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1Who has believed what he has heard from us?11Or Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3He was despised and rejected22Or forsaken by men;
a man of sorrows,33Or pains; also verse 4 and acquainted with44Or and knowing grief;55Or sickness; also verse 4
and as one from whom men hide their faces66Or as one who hides his face from us
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
6All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;77Or he has made him sick
when his soul makes88Or when you make his soul an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see99Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll he shall see light and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,1010Or with the great
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,1111Or with the numerous
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.


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11. From the labor of his soul he shall see. Isaiah continues the same subject. He declares that Christ, after having suffered, shall obtain the fruit of his death in the salvation of men. When he says, “He shall see,” we must supply the words, “Fruit and Efficacy.” This is full of the sweetest consolation; for Isaiah could not have better expressed the infinite love of Christ toward us than by declaring that he takes the highest delight in our salvation, and that he rests in it as the fruit of his labors, as he who has obtained his wish rests in that which he most ardently desired; for no person can be said to be satisfied but he who has obtained what he wished so earnestly as to disregard everything else and be satisfied with this alone.

By his doctrine, or by the knowledge of him. He now points out the way and method by which we experience the power and efficacy of the death of Christ, and obtain the benefit of it. That method is “the knowledge of him.” I acknowledge that the word דעת (dagnath) may be taken either in an active or a passive sense, as denoting either “the knowledge of him” or “his knowledge.” In whichsoever of these senses it is taken, we shall easily understand the Prophet’s meaning; and the Jews will not be able to practice such impudent sophistry as to prevent us from extorting from them a reluctant acknowledgment of what is here asserted, that Christ. is the only teacher and author of righteousness.

Shall justify many. By the word “justify” he points out the effect of this teaching. Thus, men are not only taught righteousness in the school of Christ, but are actually justified. And this is the difference between the righteousness of faith and the righteousness of the Law; for although the Law shows what it is to be righteous, yet Paul affirms that it is impossible that righteousness should be obtained by it, and experience proves the same thing; for the Law is a mirror in which we behold our own unrighteousness. (Romans 3: 20; Galatians 2:16, 21, and 3:10, 11.) Now, the doctrine which Christ teaches, as to obtaining righteousness, is nothing else than “the knowledge of him;” and this is faith, when we embrace the benefit of his death and fully rely on him.

Philosophers have laid down many excellent precepts, which, as they imagine, contain righteousness; but they never could bestow it on any man; 5757     “Mais ils n’ont jamais peu faire un seul hornroe juste.” “But they never could make one man righteous.” for who ever obtained by their rules the power of living uprightly? And it is of no advantage to know what is true righteousness, if we are destitute of it. To say nothing about philosophers, the Law itself, which contains the most perfect rule of life, could not (as we have said) bestow this; not that there was any defect in it, for Moses testified (Deuteronomy 30:19) that “he had set before them good and evil, life and death;” but that the corruption of our nature is such that the Law could not suffice for procuring righteousness. In like manner Paul teaches (Romans 8:3) that this weakness proceeds “from our flesh,” and not from the Law; for nature prompts us in another direction, and our lusts burst forth with greater violence, like wild and furious beasts, against the command of God. The consequence is, that “the law worketh wrath,” instead of righteousness. (Romans 4:15) The law therefore holds all men as convicted, and, after having made known their sin, renders men utterly inexcusable.

We must therefore seek another way of righteousness, namely, in Christ, whom the law also pointed out as its end. (Romans 10:3.) “The righteousness of the law was of this nature: He who doeth these things shall live by them.” (Leviticus 18:5; Galatians 3:12.) But nobody has done them, and therefore another righteousness is necessary, which Paul also proves (Romans 10:8) by a quotation from Moses himself, “The word is nigh, in thy mouth and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach.” (Deuteronomy 30:14) By this doctrine, therefore, we are justified; not by the bare and simple doctrine, but inasmuch as it exhibits the benefit of the death of Christ, by which atonement is made for our sins, and we are reconciled to God. (Romans 5:10.) For, if we embrace this benefit by faith, we are reckoned righteous before God.

For he shall bear their iniquities. The Prophet explains his meaning by pointing out what this doctrine contains; for these two clauses agree well: “he shall justify by his doctrine,” or “by the knowledge of him,” inasmuch as “he shall bear their iniquities.” Having been once made a sacrifice for us, he now invites us by the doctrine of the Gospel, to receive the fruit of his death; and thus the death of Christ is the substance of the doctrine, in order that he may justify us. To this saying of the Prophet Paul fully subscribes; for, after having taught that “Christ was an expiatory sacrifice for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” he at the same time adds, “We are ambassadors for Christ, and beseech you, be ye reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20, 21)

My righteous servant. He shows that Christ justifies us, not only as he is God, but also as he is man; for in our flesh he procured righteousness for us. He does not say, “The Son,” but “My servant,” that we may not only view him as God, but may contemplate his human nature, in which he performed that obedience by which we are acquitted before God. The foundation of our salvation is this, that he offered himself as a sacrifice; and, in like manner, he himself declares,

“For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be holy.” (John 17:19)




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