Posts Tagged ‘Isaac Da Costa’

M.history p.IV – Isaac Da Costa

June 23, 2010

There are several accounts in the English language about the person Isaac Da Costa. I’ll give some resources I found.

This first one is most satisfied and covers all the others mostly:

Isaac Da Costa – Encyclopedia Reformata

Isaac da Costa – Wikipedia

Isaac da Costa — Britannica Online Encyclopedia

Isaac da Costa – NNDB

And last my former post on Da Costa

There’s more to find, but I also came around accounts with errors.

I’ll share with you something more from the Dutch resources I have. And I will try to frequently quote his own words although, of course, translated.

Da Costa’s acquaintance with Bilderdijk was in 1813 when Da Costa attended a society of Dutch Jews[i] in Amsterdam. Bilderdijk was one of the first members of the society and in that time (1795), when many Jews were improving their knowledge in gentile History and Arts, he sought to teach them about the false doctrines of the French Revolution and on the other side of the advance of the Torah given to the Jews.[ii] Da Costa: “Did he [Bilderdijk] succeed? So much is sure that although for one heart, for one life, for one son from the people of Israel which our great Poet had so much love for because of their Fathers but most of all because of their crucified גואל (deliverer), for one it caused an eternal blessing.”[iii] As Da Costa said about himself in his biography of Bilderdijk, De Mensch en Dichter Willem Bilderdijk. The following is also extracted from this book.

Da Costa at his writing table with a sculpture of Bilderdijk

Da Costa at his writing table with a sculpture of Bilderdijk

As a 15 years old boy he gave his Hebrew teacher (Moses Lemans) a poet hewrote, and so it came before the eyes of Willem Bilderdijk. And by an arrangement of the teacher he met Bilderdijk. At that time Da Costa had many questions himself. Had the God of Israel been really revealed? To his fathers? Were there indeed Godly man who did miracles and signs and received Godly words? Did the Tenach really exists because of Divine inspiration? In these circumstances he met Bilderdijk.

Da Costa was a very brilliant student and he very frequently visited Bilderdijk. Bilderdijk became his personal teacher and a great friendship was developing.

In the year 1817 Bilderdijk for the first time recited his tremendous but not finished poet (De Ondergang der Eerste Wareld) from a manuscript to Da Costa. Just one sentence remained in the heart of the young Da Costa: Neen, Régol, neen, dit zijn geen aardsche zangen! (No, Regol, no, this aren’t earthly songs!) Da Costa’s own account on this: “But more than poetry, even the highest, the most above dust and earth reached sort and tone of poetry, was the element that from the beginning all dialogs gave life and teachings a higher purpose, it was that life’s-element of knowledge of God, it was the Divine truth.”[iv]

Bilderdijk didn’t advocate Christianity to his Jewish friend but according to Da Costa: “He devoted himself only to show his honor to the Law of Moses for me and where it fits he also would awake other ones for it. He rightly understood Israel and showed it to the foreground with an expectation of a glorious Messiah, but not omitting the suffering aspect. Many things worked forwards to the following opinion in my heart: For a suffering people a suffering Messiah!”

But at that time his soul didn’t have the personal need, and the “power and meaning of the passion wasn’t revealed yet. It was long before it came into my mind that Jesus from Nazarene could be the Messiah. Until an unforgettable day in October 1820, the veil before my eyes was gone and I faithfully might fallen down before this Jesus from Nazarene, King of the Jews, as also my Lord and my God!”[v]

To be continued.

[i] Israelitisch Genootschap Tot Nut en Beschaving

[ii] De Mensch en Dichter Willem Bilderdijk, Mr. Isaac Da Costa, 1859, p.275

[iii] Ibid, p.276

[iv] Ibid, p.281

[v] Ibid, p.283


Isaac Da Costa

February 23, 2009

I’m often wondering about Dr. Isaac Da Costa. (1798-1860) The warmth of his writing, the honest, the knowledge, for me he is certainly the greatest Jewish Messianic we have had in the Netherlands. He is a spiritual son of the impressive Willem Bilderdijk, a great Dutch poet.

We have many beautiful books from man like these. But even as the Messiah is rejected and  hidden by the world, also the most beautiful literature is thrown away because they didn’t see the beauty, here in the Netherlands, and outside they can’t even read it. E.g. many of you know the painter Rembrandt becausedacosta2 it’s not written in language, but we have much greater art. We have scholarly writers and poets who were guided by the Ruach haKodesh. And now I’ve found a book on Google Books of Isaac Da Costa, also a poet, and I’ll share this with you. Please read the last a few pages from 623 to the end. And you’ll feel the warmth and faith of one who was speaking at a time when the land of Israel was a dessert. And he was still not alone with his expectations.

Isaac Da Costa was a great poet. Dutch people are very blessed, but most of them didn’t understand. Certainly they are rather rejecting it then have interest. We saw it: Bilderdijk and Da Costa where against the Enlightenment which clearly appears as apostasy from G’d and religion. And they where persecuted and rejected like the prophets of Israel and their great rabbi Yeshua himself. It’s not to much to say that the liberals wants them to put to dead. That’s not new for fellowers of Messiah! My dear (Jewish) brothers! I’m sharing in your misery now (as a gentile), but I’ll also share in the kingdom when the Messiah shall build up the house of Jacob and reign with his people! Then we’ll understand.
Here’s the link:
Israel and the Gentiles, contributions to the history of the Jews, Isaac Da Costa, 1850.

Quote about Christian and Jewish religion:

I have discovered more and more its perfect harmony with the dispensations of God, and the declarations of His Word; and the Jewish nation has been brought to my view more strikingly as an abiding testimony to the truth of the Christian religion, a living commentary upon the Scriptures, a certain pledge of the entire fulfilment of prophecy.

from: Israel and the gentiles, preface page ix.