World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
53. Suffering and Glory of the Servant
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? 2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But 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. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7He 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 openeth not his mouth. 8He 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. 9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
8. From prison and judgment. There are various ways in which this passage is expounded. Some think that the Prophet continues the argument which he had already begun to treat, namely, that Christ was smitten by the hand of God, and afflicted, on account of our sins. The Greek translators render it, ἐν τὣ ταπεινώσει αὐτοῦ ἡ κρίσις αὐτοῦ ᾔρθη. “In his humiliation his judgment was taken away.” Others, “He was taken away without delay.” Others explain it, “He was taken away to the cross;“ that is, as soon as Christ was seized, he was dragged to “judgment.” I rather agree with those who think that the Prophet, after having spoken of death, passes to the glory of the resurrection. He intended to meet the thoughts by which the minds of many persons might have been troubled and distressed; for when we see nothing but wounds and shame, we are struck with amazement, because human nature shrinks from such a spectacle.
The Prophet therefore declares that he was taken away; that is, that he was rescued “from prison and judgment” or condemnation, and afterwards was exalted to the highest rank of honor; that no one might think that he was overwhelmed or swallowed up by that terrible and shameful kind of death. For, undoubtedly, he was victorious even in the midst of death, and triumphed over his enemies; and he was so judged that now he has been appointed to be judge of all, as was publicly manifested by his resurrection. (Acts 10:42) The same order is followed by the Prophet as by Paul, who, after having declared that Christ was abased even to the cross, adds that, on this account, he was exalted to the very highest honor, and that there was given him a: name to which all things both in heaven and in earth must render obedience and bend the knee. (Philippians 2:9)
Who shall relate his generation? This exclamation has been stretched and (I may say) tortured into various meanings. The ancients abused this passage in reasoning against the Arians, when they wished to prove by it Christ’s eternal generation. But they ought to have been satisfied with clearer testimonies of Scripture, that they might not expose themselves to the mockery of heretics, who sometimes take occasion from this to become more obstinate; for it might easily have been objected that the Prophet was not thinking about that subject. Chrysostom views it as relating to the human nature of Christ, that he was miraculously, and not by ordinary generation, conceived in the womb of the virgin; but that is a wide departure from the Prophet’s meaning. Others think that Isaiah kindles into rage against the men of that age who crucified Christ. Others refer it to the posterity which should be born; namely, that Christ’s posterity will be numerous though he die.
But, as דור (dor) signifies “age” or “duration,” I have no doubt that he speaks of the “age” of Christ, and that his meaning is, that Christ, though almost overwhelmed by sicknesses, shall not only be taken from them, but that even his age shall be permanent and eternal; or, in other words, that he shall be unlike those who are indeed rescued from death, but shall afterwards die; for Christ rose from the dead, to live for ever, and, as Paul says, “cannot now die; death shall no longer have dominion over him.” (Romans 6:9) Yet let us remember that the Prophet does not speak of Christ’s person alone, but includes the whole body of the Church, which ought never to be separated from him. We have therefore a striking proof of the perpetuity of the Church. As Christ liveth for ever, so he will not permit his kingdom to perish. The same immortality shall at length be bestowed on each of the members.
For he was cut off. This might indeed, at first sight, appear to be absurd, that the death of Christ is the cause and source of our life; but, because he bore the punishment of our sins, we ought therefore to apply to ourselves all the shame that appears in the cross. Yet in Christ the wonderful love of God shines forth, which renders his glory visible to us; so that we ought to be excited to rapturous admiration.
For the transgression of my people. He again repeats that the wound was inflicted on him “for the sins of the people;“ and the object is, that we may diligently consider that it was for our sake, and not for his own, that he suffered; for he bore the punishment which we must have endured, if he had not offered this atonement. We ought to perceive in ourselves that guilt of which he bore the accusation and punishment, having offered himself in our name to the Father, 5151 “Au pere celeste.” “To the heavenly Father.” that by his condemnation we may be set free.