Portion of the great — he has nothing?

How can Christians apply the phrase v’ayn lo,  “he has nothing” or “he shall have nothing” (Daniel 9:26) and Isaiah 53:12, where the suffering servant receives “a portion with the great,” to Jesus?

 

Answer: One needs to understand that both references, when read in the context of Christian theology, refer to Jesus after his death and supposed resurrection: Daniel 9:26 referring to after he is “cut off” and Isaiah 53:12 as a reward for his suffering and death.

Yet, v’ayn lo, “he has nothing” or “he shall have nothing” cannot refer to Jesus’ situation at or after death, if one takes the New Testament seriously. Christianity claims that unlike mere mortal bodies which decay after death Jesus rose bodily into heaven, where he sits at the “right hand of the throne of the Majesty.”

V’ayn lo certainly could not refer to a lack of wealth or followers, for this would not distinguish Jesus from the great majority of the world’s population. One who “has nothing” or “shall have nothing” (Daniel 9:26) does not receive “a portion with the great” (Isaiah 53:12), does not rise bodily to heaven (Acts 1:9), and does not sit at the “right hand of the throne of the Majesty” (Hebrews 8:1). It is precisely with his death that Jesus was allegedly able to attain his rewards (Philippians 2: 8-9). Therefore, the application of both verses to Jesus is untenable.

© Gerald Sigal