Kyle Yates, an Old Testament Professor called it, "The Mt. Everest of Old Testament prophecy."
Polycarp called it, "The golden passional of the Old Testament evangelist."
Charles Spurgeon said it's, "A Bible in miniature, the gospel in its essence."
F. Delitzsch said, "It is the most central, the deepest, and the loftiest thing that the Old Testament prophecy, outstripping itself, has ever achieved... It looks as if it had been written beneath the cross upon Golgotha."
Engnell stated, "Without any exaggeration, it is the most important text of the Old Testament."
Urwick stated, "Here we seem to enter the holy of holies of Old Testament prophecy that sacred chamber we're in are pictured and foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glory which should follow."
Roger Boguski adds, "It is the 'crown jewel' of the Older Testament."
"Isaiah Fifty Three"
A. "The vision of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah." Isaiah 1:1.
1. The word vision is the word (cha-zone) and is a direct revelation or message from God.
2. Where there is no vision the people perish, Prov. 29:18 (para) run wild, are unkempt, unrestrained, out of control; Why? They take the lead, doing what’s right in their own eyes, promoting wickedness, uncovering themselves, going naked! (The golden calf!)
3. Where there is no vision the people perish, but where there is no commitment the world goes to Hell!
B. Twelve times in the Older Testament, Isaiah is introduced as, "the son of Amoz."
C. Not the prophet Amos, who was a shepherd and a fig-picker but Amoz (the strong one) who according to Jewish tradition was the brother of Amaziah, King of Judah and the father of King Uzziah which would have made Isaiah and Uzziah cousins.
D. However, whoever he was, he was well known by the readers of the Older Testament, of that day because just mentioning his son was all the introduction Isaiah needed.
E. In the book of Isaiah we find the form of his name as Yesha'yahu meaning, 'Salvation is of Yahweh' or 'Yahweh is Salvation,' a name which to an extent epitomizes the message of Isaiah.
F. His name is obviously significant but it is never explained nor elaborated on in Scripture.
G. He was clearly raised in a well to do family and received a very good education.
H. H.C. Leupold comments on Isaiah, "Hardly anyone would question the claim that Isaiah is a prince among prophets. His eloquence is very evident, he has at his command a vocabulary richer than that of any prophet, even more comprehensive than that of the book of Psalms."
I. He was not a sheepherder like Amos or a priest like Ezekiel, but he was a prophet of kings and a prince among prophets.
J. His preaching on 'personal holiness' did not come without a price-tag however, the same as it does in today's pulpits, the price of personal holiness is, 'personal loneliness!'
II. Isaiah made his home in Jerusalem and his home was a godly one.
A. His wife was one of the four women referred to in the Scriptures as a prophetess, Isa. 8:3.
B. His two sons were named prophetically; 'Shear-Jashub' (a remnant shall return) a pledge referring to the nation of Judah if captured, would always return to Jerusalem and would never become extinct, even today! (After 2,500 years they are back in their ancient land, speaking their ancient language and they did it on the day the Ancient of Days gave them, “The Sabbath!”
C. And, 'Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz' (haste to the spoil; haste to the prey) a prophecy that the Assyrians would ravage and subdue the land or soon plunder the kingdom of Judea.
D. Isaiah lived about 100 years and ministered for about 60-70 years.
E. The testimony of the Jewish people, the Talmud, tradition, and the early Church Fathers along with several other sources say that, wicked king Manasseh had Isaiah stuffed in a hollow log and sawed in two at the pool of Siloam, with a wood saw. (ouch!)
F. Even, Hebrews 11:37 speaks of those, "That were stoned, that were sawn asunder..."
III. Evidence in Favor of Isaiah Writing This Book!
A. The book of Isaiah has been called the 'Fifth Gospel' because of its emphasis on salvation, the coming Messiah, and the ‘Suffering Servant.’
B. For centuries Isaiah has been known as the 'Old Testament Evangelist.' His prophecies were described as, 'The Gospel According to Isaiah,'
C. There are over 333 predictive, precise prophecies concerning the first coming of Israel's Messiah; some scholars say, "There are over 456.”
D. The Newer Testament presents the Messiah in all of His fullness, whereas Isaiah presents, ‘The fullness of the Messiah.’
E. Isaiah is quoted over 100 times in the Newer Testament, more than all the other Older Testament prophets combined.
F. One of the problems people have today with the book of Isaiah is authorship due to, 'Higher Criticism' which rejects the Bible as being historically accurate because they don't believe the Scriptures contain, 'Predictive Prophecy.'
G. In essence they deny super-naturalism and a favorite target of theirs is the book of Isaiah.
H. They believe the book of Isaiah was written by two or even three authors over several hundred years with several editors who lived in different time periods.
I. The belief that one man, the son of Amoz, in the 8th century BCE was inspired by God and wrote the whole book and predicted events and people hundreds of years before they occurred is preposterous and a dishonest presentation.
J. That’s true, only if you do not believe in the doctrine of verbal, plenary inspiration and precise, predictive prophecy.
K. In other words they don't believe in an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, omnificent, God!
L. The higher critics divide Isaiah into three parts Trito-Isaiah, chapters 1-39 written by Isaiah; chapters 40-55 written by another person after the Babylonian captivity; and chapters 56-66 written by yet another person sometime around the time of Christ.
M. Most hold to a two-fold view of Isaiah or what is called 'Deutero-Isaiah' dividing it between chapters 1-39 and 40-66 for the same reasons.
N. The higher critics reject Isaiah because he predicts the future in many places and yet many of those predictions have already been fulfilled.
O. However, the critics don't present a scientific study of the Bible or prophecy they just assume super-naturalism is impossible.
P. There is no indication that the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Older Testament dated around 250 BCE sees any part of the book of Isaiah being written over a period of time.
Q. Also, in the 'Dead Sea Isaiah Scroll' which contains all 66 chapters of Isaiah, there is no division between chapters 39 and 40. In fact chapter 40 begins on the same scroll and on the same column as chapter 39.
R. Also ancient Rabbinic Jewish tradition never once mentions two or three authors for Isaiah;
S. Another evidence of the book's unity is the common themes or topics that flow throughout the entire book, these pose a real problem for the higher critics.
T. Then you have phrases like, "Holy One of Israel" used 25 times in Isaiah, 12 times in chapters 1-39, 11 times in chapters 40-55, and 2 times in chapters 56-66, this consistency lends itself to the conclusion that one author wrote one harmonious book.
A. The strongest theological reason for accepting the unity and the reliability of Isaiah as the one and only author of the book of Isaiah is that the Newer Testament declares it to be so.
B. In John 12:38-41, John the apostle put together Isaiah 53:1 and Isaiah 6:9-10 citing both as from the same Isaiah not two.
C. In fact Yeshua/Jesus Himself read from Isaiah 61:1-2, a section the higher critics deny Isaiah wrote in Luke 4:17-21, and He never said anything to the contrary.
D. Both John and Jesus saw the passages as predictions of Isaiah so we can be assured of the divinely provided unity and the historical reliability of the book of Isaiah. "God said it, and I believe it, and that settles it, for me!" How about you? Do you need more evidence?
E. There is more, Ecclesiasticus 48:22-25; Josephus, Antiquities 11:1-2; Literary style and more repetitious words; Internal evidence matching Isaiah 40-66 with the Newer Testament, Matt. 3:3; 12:17-21; Luke 3:3-6; Acts 8:28; Romans 10:16, 20. The same phrase, "The mouth of the LORD has spoken it," repeated in, Isaiah 1:20; 40:5; 58:14, in all three divisions. "The vision of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem..."
F. Are you with me or did I go too fast? I am going to be discussing the prophecy of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, in chapter 52:13 - 53:12 in detail. So, it's important for you to stay with me but it's not important for you to remember or even understand every detail I am saying.
...What is important though is, "What you think, as a result of what I am going to say!"…
“Who Is The Servant In Isaiah?”
A. Before we can properly examine the 'Crown Jewel' of the prophet Isaiah, we must identify who the 'Servant' Isaiah is referring to in chapter 53:12 and 53:11.
B. Modern Jewish writers would lead us to believe it is Israel and modern Christian writers would lead us to believe it is Israel's Messiah.
C. The word 'Servant' is found 23 times in Isaiah and it is the Hebrew word (eh-bed) for servant, attendant, indentured or owned servant.
D. In 'Paleo-Hebrew' or ancient Hebrew before the Babylonian captivity, the three Hebrew letters that make up the root of this word are (ayin-bet-dalet) and form a picto-gram, "To see/experience - your household/family - through the front door."
E. This indentured 'Servant' was part of the family and had access and privileges to the family by the front door not the back door.
F. This is a servant of privilege, status and rank and he has the privilege to enter the home like a son would and he sees everything.
II. Survey of the word ‘Servant.’
A. This word appears 23 times in the book of Isaiah and it would be to our advantage to do a quick survey of those 23 occurrences.
B. The first time the word 'Servant' appears it is referring to the author Isaiah himself in chapter 20:3, "And the LORD said, As My servant Isaiah, has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;" as a sign against Egypt and Ethiopia.
C. The next occurrence is in Isa. 22:20 when God replaces Shebna with Eliakim, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call My servant, Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah;"
D. Then you have the word servant used in Isaiah 24:2 in a comparison of terms; the people with the priest; the servant with the master; the maid with her mistress; the buyer with the seller, etc.
E. Then you have a reference to King David as the servant in Isaiah 37:35, "For I will defend this city to save it for Mine own sake, and for My servant David's sake."
F. Next, Israel is named as the servant in Isaiah 41:8-9, "But thou Israel, art My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend; Thou, whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art My servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away."
G. The next time we find the word 'Servant' is in Isaiah 42:1-4, "Behold My servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom My soul delights; I have put My Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth judgement in truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgement in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his law."
H. There is a twofold account of this servant, first as a weak, despised, rejected, and slain servant and then as a mighty conqueror taking vengeance on the nations and restoring Israel.
I. To resolve this problem Rabbis adopted the theory of two Messiahs,
1. 'Messiah ben Joseph' the suffering Messiah who dies in a battle against Edom/Rome;
2. Followed by 'Messiah ben David' the triumphant messiah who establishes his Kingdom of righteousness after defeating the Gentile nations.
J. Another attempt to deal with this seeming contradiction is mentioned in Pesikta Rabbathi, (Jewish Commentary) where Messiah ben David suffers in every generation for every generation's sins.
K. Many Rabbis are just awaiting the coming of Elijah who will make all things clear.
L. One thing is clear however, Isa. 42:1 is not referring to Israel as the servant, that's for sure because as chapter 42 goes on we see Israel chosen, sinning and chastened and then in chapter 43, redeemed and restored by the 'Servant' in 42:1.
M. Also this is not referring to Israel because it is quoted in the Newer Testament in Matthew 12:14-21 as referring to Yeshua/Jesus in total.
N. As was just seen in Isaiah 42:8ff the nation of Israel is in focus, chosen, sinning and chastened; so in 42:19 the servant is obviously Israel, "Who is blind, but My servant?
O. Or deaf as My messenger that I sent? Who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD's servant?" We see this question answered in v. 22-24 and then in chapter 43 we see Israel is to be redeemed and restored and to be not only His servant but His witnesses, "Ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He; before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I am the LORD, and beside Me there is no Savior." Isa. 43:10-11.
P. Isaiah Chapter 44 is chuck full of promises to Israel, in 44:1-2, the servant is definitely Israel, "Yet now hear, O Jacob, My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. Thus saith the LORD that made thee from the womb, who will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, My servant, and thou, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen." (Jeshurun is a poetical name for Israel).
Q. He promises to pour out His Spirit upon their seed and His blessings upon their offspring and then in v. 21-27 He promises to forgive their sins and return them to their land, "Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art My servant; I have formed thee, thou art My servant, O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten by Me. I have blotted out like a thick cloud thy transgressions and like a cloud thy sins; return unto Me, for I have redeemed thee."
R. There is no doubt this servant is Israel, however in v. 26 after much study I believe, the servant is either Isaiah or God's prophets; "Who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers;"
S. Again Israel is reminded of God's promises to them in chapter 48:20, the servant is identified as Israel, "Go forth from Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say: The LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob."
T. Now, starting in Isaiah 49-57 we have what is referred to as the "Suffering Servant Section" of Isaiah and it starts off with Israel being identified as the servant in v.3, "And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
U. Because of this verse Rashi, an 11th century, non-Messianic, French Jewish scholar, whose initials stand for Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki said, that the servant in Isaiah 53 is Israel.
V. By the way Rashi lived between the first and second crusades and his stand was a reaction to Christian scholars who proposed that Isaiah chapter 53 was a fulfillment of Yeshua/Jesus.
W. Then Joseph Kimchi and his son David in 1105-1235 followed Rashi as did Don Isaac Abarbanel of Spain in 1437-1508.
III. “Isaiah 49:5 Takes On a Different Servant Tone.”
A. "And now, saith the LORD who formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob again to Him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength."
B. Obviously this servant is not Israel because this servant is going to bring Jacob/Israel to the LORD, even though Israel is not gathered this servant shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD
C. Also v.6 goes on to embellish this servant, "And he said, It is a light thing that thou should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles that thou may be my salvation (yeshua) unto the end of the earth."
D. How could Israel raise up Israel and restore Israel and be a light to the Gentiles and salvation to all mankind?
E. They simply are not, have not, and will not be doing that until the time of 'Jacob's Trouble' known as the 'Great Tribulation' when 144,000 male, virgin, Jewish, men from the twelve tribes of Israel will be commissioned to do exactly that! Rev. 7&14.
F. So, Israel can not be the servant in v.5 and v.6, how about v.7, "Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to Him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers: Kings shall see and arise, princes shall worship, because of the LORD who is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee."
G. This servant can't be Israel if Israel as a nation is going to abhor this servant!
IV. The Humiliation of the Servant.
A. In Isaiah 50 we see the humiliation of the 'Servant,' in v.6, "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair, I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed."
B. This is not Israel, this is a person who has been beaten, had his beard ripped out, been spit upon, humiliated, and disgraced:
C. Then v.10 says, "Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness, and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God."
D. The LORD is asking Israel a question, who among them fears the LORD, obeys the servant’s voice, walks in darkness, etc.
E. If Israel is the servant then how can they answer these questions or even obey the servant's voice?
V. The Exaltation of The Servant.
A. Then we come to Isaiah 52:13, "Behold My Servant" again he is not identified, but we shall see that he is made a sin offering and here he is exalted, extolled and elevated.
B. Three words lifting him higher and higher and higher, the only other time these three words are used together in Scripture are in Isaiah 30:10 and they are used of the LORD, "Now will I rise, saith the LORD, now will I be exalted, now will I lift up Myself."
C. Another incident that comes close is Isa. 6:1, "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the LORD sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple."
D. If these words are applied to the LORD, the YHWH, then this servant must be on an equal plane with the LORD.
E. Then the final servant passage is in Isaiah 53:11, "He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied (saba); by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."
F. Behold My servant exalted, extolled, elevated; My righteous servant, how on earth can this refer to any group of people no matter how honorable we think they might be? My own grandmother is not worthy of this accolade.
G. Read chapter one of Isaiah for a graphic description of Israel and then tell me if they fit into Isaiah 52:13 and 53:11. "I have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against Me. From the sole of your foot, even unto the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores. They have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. And the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Except the LORD of Hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been like Sodom, and we should have been like Gomorrah."
H. Does that sound like the (tsadik ehbed) the righteous servant of Isa. 53:11 or the servant extolled, exalted and elevated, one who could redeem, ransom and return Israel to the LORD?
VI. Isaiah or Yesha'yahu's theme is, "Israel's Messiah!"
A. He writes about the majestic glory of God. He foretells of the Messiah's; Birth 7:14; Deity 9:6-7; Ministry 42:1-7 & 61:1-2; Death 52:13-53:12; and Millennial Reign 2, 11, 65.
B. He lived and ministered in Jerusalem with his wife a prophetess and his two sons Shear-jashub and Maher-shalal-hash-baz.
C. We know nothing of his birth and death other than the Talmudic legend that wicked king Manasseh sawed him in half in a log at the pool of Siloam.
D. He was a writer, a poet, a statesman, a reformer, a teacher, a theologian, and a prophet referred to as, "The Shakespeare of Prophets."
E. His theme is found in his name, "Salvation is of the LORD." The word salvation is found 26 times in Isaiah and only 7 times in all the other prophets combined.
F. Isaiah is often referred to as 'The Mini Bible.' The Bible has 66 books, Isaiah has 66 chapters, the Bible has 39 books in the Older Testament and 27 books in the Newer Testament.
G. Isaiah is divided into 39 chapters and 27 chapters and the middle chapter of the last 27 is chapter 53 and the central verse of that section in Isa. 53:5, "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed."
H. Isaiah has been referred to as the, 'Fifth Gospel' or 'The Gospel According To Isaiah.'
I. Isaiah 54:2-3 was the text William Carey, the father of modern missions used, to launch the modern missionary movement.
J. Isaiah's first message of condemnation is aimed at his own people Israel.
K. In chapter one we have a capsulized message of Isaiah, the breach between Israel and Jehovah; The inefficiency of mere ritual; The call to national repentance; and The certainty of sweeping judgment.
L. Chapter 6 is Isaiah's call which is followed by chapters 7-12, 'The Book of Immanuel.'
M. Then you have prophecies concerning Israel's neighbors in chapters 13-23; Prophecies about Israel's future in chapters 24-27; Prophecies of Israel's sinful 'WOES' in chapters 28-35; An historical parenthesis of King Hezekiah's life in chapters 36-39;
N. Then you come to the prophecies concerning Israel's comfort in chapters 40-66 and these break down into three sections: The process of peace chapters 40-48; The Prince of peace chapters 49-57; and The program of peace chapters 58-66.
VII. The “Crown Jewel” of The Older Testament.
A. Isa. 52:13-53:13 breaks down into five three verse couplets or triplets which is a Hebraic form of writing, worship and study: The Servant Exalted/Venerated Isa. 52:13-15;
1. The Servant Despised/Villainized, Isa. 53:1-3; The Servant Wounded/Victimized, Isa. 53:4-6; The Servant Cut-Off/Vicarious, Isa. 53:7-9; The Servant Satisfied/Victorious, Isa. 53:10-12.
B. You also have: The Mystery of The Servant, Isa. 52:13-15; The Rejection of The Servant, Isa. 53:1-3; The Atonement of The Servant, Isa. 53:4-6; The Submission of The Servant, Isa. 53:7-9; and, The Exaltation of The Servant, Isa. 53:10-12.
C. Then if you look real close you will also see the 'Five Levitical Offerings;' The Burnt Offering - The servant's whole hearted sacrifice, Isa. 52:13-15; The Meal Offering - The servant's perfect character, Isa. 53:1-3; The Peace Offering - The servant's atonement that brought peace with God, Isa. 53:4-6; The Sin Offering - The servant's payment for the transgression of his people, Isa. 53:7-9; The Trespass Offering - The servant's death for the effects of sin, Isa. 53:10-12.
D. However, no matter how you look at it or cut it up, the central element, the apex of this messianic Prophecy is still, "The Servant!"
E. The 'Suffering Servant' of the LORD, and He is the most important subject in the book of Isaiah as a whole.
F. The Servant in this passage never speaks, nor does He ever appear. He is the object of discussion and haunts this passage.
G. After Isaiah chapter 53 the word servant, singular never appears again!
H. In Exodus 3:5 as Moses approached the burning bush the Almighty spoke and said, "Draw not nigh, put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."
I. I believe we need that same attitude of reverence as we approach this 'Crown Jewel' and begin to examine its many facets.
J. Like Philip in Acts 8:26-39 with the Ethiopian Eunuch when he, "opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture (Isaiah 53:6-7) and preached unto him Jesus."
K. Now let us lay this 'Crown Jewel' on a piece of black velvet under the jeweler's bright lights, pick up our monocle, take a deep prayerful breath and look deep into this gem's beauty for what Jehovah Elohim might have for each one of us.
A. Our main interest in Isaiah is the 'Crown Jewel' of the Older Testament, Isaiah 52:13 53:12.
B. One that is purposely skipped every summer in the synagogues during their Torah and Haftorah readings.
C. They read Isaiah 51:12-52:12 and Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9. The next Sabbath they read Isaiah 54:1-10 and Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19, but they never read Isaiah 52:13-53:12, NEVER! Why?
