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"Hear O' Israel, HaShem is our G-d, HaShem alone"

Isaiah 52:3


The missionaries will say that Isaiah 52:3 shows that Israel is to be redeemed without money (by Jesus). They may give Exodus 30:11-16, I Peter 1:18-19, Heb 9:12-14, and John 11:47-52 as to how Jesus "fulfills" this.

The Reply is: the verse in 52:3 "For thus said the L-rd: You were sold for no price, and shall be redeemed without money" it continues in 52:4 "For thus said the L-rd G-d: Of old, My people went down to Egypt to sojourn there; but Assyria has robbed them, giving nothing in return," The theme of verses 1-6 is as follows: Jerusalem will be freed from captivity and will be putting on celebratory clothing. This will be done because G-d will no longer tolerate His name being defiled by the slavery of Israel to people who do not relize that it was G-d who lead them into captivity to begin with. Those people will have no claim on Israel and G-d will redeem Isreal without money (i.e. the captors will not be recompensed for the loss of their slaves). (Based on Soncino commentary on Isaiah)

Exodus 30:11-16 says "The L-rd spoke to Moses, saying: When you take a census of the Israelite people according to their enrollment, each shall pay the L-rd a ransom for himself on being enrolled, that no plaque may come upon them through their being enrolled. This is what everyone who is entered in the records shall pay: a half-shekel by the sanctuary weight--twenty gerahs to the shekel--a half shekel offering to the L-rd. Everyone who is entered in the records, from age of twenty years up, shall give the L-rd's offering: the rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than half a shekel when giving the L-rd's offering as expiation for your persons. You shall take the expiation money from the Israelites and assign it to the service of the Tent of Meeting; it shall serve the Israelites as a reminder before the L-rd, as expiation for your persons." (JPS) What many of you may not be aware of is that it is forbiden to count the people of Israel, as in a census. In order to know how many people there were, the count had to be done indirectly, in this case by counting coins instead of people. Hence, everyone 20 or older paid the same amount and the money was counted instead of the people.

Neither of these 2 passages have anything to do with Jesus or even the messiah. The first passage is what G-d is going to do (and not the messaih or anyone else). The second passage speaks about a cenus.


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© Copyright 1997 by G. Shapiro