Prophecies need to be specific. There was no need to hide the promised messiah within a passage that was also speaking about something else, for e.g. if Isaiah had an intention of speaking about the Messiah, it would’ve been nice had he said it clearly, instead of using the same moniker to identify both Israel and the Messiah, which has led to 2,000 years of confusion. Moreover, if we apply Isa. 52-53 to Jesus, then Isa. 52:14 reads “his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness”, but Jesus’ most serious wounds were to his hands, feet, and side. No bones were broken, and no serious disfigurement remained. What is your reply? Thanks.


You say that “Prophecies need to be specific.”  My response to that is this:  According to whose rule is it required that all prophecies be specific?  Is that your or someone else’s rule?  Is God required to abide by your rule or by my rule?  Such “rules” are almost by definition arbitrary, and I see no reason why God has to obey human rules about the nature of prophecies.  The fact is that there are literally dozens of messianic passages in the Old Testament which are what I would call “double prophecies.”  They are prophecies that applied to the Jew’s situation at the time, but also to the messianic age.  What rule says that God cannot do this?  Examples are all of Ezekiel 36 and much of Ezekiel 37.  Both of these long passages are prophecies about the restoration of Judah (Ezekiel 36;37-38), but, quite clearly (Ezekiel 36:24-32) be messianic.  To me this is not “confusion.” Zechariah has many of these double prophecies, as do Jeremiah and Isaiah.  These prophecies of both the relatively near and the relatively distant future amazing evidence of the inspiration of the Bible!
As for Isaiah 52-53, this lengthy passage is rather obviously messianic, but some have proposed that there is some element of double fulfillment in Israel as the suffering servant.  This passage is complex, and much has been written about the “arm of the Lord,” and the “suffering servant.”  In any case, Isaiah 52:13-53:12 are very clearly messianic.  I discuss the suffering servant issue in an article I published recently.  Here it is:   You will need to go in three or so pages to find the relevant material on Isaiah.
As for Isaiah 52:14, from what I understand of the nature of Roman flogging, Jesus’ back, as well as the back of his arms and legs would have been shredded when the flagrum was applied to him by the Roman soldiers.  Is it appropriate to described a flogged person as marred beyond human likeness?  I am not sure what to say about that, except that the inspired messianic prophecy describes the wounds of the Messiah that way, and, to me, it is not inappropriate to described a crucified and flogged person that way.  In your question you seem to be forgetting the flogging.
Here is a link that might make it more clear to you how disfigured Jesus would have been:
John Oakes

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