dismissal or improvement, but by the clear emergence of a true Servant whose mission will be first of all to Israel itself. --- In this passage this is apparent at once from the Servant’s clear conscience. Here he shows no contrition for the sins deplored in 48:1–6, or the blindness of 42:18–20; only a sense of being trained for God’s moment (1–3; cf. 48:16). The unresponsiveness of Israel is something he has done battle with, not shared (4), and although he is addressed as ‘Israel’ (3), his mission field is itself ‘Israel’ (5) before it is the world (6). --- This paradox of an Israel sent to Israel is part of the powerful thrust of the OT towards the NT, since not even the ‘remnant’ of true Israelites (Rom. 9:6, 27) can fulfil the boundless expectations of vs 1–13. We are driven to seek a more perfect embodiment of God’s light, salvation (6) and covenant (8) in Christ at the head of his church, ‘the Israel of God’ (Acts 13:47; Gal. 6:16). Also the theme of conquest through service, broached in 42:1–4, has begun to sound the note of suffering and rejection (4, 7), which will increase in sharpness and significance in the third and fourth ‘Songs’." [Carson, D. A., France, R. T., Motyer, J. A., & Wenham, G. J. (Eds.). (1994). New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., pp. 659–661). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.]


·         Isaiah 49.7 (and the section in general) was taken as messianic in several Rabbinical works, although the collective interpretation of the Servant (i.e. referring to Israel instead of to a remnant of Israel or the messiah of Israel) was often the focus. For example, the Talmud takes the servant of 7 as the nation Israel, whereas the Messiah is the Comforter of verse 13 in the Midrash:


Babylonian Talmud, Ta’anith 14b–15a:

 " … R. Eleazar further said: Not all [will in the Messianic era] rise [before Israel], nor will all prostate themselves; king will rise and princes prostrate themselves; ‘Kings will rise’, for it is written, Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One [15a] to him who is despised of men, to him who is abhorred of nations, to a servant of rulers; kings shall see and arise; and princes will prostrate themselves,’  for it is written, Princes and they shall prostrate themselves." [Huckel, T. (1998). The Rabbinic Messiah (Is 49:7). Philadelphia, PA: Hananeel House.]


Midrash on Proverbs, Chapter 19, 21: 

" … The Messiah has been given seven names, and these are: Yinnon, Our Righteousness, Shoot, Comforter, David, Shiloh, Elijah … Where [in Scripture] is Comforter?  In the verse, For the Lord has comforted His people, and has taken back His afflicted ones (Isa. 49:13)." [Huckel, T. (1998). The Rabbinic Messiah (Is 49:13). Philadelphia, PA: Hananeel House.]



·         (On Is 49.7): "The servant’s work is described in greater detail in 49:5–6. The one God so tenderly led (cf. 44:2) would indeed be involved in the restoration of Israel, but also in the greater mission of being a light to the nations and of providing opportunity for them to come to the light of salvation. The light for the nations (NLT, “light to the Gentiles”) is continued from 42:6; in 45:7, we learn that God, not man, creates the light (cf. 60:3). The Servant is a light so that those in darkness can see (cf. 29:18; 35:5) and “walk in the light of the LORD” (2:5). The language of 49:6 is sometimes referred to as the “Great Commission” of the Old Testament; it was used by Paul and Barnabas in their Christian witness at Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:47). The Lord’s purpose was not just to exalt Jacob, or only to preserve Israel, but to provide a light for the Gentiles. Cyrus was responsible for the physical return of the people to their homeland; the servant is responsible for their spiritual turning to the Lord. “The LORD has demonstrated his holy power before the eyes of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the victory of our God” (52:10). --- The Lord promised that the “one who is despised and rejected by the nations” would see kings “stand at attention” as he passed by. “Princes will also bow low” because the Lord had chosen him (49:7). Although this is sometimes applied to Israel (Zion was despised by the nations in 60:14), the same language is used of the personal suffering servant of Isaiah 53:3, who was also “despised and rejected.Even kings would be astonished at his suffering and subsequent glory (52:15). As such, this passage is the first in Isaiah in which the Messiah’s sufferings are presented. When applied to the personal servant, “servant of rulers” (49:7) could refer to his treatment by such rulers as Herod (Luke 23:11) and Pontius Pilate (John 19:1, 16)." [Walker, L. L., Elmer A. Martens. (2005). Cornerstone biblical commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, & Lamentations (Vol. 8, pp. 212–213). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.]


·         (On Isaiah 53.3): "The description intensifies in v. 3, as the phrases are heaped up in unusual fashion; four are provided in the first verse-half alone. On the one hand, the phrases emphasize how isolated he was (“cut off from humanity”; “before him faces were hidden”). They also indicate that he was sickly. On the face of it, none of this points directly to actions taken against the servant, such as we hear in 50:6–7, but to more of a matter of communal neglect and possible derision. “He was despised and we esteemed him not” captures the passive character of his afflicted condition, without stipulating further the reasons or the agents. The possessive pronouns are not attached to descriptions of his affliction, but only to the consequences of them for the “we.” There are despising, rejection, sorrow, sickness, smiting (by God), wounding, bruising, chastisement, stripes, oppression, and judgment; but they are uniformly unstipulated in respect of agency (cf. 49:7). What is stipulated are the beneficiaries of all this. --- In v. 4, the prior estimation of v. 3 is confessed as being wrong—and seriously so. And since we should not consider the repetition of phrases used of the servant (“sickness” and “wounds”) applied also to the “we” voices as accidental, a new effect is achieved. The servant is confessed actively to be bearing conditions that belong to the confessors, as they see it. “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”—that is, his natural and/or afflicted condition was made to serve the purpose of bearing something not naturally his alone, but rightly accruing to others." [Seitz, C. R. (1994–2004). The Book of Isaiah 40–66. In L. E. Keck (Ed.), New Interpreter’s Bible (Vol. 6, pp. 465–466). Nashville: Abingdon Press.]


·         (On Isaiah 53.3): "Verse 3 develops the thought of v.2, for the onlookers moved from failure to desire him to despising and rejection, refusing even to look at him (cf. perhaps Num 21:8–9; John 3:14–16). The words translated “sorrows” and “suffering” really mean “pains” and “sickness.” They occur again in v.4a. What does this imply? Kidner (“Isaiah,” in loc.) writes that they “might suggest to the reader either a sick man or one sick at heart, as in Jer 15:18. But there is another category, that of the physician’s voluntary involvement; for he is also a man of pain and sickness in the sense that he gives himself to these things and their relief. This is the sense defined in Mt 8:17, quoting Isa 53:4." [Grogan, G. W. (1986). Isaiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel (Vol. 6, p. 302). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.]



