The Messiah in Isaiah

posted in: Essays | 0

The Messiah in Isaiah is an essay by Cor Blom. You can download the essay in two different formats: right-click the following links, then click on ‘Save link as…’ You can also read the Foreword below.

  1. epub file: The Messiah in Isaiah.epub
  2. PDF file: The Messiah in Isaiah.pdf


This essay belongs to a seminar I gave on 26 May 2019 in the International Church of Leiden. Ideally the seminar would be a summary of this essay, but this is not how it has worked out. The content is approximately the same. I hope I have spotted all contradictions. It remains an unfinished document. I do not have the time to make it perfect, and is perfection not highly overrated?

This essay (as did the seminar) deals with a very difficult subject in the study of the Old Testament: who is the servant of the Lord in Isaiah 40–54? Experts do not agree on this. I have come to the conclusion that the anonymity of the servant, the ambiguity of his identity, but also the close connection he has to Israel, all need to be part of our understanding of this servant. That is not an easy story to tell (or to understand). Especially if we try to understand the passages about this servant in its literary and historical context. But I would suggest we face similar problems if we try to understand these passages in a canonical or christological context. I do not think I understand everything about this servant, but I believe that I am moving in the direction of a better understanding. Both the seminar and this essay reflect the understanding I have now reached. In time this will change. Understanding the servant in Isaiah needs time and more reflection. But I am happy to explain what I now understand in the hope that it help hearers and readers on their own journey of understanding this part of the Bible. And I hope and pray it will lead to a better understanding of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.