D. Two reasons; One, because evangelical Christians use Isaiah 53 as the cornerstone for their argument for the Messiahship of Yeshua/Jesus. While Orthodox Jewish people on the other hand, follow the 11th C. Talmudic Rabbi Rashi who said, "Since Christians interpret Isaiah 53 as being a prophecy concerning Jesus, we maintain that this is a prophecy concerning the people of Israel:" Second, because Isaiah chapter 53 is probably the most amazing, mystifying, powerful, passage of scripture in the Older Testament.
E. In fact it is so amazing and so mystifying and so powerful and so persuasive, that you need to be careful when approaching this passage that you don't accept the fact the Yeshua/Jesus is Israel's Messiah without accepting Him as your own personal Messiah too.
F. Personal appropriation is critical, Joel 2:32, a head knowledge won't give anyone eternal life.
G. Most of the 80 plus references in the Newer Testament referring to Isaiah, refer to Isaiah 53.
H. This is however, a matter of life and death, not just a matter for debate, or who has more evidence, or more convincing points.
I. If Isaiah 53 is speaking of a suffering individual then the Jewish people failed to recognize their Messiah when Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth came 2,000 years ago to save them.
J. If however, it is speaking of a suffering Nation/Israel then Christians past, present and future who are laying claim to God's forgiveness through faith in the blood of Jesus are still in fact, "dead in their sins." Eph. 2:5.
K. The answer to this question will not be found in sectarian name calling or in a lengthy theological debate but in a rational examination of the Biblical context of Isaiah chapter 53, the history of its interpretation and its relation to other prophecies whose messianic meaning is beyond dispute.
L. However, you must remember this is only a study, not a theological journal or disputation. I am not here to argue, just share, as a common man to a common men and women!
“The Servant’s Triumphal Entry”
A. Isaiah Fifty Three, “The Crown Jewel” of the Older Testament has captivated the hearts and minds of Bible students and scholars for centuries if not millenniums.
1. Kyle Yates and O. T. Professor called it, “The Mt. Everest of Old Testament prophecy.”
2. Polycarp called it, “The golden passional of the Old Testament evangelist.”
3. C. H. Spurgeon said, “A Bible in miniature and the gospel in its essence.”
4. F. Delitzsch said, “It is the most central, deepest, loftiest thing Old Testament prophecy ever achieved, even
out stripping itself…It looks as if it had been written beneath the cross on Golgotha.”
B. “The Crown Jewel” which actually runs from, Isa. 52:13 – Isa. 53:12 is the fourth and final “Servant Song” of Isaiah: 42:1-7; 49:1-6; 50:4-9; 52:13- 53:12.
C. It is divided into five stanzas of three verses each with each stanza being longer than the previous one and the themes of exaltation and humiliation interwoven throughout each one beautifully.
D. Exaltation dominates the first and last stanza and humiliation dominates the middle three, but the first verse of each stanza captures the theme of that stanza and seems to summarize its content.
E. You will notice references to the Levitical priesthood and the sacrificial system and because of that many believe the five stanzas are structured to match the five Levitical offerings:
1. The Burnt Offering – Isa. 52:13-15
2. The Meal Offering – Isa. 53:1-3
3. The Peace Offering – Isa. 53:4-6
4. The Sin Offering – Isa. 53:7-9
5. The Trespass Offering – Isa. 53:10-12
F. Before we examine each facet of this “Crown Jewel” we must address a question that has been debated by theologians for centuries, both Jewish and Gentile, “Who is the suffering Servant?”
G. So many suggestions have been put forth over the last thousand years that you could write a book on it, but only three are really worthy of any consideration and ultimately the context will be the acid test, or should I say ‘acid text’ for who the servant really is!
H. You see only Isaiah and Zechariah provide prophetic support for a ‘Suffering Messiah.’
1. Corporately – It is the nation or a remnant of Israel based on Isa. 49:3, “Thou art My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” This view was birthed by Rashi around 1100 AD between the two Crusades and developed in medieval Jewish thought but fails on two counts: 1 – The historical tradition of interpretation: 2 – The work accomplished by the Servant. Israel could not atone for their own sins, much less the sins of the world.
2. Individually – It is Isaiah, Eliakim, David, Jeremiah, Zerubabbel or even Moses. However, the description of the Servant as we shall see hardly fits the life and ministry of any of these Bible characters as great as they may have been, nor could Isa. 53:9b be said of any of them, “because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.”
3. Messianically – The suffering Servant is the coming Messiah, the Royal Davidic King, the ideal Israelite, who is totally committed and consecrated to Jehovah’s will, work, plan and purpose for His life; and “..His soul became an (asham) sin offering.” Isa. 53:10b.
4. Gerhard von Rod, a professor at Heidelberg University in Germany said, “We may rule out those interpretations, some of which are grossly fanciful, that see in the Servant a figure in the past. The Servant embodies all that is good in Israel’s existence before Yahweh, the expressions used go far beyond biography, and indeed they go far beyond the present. The picture of the Servant of Yahweh, of His mission to Israel and to the world, and of His expiatory suffering, is prophecy of the future and belongs to the realm of pure miracle which Yahweh reserved for Himself.”
I. I believe that Jesus in Mark 10:45 & Matt. 20:28, takes Isaiah 53, ‘The Suffering Servant’ and Dan. 7, ‘The Son of Man’ and performs a marriage ceremony right before our very eyes and weds together (Dan. 7:13-14 & Mark 14:62) and redefines for us who and what the Messiah would be.
II. "Behold, My servant..." (Isa. 52:13, has 16 words in English but only 7 words in Hebrew)
A. The first word in this 'Crown Jewel' is a particle of interjection, 'Look! Lo! See! Now!
B. It is a marker used to enliven a narrative, to change a scene, to emphasize an idea or to call attention to detail. It's a word demanding attention to something or to point to something!
C. Imagine a group of soldiers standing outside of a building and talking and a general steps out and someone yells, "ATTENTION!" What do they do?
D. Stand around with their hands in their pockets and keep talking, only if they want to go to the brig for insubordination. No, they snap to attention, face the general, look sharp and salute him!
E. Now, that's the word we have here at the beginning of this crown jewel; "Behold, Look, Take notice; ATTENTION!!! My Servant..."
F. Anytime you come across this word in the Scriptures it would be wise to put a large X in the margin of your Bible with the letters R-R in it for rail/road crossing.
G. When you come to a rail-road crossing sign there are three words on it, "Stop, Look, Listen!" For good reasons, a train might be coming and kill you!
H. We need to heed that same warning in the Scriptures as we read God's word, when we come upon the words, 'Behold, Look, Lo, See, etc.
I. 'STOP' completely, ‘Stop’ immediately, (complete cessation of movement) and back up!
J. 'LOOK' all around, ‘Look’ both ways, ‘Look’ up and down, look at the context, look up the words and get an idea of where you are in the Scriptures. (book, chapter, verse, pilcrow)
K. 'LISTEN' to that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit as He speaks to you from His word and He still speaks if you take time to be still and “LISTEN!” (Listening is a lost art today!)
1. The word 'Behold' is not there by coincidence or accident, it is there by 'Divine Design' to call our attention to something of importance.
2. "Behold My Servant..." I want you to Look at ‘My Servant,’ I want you to Focus on ‘My Servant,’ I want you to See ‘My Servant,’ I want you to Listen to ‘My Servant!’
3. "BEHOLD!" (Hinneh)
L. Now who is the My? Well, it can't be Isaiah the author, because he doesn't have servants that we know of and the rule is, the closest antecedent in number, case and gender will identify it.
M. So, we go back to verse 12 where we find the word LORD (YHVH - Jehovah). Now, remember in the original scrolls there were no chapter and verse divisions. The chapter divisions came in 1205 by Stephen Langton the Archbishop of Canterbury.
N. The verse divisions came in 1551 by Robert Stephanus a printer. Classically the Bible scrolls have always been divided by blank spaces at the end or in the middle.
O. So, the pronoun 'My' must refer to Jehovah because He is the One who is speaking in chapter 52:3, 4 & 5. He is also mentioned by name in 52:9, 10, 11 & 12 and I don't think we have any argument from either side of the river on that point anyway so we can keep on fishing and that leads us to the third word in the first phrase of the first verse, "Servant."
P. Since the servant is not identified as Isaiah or Israel, etc. we will have to allow the context to identify just who it is, and we have reduced it to three, Israel, an individual or the Messiah.
Q. We can't go back three chapters to Isa. 49:3 and pull out a verse we like and make an application, that would be poor exegesis, in fact that’s also poor eisegesis, no matter what your bias is!
R. So, we will have to let scripture interpret scripture and let the word of God speak for itself, Amen? (That was weak!)
S. I don't believe God's word needs defense attorneys and that is the purpose of this study to take this passage apart word by word and let it speak to the common man from the common man.
T. What’s interesting in this passage, which we will note is that sometimes 'The Servant' is spoken of, sometimes He’s spoken to, but He never speaks for Himself (if He would it would solve the problem) and we will try to point those out as we go along.
III. "...shall deal prudently (sa-kal)..."
A. He shall, behave wisely; guide wittingly; to have insight, wisdom and understanding; to be extremely wise in all decisions.
B. This servant would grow from childhood and become strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God. (Luke 2:40; 52)
C. Knowledge is the mere acquisition of facts, you get knowledge from college. Wisdom is taking knowledge and applying it to life and making it work, putting feet on your diploma.
D. Without knowledge, college is a waste of time and money. This servant would not only behave wisely; but the Hebrew word (sa-kal) means he would also teach others knowledge.
E. It is one thing to teach academics but you have to be extremely wise to teach knowledge because you only learn knowledge from life, and from experience, not from books.
1. My best teachers were those who spent 25 years in the jungles, on the streets and in the pulpits first and then taught from their experience!
F. This servant is experienced, seasoned, knowledgeable, accomplished, and skillful and He is an expert in every field. He will be so wise, so prudent; he will be teaching knowledge, not facts.
G. This word (sa-kal) portrays a word picture of a man crossing his arms and hands in an extended motion showing total contentment with his instruction, wisdom and insight to his disciples.
IV. "He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high."
A. He shall be Exalted (rum) noble, raised up, lifted up;" Then he is going to go higher; "he will be 'extolled' (nasa) lifted up higher and honored, extolled is a reflexive verb to lift or raise oneself (John 12:32);" E. J. Young says, 'It's referring to the ascension, to raise Himself.'
B. Yet this servant is still going to go higher, "He will be exalted, extolled and be 'very high' (me-od ga-bah) exceedingly, utterly high or elevated to honor.
C. These three verbs are used to convey the absolute height this servant shall attain, the highest of the highest!
D. When you put all three of these verbs together this is what you get. He will rise up; He will raise Himself still higher; He will stand as the highest possible being ever!
E. So, you have the commencement, the continuation and the climax of his exaltation. Not only that, but this last word 'very high' is a perfect tense showing at last he has reached an immeasurable height, the pinnacle, the apex, the joy that was set before him, Heb. 12:2.
F. What's interesting is the Scriptures talk about the first, second and third heaven. The one where God dwells and the words ‘Exalted and Extolled’ high and lifted up are used in combination four times in Isaiah and no where else in the Older Testament to refer to it, and the other three all refer to God!
G. Isaiah writes in Isa. 33:10, "Now will I rise, (qum) saith the LORD, now will I be exalted, (ramam) now will I lift up (nasa) myself." God is speaking of Himself, not Isaiah or David or Israel and He uses the same exact three words found in Isa. 52:13 used of the servant, but here they are used for (Jehovah) Himself. “The LORD – Jehovah – YHWH.”
H. In Isa. 6:1 you have similar language again, Isaiah is speaking of the Lord (Adonai) "I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high (rum) and lifted up (nasa) and his train filled the temple." The exact same words used in Isa. 52:13 for the Servant but here they are used for Lord (Adonai). “The Lord – Adonai.”
I. Isaiah writes in 57:15, “For thus says the high (rum) and lofty (nasa) One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high (marom) and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” “The Lofty One, The Holy One, The One True God, Elohim.” v.21
J. Isaiah writes in Isa. 52:13, “Behold, my servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted (rum) and extolled, (nasa) and be very high (me-od ga-bah).” “My Servant, Maschiach.”
K. These words are not found anywhere else in the prophets in this combination, except here.
A. Whoever this servant is in Isa. 52:13-53:12 He is on equal footing with Adonai in Isa. 6:1; Jehovah in Isa. 33:10; Elohim in Isa. 57:15 and He is going to be exalted, extolled and elevated.
B. Higher than any being, creature or creation that has ever been exalted in all the universe.
C. It will be absolute and beyond comprehension and the writer uses three verbs to show the progress of this ascending exaltation higher and higher, to the highest of the highest (marom) the highest in honor, status and exaltation, being in an elevated position on highest of the highest!
D. Isaiah combines these verbs to show elevation of exaltation; the idea is that this Servant would be elevated to the highest pitch of honor. (A word used to express a musical note)
E. The word 'exalted' is often synonymous with praise but here it is used to elevate him to the highest conceivable position imaginable, 'The right hand of God Almighty on high!'
F. Can you fathom that? Can you? This is beyond my finite mind to comprehend!
G. "Behold, My Servant, shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high."
“The Servant’s Terrifying Exit”
A. Isaiah 52:13 deals with the Servant's, 'Triumphal Entry,' he was exalted, extolled and elevated. Lifted high, higher and finally highest above any being ever in all of existence.
B. The Jewish Sages in Yalkut ii: 571, 13th c. wrote concerning, "Who art thou, O great mountain?" Zech. 4:7, it was referring to King Messiah, and why does he call Him, "The Great Mountain?"
C. Because He is greater than the patriarchs, as it is said, "My servant shall be high, and lifted up, and lofty exceedingly" - He will be higher than Abraham...lifted up above Moses,...loftier than the ministering angels." Says, Driver & Neubauer.
D. Isaiah 52:14 will deal with His 'Terrifying Exit' and v.15 will deal with His 'Tremendous Eulogy.'
E. What is interesting is, the word servant is used 22 times in Isaiah and the word servants 17 times.
F. What's unique is when the LORD refers to an individual as His servant, He gives us their name; Isaiah 20:3; Eliakim 22:20; David 37:35. When He refers to Israel being the servant, He clarifies it by adding the name Jacob or Israel, 41:8, 41:9, 42:19 & 24; 43:1 & 10; 44:1 & 2; 44:21 & 26; 48:20; 49:3 & 5; nine out of ten times!
G. However, when the LORD refers to His individual Servant, the Messiah or Redeemer, He doesn't add a name or a nation as in Isaiah. 42:1; 49:5, 6 & 7; 50:10; 52:13; 53:11.
H. In fact in Isaiah 42:1-7 we see a two-fold account of His Servant as weak, despised, rejected and slain but also as a mighty conqueror taking vengeance on the Gentile nations and restoring Israel.
I. In Matt. 12:14-21 in the Newer Testament, Isa. 42:1-7 is quoted and Yeshua/Jesus applies it to Himself as He is healing all the people and charges them ‘NOT’ to make Him known!
J. This total divergence in Messianic prophecies has led ancient Rabbis to promote a two Messiah theory: A suffering Messiah Isa. 50:5-7 & 53, 'Messiah ben Joseph' who dies in battle; and a triumphant Messiah, Psalm 2 & 110, 'Messiah ben David' who will establish the 'Kingdom of Righteousness' after defeating the Gentile nations.
K. While Christians see it as the Messiah's two comings or two advents; The first as a 'Suffering Servant' and the second as the 'Sovereign King.'
L. The first time He will come as a lowly servant, riding on a baby donkey, Zech. 9:9 to be executed; The second time He will come as the 'King of kings' riding on a white horse, Rev. 19:11-16 to execute judgment.
M. Polycarp referred to this passage as, "The Golden Passional, or the Holy of Holies of the Older Testament.”
II. "As many were astounded (shaw-mem) at thee..." (This is still spoken by the voice of Deity!)
A. Isa. 52:14 says many were, astonished, appalled, awestruck, horrified; this word means to stun, to grow numb, to be devastated, to stupefy; to tremble from fear or horror, to be terrified!
1. The primary idea is they were struck dumb from sudden astonishment and there begins a contrast in this verse that is completed in the next one.
B. As one author put it, "This word expresses deep, bewildered amazement caused by the transformation of the marred, distorted, beyond human resemblance of the servant's visage!"
C. This isn't just a few people that are in shock, frozen from fear or horror, by an incredible, unbelievable, devastation; the word many (ra-bah) means abundant, numerous, great, multitudes.
D. This same word is used in Ezek. 26:16 and 27:35 to describe men’s reaction to the ruins of Tyre after Nebuchadnezzer destroyed it, tore it to the ground and left the rubble to be thrown into the sea 300 years later by Alexander to build a causeway out to the island to destroy the remnant.
E. His appearance was such as to excite universal astonishment and produce universal disgust.
F. Or as one translator put it, "Many individuals were petrified by paralyzing astonishment, "At Thee!" The Servant, but why?
III. "His visage was so marred more than any man... "
(ish – nobility, great men, men of high degree)
A. In Isaiah 52:13 we have the good news about the servant, "He was Exalted, Extolled and Elevated..."
B. But in v.14 we have the bad news, the ugly news, the news that will, stun you, devastate you and leave you numb and speechless; suffering that borders on the unthinkable!
C. "His visage (mar-eh) was so marred..." His appearance, his shape, his looks, his comeliness, his face, "was sooo marred..." Not just marred or distorted, but sooo marred!
D. This word marred (mishat or moshat) means deformity, defect, corruption, disfigurement, implying ugliness and repulsion. More than any man ever in the history of the world!
E. Why, because any other man would have died early on in this horrible, tortuous beating.
F. He did not even look human, this was the effect of the brutalities mentioned in Matt. 26:67; 27:27-30; Mk. 14:65 where he was 'buffeted', to rap with the fist over and over and over!
G. In Luke 22:63-66; and John 19:1 you have the scourging with the 'cat of nine tails;' 39 stripes save one was only for Roman citizens which Yeshua Jesus was not! (Breast & Back; Isa. 50:6)
H. As one author put it, “His disfigurement was so grotesque, His appearance was hardly human!”
1. Thus people were paralyzed with wonder at the horror of His suffering and at the extent of the cruelty inflicted upon this Servant by them. Oh the awesome cost of our redemption! Can you even begin to fathom it, to comprehend its cost, can you?
I. Matthew Henry so aptly stated: “His visage was marred more than any man’s when He was buffeted, smitten on the cheek and crowned with thorns and hid not His face from shame and spitting. His face was foul with weeping, for He was a man of sorrows; He that really was fairer than the children of men had His face spoiled with the abuses that were done to Him.”
J. Never was a man abused so barbarously, as this Servant and never did a man look so miserable, “a worm and no man.” Ps. 22:6; “His own nation abhorred Him,” Isa. 49:7; and treated Him as the off-scouring of all things. Never was sorrow like His sorrow, “a man of sorrows,” Isa. 53:3.
K. There are no words to describe this, “despised, rejected, man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.”
IV. "...and his form more than the sons of men--"
(adom – ruddy, mankind, ordinary men, human being)
A. The word marred is used of a blemished animal unfit for sacrifice, disfigured, ruined, battered or decaying. The reason for the brutal beating was to make him unfit for sacrifice or to kill him before his time, before 3:00 pm the time of the evening offering, or ‘Passover Lamb’ sacrifice!
B. Even His beard was ripped out by the roots, Isaiah 50:6-7. (The 3rd Servant Song)
C. Not only was his visage, his face so distorted but his form, (to-ar) his outline, his figure, his shape, his frame or likeness was distorted beyond or "more than the sons of men..."
1. So as not to belong to men or not to be one of the human family, then what was it?
2. Keil & Delitzsch stated, "His appearance and his form were altogether distorted away from man, out beyond men." (Beyond a human being)
3. E.J. Young said, "His disfigurement was so great that he no longer appeared as a man."
4. That is a distortion that destroyed all likeness to a man, think about that for a moment!
5. He didn't even look human! We get a glimpse into the depth of the intense suffering of this Servant, which transfigured His whole image beyond human resemblance – He didn’t even look human anymore!
D. So if, 'IF' Yeshua/Jesus was that Servant and if He went through that horrible execution and did not look human, what was up there on that cross?
E. Some flesh and blood and bones; A slab of meat, and the slab talked, seven times and one of those times it said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!"