·         (On Mark 9.12): "In the second part of his response, Jesus introduces a new prophecy, that the Son of Man is to suffer much and be treated with contempt. The term “it is written” (γέγραπται) indicates that this prophecy is taken from scripture, but scholars disagree about whether this statement alludes to a specific passage of scripture. Those who think that it does disagree about which passage and whether one or several texts are in view. C. E. B. Cranfield concluded that the reference here is primarily to Isa 52:13–53:12 and interpreted the suffering of the Son of Man as modeled on the suffering of the Servant of the Lord. He also mentioned several psalms to which the passage may allude. Rudolf Pesch argued that the suffering of the Son of Man here is modeled primarily on that of the suffering righteous person in the psalms. The epithet “Son of Man” most likely derives ultimately from Dan 7:13, but the link between that epithet and suffering does not derive from Daniel 7.29. The idea that the Son of Man, that is, the messiah, must suffer much could equally well be based on Isaiah 53 as on the psalms of individual lament, on the assumption of a messianic rereading in each case. The use of the verb ἐξουδενέω (“treat with contempt”) in v. 12 makes it somewhat more likely that the allusion is to Psalm 22 (21 LXX): But I am a worm and no man, an object of reproach for a man and an object of contempt for the people" [Collins, A. Y., & Attridge, H. W. (2007). Mark: A Commentary on the Gospel of Mark (pp. 430–431). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.]




Suffering Servant.


We have bled over into this topic a good bit already, obviously, since most of the rejection passages above also included the notion of suffering.


And, we had earlier (and elsewhere in the tank: ) noted that the Servant Songs identified the Servant of the Lord with multiple messianic roles, with a Second Moses motif seeming to incorporate them all.


Here we will add a summary of the data from Is 53 describing the suffering of the Servant in the Songs, as being congruent with a Second Moses identification:


·         "The recurrent themes of the servant's rejection by the people, his suffering, and his submissive response to opposition have obvious relevance for a second Moses figure if his experience is to parallel that of the original Moses. While the difficulties faced by the servant in 42:4 and 49:4 are unspecified, 49:7 refers to the servant as one who is '...deeply despised, abhorred by the nation'. In 50:6 this rejection and the servant's submissive response become even more explicit: 'I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.' It is unlikely that this text refers to merely private acts of opposition and insult. Striking and depilation of one's beard are well-attested criminal sanctions in the ancient Near East (Ne. 13:25; cf., e.g., MAL A §§18,19). Insult and spitting are likewise found in legal contexts, though they are not restricted to such contexts (Dt. 25:9; Mk. 10:34). The following verses (50:8f.), however, imply that in the present case there is a legal charge against the servant which requires divine adjudication. ---These themes of rejection, suffering, and the servant's submissive response are highlighted throughout the fourth servant song: 'He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity... He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. (53:3-8)' … The experience of Moses is apposite; he was characteristically rejected and disdained by those to whom he was sent (Ex. 2:14; 4:1; 15:24; 16:2-12; 17:2f.; Nu. 12:lff.; 14:2; 16:2ff.; 16:41f.; 20:2f.; 21:5; 26:9). Israel not only complained and rebelled against Moses, but also brought legal charges against him (cf. the use of ['lawsuit'] in Ex. 17:2 and Nu. 20:3) and, on at least one occasion, threatened judicial execution by stoning (Ex. 17:3f.; cf. Nu. 14:10). Such actions demanded and received divine vindication of the servant (cf. Nu. 16). On the other hand, resembling the servant in Isaiah (42:2-3; 50:5-6; 53:3-4, 7), Moses is described in Numbers 12:3 as 'very humble', more so than anyone else on the face of the earth'. From the context in Numbers, Moses is thus depicted because he was characteristically silent before his detractors; he resisted defending himself, leaving his vindication with Yahweh (cf. Ex. 15:24f.; 16:3f.; Nu. 16:41f.; 20:2-6; 21:5). Moreover, on at least two occasions Moses fell face down before his accusers, perhaps thereby giving his back to those who would strike him (Nu. 14:5; 16:4; see Is. 50:6)."  [GP Hugenberger, "The Servant of the Lord in the 'Servant Songs' of Isaiah: A Second Moses Figure", in The Lord's Anointed: Interpretation of Old Testament Messianic Texts. Satterwhite, Hess, and GJ Wenham (eds). PaternosterBaker:1995, pp 135f]



And we should also note that a royal aspect (not just 'leader') is also present in the passages:


·         "The Unidentified Servant of Yahweh in Isaiah 42:1–4; 52:13–53:12. The central focus of study in connection with the phrase “servant of Yahweh” has been several passages in Isaiah where the servant is not identified, especially Isaiah 42:1–4; 52:13–53:12 (Is 42:5–9 can be seen as an extension of the first passage). Both might be called *“visions,” though the term applies more strictly to Isaiah 52:13–53:12 than to Isaiah 42:1–4. Both passages might also be called “job descriptions.” Both include words and phrases that are difficult to interpret, which complicates issues raised by the servant’s anonymity. The appropriateness of calling them “visions” derives initially from the fact that the prophet (or rather, Yahweh) begins by pointing to the servant, as if he is someone who can be seen: “There is my servant” (Is 42:1); “There, my servant will act with insight” (Is 52:13). Both passages utilize the form of a declaration such as a prophet might make at a king’s coronation, in which the prophet proclaims what the king would or should do, what his achievements would be, and/or what God would bring about through him. The servant’s designation is thus analogous to that of a king. By implication, the designation lays an agenda before the king; it presents a challenge to him. --- In Isaiah 42:1–4 the role of “my servant” relates to the *nations, and key to it is the idea of bringing out mišpāṭ to them or establishing mišpāṭ among them. The word mišpāṭ is hard to translate into English. It often is translated as “justice,” but the older translation “judgment” is nearer its meaning, though without the negative connotations that often attach to that word. Mišpāṭ denotes the exercise of power or authority or the capacity to make decisions. Ideally, this will be an expression of justice, though this is not always so. “Government” comes near to the word’s meaning. Isaiah 40:14 asked, rhetorically, who taught Yahweh the way of mišpāṭ, the way to make decisions about how to create the world or how to run the world. In Isaiah 40:27 Israel asked what had happened to its own mišpāṭ, to the exercise of governmental power by Yahweh on its behalf in the world. Isaiah 42:1–4 declares that the servant’s role will be to see that such mišpāṭ reaches the nations. While this might mean that Yahweh’s servant is the means of implementing Yahweh’s rule there, in the last of its three occurrences in these four verses mišpāṭ is paralleled by tôrâ (“teaching”). This rather suggests that the servant’s role is to instruct the nations, to enable them to see how Yahweh has been exercising authority in the world, specifically in the rise of the Persians, who are overthrowing the Babylonian Empire. The term “nations” often refers to the empire itself, and this may be so here; or it may refer to other peoples who, like the Judahites, will benefit from the fall of Babylon. In the following verses (Is 42:5–9), similar ideas are expressed in different ways as the prophecy follows the form of a commission addressed to a person such as a king, rather than a statement about the king. It declares that the person addressed (it is the context that suggests that this is Yahweh’s servant) has been appointed as “a covenant of the people, a light of the nations.” The servant is the embodiment of what it means to be in a covenant with Yahweh and thus models this for people in general and thereby brings illumination and blessing to the nations. --- Isaiah 52:13–53:12 likewise adapts the form of a declaration about a king, though reworking it more radically. One mark of its poetic nature is the way it is structured as a chiasm. It begins and ends with words from Yahweh (Is 52:13–15; 53:11b–12). Inside these words of Yahweh are the introductions and conclusions of a group that speaks about Yahweh’s servant (Is 53:1, 10–11a). Inside this frame, in turn, are the group’s actual reflections (Is 53:2–9), with their key insight at the center (Is 53:4–6). The poem as a whole describes Yahweh’s servant as one who has been attacked and taken near to death, perhaps to actual death. Yahweh affirms that he will be restored and recognized by people. In the vision Yahweh and the prophet stand at a point where the attacks are past but the restoration future, though this does not establish where things are in real time outside the vision. As in Isaiah 42:1–9, Yahweh’s words speak of his significance for the nations, which will be astonished at what they hear about him. In the main part of the vision, the group that recognizes him describes how they came to do so. He was someone who had gone through humiliation, rejection and pain, and they had assumed that this was because of wrong that he had done. They had come to realize that actually he had gone through his affliction as a result of identifying with them in the suffering that came to them, which in their case was indeed caused by their wrongdoing, and also as a result of the ministry that he had exercised to them. He had been willing to go through this experience because doing so could bring them well-being (šālôm). It could do so because he was prepared in accordance with Yahweh’s own purpose to make his obedient suffering a kind of offering to Yahweh that could make compensation for their disobedience (an ʾāšām, a restitution offering). The key factor in their coming to this new understanding of his affliction was the silent, accepting way he put up with it." [J. Goldingay, “Servant of Yahweh,” ed. Mark J. Boda and Gordon J. McConville, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets (Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham, England: IVP Academic; Inter-Varsity Press, 2012), 701–702.]


