In the middle of the Fourteenth century the Black Death was attributed to the Jews; in the popular mind the Jewish population was perceived as intent on destroying the Christian community by poisoning wells. As a consequence, attacks on Jewry became a frequent occurance. These events were coupled with a growing desire to convert the Jewish community to the Christian faith. In Spain and Provence, Jews were compelled to listen to sermons preached by Christians intent on convincing their hearers that the Jesus was the Messiah. For these sermonizers, Isaiah 53 clearly foretells Jesus' Messiahship; in response a number of Jewish sages engaged in Scriptural exegesis to counter this claim. Paralleling these developments, Jewish scholars also sought to demonstrate that the Jewish community has not been rejected be,cause of its unwillingness to accept Jesus as Saviour.