F. How could an innocent human being utter those ten words, that changed the philosophy of the world for all time? Unthinkable, unimaginable, inconceivable!
G. It was not just the physical punishment that deformed His image, NO! It was also the emotional, mental, spiritual trauma internally that deformed this pure, sinless, ‘Holy God’ that was to become ‘Sin’ for you and for me! That’s what really distorted His face and frame, our SIN!
H. What did He mean in Matt. 26:38 when He said to His disciples, “My soul (psyche) is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death; tarry here and watch with Me.”
1. He is going to sweat great drops of blood, (hematohidrosis) Dr. Luke 22:44; He will pray with strong tears and crying, before dying, Heb. 5:7 (ischyros – strong, powerful, mighty, forceful tears); An angel was sent to strengthen Him, Luke 22:43.
2. We will see the answer in, Isa. 53:10, 11 & 12; when His soul (nephesh/nefesh) is made a trespass offering, and Jehovah sees the birth pangs of His soul and is satisfied and He pours out His soul unto death bare naked. (We’ll struggle with that together…)
A. Now how anyone, anyone; Jew, Gentile, Christian, Agnostic, Atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, New Age, anyone can read the torture inflicted upon this 'holy, harmless, undefiled, servant of God' without pathos, without being moved to tears, without feeling something, is beyond me.
B. My Jewish grandmother's entire family was butchered in a Pogrom in southern Poland and some how she managed to escape at 11 years old and was smuggled to America by two Roman Catholic Nuns and as horrible as that was, it doesn't even begin to compare to this image.
C. Six million innocent Jewish men, women and children were burned up in the ovens of the holocaust and as repulsive and repugnant as that is it does not compare to this.
D. Maybe, just maybe that's why he cried from the tree, "Woman, behold thy son!" Because, as she looked up there she said, "That's not my son, in fact that's not even a human being up there!"
E. The world was in shock with what they witnessed, horrified, dumbstruck, frozen in terror. Why?
F. Because a man was beaten and nailed to a tree! Because an innocent man was striped naked and executed without a fair trial! That stuff happens every day in this godless world!
G. No, because this Servant took the cup of Almighty God's wrath and judgment and lifted it up with both hands and thanked Him for it and with one mighty gulp, drank damnation dry for every man, woman and child that would ever be born.
H. Then He climbed up on our tree and with all the strength He had left He stretched one hand up to God and the other out to man and said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!"
I. This Servant didn't go to the tree because it was fun, No my friend! He went because it had to be done! There just was no other way to pay the debt for mankind’s sin!
J. Don't you think if there was some other way possible for God to take care of our redemption He would have done it? Don't you? Don't you…………
K. “For He God, made Him Christ, Who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made, the righteousness of God in Him.” II Cor. 5:21 (He took your Hell so you could have His Heaven!)
L. The Gospel message is not that ‘Christ Died’ that’s history, Caesar died, Napolean died, Lincoln died. The Gospel message is, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;” I Cor. 15:1-5.
M. You and I are as guilty of this Servants death as Annas, Caiaphas, Herod, Pilate and the Soldiers who
beat Him and nailed Him to the cross and the ones who spit in His face.
“The Servant’s Tremendous Eulogy”
A. In v. 13 we see the Servant's, 'Triumphal Entry;’
1. He was exalted, extolled and elevated far above what any being could ever imagine
B. In v. 14 we see the Servant’s, 'Terrifying Exit;’
1. He was so marred, so deformed, so distorted, so mutilated, “more than any man” ever in history.
C. In v. 15 we see the Servant’s, 'Tremendous Eulogy;’
1. His life and message will cover the earth ‘from the lowest of men to the highest of kings.’
D. The astonishment of His disfigurement is turned into the amazement of His grace and glory!
E. In v.14 ‘many’ individuals were Astonished; But in v.15 ‘many’ nations would be ‘Aspersed or Sprinkled.’
F. Here Isaiah compares the previous distorted, marred appearance of the Servant, with the high priestly position of the One who would cleanse mankind from sin's defilement.
G. Many see His disfigurement as punishment for His own sin but it was a condition that would bring cleansing to the nations, it was a punishment for all mankind's sin.
H. The suffering now becomes the pathway to glory! I don’t know how it works, I don’t, but God is glorified when we suffer, glorified! Acts 5:41; 9:16; Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17; Jam. 5:10; I Pet. 2:20; 5:10. (Listen, if God has called you to suffer, then suffer, and do it quietly for his glory!)
I. Read Paul’s testimony in 2 Cor. 11:23-27, then think about how really bad you have it!
II. "So shall he sprinkle (nazah) many (rabah) nations (goi’im);" (In the Bible there are only two kinds of people Jews and Gentiles – Goi’im, and the Gentiles – Goi’im are going to get sprinkled)
A. The word sprinkle is the Hebrew word (nazah) and is a technical term in the Mosaic law for the sprinkling of blood, for ceremonial cleansing of sin. (It is an imperfect verb, yaz-zeh from nazah)
1. Contextually there is support for the translation of (nazah) as sprinkled; As priestly and sacrificial themes run throughout this passage.
2. Rhetorically there seems to be a comparison between v. 14 where the many are shocked at the Servants abuse; and v. 15 where they are shocked at the Servants accomplishments, which lends support to the translation of ‘startle’ for some translators.
3. Gentile nations and Kings now see, hear and consider things once hidden from them. The Gospel is not, “Christ died!” That’s a fact of history, Napoleon died, Lincoln died, Caesar died! “Christ died for our sins!” (I Cor. 15:1-4) Now, that’s the Gospel!
4. In fact Paul made application of, Isa. 52:15b in Rom. 15:21 (from the Septuagint, LXX) as he carried the gospel to those who did not know, “To whom no report was brought concerning him, shall see; and they who have not heard, shall consider.” (If you check the Septuagint it is almost word for word exact to the KJV)
5. This has prompted some to translate (nazah) in Isa. 52:15 as, ‘startle’ a possible translation but the context and all other texts demand ‘sprinkle’ not ‘startle.’ Lev. 4:6.
6. However, sprinkling with blood, oil or water was done for cleansing and consecration. Ex.29:21; Lev. 4:6; 8:11; 14:7.
7. The verb ‘sprinkle’ means, “to scatter a liquid in small drops,” and its usage is confined to a ceremonial act, Lev. 4:6. As the Servant King was shunned by ‘the many’ as unclean, so the Servant Priest shall sprinkle ‘the many’ (metaphorically) to make them clean.
B. In Numbers 19, the clean shall sprinkle the unclean, making the unclean clean, and the clean unclean until evening, funny how that works.
C. This is a picture of this Servant taking our punishment so we could take His reward, “For He (God) has made Him (Christ) who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (Christ).” II Cor. 5:21. (In other words He took your hell so you could have His heaven, pretty good swap wouldn’t you say?)
1. Wilson's Old Testament Dictionary says, "The uniform use of this word is in the sense of sprinkling with blood in order to purify."
2. Young says, "The meaning of sprinkle here is atonement, via the sprinkling of blood."
3. Victor Buksbazen says, "This word is used to describe the ritual of a leper by means of sprinkling the blood of a sacrifice, Lev. 14:7; or by the priest before the veil, Lev. 4:6."
4. The Talmud refers to the Servant in Isa. 53:4 & 8 as 'The leprous one' (nagua) which will be discussed in detail later.
5. He shall purify whole nations by His blood and present them holy to God, which is a legal sprinkling by which people are sanctified, or set apart to God.
D. Though shunned like a leper He now brings cleansing to the nations through His own blood atonement, not that of animals, but his own blood! (Powerful Thought!)
E. This establishes the most important application of this passage to the virtue of the Messiah's (the Servant's) atonement.
F. Some Jewish interpreters translate (nazah) as startle, to cause to leap like a cat, to jump back suddenly which is probably an Arabic translation, not a Hebrew one.
G. However, in all of the 24 passages where the Hebrew word (nazah) appears in the Bible it is translated sprinkle 17 times, and sprinkled 7 times.
H. It is never translated in the Scriptures startled, once! So using the, “Law of First Mention” and the “Science of Etymology” they have a problem, but I can understand their choice.
I. Sixteen times it refers to sprinkling blood, three times to sprinkling oil, two times to sprinkling water, two times to sprinkling water with the ashes of the Red Heifer and only one time in all of the Scriptures does it not specifically tell us what is being sprinkled. ‘Only One Time!’
J. So the context must determine what is being sprinkled; and that one time is right here, in our text, in Isa. 52:15, "So shall He sprinkle many nations."
K. The word (nazah) means to sprinkle in expiation, or in the act of atonement, and this has been proven throughout the Scriptures.
L. To say the nations will be startled like a cat and jump back in shock doesn’t fit the context!
M. There were two kinds of sprinkling under the Mosaic law, the sprinkling of blood on and toward the mercy-seat, God-ward; and the sprinkling of water or oil on or toward the Levite or leper, man-ward. So, the work of this Servant has this double aspect also.
N. Gesenius believes the word sprinkle (nazah) universally in the Older Testament means either to sprinkle blood as the high priest makes expiation in, Lev. 4:6; or with water for purification in, Ezk. 36:25; Both of which are appropriate to the Messiah, John 13:8; Heb. 9:13-14; 10:22; 12:24; I Pet. 1:2.
O. He will sprinkle 'many nations' not just Israel but (rabah) a great, many, number of nations (Goyim) Gentiles, peoples or generations, Gen. 10:1. Not just many, but every nation.
P. Muilenberg states, "It is best to retain 'sprinkle' here as this interpretation is supported by the Manuel of Discipline, in the recently discovered 'Dead Sea Scriptures." Way before the ‘MT’ Masoretic Text.
Q. Also sprinkle carries the idea of purification, hence Lamsa's translation of the Peshitta, "he will purify many people from their sins."
R. Knox also translates this, "He will purify a multitude of nations.” (Some say this is not possible)
S. Well we can see a literal fulfillment of this prediction in I Peter 1:1-2 where people of many nations are described as having been sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ:
1. “Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers (sojourners) scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; Elect according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, through the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”
2. Now was this a literal sprinkling or was it meant to be used metaphorically or spiritually by Peter?
3. The Jewish Targum has, “So shall he scatter many nations…” representing sprits of water.
4. It may be that this word (nazah) had a broader Hebrew meaning in ancient times than it does today and sprinkle, startle, scatter, or marvel as in the Septuagint were acceptable.
5. However, the context must be what determines our interpretation when the plain sense does not make common sense and the context is one of ‘sacrifice’ not ‘surprise.’
III. "...the kings (melek) shall shut (kaw-fats) their mouths (peh) at him;"
A. Kings (melek) royal rulers, human or divine, the more prominent leader in a covenant agreement.
B. In v.14 you have 'the many,' the people, the populace, but here you have royalty, rulers, the elite.
C. You see this again in Isa. 53:3 with the word (yish) men of nobility, rulers, leaders, who despised and rejected this Servant. Here we have Kings who, "shall shut, stop, close their mouths at Him;"
D. They shall cover their mouths, ‘from the lowest of men to the highest of kings,’ men were dumb founded with reverential awe and veneration with what they saw and heard of this Servant.
E. The idea here is that He would be honored, revered and respected by kings and noblemen.
F. But not by all, and not at first, another evidence that Yeshua was the Messiah, “He was despised and rejected of men (yish)…” men of nobility, rank, honor, status, but not by all. Pilate tried to release Him four times and Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus came for His body in John 19:38-42.
G. To shut their mouths here indicates veneration and admiration. Like, Job 29:9-10, "The princes refrained from talking, and laid their hands on their mouth. The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth." (They were speechless!)
H. Kings shall be silent and dumb before Him out of profound humility, reverence and admiration for His wisdom and regal royalty.
IV. "For that which had ‘not’ been told (saw-far) them shall they see (ra`ah)..."
A. The word ‘told’ is (saw-far) proclaimed, declared, inscribed.
1. It means to score with a mark using a penknife; it’s the word for a scribe or writer.
2. So it means to leave an indelable mark on your heart, mind and soul, permanently!
3. The Gospel does that, it changes people’s lives, forever! “No change, No Jesus!”
“No Jesus, No Change!
4. Once you have heard the “Gospel” you can never be the same again, never! The Chinese word for Gospel is made up of two words, “Happiness from on High.”
B. The word see (ra'ah) means to gaze upon, to consider, to stare at, to approve, to behold or realize, to take in and advise oneself. (To see with the eyes of faith!)
1. All this v.14 the Servant/Messiah has done for you, the spear, the spit, the thorns, the whip, the nails, the buffeting, the mockery, the nakedness, the flies, the loneliness, the suffocation, the pain, the thirst, the alienation, the sin, the darkness, etc, etc, etc……..
2. What have you ever done for Him? What? If you were to stand before Him today, What would you lay at His feet?
C. So that which has been declared, will finally be realized and absorbed.
1. They were never told; the only true God was the Jewish God, Elohim! Gentiles worshipped gods of gold, silver, wood, stone, brass, bronze and paper much like today!
2. There’s only one true God today, the Jewish God, that’s why the world hates Israel. Christians worship His Son, Yeshua/Jesus, Israel’s Messiah, the Servant in our study.
3. Nothing has changed in this world, as Solomon said in Ecc. 1:9, “There is no new thing under the sun.”
D. Barnes explains that in this part of the verse a reason is given for the veneration of the kings. Here they receive
intelligence of this wonderful Servant of God which had not been made known to them as it had been to the Jewish
people, 'they shall see (ra`ah) what wasn't told them,’ before.
V. "...and that which they had not heard (sh'ma) shall they consider (bine).”
A. “That which they had not heard (sh`-ma)” to hear intelligently, with understanding. It’s not that they never heard about it, but it was never presented to them in a way they could understand.
1. This word has the implication that they are paying attention now because of what happened in v.14 and they are now willing to trust and obey the message.
2. Deut. 6:4, is called the “Sh`ma” for the Jewish people, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.”
B. They had never heard of salvation of the Gentiles before which was not only new to them but strange and incredible to the Jewish people as well.
1. Not only that but this “mystery…was kept secret since the world began,” Rom. 16:25
2. The other mystery kept hidden in God from the beginning of the ages was the church, Jew and Gentile believers as one body Eph. 3:1-12; 2:14-18; Gal. 3:26-28; Col. 3:10-11.
C. “Shall they consider (bine)” which means to separate mentally, to distinguish, discern, ponder, and understand fully.
1. The phrase, “they shall consider (bine),” is added here to show that ‘seeing’ in the former clause was meant of discerning those things with the eyes of their minds.
D. In other words, the incarnation and redemption would contain truths and wonders they had not contemplated elsewhere.
E. No such events would have occurred within the range of their observation, and the wonders of redemption would stand by themselves as unparalleled in all that they had heard or seen.
1. These kings and noblemen had never heard nor considered, ‘That through the loss of all things including His own life, this Servant would conquer all things, including death.’
F. What is here predicted has been fulfilled; The mystery of the incarnation and the atonement; The sufferings and the death of the Redeemer; His exaltation and His glory, are events which are unparalleled in the history of the world.
G. These are events fitted in their very nature to excite the profoundest admiration and to induce kings and nobles to lay their hands on their mouths in a token of veneration, and consider something they never heard nor saw before.
H. Or as one writer put it, "That which they had not paid much attention to, shall they diligently and cunningly view and know in their hearts and minds."
I. Our hearts, minds and spirits must be enlightened to know the reason for Christ’s sufferings and death. Just knowing that He died and suffered is nothing more than historical knowledge.
J. We need to know why He suffered, why He died, why He came in the flesh? What was the need of the atonement, and what virtue was there in His sacrifice? Not to teach others but for our soul!
K. Atonement is the propitiation, the satisfying sacrifice, whereby God through the death, burial and resurrection of His Servant, Jesus Christ makes unholy men holy. (That is the ‘Good News’ of the Gospel)
A. "He shall sprinkle many," but not all. There is no universal salvation here, the tree on Calvary settled that once and for all!
B. "Many were astonished," but not all. "Many will be judged eternally," but not all!
C. Those that have truly believed in the Servant of the LORD, and have truly repented of their sins, and have truly received Him into their hearts and lives:
D. Those that have been and still are terrified at the vicious, torturous death of the Servant:
E. Those that have been sprinkled with the blood of the Servant in v.14:
F. Those are the ones who will receive Eternal Life, “and … dwell in the house of the LORD forever!” Psalm 23:6, But not all!
F. Those are the ones who will experience fullness of joy and pleasure forever more. Psalm 16:11: But not all.
G. Up to this point all the Messianic prophecies concerning salvation have been veiled! But now they are both perceived, understood and unveiled!
H. This Servant, Israel's Messiah is going to 'Die a Terrible, Horrible Death!'
I. To make atonement for the nations, the Goi’im, the Gentiles as well as Israel, ‘the apple of His eye.’
J. This is the first time in all of the Scriptures that this is clearly revealed.
K. "For since the beginning of the world, men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He has prepared for him who waits for him." Isa. 64:4
“The Servant’s Arm Revealed"
Isaiah 53:1 flows naturally out of Isaiah 52:15; the speaker seems to be the redeemed community, led by redeemed
Israel through the voice of her prophet. They look back and lament and mourn over the fact that they misjudged the
Lord’s Servant and did not believe the message about Him. The nations did not believe because they did not know! Israel
knew and yet she did not believe because she failed to recognize the, “arm of the Lord” when it was revealed in the,
“Suffering Servant.” Both John, in Jn. 12:38 and Paul in Rom. 10:16 saw in the unbelief of Israel a fulfillment of Isaiah 53:1.
The English translations which use the ‘past tense’ throughout these verses accurately reflect the 700 years before Christ.
The work of the Servant was a signed, sealed, and settled reality. Men may misunderstand Him, but God is made known
A. For centuries “Isaiah Fifty Three” has been excluded from the weekly reading cycles of Scripture in the Jewish Synagogues.
B. In Av/August they end reading Isaiah 52:12 and begin the next Sabbath reading Isaiah 54:1. Why?
C. Because 'Evangelical Christians' contend that Isaiah 53 reveals the Messiahship of Yeshua/Jesus and Jewish people follow the 11th century Talmudic commentator, Rashi.
D. Who said, "Since Christians interpret Isa. 53 as being a prophecy concerning Jesus, we maintain that it’s a prophecy concerning the people of Israel." So, that solves the problem, or does it?
E. There is much more at stake here than debating different points of view. In fact, this is a matter of eternal spiritual life or eternal spiritual death!
F. If this passage is speaking of a suffering individual, the Servant of God, then the Jewish people are wrong and have failed to recognize their Messiah almost 2,000 years ago and are dead in their trespasses and sins.
G. However, if it is speaking of the suffering nation of Israel, then Christians who have laid claim to God's forgiveness through faith in Yeshua/Jesus as their Messiah are in fact wrong and still, 'dead in their trespasses and sins,' Eph. 2:1; I Cor. 15:17.
H. The answer is not found in sectarian name calling but: 1 - In a rational examination of the Biblical text; 2 - In the history of its interpretation; 3 - In it's relation to other Messianic prophecies whose Messianic meaning is beyond dispute. (All 333 or 456 of them)
I. In Isaiah 52:13-15 you see in capsule form what Isaiah 53 contains; "The Servant" greatly exalted after being deeply humiliated.
J. However, here in Isaiah 53:1-3 we draw some 'Principles for Living' from the 'Servant Despised' and the first thing we note in verse one is;
K. "The Challenge to Believe," and this opening statement is very strong in the Hebrew language! In fact that could have been our title for this section, “The Challenge To Believe!”
L. However, this verse lies in close connection to the previous verse, Isa. 52:15b, “For what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider.”
1. Remember verse divisions were added by Robert Stephanus a printer in 1551 and chapter divisions were added by Stephen Langton an archbishop of Canterbury in 1205.
2. Before that it was just a continuous scroll, of continuous handwritten script.
M. Based upon that, the Jewish people are introduced in Isa. 53:1 by saying, “Who has believed our report, or ‘Who has believed what we have heard?”
1. “And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” (Or to whom has it been made plain, that the LORD sent His Servant/Son and had a hand in, all that He was and did for you.)
N. So, Isa.53:1 appears as an exclamation with what is to follow and marks a contrast between those that heard and believed the revelation made in Isa. 52:15 and those that did not believe the revelation even though it was theirs to hear, believe and embrace.