We have seen elsewhere rabbinic associations of the Servant in Isaiah with various Messianic figures. Some of these associations mention or point to the presence of suffering in the Servant's life:


·         Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b. " … What is his [the Messiah’s] name?—“The School of R. Shila said: His name is Shiloh, for it is written, until Shiloh come.  The School of R. Yannai said: His name is Yinnon, for it is written, His name shall endure forever: e’er the sun was, his name is Yinnon.  The School of R. Haninah maintained: His name is Haninah, as it is written, Where I will not give you Haninah.  Others say: His name is Menahem the son of Hezekiah, for it is written, Because Menahem [‘the comforter’] that would relieve my soul, is far.  The Rabbis said: His name is ‘the leper scholar,’ as it is written, Surely he hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted.” [Tom Huckel, The Rabbinic Messiah (Philadelphia, PA: Hananeel House, 1998), Is 53:4.]


·         Midrash Rabbah, Ruth V, 6. " … The fifth interpretation makes it refer to the Messiah.  COME HITHER: approach to royal state. AND EAT OF THE BREAD refers to the bread of royalty; AND DIP THY MORSEL IN THE VINEGAR refers to his sufferings, as it is said, But he was wounded because of our transgressions (Isa. LIII, 5)." [Tom Huckel, The Rabbinic Messiah (Philadelphia, PA: Hananeel House, 1998), Is 53:5.]


As noted earlier/often, the Suffering Servant is a central messianic figure:


·         "A recognition of the servant as a royal figure is important for a proper understanding of the messianic significance of this passage. While it is true that terms such as "my servant" and "my chosen one" are not exclusively royal terms, there is much evidence that the passage views the servant primarily as a royal personage. Not only is the literary genre of the passage similar to a royal designation oracle (as already indicated), but the task of establishing ("a just order") is a characteristically royal responsibility. Odendaal has demonstrated that the servant is a royal personage, and that "the identification of the Suffering servant and the Messiah did not take place for the first time in the self-consciousness of Jesus, but it was there from the beginning." However, even Odendaal recognizes that the terminology describing the servant is not completely royal, for in the servant "the priestly and prophetic offices find their divinely ordained integration in and subordination to the royal office.'" ["The Call of the Servant in Isaiah 42:1-9, Isaiah's Songs of the Servant, part I", by F. Duane Lindsey, in BIBLIOTHECA SACRA 139 (553) (Jan. 1982): 12-31.; Citing from Dirk Odendall, The Eschatological Expectation of Isaiah 40–66 with Special Reference to Israel and the Nations, (P&R: Philadelphia 1970), pp 129-35]




Betrayal of the Messiah


The betrayal motif is a bit more nebulous than 'suffering', 'being despised', and 'rejection', because it generally presupposes (1) a prior acceptance/high-valuation and trust relationship; followed by (b) a reversal of that acceptance into radical devaluation and complete disassociation.


This also is 'slightly' beyond 'conspiring'. The nations and the elite Jewish leadership of the day 'conspired against' Jesus, but since they never really had the acceptance/trust/high-evaluation relationship with Jesus, it wouldn’t count as 'betrayal' per se.


The passages given in support of this by Elwell/Buckwalter are these:


c)       Christ Would Be Betrayed by a Friend

i)        Prophecy Ps. 41:9; Ps. 55:12–14

ii)       Fulfillment Luke 22:3–4; John 6:64; John 6:70–71; John 13:18


I included their '30 pieces of silver' prediction/fulfillment one, since it was semi-associated with the 'betrayal' fulfillment in the NT -- but it probably is not truly 'betrayal', but rather 'rejection' , 'de-valuation', and --as one commentator puts it--'severance pay' in the OT passage.


d)      Christ Would Be Sold for Thirty Pieces  of Silver

i)        Prophecy Zech. 11:12

ii)       Fulfillment Matt. 26:14–15




Betrayal by a friend.


Now when we start into the BETRAYAL topic, we note that the passages for this come from the Psalms. Application of the Psalms to messianic figures/times is always tricky in that they often have an immediate referent in time (e.g. David, Saul, Doeg the Edomite), but often also are addressing more generic 'realities': suffering of the righteous, revolt/rebellion against leadership, oppression by the elite, success of the wicked, blessings of God's presence for the righteous.


At the time of the arrival of our Lord on the scene, David and the psalms were often considered 'prophetic'. For example, this can be seen in the Dead Sea Scrolls and other early Jewish writings:


·         "The most explicit comment on the authoritative writings of the day is found in the halakic document 4QMMT. This document is addressed to a religious leader of Israel, most probably a high priest, and it sets out the reasons why the community had separated itself from the majority of the people. It appeals to the leader to consider the validity of the sectarian interpretation of Scripture: “We have [written] to you so that you may study (carefully) the book of Moses and the books of the Prophets and (the writings of) David [and the events of] ages past” (composite text C 10–11; DJD edition). This text is admittedly reconstructed, but the appeal to Moses and the Prophets seems clear. The point is that blessings or curses will follow, depending on how the Law is observed. This text has often been taken as evidence for a tripartite canon. The reference to “ages past” (literally, “generation and generation”) has even been taken as a reference to Chronicles, the last book of the Hebrew Bible. But the text cannot support this interpretation. The “events of ages past,” if this reconstruction is correct, is only a general reference to the history of Israel and Judah. The text is highly important, nonetheless, since it shows that that the sect shared a basic corpus of scriptures with other Jews, including the leaders in Jerusalem. That corpus consisted of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. While David is mentioned separately, he was often regarded as a prophet, and the book of Psalms as prophecy." [John J. Collins, “Canon, Canonization,” ed. John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow, The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), 461–462.]


