Brown took a very selective and partial quote out of Driver and Neubauer. He didn't identify for his readers anything about R' Moshe Alshich which would XXXX away his argument that he "claimed Isaiah 53 refers to the messiah."
Now let me address the misuse and out of context "quote" of his Brown gave from D&N. Moshe el Sheikh was R Moshe Alshich.
R Moshe Alshich lived from 1508-1593.
But Alshich lived 500 years after Rashi supposedly changed the Jewish concept of the servant from the messiah to Israel. How does Brown explain this major time discrepency? He doesn't. Brown is notorious for throwing out references and quotes with abandon hoping that there is so much mud thrown up that no one will bother to check each one of his facts -- or if they did the reader / listener would get so bored they'd tune out the truth.
Now if Rashi CHANGED the servant from the messiah to Israel 500 years before R' Ashlich then why would any Jew state as a fact that the servant is the mesiah? Does this make any sense? Did Alshich not know the Jews had conspired to changed the interpretation (per Chrstians like Brown)?
So already you can see this doesn't make sense. The literal meaning of the servant in Isaiah is Israel. Using homily the servant has been applied to many different people -- including Moses, Abraham and others.
Have you ever heard of PaRDeS? Torah is understood on many levels, PaRDeS.
* P'shat (פְּשָׁט) - the "plain" ("simple") meaning of a passage
* Remez (רֶמֶז) - "hints" implied in the text but not explicit
* Drash (דְּרַשׁ) - which is a deeper or even midrashic meaning -- often inferred from other scripture
* Sod (סוֹד) - "secret" ("mystery") meanings
These four levels (PaRDeS) are all valid, but the meaning of a passage is always derived from the plain (pshat) reading. R' Alshich's quotes are Drash. Ergo Brown (and D&N and many other Chrstians who quote one section out of context) either don't understand PaRDeS or simply choose to lie to their readers and lead them to believe that what is pshat (plain meaning) is really drash (midrashic).
The Pusey book never gives original sources, so it is hard to track down these quotes. In the case of R Moshe Alshich it comes from a very obscure work called Marot HaTsobeot" (Collected Visions), on the prophets and their prophecies. Marot HaTsobeot is an exegetical and mystical commentary. That is, by definition it isn't what the passage means in any ordinary sense. So once again we are dealing with Midrash Aggadah allegory. It is NOT meant to be taken at face value. It is homily -- not a literal interpreation.
But even so the Pusey version is self serving and not true to the original at all. For example, the Pusey has R Moshe Alshich saying what Brown quoted him as saying:
Quote: our rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the King Messiah and we shall ourselves also adhere to the same view
That is not what R Moshe Alshich says. He doesn't say doesn't say "our Rabbis of blessed memory". R Moshe Alshich uses a common abbreviation: R"ZL. The usual assumption would be that that's what it means, but the abbreviation also stands for *my* Rabbis of blessed memory.
R' Moshe was a mystic and using aggudah (homily) he was writing about the highly mystical homilies used by other mystics like himself.
Using allegory R Moshe equates the Messiah with King David (who was a messiah). He then writes about different worlds populated by angels.
He, R' Moshe was a mystic, writing in the center of Jewish mysticism, is transmitting a mystical interpretation of the text.
In other words this is not pshat (plain meaning).
It is not intended to be taken literally by anyone. It is simply homily and R Moshe says that HIS rabbis envision it (homiletically).
This makes the passage of my Rabbis of blessed memory" logical. He is explaining where his homily stems from. He is NOT saying "all the Rabbis who ever lived" as the Chrstians infer.
Pusey and his translators may not have understood Jewish mysticism or they may simply have ignored context because they were trying to prove that Jews speak of the servant in Isaiah as the messiah. Their error (or they ignored it) was in misusing and mistranslating a common abbreviation: R"ZL.
He states that the servant is Israel and then using Midrash (allegory) first says king messiah IS king David not Jsus or some other messiah, and BTW David was a messiah, an anointed king of Israel). Then R Moshe Alshich compares the servant to MOSES. Folks: this is midrash! Allegory!!! Midrashim were written in an allegorical style that was NEVER meant to be taken literally.
So R Moshe Alshich never meant for any of this to be taken literally, but using Kabbalist reasoning meant it to be viewed as allegory.
This particular part of the midrash explains that the messiah of whom R Moshe Alshich speaks is King David himself (who was a messiah):
Quote: The Messiah is of course David, who, as is well known, was "anointed", and there is a verse in which the prophet, speaking in the name of HaShem, says expressly, "My servant David shall be king over them" (Ezekiel 37:24). The ex-pression My servant, therefore, can justly be referred to David
He then goes on to say the following:
Quote: The Almighty, however, says that there is no need for surprise at their attitude of incredulity in the presence of these marvels [of the restoration of Israel], for who believed our report--the report, namely, which we made known to you from heaven, but which the kings had not heard of? So fearful was it, that in the eyes of everyone who did hear it [of the restoration of Israel], it was too wondrous to behold. . .
He even references Moses in relation to Isaiah 53
Quote: And he made his grave with the wicked. I will show you an instance of this in the chief of all the prophets [Moses], who, by still suffering after his death, endured a heavier penalty than others who had suffered for their generation. Moses was buried away from the Promised Land
He goes on at length relating Isaiah to Moses. In other words: to try and say the interpretation of el-Sheikh is that Isaiah is speaking of the messiah and only the messiah is untrue and simplistic -- and in the case of Chrstian missionaries deceptive.