O. Isa. 53:1, “Who has believed our report?” (What we have heard; or, The thing heard by us)
P. Paul comments on this concept in Romans 10:16-17, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah said, Lord, who has believed our report? So, then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Q. Two reasons are given why ‘ALL’ ought to believe: 1 – The report of ‘All’ the ancient prophets. 2 – The ‘Arm of the LORD’ exhibited in the Messiah while He was on the earth. (In fact if ‘ALL’ He did was recorded, John 21:25 says, “the world could not contain the books.”)
R. As one commentator put it, the penitent confession of the Jewish people will be, “How few of our nation in Messiah’s days, believed in Him.”
II. "Who has believed our report?" (In both Septuagint’s, Thomson’s and Brenton’s this verse started with, “O Lord who has believed our report?” What happened to the, “O Lord?” Why was the YHVH dropped? It would change a prayer into a rhetorical question, but we will leave that for the critics.)
A. The emphasis in this verse is on Israel's unbelief! (Not necessarily on those who just heard) Only a remnant would believe! (The emphasis is on those who failed to believe!)
B. A very small remnant at that, Isa. 1:9, “Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been like Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” (a tithe; a holy stump, a (mat-seveth) Isa. 6:13)
C. Isaiah is also calling attention to the world's lack of faith in general. This is more of an exclamation than an interrogation!
D. Isaiah is speaking for all the prophets, not just for himself, 'Our Report!' (plural)
E. The message or report is that, the Jewish Messiah would suffer and die. A horrible death, one you could date history by. This is the first time in all of the Scriptures that this was taught, "Israel's Messiah was going to suffer and die a horrible death!"
F. The word report is the Hebrew word (semua) and means something heard, an announcement, a doctrine, a report, news or tidings. This word in Hebrew literally means, 'that which we have heard' or 'our message' what message?
1. Remember the Ethiopian eunuch or treasurer in Acts 8:26-39 who was returning from Jerusalem reading a scroll. What was he reading when Philip ran up to his chariot?
2. Isaiah 53:7-8, and if you check the Septuagint it is almost word for word identical and Philip began right there and preached unto Him Jesus, read it for yourself!
G. It also refers to the cumulative witness of all the prophets who for generations prophesied of a coming Savior to deliver His people from their sin. The reply to this rhetorical question is, 'Not Many!'
H. However, it raises an exegetical question, awaiting an answer! The words, 'Our report' simply means, 'The thing heard,' but is it a message we have heard or is it a message we proclaim?
I. Most scholars take the later and translate it 'Our Preaching' and it fits much better into the context.
J. This is also seen in the Newer Testament in John 12:37-48 and especially in Romans 10:14-21 ®
K. So it is, "Who has believed our preaching?" Answer, very few!
L. In v.1 we see the Servant or the Messiah who alone, can atone for our sin. His message is rejected in v.1, His person is rejected in v.2, and His mission is rejected in v.3.
M. However, His sufferings in v.4-6; His death & burial in v. 7-9; and His exaltation in v. 10-12, provides the atonement for all of our sins, which we shall see.
N. To miss the fact that the Servant of the LORD is our Messiah, the central figure in this passage is to stumble in unbelief over the cornerstone and the foundation of the good news seen Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation, that says unto Zion, Thy God reigns!”
III. "And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?"
A. The word revealed (galah) means to denude, to strip, to be bare naked.
B. The word arm is (zeroah) is the arm stretched out, meaning force, power and strength.
C. It is also the foreleg of an animal. Zeroah is the shank bone of a lamb on a 'Passover Plate.' Who are the only people, who have a shank bone on a plate every year for a celebration? The nation of Israel!
D. So we have the bare arm of the LORD, an emblem of God's power, 'Always' connected with salvation, Always! For His people Israel and for the nations, the Gentiles, the Goi’im!
1. When God made the universe He used His fingers Ps. 8:3, “When I consider the heavens, the work of Thy fingers…”
2. When God delivered Israel out of Egypt He used His strong hand Ex. 13:3, “For by strength of hand, He brought you out of Egypt…”
3. But to save a lost hell-bound world He had to strip bare His mighty arm Isa. 53:1 & 12, “The LORD made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations…”
4. Yet, so many fail to believe the demonstration of God’s mighty power, read Jn. 12:37-40.
E. In the Newer Testament the Gospel of God itself is the 'Power of God' unto salvation, Rom. 1:16.
F. The LORD rolled up His sleeves and revealed His bare, ‘naked arm’ of salvation to the world!
G. In Isa. 52:10 we see the Lord's arm in more detail and in its ultimate purpose, "The LORD has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God." (all the nations) (all the ends of the earth) (shall see the salvation - the Yeshua of our God).
H. I have been told by Rabbi's that nowhere in the Older Testament is the word salvation (Yeshua) ever used of a person.
I. Really, turn to Isa. 62:11 and read it, "Behold, the LORD has proclaimed unto the end of the earth; Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold thy salvation (thy Yeshua) cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." (I guess in that verse it is a real person!)
J. I was sharing this with a man once, who was married to an Egyptian woman who had an Arabic translation and she said, “Look, mine says, "Here comes your Savior!"
IV. “The Arm of The LORD!”
A. One of the keys to interpreting Isaiah 53 is the phrase "The arm of the LORD" and it is extremely important!
B. Rabbi Alexander Harkavy said, "This phrase, “The Arm of the LORD” is used throughout the Scriptures to signify God's personal intervention in Jewish history and particularly in the book of Isaiah, where it is used as a name for the promised Messiah."
C. Isaiah uses it over ten times from Isa. 33:2 where He reigns over Israel in peace to Isa. 63:5 where He delivers Israel out of Bozrah/Petra at the end of, 'Jacob's Trouble' with His garments red with blood.
D. In Isaiah 40, God foretells a visit which He Himself will make to planet earth for the sole purpose of cleansing Israel of their sins.
E. Isa. 40:2 says, "Speak ye tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received of the LORD’s hand double (kep-layim- kepel in the plural tense, or a double doubling) for all her sins.” (Quadruple!)
F. Isa. 40:3 goes on to say, “The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
G. Why would you have to do that? Because He was coming for a visit, that’s why!
H. Again in Isaiah 51:5 the LORD's arm is seen as the instrument of His deliverance from evil; "My righteousness is near; My salvation is gone forth, and Mine arms shall judge the peoples; the isles shall wait upon Me, and in/on Mine arm shall they trust."
I. Then again to His promise Israel cries out in Isa. 51:9, "Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Was it not thou, who hast cut Rahab and wounded the dragon?"
J. It is clear by the time we get to Isaiah 52 that God is speaking about an act of deliverance and cleansing which He Himself is going to perform through His 'Holy Arm,' in Isa. 52:10; (read)
K. "The LORD has made bare His 'Holy Arm' in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation (the Yeshua) of our God."
L. There is quite a contrast between ‘The arm of the LORD’ in v.1 which speaks of power; and ‘The root out of a dry ground’ in v.2 which speaks of humility and meekness, not weakness-meekness. (In fact where does a mighty oak get its nourishment, strength and growth from? Its roots, in fact if a tree does not have a good root system it will topple over in a storm and die!)
M. Ps. 1:3 says, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not wither and whatsoever he does shall prosper.”
1. A tree has three priorities: 1 – First it has to draw enough nutrients and water out of the ground to stay alive; 2 – Second it has to draw extra nutrients out of the ground and water to promote growth; 3 – Third it has to draw excess nutrients and water out of the ground to produce fruit. So, fruit is simply, excess life!
2. The same thing is true of ‘Believers and the Bible.’ Are you getting enough to stay alive, are you getting extra to promote growth, are you getting some excess to produce fruit?
A. An outline of Isaiah 52 may help to bring the figure of God's promised Messiah into focus and serve as an introduction to this controversial chapter, the 'Crown Jewel' of the Older Testament;
B. Isaiah 52: v.1-6 is, The call to holiness; v.7-8 is, The promise of the One who will bring 'Good Tidings;' v.9-10 is, God's salvation to be manifested in His 'Holy Arm;' v.11-12 is, The second call to holiness; and v.13-15 is, The suffering Servant whose blood shall sprinkle many nations.
C. You see it’s in this wider context of Israel's need for cleansing and God's promise for a sin-bearing Servant that Isaiah 53 must be understood.
D. Isa. 59:16 says, "And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore, his arm brought salvation unto him, and his righteousness sustained him." (Ezk. 22:20)
E. The 'Arm of the LORD' is Israel's Messiah, who brings salvation to what, Isa. 52:10, all the nations and all the ends of the earth, not just Israel, all the nations of the earth!
F. Interesting, they executed Yeshua/Jesus stark naked before the whole world, between two criminals, and buried him in a rich man's tomb, "And they made his grave with the wicked, And with the rich his tomb," Isa. 53:9a, JPS translation, 1917.
G. As my favorite Rabbi says, "Coincidence is not a kosher word." You can see this in more detail as you study, Isa. 53:12.
H. “Christian scholars” says, Isaac Abravanel, “interpret Isaiah 53 as referring to ‘that man’ who was crucified in Jerusalem about the end of the Second Temple and who according to their view was the Son of God who became a man in the womb of a Virgin. Jonathan ben Uziel explains it as the Messiah who has yet to come and this is the opinion of the ancients in many of the Midrashim.”
1. So, even the synagogue and its leaders could not help acknowledging that this passage is about their Messiah, predicting His death and glory and it is not referring to Israel.
2. What is needed is Daniel 9:24-27 to set the date of the Messiah’s coming before the Temple’s destruction in 70 AD.
3. Dan. 9 tells you when & where to look for the Messiah; Isa. 53 tells you who & what to look for in a Messiah; together they are like a birthday invitation, so you don’t miss Him!
I. A short verse in Hebrew, only seven words and in English 15 yet it sets the bar for the ‘crown jewel’ of the Older Testament which we are about to study.
“The Servant’s Roots Matured”
A. Blaise Pascal a Christian philosopher, writer, mathematician, physicist, and child prodigy stated, “If the entire ‘Physical Universe’ conspired to crush a man, the man would still be nobler than the entire ‘Physical Universe,’ because he would know that he was crushed.
1. It is this personal self-consciousness, this knowledge, that makes the human nature infinitely great, and we find in this human nature its highest level raised in the infinite God-man, since He is to become the object of our worship and win us to Himself.
2. Apart from the revelation of Jesus Christ we have no sure knowledge of God other than an impersonal force, like other religions (Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, etc) Jn. 10:30; 14:9;
3. If you take Christ out of Christianity it vanishes before your very eyes into intellectual vapor, and is non-existent without the Messiah, the ‘Suffering Servant’ in this passage!
4. The hyphen, never means more than when it appears between the words, ‘God-Man.’ It both connects and separates, He is as much God as though He is not man and as much man as though He is not God. He is God’s perfect man and man’s perfect God! He is the infinite, incarnate, immutable, omnificent Servant/Messiah of the Most High God!
B. Men of Isaiah's day as well as men today look upon the pathetic idea of a ‘Suffering Servant’ as not very credible, because it is not humanly possible to reconcile greatness with suffering.
C. When people prosper we say, "They must be living right." When the opposite happens we have a tendency to say, "What's wrong in your life, Job?" (When neither evaluation is entirely correct)
D. As someone once said, 'A Servant or Messiah without earthly splendor; humble, humiliated tormented; who dies on a shameful cross as a vicarious, voluntary sacrifice, for the redemption of Israel and all mankind, has always been and still remains an offense to Jewish thinking!"
E. In Isa. 53:2, the word grow is the Hebrew word (alah) to ascend, mount, be high, to rise, to spring or shoot up.
F. It is referring to normal growth, not a sudden dazzling visit as expected by the Jewish people.
G. This Servant or Messiah was born a King but He was born to poor, peasant parents.
H. The 'Wise Men' came asking, "Where is he that has been born, King of the Jews?"
I. No one is born a King, you could be born a prince, and become a King, but Israel's Messiah would assume King David's throne and He would be born a King.
J. In fact this became a stumbling block to the Jewish leaders in, Matt. 13:53-58. ®
K. That's the reason for the rejecting of their Messiah, He wasn't exactly what they were expecting.
L. They were looking for a tall tree, a king on a white horse, not a tender plant on a donkey.
II. "For he shall grow up before Him (YHWH)..."
A. This would be better translated, 'He grew up..." This shows the force of the historical tense, all the verbs are past tense, and have completed action, until v.7.
1. As one author put it, “All have been finished before the foundation of the world, in the Divine Counsels.” Acts 2:22-23; Eph. 1:4.
B. It is prophetically spoken, of a future event as having been completed.
C. God always looks at history as fact even though it may be 700 years in the future.
D. "Before Him..." (pa-neh) means before the face of Jehovah, before the (YHWH), before the great 'I AM' under the scrutiny of the watchful eye of ‘Almighty God,’ El Shaddai and in conformity to His perfect will and purpose. (What would the world know of His growing up?) Nothing!
E. In the Newer Testament it states regarding Yeshua/Jesus, "The child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. And He increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man." Luke 2:40; 52.
III. "...like a tender plant..."
A. Like a (yo-neq) a suckling, a twig, a sprout or a stalk indicating a young sapling.
B. The root of this word means to nurse or to 'suck' hence the word suckling, from which we get the English term 'sucker' which is applied to horticulture.
C. So, Isaiah is thinking of a 'shoot' or 'sucker' from the stump of a tree that was recently cut down.
D. Earlier he had spoken of the Servant/Messiah as a 'shoot' from the stump of Jesse in Isa. 11:1.
E. Therefore, He is to grow up like a 'sucker' from a dead tree stump.
F. The term, "like a tender plant" indicates 'Servant-Hood' and vulnerability.
G. A young shoot can be broken, crushed, scorched, stepped on, or even eaten up by an animal.
H. The connection between the Messiah proclaimed in the first part of Isaiah and the Suffering Servant of God in the second part of Isaiah is very obvious to the student of the Scriptures.
I. The J.P.S. translation of 1955 translates Isa. 11:1, "And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, And a twig shall grow forth out of his roots." (Root of Jesse, is a Messianic title)
IV. "...and like a root (sores) out of a dry ground;" (eretz tziah) (A root out of a dry-ground recalls the fact that God’s plants spring up and grow in the most unlikely places)
A. A parched, arid, barren, dry, waterless, desert. Interesting, Zion means (dry-spot).
B. I think there is more of a miraculous, supernatural growth here then meets the eye. Dry ground is not lush soil or fertile ground!
C. A young, tender, sprout wouldn't make it one day, stuck in a hot, arid, scorching, desert.
1. There is quite a contrast between the ‘arm of the LORD’ in v.1 showing God’s almighty power and a ‘root out of a dry ground’ in v.2 showing humiliation and meekness.
D. The term 'tender plant' indicates his servant-hood; Remember they were looking for a tall tree (a king) not a tender plant (a servant).
E. "A root out of a dry ground" also points to ‘His Deity’ indicating the miraculous and the supernatural. (King Herod tried to completely wipe out the Davidic blood line!)
F. The burning bush was fueled supernaturally and this tender plant would also have to be nourished supernaturally, not from the parched ground.
G. They were looking for the natural, a man to deliver them not the supernatural, not for God to deliver them.
H. There are three types of plants familiar to a gardener:
1. A hardy native plant, almost impossible to kill;
2. The half hardy plant that adapts to its environment; you can kill it if you try real hard;
3. The exotic, tender plant that finds its environment, extremely hostile to life and it's almost impossible to keep alive. (That is our metaphor for our, 'Tender Plant' in v.2).
I. Isaiah uses the same metaphor in 11:1, “And there shall come forth a rod (koter – switch, shoot, twig) out of the stem (geza – stump, root stock) of Jesse, and a Branch (Netzer – shoot of a plant) shall grow out of his roots (sores – root, bottom, base of a plant, source of a family line),”
V. The phrase, "...a root out of a dry ground;"
A. Has four possibilities;
1. Israel degraded, enslaved, downtrodden, suppressed, over taxed, and beaten;
2. The virgin birth, a barren, unfertilized womb, of a young, betrothed, Jewish maiden;
3. The dead spiritual life of Israel and its forgotten people;
4. Springing from an ancient decayed family, but in whose roots there was still hope and life, a shoot, a sprout.
(Or all four!)
B. As stated the terms 'Tender Shoot' and 'Root' have Messianic connotations both in Scripture and in Rabbinic literature, and Isaiah is employing them both in this Servant.
C. In fact, in the prophetic writings the Messiah is often called a "Root" or a "Branch" as in Isaiah 11 where the Shoot’s role parallels that of the Servant’s in Isa. 53. "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." (In both passages Jehovah is appointing a leader to bring about change in the land and the people)
D. Isaiah 11:10 says, "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand for an ensign of the peoples; to him shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious."
E. 1 - You have the, "Branch of the LORD," in Isa. 4:2; 7:14; Matt. 25:31
2 - You have the, "Branch of the house of David," in Isa. 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Rom. 1:3
3 - You have the, "Servant the Branch," in Zech. 3:8; and Isa. 52:13-15; and 53:1-12; Phil. 2:5-8
4 - You have the, "Man whose name is The Branch," in Zech. 6:12; I Cor. 15:45-47
F. Each one showing a different character of the Servant/Messiah; 1- Immanuel; 2 - Messiah - King of kings; 3 - Humiliation unto death; 4 - The Son of man reigning as 'Priest-King' over the earth.
G. In the Newer Testament: Matthew is the Gospel of the Branch of David; Mark is the Gospel of the Lord’s Servant, the Branch; Luke is the Gospel, of the Man whose name is the Branch; and John is the Gospel of the Branch of the Lord. (See, C.I. Scofield’s note; on Isa. 4:2)
H. Isaiah 11 involves Jehovah bringing the people back and making them at peace with one another; Isaiah 53 involves Jehovah bearing the iniquities of the people in v.12, through the (asham, guilt or trespass offering) v.10.
I. Jesus Himself claims this title in Rev. 22:16 in the last message of the Bible in the new heaven and the new earth, “I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and the morning star.”
VI. "He has no form, nor comeliness..."
A. He has ‘No’ (to-ar) no outward beauty, no fair countenance, no majestic kingliness to attract human admiration.
B. Nor comeliness (ha-dar) nor magnificence, nor splendor, nor glory!
C. In other words there was nothing extraordinary about His outward appearance! Nothing!
D. Nothing that would cause us to desire or delight in him or greatly love him.
E. There was no outward beauty, no splendor, no glory, no good looks, no handsomeness!
F. Just a plain, ordinary man in a robe with sandals and a beard; 'Just plain vanilla, no sprinkles!'
G. The question Nathaniel asked was, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46
VII. "And when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him."
A. His appearance was not designed to attract the natural man. There is a difference between glamour and glory! There was nothing to attract the eye and hold its attention.
B. In other words, "the form of beauty" they sought was not holiness, but military might and personal glory.
C. Recall the crowd’s cry when Pilate brought Him out, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Jn 18:40.
D. They wanted a revolutionary, someone who could fight their battles, not forgive their sins!
E. The world awaits a 'Military Messiah' now to lead them into political, religious and cultural supremacy, a 'King Saul,' not a ‘King Jesus’ and they are about to get their wish!
1. Humility, holiness, the cross, a ‘Suffering Servant’ are all a scandal to this unregenerate world we live in, Jewish and Gentile, except to the blood bought, born-again Christians.
F. However, they forget political restoration to supremacy is founded on 'Spiritual Regeneration' as pictured in Ezek. 37 and, 'The Vision of The Dry Bones," and that demanded the incarnation and the personal atonement of Israel's Servant/Messiah.
G. Note the masculine, singular, personal, pronouns in this verse pointing to the Servant, "He shall grow up...He has no form...we shall see Him...we should desire Him."
1. If the Servant is Israel, as Jewish people claim, who is the 'We’ (plural) included with the prophet Isaiah, in v.2?
H. The natural mind is all to ready to interpret meekness for weakness and to waste its praise on the proud, pompous, self-seeking class. However, His appearance was like that of a stunted shrub, struggling to survive in arid soil, gasping for breath and grasping for His Father’s hand! (Ps. 22)
I. "There is no beauty (mar-eh) that we should desire Him..." This speaks of the despicable almost universal judgment of this world, except for those whom El Shaddai has drawn toward His Beloved, through His grace.
J. The true beauty of this Servant was portrayed in His suffering and His majesty was displayed in His humility, as seen in the life of Yeshua/Jesus. How is your portrait unveiled before God?