·         "By the first century B.C.E., the Psalms were considered authored by King David, an understanding rooted in various traditions about his life as a poet and musician (1 Sam. 16:6–16; 2 Sam. 1:17–27) as well as someone with prophetic gifts (2 Sam. 23:1–2). His portrayal in the fourth-century-B.C.E. book of Chronicles greatly emphasizes his role as sponsor of the Jerusalem Temple and its worship (1 Chron. 28:11–19; 1 Chron. 29:1–5). The evolution of increasing Davidic attribution of the Psalms can be seen in the Masoretic text of the Psalms, in which seventy-three psalms contain the Hebrew superscription lĕ-Dāwîd in the heading (sixty-nine occur in the first three books). In the Septuagint, twelve more are ascribed to David, for a total of eighty-five. The view of David as inspired author of psalms is most clearly evident in one of the compositions found in 11QPsa in which God is said to have given him a “discerning and brilliant spirit,” and he is credited with 4,050 compositions, including 3,600 psalms and 364 songs to sing before the altar for the daily sacrifice. --- The New Testament Gospels, among other early Jewish writings, understand the Psalms as prophetic speech of David (Matt. 22:44/Mark 12:36/Luke 20:42; Acts 1:16–17, 20; 2:25). Jesus’ words on the cross from Ps. 22:1 (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34) may thus not simply lament divine abandonment, but point to the end of the psalm with its praise for divine restoration. The view of David as prophetic author of the Psalms continued not only in early Christianity but in rabbinic Judaism, underlying the classic rabbinic commentary, Midrash Tehillim." [Judith H. Newman, “Psalms, Book Of,” ed. John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow, The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), 1106–1107.]


·         "Miura, David, 144, notes that Qumran and Targums treated psalms as prophetically “transcending their immediate context”; David’s voice became the Messiah’s in Tg. 2 Sam 22. Thus (Miura, David, 151–52) 'a typological prophetic use of psalms fits the use in Acts 1–4 and some other texts '(e.g., Rom 15:3, 8–9, citing R. Hays)." [Craig S. Keener, Acts: An Exegetical Commentary & 2: Introduction and 1:1–14:28 (vol. 1; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012–2013). Footnote 949; citing Miura, David. Miura, Yuzuru. David in Luke-Acts: His Portrayal in the Light of Early Judaism. WUNT 2, Reihe 232. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007.]


In 2 Samuel 22, David is speaking a psalm of thanks (=Psalm 18), and the Targum makes a reference to Messiah in its interpretative paraphrase (at verse 32)--here are two translations of the Aramaic:


·         "Then, in consequence of the miracle and the deliverance which Thou shalt perform for Thy Messiah and for the remnant of Thy people who remain, all peoples, nations, and tongues shall confess, and say, “There is no God but the Lord;” verily, there is none besides Thee.  And Thy people shall say, “There is none mighty, save our God.” [translation by Samson Levey, in Tom Huckel, The Rabbinic Messiah (Philadelphia, PA: Hananeel House, 1998), 2 Sa 22:32.]


·         "Therefore on account of the sign and the redemption that you work for your anointed one [Mashih] and for the remnant of your people who are left, all the nations, peoples, and language groups will give thanks and say: ‘There is no God except the Lord,’ for there is none apart from you. And your people will say: ‘There is no one who is strong except our God" [translation from Kevin Cathcart, Michael Maher, and Martin McNamara, eds., The Aramaic Bible: Targum Jonathan of the Former Prophets (trans. Daniel J. Harrington and Anthony J. Saldarini; vol. 10; Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1990), 2 Sa 22:32.]



But one of the more painful forms of psychological suffering is betrayal by someone you trust. There are few things that heart the heart more than a reversal of beauty, of trust, of loyalty, of confidence and enjoyment of another. Allies in spirt who become enemies in spirit, infidelity in a deeply-trusted spouse, slander by a close business associate--these hurt deeply.


In the context of royalty this is at the level of Brutus/Caesar ("E tu, Brute?" we all learned in high school). And in this context, David had his Absalom -- and probably many, many more…


So, the Psalms given in the list all resonate with, and are easy to extrapolate to, a good-hearted King Messiah (opposed by all those who still pledged loyalty to Kingdom of Self).


Here's the texts from Psalms and the proposed fulfillment passages, with comments/observations:


·         Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me. (Ps 41.9)


·         For it is not an enemy who taunts me— then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me— then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng. (Ps 55.12-14)


·         Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.  (Lk 22:3–6)


·         But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) … Then Jesus said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.” 71 He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would later betray him. (John 6.64, 71).


·         “I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.’ [Ps 41.9] I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I AM the Messiah. I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.” 21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” (Jn 13:18–21.)


Predictions about a messianic king would also lead us to expect prophecies about his enemies:


·         (On Ps 41.9 and John 13): "The historical setting of Ps. 41 may well be Absalom’s rebellion against King David, the “faithless friend” possibly being Ahithophel, whose counsels David considered on par with those “inquired of the word of God” (2 Sam. 16:23). Once Absalom, with Ahithophel’s help, had stolen the hearts of Israel, David (who had known about the rebellion but had done nothing about it) was forced to flee. Ahithophel’s ignominious end—he later hanged himself—resembles the outcome of Judas’s treachery (cf. Matt. 27:3–5). … This psalm of David, which concludes Book 1 of the Psalter (see 41:13), features the psalmist as a righteous sufferer facing opposition from malicious enemies who bring false charges against him (41:5–8). What is more, “Even my close friend [lit., ‘man of my peace’] in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me” (41:9; cf. Gen. 3:15; Ps. 55:12–14; the Hebrew word for “heel,” ʿāqēb, is related to the root ʿ-q-b [“scheme”], from which the name “Jacob” is derived; see VanGemeren 1991: 328). Despite such opposition, the psalmist is confident of God’s intervention on his behalf. Because of God’s delight in him, God will graciously raise him up (41:10) and set him in his presence forever (41:11–12)… Rabbinic interpretation took Ps. 41:9 to refer to Ahithophel’s conspiracy with Absalom against David (see b. Sanh. 106b; cf. 2 Sam. 15:12). In ancient Semitic cultures, eating bread at the table of a superior amounted to a pledge of loyalty (2 Sam. 9:7–13; 1 Kings 18:19; 2 Kings 25:29), and “to betray one with whom bread had been eaten … was a gross breach of the traditions of hospitality” (Bernard 1928: 2:467). …  Predictably, it was not only the crucifixion of the Messiah but also his betrayal by one of his inner circle that required an apologetic by the early Christians. As in Jesus’ case, the argument they advanced was that Judas’s betrayal constituted a fulfillment of Scripture. This is not surprising, for one would expect that if the Messiah is prefigured in Scripture, so are his enemies (Johnson 1980: 77). It was believed that various aspects of the life of David, including the opposition against him, constituted a pattern that provided the framework for a similar type of opposition to the Messiah in his day… Jesus being “stirred up inside” (tarassō) at this occasion (13:21; cf. 11:33; 12:27) parallels the emotional state of David, who expressed extreme anguish over the betrayal of a close friend (Ps. 55:2–14; see also Ps. 31:9–10; 38:10)" [G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos, 2007), 485–486.]



