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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah 53: The Third Servant Song (Part 2)


[Preliminary notes: The third servant song, started at the end of the previous chapter, now continues. This is arguably the most devastating and disturbing of the servant songs in that it reveals:

a) the awfulness of what he had to go through – despised and rejected [v.3], appearing as a criminal [v.4], oppressed and afflicted [v.7], judged and executed [v.8], buried as a criminal [v.9],

b) the purpose behind it – to deal with our transgressions [wandering off from God] and iniquities [purposeful sins] [v.5,6],

c) the effect of it – he took all our wrongs [v.5,12] bringing us peace with God and healing of our sin-sick lives,

d) the way he did it – coming in a very ordinary human form [v.2], completely misunderstood [v.3,4,8,9]

e) the end-product or outworking of his work – he will bring offspring (followers?) [v.10], life will flow to him after his work [v.11], and he will triumph in it [v.12].

It is a glorious as well as horrifying chapter that bears much thinking about.]



v.1 There is a question as to who will believe this

v.1  Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

v.2 The servant grew up quite ordinarily

v.2  He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

v.3 But he came as one scorned and excluded, thought little of

v.3  He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.


v.4 Although he took our pain & suffering we thought God was punishing him

v.4  Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.

v.5 But actually it was for all our wrongs, he was bringing peace & healing

v.5  But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.

v.6 Although every one of us strayed from God, the servant took our crimes

v.6  We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.


v.7 He took it all silently

v.7  He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.

v.8 Harsh authority cut him down and punished him

v.8  By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.

v.9 He was buried as a criminal although totally innocent

v.9  He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.


v.10 But this was the plan of God, for him to suffer to bring our redemption

v.10  Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

v.11 His suffering will be rewarded by what it achieves

v.11  After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.

v.12 Seen as a wrong-doer, he took all our sins

v.12  Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.



One cannot, with such a chapter, help adding, “Hallelujah!”



Continue to Chapter 54