K. The spiritual beauties of holy sweet communion can only be recognized if spiritually discerned. “The eye admires only what the heart truly can see.”
L. The world wants a 'Sovereign Ruler' they have to pay tax to, not a 'Suffering Savior' they have to pay homage to. How strange and twisted man's mind has become over time.
M. Though Jesus Christ arose from the dead, the Jewish people regarded Him as a person who had been crucified, disgraced and they rejected and despised him as the offscouring of the earth.
N. Yet the Scriptures are very clear, “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, that Yeshua ha Maschiach, Jesus the Christ, is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. “Every Tongue and Every Knee” on earth, in heaven and under the earth, shall bow and shall confess! Phil. 2:9-11.
O. Why wait until you are forced to bow and hear those wretched words, “Depart form Me, for I never knew you!” Why not call out to Him today and receive this ‘Servant/Messiah’ as your ‘Lord & Savior’ and then you will hear those blessed words, “Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” Three words from your heart to the heart of God and mean them, “Lord, Save, Me!”
“The Servant’s Sorrow Unveiled”
A. "The Reception of The Servant!" Or should we say, "The Rejection of The Servant!"
B. In this verse we have the pure, unadulterated aversion of the Jewish nation toward Jehovah's Servant.
C. Isaiah the prophet uses a series of verbs to provide a detailed description of the intense suffering of the assumed subject, Jehovah's Servant, and His whole life would be characterized by suffering not royalty.
D. "He was despised, and forsaken of men, A man of pains, and acquainted with disease, And as one from whom men hide their face: He was despised, and we esteemed him not." J.P.S. Trans. 1966.
II. "He is despised..."
A. To despise (ba-zah) means to disdain, scorn, to be contemptible;
B. Franz Delitzsch says, "Despised connotes, bitter contempt and is translated 'vile person' in other places, referring to the most hated man in Jewish history, 'Antiochus Epiphanes' who is set forth as the foreshadow of the antichrist and the most hated person in all of Jewish history.
C. Many Jewish people hate Yeshua/Jesus more than Satan himself. This gives you a slight glimpse into the Jewish feeling for Yeshua/Jesus.
D. Twice this word despised (ba-zah) is used in v.3 to emphasize its intensity and severity.
E. "He is despised" - present tense! "He was despised" - past tense! And, "He shall be despised" - future tense!
III. "And Rejected of men..."
A. He was rejected (chadal) abandoned, refused, forsaken, but not forgotten, to be destitute, to desist or cease to exist. John 1:11 says, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not!"
B. By not accepting or receiving someone, you are in fact rejecting or refusing Him.
C. 'Rejected of men;' Jews, Gentiles, Rich, Poor, Rank, Great, Learned, Religious, etc;
D. No prophecy was ever more strikingly fulfilled than that one, "Rejected of men!" (let it sink in)
E. The Hebrew name for Jesus - Yeshua/Savior has been deliberately distorted to "Yeshu" (no ‘a’ not Yeshua – note it!) or "Isschu" an acronym for "Immach Schemo Vezikro!"
F. The letters of "Yeshu or Isschu" spell out a sentence, "Let his name and memory be blotted out forever." (Forgotten, Destitute, Forsaken). Don’t let anyone use it on you!
1. No name has aroused more antagonism and opposition among Jewish people than the name of ‘Jesus Christ’ who came to give His life a ransom for His people and the world.
G. This aversion to Him has even increased with the passing of time. His name is not even mentioned among Jewish people other than, 'that man' or 'the hanged one' or 'the illegitimate one' or in mockery or slang or as a cuss word.
1. However, among many Reform and Conservative Jewish people, this attitude is gradually changing to a more positive attitude. (2,000 years and He is still intimidating people!)
H. Rejected by who? MEN! (ish-im) There are three words for man in Hebrew:
1. (enosh) used of man in his weakness; (adom) used of man in general; and (ish) used of man in his strength and as nobility or lord's of people.
I. This is true of the only other usages of (ish-im) in: Ps. 141:4 and Prov. 8:4.
J. It is used of men of Rank, men of Stature, and men of Standing. The Leaders; The Elders; The Kings; We saw it in Isaiah 52:15, "kings shall shut their mouths at him."
K. So, this Servant is going to be 'Rejected - (chadal) abandoned, refused, forsaken, by men of 'Rank and Prestige' with few exceptions like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea.
L. Remember the words of the Jewish leaders in the N. T. in John 7:48, "Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed on Him?" Read I Cor. 1:26-29 sometime for God's view point!
M. Listen to the touching cry of Psalm 69:12, a prophecy of scornful discussions of the elders or leaders, "They that sit in the gate speak against me, and I was the song of the drunkards."
N. The word 'against' is always used in Hebrew of a downward scorn. This is not a special few but it was universal. “The nations rejected him!”
O. The fact that God said they would reject Him and the majority did reject Him is strong evidence for Who He is!
P. Many who claim to revere Him today would also despise him if they knew what the Newer Testament really said about Him.
IV. "A man of sorrows..."
A. Note if you will the words; "Men & Man" (ish-im & ish).
B. Obviously if (ishim) is plural and is individual men, then (ish) is singular and must be an individual man and can not, (CAN NOT) be a nation!
C. "A man of sorrows (mak'oboth) severe pains, plural. This is a man whose chief distinction was, that His life was one of constant, painful, afflictions which could either be physical or spiritual.
D. What a contrast to Isaiah 52:13, "Behold, My Servant...exalted, extolled and elevated..."
E. The root word for sorrows is to feel pain, to agonize, and to suffer torment.
1. Isa. 9:6 says, “For unto us a child was born…” showing His humanity, the Son of man; and “Unto us a Son was given…” showing His deity, the Son of God.
2. He had to be both ‘God and man’ to pay the ultimate sacrifice and atone for man’s sin. It is impossible for a sinful man to redeem his fellow man, read Psalm 49:7-8.
F. Yeshua/Jesus said in Matt. 26:38, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death."
1. He agonized in the garden; He sweat great drops of blood, (hematohidrosis). Lk. 22:44.
2. He wept strong (ischyros – mighty, powerful, forceful) tears. Heb. 5:7.
3. He cried for the cup to pass three times; He felt the bitterness of betrayal;
4. He was tried by the people He came to save; He was crowned with two inch thorns;
5. He was scourged with a cat of nine tails by the Romans, and hung on a cross naked.
6. He was forsaken by God and His disciples and His heart ruptured from His sufferings.
7. The Servant came to suffer with and for His people and to lay down His life for them.
G. Such were the facts of history and the prophetic requirements of Scripture were fulfilled.
H. The Messiahship was proven; and satisfaction for sin was made, Isaiah 53:11, "He (God) shall see the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied (saba)." (Sounds like an onomatopoeia)
V. "And acquainted with grief..." (Or sickness)
A. Not that He was diseased with viruses or bacteria but that the wrath instigated by sin and the zeal of self-sacrifice burned within Him like a fever.
B. Psalm 69:9-10 says, "For the zeal of thine house has eaten me up; and the reproaches of those who reproached thee are fallen on me."
C. We are not talking about physical sickness here, these are the result of sin and this Servant was absolutely sinless.
D. What is implied here is that the wrath of Almighty God instigated by sin was poured out upon His Servant. The word for 'grief or sickness' stands for, 'SIN!' Isaiah uses this same figure in Isaiah 1:4-6, (R).
E. He drank that bitter cup of God's wrath to the very dregs after thanking Him for it and then He climbed up on our cross and was made SIN for you and for me. II Cor. 5:21.
F. That's why He cried from the tree, ("Eli, Eli lama sabachthani,") "My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?" Ps. 22:1 Hab. 1:13; Why? Ps. 22:3, “Thou art Holy,” (kodosh, sacred, pure) He is Holy and Holiness demands Holiness!
G. This word can be translated sickness, disease, anxiety, affliction, but the context will determine the proper translation, not the translator's opinion.
H. Many suppose the figure is 'Leprosy' the most severe sickness known to man at that time and many times imposed by God on man. The ancient Rabbis refer to this Servant as one who was shunned like a Leper.
I. The word 'acquainted' (yada) means to know intimately by personal experience.
J. Adam (yada’d) knew, Eve and she conceived, that's personal, and that's intimate! Gen. 4:1.
K. The word literally means, 'Introduced!' Messiah meet pain, grief, sorrow, torment, SIN! Pain, grief, sorrow, torment, SIN meet the Messiah!
L. To become 'acquainted' with something in Hebrew (yada) means to become intimate with it.
M. Listen, we endure pain, we tolerate grief and sorrow, we put up with it, we don't become intimate with it, do we? He did, and He did it for you and for me! He embraced it, all His life!
N. That’s why the Jewish people in John 8:57 said of Yeshua/Jesus, “Thou art not yet fifty years old and hast Thou seen Abraham?” (Look at pictures of our presidents before and after four years).
O. He was never seen to laugh, and was so worn away from continual grief, that when He was in His mid thirties he was taken to be nearly 50 years of age, John 8:57. How? From being “acquainted (yada) with the grief,” of the world and bearing that burden all of His life.
P. We never read that He laughed, but we often read that He wept, John 11:35 at the tomb of Lazarus; At Jerusalem upon His triumphal entry, Luke 19:41; In Gethsemane before going to the cross, Heb. 5:7.
VI. "And we (plural) hid as it were our (plural) faces from Him (sing)..."
A. He was like a thing or person from which a man turns away his face in shame or disgust!
B. Isaiah 49:7 says, "Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth (bazah) to him whom the nation abhorreth (ta-ab - to loathe, detest, to be abominable) to a servant of rulers;"
C. The natural mind is all to ready to construe meekness for weakness and to waste its praise on the proud and the self-seeking.
D. There are several thoughts and possibilities on this phrase.
1. They turned away their faces from Him in horror; They had to turn from the suffering; They turned from Him in contempt; They turned away from Him in scorn because He was so unlike what they expected and they hid their faces in real contempt.
E. But you never hide your face, your testimony, your convictions from Him, do you? You never turn away? You never keep silent when you know a word or testimony must be spoken? You always stand up for Christ and His children, and do the right thing, right?
VII. "He was despised (bazah) and we esteemed (chasab) Him not."
A. Now we hit the bottom of the pit with this dreary repetition;
B. "So, we despised Him and deemed Him insignificant and unimportant."
C. We did not reckon Him and we did not evaluate Him properly. Some refer to Him as, “Less than a man;” others as, “The most abject of men.” (Lit. – He who ceases from men, that is, ‘Is no longer regarded as a man.’ Hengstenberg, Ps. 49:7)
D. So, it is with the human race, they acknowledge but do not evaluate Him correctly. Luther said, "We estimated Him as nothing!" 'NOTHING!'
1. “They made Him like the off-scouring and refuge in the midst of the people.” Lam. 3:45
E. Ps. 69:12 says, "I am the songs of the drunkards." Nothing more than spiritual derision and scum.
F. People loathe to look at a man whom they hate immensely. In all of the history of Israel no one was more intensely hated or despised than this 'Servant of God.' "NO ONE!"
G. "We (plural) hid our faces from Him." We shunned Him like a leper; we turned away in contempt, and scorn. He was abandoned, abhorred, a reproach of men, a worm and no man, and the off-scouring of the earth. Why? Luke 19:14, “We will not have this man to reign over us!”
H. The word means, 'to have an aversion to someone or something.' Psalm 22:6-8, “But I am a worm (towla) and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people. All they who see Me laugh Me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying, He trusted in the LORD that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him.” (Matt. 27:39-44)
I. We did not reckon Him! We did not value Him! We did not esteem Him! We did not elevate Him! Who is the 'WE' in v.3? It must be the Nation of Israel, but it does not exclude the Goi'im!
J. Who can estimate the guilt of the self righteous religious leaders who sneer at the precious blood of our Servant, our Messiah and tear it from their Hymnals, Scriptures, and Bibles today?
K. There is a lesson for us to learn from all this. Why should we seek the approval of a world which despises our LORD? Or why should we desire acceptance from men who reject Him?
A. So, it is with the whole human race today, they acknowledge the Servant the Messiah but; They don't value Him; They esteem Him correctly!
B. A good man, a prophet, a teacher, but not the Messiah, not the Savior of mankind. We must bring Him down to our level they say, "He is a man just like us and He would probably flunk mathematics." Or as one writer put it, "We estimated him as nothing!"
C. Listen to Ps. 69:12 one more time, "They that sit in the gate (The Leaders) speak against Me, and I was the songs of the drunkards."
D. Is that all He is, this Servant, this Messiah? The song of drunkards, the topic of scorn, a derogatory remark or joke, an occasional cuss word when something goes wrong, or when you slam your finger in the door?
E. You say, 'I have never despised Him, I have never rejected Him, I have never shunned Him, I have never turned my back on Him, I have never not exalted Him! Really Peter!
F. Though all those others forsake Him, you never will! Why, you will even die for Him, Right! Listen, this Servant, this Messiah, Yeshua/Jesus doesn't want you to die for Him; He wants you to live for Him, one day at a time, starting today!
G. Peter denied Him three times and he was only 30 feet away from Him when he did it, a stone's throw, and their eyes met and he turned as it were and "hid his face from him in shame."
H. In fact Peter denied the Faith, he denied the Brotherhood and he denied the Lord. Matt. 26:69-75; and Mark 22:54-62.
I. But don't be too quick to judge Peter, how many times does the 'Cock Crow' every day in your life or mine?
J. In John 21, Yeshua/Jesus restored Peter three times! We may not reject Him! We may not despise Him! But do we shun Him or turn our back on Him when we pick up that magazine in the drug store, watch an 'R' rated movie or worse, the internet, or listen to an off color joke or music?
K. Do you Exalt Him, Extol Him, Elevate Him in all your conversations and business deals?
L. Do you esteem Him in every area of your life, thoughts, words, deeds, taxes?
M. He died for you, so you could live for Him! He took your Hell so you could take His Heaven!
N. He drank your cup, so you didn't have too! He took your sin, so you could take His righteousness!
O. He took your whip, your nails, your thorns, your spit, your spear, your shame, your scorn;
P. So you could have His love, His mercy, His grace, and His forgiveness!
Q. What does it mean to suffer the infinite wrath of God? I don't know and I never will! Because He endured it for you and me, on a hill He made, on a tree He created, in a city His Father loves!
R. "He was despised (bazah) became a vile person, and we esteemed Him not." (How Terrible!)
S. All He did for you; All He left behind; All the glory He emptied Himself of; All the majesty He turned his back on; All the shame, the spitting, the beating, the cursing, the mocking, the loneliness, the pain, the sorrow, the nakedness, the grief, the sin, and ‘We Esteem Him Not!’
T. Isn’t it a shame, in light of the cross and all that He did for us on Calvary, that we live such defeated lives? Be honest, are you living a victorious life for Christ? Can you answer Paul’s question in the affirmative to the church, “Are you saved, are you living the crucified life?”
“The Servant Afflicted Mercilessly!"
A. In this strophe or stanza of three verses we will examine one of the most graphic descriptions of the Servant's death in all of the Scriptures; vv 4-6 should give us nightmares if not night sweats.
1. v. 4 – ‘The Servant Afflicted Mercilessly!’
2. v. 5 – ‘The Servant Wounded Fatally!’
3. v.6 – ‘The Servant Stricken Internally!’
B. Four things seem to stand out in this strophe or stanza and we want to watch for them:
1. First, the intensity of the suffering; note the words in these verses, grief, sorrow, stricken, smitten, afflicted, wounded, bruised or crushed, chastisement, stripes, laid upon; all are descriptive of suffering and physical violence.
2. Second, the vicarious suffering, not merely suffering with men but for men, our griefs, our sorrows, our transgressions, our iniquities, our peace was laid upon Him.
3. Third, the moral necessity of the suffering; mankind was estranged from God, “all we like sheep have gone astray (ta-ah #8582 – to mislead or deceive ourselves)…” and the LORD laid on Him the iniquity of the world!
4. Fourth, the peace that comes from suffering, “the chastisement for our peace was upon Him.” The word peace is a sweet, strong, suggestive word and means wholeness or ‘at-one-ness’ and therefore refers to a rich, harmonious relationship.
C. It's one thing to suffer and die, it's quite another thing to suffer infinitely and not be able to die! Now I can't quite fathom that, can you?
1. I have been very close to death on several occasions, but I have never been close to death and couldn’t die, have you?
D. In v.3 the Servant our Messiah became intimate (yada) (familiar, acquainted, affectionate) with our grief. We endure pain, grief, sorrow and suffering but He became intimate with it and for our sakes, “He embraced it!”
E. Will we ever really understand what intimacy with sin really meant on Calvary? What it really meant to become, “acquainted with grief?”
F. Will we ever know the depth and the magnitude of His suffering, I hardly doubt it? Can we share in His suffering, His shame, and His solitude? I believe we can, to a degree, anyway....
1. In the Newer Testament, Paul said in Phil. 3:10, "That I may know Him (ginosko - to know by experience) the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;" (Can you pray that? Do you pray that?)
2. Peter did, I Pet. 4:13 says, "But rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's suffering's that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." (Not just joy – but (agalliao) exceeding joy!)
3. However, I believe Romans 8:18 is the key verse on this when Paul said, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." “WOW!” (Having a rough day? Read 2 Cor. 11:23-33)
G. I don't think we can suffer the 'Infinite wrath of God' because we are finite beings, but we can suffer finitely for a long time! For the ultimate glory of God! Amen?
H. You see it is God's will for every one of us to be "Saved, Sealed, Sanctified, Spirit Filled, Serving and to Suffer, " some a little, some a lot. That’s His will for every child of His!
I. I don't know how suffering works in God's economy of things, but I do know this, 'God is glorified in our suffering!' Glorified my friend, GLORFIED!
1. He was glorified in His Son's suffering and He is glorified in yours and mine!
II. "Surely He has borne our griefs...,"
A. Surely (aw-kane) truly, indeed, verily, certainly, nevertheless, ‘assuredly;’ This word has a strong, assertive force. Like 'Verily, Verily; Truly, Truly; Amen, Amen.'
B. This word is emphasizing a contrast to v.3, but on the contrary; but in fact; but yet;
C. It is linked with another very strong word 'borne' (nasa) to lift, bear up, carry off, take away, to be swept away, to bear continuously. Not just removing but lifting it up and carrying it away.
D. This Servant did not become a sinner, He bore our sins away, which is very important!
E. This word is used of an 'Armor Bearer' eighteen times in the Older Testament and in Leviticus with sacrifices for propitiation and expiation. (ek-spe-a-tion)
F. Two very, very strong words to emphasize the very great burden He had to bear namely, yours and mine! (All the pronouns in these verses are “emphatic” for emphasis!)
G. This word borne (nasa) also shows us He is not merely entering into our miseries and pain but it portrays a complete gathering together unto Himself of all the legal, judicial sentences of sufferings which we deserved to endure.
H. This verse encompasses the true tone of substitutionary atonement in total, II Cor. 5:21; and it answers the age old question of Matt. 27:46, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
1. Because legally God had to turn His back on His Son, the Messiah, because He had the legal, judicial sentence of the (kosmos) the world, upon Himself.
2. Because the word (nasa) to bear up or away, is used in connection with the sacrifices of expiation in Lev. 5:1, 17; 16:22; 20:19, 20; His suffering was expiatory (ek-spe-a-tor-e) meaning, to put an end to, to extinguish the guilt incurred and it’s vicarious in nature.
3. He also bore our 'Griefs' (kholee) afflictions, sickness, anxiety, and injuries.
4. It does not refer to sin but to suffering, and it's from a primitive root to become weak, sick, diseased, grieved, sorrow; literally, "spiritual sickness."
5. This word is also used in a metaphorical sense for pain, sorrow and evil, ie human ills and trials in life. (lit; to take the burden from one’s shoulders and put it on His own and carry it away!)
I. He will expiate, extinguish all your pain and sorrow if you will let Him, that’s also why He went to the Cross at Calvary. Think of the cross, if you will, as a sin/fire extinguisher!”
J. “He has borne (nasa) all our griefs, all our afflictions, all our anxieties (kholee)…” (To the bitter end –
(te-tel-es-tai) ‘It is Finished!’) If we will just give them to Him!!
III. "And carried our sorrows..."
A. The word 'Carried' (sabal) means to labor under a load or burden, to drag along, to be heavy laden; It’s found 23x in the O. T. and it’s used of a burden so heavy it has to be dragged along.