The Markan passage in which Jesus predicts His betrayal has Jesus using the "Son of Man" phrase:


And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” (Mk 14:17–21.)



And by the first century AD, "Son of Man" and "messiah" had become linked:


(On Mark 14) "Here, however, there is an allusion to scripture in the immediate context. As noted above, v. 18 probably alludes to Ps 40:10 LXX.51 The proximity of vv. 18 and 21 suggests that the speaker of the psalm is interpreted in v. 21 as “the Son of Man.” This link favors the supposition that Mark and his audiences considered the speaker of the psalm to be David, the prototypical king, because of the equivalence of “Son of Man” and “messiah” in Jewish and Christian tradition of the first century CE. (footnote 53). The alluding process initiated by v. 18 is complex and literary, but the statement of v. 21 implies that there is a divine plan to which the destiny of the Son of Man must conform. This divine necessity, however, does not release “that man” who hands Jesus over from responsibility." [Adela Yarbro Collins and Harold W. Attridge, Mark: A Commentary on the Gospel of Mark (Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2007), 652.]


The footnote above points to a discussion of the linkage:


"The Son of Man Tradition. The reconstruction of the history of the Son of Man tradition has been one of the most controversial topics in New Testament studies in this century. As noted above in the treatment of the Son of Man in the history of the Jewish interpretation of Daniel, one of the major issues has been whether there was a concept of the “Son of Man” in ancient Judaism independent of the Book of Daniel. In the first half of this century, it was widely assumed that there was such a concept. More recently, a number of scholars have argued that, during and prior to Jesus’ lifetime, “Son of Man” was not a title in Jewish circles and that there was no widespread expectation of the coming of a heavenly being called “Son of Man.” It is certainly crucial to keep in mind the diversity of eschatological ideas in Judaism at the turn of the era. As was pointed out above, however, in the treatment of the one like a son of man of Dan 7:13 in the Similitudes of Enoch and in 4 Ezra, there were certain common features in the interpretation and use of Daniel 7 in Jewish circles. These were the identification of the “one like a son of man” with the messiah, although the notion “messiah” may be reinterpreted in a heavenly rather than a royal sense; the notion that this figure is preexistent; the expectation that he will take an active role in the destruction of the wicked; and the implication that he acts in God’s stead. The existence of these common features implies that the emergence of an apocalyptic concept “Son of Man” need not be seen as a Christian development in response to the experience of Jesus as raised from the dead, as some have argued. It is just as likely that Jesus presupposed these common features in the interpretation of Daniel 7 and gave them his own, innovative twist in his teaching" [John Joseph Collins and Adela Yarbro Collins, Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel (ed. Frank Moore Cross; Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1993), 90.]



So, the betrayal expectations can be seen to derive from a few different strands of OT passages understood to be prophetic.



Thirty Pieces of Silver.


This motif originates in Zech 11.4-14:


"Thus said the LORD my God: “Become shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter. Those who buy them slaughter them and go unpunished, and those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be the LORD, I have become rich,’ and their own shepherds have no pity on them. For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of this land, declares the LORD. Behold, I will cause each of them to fall into the hand of his neighbor, and each into the hand of his king, and they shall crush the land, and I will deliver none from their hand.” So I became the shepherd of the flock doomed to be slaughtered by the sheep traders. And I took two staffs, one I named Favor, the other I named Union. And I tended the sheep. In one month I destroyed the three shepherds. But I became impatient with them, and they also detested me. So I said, “I will not be your shepherd. What is to die, let it die. What is to be destroyed, let it be destroyed. And let those who are left devour the flesh of one another.” And I took my staff Favor, and I broke it, annulling the covenant that I had made with all the peoples. So it was annulled on that day, and the sheep traders, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the LORD. Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD, to the potter. 14 Then I broke my second staff Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.


It is alluded to at 27.5-10 (with Matt 26.14ff as the backstory):


·         Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him." [Mt 26:14–16; this connects the silver to 'betrayal' motif]


·         And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he [Judas] departed, and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”   [Mt 27:5–10.]



There are no discussions of the Zechariah text in pre-Christian literature (and the reference to '30 pieces of silver' doesn’t even show up in the Aramaic Targums), so we have no data on how it was interpreted (e.g. messianically or eschatologically) until Matthew. But the fact that Matthew could advance it as a 'fulfillment' would suggest that at least resonance between the events of our Lord's betrayal and the OT passages would 'make sense' to first-century Jews.


"Neither the clusters of allusions in Jeremiah nor the more specific reference in Zechariah is discussed in extant pre-Christian Jewish sources. Later rabbis debated at length an allegorical interpretation of Zechariah’s thirty pieces of silver, frequently suggesting that they stood for thirty righteous Jews or thirty commandments for Gentiles (Str-B 1:1030–31), but this discussion sheds no light on Matthew’s use of the text." [G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos, 2007), 96.]



There are several odd things about this linkage and texts, as commentators often note--with the overall issue being one of the interweaving of several texts and images together and ascribing this 'collage of images' to Jeremiah.


