Messiah ben Joseph versus Messiah ben David
The whole chapter 53 of Isaiah is about the dramatic epic of two Messiahs: Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David. The drama that culminated in the “death” of Messiah ben Joseph for the sins of Messiah ben David. Properly speaking, Messiah ben Joseph is Ephraim or Israel, the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom. And Messiah ben David is Judah, the Southern Kingdom.
The sins of Judah had filled the Divine cup, and in God’s judgment, the day had arrived for the removal of Judah. (Isa. 9:8) But according to I Kings 11:36, God had promised David that Judah, whose Tribe he had come from, would stay as a Lamp in Jerusalem forever. Therefore, according to Isaiah 9:8, the final judgment that was supposed to come upon Judah fell upon Israel instead, and Messiah ben Joseph had to go instead of Judah, or Messiah ben David.
But Isaiah says in 53:9 that the Suffering Servant was without guile, and sinless. That’s exactly what Israel was: Pure of the sins he died for, since they were the sins of Judah and not his. Messiah ben Joseph therefore, did not die for his sins but for the sins of Messiah ben David. Therefore, Israel was removed because of the sins of another. He was pierced so to speak, by the sins of Judah. The sacrifice of Israel or Messiah ben Joseph meant the salvation of Judah or Messiah ben David. That’s why Zechariah in 12:10 says that they (Judah) shall look upon him (Israel) whom they (Judah) had pierced with their sins, and mourn for him (Israel) as the one who mourns for his firstborn.
Now, let me explain by way of an analogy how Israel, or Messiah ben Joseph, who was the Suffering Servant died innocent of the sins of Judah or Messiah ben David:
“A” and “B”. “A” has committed a crime punishable with death, and “B”, by mistake was condemned for that crime. It doesn’t matter how evil is “B” in his life or how bad are his sins. The point is that he was condemned to die for the crime of “A”. Therefore “B” was killed innocent and pure of the crimes and sins of “A”. “A” got saved by the death of “B”. So, “B” was the Suffering Servant that brought salvation to “A”. Now matching the analogy to reality, “A” was Judah that pierced “B” with his crimes and sins.
Now, with the removal of Messiah ben Joseph, according to Psalm 78:67-70, Messiah be David occupied the place of Messiah ben Joseph, but as the Triumphant Servant with reference to the rest of Mankind, because of God’s promise to Noah that humanity would never be destroyed again in an universal manner. (Gen. 8:21) The People-redeemer was the pledge and on his way in the near future with the choice of Abraham through Isaac. That’s what sustains the world and allows it to keep going. Now, there is a small detail worthy keeping in mind. The blood of the Suffering Servant was shed once and for all. Now, Mankind is kept safe with the existence of Judah, the Triumphant Servant, according to Jeremiah 31:35-37.