B. What is it, that is so heavy that it has to be dragged along? Our 'Sorrows' (mak-ob) our pain and sorrow both physical and mental or spiritual.
1. The key here is that they acknowledge that this Servant did not suffer for His own sins but that He carried upon His shoulders the burden of their sins and the pain of their transgressions. His suffering was expiatory and vicarious in nature.
C. Sorrow (mak-ob) refers more to mental pain, whereas, grief (kho-lee) refers more to physical pain. Sometimes 'Mental Pain' is much more severe than physical pain, you can’t take two aspirins and lie down and make it go away in two hours! Amen?
D. Physical pain does not make you sweat great drops of blood (hematohidrosis) but mental pain and anguish can. Luke 22:44.
E. This word is also translated 'Marred.' Similar to Isa. 52:14 but there a different word is used to show total disfigurement of His face. (mo-shat) (His visage (face) was soooo marred…)
F. Here it’s His Spirit that is disfigured; it's the inner pain and anguish, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?) His Spirit is disfigured!!
G. He bore our burdens and griefs like an 'Armor Bearer' and He carried or dragged along our sorrows, our physical and mental sufferings like a work animal drags a heavy load along the road, one tough step at a time! And what do we do? We esteem Him! We value Him!
H. But Wait! Who is the 'WE' in v.4? In v.3, the 'WE' hid their faces from Him and wouldn't esteem Him or value Him!
I. But now as a 'Burden-Bearer' and 'Sorrow-Carrier' the WE, in v. 4, 'Esteem Him; Reckon Him; Value
Him; Regard Him – But How?
IV. "Yet WE did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." oi vey!
A. If Israel is the Servant, then who is the 'We' in this verse? We did esteem (khsab) consider, account, regard, reckon, impute, Him; This Servant 'Stricken' (naga) in the sense of being blasted, cast down, down trodden, plagued, to strike violently.
B. In Exodus 12:22 they took a bunch of hyssop, three sprigs and bound them together in an (echad) plunged it into the blood of the lamb in the basin at the front door and (naga) struck the lentil of the door.
1. Then they dipped the bunch of hyssop in the basin of blood a second time and with one stroke (naga) struck the two door posts or (mezuzot) leaving a sign, a mark, an (owth) on the door for the destroyer to see that night, the (Masheit).
C. Not only was this Servant/Messiah 'Stricken' (naga) Isaiah says He was also 'Smitten' (naka) to slay, to beat, to kill, to slaughter or scourge! This is Divine retribution for a heinous crime or sin!
D. This is a very, very strong word and means to be fatally smitten, killed or slain! To be attacked, ravaged, destroyed! Are you getting the picture? Not very pleasant is it?
E. It takes you back to Isaiah 52:14-15 where, "His visage was sooo marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men."
1. Marred – (moshat) deformed, disfigured, corrupted, implying ugly and repulsive!
F. This Servant/Messiah was not just 'Smitten' (naga) but 'Stricken' (naka) as well. In the sense of being blasted like King Uzziah, who was stricken with leprosy when he stepped into the priesthood for a moment. (It was just for a moment – it was just incense – it was just leprosy!)
G. Smitten, means to be inflicted with a curse! What curse? Gen. 3, the 'Sin and the thorns.' The thorns were the result of the sin in the garden.
H. This Servant not only bore our sin, and dragged our griefs along, but he wore our 2" thorns on His head and they were beaten down through His skull with His staff.
I. Listen, death and sin are universal, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement, (the condemnation, damnation, punishment).” Heb. 9:27
1. Judgement (kri-sis) what English word do you think we get from this Greek word? (Crisis – The turning point! Like mid-life crisis!)
J. Second, you are not a sinner because you sin, you sin because you are a sinner, it's in your nature. As a bird is born to fly, and a fish is born to swim, man is born to sin!
K. You don't have to teach a two year old to lie, to steal, to rebel, to hit, to loose its temper, to throw things, to bite people, you have to teach them 'NOT' to do those things!
L. Romans 5:12 says, "Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon ALL men, for ALL have sinned."
M. Stricken by Whom v.4? By God, (Elohim) The God of creation! Only God has the Right, the Power, the Authority, the Majesty, to strike the Servant, the Messiah, His Son, Ps. 2:7; Prov. 30:4; Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; Heb. 5:5.
N. This false doctrine called 'Deicide' is nonsense. How could a man with an ounce of intelligence ever conceive of another man killing God? That's ludicrous, ridiculous, absurd, preposterous, bizarre, laughable and would even be comical if it wasn't so stupid!
O. Let me clear something up; The Jewish people did not kill the Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, they couldn't! The Romans did not kill the Jewish Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, they couldn't!
P. It was our sin that put Him on that tree and made Him sweat, 'great drops of blood,' and cry giant, strong, powerful, forceful (ischyros) tears. But it was God, Elohim Who smote Him and struck Him (naga - naka) and cursed Him with a curse, Gal. 3:13, because of our stinking sin.
Q. Not that He was actually stricken by God, but we (you and I) esteemed Him, accounted Him to be so! He
bore our sin, in His body, on our tree, on Calvary 2,000 years ago!
A. It is based on this verse that the Talmud refers to the Messiah as, 'The Leprous One.'
B. The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b says of Isaiah 53:4, "The Messiah, what is his name?” The Rabbis say, 'the leprous one' those of the house of Rabbi say, 'the sick one' as it is said, “surely he hath borne our sickness."
C. Why, "The Leprous One!" Because (naga) is used of striking a person with leprosy, like King Uzziah in II Chron. 26:20.
D. He is shunned like a leper when he carries, or drags along our griefs, our sorrows, and our sins.
E. What does a leper cry out? Unclean! Unclean! Unclean! And everyone turns away, no one wants to look at a leper, no one! It was because of all this that He cried from the tree, "Eli. Eli, Lama Sabachthani..." Psalm 22:1.
F. The answer as we have said is in Psalm 22:3, because God is holy; Isa. 6:3; and God had to turn away, why? Hab. 1:13, God can't look on iniquity, because of His holiness!
G. But we never turn away, we never turn our backs on ‘The Savior,’ we are never ashamed of the Messiah of Israel, are we Peter???
H. "Naga - Naka," Stricken and Smitten of God, but it doesn't end there, Oh I wish it did, but there is more!
I. Stricken, Smitten and 'Afflicted' (anah) humbled, humiliated; to bow down, to stoop down, to mistreat, to dishonor, or to ravish!
J. "Stricken, Smitten, Afflicted," three words to describe His Hell on earth! I don't fully understand this, and I am not going to try to explain it, I just accept it, embrace it, praise Him for it and go on!
1. Stricken of God (naga) refers to a loathsome disease like leprosy;
2. Smitten of God (naka) refers to divine retribution for heinous sin;
3. Afflicted of God (anah) refers to punishment for one’s crime.
4. All describing the terrible, horrible consequences and penalty of our sin.
K. Maimonides in the 12th century said, "Yeshua/Jesus deserved the violent death He suffered." Deserved It! Nobody deserved this, Nobody! Most of all, not the, 'Man from Nazareth!' “Who had done no violence, neither was any deceit found in His mouth.” Isa. 53:9
L. The fact that the Leaders of Yeshua/Jesus’ day attempted to prove He was a blasphemer and not equal to God the Father, and did miracles on the Sabbath Day, and healed the blind, the lame, the deaf, the lepers, and raised the dead, and cast out demons that only the Devil could do;
1. Showed He deserved to die, fulfilling this prophecy in amazing detail.
2. “He (Christ) was despised and we (Leaders) esteemed Him not!”
M. "Surely He has borne OUR griefs, and carried OUR sorrows, yet WE did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted." Isaiah 53:4
N. This verse reminds me of an old hymn lost to our churches and young people today, "Amazing Love, how can it be, that Thou my God, should die for me."
O. Mashiach bore our sins as though they were His own, He bore the pain, the punishment and made atonement for the whole world. He took the blame and then vicariously suffered the shame, as though He was the guilty one. Yet we esteemed Him stricken, inflicted with a curse; judicially afflicted as a leper; and smitten by God as a rebel, defeated, crushed and condemned!
P. All this led Him to Calvary, but does it lead you to Calvary? The Cross is not just something we come to for Salvation; it’s something we cling to for assurance, service, hope, comfort, strength, direction, guidance, etc. But it’s a special reminder of just how much He really loves us!
Q. Do you know Him? Do you really, really know (yada) Him? In your heart, not your head! Hos. 6:3! He is not talking about knowing about the LORD, he’s talking about a personal relationship with YeHoVaH, the YHVH, the GOD of redemption and His Son, Jesus The Christ? (Ps. 46:10)
“The Servant Wounded Fatally"
A. I finished studying Isa. 53:4, “The Servant Afflicted Mercilessly,” sitting at my keyboard in tears, overwhelmed with emotion because of what God's Servant had to go through for us.
B. He bore 'our' griefs, he dragged 'our' sorrows along like a burdened animal, and we esteemed him stricken, smitten and afflicted (naga, naka, anah) and this done by God, but why?
C. Isaiah 53:5 gives us the answer to that question, although we may not like the answer.
1. ”But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; The Chastisement for our peace was upon Him; And with His stripes we are healed.” KJV
2. “But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities; The chastisement of our welfare was upon him, And with his stripes we were healed.” JPS, 1966
D. In v.4 we have the 'Ministry of the Servant,' but in v. 5 we have the 'Sufferings of the Servant.'
E. What is amazing is that in vv. 5-6 we have six references to sin and in each occasion a different word is used to describe it:
1. Transgression: (pasha) rebellion, revolt, the crossing of a boundary and trespassing on a foreign land;
2. Iniquities: (avon) wickedness, the absence of equity or the absence of dealing justly, with a focus on the guilt and liability incurred;
3. Discord: the opposite of peace, which is enmity between us and God;
4. Disease of the spirit: which is impossible to heal;
5. Willful wandering: like that of a wayward sheep;
6. A 'Heavy Burden:' so immense it was literally smashing Him into the earth.
F. Note also the 'four' pronoun comparisons in v. 5 between 'he and our.' If the Servant is Israel, then who is the 'our and we' in v. 5?
II. "But 'He' was wounded for 'our' transgressions;"
A. The words ‘But He’ in this verse are an emphatic assertion, that the real cause of his suffering, was not for his own sins but the transgressions of his people as pointed out by the pronoun 'our.'
B. The word 'wounded' (meholal) means to pierce through, to bore through, to perforate; hence, to wound, or to be tormented, or to writhe in pain. It was a common belief that the Messiah would be violently put to death!
C. We can never hope to understand nor comprehend the ‘Atonement.’ There was a God-ward as well as a Man-ward aspect to it, but into the “Cup” His Father gave Him to drink no man, no angel, in fact no created being of any sort has the power or right to look!
D. It is not enough to say that the pride of the Jewish people, or the scorn of the Greeks, or the power of the Romans crucified Jesus Christ! He was, “Delivered up by God for our offences!”
E. There is no stronger word in the Hebrew language to portray a violent and painful death. The word writhe or tormented is added in some Bible margins due to the Hebrew meaning of pierced!
F. His hands, his feet, his side, his head were all pierced, perforated and bored through!!
1. It is amazing that the word 'pierced' was used here of the Servant, Messiah's death instead of hanged, stoned, or beheaded which were the only Jewish methods of execution used in Isaiah's time.
2. Crucifixion as a means of execution was invented by the Carthaginians and perfected by the Romans, 700 years after Isaiah's time.
3. Here is a strong testimony to the inspiration of the prophetic Scriptures.
G . You will also find the word 'pierced' in Ps. 22:16 and Zech. 12:10 but there you will find two
different Hebrew words used; Ps. 22 uses (kara); Zech. 12 uses (daqar); Isa. 53 uses (halel).
H. This one is speaking of being mortally and brutally wounded, literally pierced, or bored through to the point of death, for our transgressions, our rebellions, our lawlessness!
I. He was pierced, bored, transfixed, hence nailed for or (on account of) our (pesha) transgressions, rebellions against human and divine authority.
J. Nailed for our (pesha) transgressions which were really rebellions. The pain was really His, in consequence for the sin which was really ours.
K. Rebellion is the primary element in all human sin. Transgressions can come in many forms like missing the mark through aimlessness, carelessness or a wrong aim.
1. Or coming up short even though your work may be alright in its direction but it just doesn't come up to God's standard.
2. Then you can transgress by crossing a boundary and going over to the wrong side altogether.
III. "He’ was bruised for 'our' iniquities;"
A. He was bruised (daka) to break into little pieces, to crush, or shatter;
B. This word designates the most severe inward and outward sufferings imaginable; this same word is used for pounding into dust.
C. He was rendered listless, lethargic and languid. He was under such a weight of sorrows on account of our sins, that he was, as it were, crushed to the earth.
D. At this point Psalm 85:10-11 was brought to its fullest development, "Mercy and truth, are met together; righteousness and peace, have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.” WOW!!
E. On the cross Christ was “Bruised” which means, ‘crushed under a weight of a burden,’ what burden? Our sin! Ps. 38:4, “For my iniquities are gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.” Imagine the burden of the sin of the whole (kosmos) or world!
F. For 'our' iniquities, not His, our (avon) our sin, our wickedness, our iniquity; often with a focus on the guilt or liability incurred, and the punishment to follow.
G. This statement indicates that the Servant, the Messiah was shattered, crushed for our 'inborn crookedness.' The words “bruised & crushed” are among the strongest in the Hebrew language and denote a violent, painful death!
H. The root signifies to 'bend or twist' and refers to the tortuous, crooked winding ways of men when they conform to no standard at all, except their own, and walk according to the wicked course of this world.
I. The Hebrew word (medhukkah) means utterly crushed and shattered and (avonoth) means not only 'iniquities' but 'twisted and perverted crookedness.'
J. In other words our sin principle is basically an incorrigible perversity and He bore it all!
K. Sin is very serious, Isaiah calls it ‘Transgression’ rebellion against God, daring to cross the line God has drawn, vv. 5 & 8. He also calls it ‘Iniquity’ crookedness of our sinful nature, vv. 5 & 6. Therefore, we are sinners by choice and sinners by nature.
IV. "The chastisement of 'our' peace was upon ‘Him;"
A. The chastisement (musar) correction, chastening, punishment, disciplinary sufferings; for our peace (shlo-menu) peace, safety, prosperity, welfare was upon Him; 'the chastisement which secured our peace.' Peace usually has the idea of well-being, but here it is much more!
B. For forgiveness to be real it must be secured at a price, a very high price!
1. He was chastised and given many stripes, too many to count and yet that chastisement brought us peace!
C. In order to forgive sinners, a righteous God must base His forgiveness on moral grounds. Otherwise His forgiveness would be morally unacceptable and spiritually meaningless.
1. The only way a law-breaker can be at peace with the law is to suffer the punishment that the law demands.
D. Why? Because there would be no difference between righteousness and wickedness? However, the Creator of all mankind, Elohim is not only merciful but He is also righteous.
E. So, the righteous Servant, the Messiah of God took upon Himself the chastisement which secured our (Shalom)! Isaiah 26:3 says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, (shalom, shalom) whose mind is stayed upon Thee, because he trusts in Thee."
1. So, Jesus kept the law perfectly, yet He suffered the punishment that belonged to us.
2. Because He took our place we now have peace with God and cannot be condemned by God’s law. Rom. 5:1; 8:1.
F. Perfect peace, is peace on the outside and peace on the inside. The only way there will be true, "Peace on earth" is when the Servant/Messiah sets up His throne in Jerusalem and reigns over the whole earth.
G. Likewise, the only way there will be true peace in my heart and in your heart and life is for you and me to surrender our lives to Him and give up the throne room of our hearts and let Him reign there right now. Peace stands for the individual designation of our salvation!
1. You must give up the ‘Right to Yourself’ to Jesus Christ! All of it!
H. At Passover Jewish people quote, Psalm 116:12-13, "What shall I render unto the LORD for all of His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation (the cup of Yeshua) and call on the name of the LORD."
I. That's 'Perfect Peace!' Something all Israel and all the Jewish people long for and pray for every day, PEACE! Perfect peace, Shalom, Shalom; Peace on the outside and peace on the inside.
1. “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, to make in Himself of the two one new man, so making peace;” Eph. 2:15
2. We can now maintain a peaceful disposition toward God, not only having peace with God, Rom. 5:1, but the peace of God, Phil. 4:6-7, and there is a big difference. Amen?
J. The punishment, the chastisement, that secured our peace, was laid upon Him, and He bore it for us and all we have to do is reach out and receive it, because it’s a free gift. Free to us, but it was not ‘Free’ to God, it cost Him immensely; His only unique Son, Jesus The Christ!
V. "And with ‘His’ stripes 'we' are (were) healed."
A. Literally, 'it has been healed for us.' Healing in this context is primarily the healing of the soul from the sickness of sin.
B. Yet in addition to the spiritual healing, physical and emotional healing may be included as well.
C. It is a known fact that physical ailments tend to have an emotional, psychic background, but the context is sin.
D. The word stripes (habbura) means blows, wounds, bruises, welts and blueness. Some people translate this, black and blue marks, a flesh wound that does not draw blood and some translate it just bruising, obviously they have never read nor studied the whole passage.
1. The Hebrew word ‘stripes is singular’ but it is used with the force of a collective so that it may be translated “stripes or wounds.”
E. Others translate this word, 'Blows that cut to the very bone; Blows that leave a visible imprint; Deep life threatening blows.' Maybe from a whip or a 'Cat-of-nine-tails,' with pieces of metal or bone attached to the ends to rip pieces of flesh out with each blow inflicted!
F. We are healed, or literally, 'it is healed to us,' or 'healing has happened to us.'
G. The question to ask or pose; Is the context talking about sin or sickness? In Matthew chapter eight in the Newer Testament the Messiah healed the leper, the centurion's servant, Peter's mother-in-law, and all who were sick or demon possessed; ALL!
1. He stilled the storm and cast out demons, to give evidence of His Messiahship and Deity and everyone who came for healing was healed, everyone!
2. So, Matthew quotes Isaiah 53:5 in Peter's house (Matt. 8:17)
3. In fact Peter later made it very clear in I Peter 2:24-25 that the Servant or Messiah's wounds heal us from sin, not from disease!
4. After all, it was Peter’s mother-in-law in Matt. 8:16-17 who was healed.
5. The Servant didn't go to the Calvary because we were sick; He died on the cross because we are sinners!
H. The healing referred to here is spiritual healing, or healing from sin.
I. Pardon from sin, and restoration to favor with God, are not infrequently represented as an act of healing in the Scriptures.
J. The figure is derived from the fact that awakened and convicted sinners are often represented as crushed, broken, and bruised by the weight of their transgressions, and the removal of the load of sin is represented as an act of healing.
1. Ps. 41:4 says, "I said, LORD, be merciful unto me, heal my soul; for I have sinned against Thee."
2. Ps. 6:2 says, "Have mercy upon me O LORD; for I am weak. O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed."
3. Ps. 103:3 says, "Who forgives all thine iniquities, who heals all thy diseases."
K. The idea here is that the Servant or Messiah would be scourged and that it would be by that scourging that health or healing would be imparted to our souls.
L. Healing in the atonement was fulfilled during Christ’s life not after His death
A. One author put it this way: "Disease and death cannot be permanently removed until sin is permanently removed and the Messiah's supreme work was to conquer sin.”
B. In the atonement He dealt with sin, death & sickness; and yet all three of those are still with us.
C. When He died on the tree, He bruised the head of Satan and broke the power of sin and the person who trusts in His atoning work is immediately delivered from the penalty of sin and one day will be delivered from the very presence of sin and its consequences.
D. The ultimate fulfillment of His redeeming work is yet future for believers (Rom. 8:22-25; 13:11).
E. The Messiah died for man's sin, but His followers still die; He overcame pain and sickness but His followers still suffer and become ill.
F. There is physical healing in the atonement, just as there is total deliverance from sin and death in the atonement; but we still await the fulfillment of that deliverance in the day when the LORD brings an end to suffering, sin and death.
G. Those who claim that His followers should never be sick because there is healing in the atonement should also claim that His followers should never die, because He also conquered death in the atonement.