·         "On the face of it, the quotation is a rough rendering of Zechariah 11:12–13, with “I took” changed to “they took” and the price interpreted as referring to the sum paid for Jesus. The only obvious allusions to Jeremiah are Mt 18:26; 32:6 Jeremiah did visit a potter and buy a field. But though some of the language of those passages may have influenced Matthew 27:9–10, it is difficult to imagine why Matthew mentioned Jeremiah instead of Zechariah, even though Jeremiah is important in this Gospel (cf. 2:17; 16:14). Highly improbable “solutions” abound. …  The most believable solution comes from Hengstenberg (pp. 1095ff.) and is developed by Gundry (Use of OT, pp. 122–27), Senior (Passion Narrative, pp. 359ff.), and especially by Moo (“Use of OT,” pp. 191–210). They note that no extant version of Zechariah 11 refers to a field; and Matthew’s attributing the quotation to Jeremiah suggests we ought to look to that book. Jeremiah 19:1–13 (not Jer 18 or 32) is the obvious candidate. There Jeremiah is told to purchase a potter’s jar and take some elders and priests to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, where he is to warn of the destruction of Jerusalem for her sin, illustrated by smashing the jar. A further linguistic link is “innocent blood” (Jer 19:4); and thematic links include renaming a locality associated with potters (19:1) with a name (“Valley of Slaughter”) denoting violence (19:6). The place will henceforth be used as a burial ground (19:11), as a token of God’s judgment. In the last clause in Matthew’s quotation, “as the Lord commanded me” (v. 19), Lindars (Apologetic, p. 121) sees an allusion to Exodus 9:12; but Moo (“Use of OT,” pp. 196f.) has shown this is at best tenuous. --- We have not yet tried to explain what Matthew understands by these OT texts, or what he means by “fulfillment.” But it is fair to say that the quotation appears to refer to Jeremiah 19:1–13 along with phraseology drawn mostly from Zechariah 11:12–13 (MT in both cases), with the concluding clause a traditional “obedience formula” (cf. R. Pesch, “Eine alttestamentliche Ausfuhrungsformel im Matthäus-Evangelium,” Biblische Zeitschrift 10 [1966]: 220–45) used to paraphrase the opening words of Zechariah 11:13: “And the LORD said to me.” Such fusing of sources under one “quotation” is not unknown elsewhere in Scripture (e.g., Mark 1:23); cf. 2 Chronicles 36:21, verbally drawn from Lev 26:34–35, yet ascribed to Jeremiah [25:12; 29:10; cf. Gundry, Use of OT, p. 125]; and see on 3:17. Jeremiah alone is mentioned, perhaps because he is the more important of the two prophets, and perhaps also because, though Jeremiah 19 is the less obvious reference, it is the more important as to prophecy and fulfillment." [D. A. Carson, “Matthew,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke (ed. Frank E. Gaebelein; vol. 8; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), 8562–563.]



·         "This is, however, not a simple quotation of a single text, but a mosaic of scriptural motifs, some of which do in fact come from Jeremiah (see below). Like the combined quotation of Mark 1:2–3, it is attributed to the better known of the prophets concerned, even though its opening words are from the minor prophet. As a “quotation” about a potter’s field it was naturally associated with Jeremiah as the prophet most memorably associated with potters and with the buying of a field. Note that Matthew’s attributed quotations name only the major prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah (2:17; 3:3; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:14; 15:7; 27:9), together with one specific allusion to Daniel (24:15), while formal quotations drawn from the minor prophets are elsewhere left anonymous (2:5, 15; 11:10; 21:4; 26:31); see above on 2:17. --- The most obvious scriptural motif is the thirty silver coins, already noted in 26:15, and a prominent feature of Zech 11:12–13. From that text too come the motifs of a valuation (“this noble price at which I was valued by them”), the “taking” of the coins and throwing them into the treasury in the house of the Lord (see above vv. 5–6), and the payment made to a mysterious potter. That is sufficient to form the basis of the “quotation,” though Matthew’s wording is seldom identical with that of LXX Zech 11:13. But woven into this base text are a number of other elements reflecting well-known Jeremiah motifs. In Jer 18:1–11 Jeremiah went to the house of the potter (the same Greek word as Matthew uses) and based a sermon on the potter’s work. In Jer 19:1–13 he used a potter’s jug as a visual aid for a sermon delivered in the valley of Hinnom (by the Potsherd Gate) denouncing the people of Jerusalem for shedding “innocent blood” (v. 4, the same phrase as in Matt 27:4); and there in Topheth, in the valley of Hinnom, “they shall bury until there is no more room to bury.” And in Jer 32 Jeremiah famously bought a field (a narrative in which another earthenware jar features, Jer 32:14, though with no explicit reference to a potter). Echoes of all these Jeremiah passages, especially Jer 19:1–13, would no doubt be heard by readers well-versed in the OT, so that they would recognize Matthew’s adapted version of Zech 11:13 not as a quotation of that text alone but as a mosaic of familiar and related prophetic motifs. This is not simple proof-texting, but the product of a long and creative engagement with scripture which delights to draw connections between passages and to trace in the details as well as in the basic meaning of the text the pattern of God’s fulfillment of his prophetically declared agenda. --- But two parts of Matthew’s “quotation” do not derive from these Jeremiah passages and do not correspond closely to either the Hebrew or the LXX of Zech 11:13. The concluding clause, “as the Lord had instructed me,” probably picks up, though in a different position, the opening clause of Zech 11:13, “And the Lord said to me.” More striking is the cumbersome phrase which describes the thirty silver coins as “the price of the one whose price was set, on whom they had set a price from the sons of Israel,” which I have translated in this rather wooden way in order to bring out the threefold repetition of the word “price” (timē) in either noun or verb form. This long description corresponds to a simpler phrase in the Hebrew, literally meaning probably “the splendor of the value which I was valued by them;” this is normally understood to be an ironic aside commenting on the derisory wages paid to the messianic shepherd. Matthew’s version has expanded and thus emphasized the phrase, in particular by providing a triple repetition of the root timē against the double occurrence of the yqr root in the Hebrew; it owes nothing to LXX, which uses the root dokimos (twice) rather than timē, so that Matthew’s clumsy phrase looks like an independent rendering. It is apparently designed to draw attention to the fact that Jesus, like the rejected shepherd of Zech 11, was despised and undervalued by or among “the sons of Israel.” --- The Zechariah text is expressed throughout in the first person, the speaker being the rejected shepherd. In Matthew it can be so understood as well, as in my translation above, but the ambiguity of the verb-form elabon (see p. 1037, n. 6) and the textual variant “they paid” for “I paid” (see p. 1037, n. 8) allow it to be read as a description of the action of the priests, which more naturally fits the narrative which introduces the quotation. Most interpreters take it that way. That reading is hampered, however, by the “me” in the concluding clause, which is present in all textual witnesses. That seems to me to swing the balance in favor of a first-person reading throughout, corresponding to the meaning of the OT text. In that case Matthew has left it for his readers to work out how the first-person (messianic) subject of the OT text can be related to the actions of Judas (throwing down the money) and the priests (buying the field). Like everything in this extraordinary scriptural argument, the correspondence is not straight-forward!" [R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew (The New International Commentary on the New Testament; Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007), 1042–1045.]


Matthew's ascription to Jeremiah would not have been a 'mistake' (nor the passage simply an 'imaginative invention'), but simply a standard literary device of the time--the textual data supports the view that Matthew knew was he was doing here:


·         "Jewish scholars could cite some texts while simultaneously alluding to others. Matthew here quotes Zechariah 11:12–13, but by attributing it to Jeremiah he also alludes to a similar text that he wishes his more skillful readers to catch (Jer 32:6–10; cf. 19:1–4, 10–11). (The quotation is almost verbatim, and it is unlikely that Matthew would have known the text so well yet attributed it accidentally to the wrong author, unless he is using a list of standard messianic proof texts instead of citing directly from Zechariah, or he is purposely “blending” texts, as I suggest here.) Zechariah 11:12–13 refers to the low valuation God’s people had placed on him; they valued him at the price of a slave (Ex 21:32)." [Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Mt 27:9–10.]


