Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Snuffing Servant

As I was studying chapters 42 and 43 of Isaiah not long ago using the Gileadi translation, I came across an interesting pair of prophesied events. Both seem to refer to the future Davidic servant, or "one mighty and strong" that Isaiah discusses so often.

The first reference explains what this servant will not do and to whom:
Even a bruised reed he will not break;
     a dim wick he will not snuff out.
He will perform the work of justice
     in the cause of truth. - Isaiah 42:3
The second reference declares what he will do (or what Jehovah will do via him):
... who dispatches chariots and horses,
     armies of men in full strength;
they lie down as one, to rise no more,
     they flicker and die, snuffed out like a wick. - Isaiah 43:17
Some may think they have an idea who this servant might be. But as has been pointed out by others, it is not Christ Himself. Among the many other prophecies concerning this "one mighty and strong", he will have a clearly associated visual sign:
My servant, being astute, shall be highly exalted
     he shall become exceedingly eminent:
just as he appalled many—
     his appearance was marred beyond human likeness,
     his semblance unlike that of men—
So shall he yet astound many nations,
     kings shutting their mouths at him—
what was not told them, they shall see;
     what they had not heard, they shall consider. - Isaiah 52:13-15
Though Christ will heal him:
But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand;
     therefore they shall not hurt him,
     although he shall be marred because of them.
Yet I will heal him,
     for I will show unto them
     that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil. - 3 Nephi 21:10
Were this person to be aware of such a prophecy potentially referring to himself, he might be reluctant to have his appearance widely known.