H. The central passage of the gospel is deliverance from sin. It is the good news about forgiveness, not health. The Messiah was made sin, not disease and He died on the tree for our sin, not our sickness. Paul wrote in I Cor. 15:3, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;”
I. The Servant's sufferings are not only vicarious but redemptive and curative. The doctrine of divine healing has too often been neglected and left for the perversion of fanatics, but it must be addressed in its context with civility and decorum.
J. LORD, what is there for us to say; pierced, crushed, chastised, striped, cut to the bone, for what?
K. For our transgressions, for our iniquities, for our peace, for our sin, for our soul, for Your glory!
L. “But He was pierced through for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him; And by His scourging we are healed.” NASB
M. When a man is healed by the stripes of another, his only instinct and response should be, "I will spend the rest of my life and all the strength I have, as a healed man, for Him who healed me!"
N. Thank You Lord, now use us, spread us, sow us, for Your glory, in Your name we pray." Amen!
“The Servant Stricken Internally"
A. Isaiah 53:6 has often been referred to as, "The John 3:16 of the Older Testament." Why?
1. Because it too, is the Gospel, or the ‘Good News’ in a nutshell!
2. First, it shows the analysis of sin and its effects, "All...have willfully gone astray;"
3. Second, it shows a description of Mt Calvary’s or Mt Moriah's execution, "The LORD (YHVH)
has laid (paga) upon Him, His Servant, His Messiah our penalty;"
4. Third, it shows the scope of the atonement, "The iniquity (avon) of us All."
B. This verse begins with the word 'ALL' and ends with the word 'ALL' (kol) any, every, the whole, the totality of the masses, the (kosmos) the whole world!
1. Every person who ever lived or who will ever live! I Jn. 2:2 says, “And He is the propitiation (the satisfying sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours only…”
2. This was one of D. L. Moody's favorite verses, and when he was boarding a train, a young man, probably Jewish, ran up and asked him how he might receive eternal life?
3. Moody told him to go home and read Isaiah 53:6, to which he responded, "But what do I do with it?" and Moody said: "Go in on the first ‘ALL’ and out on the last ‘ALL’!"
4. The young man went home, opened his Bible, read the verse several times, fell on his knees and received God's free gift of eternal life.
5. No wonder Wesley wrote, "Amazing love how can it be, that Thou my God should'st die for me."
6. Now let’s look at this Bible in miniature: Isaiah 53:6
II. "All we like sheep, have gone astray;"
A. How many? Most, many, multitudes? No, "All we," (kallanu)
1. It is an emphatic assertion concerning all people, any, every, the whole! The totality of the masses, without one exception! The (kosmos) the whole world and all its inhabitants!
B. “Have gone astray!” That means every human being alive has an innate bent to stray or wander from the paths of righteousness and we do it intentionally. It’s in our very nature!
1. Sheep (ts-one) is from an unused root to migrate, in fact straying is characteristic of sheep, they are totally dependent on a shepherd, leader or protector, totally dependent!
2. You lead sheep or a flock with a staff but you drive cattle or a herd with a whip! Sheep don’t fear danger, they walk right into it head first.
3. That's why sheep need direction and a director or shepherd/pastor to lead them.
4. Sheep without a shepherd are lost and totally defenseless and will die in the wilderness. In Matt. 9:36 Yeshua/Jesus looked upon Israel as, "sheep having no shepherd."
C. However, as I said sheep have a tendency to, "go astray," to err, to wander and are easily led astray (ta'ah) wander off course so as to get into trouble, in fact it's in their very nature to do so.
1. Sheep also go astray ungratefully, they forsake the hand that feeds them and heals their diseases, picks the bugs off and even bite it on occasion and they go astray repeatedly.
2. If restored today, they will go astray tomorrow if not today and wander even further and further, from bad to worse. There’s no limit to their wandering except their own frailty, and when they get tired they just lay down.
3. This is Isaiah's vivid description of how humanity behaves, as well as God's analogy of Adam's descendants.
4. This clause is also the confession of a repentant Israel: In the Alpha Psalm, the last verse 119:176 says, "I have gone astray like a lost sheep."
5. It also portrays a repentant humanity in I Pet. 2:25 which says, "For ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."
6. What a great analogy of mankind, God could not have compared us with a better animal.
7. “All we like sheep have gone astray,” (past tense) “and!”
III. "We have turned every one to his own way,"
A. Nothing could more strikingly represent the condition of mankind then this phrase.
B. We have turned from God, and are following our own paths, we are pursuing our own pleasures, and we are exposed to every kind of danger known to man, beast or demon!
C. We have turned (pan-ah) turned away, turned back from following the Chief Shepherd, ‘The Bishop of our souls.”
1. Every one (eesh) every man, person, being, has turned to "his own way.” 2. His own road, journey, path, direction, course of life or moral character. Read - (Rom. 6:21-23).
D. Man prefers his own way to God's way. He has transferred his allegiance to the idol of his heart, namely himself; His will, his desires, his intellect and innate tendencies to be wholly selfish.
1. That is man's common guilt, and goal; Gen. 3:5, "Ye shall be as gods."
2. We need to give up the throne of our hearts to this Servant, the Messiah and the sooner the better. In other words, we need to get out of the Savior business!
3. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way (singular) which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways (plural) of death."
4. There are many ways to the Messiah, the highway, the roadway, the pathway, the byway, the throughway (we all came a different way to Jesus); But there is only one way to God the Father and that is through Israel's Messiah!
5. John 14:6 in the Newer Testament tells us what that way is for the Jew and the Gentile!
6. And that leads us to the third phrase:
IV. "And the LORD has laid on Him,"
A. The (YHVH) Jehovah, The I AM, The Self-Existent One! (Ehyeh, Asher, Ehyeh)
B. When you see the name Jehovah - LORD, you are dealing with redemption and the covenant keeping God. When you see the name Elohim - God, you are dealing with creation and the Creator of all mankind.
C. In v. 4 the Servant was stricken and smitten (naga - naka) by Elohim – God, the One Who created all things.
D. However, in v. 6 it is the LORD - Jehovah, the God of Redemption, Who laid (pa-ga – our iniquities) on Him; to strike violently, to fall upon; in a hostile sense, to attack with the idea of violence leading to death; to kill, to slay, to impinge, (two objects coming together with such force they are totally inseparable).
E. This same verb is used in I Kings 2:34, "So Benaiah fell upon him and slew him." All gentleness is completely excluded from this verse on purpose.
1. No stronger language can be used to explain expiation for sin, for all mankind. NONE!
2. What martyr, what group of people would you place here as the ultimate, infinite sacrifice for all mankind?...... I can’t think of one either!
F. The word (paga) can also be translated 'meet;' "The LORD has made to 'meet' on Him the iniquity of us all." (I put this in, in case you have one of those sissy translations in your hands: “Like a boxer’s right hook that meets his opponents left jaw…”
1. Problem: It does not have the same force as 'laid upon Him' but it still can paint a nice picture of atonement. The meeting place of sin is the mercy-seat (kapporet) of sinners; a bloody, messy, smelly place! By the way, whose job was it to clean it up every day?
2. However: The end result is the same either way; If you will not consent that your iniquities shall meet upon Israel's Messiah, then you must bear them yourself, alone! (Scary thought, Amen?)
3. Again Ps. 85:10 culminates right here, "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
4. And that leads us to the last phrase:
V. "The iniquity of us all."
A. The LORD has laid (paga) on Him, His Servant, the Messiah, His Son, 'the iniquity (avon) depravity, perversity, lawlessness, of us all!'
B. You wonder sometimes, don't you, just how bad man's heart really is; How wicked is wicked, how depraved is depraved and then you study Isaiah 53:5 and you see that the Messiah was crushed, shattered to dust, (the same word) rendered listless, lethargic, and languid and literally crushed to the earth by our 'inborn crookedness.' WOW!
C. The root of (avon) means 'twisted, perverted, crookedness.' In other words our sin nature is basically an incorrigible perversity and He nailed it to the tree for you and for me. Col. 2:14 ® “He nailed it to the tree!”
D. There is no stronger language in Hebrew to denote the fact that, His sufferings were to make atonement (katallagay – mutual exchange) for all (kol) mankind. NONE! Jehovah, violently loaded on Him our distorted, twisted, perverted sin nature.
1. Our sin is no different to God than the sin you find on the street, in the slums, the gutters, the allies, or skid row. Don’t sugar coat yours, to God sin is sin and it cost Him His Son!
2. Gen. 6:5 says we are all sinners by nature, "Every imagination of man's heart is only evil continually!" (Every imagination of your heart & mine is only evil continually)
3. Do you really want to know what God thinks about your good deeds, your righteousness, and your mitzvot? Read Isaiah 64:6 in a Roman Catholic Bible sometime!
4. Ecc. 7:20 tells us we are all sinners by practice, "For there is not a just man upon earth, that does good and sins not." (Rom. 3:10-12) ‘No Not One!’
5. As a fish is born to swim and a bird is born to fly, man is born to sin, it's in our nature. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we were born sinners.
6. This Servant became our Sin-Bearer to remove the Sin-Barrier, which was preventing us from entering into God’s presence. Listen, He was forsaken so we never would have to be!
7. That is substitutionary, vicarious atonement! God became man and died on a tree for you and for me!
A. The cauldron of Almighty God's infinite wrath was poured out upon His Servant, the Messiah.
B. A finite creature could not have borne God's infinite wrath, so the Suffering Servant had to be the Messiah who provided the vicarious atonement and bore the iniquities of the world, the (kosmos).
C. What does it mean to suffer the infinite wrath of God? I don't know, and I don't ever want to know, but I do know this, He did it for you and for me because He loves us, that much I know.
D. It was love that held Him on that tree on Calvary not the nails, LOVE! Agape love, sacrificial love, love that gives, and gives, and gives and asks nothing in return.
E. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved...He gave," His best, His beloved, His only begotten!
F. All this the Servant, the Messiah Jesus has done for you, what have you ever done for Him? He died for you, so you could live for Him. He took your hell so you could take His heaven.
G. What He suffered physically on Mt Moriah or Mt Calvary, on the tree or on the cross, whatever you want to call it, is nothing compared to what He suffered mentally, spiritually, internally:
H. It all started in the garden of the olive press, “Gethsemane” where He could feel the crushing weight of the sin of the world to come.
1. So much so, that an angel from heaven was sent to strengthen Him, Lk. 22:43.
2. This is the only place in the KJV where the word ‘agony’ appears, meaning, “to be engaged in combat.” He agonizes over what’s in the cup, His Father gave Him to drink. Yet He prays, “Not My will but, Thine be done.” Mark 14:34 (He prayed 3 times)
3. It was here that Dr. Luke records the “Bloody Sweat” in Lk. 22:44 (hematidrosis) under great stress your capillaries burst and mix with perspiration and you sweat blood, causing weakness, shock and even death!
I. According to Webster the word, ‘Excruciating – to cause great agony, torment, and pain; comes from the Latin words, “Ex – for out of; and Cruciate – for cross; Or from or out of the cross.
1. So before the Carthaginians invented crucifixion and the Romans perfected it, the word ‘Excruciating’ wasn’t even in the vocabulary.
J. Matt. 27:46 says, “And about the ninth hour (3:00 pm) Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama, sabach`thani?” That is to say, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
1. With the sin of the world pressing down upon Him Jesus suffered, ‘Spiritual-Death’ (Separation from the Father).
2. Isa. 59:2 says, ‘Sin causes a separation from God, therefore He must turn His face from you, so that He cannot not hear you.
3. The father must turn away from His Son on the cross, He has no alternative!
4. So, for the first time, in recorded scripture anyway, Jesus does not address God as His Father! If you listen carefully, you can hear the internal plea in His external cry!
5. This is the painstaking shrill of one who is in a state of utter loneliness! Can you hear it?
6. Hab. 1:13; Isa. 1:15; Micah 3:4; Jer. 11:11; Ezk. 8:18;
K. Jesus had ‘External-Warfare,’ ‘Internal-Warfare’ and ‘Spiritual-Warfare.’
1. Psalm 22, “The Psalm of The Cross,” talks about ‘Spiritual-Warfare’
2. vv. 12-13 says, “Many bulls have compassed me; strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, like a ravening and a roaring lion.”
3. While on the cross darkness covered the land/earth Luke 23:44 from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
4. Jesus associated those who arrested Him with the powers of darkness.
5. Where were Satan and the powers of evil when Christ was on the cross? Ps. 22:12-13, seem out of place at first, but they have a deeper spiritual meaning upon further study.
6. I Pet. 5:8, “Satan is a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Bashan, is east of the Jordan River, known for its fertility; and tied too Baal & demon/spirit worship in cattle.
7. These verses suggest the spiritual activity of Satan and demons celebrating the suffering of Jesus on the cross, their goal was to do away with Him once and for all! (Sorry!)
L. We know from John 10:17-18 that Christ laid down His own life and that no man took it from Him; He had power to lay it down and power to take it up again.
1. But physically and internally what was it that finished Him off? Exhaustion, thirst, asphyxiation, suffocation, dehydration, shock from blood loss, what?
2. After He gave up His Spirit and the guards broke the legs of the other men and came to Christ they saw that He was already dead, but just to make sure, a soldier shoved a spear into His side and blood and water poured out:
3. Indicating the two most prominent causes of death probably were hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia. Others have proposed dehydration, cardiac arrhythmia and congestive heart failure with rapid accumulation of pericardial and pleural effusions as possible contributing factors, but Christ crying out with a loud voice rules out asphyxia.
4. Put all that in layman’s terms, He gave up His spirit and died from a ‘broken heart’ more like a ‘ruptured heart.’ Why? He took your place and was abandoned by His Father!
5. The truth is, “He died for your sins!” According to the scriptures, I Cor. 15:3.
The proof is, “He was buried Jewish style,” I Cor 15:4
6. The truth is, “He arose from the dead!” According to the scriptures, I Cor. 15:4.
The proof is, “He was seen above 500 brethren at once,” I Cor. 15:6.
M. The sufferings of our Messiah should always be the main subject on our hearts and minds, always, whether internal or external. "ALL we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned everyone to his own way, and the LORD has laid on Him/Christ the iniquity of us ALL."
N. Q? If Israel is the Servant, the 'Him' that the LORD laid the iniquity on in the third phrase of this verse, then who is the 'we' in the first and second phrase that Isaiah identified himself with?
“The Servant’s Illicit Arrest”
A. For almost 1,400 years 'Passover Lambs' were killed pointing forward to 'Something.'
B. Giving only a cryptic, silent witness of the (owth) in Exodus 12:13, a sign of something or someone greater to come. “And the blood shall be to you for a token (owth – sign of something greater to come) upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
C. Now that 'Someone, that Something' is finally revealed in Isaiah 53:7 and it is “The Servant; The Messiah" of Israel;
D. "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth."
E. From Isaiah 53:7 to John 1:29 in the Newer Testament there is but one single, solitary step!
F. John the Baptizer is standing in the Jordan River baptizing people and he sees Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth coming to him and he states, "Behold (ide – Look! Lo! See! Behold!), the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."
G. In Gen. 22:8 Abraham answered Isaac and said, “My son, God will provide Himself (as) a lamb for a burnt offering;”
1. The word ‘Himself’ is a reflexive pronoun in the Hebrew text pointing back to God.
2. In Jn. 8:56, Yeshua said, “Abraham rejoiced to see My day and He saw it and was glad!”
II. We now come to the termination, the grand finale, or the consummation of the Servant!
A. The (coup de grace) if you will, or the 'stroke of mercy!' As, Webster calls it, "The deathblow or shot, to end the suffering of one mortally wounded, a decisive finishing blow, act or event."
B. In v. 7 we have, 'The Servant's Trial;' In v. 8, we have, 'The Servants Death;' And in v. 9 we have, 'The Servants Burial.' In this stanza we have the servant “Cut-Off!”
C. All prearranged, preplanned, predetermined, preordained, before occurring, before creation, before time, before life, before light! In fact, it sounds more like history than prophecy!
D. Hebrews 9:26 says, "For then must He often have suffered since (apo – from or before) the foundation of the world." (Who? The Messiah; The Servant, Heb. 9:24)
E. Again in Rev. 13:8 it says, "The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world."
F. You see, our salvation, our redemption, yours and mine, was not an after thought of the Almighty, it was a fore-thought.
G. Our sin did not catch Him by surprise or off guard! He knew all about Genesis 3! He knew Adam would sin and He created him anyway, now that is LOVE!
H. An unconditional commitment, to an imperfect person. Real love has nothing to do with feelings; it's about an unconditional commitment, and an eternal covenant!
I. Isaiah 53:7 shows us the voluntary submission of the Servant of the LORD to a lost, hell bound dying world.
J. It was His will to go to the tree, not because it was fun but because it had to be done.
K. It was preordained before the foundation of the world, as seen in, Mark 14:21, “The Son of man indeed goes as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good were it for that man if he had never been born.” (Speaking of Judas Iscariot)
1. Judas Iscariot – Judas means ‘praised;’ and Iscariot means man from Kerioth or ‘man of the assassins’ so together his name means, “Praised man of the Assassins.”
2. Indwelt by Satan himself John 13:27 in the upper-room to carry out his diabolical plot.
L. There was a council in heaven before the foundation of the world and the 'Servant' said, "I'll Go, I'll be the Lamb, the Pascha, The Sacrifice!" Acts 2:22-23; I Pet. 1:20.
M. It is very important to note that it was at this verse, Isa. 53:7-8 that Philip lead the Ethiopian Eunuch to the Messiah, Acts 8:32 and it goes on to say that, "He preached unto to him Jesus."
N. So in the third stanza of our “Crown Jewel” Isaiah considers the cosequences of having the sins of “All of us” fall on this Servant:
1. This Servant was submissive unto death without a complaint like a butchered lamb!
2. This Servant was unjustly cut-off due to other peoples sins, not His own!
3. This Servant died and was buried even though He was innocent!
III. "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth;"
A. Interesting, you have the masculine singular pronoun seven times in this verse, five times as He and twice as His. Never once as a feminine plural to refer to a group of people such as Israel!
B. The word oppressed in Hebrew is (na-gas) meaning harshly treated and mishandled, or to drive, tax, tyrannize, distress, to be hunted or plagued, by a taskmaster or slave driver, Exodus 1 & 2.
C. To sternly exact a penalty, payment, tribute or ransom! 'Full-Payment! 'He Paid The Debt In Full!' (Tetelestai! "It is FINISHED!")
D. "And He was afflicted," (anah) humbled, humiliated, to bow or stoop down, to mistreat, to dishonor; to ravish!
E. This is the same word used in v. 4, "stricken, smitten, of God and afflicted," ( naga, naka, anah) to describe His hell on earth for us, for you and me, as He bore our sin on the tree.
F. You can see this in the Newer Testament spelled out for us in Matt. 27:27-31; (R); Mark 15:16-23; Luke 22:63-65; and John 19:1-3.
G. He was oppressed (nagas) and afflicted (anah) driven, hunted, plagued, humiliated, humbled, mocked, and bowed down, for you because He loves you!
IV. "Yet He opened not His mouth!" (Twice this is stated in this verse for emphasis)
A. Matt. 26:62-63, "And the high priest arose and said unto Him, Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee? But Yeshua/Jesus held His peace."
B. Matt. 27: 12-14, "And when He was accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said unto Him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And He answered him never a word..." Mark 15:1-5.
C. Silence before the Elders; Silence before the Scribes; Silence before the Priests; Silence before the Pharisees; Silence before Herod and Pilate; "SILENCE!" WHY?
D. First, He did not need to defend Himself because no valid accusation was made against Him.
E. Second, His trial was a judicial farce conducted by men asserting pious motives who were violating the Jewish laws of jurisprudence, so I don't think any defense would have made any difference anyway! Do you?
F. His death sentence was predetermined and settled before they gave Him a hearing or a trial anyway, so what difference would it have made?
G. He spoke to the Sanhedrin only when silence would have been a renunciation of His deity and His Messiahship, Matt. 26:63-64. ® “I adjure thee (ex-or-kidzo- to swear under oath or penalty of a curse) by the living God, that thou tell us if thou be the Christ, the Son of God!”
H. He spoke before Pilate only when His silence would have renounced his kingship. Jn. 19:8-11 ®
I. However, before the incestuous Tetrarch Herod, He said nothing at all.
J. Now whatever virtues Israel has, and they have many, 'suffering silently' is not one of them nor ours. We tolerate pain and suffering, He embraced it (yada) became intimate with it, silently!
