Isaiah 52:13–53:12. Servant Poem #4. The Substitute. Part I.
Key Notes: Word changes. Fourteen aspects of Jesus' ministry. Significance of prophecy of Jesus.
Much work has been done to find the best English translation for this most important chapter. In this lesson, we will make small changes in wording based on our commentaries. It will improve our understanding, Then we will find two sets of correlations. The next lesson will contain the commentary and applications.
52:15 "So shall He startle many nations" is better read "sprinkle many nations."
53:4 "Surely He has borne our griefs", is better rendered, "our weak sicknesses."
53:5 "Wounded" is better read "pierced".
"Bruised" is better read "crushed".
"Our iniquities" are "our bentnesses".
The word "whole" is derived from "shalom", or peace. Peace and health and wholeness are closely related.
53:9 "with the wicked ones" (plural).
53:10 "when He makes himself an offering for sin" in Hebrew reads "when You make His soul an offering for sin...."
53:11 "By His knowledge" may mean that the servant's knowledge--knowing what must be done-- makes many to be accounted righteous, i.e., justified. The alternate translation "By the knowledge of Him", means that because they know Him the many are accounted righteous.
53:12 "I will divide Him a portion with the great" is better read "I will allocate to Him the many."
"He shall divide the spoil with the strong" is better read "The strong He will apportion as spoil", or "He will take the strong as his own."
There are at least a dozen repetitions which emphasize substitution, something done for others. This is the principal theme of the chapter and it is driven home relentlessly.
53:4 “Surely He has borne our weak sicknesses
and carried our sorrows.”
53:5 “But He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole,
and with His stripes we are healed.”
53:6 “...the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
53:8 “...stricken for the transgression of my people....”
53:10 “...when You make His soul an offering for sin...”
53:11”...He shall bear their iniquities.”
53:12 “...numbered with the transgressors.”
“...bore the sin of many”
“made intercession for the transgressors”.
It is fascinating to see how many aspects of the life of Christ can be found in these 15 verses.
Pedigree: "a root out of dry ground." (53:2).
Development: "like a young plant". (53:2)
Appearance: "no form or comeliness that we should look at Him and no beauty that we should desire Him." (53:2). It is hard for us to deal with the fact that He looked like an ordinary man.
Demeanor: "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hid their faces." (53:3)
Reputation: "we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted." (53:4)
Healing ministry: "He has borne our weak sicknesses and carried our sorrows." (53:4)
The trial: "By oppression and judgment He was taken away". (53:8)
Abuse: "His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance".(52:14). His face was battered and bloody.
Execution: "pierced", "crushed". (53:5)
Intercession: "He made intercession for the transgressors". (53:12)
Death: "like a lamb led to the slaughter" (53:7)
"cut off out of the land of the living" (53:8)
"He made his grave with the wicked" (53:9)
"he makes Himself an offering for sin" (53:10)
Resurrection: "he shall see his offspring" (53:10)
"he shall prolong his days" (53:10)
"he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied." (53:11)
Exaltation: "My Servant shall prosper" (52:13)
"he shall be exalted and lifted up and shall be very high" (52:13)
"kings shall shut their mouths because of him." (52:15)
"I will divide Him a portion with the great" (53:12)
"He will take the strong as his own". (53:12)
World-wide preaching: "so shall he sprinkle many nations" (52:15)
These detailed prophecies were written seven-hundred years before Jesus came. He is unlike any other religious leader.
*Jesus is not an accident of history.
*He did not appeared suddenly on the scene, and develop new teaching to meet the needs of the people of his time.
*Jesus is the promised One, spoken of from the dawn of time and for thousands of years: "He is coming!" He is coming!" He was prophesied to Adam, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and David, to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, and Malachi, to Mary and Elizabeth.
*He was not just a nice carpenter who taught people and loved children.
*Jesus was not a fanatic revolutionary who tried to overthrow the system and was killed for it.
*Jesus is peerless. He is far above Moses, Socrates, Mohammed, Gandhi, Zoroaster, Buddha and Confucius, Karl Marx and Albert Einstein. He is our God.
*Like no other religious leader, He died for the sins of the people.
That is why we are sure we must follow Him and no other.