·         "The pathetic end of Judas and the purchase of the burial field was seen by Matthew as a fulfillment of Scripture. Matthew referred primarily to Zech 11:12–13, though the additional allusion to Jer 19:1–13 (and possibly Jer 18:2; 32:6–9) led him to refer the prophecy to Jeremiah. Blomberg (1992:409) and Gundry (1994:557–558) seem to be correct in pointing out that in addition to Zech 11:12–13, several features of Jer 19:1–13 are viewed by Matthew as typological, providing a pattern that is reenacted by the leading priests. It is not unusual for OT citations to be a combination of two or more texts (Davies and Allison 1997:568–569). This is the final “fulfillment formula” citation in Matthew. Some view this passage as having a redemptive meaning, in that the blood money goes for the burial of strangers or foreigners (cf. 25:35), signifying the extension of salvation to the Gentiles (Bruner 1990:1023). This, however, seems to read too much into the text. Others think that Matthew composed a non-historical story in 27:3–10 as a midrash (commentary) on Zech 11:12–13. If that were the case, one would have expected much closer correspondence between the story and Zechariah. It is better understood that Matthew noticed the similarities between his historical tradition and Zech 11 (Hagner 1995:811), and so he viewed Zechariah typologically. He saw in Jer 19 and Zech 11 “a pattern of apostasy and rejection that must find its ultimate fulfillment in the rejection of Jesus” (Carson 1984:566). And with this notion of prophetic fulfillment comes once again the implicit corollary of divine sovereignty" [David Turner and Darrell L. Bock, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 11: Matthew and Mark (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2005), 353.]



·         "Matthew sees correspondence between the shepherd doomed to slaughter (Zech. 11:7) and Jesus. The thirty silver coins thrown to the potter in the Lord’s house (Zech. 11:13) correspond to Judas’s coins thrown into the temple and used to buy the potter’s field. Matthew does not make up a story to fit Zechariah but reads Zechariah in light of his conviction that Jesus’s passion is anticipated in biblical pattern and prediction. This concept of typological fulfillment is based on a providential view of history." [David L. Turner, Matthew (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 649–650.]



·         "The closest verbal parallels to the Scripture cited in 27:9b–10, however, appear in Zech. 11:12–13, with its references to thirty pieces of silver thrown to the potter in the house of the Lord. On the other hand, many commentators point to the fact that Jer. 32:6–9 describes Jeremiah buying a field, which he sells for seventeen shekels of silver. Rabbis at times would create a composite quotation of more than one Scripture but refer to only one of their sources by name, often the more obscure one (though sometimes also the more important one) to ensure that others would pick up the reference. So there is no problem by the standards of the day for Matthew to refer to two texts like this and name only the more obscure prophetic source. In fact, this is precisely what Mark does in Mark 1:2, as he combines parts of Isa. 40:3 and Mal. 3:1 but cites only Isaiah by name (Davies and Allison 1988–1997: 3:569; for conflated quotations in the OT, see Gundry 1994: 557). But is Jer. 32 the passage (or the only passage) that Matthew has in mind? It may be that Jer. 19 offers a better cluster of images that Matthew may be citing, especially with its references to “the blood of the innocents” (27:4), the “potter” (27:1, 11), the renaming of a place in the Valley of Hinnom (27:6 [the traditional site of the Potter’s Field]), violence (27:11), and the judgment and burial of the Jewish leaders by God (27:11) (see Moo 1983b; Conrad 1991; see also Brown 1994: 651). References to the house of the potter also appear in Jer. 18:2–3." [G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos, 2007), 95.]


But the connections--although certainly inexact -- do reveal a strong continuity of image: rejection of the Lord's shepherd. Many of the details in the passages from Jeremiah, Zech, and Matthew lead one to see the linkage, especially in light of the fact that Zechariah's texts were filled with messianic figures and themes:



·         "How did Matthew understand the OT texts he was quoting? The question is not easy, because the two OT passages themselves can be variously explained. It appears that in Zechariah 11 the “buyers” (v. 5) and the three shepherds (vv. 5, 8, 17) apparently represent Israel’s leaders, who are slaughtering the sheep. God commands Zechariah to shepherd the “flock marked for slaughter” (v. 7), and he tries to clean up the leadership by sacking the false shepherds. But he discovers that not only is the leadership corrupt, but the flock detests him (v. 8). Thus Zechariah comes to understand the Lord’s decision to have no more pity on the people of the land (v. 6). --- Zechariah decides to resign (11:9–10), exposing the flock to ravages. Because he has broken the contract, Zechariah cannot claim his pay (presumably from the “buyers”); but they pay him off with thirty pieces of silver (v. 12). But now Yahweh tells Zechariah to throw this “handsome price at which they priced me” (probably ironical) to the potter in the “house of the LORD,” i.e., the temple (v. 13). Temple ritual required a constant supply of new vessels (cf. Lev 6:28); so a guild of potters worked somewhere in the temple precincts. Certainly Jeremiah could point to a potter as he preached and could purchase pottery somewhere near the temple (Jer 18:6; 19:1). --- The purpose of Zechariah’s action is uncertain. Because a yôṣēr (lit., “shaper”) was both a potter and a metal worker, it may be that the money in Zechariah 11:12–13 was thrown to the yôṣēr so that it would be melted down and turned into a figurine, a little “god.The people did not want the Lord’s shepherd, and so they will be saddled with a silver figurine (cf. Ezek 16:17; Hos 2:8)—betrayal money, in effect, since it pays off the good shepherd who would have kept the people true to the Lord’s covenant and who has been rejected by the people. The result can only be catastrophic judgment (Zechariah 11:14–17). --- The parallel between Zechariah 11 and Matthew 26–27 is not exact. In Zechariah the money is paid to the good shepherd; in Matthew it is paid to Judas and returned to the Jewish leaders. In Zechariah the money goes directly to the “potter” in the temple; in Matthew, after being thrown into the temple, it purchases “the potter’s field”—though at this point the influence of Jeremiah 19 has been introduced. Nevertheless the central parallel is stunning: in both instances Yahweh’s shepherd is rejected by the people of Israel and valued at the price of a slave. And in both instances the money is flung into the temple and ends up purchasing something that pollutes. --- The reference to Jeremiah 19 (cf. above, under Mt 27:1) provides equally telling parallels. The rulers have forsaken Yahweh and made Jerusalem a place of foreign gods (19:4); so the day is coming when this valley, where the prophecy is given and the potter’s jar smashed, will be called the Valley of Slaughter, symbolic of the ruin of Judah and Jerusalem (19:6–7). Similarly in Matthew the rejection of Jesus (Yahweh; see on 2:6, 3:3; 13:37–39) leads to a polluted field, a symbol of death and the destruction of the nation about to be buried as “foreigners.”" [D. A. Carson, “Matthew,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke (ed. Frank E. Gaebelein; vol. 8; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), 8564.]