K. In fact the Jewish people never considered suffering silently as a virtue, NEVER!
L. Take the 'Warsaw Ghetto' as an example, both of my grandparents grew up there before 1900. My grandmother's entire family was butchered in a pogrom and she had to be smuggled out of Poland by two Roman Catholic nuns. Why? She was Jewish!
M. What about the Palestinians, the Syrians, Hamas, the Hezbollah, etc. Is Israel suffering silently right now or are they fighting back, with all their might and military power?
N. This Servant, is obviously a different character than the nation of Israel or any human being for that matter and Israel never, ever considered suffering silently as a virtue, NEVER!
V. "He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter;"
A. He is brought (yabal) borne, carried, led to the altar of sacrifice on Golgotha.
B. This word is also a picture of pall bearers carrying someone to their grave. They are dead and silent, but this lamb is alive and silent.
C. It is a lamb (seh) a lamb of the first year, a lambkin, just off its mother's milk.
D. Lambs were sacrificed not sheep, they made no resistance, uttered no complaint.
E. A lamb provided no wool, no milk, not much meat so they were perfect for sacrifice because they were so innocent looking and provided no resistance!
F. To the slaughter (tebakh) means to butcher or kill ruthlessly; although the Jewish people were very merciful in slaying their animals; Their butchers were not merciful in slaughtering them!
G. The 'shohet' or Jewish butcher uses a 20" knife, highly polished, sharp as a razor, 2" wide, they cut the throat to sever the head so the animal feels little or no pain and death is quick.
H. Lambs walk right up to their executioner and allow them to slit their throat but not cattle or other animals, they must be restrained, and locked in because they go wild at the smell of blood.
VI. "And as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opens not His mouth."
A. As a sheep (rachel) a ewe-sheep, before her shearers is dumb (alam) this word means silent and bound all four legs.
B. They usually tie their feet to shear them but the word (alam) can be translated to bind or binding. Either way they are silent during the shearing process. Matt. 27:2; Mark 15:1; John 18:12-13; 24.
C. He was tormented, tortured, tried yet He opened not His mouth. He offers no defense, NONE!
D. Just silence! Except when He is asked if He is God! Mark 14:61-62 and He answers in the affirmative (ego eime) "I am; the (I AM) and you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." (Dan. 7:13)
E. "Then the high priest rent his clothes (which was forbidden by the law except for blasphemy, Lev. 10:6; 21:10) and said, what need have we of any further witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy. What think ye? And they all condemned Him to be guilty of death."
F. The word shearers in Hebrew is a very interesting word (gazaz) to shear sheep or to shave one's head. We know in Isa. 50:6 it is believed that they ripped the Messiah's beard out, probably at this point by the roots.
G. Is it possible that they also sheared His head, Isaiah 53:7 as a final act of humiliation before delivering Him to Pilate to scorn Him because He was thought to be a Nazarene from Nazareth and He may have taken a Nazarite vow, so they wanted to shame Him further?
H. Just a thought to give relevance to, "As a sheep before her shearers (gazaz) is dumb (alam) silent and bound;"
I. In the movie, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe," when Aslan was on the stone altar just before the witch slew Him, they shaved His mane to humiliate Him one last time. (Maybe C.S. Lewis had a similar thought?)
J. During the Holocaust the Nazi soldiers would cut off the Rabbi's beards publicly, in the streets to humiliate them and they sheared their heads in the concentration camps. (Just a thought but one worth considering).
VII. The trial was totally illegal.
A. It was illegal for the Temple guard to affect an arrest.
B. It was illegal to try a capital charge (trial for life) at night; that was illegal. Only trials for money could be transacted after dark.
C. It was illegal for judges to cross examine a prisoner after the testimony of the witnesses broke down, Matt. 26:57-68. In which case the prisoner was immediately released and the witnesses were immediately stoned.
D. Based on Deut. 16:18-20, the Jewish Court, the 'Bet Din' guaranteed a criminal several things: 1. A fair public trial; 2. A defense counsel; 3. Conviction only by the testimony of two witnesses; 4. A death sentence had to wait three days while the court members fasted and prayed; 5. A defendant was protected against self-incrimination; 6. A court officer rode in front of the defendant calling out for one witness to contradict the charges.
E. No one stood up, not one of His disciples, followers, not even His own mother; No One!
F. In Matt. 26:57-68 we see at least six aspects of an illegal trial:
1. Convening of the Sanhedrin at night, v. 57-58;
2. Conspiracy to convict without evidence, v. 59-61;
3. Confrontation for self-incrimination, v. 62-64;
4. Condemnation based on false testimony, v. 65-66;
5. Conduct of the court, verbal and physical abuse, v. 67-68.
6. The Servant's Response - 'Silence!' v. 67-68.
A. The Servant was brought to the shearers that He might be shorn of His honor, shorn of His majesty, shorn of His dignity, shorn of His glory, shorn of His power and shorn of His life.
B. However, while the shearer’s blades did their work, He was as silent as a lamb!
C. The Servant/Messiah wept and He sweat great drops of blood (hematohidrosis) but He never once murmured or felt rebellion in His heart, not one time!
D. Not one syllable of complaint about His chastisement for our sins was ever uttered, never!
E. How patient He was before Caiaphas, before Herod, before Pilate, before the crowd at Calvary.
F. Silence! Never accusing them or us of injustice or cruelty, never! He just prayed, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!" Ten words that changed the philosophy of this world forever and ever!
G. We on the other hand murmur and cry out at any and every slight injustice thinking ourselves wrongly done by it, "I'll sue you for everything you have!" “You’ll hear from my lawyer!”
H. But not this 'Servant,' silent as a lamb to be slaughtered, silent as a sheep to be sheared, complete submission, complete self-sacrifice, complete self-conquest, complete self denial! (Luke 9:23)
I. He was oppressed, He was abased, He was afflicted, He was offered because he was willing; The idea is one of urgency, oppression, vexation, of being hard pressed, and ill treated. It does not refer to what was exacted by God or to sufferings inflicted by God, though it may include those.
J. This refers to all of His oppressions and the severity of all His sufferings from everyone and from every area, physical, spiritual, human and demonic! He submitted Himself to be afflicted and yet He was as patient as a Lamb, as tender a newborn babe and He opened not His mouth!
K. The idea here is that He voluntarily took upon Himself the sins of mankind, making Himself answerable as surety for the human race and that was the cause of His suffering. God demanded the debt be paid in ‘FULL’ and He the Great and Righteous One suffered to the full extent for it!
L. The KJV has retained the correct sense of the Hebrew in this verse, “He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth!” He was subjected to excruciating pain and sorrow which was hard to bear; which was usually accompanied by expressions of impatience and lamentation! The fact that He never opened His mouth is even more remarkable & miraculous!
M. He made no resistance; He uttered no complaint; You can almost see the patient Redeemer being led to Calvary without resistance, amidst the roar of the multitude yelling, “Crucify Him!” He is perfectly silent and composed, able to call 10,000 angels to assist Him in a nana-second; with all the power of heaven and earth at His disposal, yet quiet and gentle as if He had none; He walked!
N. Why? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jn. 3:16: “By this perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” I Jn. 3:16; “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of the angels, preached unto the nations, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” I Tim. 3:16. “Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another; and the LORD hearkened, and heard it and a book of remembrance was written before Him, for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His name.” Mal. 3:16.
“The Servant’s Illegal Trial"
A. “He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was He stricken.” K.J.V.
B. "By oppression and judgment he was taken away, And with his generation who did reason? For he was cut off out of the land of the living, For the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due." JPS Trans. 1975.
C. "By oppressive judgment he was taken away, Who could describe his abode? For he was cut off from the land of the living, Through the sin of my people, who deserved the punishment." JPS Trans. 1985.
D. He was snatched away from the earth, out of the midst of an atmosphere of prison and judicial proceedings, and out of His generation and all of his contemporaries and friends, who considered God's view, the true view of this criminal act? (No One!)
E. Isaiah states, "He was snatched away out of the land of 'my people' to whom the stroke was rightfully due!”
F. The emphasis in this verse is not that he was taken away from his sufferings but that, ‘out of the midst of his sufferings he was carried off to death!’
G. Remember, ’IF’ this Servant is the Messiah and not Israel;
1. Which by now it is hard to argue for it being Israel, especially in this verse.
2. And this Messiah is Yeshua/Jesus which it apparently seems to point too!
3. Then Yeshua was arrested in the evening, had five or six trials by dawn, was beaten, buffeted (punched repeatedly), scourged, mocked, ridiculed, crowned with thorns, maybe two inches in length, stripped naked and executed by crucifixion and had a spear shoved into his side to make sure he was dead and buried in a borrowed tomb!
I. So the second parallel to this enigma, balances the first!
II. "He was taken from prison and from judgment;"
A. He was taken (la-kakh) to seize, snatch, capture, carry away, take captive, to be taken prisoner in a hostile sense against your will and the will of others. (Peter the sword fighter)
B. Think of the Garden of Gethsemane when Yeshua/Jesus was arrested in the night by the Temple guards who had no powers of arrest. NONE!
C. They bound Him, seized Him and led Him away to Annas first to be tried. John 18:10ff.
D. Notice also the masculine singular pronouns 'He' in this verse four times, seven times in v. 7 and four times in v. 9. Actually it appears over fifty times in this passage alone!
E. He was taken from prison (me-otzer) this word is used only four times as a noun and means a place of confinement or violent oppression, and vengeance.
F. The root is to restrain, retain, or shut up, to imprison. It does not mean prison like our prisons today, it means a violent restraint and oppression; To be shut up and closed in, or confined.
G. "And from judgment," (mish-pawt) justice, court or the seat of judgment, or due process of litigation; this is a legal term, for a court room. His was an oppressive, unrighteous proceeding.
H. Prison and justice refer to the judicial process or the due process of the law. He was taken from prison and from the very court room to be executed.
I. He suffered under the law and a sentence was passed in His case. The Hebrew Bible says, "By oppression and judgment He was taken or snatched away."
J. He was condemned to die by legal execution, not by accident, old age, or by war, but by 'Legal Execution!' This is prophetic! Try to prophesy your death at the age of 33, in good health!
K. This verse speaks of an illegal trial, no justice, no judgment; no one speaks on His behalf, no defense attorney, 'No One!' An oppressive, unrighteous proceeding, unethical and illegal!
L. In fact He was sold for 30 pieces of silver Zech. 11:12-13; Matt. 26:15; The price of a gored, bleeding to death, slave, Exodus 21:32. ® It was called 'Blood Money.' Matt. 26:6-10.
III. "And who shall declare His generation,"
A. This is a tough passage to interpret and there are many variations.
B. So, I will take the one of a crier who went before a convicted criminal, with a flag in his hand calling for anyone to come forward to declare his innocence and the execution would be stopped and the trial retried, but no one, not John, not Peter, not even His mother stepped forward!
C. This is recorded in the Babylonian Mishnah and Gemarah. In fact based on this passage the Gemarah of Babylon adds, "That before the death of Yeshua/Jesus this proclamation was made for 40 days but no defense could be found." (This is certainly false!)
D. However when you link v. 8 with v. 10, "Prolong His days and declare His generation." It appears to imply continuous posterity for all His generations even after being cut-off.
E. In other words, He would win more disciples, more followers in His death than in His life.
F. There are so many different opinions on this phrase it is unbelievable and they are all relevant and have their own valid arguments.
G. But the indifference of the public opinion and apathetic attitude of the masses are often appalling, no one seemed concerned about His fate, as they cried, "Give us Barabbas!"
H. His judges were not interested in ascertaining the truth about their prisoner, just in getting rid of Him before the Sabbath.
I. However, little thought was given to the importance of the death of Yeshua/Jesus by his contemporaries, life just went on; things were just too turbulent.
J. Except for His disciples and followers; and of course world history which was divided into two epochs, B.C. 'Before Christ' and A. D. 'Anno Domini' the year of our Lord Jesus Christ. Just pick up a news-paper, even in Russia and read the date!
K. Nothing seemed to change, and yet everything seemed to change: the veil was rent, rocks were rent, graves were rent, hearts were rent, history was rent, Jerusalem was rent, Judaism was rent, Rome was rent, the world was rent, Hell was rent, and Heaven was ripped wide open!
IV. "For He was cut-off out of the land of the living;"
A. The word cut-off (gaw-zar) is a special Hebrew word used only six times in the Bible. It means to be cut down, destroyed, killed, exterminated, executed and refers to a violent horrible death!
B. This is a special word used for the execution of criminals. This is a violent, shocking death, never a peaceful death, one that turns your head and stomach.
C. This is the kind of death they would date things from, like 'Pearl Harbor 12/7/41;' the 'Kennedy Assassination 11/22/63;' the 'Twin Towers 9/11/01;' the ‘Atomic Bombs 9/6/9/45 – Hiroshima & Nagasaki – “Little Boy & Fat Man”
D. This is the first time Scripture indicates that the Messiah would die, and die a horrible, violent, ugly death; up to this point it just said that He would suffer, but never die!
E. The normal word for cut-off (karath) is used over 200 times in the Bible and means to be condemned to eternal Hell fire or 'Eliminated!'
1. Dan. 9:26, “ And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off but not for Himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the end of it shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
F. This word is a special word (gaw-zar) and means 'Exterminated NOT Eliminated!' Which is very important! (Very strong word, to cut in two with an axe, to cut down in the midst of his days)
G. He was also cut-off from life prematurely maybe 33.5 years up to maybe 38 years.
H. If, He was born in 5 B.C. prior to Herod's death and died in 33 A.D. which many Bible scholars hold to, that would make Him about 37-38 years old.
I. He lived a short life, dying in His prime, but His impact on men's hearts and lives had only just begun. He had no successor, no family, no descendants to preserve His name.
J. He came and ministered for 3.5 years and died. However, He can't be erased from the consciousness or souls of the human race, no matter how hard or how long they try.
K. He may have been cut-off out of the land of the living but He will never be cut-out of the hearts, souls and spirits of those He left behind, Never!
L. They may be able to take the tree out of the malls, and the manger out of the halls, but they will never take Christ out of Christmas! All history is based on His birth and eternity on His death!
V. "For the transgression of ‘My’ people was He stricken."
A. Some translators believe that Yehovah is speaking in this verse and that the word “My” should be capitalized.
B. It also needs to be pointed out that this servant is not carried off and executed due to an illegal, corrupt system, but because of, “the transgressions of My people.” (Very Imp!)
C. He is suffering in the place of those who should be suffering, and He dies the death they should be dying! It was not His death on false charges that saved the world!
D. It was His voluntary submission as the infinite God-Man, to bear the sins of the world and die on the cross of Calvary that made Him the Savior of all mankind. Col. 1:13-14; 19-20.
E. The (pesah) transgression, trespasses, rebellion, revolts, or crossing the line.
F. Wilson's Old Testament word studies says, "This is a strong word meaning to rebel against (YHWH) or Jehovah, to apostatize from Him or against Him. To revolt or rebel or to be lawless, whether it is national or individual; moral or religious rebellion.
G. The Hebrews used six nouns and three verbs to describe sin, but the three main ones are; (Pesah) crossing the line, rebellion, or transgression: (Avon) iniquity, perverse, twisted, or crooked: (Chet) omission, or missing the mark.
H. "For the transgression (Pesah) of my people; (am - nation)" Who are Isaiah's people? Israel, then how can the Servant be Israel if He is going to be cut-off (gaw-zar) exterminated for Isaiah's people? (He can’t be – Right?) That doesn’t take rocket science to figure out!
I. The word stricken (ne-ga) is the same word as in v. 4, to strike violently, to kill, to slaughter, or to strike fatally.
J. The Hebrew Scriptures read, "For the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due!"
K. Or, "Through the sin of my people, who deserved the punishment!" David, Moses, Joseph, Isaiah even Israel didn't die for Israel, they couldn't. (But they deserved the punishment or the stroke!)
M. You had to be sin-less to be a sin-offering, as you can see in v. 10. You also had to be the infinite God-Man to suffer the infinite wrath of Almighty God and Israel was neither.
N. The Servant in this passage can not be; I repeat, can not be Israel! How could Israel be cut-off (gawzar) exterminated for Israel and still be a nation today? Impossible! It makes no sense!
O. There is reason to believe that the original text of this phrase has been changed. The ancient text seems to have stated, "He was smitten unto death." Or, “Stricken to death!”
P. The Septuagint LXX has, “because of the iniquities (lawlessness) of my people He was led to death!”
1. The Greek word for law is (nomos) and the word for lawless is (a-nomos). Nomos is the Law, the Torah according to Paul & John and living without it is (a-nomos) sin!
2. The original word in the Hebrew text was probably (lama-veth, intensive plural, violent death) but it was changed, sometime after 200 ad to (lamo) probably by the Mazorites.
Q. That is the way it was written by Origen 185-254, who stated a certain Jewish person assured him of that translation and felt it was more accurate than any other part of Isaiah 53.
R. It is rendered that way in the Septuagint in our present copies and if it wasn't that way in the original then it wouldn't be that way in the Septuagint, dated 250 B.C.
S. Or in Origen's writings, or in the Jewish man's arguments: "The Messiah, Jesus the Christ, was smitten unto death!" For our transgressions, our rebellions, our trespasses, our sins, yours and mine!
T. "Origen," (Contra Celsum, lib. i. p. 370, edit. 1733,) after having quoted at large this prophecy concerning the Messiah, "tells us, that having once made use of this passage in a dispute against some that were accounted wise among the Jews, one of them replied, that the words did not mean one man, but one people, the Jews, who were smitten of God and dispersed among the Gentiles for their conversion; that he then urged many parts of this prophecy to show the absurdity of this interpretation, and that he seemed to press them the hardest by this sentence, “for the iniquity of my people was he smitten to death.”
1. “Now as Origen, the author of the Hexapla, must have understood Hebrew, we cannot suppose that he would have urged this last quotation as so decisive if the Greek Version had not agreed here with the Hebrew text; nor that these wise Jews would have been at all distressed by this quotation, unless their Hebrew text had read agreeably to, "to death," on which the argument principally depended; for, by quoting it immediately, they would have triumphed over him, and reprobated his Greek version. This, whenever they could do it, was their constant practice in their disputes with the Christians.”
2. “Jerome, in his Preface to the Psalms, says, "Lately disputing with a Hebrew,-thou advanced certain passages out of the Psalms which bear testimony to the Lord the Saviour; but he, to elude thy reasoning, asserted that almost all thy quotations have an import in the Hebrew text different from what they had in the Greek."
3. “And Origen himself, who laboriously compared the Hebrew text with the Septuagint, has recorded the necessity of arguing with the Jews from such passages only as were in the Septuagint agreeable to the Hebrew: Wherefore as Origen had carefully compared the Greek version of the Septuagint with the Hebrew text, and speaks of the contempt with which the Jews treated all appeals to the Greek version where it differed from their Hebrew text; and as he puzzled and confounded the learned Jews by urging upon them the reading, "unto death," in this place; it seems almost impossible not to conclude, both from Origen's argument and the silence of his Jewish adversaries, that the Hebrew text at that time actually had (lemaveth) "to death," agreeably to the version of the Septuagint.” Dr. Kennicott.
U. Basically, Origen would not have stood and debated with these Jewish Scholars if the Hebrew text and the Greek text were not in perfect agreement in his day, so someone changed the text!
1. Don’t get me wrong, Origen was responsible for much of the Anti-Semitism all of which was based on his assertion that the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus.
V. So this Servant, Israel’s Messiah; Who had to come before the destruction of the Temple 2,000 years ago; Do many wonderful miracles to authenticate His office, be a direct descendant of King David, have proof of His lineage in print even today;
1. Must have been born of a miraculous birth to avoid the sin nature of Adam and the sin curse of Jeconiah, Jer. 22:24-30; Be the Son in Isaiah 7:14 fulfilling the eight names in Isaiah 9:6 the Midrash talks about; Fulfilling over 300 prophecies in His birth alone;
2. Who would be not only the Son-of-man and die to pay the penalty for mankind’s sin but be the ultimate sacrifice to YaHWeH satisfying His holy demands, and rise from the grave on the third day victorious over death as the Son-of-God to reign as the King of kings and LORD of lords; And come back to reign and rule His kingdom for 1,000 years!
3. Now if that is not Yeshua/Jesus, then you tell me who in time, space and history that is?
4. And while you are searching through all your grey matter for someone, I’ll put all my chips of the Man from Galilee, Jesus of Nazareth!