Who Is The Servant In Isaiah?

Essay by DardgetUniversity, Bachelor'sA, December 2005

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The book of Isaiah is full of many prophecies that have puzzled the minds of religions, today. Some of the most sought-out and determining views of faiths are being argued over some statements made in the book of Isaiah, as well. In this essay, the question of who the servant is in Isaiah is addressed. In this essay, it will be argued that Israel is the determined servant in Isaiah, not Jesus or Jacob or any other individual/nation. The HarperCollins Study Bible (NRSV) will provide the scripture on which will be the base of the evidence.

To understand the prophecy of the servant in Isaiah, it is necessary to start in chapter forty-one to pick up the flow of where the prophecy will lead to. Isaiah 41:8-10 states:

But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off"; do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Clearly shown, as the book of Isaiah has written, Israel is mentioned in the text. However, many concerns can object to verses 8-10, because Israel is not the only "servant" mentioned. Jacob is another possibility. But to introduce rebuttal into that statement, it is known in Genesis after wrestling with an angel, Jacob is named Israel Genesis 32:27-28 reflects this:

So he (Jacob) said to him (the angel), "What is your name?" and he said, "Jacob." Then the man said "You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for...