·         "While it was the thirty silver coins which presumably first drew Matthew’s attention to Zech 11:12–13, his reference to that passage also makes a more substantial contribution to his theme of the fulfillment of scripture in the life and passion of Jesus. We have noted already three references to apparently messianic figures in Zech 9–14 as fulfilled in Jesus’ coming to Jerusalem and what is happening to him there. See above on 21:4–5 (Zech 9:9–10); 24:30 (Zech 12:10–14); 26:31 (Zech 13:7). Many interpreters of Zechariah take these three passages together with 11:4–14 as parts of a unified concept of a shepherd-king whose coming will lead paradoxically to his rejection and death; that all four passages should have been taken up into Matthew’s Jerusalem narrative strongly indicates that he too saw them in that light, and found in this mysterious rejected and suffering Messiah a powerful scriptural model which could stand alongside the suffering servant of Isaiah and the suffering righteous figures of some of the psalms as a model for understanding why Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, must suffer and die in Jerusalem. How much of that underlying theology his readers might be expected to discern through this altered “quotation” with its associated reminiscences of Jeremiah, and in relation to a relatively minor element in the passion story, would presumably depend on how familiar they were with the scriptural material Matthew is working on, and with the creative tradition of interpretation which he has employed to produce this complex interweaving of biblical motifs with the story of Judas and the priests." [R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew (The New International Commentary on the New Testament; Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007), 1045.]



·         "Like the Jews who rejected Jeremiah’s and Zechariah’s prophecies, Judas and the temple establishment find themselves opposing God and under his judgment. Like Jeremiah and Zechariah, Jesus attempts to lead his people with a prophetic and pastoral ministry, but instead he ends up suffering innocently at their hands. Baldwin (1972: 184) summarizes the theology of Zechariah’s text with words that could apply without a single change to the passage in Matthew: “Responsibility for human chaos lies squarely on human shoulders. God has offered men His shepherd, but they have rejected Him, to their own irreparable loss.” But Ham (2005: 69) adds that the combination of words from Jeremiah and Zechariah “attest that even the betrayal of Jesus by Judas and the rejection of Jesus by Israel’s religious leaders take place according to the divine purpose.”" [G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos, 2007), 96–97.]


Now, although our specific text about the 30 pieces of silver from Zech are not mentioned in pre-Christian literature, these passages were understood as messianic before the NT. For example, from the Cairo Damascus Document (witnessed to also at Qumran in various fragments, e.g. 4Q266-273) comes the passage in 19.7-11:


"when there comes the word which is written by the hand of the prophet Zechariah: (Zech 13:7) «Wake up, sword, against my shepherd, and against the male who is my companion—oracle of God—strike the shepherd, and the flock may scatter, and I shall turn my hand against the little ones». Those who revere him are (Zech 11:11) «the poor ones of the flock». These shall escape in the age of the visitation; but those that remain shall be delivered up to the sword when there comes the messiah of Aaron and Israel." [(CD-B Col xix:10), Florentino Garcı́a Martı́nez and Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar, “The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition (translations)” (Leiden; New York: Brill, 1997–1998), 577.]




We will talk more about Zechariah's multiple messianic texts in later sections (especially of the 'pierced one'), but here we should note that Zechariah's "Suffering Shepherd" aligns well with Isaiah's "Suffering Servant". God's revelation is progressive, with additional details and nuances given with successive prophetic interactions with His people Israel.


·         "Finally, Isaiah’s portrait of the Suffering Servant bears striking similarities to Zechariah’s later picture of the Suffering Shepherd (Zech. 11:4–17; 13:7; cf. 12:10). According to Zechariah 11:4–17, the people would wrongly reject the Good Shepherd, leading to his execution in 13:7–9. However, Zechariah 13:7 pictures the unjust death of the Good Shepherd as a pivotal event in God’s redemptive plan for Israel. Like the Good Shepherd of Zechariah, the Suffering Servant would be rejected by his people but play a key role in God’s plan of deliverance. So even if it was initially unclear that the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53 would be an individual suffering on behalf of the nation Israel, this is clearer by the time we get to Zechariah’s portrait of the unjust suffering and death of the Good Shepherd. All of this points to a figure in the Servant who should be tied to the king. The royal Servant would suffer death first, then be exalted." [Gordon H. Johnston, “Messianic Trajectories in Isaiah,” in Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2012), 166.]


·         "Zechariah 12:2–13:1 paints a sober picture of the role of the house of David in the future eschatological age, when it would be purged of its past guilt and moral failings. The house of David would take its place alongside every other family and group in the community in mourning and repentance for what they have done, and so would experience the mercy and forgiveness of God. The house of David would be present in the decisive period of restoration. Although the house of David would have a role in the renewed community, it would no longer be the isolated beneficiary of Yahweh’s blessing. As Zechariah 11:4–17 and 13:7–9 suggests, the central agent in God’s future deliverance of his people would be wrought by a mysterious figure depicted as a suffering shepherd. Yet the metaphorical designation, “shepherd,” is reminiscent of the traditional Davidic motif. This suggests a relationship between the royal house of David and this enigmatic shepherd-like figure. All of this points to Jesus, as well as to a future for Israel, looking one day still to come for her repentance." [Gordon H. Johnston, “Messianic Trajectories in Zechariah,” in Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2012), 208.]

·         "However, two additional considerations argue for a Davidic interpretation of Isa. 53. The first derives from the Old Testament itself. In Zech. 11:8 and 12:10, the postexilic prophet Zechariah joins his prophetic predecessor in portraying him as one whom the people reject (11:8; 12:10), and as one who is struck in accordance with the will of Yahweh for the ultimate good of the people (13:7-9). Beyond the motif of suffering, it is scarcely accidental that these texts share a common pastoral metaphor, specifically presenting the messiah as Yahweh's shepherd. On the one hand, ancient Near Easterners commonly perceived kings as shepherds installed by the deity. On the other hand, and more importantly, the Old Testament presents David in particular as the divinely appointed shepherd charged to govern Israel, Yahweh's flock. When the tribes of Israel anointed David in Hebron, they recognized this formally with their declaration "Yahweh said to you, 'You are the one who shall shepherd my people Israel, and you are the one who shall serve as leader over them'" (2 Sam. 5:1-3). This accords with Yahweh's later affirmation "I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be ruler over my people Israel" (2 Sam. 7:8).147 With his portrayal of the suffering shepherd, Zechariah appears intentionally to have been building on the royal dimension of Isa. 53." ["My Servant David: Ancient Israel's Vision of the Messiah", Daniel I. Block, in Israel's Messiah in the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Richard Hess and M Daniel Carroll R (eds). Baker:2003, p51.]



So, the 30 pieces of silver is part-and-parcel of the rejection/betrayal motif in Zechariah, although it specifically is not discussed (one way or another) before its appearance in Matthew's gospel.




Okay, so that was basically 5, 6, and 12:


5.            He was to be a Rejected Messiah

6.            He was to be a Betrayed Messiah

12.          He was to be a Suffering Servant


Let's continue--as the Lord of time and space allow…sigh/smile… to messy3.html (when done).

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